Catch And Release


Bowen.jpg Max.jpg Waine.jpg

Date: 2010.09.12
Location: Beast Caverns and just beyond
Synopsis: Jinnet and Passan (NPC'd by Jaya) sneak into the beast caverns to try and steal Renegade. The runner goes bezerk and an all out brawl ensues.
Rating: PG13 - language and violence.
Logger: Max

Mid-evening, with the last of the stablehands having made his departure, finds the beast caverns reduced to a near peaceful state of being with just the usual sounds of animals settling down floating out on the air. As such, with his final rounds done, the beast manager heads back to his stall, closing the door behind him and sprawling in his chair as he takes out a letter that he’s probably read over a dozen times already before he’ll drag his butt to the baths and call it a night himself.

As the last of the full burst of daylight dips below the horizon, Bowen and his steady runner, Strider, come cloppity-clopping up the tunnel to the beast caverns. Though he had his bedroll and canteen and knife with him for emergencies, the weyrtanner had not truly equipped himself for an overnight stay in the countryside. Instead, he had simply wanted to end his day over the hides with a little survey of the local terrain around the weyr, getting acquainted with it for when he goes hunting in earnest. Bowen as with most things in his life these days is usually pretty careful and methodical about it. Once arrived, now mid-evening, the roughneck dismounts with a solid sound and leads his faithful and dependable and happily boring mount into his assigned stall, otherwise quiet and out of the way.

With the last stablehand making his departure, this was signal enough to rouse Passan and Jinnet from their stone-like positions. Situated far from the beast cavern so they wouldn't be spotted, the two burly-looking, dirty-clothes wearing men were quietly eating their filched meals while watching the stable doors. Black-haired Passan, the more cautious of the two, keeps his eyes narrowed onto the easy stride of the last stablehand, finishing his meal and rubbing his hands together. Nudging his stockier, brown haired partner, "Hey," he gets Jinnet's attention - the one who is far more relaxed and easy going with this task. "That's the last of it, ya think?" Right as he says it, Bowen and his runner shows up towards the stall and causes Passan to grip Jinnet's arm. "Not a stablehand," Jinnet finally speaks around chewing his meal, nodding towards the man and his runner as they disappeared through the stable doors. His meal now finished too, he straightens up and nods. "Just him. We can take him," he urges impulsively as he gets ready to stand and make a move out of their hiding place.

Taking note of the direction the solid sound of hooves comes from and ends up in; always being aware which runners are in or out of the stables, Max automatically puts it down to being the return of the tanner and so doesn't bother to call out to him, assuming Bowen will come a-knocking should he be in the mood for company. Scrubbing a weary hand over his face, the letter is folded and set back in his pocket before the sprawl becomes more pronounced and he's leaning his head back against the chair, hat tipping low over his face. Another few minutes and the man might quite likely be asleep.

Seemingly unaware of being watched or heard, Bowen remains in the stall with Strider, slowly getting his gelding unsaddled and rubbed down. Unlike some with empathy for animals, Bo doesn't talk to his runner aloud. He talks to him through the tender pats and rubs and strokes of his hand, the occasional meeting of glances, or the treats of sugar cubes to supplement the more stable fair of nourishment. Such is the way of this quiet, stocky man. He heaves the saddle clear of Strider's back and puts it across the sturdier of the stall walls.

Jinnet is standing before Passan could pull the man back down, throwing wild looks about them in case they were spotted. "Fuckin' tryin' ta get us caught?" he hisses at the stockier, impulsive man. Jinnet shrugs, tugging his arm free from his companion as he sweeps a long glance over the terrain, then at the stables. "I can take him," he repeats this more confidently. "I'm done waiting. You know which runner he wants? Let /me/ handle the straggler." What's one against two of them after all, right? Jinnet's moving, taking long strides toward the stable door and not bothering to see if Passan is following behind. The sooner this task was done…. His ear is put to the door then, perhaps trying to hear the man inside, and then he creaks the door just a smidge to see if he could spot Bowen's position. At that moment, Passan is breathing down his neck and pushing his away so that he could see for himself. With a finger to his lips for caution, Passan creaks open the door slowly to dip his head in and finds no one in sight other than a long row of stalls.

A snort comes from a runner in a stall, and then a clatter as it upturns its bucket. It’s just as well Randi’s hunting hounds are kept right toward the back of the caverns, or they might well have alerted the beast manager to the unwelcome presence of others. As it is, the clatter from the bucket being upturned is enough to delay his slip toward sleep and Max tips his hat up slightly, listening for any other sounds. When hears nothing untoward, he leans forward and bends to a desk drawer, drawing a sheet of paper from it and sets to making notes for the next day’s duties.

If Bowen were just the whistling-while-you-work sort, it'd give Jinnet and Passan a good idea of which stall he is in, but unfortunately for them, he's not really a whistler unless it's to call his runner or get someone's attention. However, he's not exactly trying to be discreet in de-equipping Strider, either, since he has no cause to. There's a few chinks and knocks as he hooks Strider's bridle up along the sidewall and maybe a grunt or two while resituating the saddle so it doesn't fall, a sigh, perhaps even a dry cough as some dust comes up from the rubdown of Strider's side. If someone is listening hard, they'd hear this, coming from the stall nearest the entrance/exit of the beast tunnel itself as Bowen continues to settle his runner in for the evening.

