Warning!

This story was marked as COMPLETED, but still has characters pending approval! You might be missing some of the story.

Revelation: The Cure

The Assassins' Guild

0 INK

a part of Revelation: The Cure, by Kurokiku.

Tallest building in District Gamma, and a reminder that the Assassins are always present- especially when you can't see them.

RolePlayGateway holds sovereignty over The Assassins' Guild, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
77 readers have been here.
2,510 readers have visited Revelation: The Cure since Kurokiku created it.

Heads Up: Completed Storyline!

This universe is marked as COMPLETED, indicating that no further changes will be accepted.

Setting

Tallest building in District Gamma, and a reminder that the Assassins are always present- especially when you can't see them.
Create a Character Here »

The Assassins' Guild

Tallest building in District Gamma, and a reminder that the Assassins are always present- especially when you can't see them.

Minimap

The Assassins' Guild is a part of District Gamma.

2 Characters Here

Garbiel Forgefire [0] "Do you believe in fate?" (Deceased)
Felix Windsor [0] An instructor at the Facility, too stubborn for forgiveness.

Start Character Here »


Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Smith
The room was hotter than most people would have been able to stand, although it's sole occupant paid it no heed. Within the torrid enclosure that was the fourth training room of the Guild Eos stood stark still. Sweat rolled from his body in beads, striking the floor with more force enough to cause an audible noise. Garbed in only breeches and a belt, the pugilist was exposed and glistening as he scanned the empty room. Eos stood in what was supposed to be a loose position, arms raised parallel to the ground and legs spread two feet from one another while leaning forward, but the dusky-skinned assassin trembled with exertion. His muscles corded against whatever force held him in check.

Slowly, Eos nodded and reached for his belt at which a thin oak wand was sheathed. Withdrawing the magical implement, he aimed the wand at his center mass and discharged the pre-cast spell stored within. A field of intensified weight bore down upon the assassin. The third such casting since dawn. The wand slipped from his grasp and was glued to the floor by the thrice-amplified force pressing on Eos. With a grunt and a sharp intake of breath he spun in place, shifting to a more linear position with arms raised above his head and standing on one leg with the other raised so knee met chest.

For twenty minutes Eos held this position, breathing shallow breaths. His body burned all over and muscles quivered in protest. Finally though, the compounded spell wore off and the world seemed to lift from his shoulders. With an overly-loud sigh of relief Eos straightened his back and stretched. He smiled upon hearing several pops between his bones. Damn that hurts...hurts pretty good though.

Eos turned on his heel and started towards the door when a junior assassin peered through. Her eyes widened, realizing she'd been caught staring. Eos smirked and put her under a questioning gaze. He struck an akimbo, allowing the dim light to reveal the forest of scars upon his form and the built muscle underneath. Barely a year ago most of it had hung slack on his frame, and now nothing was going to waste. Eos couldn't help but think: Damn...i'm a sexy beast.

"Senior Assassin," the woman caught herself and sketched a bow. "Second-Masters Hera and Nidhogg would like to speak with you." Eos nodded and dismissed the junior assassin. He still disliked the formality used within the true branches of the Guild immensely, but agreed to abide by their rules...as long as he took an active part in the protection of Pandora, Caelin and Loki. Eos had accompanied Pandora on several of her visits to the sickly noble's abode and shared words with the boy. In no time flat Eos decided that Caelin was of sterner stuff than most, and took a liking to him. He sorely hoped that Caelin would recover soon.

Minutes passed by as Eos returned to his room to clean up, don his armor and equip what weaponry he was permitted by Amon Gregory. The meeting was underway quickly as well. At the end of it as he bid Hera and Nidhogg good day, Eos was scowling. It was a habit that he was trying to break. There were whisperings of another attempt on Loki's life again? There had been seven so far...four that the princess herself was aware of, the other three having met a brutal end meted by either Eos or Amon. The former Hand raised his tattooed palm and stared into the black disk as he walked.

Selene...please let this be a good day. without realizing it, his other hand was toying with the sunburst pendant at his neck.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
There was nothing more capable of showing the long-lines lengthening across the blacksmith’s face from the years of grueling, hot labor than the light of day, casting light upon the wrinkled face to unearth the shadow thrown across it by the dimness of the workshop, yet this fact never hindered Garbiel from strolling through the city of Revelation in all his years, and was not about to stop for as many as he had left. It had always been an obsession for him to examine the city in all its amazing contradictions, where benevolence and malevolence went hand-in-hand, some had everything while others had nothing, why life contradicts itself none would know. His thoughts had not always strayed into this intangible-kind of pondering, and it seemed as if only a day ago the only thoughts to cross his mind were that of merely making a name of his own, but dreams and aspirations had slipped away into thoughts of death and trepidation.

The sights of District Gamma had begun to meld themselves within the metamorphosing city, the brighter colored clothes of District Beta giving way to the browns and blacks of District Gamma, as the quality of the cloth degraded to that of a rougher-type. With this change of garb as came a shift in the populace as the shops gave way to carts and the markets to performing troupes, while the cutpurses flitted through the unsuspecting crowd to sneak away with as much coin as their bags could carry. Despite the growing unease most wealthier citizens of District Beta would feel the smith became more somber at the signs of suffering that began to sprout forth.

