On rare occasions, Dartham would be seen by passers-by, the Police would be informed and they would send a patrol car to scare the market owners. They were ill-likely to intervene as the majority of the force had corrupted into the use and distribution of materials that were often frowned upon by the courts. Talli had heard that if they had a suspect or a witness that had seen more than they wanted them to, they would use a long-lasting hallucinogenic that was called Fizz on the streets.
The market exploded further into a pandemonium of panic; traders pulled on ropes that instantaneously folded up their gear, others tossed their goods mercilessly into the backs of their vans. Consumers ran and thundered into each other, tripping and falling, causing whole waves of bodies to fall upon one another.
Talli and Jayce were ushered by the swarming crowds without option as to their direction. Both Talli and Jayce tripped multiple times on debris and other fallen people.
Engines erupted into action, horns broke the air and driver’s cursed at the swarms of customers that they no longer cared about.
Talli tripped again and landed hard on top of her back pack, winding herself. Jayce tried to stop and help but was carried with the tide of people. Big boots stomped around her and her hands formed into fists to protect her fingers. She attempted to stand but got a knee to the back, to the ear, knocking an earring and causing it to bleed. More people tripped and fell over her, some, drunk and confused landing straight onto their faces, blood gushing from their unconscious mouths.
A firm hand clasped beneath Talli’s armpit and tugged her from the ground. The knock to the head had left her dazed and unsteady, but she clung tightly to her back pack. She was guided through the swarms and to the piss reek of the stair well, where the crowds moved quickly, thickly but more calmly now.
At the bottom as they emerged into the dark, fresh air, she was pulled to one side. Talli tried to regain her senses.
‘You should be more careful.’ An unfamiliar voice spoke. Talli was startled when she looked up. The young man before her had dark green dreadlocks and multiple piercings in his ears and crystalline studs across his forehead. He didn’t seem to have any bare skin as a thin layer of bright blonde hair covered his face and bare torso. Green patterns had either been tattooed to him or dyed into his hair, she couldn’t tell. ‘The next market’s on the 22nd, the Hartlett at Moorgate underground. The Epoch is coming.’
‘Wait…’ Talli managed, but he was gone.