Hercules vs The Scrapper
No one would know snow fell heavily outside the warehouse, inches
accumulating under darken skies. The lights from street lamps had flakes glistening
like diamonds falling from heaven. Few people were out tonight that
weren't already in the basement of this warehouse owned by D & R
Brothers Inc. Mostly hay and feed for animals all packaged and crated.
Many to be exported by ship or over the borders to the Outlanders, as
they were referred to. Down in the bowels of the warehouse it had been
cleared to set up a boxing ring of what was considered regulation size.
Derry and Roth had a liking for the thrill of boxing. One of the more
dangerous sports and that in itself held the appeal. Over the years they
had weeded out boxers they set up as their own. If someone came along
that stood out, they would do their best to recruit them. Incentives
that would be hard to pass up.
The best of their boxers was one called Hercules and he strove, by
all kinds of devious means unbeknownst to the Brothers, to keep his
position and title. He was paid very well and a had become a symbol in
the community. It would be hard to tell which was headier to the
oversize man in achieving. It was becoming noticed that some very good
boxers disappeared. At first it was assumed they continued on their way
when they had not beaten Hercules. Good enough they would have been
taken on to train and a likelihood they might actually be a real
contender for the man. Hercules had a good amount of money and had a
few paid-for-friends that did his dirty work for him. So far they went
undetected even when one of the boxers, from two month's ago, body
washed up on shore down at the port. The port was a distance away
and everyone knew bad things happened there. The brothers didn't
know that bad things were happening here under their nose. This night's
match had been first postponed to the present and Hercules had
gotten a few more men hired up to see to the one called the Scrapper
after the match.
Too many of the crowd were starting to favor the efficient and quieter
boxer. He came in, he fought hard and well and had taken down Harry first
then Stone Face who were not quite as good as Hercules which was why they
survived under the Brothers' lineup. Derry and Roth decided
to skip over the next two boxers they had and go right to
the top. That alone was a sign they were watching the Scrapper with
a keen eye and would be offering him a position. This part was unknown
to Liam as he got ready for the match in a small room he was given.
Harry had actually come in and wished him well, in fact mumbled
something about laying out that egotistical bastard for him. That
thought had lingered as the man took his leave and the sound of the
crowd gathering out in the basement was growing. The layers of smoke
thickening while the transferring of money in bets had many shouting
in getting everyone interested.
Hercules was in the room that was set aside for him, laughing and
boasting as was his usual way. He was bigger than the kid he was about
to face and had no doubt he could take him down. He hadn't even bothered
to watch the fights the Scrapper had been in. Like a king holding court,
he sat among the men and a few woman who constantly fed his ego. And why
not, he paid them well enough. He even planned to take the upstart out
in two rounds and then he'd see that the Scrapper went the route of the
others. Up river.
Ciarán had watched his brother fight before but the atmosphere was
nothing like here. Not only were there ones from the old city but a few
from the new. He checked under his cloak for his knives, then flashed
Evan a quick grin. This was more like it! And there was bound to
be another fight after. "Is this better than fighting off the metal
beasties?" And as an afterthought, "how's your head?"
Excitement thrummed through the crowd one could almost feel it in their
bones, and it helped rouse Evan from his mood (and lingering hangover).
Having dropped Liam off in his room the other two had gone to gauge the
temper of the crowd. There was plenty of loud conversation, laughter,
and tankards of drink circulating through the place but Evan didn't
engage in conversation with anyone... not even the pretty girls! All the
better to stay anonymous. "Much better than that," he answered
Ciaran, sort of grumbling as he glanced around the place. Ciaran's
question though brought his eyes back to the lad and he smirked a bit.
"Still not as big as yours." A joke between them as his dour
expression vanished for a quick grin. Already the place was packed with
a sweaty crowd and Evan had heard the "Scrapper's" name a few times. Many
seemed eager to see his opponent, the famous Hercules, get pummeled...
though it was clear Hercules' prowess was legendary and some doubted his
winning streak would ever be broken.