An idle-hand reached upwards to paw the trimmed beard encompassing angular jowls, while tranquil eyes surveyed a pair of performers juggling with flaming hand-axes. The man and woman were frequenters to the Forgefire workshop who always asked for eight pair made of only caste-iron, and afterwards would douse the heads in kerosene while tossing them back and forth with leather gloves for grip. The heat and flame can break anything down to nothing given enough time, whether it was made from caste-iron or steel, as it had begun to do with Garbiel Forgefire, and the flaming, axe-juggling couple would come back every month to purchase new axes so they could earn their living.

Time began to slip away from the elderly man whose thoughts began to wonder of other things, that is until a sharp tug wrenched it back into the present. The smith’s free hand darted forth to snatch the cutpurse’s frail wrist with an iron grasp, yanking the child upwards with a yelp as his shoulder’s socket bore the weight of his entire body; luckily the child was not plump, while ferocious-eyes scrutinized his scrawny frame. A quick-glance would suggest the child was underfed, but upon closer observation round cheeks revealed it was just a natural disposition for slenderness, with a ragged mop of tangled hair hanging limply down casting a shadow over the child’s eyes. If it were not for this fact the thief would probably have been able to see the string holding the coin-pouch was actually a stout, steel chain.

Aggravated features twitched at the outrageous thought of thievery, and a flick of the wrist tossed the child brusquely to the side out of disgust, only to collapse limply to the ground with a good arm grasping at the dislocated shoulder. The disgusted blacksmith stalked off quietly until the Assassin’s Guild began to emerge from the depths of District Gamma, appearing as if it were bursting forth from the earth itself, and that it had only been hallowed out afterwards. This sight of this ominous abode jarred the smith’s memories, recalling why he had set out for this particular district in the first place, besides avoiding his duties; Amon Gregory had requested a conversation concerning the purchase of several weapons for the Assassin’s armory. Without a moment to lose the lumbering form of Garbiel quickly paced to the Guild, almost setting out at a run in hopes to reach there sooner, but knew it best not to be seen huffing and perspiring on such an occasion. The figure of a uniformed sentry blended with the obsidian-like stone wall behind him, and began chuckling slightly at the sight of the familiar blacksmith; all of Amon’s meetings with Garbiel were scheduled for the same day and time each month, and had become more of a ritual than business affair for the two aging men.

The discomfited blacksmith hurried past without speaking to the waiting Minstrel, only acknowledging him with the briefest of nods. The Guild almost seemed like a cavern upon entering its interior, and a brief moment was called in order for the aging eyes to adjust to the long expanses of torch-lit corridors in-between thin-slit windows, more alike to archer slits than proper windows. The interior of the Assassin’s Guild had always seemed as quite as a crypt to Garbiel, a man accustomed to the hammering of steel and crackling of fire, while silent uniform-garbed figures rushed to and from on silent feet, performing whatever duties necessary, whether they be for work or leisure. He almost rushed past a seated apprentice had the man not squeaked like a mouse, "Are you Garbiel Forgefire?"

The words caught the hurrying man as if they were a net, stopping him to respond tersely, "Yes I am son, now get on with it!"

The harsh remark alarmed the already nervous receptionist, forcing his voice to squeak in an even higher pitch, "Master Amon says he will be expecting you in his study sir."

The instructions urged Garbiel that much faster, and hoping not to embarass himself even more than he already had by being later than he already was the man set off at a quickened pace, forcing the aging man to perspire slightly and gasp for breath. As a calloused hand motioned to knock on the door thick, oaken door a calm voice spoke out from the neighboring room, “You may enter Garbiel; I believe the entire Guild heard you coming,” as the door swung open to allow the blacksmith to enter the diminutive figure of the Guild master came into sight, seated perfectly erect on a simple cherry wood chair examining a rather cumbersome stack of papers and motioning towards an empty chair with a free hand, “Please have a seat.”The panting, aged man took a seat across from the gray-haired individual, taking a moment to regain his composure before beginning with their meeting. A grizzled hand swept across the top of a shaven head with a cloth that had been tucked away into a shirt pocket to wipe away several beads of perspiration that had gathered during the travel, while the other mused with his ginger beard in an attempt to conjure an apology.

“My sincerest apologies Sir Amon, I was lost within one of the street performances when I lost myself in thought. I only just remembered the time and rushed here as quickly as possible.”Icy-blue eyes raised themselves to meet the sparkling emerald gaze of Garbiel, contrasting as much as the rest of their countenances, while an understanding smile crept across the Assassin’s face.

“Neither of us are the shining examples of the yester-year that we were, time will have its way with everything Forgefire, no matter how it was forged, as a blacksmith you should know of that all too well. Do you have the necessary documents with you?”

Amon’s cool stare went back to the desk before him, placing the papers in his hand neatly in their respective pile, while a quill pen and jar of ink were brought from a door on its side. Garbiel brought forth this month’s bill tucked away in a sleeve, this business could have been handled by children, but both men were accustomed to the formality of their meetings and the image that it portrayed, and had grown slightly accustomed to each other’s presence throughout the years. It had been many such years since they had first met when Amon requested that resplendently simple-short sword, and Garbiel almost laughed in his face at the thought.

