VIII - Training
People say that riding a bike is something that you never forget, it turned out that fighting was also one of them. After a youth of street fights between gangs, I had been pretty much hard wired to fight and a few hours with Hassan brought it all back to the surface. Although, it didn't mean I was anywhere in his league...
I threw a quick jab at him and he effortlessly dodged it before grabbing my arm and extending the swing, making me lose my balance and throwing me against rail fence that surrounded the abandoned house in the bayou where he had taken me to for a sparring lesson.
"You aren't bad for a novice. Where did you learn to fight?" He asked, giving me a hand to get back up.
"No where in particular, I spent most of my time in the streets of the french quarters as a kid, getting into fights."
"So you are from around here, you don't have the accent though." He remarked, taking a cig out of the pack he hand in his pocket and lighting it up. "Ten minutes and we start again."
"Well, until the other night, I was comfortably living in New York." He raised a brow at that and I continued. "After all that happened, I ran. Tried to forget everything about here. Took out my piercings, changed life, changed everything. I guess my parlance was part of it... What about you? Where are you from?"
"Afghanistan at first. When I was recruited by the brotherhood, I moved to Dubai to train."
"That's where you learned how to fight?" I asked, making him chuckle, making me fairly certain that I said something stupid.
"The Assassins do not recruit novices, I've been fighting since I was little. A child soldier if ever there was one. I helped kick the Soviet union's ass. It wasn't our first time fighting empires, the Brits tried several times before. They can win a fight but we have an old proverb. 'Any idiot can conquer Kabul. But no one will ever hold Afghanistan.'"
As he spoke, he moved toward the trunk of the car he drove and took out a large duffelbag which he lat down on the hood. From it, he took out a pair of small pistols. "You ever used one of these?"
"Can't say I have." I said as he handed me the gun. I took it and moved it around a bit, trying to get used to the feeling.
"It's a lot heavier than it looks, isn't it?"
"Yeah... Say, what exactly am I supposed to do in your group? Kill things?"
He walked to the fence and put up several empty bottles before walking back toward me, raising his own pistol. "Don't forget to remove the safety and put it back when you're done." He casually instructed before firing a few shots at the bottles, not missing a single one of them. "As for what we do, think of us as cops. Geneva, Allen and Miriam mostly do investigation, Sirius and I take out the trash. Baptiste is a multi-tasker, but that's to be expected of a garou like him."
"What's a garou?" I asked, aiming the gun awkwardly at one of the bottle and taking a shot, the kick back of the gun surprising me as I wasn't sure what to expect. The bullet left the chamber and got lost in the woods beyond. He walked behind me and using his hands adjusted my posture and tightened my grip on the handgun.
"Garou is one of the types of were-animals. Lycans are the other most well known. Therianthrope is the correct term for the latter, but Lycan became a catch-all term for all of them regardless of animal. There are a few differences, Garou are a matter of bloodline and genetics, Lycans can turn people and tend to be pack oriented.
When we saved you from those guys, they were Lycanthropes. he one who got away shapeshifted into a wolf before getting escaping. Another difference is how they shift, Lycans become normal animals, garou, well, they can also become something half-way between us and their totem animals."
"What about vampires?"
"There's several breeds of them too. You'll often meet the Lancea, Tepes or the Orloks. Who are respectively super strong, mind controllers and shapeshifters. There are two others but they're rarely seen, especially in these parts."
"And my friend Caleb is one of them..."
"He's one of the Lancers. If a vampire truly attacked your father, it would be one of the Tepes, he had holes in his memory and showed signs of tempering when we arrested him. We cleaned his mind of compulsion and let him go."
We fired a few more rounds, until I started getting the hang of it, before Hassan's phone rang. He picked it up and spoke with the person on the other end of the line for less than a minute before looking up at me.
"Alright, it'll be all for today. Geneva wants to meet you and show you the flip side of our work. He took both guns back and stashed them back in the car's trunk before we hopped in and raced back to the city.