Liam liked going to the end of the fourth round before taking the other
boxer out for the count. The reason being the crowd had gotten enough
for the violence of hits so they didn't feel they were cheated when the
match didn't end too quickly. Not too many rounds to wear himself
out that if there was trouble afterwards he was already physically shot.
Too many times that held true for the stranger that seemed to clean up
the ring and the money. There were exceptions to this rule and he
knew he'd need to take out Hercules in the second or third round. The
first was more a dance and exchange of punches. There were no gloves
worn, it was bare fists. There were no real set number of rounds, it was
until one man couldn't get up. Although there were some rules, not
many, one was not to actively try and kill the other but pretty much
anything goes. It was still more street fighting than regulated.
Hercules was called up first being the champion as a good portion of the
crowd rose in cheers. Once he was in the ring and his showing off done,
he was directed to a corner. Next the challenger was called out as
the announcer promoted his skills as a newcomer. There were various
reactions, as was typical from the crowd; jeers and cheers
mingled. Liam entered the ring with little aplomb. He was the
unknown. The few instructions given and the two asked to politely
acknowledge each other before they would begin. Liam gave a nod as dark
eyes locked on the man taller than him by a few inches. The taller they
were, the harder they would fall but fall they had, even bigger and
taller than Hercules he so titled himself after the demigod.
Hercules moved into the ring with all the confidence of a man who had
won nearly ever fight fought. He touched hands with some he passed,
kissed a few women on the cheek or lips and raised his hands as he stood
in the center. He sized Liam up as he was announced, then grinned at his
cronies, letting him know that this would be another easy win. And he'd
make sure the Scrapper remembered who was the best.
Ciar had bet a good bit of coin on his brother and was looking forward
to collecting his winnings. He blinked when he saw Hercules, giving a
shake of his head. "This is going to be quite a show, Evan."
He nudged Evan with his elbow and pointed toward a pretty lass.
"That one keeps eyeing you. And you still got the biggest head,
hangover or not. I can't catch up with your ego." In spite of his
seemingly careless attitude, Ciar was watching the crowd, especially
taking note of the ones who had followed Hercules out of the room and
were seated close to the ring.
Evan had placed several bets here and there on The Scrapper, to the
surprise of some and the glee of others, all of whom believed they'd be
winning big on Evan's foolishness. Too bad they didn't know Liam the way
he did. Evan eyed Hercules as he entered the ring, noting his size but
refusing to be impressed. "He looks like a puffed-up toad," he
smirked, but was soon distracted by Ciaran's claim. Lifting his eyes he
cast about the crowd until spotting the pretty lass Ciaran had
mentioned. A lovely blonde who received a polite nod of greeting, paired
with a bright grin from Evan. Too busy looking at her he almost didn't
catch Ciaran's jibe and gave the younger man a light shove.
It was a different Liam with his shirt off. He was well proportioned and
very muscular. There was another strength about him that only another
fighter could smell, larger or not than himself. There was an intensity
in dark eyes that held fast to stare down an opponent. Silent dark look
one felt like they were being hunted by something far more ancient and
deadly. He wore loose fitted pants tied off, feet bared in the
sawdust and dirt beneath them. Toes dug in as if he derived strength
from the ground up. The Bell went off with a loud DING as all eyes
were plastered to the ring and the two fighters within. Liam was swift
on his feet as he circled this Hercules. Fists were kept close in
a way they would shoot to block or launch a punch. He knew not to let
this man land any well placed shots. All his senses were alive in a way
that anyone watching him could feel it like an electrical current in
the air. He would wait for the man to throw punches that he would dodge
enough, wear him out some first. The crowd would want physical contact
so would only put up with so many swings of Hercules missing the
other. All kinds of comments would be yelled out about pussy footing and
Hercules was a man with very little fat on his body though perhaps he
was starting to show some around his middle. He offered Liam a cold
smile, showing that one tooth was missing. Keeping his eyes on Liam's,
the grin changed to a snarl, one that would disappear as soon as that
bell rang. He feigned a punch, then led in with his left, aiming for
Liam's face. Below the belt would come next, even if he missed. He knew
the crowd would want blood and he meant to give it to them before he
knocked the man out in the second round.