Those sounds much closer to the entrance are picked up by the more cautious of the two, and Passan's dipping his head out and throwing the other a look. Perhaps it was now or never. Perhaps, should they have to face the straggler, he can have Jinnet take him down while he made off with the runner in question. Reaching down to grip the knife he has hidden at his side, Passan takes a deep breath and springs into action. Not giving no signal to Jinnet, he quickly slips in through the entrance, hoping the sounds coming from one of stalls mask the creak that it makes before he's moving on. Mentally counting the stalls as he goes, his knife is pulling free from his belt as quiet steps take him passed the stall Bowen and his runner is and towards the very stall housing Renegade. A further presence behind him tells him Jinnet is with him, and together they approach Renegade's stall, slip the latch free with carefulness, and slips inside before anyone could catch wind where they were.

An ornery creature by nature to begin with, Renegade’s nostrils flare at the unfamiliar scent, his eyeballs rolling as the two men slip into his stall. Its not but a few seconds before the big palomino goes into a frenzy of turning tight circles in his confined space, by turns rearing up and striking out with his front hooves and then kicking out backwards while sending shrill sounds of alarm that set off first Spring Breeze housed in the next stall and a few of the others. If Jinnet and Passan aren’t careful they might find themselves the recipient of a rather vicious kick or bite as the stallion tries to fight his way out of the stall. Although kicking up a ruckus is fairly common with this runner, the instant Renegade starts up, Max is on his feet and out his stall door at a run for fear the brute damages himself in the process.

The soft-spoken man may have had his back turned to the half-door at strider's stall when the other two men snuck past, but having finished the initial rub down of his own gelding. Bo slips out of the stall and relatches it, intending to go for one of the buckets of water they keep here on hand for the runners. That's about when the fuss starts and the non-fussy tanner just pauses where he is, blue eyes darting from the top of one stall to another as he tries to follow the sounds all the way toward the end where Renegade is, likely seeing him over the stall walls if the stallion is rearing up so. He's a few moments slower than Max in starting up toward that end of the stables, but he does actually pick up his booted feet and moves at an easy trot toward the loudest of the sounds, following the beast manager without a greeting. Greetings can wait until the runners are settled. Priorities.

This was certainly going from bad to worse from the start. Passan and Jinnet literally freeze when faced with the sudden frenzy of a runner they're trying to take, both of their eyes going wide. "Put a rope on him and let's go!" Passan is the first to speak, Renegade rearing up before them dangerously. Slow of the uptake, Jinnet gets kicked by Renegade's front hooves and the man is sent flying hard against the stall door. It's enough to shake it of its hinges, letting the door swing open and the stocky man to land down on his back in the force of the kick. Passan swears loudly and is inching along the edges if the stall, trying to reach the rope so that he could get the runner controlled. He was more than certain now that Bowen - who he thinks is the only one present - would be on his way to investigate, and as he reaches the rope he grabs for it tries to lasso it about Renegade's moving neck. He stays carefully to the side of those vicious kicks, not even bothering to check on his companion. Jinnet, meanwhile, is in open view of any that would come to the stall, and the stocky man is recovering from a kick that came out of nowhere as he slowly picks himself up off the ground. Eyes darting every which way, it was only a matter of time before he was spotted. He wasn't about to go back in /that/ stall with the crazy-ass runner, and with the other runners acting up too, Jinnet was effectively trapped. Fists ball up briefly until he spots a nearby shovel. He's lunging for it.

With Jinnet out of the way, the runner sets his sights on Passan. However, in ducking his head to try and literally headbutt the runner-thief, he inadvertently puts himself in a position for the rope that Passat brandishes to drop about his neck. With a squeal of outrage when he feels it go tight, Renegade jerks his head up and uses the wide expanse of his chest to try pushing his way past the man once he sees the stall door is open and his path to freedom defined. In doing so, his foreleg accidentally sweeps across the blade of the knife the intruder holds, opening up a long horizontal slash. When a man suddenly comes flying out of Renegade’s stall it pauses Max’s path for a hair breadth’s of a moment, his expression twisting around a dark snarl before he’s veering to the right and grabbing up a short length of two by four propped up against one of the stalls. Just the barest of glances going Bowen’s way to acknowledge both his presence and willingness to help. Pity Jinnet if he doesn’t get up and on his feet in time. What with both the tanner and the beast manager closing in on him swiftly.

