"You don't want to go there, friend. No sir, that's not a place I'd care to show my face on any night, no sir".
"Do you, or do you not know of such a place......... friend". There was something in the way the outsider said 'friend' that told the bravo here was trouble and that if he wanted to smell the smog of a new day he'd better be straight. There was no denying it, all the signs were plane to see for one who knows. That certain walk, casual but full of contained intent. A slight awkwardness of step that said there was probably a blade strapped in a hidden place. It was in the way he held his shoulders and how the folds of his leather didn't quite mask what was underneath.
He wore his brown hair in long tightly woven braids that hinted at a military background. Ground glass skin stretched over a lean face with eyes that penetrated and cut into everything hidden. Oh yes, this was a dangerous man and he didn't try too damn hard to hide it.
"Ain't easy to find, you gotta look good. See that side street down there, follow it to the end and turn sharp left at the burnt out warehouse. Go on down the slope a way, on your right there's a covered alley with steps down. Bad looking place, it's easy to miss. Just look out for the snake chimney above the arch. Follow that all the way along the ally... there you are - The Serpents Gain".
The eyes blinked lizard like, digesting the information sorting the moves planing actions.
"You sure you don't want me to get one of the beggars to show you the way?" Just a little push, stretch the man see how far you could go, It might stand you well to have the measure of a man like this. The tight skin creased pulling a half smile out of the thin mouth, letting out a little breath to be lost in the stagnant night air.
"Not necessary... friend". One last glancing cut with those eyes and the stranger turned, moving off with his half limping fluidity that just wouldn't let him blend in.
"Yes sir, there goes a whole canal load of trouble that's wound real tight".
extract from 'Burning Bridges'