Ciar laughed as he took a step from the push then he turned his
attention to the ring. The crowd was starting their calls even before
the bell was rung and when it was, they became louder. He was caught up
in the action, shouting out for his brother and pretty much ignoring if
any gave him dirty looks or tried to out shout him. Though it seemed like
he wasn't aware, he was, and knew how close Hercules' men were. They
wouldn't stop anyone from shouting but
they'd likely take note who was.
Evan took a somewhat different approach. While he watched the action
avidly, he didn't shout and holler as Ciaran did. He joined in the
clapping when Liam dodged a particularly hard shot but otherwise didn't
draw attention to himself. That way, if he needed to come to Ciaran's OR
Liam's aid later he would seem to come out of nowhere, unexpected by
A man next to Evan jostled him with an elbow and gave Evan a
bloodthirsty grin. "I think the bear is playin' with his
food," said the wiry old man, clearly referring to Hercules as the
Evan just smirked some, a private sort of smile to himself as he nodded
agreement to the man. All the while knowing that it was the other way
around. Liam was as good an entertainer as he was a fighter, and always
seemed to know how to conduct the fight to the crowd's maximum
A few punches missed the quick moving man but then a few that should
have been solid, skimmed instead. The one that shot off Liam's shoulder
was followed by a quick well placed jab into Hercules' ribs before he
was out of his personal space that would allow the man to get a better
shot in. Sweat was starting to coat his skin that would make it harder
on both's part to land solid hits unless they were absolutely accurate.
As he moved back, Hercules charged, shoving at Liam to get him to the
ground. It had him looking like he lost balance to go down but he was
playing along. Hercules would dive as Liam angled his body just so,
boxed his ears as he came down while he hooked his legs to send Hercules
back over his head and onto his back as he jumped up, turning with a
slam of his foot into his right shoulder blade, enough to separate the
bone and make it hard for his right punch to land any good hits. All
this in a blur of a moment before he stepped back. If it had been
Hercules, he would have gone in to try and finish him off instead of
giving the other the respect of a good fight.
When he charged, Hercules let out a roar that near shook the rafters,
and within seconds found himself on his back. He had missed shots that
he shouldn't have because his opponent was faster than expected, his
ears were ringing and he was starting to see red. Not from blood but
from anger. He was back up, shaking his head to clear it. A step into
Liam and he gave him a sliding blow to his head, followed by a left to
his ribs. Now that he had landed a blow he was feeling a little better
but this man was more skilled then expected.
Ciar let out a shot when Liam took Hercules down, grabbing Evan's arm
and pointing. He let out another shout as the giant got up, then winced
when he got a good hit in. "C'mon! You can take 'im!" He
yelled out, much to the delight of the lass near them who was rewarded
with a bright grin.
There was a universal intake of breath and chorus of groans when Liam
unexpectedly struck a series of hard blows to the bigger man. There was
cheering when Hercules got up again, but some of the cheers were for the
Scrapper and for the first real blows of the night. There was a palpable heat
in the crowded basement, both from the mass of bodies present there and
from their bloodthirsty attitudes. Evan watched just as closely as
Ciaran did, grimacing when Liam got a nice wallop to the head. "I'm
gonna get closer," he shouted to Ciaran over the din, and started
the laborious process of pushing his way through the crowd in order to
stand closer to the ring itself.
He had taken worse but it opened up the cut barely healed over his eye
from a week ago. Blood was flowing making it look worse than it was.
This was where one of his lesser known skills was used. He shook his head
to clear it then sped around coming up into a roundhouse kick to the
man's stomach. His lower leg snapping out in contact then back in so
fast it would never be grabbed. The impact should put Hercules into the
ropes behind him if not on the ground. Problem was, the DING sounded
ending the round as soon as his kick landed. It didn't feel like the
usual amount of time. He was over to his corner to splash water on his
face to clear his head the rest of the way. A drink of water to
wash his mouth out as he spitted out blood into the second bucket.
sight of blood was enough to cause Hercules to grin and it made him
overly confident though he didn't expect what happened next. He felt the
impact into his chest and grunted loudly. A moment later his arms were
hanging over the ropes, and he was almost slouching. Shaking his head,
he rubbed his chest as he stood, then spit. "Pansy kick." As
if the insult made up for the blow. He wouldn't admit it bloody well
hurt. He was over to his corner where
his cronies talked him up, while he took a drink of water and whiskey.