Trotting along toward Renegade's stall, Bowen's blue-eyed gaze sweeps across the stocky man who staggers and falls out through the stall door that's opening. But it isn't until Jinnet lunges for that shovel that Bowen actually arrives and draws to a stop, his hands remain easy out to his sides and he rolls his broad shoulders. "Ain'tchu done dug yerself a big 'nough hole fer yerself as it is, boy?" Bo comments to the man with the shovel, whether he is older or younger than Bo. Anyone who is causing this much ruckus and potentially trying to steal a runner is obviously 'boy'-worthy to the tanner. His gaze flicks to Max as the Beast Manager gets the two by four, and Bowen steps out once out of swinging distance, just in case. Then he glances toward the stall, but all he can really tell from his position is there's a frantic runner in there with a rope around his neck, so he returns his attention to the man with the shovel as he is the more immediate threat to the tanner's mind.

With Renegade caught in the rope's clutches, Passan's hope soars that perhaps this situation can be saved after all. Until Renegade pushes pass him and runs. The rope is jerked violently as the runner goes by, his knife cutting deep before the rope is pulled out of his hands. "NOooo!" Passan's running after Renegade with knife still in hand, his eyes only barely noting Jinnet in passing. The situation got fucked very quickly, and he wasn't about to stick around. When both Max and Bowen are spotted bearing down on a shocked Jinnet, Passan is hightailing it after the runner and leaving his companion to his fate with a frustrated snarl.

Bowen's words could have stopped Jinnet in his tracks, but finding that he wasn't alone was enough to have him scrambling for that shovel anyway. "Passan!" he cries, seeing both Renegade and fellow thief making a heady exit without him before his wild eyes turn back to Bowen and Max. "Ain't getting me!" he tosses back at them, his hand closing around the middle of the shovel and he's swinging to try and keep them back. Backing up, "Why don't you go get that damn crazy runner of yours first?" he suggests, seeming to warn the two that sticking with him in the stable was going to be a worse move despite the current odds of two to one. He's definitely sizing up Bowen first, then Max, and his chest is swelling for a fight that is surely to come now.

Max isn't quite as civil as Bowen is, and is already swinging the two by four in a vicious downward sweep aimed at Jinnet's midsection, "You thieving, son of a watchwher!" he grunts out with the effort. Just as well the tanner stepped back. He hasn't as yet even taken notice of the other man still in the stall with Renegade. However, when Renegade comes bolting out of the stall, the beast manager instinctively ducks in an attempt to avoid flying hooves and in doing so takes his eyes off of the shovel wielding Jinnet. As such he's caught on the side of his thigh and goes down with a loud curse, losing the two by four and then rolling to limp back up to his feet, wild eyed as his prized stallion clears the cavern doors in a clatter of hooves, blood streaming down its foreleg and rope flapping uselessly against his chest. A lunge is made for Passan as he too goes by, but he misses. All his anger, shock and pain now going to the man left behind as he turns with a guttural sound to try and make a grab for the shovel, knowing there's no way he'll catch the runner now. Not on foot.

It's really somewhat interesting to watch Bowen as the situation unfolds because the man just sort of … . stands there. It could be he's genuinely just a simpleton, low on intelligence. Now, he's no stranger to a fight, so as Max and Jinnet start swinging at each other, his stance and loose posture suggests he's just as ready to react and give it a go, whatever 'it' is. But this stocky, shorter weyrtanner cannot be said to be 'fast' in most senses of the word. But as Renegade and the second of the would-be thieves comes barreling out of the stall, Bowen just sort of watches with fascinated awe. As such, while Max had the presence of mind to duck, Bo didn't. He wasn't as close as Max was, having stepped back for swinging room, but that rope comes whipping around after the runner and snaps at Bo's face. In a delayed reaction, the tanner jerks his head back, and then frowns after the runner and would-be thief as Passan takes off after the runner. He takes in the scene between Jinnet and Max one more longer moment before he states simply, in that husky grunt of a voice of his, "You got this?" to Max. He can't catch them on foot either. Max is probably faster than the tanner, to be frank, but he can try and go after them on Strider, at least. Max's call. His stables.

Maybe it was that cry for his name. Maybe it was the fact that catching a wild runner was just not going to work. Either way, when Renegade flies pass the cavern doors, Passan quickly realizes that he wasn't going to catch him. The theft was a failure and now he would have to clean it up. Looking back, he sees the predicament Jinnet is in and curses aloud once more. Passan had to get Jinnet and him out of there and /fast/. He turns from the swinging doors, seeing Max go down with the swing of Jinnet's shovel and with Bowen looking his way. All thoughts of running back to help out his friend vanishes at that instant, and he's running out of the stables should Bowen decide to chase.

Jinnet, meanwhile, is turning to face Bowen with that shovel in hand as he sees that he had knocked Max down with it. He eyes the bigger man up and down, clearly thinking he could take him on before the other makes any moves. Hearing Bo's words for the other, "Leaving your man to his fate, buddy?" he taunts, stepping closer with that shovel he wields, daring him to come at him as well. Since Passan has left him, he might as well try and remove himself from this bad situation.

Back on his feet, albeit with a limp and with Jinnet having his attention focused on Bowen, the beast manager takes the opportunity to retrieve the two by four. The query sent him from the tanner gets a short given, “Aye,” and then he’s stumbling a little as his thigh muscle numbs up and then starts to cramp. Uh oh. “Go!” for Bowen to go after Renegade not too interested in Passan at this time. He wants his stallion back more than he does the other thief. And then he’s lunging at Jinnet not prepared to let this one go as he delivers a swing toward the back of the other man’s knees in the hopes of bringing him down and thus making it easier for the beast manager to get him flat on his stomach and twist his arms up behind him.

