Old October 13, 2010, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Time to Kill [Noe]

Early Kalendryas, Autumn, Era XVII

Beja, the tiny half-human, stepped lightly into the Nexus, a dingy, dirty, but cheap local bar that she was quickly growing attached to. At first, she had found it repulsive: filth was every where and the constant flooding only made things worse rather than cleaner. Beja hated filth. But it was cheap and the ouzo did the same job here as it did anywhere else for double the cost. And once she had a few in her, she did not seem to care as much about all the grime. With long, nibbled-nail fingers, Beja touched her newly exposed scalp uncertainly. The sudden shearing had been impulsive; the sultry weather had been wreaking havoc on her hair, making it poofy, greasy, and unmanageable. Now, it was gone and it still felt odd. It clashed with her oddly feminine clothing: a very full skirt sheared short to the knee with a button sleeveless blouse, both of black linen. Wrapped around her slender wrist was a bracelet of strong chain link that looked as if she had gotten them from the local gaol and not a jeweler.

Besides her bald head, Beja had a few other quirks that made a handful of the patrons goggle and chortle at. Most notably, her size. Beja was a tiny woman, standing a few inches beneath five feet and weighing little more than a sparrow. Not to mention it was as if the gods had lost their paint brushes when they created Beja and had used ash instead. She was grey, grey, grey with grey skin and dark silver hair. Only her eyes flickered darkly with color, dark red, like a wound that had begun to scab. Really, though, Beja was not attractive: too skinny and angular to be beautiful. Beja's looks bordered on boyish, especially with the new haircut.

The half-human sloshed through the water with growing gusto, she was used to the state of the floors at this time. Taking a seat at the bar, her feet dangling from the seat hanging inches from the floor. Deftly, Beha crossed her ankles and ordered an ouzo from the nearest (and drunkest) barkeep. She lifted in gingerly to her lips and took a small sip, crinkling her crooked nose at the foulness of the low quality liquor. Beja always hated the first drink, her taste was still quite in tack and her mind always protested. After, though, her face began to go numb and her mind just seemed not to care about the taste any more. Or the filth! Getting hammered solved many problems.

Halfway through the drink, she was rushing it, she set down the glass and looked around. Already, the tiny half-human could feel the effects of the drink. The grime was not bothering her and she was feeling all fluttery and social. Red eyes scanned the usual patrons to find that all the usual suspects were here: anarchists, drunks, and horny bastards. Though usually it was some combination of the three. Another tiny sip of her drink and then it was down again with a clink. With a gentle flick of her wrist and curve of her fingers, Beja twisted her skirt so that it was tucked more completely underneath her legs, recrossing her ankles. She downed the rest of her drink and Telath wavered on the edge of a spin.

Raising a tiny hand, Beja ordered another drink. This darkening was proving to be rather boring.
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Old October 14, 2010, 08:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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An old campaign joke held that nine-tenths of a military career was killing time and the other tenth was killing time. Groan inducing and indicative of a decidedly psychopathic attitude towards wanton rape, murder, and pillage? Probably. An accurate description of Noe’s evening? Depressingly accurate. Not all of the Esh’lahier maid’s nights were orgies of violence. Some were—like nights were wont to be—depressing, frustrating, and just downright annoying. This was one of those evenings. She’d hunted a particularly interesting individual from one side of Secyclon’s docks to the other; her winding path drawn by rumor and fancy. All for naught, this gods-forsaken bar the last stop on a fruitless journey.

“Whisky and water. More second than the first.” Her voice was dry and raw as Noe shouted her order to a bartender seemingly deafened by the din. Or just too deep into his own little bottle to care.

Noe had left her elegant, expensive maid’s uniform in the closet tonight. She was not stupid enough to wear a dress of silk into the dark alleys and stinking docks—it screamed money and victim and possibly idiot here. That she could, and did, kill the particularly vexing was beside the point. Tonight she wore a plain brown dress, notable only for the fact it was more befitting a heavily pregnant housewife with four brats than a small Esh’lahier woman. Her hair, in sharp contrast, had been tied back with a string of thin braids in a style alien to the average Empire-born citizen. Her eyes were blue and tearing from the pall of smoke shrouding the bar.