Closer? Good idea though he decided to take a stand a short distance
away. He was doing less watching of the fight and more watching of the
crowd, having a feeling there were going to be a lot of unhappy people
around. "Doing good, Scrapper!" He didn't use his brother's
name. Let him keep that mystery about him.
Head wounds tended to bleed profusely so Evan wasn't overly concerned,
nonetheless, he made his way through the crowd till he reached Liam's
corner. A towel pulled from his vest and shoved through the ropes for
Liam to use to mop up the cut. Blood in the eyes wasn't good for
fighting either. He shoved his hand in his pockets then so fewer people
might notice the exchange. "Aye Scrapper. He knows your mettle now,
keep him scared." Said that only loud enough so Liam would
hear it before he was stepping back and clapping along with the rest as
they awaited the next bell.
He took the towel to mop over his face, pressing the cloth into the cut
to stop the bleeding enough it would not be a nuisance. Barely done and
the bell went off. He was up tossing the towel aside with the red stain
against white as he came out into the ring refreshed. This time he was
the aggressor, moving quickly inside Hercules personal space to
administer a barrage of punches, most cutting into the man's ribs while
he took account of scars and old bruised areas where the skin remained
darker. He would suffer some hits back but he got in one shot to
Hercules' right eye to have it swelling up fast with a nice cut above.
Half way through the first round, Roth Higgins had wheeled in his
brother and partner, Derry. Two men in their fifties that had sons
in the crowd betting and watching. There were a few more of their secret
service men, or so such hired that worked for them and brought in here
Hercules expected the man to step up his attacks. They usually did. He
kept his hands up, trying to avoid as many of the blows as he could but
the smaller man was quick. He felt a cut re-open as he threw a few wild
punches, then that one caught him right in the eye. It would make it
harder for him to see and he tried grabbing the man into a headlock.
Maybe he could get a few blows into that pretty face.
The crowd was getting louder now as there was more to this fight then
any other. It could go either way but when Liam landed that blow to the
eye, Ciar let out a war whoop that would have done their family back
home proud. He even caused a few blokes to step back from him!
Evan couldn't help but snicker as he heard Ciaran's whoop over the
noises of the others between them. He felt like cheering himself but
restricted himself to some non-specific shouts every once in awhile. He
was watching the fight with interest but also looked around
occasionally, sizing up the men who were clearly Hercules' entourage.
There was a shift in the crowd when Liam began to show his true skills,
lots of muttering, some angry, some excited. And some looking like they
were starting to regret their bets.
Roth and Derry spoke low in conversation as they watched from
the back. Their presence would get Hercules' henchmen nervous and more
if they knew of the secret service men they had hired that mingled in
the crowd. They were dressed as ordinary working men from the docks of
which many were that came here. There was blood on both men at this
point. The sweat more profuse as Liam's mind set on one thing only, that
ancient call of survival that lent strength when it seemed all was lost.
The two went at it again, only leaving more blood on each other, more
cuts to bleed, bruises forming. Liam's handsome face was not taking the
brunt of it like Hercules would hope, although he got in a good head
shot right into the man's left ear that should have a sharp pain shoot
through the man's head. He would know and feel it but the crowd would
not see any damage. The DING sounded of the bell already as Liam headed
back for his corner for more of the water and towel to wipe his face
Hercules roared like a wounded bull as he waded into the fight. Blows
falling on both men though the ones hitting him were doing more damage.
He was becoming more and more infuriated. He let out another roar when
the bell rang, shaking his head as he made his way back to the corner.
Blood and sweat mingled to run down and obscure his vision as he took
the water and dumped it over his head. His swollen eye didn't do
anything for his appearance except make him look less dangerous.