Bowen's blue eyes narrow at Passan as it looks like the man might come back to help Jinnet and the tanner straightens back into the fighter's stance with familiar ease. As Passan takes off running again, this time away from the fight, and in turn leaving his own man to his fate, it's Jinnet's question that gets Bowen's quiet, husky reply, "Why? Y'gonna cry if'n I do?" Then Max's order gets the tanners boots moving again and he backs up a single step before trotting back down to Strider's stall. It's taking precious time, but time he can make up for easier if he is astride his gelding than if he is on foot. Not bothering with a saddle or bridle, Bowen just throws himself awkwardly across Strider's rust-colored back, taking a moment to resituate himself as his steady runner doesn't move or seem otherwise startled, and then he nudges the runner on out and then faster into a gallop once he gets in the open aisle, hunkering down a bit to make an easier bid to stay on the runner as he goes galloping by and headed for the exit that Passan and Renegade made for.

Passan makes his exit, the fleeing Renegade only getting a brief look as he runs away from the runner's direction. If Bowen was going to come his way, he was going to make sure the big man was going to have to choose between either chasing him or chasing the runaway Renegade. Jinnet's mouth open to retort Bo's way meanwhile at that response, but Max connects that two by four behind his knees and he's going down with a loud cry. Watching Bowen run for one of the stalls, he tries to twist away from Max to free one of his fists. If he does so, that fist is going to go flying straight to the side of Max's face as he tries to get up. He grunts as pain explodes in one of his legs, quickly realizing that making a run for it is going to be difficult with such an injury now in place. It only serves to make him panic more - and in turn, more willing to fight his way free.

Grim satisfaction when that two by four connects with the backs of Jinnet's legs is short lived when his fist connects with the side of Max's head as he goes down, catching the beast manager square on the temple and opening up a cut along the outer edge of his eyebrow. Thus he's a little dazed when Bowen comes bowling passed on Strider, only just catching the blur of movement as they streak by, relieved to have the stocky tanner going after his stallion. Right now, he has more immediate problems, like trying to get the thief onto his stomach. With his shoveled leg finally giving out, he goes down, knee angling toward the other man's stomach with all his weight behind it and fist coming up to aim a blow at the middle of Jinnet's face. "You stupid son of a bitch!" he growls out as his other hand reaches for the thief's throat, "Come in here and try and steal one of my runners!? What are you, mental?"

And bursting out into the open evening air Bowen and Strider ride without a backwards glance for Max and his fight behind them. Bowen takes just a moment to focus his eyes and tries to get an immediate fix for both Renegade and Passan, and realizing at once that the two went in separate directions. The stallion, while injured is faster than the two-legged man and therefore likely already disappeared into the darkness, but much more easily trackable in the daylight. So, Bowen makes his choice by said judgment call - unfortunately for Max as the Beast Manager did not exactly state which is the priority - and Bowen nudges Strider once more into a gallop to close the distance between himself and Passan, who hopefully hadn't gotten too far.

Passan's running hard, looking over his shoulder at sudden galloping noise back from the stable's direction. What he finds when he does nearly bowls him over, for he spies Bowen on his runner and heading his way. It's obvious who would be the faster, and he knew that he was going to have to pull something in order to make his exit. Trees nearby, Passan races towards them in the last-ditch chance that he could possibly reach them and vanish before Bowen could get to him. Should this fail, and it likely does, the runner thief would turn with knife in hand to face the pair with his eyes glinting dangerously. If he can't escape them, then he'll definitely tempt Bowen to fight him.

Back in the stables, Jinnet's face connects with Max's fist, and that shovel finally goes free from his grip. Max's words get a snarl in response, the thief's nose splitting open at the blow and causes him to reel. Hands go out to grip onto Max's as he goes for his throat, the stocky man desperately trying to free his good leg from under him so that he could aim it at the beast manager's middle. Spitting out blood, "Get the fuck offa me!" he cries back, struggling to keep Max from going for his throat through the pain in his red face. He then tries to use one hand at Max's own so that a free one could finally go for his knife strapped to his belt, his muscles bulging against the strain of the other's strength.

Max could probably really do with Bowen’s help round about now being as how he wasn’t really in fighting form to begin with thanks to Renegade’s dance over him a few days back. But once that shovel finally goes flying and his fist connects with Jinnet’s face it offers the beast manager renewed vitality and he rolls away from him and onto the knee of his undamaged leg, the two by four back in his hands. Which might give the thief the brief impression that he had indeed given into the snarled command to get off of him. Dark eyes dart to where the other reaches for his knife and then a cold smile appears as Max moves to tap the piece of wood lightly against the side of the downed man’s head. Breathing heavily, “Do it,” he taunts low, “Give me a reason to split your head open like a redfruit.”

