Disturb Not The Beast - A Spriggan Fanfiction
Rating: PG-13 for violence
Based on the movie. The only manga element is the character Tia Flatt
Note: Tia is not an original character. She is from the manga - a British Spriggan and trained wizard. You can look her up on Wikipedia under the Spriggan article.
Spriggan (c) Minagawa and Takashige
Chapter One: Market-Place
At some point Tia had grown used to the dull hum that the multitude of voices made. Vendors shouting to passers-by, children darting between legs and chattering in their play, and women gossiping amongst themselves all contributed to this murmur that was unique to compact streets of the market-place. True, it was hot in Mexico, but surprisingly enough the ocean of bodies didn't add too much to the heat that made her ebony curled hair stick to her forehead and neck. This was fortunate, as increased temperature would have only increased Tia's annoyance as well.
It wasn't enough that she was a foreign woman making her way through the market alone, or that she was sweating more than she cared to be with her hair was frizzing far more than usual. No, on top of that the vendor she'd found herself bargaining with was stubborn and not entirely honest. She had to admit, however, that it was fortunate that she hadn't brought Yu or Jean with her. It was likely that at least the Japanese Spriggan would lose his patience and cause a scene. That was the last thing she needed.
"I'll give you a good bargain, Senorita," the man assured her behind a spotty-toothed grin. "Three necklaces-"
"No necklaces," she repeated, minding her thinning temper. "I want something far more valuable, and my sources tell me that you know where to find it."
"Ah, but did they tell you how much my information costs?"
Cost. It was all about cost wasn't it? Well, it was time for her to be setting the price. She didn't have any more time to waste.
"Did I tell you that I have a mobile phone and with the push of only a few buttons the police can be down here investigating your stand?"
At this he was silenced. His eyes actually widened.
"Don't think I can't smell the illegal drugs. Tell me, are they hidden in the clothes? The pottery?"
"Ah, so you are good at bargaining, Senorita." The smile returned, this time a bit nervous. He called something over his shoulder, and a scrawny young man showed up. After they discussed things briefly, Tia realized that the vendor was leaving his 'friend' to watch his shop. "This way, Senorita," he told her, and then ducked into an alley. After a deep breath, Tia followed.
Stray dogs and cats darted out of their path as the two stepped into a narrow alley. A rank smell was beginning to drift into her nose as they stopped at a doorway. Tia caught a glimpse of a dead animal not far off. She did her best to ignore it and followed the vendor through the blanket that served as the "door". A familiar 'click' filled the dark room and a bare light bulb flickered on. Cockroaches and other insects - perhaps a couple of lizards - scattered. Tia paid them little mind. Her eyes were curiously searching the dust-blanketed shelves, her brow furrowing against the meager light. They mostly contained maps.
"So, you want one of these, yes?" the vendor asked, his back to her. "Where do you plan to go?"
"I'm not going," she answered casually.
He turned to look at her, his dark face holding a perplexed expression. "You collect maps, Senorita?"
"Someone else is." Tia smiled, trying to be pleasant. "The Jungle Temple on Cráneo - do you have that one?"
"Yes, yes," he assured her. He moved immediately to a shelf that seemed to have more dust than all the others combined. "Here," he said at last, holding it up. He even went was far as to unfurl it, allowing her to see that it was, in fact the one she wanted.
Tia caught herself before she grabbed at it. 'Don't let him think you're desperate,' she reminded herself. "What's your price?" she wanted to know. There was no way this item was coming to her free, or cheap. Her seller opened his mouth to begin the bargaining when a sound and sight frustratingly familiar to Tia interrupted him.
A barrage of bullets broke through the room's stillness, making short work of the blankets in the windows and the items in the room. Unfortunately, one of those items was the vendor. She'd tried to grab him and pull him to safety, but even as she grabbed him his body convulsed with the impact of the bullets. He collapsed in a heap beside her, dropping the map in his own blood.
"I'm sorry," Tia whispered, wincing. It felt so wrong... so cheap to just take the map, but she couldn't very well pay him now. All the same, she pulled a wad of pesos from her pocket and placed it in his. Perhaps if he had a family, it could help them. From there she drew a deep breath. Yes, whoever had been firing was still out there. The sound of boots on dirt let her know that they were approaching. It seemed that it was time to put her own special "weapon" to use.
Letting her senses and heightened abilities guide her, Tia darted out of the room, meeting the determined gaze of five men. There was an awkward silence as the soldiers no doubt tried to understand why Tia had no gun.
"Well?" Tia asked, "Are you afraid to shoot a woman?"
That was really all the prompting they needed. Rather than running from or dodging the curtain of bullets, the British Spriggan waved her slender hand through the air. Using what Merlin had taught her, she briefly toyed with time and space. The bullets were consumed, seemingly by the air itself. Before the soldiers could fire a second round, their ammunition returned to them and destroyed their own bodies. All but one. The youngest looking of the soldiers was wounded in Tia's return-fire, but she knew he could pull through. ARCAM had questions for him.
"I need some clean-up at my current location - one civilian and five enemies. Also... mission successful."