Hercules was beginning to look like a bloat fish, no wonder he had to
pay the women to be around him!
He calmed a bit as the fight became more intense, with no more war
whoops or taunts. He knew it was nearing the end of the fight, could
almost sense it and this would be when the crowd would get ugly if they
were of a mind to take their losing out of Liam's hide. He glanced
around for Evan, then gave Liam a thumbs up, then he started to study
some of the angrier patrons.
Meanwhile the lovely blonde from earlier had sniffed Evan out and sidled
up to his side, attempting to engage him in conversation. Evan gave
her a somewhat distracted smile but his usually-deadly charms were
disengaged at the moment, as he concentrated on the fight. But the girl
wouldn't be dissuaded and continued her attentions, running a hand along
his arm, purring queries into his ear. Evan didn't put his usual effort
into it but he didn't exactly discourage her either... hey, he was still
a guy. So between glancing at her, and glancing up into the ring he
didn't catch Ciaran's eye.
Evan was going to earn the nickname of Casanova! DING went the bell.
Liam knew it was now or never to take Hercules down. He wanted it more a
knock out then wear out as the favor would be in Hercules corner. He
thought of his lost little sister and somehow that fueled him in a way
that few had to grip onto and use the power of emotion it elicit. Dark
eyes were seeing red and not from any blood oozing into them. No playing
around and that could be seen by anyone watching the Scrapper in the
height of his glory. He moved fast and precise. The shoulder first hit
harder that he somewhat separated before. The rib with the small
scar was hit right over it that anyone close enough to the ring could hear the crack. He knew Hercules would retaliate by slamming his head into
his so in that moment that he had the opportunity he stepped back
instead of staying (as would be expected) to land punches to
the man's kidneys. As Hercules' head snapped down, it was met with
a forceful upper right cut into his jaw instead of its intended
target. A hit that had the man's
teeth snap and crack, sweat flew off his hair and face in a spray as it
straightened the man up with the force. Liam stepped back two paces and
waited to see the result of his measured hits.
Hercules managed to dance forward, still seeming ready to continue and
he was! Until those blows began, faster than the big man could stop. He
was in a lot of pain from the first two hits and so angry now he
couldn't even hear the roar of the crowd. As he tried to slam his head
into his opponent's, that next blow landed. Once he straightened, he
stood there for a long time. The crowd fell silent as they watched and
then ... Hercules' eyes rolled up into his head and he fell face forward
with a poof of dust and sand to rise up as his body hit the platform.
Those watching just stared in amazement then the warehouse erupted with
shouts. Even those who had bet for Hercules were yelling for Liam though
they'd be cursing him later. Especially those whose wives were expected
Ciar was actually wincing for the big man as Liam landed blow after
blow. He blinked in confusion when Liam stepped back and Hercules just
stood there! But when he fell face forward, Ciar let out another whoop.
He grabbed a woman near him by the waist and spun her around, having her
laughing as he released her. Now he sought out Evan. They'd have some
good coin but they would need to back up their brother once he left the
Abandoning the neutral persona, Evan started hollering along with
everyone else! It had been an excellent fight and Liam left unscathed in
comparison to the felled giant. The blonde next to him suddenly gave him
a celebratory kiss, then spun off, leaving him with a rather satisfied
grin. That was enough of that though, as he started moving around and
collecting on his bets. He went quickly, wanting to meet Ciaran and then
Liam at the door as soon as he could to avoid any trouble.
