2010-11-19: Fight Club Freak Show



Guest Starring:


and Stanislav Kuzminski

Date: November 19th, 2010


Cam's gotten himself into a new world since we saw him last and it might be even more trouble than it looks.

"Fight Club Freak Show"

Underground Fight Club — New York City

Noise, everywhere. It fills the air, becoming a loud, raucous, palpable thing indistinguishable from the unruly atmosphere of the crowd: energized bodies massing around a ring that has been set up in the middle of a parking garage. What seems chaos at first is really an organized mess behind the line and organized into box seats. How long does it take to set something like this up? How long does it take to tear it down? It wasn't here yesterday. It was barely here hours ago.

Closest to the ring are those who can be picked out of the crowd as bookies and owners — some shout the loudest, some remain darkly pensive, eyes glued to the fight. The fight which is ending, as it happens — only glimpses of moving bodies through the crowd, taped knuckles and flying hair.

The winner emerges. It's a woman, rare thing; her wild, curly hair's a mess over her eyes as she tromps down, shoving through the crowd while a Ukrainian man yells behind her, trying to hustle her back— out of sight, to victory, wherever fighters happen to go when they're no longer needed in the ring. She shares a few harsh words in their shared language, as well as a choice gesture with one finger of her beaten hands, and shoulders her way to an empty space of concrete.

Cam makes his way around the back of the crowd, watching the fight but not really cheering for any of the fighters. He finds a spot while the woman comes out of the ring after winning, watching her curiously a moment but obviously unable to understand what's being said.

Once the woman gets that small bit of space to herself, she shoves her wrist across her head, shoving sweaty dirty blonde curls out of her way. This many bodies around, everyone's bound to break a sweat; anyone duking it out in the ring is bound to break more than that. She looks in good shape, however, beyond being just obviously athletic. She's perspiring, but her breathing's calm as can be. But she isn't. As some men on the outskirts of the crowd hoot and holler at her, she glares and gives them the same gesture she gave the Ukrainian man. "What're you lookin' at, huh! Show is over, sickos!" She has a faint accent.

She notices Cam, a second later, and her hand drops. "Hey kid." She steps closer, and as the angry lines start to soften from her face, it becomes more obvious that she's barely past being a kid herself. She can't be more than three years older than him. "Didn't mean you. I've seen you around before, yeah? The hell are you doing working at here?" Bitter, she all but growls, "Friggin' freakshow."

Even with so many people around, Cam doesn't seem too warm. But then, it would seem to the Ukranian woman as she approaches that the boy's picked the one well air-conditioned spot, the air around him is quite cool. "Hey," he says with a bit of a smile. Not much of one, but a bit. "I dunno… it's work, and better than working for a drug gang."

At that, the girl snorts loudly and in the most unladylike way possible. She rolls her large eyes cynically and moseys closer to Cam, standing next to him — be it due to the air-conditioned spot or the fact that, like her, he's a little different from the rest of the crowd. "If you want my advice… which — usually it's not worth anything, but believe me, kid, I know what I'm talkin' about with this — get out while you still can." She lifts a bottle of water that had been shoved into her possession after the fight, uncaps it and downs a good amount. "Y'know," she says after wiping her mouth with a bruised arm, "stay in school and shit. What's your name?"

Cam grins a bit again then and shakes his head, "I can learn more by myself with a computer than I can listening to adults in school. And schools don't pay, need to eat somehow." But, he offers his hand at the question and answers, "I'm Cam."

"Whatever, I guess. I miss my computer," the older teenager is prompted to say, her reminiscing turning bitter, "I even miss freakin' Facebook." She twists to take Cam's hand, her tough-girl attitude fumbling for a second when she hesitates before doing so, not used to such polite mannerisms. She shakes it. "Cam's a cool name. Is it short for Cameron or something? Cam's way less geeky, good choice." A glance. "Sorry." Letting go, she takes another drink, she looks over her shoulder, darkly eyeballing the crowd, stalling cautiously before she offers, "My name is Marcy."

Cam nods and grins again, "Yeah, but even when I did go to school, made sure my files just said Cam. I hate Cameron." He then says, "Cool name too. If… you want to get on Facebook sometime, we can go to some wifi-spot, I know tons of them in the city, and you can use my computer."

In her excitement, Marcy starts to swear; instead, an aborted "fff" escapes her mouth and her eyes go wide on Cam. She nods, agreeing, but that too is cut short; her wild-haired head shakes back and forth. The first smile she's shown is cynical. "Right," she grumbles. "Wanna know a secret…" The fighter considers Cam for a long moment in stillness. Behind her, she — and everyone else — can hear Slavic shouts directed at her, and people grumbling as they're shoved aside by the man shouting. Marcy becomes twitchy, scratching at what looks like a burn on her far arm. "… I— Marcy's short for Marinochka," she admits at length. "I don't let anyone call me that."