“Bloody terrible night,” she mumbled to herself, accepting the drink with all the grace of a grouchy alligator. That the bald, ashen-skinned elf next to the Esh’lahier seemed equally miserable seemed to hardly phase Noe. “Complete rubbish and waste.”
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Old October 21, 2010, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Red eyes stared down at the orange-amber colored ember at the end of her cigarette, slowly making its way closer to her mouth with each drag on her cigarette that Beja took. Without even removing it from her thin-lipped mouth, the tiny half-human let the smoke out of her crooked nose, clouding her face for a moment in a shroud of blueish-grey wisps. And then they dissipated. Another sip of her ouzo, finding that it was easier to take now with some already in her stomach. The taste was less foul. Another sip, larger this time and less cringe-inducing.

An announcement from the bar grabbed at her attention; it sounded like someone else was having a darkening akin to hers. She turned, fixing her all-too-signature eyes on the new arrival. Dressed in brown. Brown! Of all the possible colors the poor creature could have gone with, she had thought that brown was the best option? Brown was the color of nasty things like mud, murky water, and feces. A foul color but that was not for Beja to say out loud. Think it, she shall; utter it, she shan't.

But the creature was pretty enough, carved of delicate elven features and colored with a palette stolen from a frozen mountain top. Normally, Beja was not one to initiate conversation; she was a very internal person, after all. But the ouzo was doing wonders for at the moment and she was not feeling the urge to keep to herself. Not at all! She turned, "Fething tell me about." Her accent was more pronounced when she drank, concentrated in the pronunciation of her vowels. It was a hard accent to place, unless one was acutely familiar of the Linn Feanii, and who really was?

Another sip of ouzo slithered down her throat, though the light hint of anise was beyond her ability to recognize at this point. Beja tipped her chin, gesturing minutely to the bar counter, "Do you come here often?" Beja, having already initiated conversation, was finding herself at a loss as to how to continue. So that was the question she went with. Beja had no idea who was a regular and who was not, having only come here a few times herself. It might even have been a ridiculous question, Beja did not know. It just seemed like a good place to start.

Another sip. And then she waited.
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Old October 24, 2010, 04:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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N’danosh was not known for a vibrant elfish community. In truth, the elves of N’danosh usually came in two flavors: dying and dead. (kekeke) More seriously only two flavors of elves ever ventured into the sun-scorched desert: Sil’rosian and Esh’lahier. Their presence was more a function of proximity than anything else, their native cities perched on the edge of the great borderlands housing the Three Great Cities. It had come as a surprise to see the rarer sub-species of elves. The blue-skinned Theylri, for example, with their stomach-churning gills and violet hair. She’s seen one of the strange winged elves in the docks one day, but never again after.

She was only nebulously aware of Linn Feanii. Which was a rather pointless distinction, as the Esh’lahier would be hard-pressed to tell a Medonian from a native of Sheria by accent alone.

“Not often enough.” Noe drank in slow, deliberate sips starting with the half-finished water-cut whisky she’d already had. There was something strange about the way the Esh’lahier woman drank—the slow, precise movement of her lips keeping every drop of the precious liquid from spilling. “Not often enough by far. I was supposed to meet someone here tonight, but the coward hasn’t shown his face.”

She turned to study the stranger, her crystal blue eyes widening a fraction at the strange grey hue of the half-elf’s skin and the fuzz covering her bald head. It wasn’t the strangest thing she’d seen yet. Noe gaze returned to her drink.

“I’m going to kill him. It shan’t be fast, and it shan’t be nice.”
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Old November 1, 2010, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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N'Danosh was nothing more than an unknown to Beja, which means to say it was nothing at all.

The pale, pale elf next to her, though, was real. Though she did not know she was an elf, something else she did not know, Beja was starting to draw that there was a distinction between those with pointy ears and those with rounded ears. And then there were those with... in between ears like her. She had heard the term elf but had never applied it to either category yet. Aelyrian culture was so exotic and full of all phenotypes. Such oddities.