Stocky rider and a stocky ride make for some pretty heavy hoofbeats pounding into the ground like thunder as Bowen continues to close the distance, his hat flying off his head at some point, even as Bo remains in close to Strider's neck to maintain that lower center of gravity. As he bears down on Passan just as the other man gets to the treeline, Bo slides off Strider on his way past in an effort to just crash into Passan. This, of course, would have been wiser had Passan not had his knife out and at the ready, and the glint of steel was unfortunately seen too little too late for Bo to stop his momentum off the back of his runner. Regardless of whether or not he actually connects enough with Passan himself to bring the other man down, he grunts hard then hisses at the sharp pain of the knife burying itself partly into his thigh, while Strider's own momentum carries him on into the treeline a little ways until, riderless, he slows down and finds a bush to graze on with the only outward appearance of any concern for his rider being the twitching of ears and little spasms in his legs from the burned energy.

Passan didn't have time to show his expression of triumph at his knife hitting its quick mark, for Bo's momentum and the runner coming right by him has the man falling. The knife, if it doesn't stay in Bowen's thigh, will go flying from Passan's grasp, and the man shouts his frustration. A man bigger than him practically on top of him only springs the thief into action - no knife in hand any longer, Passan balls up his fist and lets it fly in an attempt to injure the man further and break him free. If it connects, its likely to hit into his jaw, and he tries shove with his other hand as he tries to get to his feet.

In the stables, Jinnet's still on the ground, and that hand straying to his knife suddenly stills when threatened with both a cold smile and a two by four. Hard eyes glare into Max's now, not exactly moving his hand away from the knife as he seems to deliberate his next move. He isn't very bright, this one, and as he licks his lips his eyes shoots towards the open doors beyond and possibly still thinks he could make it. "Do it and I'll gut you like a fish," he chooses to taunt instead, and on that last word he will lunge forward with knife unsheathed and try to take a swing at the beast manager. Impulsive, this one is as well, and it's likely not to connect to anything since his main focus was the distract Max back and give him one last chance to get to his feet.

With the eye under the cut brow starting to swell closed and the blood from it trickling down the side of his face, Max is not exactly a pretty sight by any means. That smile turning into an ugly smirk, dark eyes glittering with relish as the not so bright Jinnet just doesn't seem to know when to quit. Feeling is starting to return to his shovel abused thigh now, throbbing, and previously abused ribs are complaining loudly, which simply serves to feed the beast manager's ill temper at this point. "Gladly," Max snarls out as the two by four moves swiftly from the other man's head and swings hard against the forearm of Jinnet's knife bearing hand. Had this been cricket? That would have been a six!

As Bowen careens into and knocks Passan down to the ground with his weight and momentum, his leg hitting the ground next does two things. First, is nearly sends Bo over the edge of agony as the knife is driven in a little farther as the hilt comes free of Passan's grasp and nails the ground, and it turns and slices out of his muscle and skin and pants, ending up on the ground by his knee. The tanner sees red, his whole body tensing from the pain, which is probably why he missed the incoming fist to his jaw and the resounding dull crack as his head recoils from the momentum of that fist. Shaking it somewhat dazedly, he grumbles amidst drooling blood, "Didn't even hafta buy ya flowers n'dinner first, and already yer given me a hard time, girlie. This must be m'lucky day." While the knife and fist connects, Bowen isn't getting off this guy with anything so easy as a shove. He doesn't punch back, however, and instead tries to lean his weight down through his forearm down across Passan's throat to block off air, if possible. He's not trying to kill him, just make him pass out, but he's not exactly a Healer and could get it wrong …

"Ain't your girlie, fucker! Get……" Passan is getting stuck, Bowen's weight starting to crush the air out of him along with his words. His mind works furiously, refusing to let himself go out like this as he struggles underneath the bigger man. Arms free despite his chest, the thief starts wailing blows on the man, hoping at least a few would connect and give him the small space needed to shoot a knee up and knock Bo back. If that happens, through his coughing, he'll search desperately for that knife and as he tries to get to his feet and make his escape.

In the stables, Jinnet's starting to lose strength with all the hits he got, and it's showing. The knife swing only serves to miss Max by inches, which is just as well — he feels more than hears the crack of bone when Max swing hard at his forearm, and the resulting shriek that comes afterwards could wake all the silence of Between. Knife drops and skitters away as the thief turns on his side and tries to craddle his broken arm, blood seen coming from the wound. His eyes tighten shut against the blaring pain and he grits his teeth, the fight effectively gone out of him for now. "Fuck!" is all he hiss out through bloody teeth, and in the end he throws a glare over his shoulder.

Still breathing heavily and grunting against the resulting pain from his ribs, the shockwave from having connected so hard with Jinnet’s forearm travels all the way up and into Max’s shoulders drawing a short hiss in response. That coldly glazed smile returns once again as using the two by four like a crutch and his good leg, he pushes himself up to his feet and drags himself closer to the now broken and bleeding Jinnet. Stooping slightly, bold enough to get close enough to utter quietly near the man’s ear, “You fight like a girl!” No compassion for the man whatsoever. He’s then able to straighten and stagger over to the side of the stalling where he leans his back against it before sliding down into a sitting position, two by four at the ready, hard eyes fixed to the thief as he starts to get his breathing back and awaits Bowen’s return, unaware that the tanner is in a pretty dire fight of his own.