“So the years have been weighing on the infamous Sir Amon Gregory as well? May the sight of a day without your guardianship be long off indeed. I fear this city needs you for a while yet.”

A quizzical look crossed Amon’s crisp-features at the odd-statement spoken by the blacksmith; he had been known to speak with a grim-tone at times, but to voice such a foreshadowing of events was uncommon for the practical man. The assassin’s look was not met by the gloomy eyes of Garbiel that appeared to be looking into nothingness, almost as an uncommon look to the questing countenance usually portrayed as those of anger, almost disquieting Amon’s soul with their gaze. A signature was jotted down hastily, a rather unnaturally quick gesture by Amon, as a question was voiced.

“Garbiel you do not sound yourself this day. We shall end this meeting prematurely so that you may rest. I will send a messenger with this bill after a copy is made and the ink dries.” The sound of Amon’s voice seemed to wrench the drifting smith back to reality with a slight start as a second’s pause was used to comport himself quickly.

“I think I shall take your advice and take my leave of you then. However I should like to visit the Archives, there is a volume I have been searching for and hear tell that your library may house a copy, and if so I would dreadfully like to borrow it for the time being. It’s something by Glashkov, I’ve forgotten the tile for the moment, but when I’ll remember it when I see it.”

A small hand waved in acquiescence at the large man’s inquiry, while attention was already placed back into the pile of papers seated to the side of the bill, scanning through countless pages of whatever it may be. As the blacksmith proceeded out the door the rustling of paper was heard coming from behind him while Amon dug through the pile in search of specific subjects. More dark-robed figures whisked past during his travel towards the Archive, giving this structure symbolic of death the façade of life and energy, some nodding in acknowledgement at the passing outsider. Many assassins had come and gone during his years of dealing with the Guild, and most of the faces were known to a man that put such attention to details, yet there were still the younger faces of the future that crept in every year to replace the aging ones of the past, and the numbers kept shifting year that past.

Eventually his footsteps brought him within the confines of the all-too-neat Archives, where it was joked that even the dust was catalogued by its keepers. At a nearby table there was a young lady standing, engaged in conversation with another, who seemed to be around the same age but neither was more than a child, which had a color-faded tome in her hands. Hoping to catch a glimpse of what was written on the cover of the book Garbiel walked around the backside of the standing lady, using his peripheral vision in hopes to spot the name without interrupting their conversation, hopefully he was not being overly conspicuous with his actions. Luckily he glimpsed the letters “Glash-, “ on the cover, and proceeded to seat himself nearby the pair, not wanting to interrupt them.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
It did not take long for the two young women to catch on to his attempt at being inconspicuous, he should have known better than to try and fool the assassin, even if she was an apprentice, and more so judging by the look that the apprentice had tossed his way that seemed as if she were ready to pounce with what was probably one of his own weapons that had been forged for the Assassin’s armory. The child seated on the other side, however, turned and let an embarrassed-grin spread across a rather attractive face and rounded cheeks; she was definitely much more amiable than the other one.

"Sir, can I help you? I, uh, don't work in this place so you shouldn't be asking me."

Garbiel acquiesced to his failure with a heavy sigh, causing a ginger-bearded chin to tilt downwards, exposing a shaved pate to the sunray bursting in through the one of the window-slits across from where he seated himself. After a slight shaking of his head the smith proceeded to stand up slowly as worn-out joints crackled and popped in protest to the movement, almost screaming in protest at being torn from their restful position. A few quick, shuffling steps brought the man next to the table where the amiable girl was seated and proceeded to sit on the edge, slightly away from the mean one that seemed ready to skewer him at any minute.

Upon closer inspection Garbiel noticed he had been wrong in his previous assumption that they were children, in fact they were just babies to him, young enough to be his granddaughters had he ever sired a family. How the time seemed to fly by as the years progressed, he had always regretted not living life while there was the time to do it, and now the days passed like flowers only to be enjoyed for such a short time before they withered away. It took a slight shake of the head to bring the blacksmith into the here and now, cheeks blushing slightly from the embarrassment of sitting there without introducing himself while the babies were staring at him quietly, the mean one almost digging holes into his soul by now.

“My deepest apologies children, there’s no cause to be nervous. My name is Garbiel Forgefire, and I was hoping to inquire as to the title of that book. I have a particular one in mind that I was hoping to find here and borrow for a short while.”

A broad grin enveloped his plump cheeks, moving up in such a way that they almost covered his eyes, in hopes to lighten the mood slightly. The tense air between the trio seemed to slacken, at least that’s the way it seemed to him anyway, as a resonant voice spoke his intent.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
The smith observed the changing of the young girls quietly after revealing his name, watching for any signs of recognition in their manner, when the realization began to dawn on the one that seemed out of place in the Assassins' Guild that he was more than some random stranger. It had always been some strange obsession of his to notice when he had been recognized by another person, and much more so when it did not happen on sight, a much more common occurrence in the last few year; being raised in the blacksmith’s trade naturally led to this desire in its craftsmen to be assured of their works quality, and know how long-reaching the fingers of their skill truly are.