Beja was detail-oriented, a natural rather than learned trait that then precipitated her interest in tailoring rather than blossoming from her skill. It was a talent that she had been praised for and helped her stitch meticulously tiny stitches row after row. Details were important and the way this svelte creatures lips moved in just the right way so not a drop of alcohol was missed was... curious. Beja let her dark red eyes flit to the side so she could study the movements carefully, intrigued. Beja drank in a different way, working the glass so that the contents never touched her lips and then wiping her mouth furiously after every morsel was consumed: liquid and solid.

Ears piqued, ready for conservation, Beja was perhaps listening a little bit too carefully to what the pointy-eared creature had to say. The half-human flinched slightly when she said stated her intentions. Kill someone? Luckily, most of her reaction was directed inward and her muscles clenched for a moment. Using a napkin, she began to wipe her mouth furiously while her mind spun to catch up. Luckily, or perhaps, unluckily, Beja was feeling the effects of the alcohol at this point, enough to be able to react to this statement.

With eyebrows lining higher up on her forehead than usual, Beja took a long drag on her cigarette, held the smoke in her lungs, and then let it curl out of her mouth as she replied, "How unfortunate. Who is this unlucky soul and what happened?" She turned her gaze to the tiny elf and took another sip of her ouzo, the taste of anise pleasantly outweighing the bite of alcohol. It slid comfortably to join its brethren in her tiny stomach. Inwardly she asked, and what do I do to never be like him in your eyes? Despite her initial anxiety, Beja was curious to know more. The pale waif did not seem so deserving of such a tongue.
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Old November 8, 2010, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Noe smiled. It was a specific, rarified expression only judged a smile by the loosest interpretation of the word’s etymological origins. The closest scientific relative dwelt on the face of gaunt, starving wolves in the midst of a cold Arium winter upon finding a succulent, lost lamb. The Esh’lahier evidently had quite an active imagination; one entirely fixated upon the creature in question at the moment. Her crystal blue eyes burned two smoldering craters in the countertop. “A katta—one with fur like the desert night.” She took a long, slow sip of her diluted whisky. It was a strange, almost desperate act; one that spoke a nigh inhuman need. “You’d think them easy to find, you know? He shan’t blend into the shadows in the light of day.”

Which, of course, didn’t answer Beja’s question in the slightest.

She inhaled sharply, drawing a measure of smoke from Beja’s cigarette into her lungs. It was an old, familiar sent—one rare amongst the taller people of the empire. Weaker, perhaps, than the strong leaf of the N’danosh smoked only by pulling the smoke through a pool of clear water but quite recognizable to the desert-borne elf. It was an unthinkable luxury to the poor who could only chew the leaves and dream of having such water to waste. After a night of fragrant smoke, the water was black and filthy and brackish.

“You smoke, hmm?” Her blue eyes rose from the countertop with the greatest of effort, the death grip on the mug handle relaxing just the slightest bit. Her wolf’s smile was hidden now, though more a result of being drowned in another long sip of her drink. She didn’t particularly find the grey-skinned half-elf unusual, per say. Hadn’t she met a blue and purple elf but a few cycles before? And a creature who lived in the great, salt-poisoned ocean. And in truth, Beja likely had a deeper connection to the ancient elfish heritage than her.

“Ah yes. Him. He’s a bad dream from a past life. One I’d like to see again, afore he flees too far.”
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Old November 12, 2010, 10:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A katta! A katta? They hardly counted as people in Beja's book and so the tiny half-human calmed considerably; it had probably done some inferior thing by simply being an inferior being. To think that people considered them sentient and intelligent was almost laughable! They were cats! Giant, deformed kitty-cats. With fur! Lovely fur and the way that Noe described it made it sound like quite the lovely color. And perfect for her complexion, monochromatic as it was. "Sounds lovely. The fur that is, not the creature. Would love to get my hands on a Katta belt. It would make a lovely coat, no?" Beja was getting sociable from the drink.

The half-human took a long drag on her cigarette, quirking a charcoal silver eyebrow at her elven companion curiously. Did she smoke? Clearly, Beja smoked. She was doing so now! What a completely bizarre and obvious question to ask. Unless she was really asking for a cigarette herself and did not know how to do so. Not as quick as she usually was, due to the ouzo, but her long fingers darted into her bag and removed a small tin. Quickly she whipped it open and danced a cigarette out and flipped it out to the pale creature, "Would you like one? I am Beja, by the way." She pronounced it bay-ha, with the stress on the first syllable.