While one arm is pressing down on Passan's throat, the other had just been supporting himself slightly, and so as Passan starts wailing on him, the stocky tanner grunts and 'oofs' a few times, flinching a little as one or another connects with the side of his head, and his free hand goes out to try and pin the opposite arm of the would-be thief down to the ground. This unfortunately puts more weight on Bo's thigh and, wincing, he lets up on Passan's throat with a muttered oath and rolls slightly off to reach for his own beltknife at his waist with what is now his free hand as he feels more than sees Passan feeling around for his knife in the dirt. There are no words now as Bowen's very life becomes at stake here. Not finding anything as good to eat here as the oatbag in the stall, Strider begins to meander off back to the stables, bridleless, saddleless, and riderless.

One arm's pressed down, but the other is still wailing away at Bowen before Passan feels him rolling away to grab for something. He finds the knife and reaches for it, slipping his knee up and trying to push Bo further off of him. In that split second Passan spies the other reaching for his own beltknife, and he's wriggling to aim his knife up towards his neck in the hopes to still Bowen's movements. Tensing, "Pull it out and you're dead," Passan growls very low, hoping his warning along with the knife stills all activity. "I don't wanna hurt you, man." Despite the kick he had given him, that is. He's trying to wriggle further from the big man as he holds out the knife, dark eyes shooting to where Strider is briefly before waiting to see what Bowen will do next.

Inside the stables, when Max limps away from him, Jinnet slowly crawls himself into a sitting position. One side of his face is starting to swell nasty colors, and he glares at the beast manager for his taunt. "Come say that a little closer," Jinnet doesn't know when to quit while he's down, and the look his sends is practically a challenge through his pain-ridden face. Max is waiting, possibly for reinforcements, and the runner thief's looking about for any way left for him to get away. Still panting from their scuffle, "Let me go, asshole," he grunts through bloody teeth, holding his broken forearm close to his chest. "Let me go, and I'll go easy on you." Right. As if /he's/ not the one in dire straights right now, but he's appearing menacing as he says it at least.

Fight-weary Max simply stays where he is and sends a snort Jinnet’s way, “Fight’s like a girl and deaf to boot,” he taunts further, the two by four hefting in a hand as silent reminder to the broken and bleeding thief. It does however have him pressing his back against the stall and using it as leverage, pushing back to his feet again. With weight transferred to his good leg the beast manager makes as if to take a step closer, fingers of his free hand making a beckoning gesture, daring the idiot to make good on his threats. Tapping the side of his face a twisted grin appears, “C’mon sweetheart, give us a kiss.” Limping another step closer, dragging the piece of wood behind him he stops just short of the man’s reach, “Who sent you?” assuming by the man’s very dimwittedness that this was not a plan of his own making.

Punch after punch comes in at Bowen's head and the stocky man takes it and remains conscious where a lesser man may have passed out by now. His head jerks back from the momentum of the punch each time, causing him to spit out more blood, and while he has sucked it up to this point where others wouldn't, he is looking more and more like he won't be able to take much more of it. Luckily or unluckily as it were, he doesn't have to, as the punches stop the moment Passan manages to grab that knife. As it comes in at his throat, with the warning issued, Bowen slowly lifts the arm he had been using to try and get his own knife unsheathed, hand and fingers splayed in a 'I give' gesture. After all, the man has a knife to his throat. His hand continues to hover a little over the two of them while Bo watches Passan's face through increasingly swelling eyes and cheeks and it is that very moment that Passan glances off toward Strider who is continuing to lope along easily toward the stables and his favorite oats that Bo's hand closes into a fist and comes down hard toward Passan's groin while simultaneously rolling away from the knifehand, and probably getting at least a superficial slice for the risky move. Whether his pounding fist connects with Passan's groin or not, Bo will roll once more to get out of reach before rolling into a one-knee kneel, his injured leg swept slightly behind him and his barrel of a chest heaving with all the effort and adrenaline as his attention goes immediately to Passan and his hand goes to freeing his knife finally, wielding it defensively, but if he timed the rolls right, he is more than a few feet away from Passan.

Passan didn't relieve the tension in his shoulders — not while there's a big man not entirely down and out while holds the knife at his throat. Eyes narrow when Bowen looks to be giving in, and it takes only a second for him to turn his eyes away before pain explodes right in his groin. "Shit!" he's swearing, reeling back from the low blow as his free hand immediately goes to cover it from further attacks. It's only when he looks up a moment later that he finds Bowen more than a few feet away from him, his own knife in hand and focusing right on him. Slowly, he clamors to his knees, his grip on his knife tightening as he tries to work his mind through the pain. Trying to recover his strength, Passan stays this way — facing off against Bowen and slowly getting his legs up under himself as if ready to spring into action. He's wielding the knife like he's planning to use it, but one astute enough would notice that his body movements are suggesting that he's preparing to flee.