The intimidating man standing near Roth was spoken to, not
that anyone could hear as the man nodded then disappeared. Roth
then wheeled out his brother through another door as the man
delegating the fight moved over to Liam to raise his arm, announcing him
the winner and handing him the hefty pouch. One that contained 1500
pounds. This was a lot bigger match than any of the others. It was a
mixed crowd in the response, hard to say who had the edge, the new
Scrapper whose name was being shouted or the long time king of the ring,
Hercules. The question of a rematch already taunted as Liam thanked them
all in his quiet way then moved out of the ring with a guard
escorting him quickly to his room. He notice Evan
followed him to the door as a means of protection too. A house
guard and the one that escorted him then stationed to keep
anyone from following the man within. Any there that had a notion of
robbing Liam, or attempting it, knew it would have to be once he left
On orders the house guard then stepped within to exchange a
few words with Liam and a key. A means to thwart anyone with
ideas by using a locked side door he could gain from his room. It could
be a setup, but Liam didn't think so as he asked the guard to
find the two men with him which he precisely described to have them
come to his room. The guard motioned to another guard and which men were
pointed out, so both Ciaran and Evan would have a man approaching them
and pointing to where the other guard was to the room Liam was in. In
the meantime, the crowd was getting more unruly as a few other fights
broke out over the winner and the loser, ones to either side that had
been exchanging words, fighting words. Hercules was removed by the one
delegating the match along with two of his helpers. He would be brought
to his room and a doctor to see to him in bringing him around. Hercules'
men didn't stay around, no, they had already left the building to
station themselves in a shadowed alley that most likely Liam would be
taking for they had watched the route he'd taken after the
By the time Ciar had collected his bets, the man sent to find him, had.
With his pockets filled and his mood good, Ciar followed the guard to
the door. He was sure if Evan was around, he'd be joining them. Once he
stepped inside, he was over to carefully clap a hand to his brother's
shoulder. "I've never seen the like, Liam. You did an amazing job.
We're going to have to be careful though. Lot of unhappy people out
there." And now that he could check his brother's face, he
grimaced. "You look like you've been in three fights."
Evan finished up his final 'transaction' and then followed the guard
into the back. He glanced around once more but didn't see any of
Hercules' henchmen still around... not surprising. Then he ducked into
Liam's room and once the door shut behind him, stepped up to his
blood-brothers, grinning broadly. "Good show Liam! That ugly giant
won't forget you any time soon," if only he knew that his words
were prophetic! But his tone was light. He became more serious as he
went on. "Hercules' toadies are already gone, probably waiting
outside to give you their regards." He poured some water on
a fresh towel then tossed it towards Liam so he could clean himself
up some before they went.
"Just some cuts and bruises," knowing well he would mend in a
week or two. "No broken bones nor nose. I get to keep my looks for
another match." Although it would hurt to grin for the reopened
split in his lip. That too was bleeding. "I can hear, even
disgruntled they got a match they could only dream of happening."
He knew Hercules' reputation. Pulling his jacket on and putting the
money well hidden on his person. "You'll need to guard well the
coins you won tonight as well possibly your lives. I think the owners of
this warehouse and ring decided there is something afoot," as he
showed the key mostly in Evan's direction for his words. "Another
way out, could be a trap but I suspect not. I do suspect they figured
there would be some disgruntled." Which was an understatement. With those
words he started them off through a back hall that led to door on
the other side of the warehouse from where the usual entry was. The key
unlocked it which he left inside on a ledge like the man asked. Once
they were outside, it would lock behind them. They still needed to go
down the usual alleyway as he pulled down his cap and flipped up the
collar of his cloak. They could hear the various groups lingering out in
the snowy night just around the corner where the main doors were. Most
of the regular folk had already headed home.
Ciarán became more solemn with Liam's words. "Aye, I've taken care
of that." He had hidden his money as well. He adjusted his cloak,
then gave a nod. He was ready as he could be. Outside, his eyes were
moving constantly, watching the shadows, and even above to the roof of
the buildings. He knew well enough how this could go. There were a few
still yelling at one another, but so far no one was swinging fists. Of
course, that could change with the drop of a hat.
Evan had his money well hidden too, not in an inner pocket or beneath
his shirt, but somewhere only the ladies might find IF he got that
lucky. He doubted that was the sort of attention he'd get tonight
though. He nodded to Liam's words, pulled on his coat and headed out
into the night with them. It was bitter cold but he kept his hands out
of his pockets, swinging freely just in case he needed a quick fist. The
moment they were out he was on his guard, flanking Liam's other side to
keep him between himself and Ciaran.