"Well, this book by Glashkov is about medicine... One-Hundred Common Mala... wait." She cut off, wondering if she had heard the blacksmith earlier. "Forgefire!? THE Gabriel Forgefire!?" She exclaimed. She admired all of the Forgefire products- her Master's twin fighting daggers were of Forgefire make. "What're you.." She stopped again, flushing again. "Er... sorry. 'One-Hundred Common Maladies of the Body' by Glashkov. Is this, uh, the book you were looking for, Mr. Forgefire?"

Obviously the child was pleased with meeting him, and he was pleased by this reaction as well, being assured that his stature had not fallen completely out of sight as of yet, and lightening his dismal mood from earlier brought on by one meagre glass of wine, although it had been a very fine one now that he thought about it twice. The apprentice even had a flicker of recognition sprout across her face after the book-carrier assured the assumption about his identity by repeating it thrice. More than likely she knew him for his signature weapon designs, that seemed to be the most common one for anyone not associated with steamship production and maintenance.

When he mentioned looking for a specific Glashkov title, Scheherazade shrugged. "If it's not that one, the others are two rows back, middle of the shelf, I think."

The austere elderly man bowed his head forward at their assistance in gratitude, taking the book politely from the one to peruse the first few pages briskly. He had once owned a copy of the same book, but it had suffered water damage from a leak that had worked its way through his ceiling during a terrible thunderstorm, along with a large segment of his library, forcing him to attempt and recover his lost literature. Most of the time he would copy from the pages himself, every so often a scrivener was paid to perform the task, but that was very seldom indeed, Garbiel enjoyed practising his penmanship through the menial task. While glancing over the text the large man paused briefly, just to mark his spot as he glanced upwards so that his progress was not lost in his words.

“The assistance is much appreciated ladies, and this does seem to be for what I have been searching, but I must say I cannot properly thank you as I have not had the pleasure of your names.”

An almost-embarrassed grin spread across the large man’s face with the point being voiced, he had not actually heard their names spoken earlier, and did not want to appear a dullard if they assumed he had, but had no choice in the matter. In hopes to cover this little expression his eyes quickly darted back down to the yellowed-pages of the old Glashkov title. This tome was indeed the correct one; in fact it was the best title that had been in his possession in concerns to healing certain common illnesses. Pneumonia and heat exhaustion was a particularly common occurrence among blacksmiths from the exposure to such extremes of the heat and cold. This was another situation that Garbiel preferred to solve on his own, only calling for a doctor or healer whenever it was a necessity, but a quick thought crossed his mind, and the man gave way to his curiosity, voicing a question to the previous reader.

“Apologies for the inquiry miss, but do you happen to have any knowledge in the field of medicine?”

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Pandora took the proffered seat in Amon's office. Though it was not her favorite of places, she could not deny that there was something about the deadliest man in the city that made her feel... well, safe wasn't exactly the right word for it, because sometimes, she was certain she was never safe, but, well, reassured. It was interesting, actually, that the only two people who could cause her to feel thus were both more similar to her assailants than she cared to contemplate too closely.

Her world-view was not quite so simplistic as to cast everything in black and white, but the thing was, she trusted easily and often. As soon as she did trust someone, they were quickly thrust into her own personal inner limelight, and she chose to put their faults behind her. Whether it was the healthiest way to look at a person was very, very debatable, but it had served her well enough thus far, and it meant that, when all was said and done, she could continue to grin and bear the weight of everything else that might otherwise have crushed her. She was not a strong person; she could not endure the full force of such blows, but some strange idiosyncracy of her skewed perception allowed her to turn them aside, divert them and send them careening off into empty space. Thus, she weathered those things that by all rights should have broken her.

Rather than answering Amon's businesslike inquiry, Professor Windsor countered with a question of his own, and for a moment Pan was awash with guilt. She felt horrible that she had dragged him into this- all he had wanted was treatment for his sick father and instead he'd been attacked by rouges that seemed to appear ever more frequently out of the woodwork that was her entanglement with certain people far more important than she. She transferred her glance to the Guildmaster, silently entreating him to please explain as best he could, for the information was surely something that the teacher deserved, and it was something she could only give in fragments and incoherent ramblings.

Amon seemed to understand the message, for he nodded solemnly and seemed to accept the implicit level of regard she showed for the stranger. Though he was not so unwise as to put his faith somewhere for the sole reason that she had done the same, he did understand that unless he first provided answers, he was likely to receive only incomplete ones in return. Reciprocity was a system he had played at and with for most of his life; now could hardly be expected to be an exception.

"I expect very much, sir, that you had a blade thrown at you because you were intended to die. As I am sure you have surmised by this point, Miss Elling is on occasion the target of assassination attempts by those working outside of my purview. Mercenaries with stealth training, not assassins," his voice was laced with just a touch of condescension, though that was perhaps understandable. One almost needed to differentiate Amon's people from others with a capital letter these days, much like the one the Guild got. "This is not because of any crime she has committed, but rather, I think, her associations, including with myself. I do not know if you heard much of Marquis Adam Goldwater's death a year ago, but suffice it to say that Miss Elling was in some measure responsible, along with several others, for the truth of that incident coming to light. There are those who did not take this interference in their affairs well."