In the stables, Jinnet finally learns to close his mouth when faced with the two by four again. Eyes narrow hard onto the beast manager for his taunts, the muscles in his arms spasming as if at any moment he's planning to lunge at him. Eyes go to that two by four, then Max, then it again, seeming to openly weigh the meager options he has left. And then there's that question. Head rearing back to pin a hard look onto the beast manager through one swollen eye, "Who the fuck are /you/?" is his only retort to that.
Waine having left something behind chooses this moment to come lumbering into the beast caverns. One look at the situation and a low growl emits from the burly stablehand-thug. Grabbing up a coil of rope hanging from a peg outside of one of the stalls he heads straight for Jinnet flicking a glance Max’s way, “You okay, boss?” To which the beast manager nods grimly despite what he must look like and that leg that’s just refusing to co-operate fully right now. “Get this piece of shit hog-tied and then go get Yaron and see if you can track Bowen down,” now starting to grow concerned for the tanner’s continued absence realizing that Renegade couldn’t have gotten that far considering the cut to his foreleg. Attaching a dark smirk, “Your worst nightmare,” Max gives in low response to Jinnet’s retort, watching with grim satisfaction as Waine sets about the business of ensuring that this thief at least, will be going nowhere soon. That is if he’s not managed to somehow get his feet under him and tried to make a rather ill advised run for it.

Bowen is able to start to get control of his breathing finally, but he doesn't appear to be getting from that one-knee kneeling position anytime soon. It could be that leg is too weak and injured to support the man with the upper body strength that he has, or it could be he's bluffing, but for now he remains where he is, between Passan and Strider who is steadily gaining distance between the scuffle and getting closer to the opened doors of the stables, following the glowlight and the smells and just simply the familiarity of it and food. As Passan seems to shift around a bit, looking to make his escape, Bowen doesn't move in, staying where he is, knife brandished defensively, and working to commit the man's likeness to memory as he knows he will not be able to give chase once he does run.

And really, one moment longer is all it takes. Passan — bloody, dirty, and clearly tired, has just enough burst of energy to take that final shot of escape. Eyes on that knife, then down on Bowen's legs, the runner thief springs up to his feet and is heading towards the very trees that he was trying to reach earlier. His knife stays at the ready should he finds the big man behind him, but it's clear he's putting all of his energies to just fleeing. If Bowen isn't fast enough to catch him, he'll find the man disappearing into the dark patch of trees - the sound of running footsteps being the only indication that he was there in the first place.

Meanwhile, the large sight of Waine entering the stables puts Jinnet on pause. He tears his gaze from the beast manager to this new threat, quickly realizing now that escape wasn't going to be as easy as he thought with this new element thrown in. Of course, hearing that he's about to be hog-tied practically puts the runner thief into a frenzy. Bellowing, putting his last desperate attempt into action, Jinnet limps to his feet and tries to barrel Waine out of the way towards the safety. With one of his legs jacked up, though, the momentum of such an action merely serves to have him falling against the thug, using his free arm to try and aim a punch somewhere on Waine. It was a useless attempt, but Jinnet seems determined to not go out without a fight. He cries out at the sharp pain from his injured arm, coupled with the hurt leg, and he's starting to lean heavily on the thug if Waine doesn't shove him away.

Hitting into Waine, is somewhat like running headfirst into a rock wall with the stablehand-thug only taking a half-step back as the smaller man launches into him. “Hey dumbass,” Max calls out from the lean he’s taken against a stall siding, “You want to play like a girl? Waine’s your man,” grinning as his hired hand grabs a fistful of Jinnet’s hair and twists his face up towards his own, looking to all intents and purposes to be about to plant a big sloppy wet one onto the bloodied up thief. The thug sends a wolfish grin back over to his boss before releasing Jinnet’s head and flipping him about easily to twist his arm up behind him, “C’mon girlie, we’s gonna have some fun.” So Waine really isn’t into men, but the thief doesn’t know that, right? Its round about then, that Strider comes plodding into the stables without the tanner. “Shit,” the expletive falling flat from the beast manager as he pushes away from the siding and starts on a limping path out of the stables in the direction the runner had come in. His own knife left hanging from its belt in his office, he scoops up Jinnet’s fallen one and hobbles on outward. Considering his own condition he’s not likely to be of too much help in an actual hand-to-hand fight right now, but with a two by four in one hand and knife in the other plus a whole world full of being pissed off for Renegade being gone, he’s going to give it his best shot.

Bowen is not fast even when he's feeling a hundred percent. So as Passan takes off, Bowen merely watches him go until the would-be thief is swallowed up in the darkness of the woods and there is no more sound of his fleeing bootsteps. Even after that point, as Strider is plodding on into the stables, Bowen is slow to move. He takes a few measuring breaths and then sheathes his knife once more while half-crawling, half-stumbling to the nearest tree and using it as leverage to get him standing again. Then he slowly limps his way back toward the stables, probably meeting Max halfway there, while his blue eyes scan the ground in the darkness for anything that might resemble his hat.

