Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Mark stood a few feet from the doorman and presented his ID, which was accepted with apparent derision.

The heavily muscled bouncer glanced over the details of the badly forged photo card and tossed it back.

“One point eight meters? No way you’re that tall. Take a hike.”

Mark caught the card with his off hand without breaking eye contact and held the stare for a moment before looking down at the photo card.

“Funny, that’s about the only thing on here that is right. How about you let me in anyways? I’ve got a lot of drinking to do, and this night’s not getting any younger.”

The doorman’s face split in a wide grin, metal capped teeth catching the streetlight as he ran his hands back over the stubble on his head and stepped forward.

“How’s about you bugger off, mate, before you get hurt?” He exhaled through clenched teeth as he placed both hands flat on Mark’s chest and pressed him violently into the street, tossing him like a rag doll to where he landed in a heap.

Mark pushed himself slowly upright, then got his feet back under him while fingering the torn shirt sleeve where he’d skidded across the blacktop.

“Shouldn’t have done that meathead,” he licked his lips, breaking into a low jog and dropping his shoulder as he impacted the startled bouncer, running with him the couple of meters to the building wall and slamming him into the brick with a clearly audible outrush of air.

Mark stepped back, leaving the bigger man to catch his breath.

“I’ve gotta warn you shithead,” the bouncer wheezed, “I’m hardened mech, not your average meatbag doorman, and I’m quite capable and licensed to put you in the hospital or a body bag.” Having recovered alarmingly quickly the doorman stepped back into the fray with purpose. “Or for that matter, the dumpster out back if you push the wrong buttons.” Mark barely had time to take a defensive stance before the angered man was on him, raining a flurry of blows to his ribs as Mark tucked in his elbows and covered his face with his fists. The doorman beat him back off the sidewalk, onlookers moving quickly away to make room while several opportunists started taking bets.

Having driven Mark into the street, the doorman again pushed him away. “I’m not someone you’ll want to piss off,” and with that he stepped forward and drove his fist between Mark’s still raised hands and into his face, knocking him off his feet and into a pile once more on the asphalt.

Leaving him unmoving in the road, the bouncer turned and started back to his post at the door.

Mark exploded from the ground and reached the retreating man in barely a heartbeat, landing multiple blows to his lower back before torquing in a perfectly executed roundhouse kick to the side of his head, knocking him hard to the ground.

When the bouncer had struggled back upright, he found Mark bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet, grinning like he’d just eaten the neighbour’s cat.

“If you’re mech, then you’re just my type, sweetheart.” Mark thumbed the side of his nose, then shook his hands at his sides before taking up a boxer’s stance again. “Get’s boring as hell tossing meatbags for a living, doesn’t it?”

The bouncer felt something turn inside and, his post forgotten, stepped off the curb and cracked his knuckles.

“I’m guessing Marquess of Queensberry’s not quite your style?”

Mark laughed out loud.

“How about MCMAP?”

The bouncer’s grin returned. “Oorah,” was all he replied.

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