Amon stopped here, and Pan picked up on her cue to speak, explaining the incident in as few words as possible, rather a feat for her. It was obvious, though, that she'd had practice delivering the essential information, for it was almost by rote. "Two men. They tripped my wards beforehand. I... I left my door unlocked, since Professor Windsor was visiting," she sounded mildly ashamed of this, but quickly moved on. "One had throwing knives, the other was a pugilist, I think. Only the two, though. I activated the long-term wards on my way out, and sent a message to my grandfather. He'll know not to come back for a while."




Zade tilted her head sideways slightly; it was not like her to forget to introduce herself unless she did so intentionally. She supposed the odd circumstances of this particular encounter were to blame. "Scheherazade," she repeated for the second time today. "A pleasure, but I fear I also need to attend to some reading." Dipping her head, she excused herself from the conversation, which was ranging towards medicine now, a topic she had only a cursory knowledge of. A selectively-good one (burn remedies were something of a specialty of hers), but a cursory one all the same.

Perusing her way through the stacks, she eventually found the archivist, a tiny old woman with a wizened face and a deceptively-friendly face. She was an assassin just like the rest of them, but did not and had never ventured into th field, choosing instead to fulfill an almost-parallel role to Amon's- keeper of the guild's extensive records and stored knowledge. Without a word, the wisp of a lady handed her a tome, her assigned reading for the day, as it were. Frankly, Zade was lucky she'd known how to read- many recruits come to the guild not knowing how, but all of them learned. That, at least, had not been necessary where she was concerned, which allowed her to learn the important things that much more quickly.

Hefting the book in question- this one on architecture, with a specific bent on how to take advantage of varying types in infiltration and combat situations- she settled into an armchair in one corner of the area. Whatever else might be true of the place, the Archives had no shortage of two things- books and comfortable seating. She had a feeling that not falling asleep when reading was some kind of sick test they used on the recruits.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
"Scheherazade," she repeated for the second time today. "A pleasure, but I fear I also need to attend to some reading." Dipping her head, she excused herself from the conversation…

Victoria smiled as she looked at Garbiel. "I-it's Victoria! Victoria Steins, sir!"

The young apprentice had taken her leave rather hurriedly after Garbiel had made known the object of his search, leaving him to wonder if it had been something he said that had spurned her on towards other pursuits. For some reason the blacksmith had always been very touchy in regards to conversing and interacting with other people, appearing to most as an over-accommodating man that seemed too apologetic and giving with friends, or supposed friends, but in the same instant always seemed to infuriate and insult almost everyone in his vicinity. He hoped that this was not one of those times again.

“Apologies for the inquiry miss, but do you happen to have any knowledge in the field of medicine?”

"W-well yes sir, but I am only an apprentice and-" She began…

The answer came very conciliatorily from the young girl, clueing in the observant smith to some pertinent information after hearing the quality of her remarks. She was obviously being trained by a professional, despite the obvious “apprentice” comment, that wanted her to know she had much to learn, and by the appearance of her interest in medicine, muttering to herself, and what seemed to be paranoia, that could only be from the combined teachings of Etzel Vasili, or The Physician as Garbiel relished calling him. The elderly man only just pieced this thought process together when the light cast itself upon the all-too-familiar guise of The Physician approaching from behind an unsuspecting Victoria.

"She's my apprentice." Cut in a recognizable smooth voice. Etzel seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, and Victoria had jumped nearly twelve feet into the air at his sudden arrival. "Strange you should be here, out of all placed Mr. Forgefire. I was just going to see you about some new orders." He said. He paused. "My apologies, Grand Smith. I do believe I was interrupting a conversation."

Raucous laughter burst forth from the smith’s bearded mouth as the young girl leapt upwards almost like a frog would when caught unawares. A large calloused hand grabbed the tangled mass of hair that was his beard and stroked downwards, attempting to smooth the unruly facial hair somewhat, and failing miserably in the process a brilliantly white set of teeth beamed forth from between thick lips. The presence of so many trained killers under one roof never bothered the blacksmith much, having equated the members of The Guild to the same materials and tools used in a forge. Many of these items may cause harm in some way and cause catastrophes if ill-used or un-used, but under the control of a few true craftsmen the basic elements are manipulated to create a beneficial end result.

“Greetings Physician, so what is it you would like this time? I just finished the usual transaction with Sir Amon concerning the Assassin’s armoury, but you know I can manage all special requests; as for the other business, don’t even consider it an interruption, I was just asking of her knowledge of medicine. By the way dear, what was that you wanted to say?”

Victoria gulped several times. "W-well, yes." She said. "My master is teaching me the art of medicine. I want to... uh, be a physicist." She finished lamely.

“I can confirm this." Etzel interjected.

The aging man pondered momentarily upon the matter at hand, weighing the options that were presented before him. This young Victoria was under the tutelage of The Physician, so obviously the master was hoping to forge her into a weapon such as he, but what was to happen next was completely up to her. He did not know WHY he desired a doctor to practise on his apprentices and journeymen, with a few pieces of literature Garbiel could do most of the healing himself, but it did cut into his production, and the Gods only know how the apprentices manage to hurt themselves with such frequency. The offer would probably be denied by a man of such stature as Etzel Vasili, and the girl most surely would decline so as not to hinder her training, but the offer in itself was a compliment to the duo and almost customary to the blacksmith.