If she took or not did not matter to Beja, smoking was not for everyone but that was their loss. Her mind was stuck on the katta's pelt, however, and the image of what she could have made with it were dancing before her eyes. Coats and scarves and gloves and boots! All lovely things trimmed in Katta fur. How delightful and lovely; the only use for such strange creatures, truly. She took another sip of ouzo and then took a last pull on her cigarette before flicking it away onto the watery floor. It fizzled with a tiny sizzle. Out. "About that katta... does he live in Secyclion? I really would like a katta pelt..."

Beja sneered at Noe, her smile full of excitement that was enchanced by smoke, alcohol, and the thought of a new fabric.
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Old November 15, 2010, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A katta? A katta indeed! Noe agreed with the half-elf’s general position on the smooth-furred freaks of nature. Katta were not people. In all fairness, the Esh’lahier maid hardly considered most people people—not out of any psychopathic psychosis, mind you, but more out of a general pragmatism. A life of murder and mayhem was not conducive to work-life balance. Nor did it significantly contribute to a feeling of job satisfaction. Sometimes a girl just needed to roll with the punches and have some fun with it all. A defense mechanism was a defense mechanism was an over-rated pile of claptrap cooked up by mystics to justify their chair on the university’s appropriations council.

“A lovely coat,” Noe nodded in agreement before taking another long, desperate drink from the first tankard. Again, not a drop spilt or wasted. She idly wiped the beads of dew forming on the countertops with her finger, lifting it to her lips and sucking hungrily.

“Noe.” Pronounced ‘No’ with a hard ‘e’. She took the proffered cigarette and sniffed at the dried herb; her faint hope of a familiar sent quickly dashed. Oh well—a N’danosh clansman far from home learned to make do with what she could get. The Esh’lahier maid dipped an end of the cigarette into a candle and watched as the dried herb flared and the paper began to smolder. An expensive habit, cigarettes, with paper worth its weight in gold. Sometimes more it seemed. She wrapped her lips around the cigarette, inhaling slowly and feeling the hot, fragrant smoke fill her lungs.

She coughed.

“It’s different from the caked herbs we smoked in our pipes, you know?” A scent of honeysuckle, the smell of a herbalist’s store. “We don’t have the same plants in N’danosh.”

A long pause.

“He lives in the Neos Megalis. A corner I shan’t like to go at night. Of course,” A smile, rakish and cruel with the cigarette still on her lips. “I’d like his ears, maybe on a headband with some velvet lining. Fur’s yours. What say you?”
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Old November 18, 2010, 08:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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N'danosh? Beja did not know what the feth that was but she did not care. Probably just another Aelyrian city she had never heard of, like so many others. Growing up in a hamlet populated by superstitious and isolationist humans had lots of downs and lots of... well, really there were only downs. Now that she had outlived her mother, and most people that had been alive when she was born, Beja had that left that place. And she was not going to go back ever if she could help it. Good riddance Ara Lyffrenda. Beja took another sip and blinked her red eyes for a moment, her attention snapping back to the pale little creature before her. Noe. The alcohol was making her mind stumble down memory lane.

The katta, they were talking about a katta. And his beautiful pelt. And a headband of katta ears. That, Beja mused to herself, was a most welcome trade off. What would she do with ears, anyways? It was all about the pelt, though Beja was not looking forward to the mess. Fortunately for her, the ouzo, despite being heavily laced with water, was pulling at her mind. The mess and the thought of mess was not bothering her as much anymore. She could even look around the Nexus without grimacing inwardly too much. Beja nodded and then flicked the remains of her cigarette, spent shell that it had become.

"What is so scary about his neighborhood?" Beja giggled. She could not help it and she clasped her hand over her mouth tightly, her red eyes opened wide in mock surprise. Beja never giggled but now she only giggled more. She could not help it. She was picturing a field of daisies full of kittens colored white and black and cinnamon climbing out of flowerpots and playing with yarn. It just was not an intimidating image. Not in the slightest, "Well you have yourself a deal, though I think it is best that we go now before I change my mind."

