The string frazzled as Spade pushed in the thumb tack. With a grunt, he drew a new piece of string and added it to the overgrowing collection of threads and notes. Going to have to get some new string, he thought to himself. Could probably afford it too, but hardly have the time.
His fingers traced the line back to a charcoal sketch. Spade had done the sketch quickly and he wasn’t an artist. But it served its purpose well enough. The drawing saw a figure in a shade of red with a maniacal smile. Brand and his Red Ice gang. One of the more dangerous gangs in The Racks. And this was Spade’s chance to bring them to justice. They had gotten close to the gang. Accepted blood money for a task half-done anyway. An excellent chance to observe them up close and find their weakness. To bring them to justice for their crimes.
The leader of the Red Ice gang intrigued Spade. He could not make sense of the character. He knew there was more going on then some facade to scare everyone in-line. It was as if two beings lived in a single body. One dormant while the other speaks, then a switch, and one kills while the other sleeps. The personalities seem to change whenever Brand was angered or frustrated. Which was the true personality, if any? And which was the invader? Without this information, it was too dangerous to move on Brand. Spade needed more time, but he wasn’t sure how many visits he could risk.
Spade had tried to buy some time with his letter ruse, but that had only delayed things for a day. He had hoped to distract them with the Grimlocks, but that hadn’t worked out. The gang would soon move on their allies Kayne and Yanika. A confrontation was inevitable. But Yanika and Kayne were capable enough, and it might push them to make a mistake. Every problem is an opportunity as they say.
But how long would his allies stick around? Spade has never been good with people. He could piece out their secrets and spot their lies, but he couldn’t hold a conversation with them. He didn’t know how Ace did it. Talking to people just made Spade tired. He hoped that their current group would remain together long enough to at least make a difference in the Racks. Gods know that they needed it.
Himmin had turned its back on those less fortunate. Everyone just kept to their own district. As long as they couldn’t see people suffering and dying, it wasn’t their problem. But Spade couldn’t just ignore those that do evil in his town. It was why he had never made it very far with the Skyrifles. Justice shouldn't stop at a given street, despite what most people in Himmin thought. Spade sighed. He saw the same thing with his allies. They had a chance to stop a gang of dangerous tugs, but they would rather hang out at the Reverie. Spade supposed that he couldn’t blame them. Himmin forced you to only look after yourself and those around you. Most of them didn’t even live in the Racks, so the Red Ice gang’s reign of terror didn’t concern them. Until it did, and then they were more than happy to bash some heads in.
Spade felt a pang of guilt. Did he hope that by putting them in the sights of the Red Ice gang that they would help him put a stop to them? It hadn’t really been his intention, had it? This is why you don’t have any friends, if you keep using them, that’s probably what Ace would say. And they would be right. But did he consider this ragtag team of misfits brought together by a dream as his friends? They had certainly gotten closer than most had over the past few years. And they fought well together.
Spade took a step back to admire his work. A complex network of strings denoted the different cases they were working on. Never been so busy.
Spade shuddered and took another piece of string. It was worn and stretched to its limits, but it would get the job done. It had to.