“Well with this man as your master you are sure to become one soon Miss Steins. Actually Physician I was also on the search for a practitioner or two that may be able to help. My apprentices seem enjoy the smell of singed hair and burnt flesh, along with several other problems that occur with tools, and with the damage to my collection of medicinal volumes I have not been able to tend to these wounds as I could. If either, or the both, of you are interested in helping me the reward would be more than gracious.”

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
The items specified by Etzel clicked away in Garbiel’s mind, while a quick inventory flashed before his eyes, there were definitely several daggers available that would suit The Physician’s preferences, but the syringe casts were a different story. In order to properly forge those he would need to forge those entirely without the help of his apprentices, simple weapons and objects could be trusted to the students without much worry, but the more delicate and specialized parts, such as the syringe casts desired by Etzel, needed to be handled by professionals with years of experience at manipulating the curves; many blacksmiths preferred to forge individual pieces to be welded together at a later time, but the Forgefire technique was utilized to create the object completely from one piece, a very tedious and time-consuming method that took time. No matters though, with all the apprentices running around to manage the much simpler tasks it should only take one day for each cast if all his time was put into it.

After voicing his inquiry Victoria seemed as if she were ready to squeal from excitement, bouncing around in her chair with the same frenetic energy as a dog wagging its tail, excited by the attention shown by its master. There could be no doubt as to the girl’s desires, but Etzel was another matter altogether, and the momentary pause signaling his hesitation to reply spelled out volumes to the aging blacksmith. That there was something more to this situation was not doubtable to the perceptive elderly man, and the years of associating with Assassin’s, guild officials, and politicians had accustomed him to this typical intrigue, yet for the moment he knew nothing of what truth lay behind the veil, but with time he might be able to decipher the puzzle.

"Interesting proposition. My apprentice will join you for as long as you need."

The answer came with little surprise to Garbiel despite previous misgivings, it had been a beneficial proposition for the two parties after all, and once again a large smile bedecked his moderately wrinkled face. The small, close-set eyes of the smith once again shifted to the child Victoria, matching the smile with a friendly, but observant look.

"A-all right, master." She said, containing her joy. "When do I go?"

“Well I very much expect you shall need time to collect whatever belongings you deem necessary. I need to return to the workshop henceforth as your room must be prepared and several other tasks must be completed, but everything should be ready within the next few hours. If you so desire I can send an apprentice or two to help move your luggage tonight, and that way we shall have dinner to discuss wages and rooming and you will have the entire day tomorrow to settle.”

The blacksmith waited patiently for the girl’s reply to his offer, slowly assembling the tasks for the next several days into a neat list. First he must take the train to the stop near for expediency where the servants would be put to preparing dinner, preferably lamb now that he thought about it, and cleaning one of the spare journeyman’s apartments, more than likely one closer to his own quarters now that he thought about it. It’s not that he didn’t trust his apprentices, but a few of the lads liked drinking and were known for being a little rough around the edges, and it was better not to tempt the fates.

Afterwards he must file the copy of the bill Sir Amon would have sent to him and draft the other needed for the transaction with Etzel, even though it could wait until he finished the casts he preferred for everything to be ready when he was to have the items delivered to The Physician. By the time these tasks were accomplished it should be about time to send the apprentices, Garth and Daeron would be the best choices, if they were needed, and give him plenty of time to wash and change for dinner.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Zade's vision blurred slightly, and she realized she was zoning out. With a frown, she gave her head a little shake and tried to refocus on the overhead view of the city sketched out in the book she was reading. Actually, when looked at this way, it almost had something of a pattern to it... or maybe not. She supposed it depended on how you looked at it. She'd never been one for maps; they tended to confuse her more than help, but of course she had to study them so that if she ever found herself alone and pursued in the city (which had happened before), she'd know where to go.

In addition to the main Guild, there were several ancillary buildings scattered about Revelation that were essentially assassin safehouses, and each was staffed by two people. Most of the time anyway; they didn't have quite enough personnel to manage it all the time. But people always slept there at night, just in case someone should need help escaping notice or pursuit. It was rather ingenious actually, and she wondered how long they'd been operating like that. One of the safehouses was ironically in her old tenement building, and she hadn't even known about it.

She turned the page to find a discussion of building materials, along with several sketches of bricks or masonry cut to shape and stamped with what she assumed must be the respective guild seals of the builder's and mason's guild. There wasn't much new construction in the city, but there was always maintenance. Any new stone had to be retrieved by long-distance expeditions in proper skyships, she presumed from the earth itself, dangerous as that probably was. It made sense that people would want to identify the materials- if a building went down, the correct guild could reclaim the materials and use them elsewhere.

Recently, masons have taken to hewing their stones as smoothly as possible, so climbing such walls by hand is nigh impossible. The use of grappling hooks is highly recommended... She couldn't really bring herself to pay attention to what she was reading. Perhaps it was fortunate, then, that the man who worked usually at the front of the third-floor corridor was currently speaking to the Archivist in a low voice, but not so low that she could not still hear. "Apparently there were several simultaneous attacks on targets within the city. Carlisle just got here- said Lord Taylor and the princess were among the attacked."