The half-human lifted her glass and nursed another sip. If they were going to kill a katta, she best be pacing herself now. Beja inclined her chin towards Noe, "How do you like the cigarettes we have here? Nothing amazing but they do the job." Beja nodded to herself, approvingly.
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Old November 23, 2010, 07:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Noe caught the bartender’s attention with the most effective gesture known to man and elf: dropping a big bag of gold crowns on the countertop. Mathematics wasn’t the Esh’lahier maid’s strength in the best of times. Calculating the bill was troublesome enough without the numbing effects of drink, or the heady scent of the cigarette. She counted off what was roughly—roughly—enough and dropped another handful of crowns on top. That should do it. She was far too excited about the idea of her katta-ear headband to care. “We’re decided then. A bottle of whisky, if you please. For the road.” It was one thing to speak so easily of skinning a katta. There was, in point of fact, many ways to skin one of the furred creatures. Most involved vomiting on the floor. “The cigarettes? They’re different from the leaf my father smoked.”

She popped the stopper out of the bottle with an easy twist and pull. The Esh’lahier elf took a small sip herself before handing the bottle to Beja. Violence—brutal, cruel, and pointless—was part and parcel to the Esh’lahier’s life. It didn’t take much to realize that Beja was cut from different stock. Though, from the look on her face when Noe had mentioned the pelt, not entirely different. “It’s but a half-candlemark walk away. Let’s keep quiet hmm?” Two women wandering the night with the smell of alcohol about them was a dangerous thing in the Neos Megalis. “We shan’t want any more attention than we need.”

They walked through alley and byway, a twisting path that avoided the major thoroughfares. Noe was familiar with these streets—she’d lived here for months. Long ago, long before she’d found herself trapped in a spirit-filled house, sealed with a handful of others in a place forgotten by the world. She grew more sure with each step, summoning memories from their hidden depths.

They stopped before a small house stuffed between two larger tenements. The smell of garbage hung heavy in the air; a rank smell that filled every pore. Noe reached behind her and drew a pair of daggers: her familiar, plain elfish longknife and a smaller weapon—straight and functional. The latter she handed to Beja. “You’re familiar with a blade? It’s easily enough learned. Hold the end which shan’t bite your hand, stab with the other.”
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Old November 29, 2010, 07:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Beja took a smaller sip than Noe when it was passed to her, for she could feel the alcohol in her limbs, making them heavy and slow moving. Alcohol always hit her hard and hit her even harder when she stood up and started moving. The little half-human had already decided that she needed some booze to pull off killing and then skinning this katta. But it only took an ounce or so more to make her too drunk to fight anyone. Balance was everything and it was not something that the little half-human had completely mastered. Beja passed the bottle back and wiped a small would-be dribble back into her mouth. She stumbled a moment and the righted herself.

Balance. It was all about balance.

Beja was not as familiar with these streets as Noe appeared to be, so she contented herself to just follow the pale woman with pointy ears. And she did not even worry for a moment about being assaulted or molested because she was a woman. Never had a man showed an interest in her, as gargoyle-esque as she was. Tiny, ashen-featured, far too skinny, and now bald, Beja was a far cry from the quintessential beauty of almost all cultures except perhaps gnomes. Beja had never met a gnome let alone a female gnome, so chances were she was at least as lovely as them. This was drunk thinking but it distracted her from the bloody task ahead.

Not to mention, girly conversation about make-up, hairstyles, and boys was not exactly at this moment. It was just not the sort of conversation that any two would have when they were off to skin a katta. Oh, but the coat it would make! Beja grinned just thinking about and shot a glance at her companion who had agreed to come along. No. No girly chit-chat for this pair. Beja was not the type and she was getting every impression that Noe was not the type. Suddenly, Beja giggled in a snorting type way and clasped her hand tightly around her mouth to suppress it. Slowly, it suffocated and died away but the case of the giggles bubbled right beneath the surface.

She could not help it. It was just so funny, this darkening.