With Passan out of the picture, meaning that no help is on the way, Jinnet is slowly finding the wind and bluster leaving him. Waine has ahold of him and he's trying to twist away in case the man definitely wants to plant a kiss on him, then he's being flipped about easily with his uninjured arm being twisted behind him. He still struggles even then, the thought of what they would do to him foremost in his mind as Max moves out of his sight. With the beast manager out of earshot, and blood running easily down one corner of his mouth, "Hey, buddy," he's croaking, trying to turn his head to get the sight of Waine in his peripheral vision as he struggles. "I got marks. I'll pay! Just….let me go!" He's not very good at persuasion, but at this point anything's better than being hogtied, he figures. He was certain that Max was going to bring back Bowen, and if Passan was caught too, both of them were about to be in a shitload of trouble. And not just from those present.

It’s Bowen’s hat that Max comes across first and using the two-by-four as support he bends slowly, head pounding and retrieves it, frowning first at the item and then out into the darkness. An emerging shape coming from the tree line has him dropping the hat and crouching best as he can into a position readying to take on whoever it might be. As Bowen limps closer and the beast manager recognizes him, his posture relaxes and he dips down enough to sweep up the man’s hat before setting an appraising look over the beat up tanner, eyes then dropping down to his thigh and the dark stain of blood seeping out from the cut. With a grimace, his humor is dark and hollow, “Welcome to Eastern,” and then stating with a grim nod of head toward the knife wound, “Infirmary.” Mark this day in history! Max is actually doing the practical thing without first being badgered into doing so. Meanwhile, back in the stables, all Jinnet’s attempt at trying to buy Waine off gets him is a cuff alongside the head, “Shut ya piehole!” And then he’ll find himself frogmarched toward the tack room where he’ll find himself bound to a chair, his broken arm tied in against his chest and left quite literally in the dark with Waine standing guard outside of the locked door awaiting the beast manager’s eventual return some time later.

His limp is pronounced as it probably feels it should be, as Bowen sucks up a lot of the pain and tries to affect a braver countenance for all of it. He tenses a little as Max makes himself known, hat in hand even, and comes to a slow stop. Leaning his head back a little as if trying to get a good look at Max, Bowen responds with a grunted, "Y'look good yerself. Y'must be getting' hitched t'day." There is a bloodied grin at the welcome and he starts moving again, slowly, and leans a bit to reach for his hat from Max's grasp, coughing a little as he says, "If that be yer Welcome Wagon here, I can't wait til one of them gold dragons rise. Do they break yer arms then?" Then he chuckles softly, sobering enough to give Max a nod, "Sorry I wasn't more help. Not likely yer runner got too far with that slash though. I'll help ya track 'im in the mornin'."

Jinnet rears back at that cuff to the head from Waine, trying his best to wrench his uninjured arm free from behind himself. He struggles against going to the tackroom, but that did little when you've got a jacked up leg and pain all over your body. By the time he's bound effectively to a chair, Jinnet is out of breath and panting against the rope's strain. He was in trouble and he knew it, the thief throwing dark looks Waine's way as he remains silent and awaits his fate oncoming fate. Bound to a chair, no point in struggling longer with a thug at the door, right?

With Bowen quite obviously needing it more than he, Max holds out the two-by-four the tanner’s way and utters a short and painfully given chuckle, “Gonna stand for me?” as his best man (or whatever the Pernese equivalent would be) for this supposed hitching. The beast manager keeps close to the tanner’s side should he need a shoulder for extra support being as how he’s not the one that got a knifing but rather just a badly bruised thigh muscle. Amusement shifts over to the other man in a one-eyed glance now that his other is nicely swollen shut, “Dunno ‘bout here but back Reaches way, gold flights are a riot.” Leaving Bowen to determine his meaning from that. As to Renegade, Max draws silent, anger flickering about his frame as he squints out into the dark, “Much appreciated.” This to riding out with him in search of the big palomino stallion. Which judging by the two of them will be nothing if not painfully slow progress made if they choose to set out the following day. A judgment call likely to be made only once they’ve paid the infirmary a visit.

Bowen makes no argument to going to the infirmary, and he seems grateful for the cane/crutch of a two by four, nodding his thanks. There's a lot of bruising and swelling and cuts on his face -more on one side than the other - to make it colorful after the beating his head received, but so far both eyes are somewhat opened. "Not a chance," he says in response to Max's asking him to stand for him, but he does so with that bloodied grin once more, so it could be he's being sarcastic or it could be he means it. Hard to say. "A riot," he muses on Max's following words, "remind me to steer clear unless I've a mind ta kill m'self." Then another nod to the 'much appreciated' statement and he moves slowly on back to the stables, largely without Max's help but grateful to have him there as a back-up plan. As they walk, heading to the stables and then onto the infirmary, he falls mostly silent, focusing on staying upright, except to murmur once, "Y't'ink this is bad. Y'should see th' other guy." Which, in reality, Passan got away with much less visible scarring than Bowen. Though the would-be thief might be having a hard time making out with any wenches in the near future.

Closing Credits Theme Song: Disturbed - Sons Of Plunder

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