Zade sat bolt upright in her chair. Loki and Taylor both? Dammit, why did this stuff have to happen on her day off? "Are they all right?" she inquired, a bit too loudly for the space, and the Archivist sent her a disapproving look which she ignored completely. The man blinked for a few seconds before he recognized her and decided that telling her was the best option.

"They're both alive. The Princess was injured, but it's nothing life-threatening. Pandora trapped her assailants in her house, apparently, and she's fine too." Zade's eyebrows furrowed. Why those targets? She knew that Loki's itinerary today involved a visit to the Taylor estate, which meant that they'd been attacked there. Why attack he and Pandora, though? The mage especially was probably low on the priority list. Taylor was higher, but...

"Dammit. None of this makes sense." Zade wasn't stupid, but she also didn't have much cause to understand how politics worked. She'd never needed to, which left her clueless basically all the time as Loki, Taylor, and Amon figured things out. One thing she did know, though: if they really were in for another round of attempts on their lives, she needed to warn the odd doctor and his apprentice. Backtracking through the Archives, she soon found the blacksmith and Victoria where she'd left them, only now the doctor was with them also.

She was hesitant to speak with Forgefire there, if only because he didn't already know, but if Amon let him wander around in here as he pleased, she supposed what little she was going to say was fine. "Doctor, Victoria. Loki, Lord Taylor and Pandora were just targeted again. You should be careful." For her own part, Zade knew that she needed to do so as well, but she was presently less concerned about that than she was with getting back to her employer and getting the full story of what had happened. She wasn't one to get too emotional or attached, but she could not deny that working for the princess had given her a sense of purpose that she had sorely lacked before, and she owed her for that.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

They were, in short, ushered out of Amon’s office, but not before Professor Windsor was told that he was effectively going to be under surveillance for a while. She felt a pang of guilt, but as she was constantly being reminded, it wasn’t really her fault. Technically, it wouldn’t have happened if not for herself and her choices, but… well, it wasn’t like she asked to be chased around by hired thugs. Hopefully this would be nothing worse than the usual case and he could go back to his ordinary routine in a few days or so.

“Um… there’s plenty of places to rest or eat if you need to. I’m headed down to the Archives. It’s a really interesting place, if you can get yourself in the right mindset anyway.” She knew from experience that this sort of thing was not one that a person got over instantaneously, so she offered a sympathetic smile and waved, disappearing down an adjoining hallway in search of the stairs.

The Guild, for all its openness, was actually something of a labyrinthine building. She supposed that made sense; were it ever attacked, there would be plenty of places for its denizens to hide in, strike from, and otherwise use to their advantage. Of course, Pan herself was not the best with directions, and occasionally wound up lost even now.

Not today, though, apparently. She found the winding staircase easily enough and passed a few landings before she reached the one she wanted. Granted, she probably appeared to be handling this a lot better than she actually was. It was hard to tell, but she was pretty sure that the sharp-eyed Amon had not missed the fact that she was shaking a bit. Really, though, she just needed to do something useful to calm her nerves and she’d be fine. Whether that useful thing was reading something that might help increase her knowledge or dealing with the more egregious practice injuries sort of depended on the day.

She’d check the infirmary later, just to be sure, but the apprentices didn’t have combat training until late in the afternoon usually, so it’d be a while yet. Either way, she was rather fatigued at present, mostly from the earlier battle and then a headlong, tense flight through Delta and half of Gamma. She really needed to consider moving closer to the border between districts.

She rounded a corner in the Archives only to come upon a most strange assortment of people. It looked like Scheherazade was here training again, but the Doctor (she still didn’t know his name, and by now doubted she ever would) and his apprentice were there also, along with someone Pandora had seen at the Guild maybe once or twice but never actually spoken to. She stopped in her tracks and blinked slowly, but they were definitely still there, and so she offered a too-bright smile. “Hello, everyone. I hadn’t expected to see most of you here.”




Zade regarded the mage with a level of puzzlement that the latter obviously did not understand, and crossed her arms (not aggressively, just out of habit). “Weren’t you just attacked?” She found it somewhat difficult to believe that the woman would just be wandering the Archives, right as rain, after such an event, but then maybe it wasn’t so unexpected after all. She had always seemed to be rather foolishly optimistic.

“Oh… well, yes. I trapped the mercenaries in my house. Why?” Apparently, she was not aware of the circumstances surrounding this, and Zade decided she might as well inform her, too. They were all going to find out eventually anyway.

“Loki and Lord Taylor were, too. They’re fine, obviously, but Carlisle was apparently just here.” This was clearly news to Pandora, who had just assumed it was a solitary thing, as they usually were.

“I don’t suppose… were their any other targets?” Zade shrugged as if to say ‘beats me,’ and Pandora’s face took on a troubled frown, but she didn’t say anything further. She didn’t really know what to ask, actually; knowing the right questions wasn’t exactly her business, unless it was regarding some form of injury.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Zade sighed. Sometimes, she did get rather tired of being referred to as a kid. Granted, she was only just an adult, and compared to Forgefire, she probably seemed a child indeed, but she'd been as responsible for herself as most adults were for the better part of her life, and she had enough pride, foolish or otherwise, to not be able to forget it easily at times like this. He did have a point about the privacy thing, though, and Zade wondered if it really was okay to tell him everything that they knew. She didn't really see a reason not to; he was obviously acquainted with Amon, and wasn't Loki always lamenting their lack of decent allies in this whole thing?