Apparently they were their and the long-ish walk had done wonders for Beja's sobriety. While not sober enough to be rational, and hence why she was still determined to kill the katta, Beja was not drunk enough to stumble around anymore. She accepted the knife with glee and slashed it through the air. She understood the concept well enough if not practice. "I am familiar enough. I have cut cloth before. But when we stab him, be sure to stab at his face and throat or thereabouts. I don't want to ruin his coat with a bunch of holes." Beja almost giggled again but managed to fight it down.

"Is that it?" Beja inclined her cheek towards the residence just before them.
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Old December 5, 2010, 03:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Girly conversations were a persistent, glaring weakness in Noe’s social repertoire. She had no money for makeup—killer maids not generally drawing a salary on anything approaching a strict schedule—and felt little need to paint her face otherwise. Perfume? It tickled her nose and gave her a headache. Her long white were almost perpetually bound by the small, decorated braids that were the tradition among her mother’s clanfolk. And boys?

Well, that was a conversation for another time.

“You’ve the gist of it.” Noe nodded with absurd seriousness in response to the ashen-skinned ruminations on knife-wielding and skinning. In truth, the Esh’lahier maid hadn’t quite thought the ‘skin the katta for his pelt’ angle through. She’d only planned to find him, slip a dagger through the ribs into his heart, and call it an evening. Skinning the craven creature for his hide, however, introduced all manner of complication. And she wanted that velvet-lined katta-ear headband. Oh yes, she really did want one. And for that, she’d have to make the deed quick and simple. Fashion, evidently, was hard work. “We’ll have to slit his throat then. Easy enough—we’ll just hold him down and a quick slash will do the trick.”

As if pinning a wild-born katta was an easy task for two women of slight build.

“Aye, I believe it is. Stand here, will you?” The Esh’lahier maid maneuvered the somewhat inebriated woman in front of a small house. As was appropriate in the neighborhood, the door was of heavy construction and featured a viewing slit. It was a low, single-story affair with small barred windows—the sort of place a panthari with enemies would live. Noe rapped on the door, the sharp noise echoing in the quiet street.

Three bodyguards sat in the open main room within, quietly sharing a few bottles of liquor over a game of cards while their paymaster slept. The sharp knocking caused a sharp disagreement over who was responsible for answer the door this time—falling ultimately on the unluckiest sod. He padded across the dirty earth floor to the door and pulled back the shutter and peered out—to see a Beja standing on the threshold. A small half-elfish creature (even a bald one!), smelling strongly of alcohol. He frowned words forming to shoo away…

Noe reached through the slit and grabbed his collar, pulling his face against the slit. The tip of her longknife glimmered in his sight, close enough that a stray move would bring it in contact with his pupil. A soft voice hissed, “Unlock the door, or lose your sight.”

It was an easy choice. Within a second, the heavy bolt had slipped out of its iron setting and a small crack appeared as the door swung inward of its own accord. Noe pushed with her shoulder, opening the door still wider, before jabbing twice with her longknife. The unlucky bodyguard fell back screaming, clutching his suddenly bloodied, sightless eyes. A sharp kick of the door and they were inside the smoke-filled hovel, faced with two bodyguards just now rising and drawing their short swords.

“What in Aeternia is going on? Talk to me!” A smooth, feline voice from the bedroom.

He’d make such a nice headband
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Old December 14, 2010, 07:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sobering slightly, though only slightly, Beja let herself be tottered into position, smiling broadly at the peephole as if she was innocent as a half-vysstichi, bald-headed, incredibly tiny woman could be. She had enough common sense to hide the blade behind her spindly back, trying, however, to not make it seem as if she were clutching something behind her. Which was almost as obvious as holding a blade out front and center.

Logistics were for logicians, Beja was not even thinking about what it actually took to pin a person. Or Katta. Whatever.

Beja was known to be rather quick in reaction, being small held at least a few advantages, but she blinked in surprise as Noe leapt into action. Was this the same girl she had met at the Nexus? Clearly they bred them differently in N'danosh. Unsurprisingly, the man chose sight over his duties. Surprisingly, when Noe stabbed him in each socket the sudden gore did not horrify or surprise Beja, though the blood leaking everywhere made her wince because blood stained. And stains were dirty. As for the blatant mutilation of this guard? Beja was rather indifferent.

