My brother would be turning 25 today. Times like these are hard knowing he’s not just a phone call away anymore. I had never lost anybody in my life before him, and it was at that moment I realized that our time is precious. You need to hold the ones you love very close and remind them everyday how important they are. Because you might not get the chance to say goodbye… Wherever you are Ryan, I know you’re still shining bright. Don’t ever dim.
It’s not overly common, not with the way they’re all armed to the teeth, but every now and then a member of the FAHC is unavoidably dragged into an unarmed fist fight. They can all manage, have to in this life, but there is definitely discrepancies in style, competency, and willingness to throw the first punch.
Michael fights to win, like nothing else matters, like his own damage is an afterthought. It’s undiluted danger, raw power, the savage aggression unrelenting and unrestrained by normal compulsions of self defence or restraint. It’s unnerving, somewhat inhuman, the single-minded bloodlust of a rabid dog. Michael makes no attempt to disguise his emotions, voice as loud and irrepressible as ever, be it bellows of rage or cocky taunts. His own pain isn’t even a distraction, only serving to make him angrier, more determined to ruin his opponent at any cost. When Michael fights he becomes the personification of the phrase ‘you should see the other guy’, keeps swinging until he’s the only one moving, teeth bared and bloody like something wild.
Jack fights like catharsis, like pent up energy and the best kind of stretch. Jack doesn’t go looking for fights, would rather things just went to plan instead of playing pick-up in the aftermath, but when they happen its almost a relief. Almost worth the frustration to relax into those old skills, not unpractised but required far less frequently these days. Jack doesn’t talk smack, doesn’t assure herself a victory, but she is methodical, confident. When Jack fights it is a sight to be seen, a divine revelation, awe-inspiring and horrifying in equal measure.
Gavin fights for survival, tooth and nail and no scruples. He’s used to fighting with clever words, with pretty guns and sharp knives, with all the backup in the world; alone and unarmed is never going to be something he relishes. He’s not the best at hand to hand, lacks the weight and muscle mass of most of his opponents, but he’s fast, and he’s vicious, and he makes the most of what he’s got. Dirty tactics and underhand plays; He takes the knee to the balls, the eye gouge, the cheap shot at weak joints and ruthless jabs to pressure points. He bites and claws, rips and tears and dances out of range, fear of losing his few advantages driving him harder, faster. When Gavin fights there is no room for honour, no place for gentlemen’s agreements or unspoken rules, only the frantic kind of determination to do whatever it takes to be the one who gets to walk away.
Ryan fights like an executioner, like the death warrant has already been signed and any resistance is merely an effort in futility. He isn’t arrogant, exactly, doesn’t count his chickens before they hatch but he’s a better fighter than most and he knows it. Know’s he’s stronger, tougher, meaner, knows just how dangerous the human body can be. Knows, too, the dangers in getting sloppy, how one lucky hit, one unsuspected variable can turn the tables on anyone who isn’t vigilant. Ryan appreciates the principal of a fight, the honesty of putting everything on the line, the way the world slows and emotions are distilled. When Ryan fights its like he’s found his purpose, like he was born to it, more at peace with himself than he is at any other time.
Ray fights as a last resort, for distance, for time. When Ray fights its because he’s out of options, out of weapons; cornered like an animal though he never fights like one. Each of Ray’s hits are a considered choice, maximum impact for minimum effort. Always sizing up his opponents, always aware of his own energy, as light as Gavin but more trained, more experienced. Ray will abandon a fight at the earliest possible opportunity, at the first sight of an exit or an available weapon, feeling no shame in retreat when its of his own making. When Ray fights its as temporary as he can manage, an unfortunate blip in his otherwise long-ranged warfare that never fails to leave him as prickly and irritated as a wet cat.
Jeremy fights like a punchline, like the twist ending in his own story. More fluid than his frame suggests and more practised than his personality lets on, few get what they bargain for when they go up against him. Jeremy has flags of training, a liberal splash of boxing, some kind of martial arts, a uniquely bastardised combination of taught skill and natural inclination. It works for him, light enough on his feet to twist and dodge while still more than powerful enough to finish the fight, parkour agility meets heavyweight muscle. When Jeremy fights he does it with a hint of flare, a smirking performance, intensely focused but still eager to witness the moment his opponent realises they’re out matched.
Geoff fights for another man. Fights like the echo of anger and sorrow and desperation, like a shitty childhood and a lifetime of disappointment. Geoff very rarely has to get down and dirty without a weapon these day, but when he does its like something in him just snaps. Like the monster he keeps caged behind cool professionalism and a mocking smirk is suddenly unleashed, not explosive or wild but a cold, brutal thing. When all he has are his fists Geoff is relentless, pushes until his opponent is on the ground, then carries on, tireless and unforgiving. When Geoff fights he channels every memory of weakness, every loss and every injury, every instance when he wasn’t strong enough, mean enough, powerful enough to come out on top; a bloody reminder of what made him who he is.