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October 30, 2012 by Steampunkish Graphic Novels
The moment before Elsa made her decision to step into the alley, she had been scrounging for food in a vehicle known as a “Mule”, a horse-driven balloon that was used to carry produce into the new York markets. Unfortunately, all the breakfast Elsa had been able to find up in the elevated cargo of the Mule was a rotten apple. Still, a breakfast was a breakfast, so she had started biting off what she could.
It was the flapping of pigeons had distracted her from her meal. They had a way of taking the “polish” off the technological marvel of the Mule. When they weren’t busy pecking through horse manure for undigested oats, they were busy “painting” the balloons, and you if you weren’t careful.
After having her meal disturbed, Elsa looked below from the bin to see a woman heading into a familiar dark alley nearby – one with no exit. She looked upset. A moment later, two gentlemen showed up at the corner. After looking around for a moment, they crossed the street and made their way toward the same alley.
There was not many people on the road, most were selling or buying goods two streets down. It was an excellent time for searching through a neglected Mule. One the other hand, trying to escape someone might be difficult if you didn’t know how and this woman definitely didn’t know what she was doing.
Elsa watched these men approach the alley. She had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen next.
And it was in that moment, Elsa decided to do something that made pigeons look smart. It was against every survivor’s instinct she had. She hopped down from the Mule, careful not to be seen or heard, and followed them in.
As Elsa stepped into the alley, she quietly lifted a bamboo pole she kept hidden back there for emergency situations. Stepping around the puddles and slimy surfaces Elsa had committed to memory without a sound, she approached from the rear.
The lady was backed up against the wall. The men, like giant shadows, blocked most of her view of what was happening, but no matter. Elsa’s approach wasn’t going to require knowing what was going on anyway. She gripped the stick tightly, waiting for her moment.
The right one stepped forward, presumably to grab the woman’s wrist. Elsa swung the pole in a golf-like arc under the other man’s crotch. This caused him to immediately bend over in pain but the second man gave her a surprise.
Instead of responding to Elsa’s attack on the first man, his head snapped around the other direction as a golden flash streaked out across his face. His body then bounced off the brick wall and then fell to the ground. It happened so fast that Elsa was caught off guard, stumbling backward.
Brass knuckles. Had to be.
Even for brass knuckles, it was an impressively placed strike – certainly better than Elsa had ever seen. She may have even knocked him out.
The lady behind the strike wasted no time. Before Elsa could recover her balance, her pole was knocked aside and Elsa had been dragged back out of the alley.
“Which way?” demanded the lady.
“Which way?!!!” She shouted again. The shouting snapped her out of her confusion. Elsa pointed towards her preferred escape route.
The evasion skills Elsa had honed over the years took over as she launched into a full sprint. Looking back past the woman following her, Elsa spied the man she had just hit in the crotch stumbling out into the street. His eyes were locked on her.
Apparently, Elsa hadn’t hit him hard enough.