It was a hard act to follow and Beja merely walked slowly forward, the blade peeking around front again. She tried to hold it as if she knew what to do with it, which meant that the blade was held outwards, threateningly pointed towards the remaining threats. Hopefully Noe's quick blade work would result in some shared street cred. She made a slash, pulling the knife through the air a few inches and then weaving it back. Beja made her motions sharp and quick, like she had seen Noe do.

Beja smirked at the sound of the voice the lulling purrs therein and turned her gaze towards Noe expectantly.
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Old December 26, 2010, 12:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Noe claimed little expertise in the melee. Her preferred tactic when outnumbered was to disappear into the alleys of Secyclion, drawing her pursuers into a maze of tight streets and crowded alleys to be picked apart by sudden ambushes. A fight in tight quarters with a friend (loosely defined in this case as someone who shouldn’t died so I can get a katta-ear headband) was entirely new. Which meant less than one might assume. The same rules that governed the quick, lethal duels the Esh’lahier maid preferred still held here. Strike fast, strike hard, strike true. The bodyguards were not entirely fools—or at least not as stupid as their flailing, blinded friend. A melee wasn’t a series of one on one engagements occurring in the same geophysical local. The experienced—or the merely desperate—learned to adjust accordingly.

Beja was the smaller of the two creatures, her frail frame and bald head all the more obvious when contrasted with Noe. Oh, and she wasn’t holding a longknife dripping with blood and fluids of unmentionable description. They pressed forward, the two of them jockeying to bring their short swords to bear. Their enthusiasm, however, was somewhat dampened by the half-Vysstichi’s wild swings and sudden movements. A lucky swing and a sudden turnaround drew blood on a guard; his curses and shouts egging his fellow on.

A small black object flew through the air, its contents spilling in a lazy arc above the two guards. The screams came a moment later as the near-boiling water from the pot of tea rained upon their faces. It was difficult to mount a defense while boiling water was suffusing your face and hair. It was even more difficult to defend oneself when it was, oh, burning out your eyes. Her strikes were swift and true, an arm snapping their necks back and a swift pull of a longknife opening their arteries to the cold, autumn Secyclion air.

A scrambling and a crashing issued from the inner bedroom. “I think he’s trying to escape out the back window.” It’d be a difficult task in the best of times, what with parallel iron bars emplaced in the plaster to prevent ingress. And egress. Noe looked at Beja expectedly. “Hit him with a kettle or something—keep him quiet while I close the door and finish the other one.”
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Old January 3, 2011, 11:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It felt oddly satisfying for her knife tip to come in contact with flesh but Beja had no idea how severe the wounds she had inflicted were. There was blood, so they were at least skin deep, other than that, Beja was clueless. She finished with a few more swishes and arches of her knife to little effect. Water rained from the sky and the two fell writhing is screams. Touche Noe for the idea of hurtling boiling water. Beja had not realized how close she was to doom and really did not care at the moment. The guards were on the ground now and Beja leapt gracefully over one of the bodies to reach the back room, responding to Noe's command.

She stooped to pick up the now emptied kettle in a fluid motion though she lost her footing slightly as she rose again. What could she say? Beja still had the effects of alcohol pulsating through her system though the exhilaration of the hunt was overriding that some. As was time. Leaping into the back room, kettle in one hand and knife in the other, Beja jumped at the katta. She was immune to fear at the moment and launched herself at him now with the blade raised but with the kettle.

The pelt, and the ears, needed to be protected. The unassuming katta probably did not realize why or what his cruel fate was to be.

Beja leapt at the katta, raising the kettle and intending to bring it down squarely upon his face. The face, Beja rationalized, was the least important to both parties and the most sensitive to the party in question. She used as much force as she could muster, which wasn't terribly much, and used the momentum of her jump to add more force. Noe would have to close up the room and silence the guards as best as she could. If she successfully smashed the kettle to his face, Beja would attempt to whirl behind him, holding fast to his body like a she-devil and pushing the sharp edge of the blade against his throat.

It was a threat Beja had learned from reading.
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