Cam looks curiously at the sudden change to her answer, and asks, "What's wrong?" His eyes moving to the burn, he digs into his pocket, "I've got something that might help." He brings out a small tube of aloe burn cream, and says, "I've had to deal with burns a lot lately, mostly from scalding water but this should work on any type." Not admitting that it's lately been him who's been causing them, of course. He ignores the man shouting at Marcy, and just says, grinning, "Yeah, Marcy's cooler."

Marcy eyes the offering a little skeptically, but grabs it from Cam. She has nowhere to pocket it— the clothes she wears are designed to show off her strength, not allow her to stash "illegal" weapons. "Thanks, kid." As for what's wrong

The Ukrainian man shoves into the space. He's a short, wiry castoff of a man — but strong — with rough, patchy stubble. His bloodshot eyes target Marcy hatefully, berating her in the other language with renewed anger the second he sees her. His controlling presence is overbearing despite his stature. He gives Cam dismissive eyeing before grabbing Marcy's arm roughly. So rough, in fact, that she drops the aloe; the tube is left to roll on the oil-stained concrete at her feet as she's tugged on. Her head whips over her shoulder, her look to Cam again cynical — but beyond that, a flash of imploring lights up her eyes, and the young fighter looks, for an instant, even younger than her seventeen or eighteen years.

Cam blinks in surprise at this harsh treatment. For a moment he does nothing, but at that imploring look he suddenly steps forward, grabbing the man's arm just as harshly. He doesn't have a strong grip, but the man suddenly finds his shirt sleeve and the skin under it freezing painfully. "Leave her alone!"

The man whirls around with a guttural, Slavic curse, trying to haul his wiry arm back. Anger rages in his eyes; when he gets a good look at Cam and realization strikes, something else stirs. Greed. "What did you do," he rages in an accent heavier than the girl's, sneering, "What did you do, huh, are you one of them?" His other hand lashes out for Cam. Side effect: he lets go of Marcy, who tries to hold him back.

"Cam, no!" she shouts to the other teenager. "You leave it alone. Leave it alone, leave it the hell alone. Stay away from this loser."

"You won't talk to your father that way," the man interjects through grit teeth.

"Up yours!"

Uncaring about this little scuffle, the crowd starts to drift around them, filtering raucously outward.

Cam stumbles back a bit as the man strikes at him, clipped as he tries to dodge it. He's not very strong, and he hesitates at the man's expression and Marcy's begging. He's full of anger, rage even, at adults in general and this one in specific, but Marcy's warning catches him too. Instead of attacking or running, he ends up still, as his rational mind and his anger war it out.

Cam stills, and so do the father and daughter, each keeping other in check: Marcy trying to hold ol' Stanislav back, and he grappling at her so she, presumably, doesn't run off. Both stare at Cam. Marcy's adrenaline runs high too, conflict of her own raging all over her face. Her demeanour is adamant. Prickly. Stay back. But behind her eyes is a silent apology for the young stranger. Her father all but growls at Cam after a moment, flashing yellowing teeth in his continued sneer.

"He's just some errand boy," Marcy mumbles to her dad.

He points a crooked finger at Cam. "You don't even think of sticking your nose in where it don't belong. You know what's good for you you'll keep your head down. Do your job." He flexes the hand of the arm Cam froze a bit. The dark greedy look flashes. "Never know what someone will want with someone like you if someone were to find out."

Cam's eyes flash with anger again and, of course, he should shut up. He should walk away. Sarcastically, and angrily, he says, "Yeah, like after the special ops guys that came after me last year, you're *so* tough."

Tensions are high all around. Stan's eyes narrow, uncomprehending; so do Marcy's. They at least share that.

"I don't know what you're talking about, boy," the man says. He brusquely snatches the bottle of water from Marcy's grip, twists the cap off with his teeth, and holds it upside-down at arm's length, spilling the contents onto the floor of the parking garage. Roughly, he tosses the empty plastic side. "Why don't you run along and get my girl some water," he snarls smugly, "she's all out." Tugging on Marcy's arm, he turns toward some dark corner of the makeshift club as the crowd drifts around them. Marcy, unusual fight club competitor that she is, over her shoulder, gives Cam that same look of apology and warning before she goes back to glaring at her father — also known as her keeper.

For a split second, it looks like Cam might just charge at the guy's back when he turns away. But instead, after Marcy's warning look once again, he reaches down and snatches up the empty water bottle, turning away.

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