The Redemption of Daniel Clydesdale Chapter Two: The Raid

Rated Mature Readers

A raid like this was normally the province of the Furriston Police. True, fight clubs were legal in Furriston, but they were strictly regulated: they had to have a license to operate, referees, and a first-aid team on staff. Fighters had to be trained, clean of any drugs or alcohol before a match (though they could have a drink afterwards), and pass a medical checkup before each fight. While betting on fighters was allowed, those licenses were usually more trouble getting than they were worth. Those that allowed underaged fighters had more restrictions: only wrestling, boxing (with proper equipment), or other martial arts specified by law were allowed, they were regulated on how often they could fight, alcohol could not be served to anyone, and so on.

Dumps like Kostka's tended to break every rule in the book (and a few other laws for good measure). All that was easily in the purview of the Furriston Police.

But there were rumours about Jarrod Kostka. Rumours that suggested he knew about a circuit where fighters battled to the death, and that was tolerated nowhere in the Pacific Northwest Territories (and few places anywhere in the world); simply keeping quiet about such a tournament would get you a stint in the pen. But according to rumour, Kostka didn't only know about the tournaments; he'd helped the organizers get a few fighters—and that was enough for life behind bars. Death Tournaments were so illegal throughout the PaNoTer that mere rumours about death tournaments brought in the Department of Security Affairs—and besides, DSA agent I'Brolent knew Jarrod all to well and personally wanted the cat's hide for a rug.

As the powerful reptile stepped through the door that his partner Martin Kanine had just kicked in, his eyes came upon the cat he'd been waiting to skin. Jarrod shrieked as he saw I'Brolent coming towards him and tried to make a break for it, but I'Brolent simply barreled through the chaos and pinned Jarrod over a table. Were he not under strict orders to take this miserable sack of sin alive for questioning, I'Brolent would have taken his own sweet time dismembering the unrepentant scofflaw. As it was, Jarrod Kostka, you are under arrest!

You ain't got nothin' on me! squalled the cat. This is a fuckin' false arrest!

I'Brolent bared his teeth at such a lie. You allow illegal drugs in your club, you allow alcohol with underaged fighters, you allow fighters to take drugs and alcohol—

You can add distributing counterfeit currency to that, said a police officer. We've got two envelopes here with names on them, and I can tell you there's at least 5 bills between them that are fake, just at a glance.

I'Brolent nodded in acknowledgement as the envelopes were placed into evidence bags for more analysis. Also trespassing, running a business in a condemned building, running an unlicensed fight club, aiding and abetting illegal gambling... The cat cursed and swore and insisted they couldn't prove any of it in the court of law, which was when I'Brolent clamped his mouth shut. And what is more, you are Jarrod Kostka, and that alone is enough to put you away for life!

Meanwhile, all the freelancers were being rounded up on drug charges—rageweed alone was good for a few weeks in jail and mandatory rehab.

Meanwhile, Martin went into the room adjoining the main room, and frowned when he saw a couple female cats gyrating dispiritedly around a pole. For someone to run both a fight club and a strip club was legal— but doing so in the same establishment at the same time wasn't. That, however, would be the least of Kostka's worries about this room.

Martin had been a bouncer at a strip club before he got into the Department of Security Affairs, and he knew the rules. Rule #1: Nobody was to touch the strippers. That rule was violated here. Rule #2: Nobody could hire the strippers for sex. That was being violated here, and Jarrod Kostka was going to be nailed with running a brothel. Rule #3: Patrons that were under the influence of illegal drugs or too drunk were to be removed from the establishment. That was definately being violated here. And most importantly, strippers had to be of age by Furriston law—and Martin would lay bets that not one of these were. Hell, he thought he recognized a couple girls who'd been on Have You Seen Me posters. And no matter what kind of business you were running, it was illegal to keep employees bound to you through drug addiction, and he saw one girl grabbing for a bag of what might be cocaine. He directed three officers to round up the strippers and get them ready for rehab, the rest help him siezing patrons. We're going to need more Paddy Wagons, he muttered, having run out of handcuffs and was now burning through his stock of emergency zip ties for the arrests. Patrons and strippers alike were hustled out of the room.

Martin came into the main room just as he heard Jarrod claim that I'Brolent couldn't prove anything in court. If we don't get you for the fight club, he snapped, You'll be doing life for the strip club! You're damned lucky we're under strict orders to bring you in alive, Kostka. He looked at an officer. Get him out of our sight.

The squalling club owner was finally hauled into a squad car as the bar was cleared out. Martin frowned as he caught sight of two furs he thought he knew—Garayl Gurrad and Tsakhia Guai? Surely not. They had no more love for Jarrod Kostka than I'Brolent did. He then saw two fighters laid on the floor, clearly out cold. Suddenly, Martin leaned down and looked at the brand on the rat's chest, then over at the pony's shoulder, then looked up at I'Brolent. What the hell are the Biter Swarm and Wyld Stallyons doing here? he asked his partner.

Trainers like them often skirt the edges of the law, replied I'Brolent. It would not take much for them to cross to the wrong side.

Martin shook his head. Not these two, he disagreed. And it sure as hell wouldn't be for Kostka. Somethin' else is going on here.

I'Brolent glanced at his friend. He then turned to Sergeant Danlor, who had been in charge of the officers here. Will you need us back at the station right away he asked.

Sergeant Danlor shook his head. If you need to do something in the meanwhile, go ahead. We can handle this. 'Scuse me, I think Officer Charn over there is gonna need earplugs. That's his car Kostka's in right now.

I'Brolent nodded. He wasn't sure if he believed Martin about Tzhakhia and Gurrad's legitimacy, but there was someone he could ask for more information on the latest doings of the fighting schools and trust to tell the truth—a young, troubled dog who had watched I'Brolent reduce his father to so much cold meat years before. We're going to the Belsar Hotel.

Martin nodded. I'll drive.