"Of course; excuse me. There's a room with a door down here, let's go there if you don't mind." She didn't know if the doctor would be inclined to come, and frankly, that was his business. She at least felt she probably ought to take care of this before she went back to Loki; her guess was that the princess was headed here anyway, and this might actually save time in the end.

She asked Pandora to ward the door against eavesdropping, which the diminutive mage did before excusing herself. She didn't know half as much about present circumstances as any of the others, and frankly she didn't want to think too hard about any of it right now. Instead, the blonde woman grabbed a random book off a shelf and ascended to the ground floor again, taking up a post near the entranceway. There was always a chance somebody would come in injured, after all, and she wanted to be there if they did, given what seemed to be a multitude of attacks today. She looked down to see that the tome she had selected was ironically enough on the art of hit-and-run warfare, and decided an understanding of such things couldn't hurt.




Zade, meanwhile, had squared herself away in a reading room, sparsely decorated with loose sheaves of parchment and the occasional abandoned quill. The space was dominated by a table, which she sat at one end of, with her back to the wall. She studied the smith, trying to figure out how best to explain what had in the course of a year become a rather convoluted situation. Tilting the chair back with her foot, a bad habit which she didn't do anything to avert, Scheherazade stared at the ceiling for a few minutes before she decided on a decent place to start.

"I'm sure you know that about a year ago, Adam Goldwater was assassinated?" She paused, to let him affirm this if he wished; she hardly expected him to deny it. "Well... that was a ploy to make several people look responsible. The blame was pinned by turns on the Guild as a whole, Eos of Tartarus in particular, even me, in a way." She decided not to mention that she had been stealing things in the vicinity on the night in question, deeming it largely irrelevant. "Well, as it turned out, Loki, Caelin Taylor, Eos, Amon, the good doctor-" and that was said with just a touch of irony, but not a great deal- "a scientist named Giacomo Vernazza, Pandora who you just met, myself, and a couple others were all somehow related to the incident, though none of us perpetrated it. Loki figured out who had what information and called a meeting, which was subsequently attacked by renegade assassins. We think they were under the employ of Duke David Gilgamesh, but there isn't enough evidence to implicate him, you see. Most of us have dealt with at least two or three more individual attacks on our lives in the year since. There's never any proof of who was behind it- most of the assailants commit suicide if we take them alive."

The image of one such man, frothing at the mouth after biting on a cyanide pill, swam into vision, and she grimaced, fixing the smith with a knowing look that did not belong on the face of someone her age. "The thing is, Loki thinks something else is going to compound our problems soon, and given what just happened, I think she's right. We've never been attacked by magi before..."

"And that, Mr. Forgefire, is the long and short of what Pandora and I were discussing. I'd not discuss it too openly were I you." That statement was not a threat, but a genuine warning. It was dangerous for any of them to associate much with anyone, just in case they became targets, too. Here, in the guild proper, they were relatively safe, but she knew the doctor was in hiding, and even Pandora didn't run a clinic anymore.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Smith
District Alpha

"Hm. Alright, off to see Amon then. Come come." Eos bid Taylor farewell and wished him well on his own battles. God knew that the deadly dances that were political games was a different game entirely. For one trained in a more martial sense, having an enemy you could bring force to bare against was much more preferable than having to jaunt around rules, regulations and practiced smiles. With one last sympathetic glance at the noble Eos made his way out of the estate and into the streets of Alpha. The trip was rather quiet, with Eos mostly absorbed in the sights of Alpha. Even after his formal induction into the Guild and being granted relative freedom, Eos was still getting used to the wider world. It was shiney to say the least.

"Do you mind if I hail a carriage? If this is as urgent as you and lord Taylor made it seem..." Eos regarded Loki with a level gaze. He was going to wave the vehicle over regardless, and he was sure that the princess knew it. Still...there were formalities that had to be upheld. With a shout and a couple waves the carriage driver that had been about to overtake them slowed to a halt. Passing by the horses with no small amount of interest, Eos entered the box carriage first and offered his hand to help Loki in. "To the corner of Justice Court and Melianth Way please, post-haste."

Afterwards they were off to the Guild and making good time. As they passed through Gamma Eos felt that he should make conversation. How to start it though, was the question. Aside from speaking about the nuances of modern politics, some of the more prominent heads of house and what part Eos had to play in this brewing war, the two had nothing in common. At least, that's the way he saw it. Whenever these subjects did not come up in conversation...well, they simply did not talk. "How often do you make forays into Gamma? You look a little off today...eh. Well, I suppose I would feel under the weather too if someone made an attempt on my life."

What a lie. You would be grinning like a mad man. thankfully both he and Loki were spared any further awkward conversation due to the short ride. The pair disembarked, Eos leading the way into the Guild perimeter. After passing through a few checkpoints within the outer building, they were admitted into the lower levels of the Assassin Guild proper. On the way in they passed Pandora, to which he smiled and waved. Before they reached the Guildmaster's office, Eos slowed down and waved the princess onward. "I'm sure you can relay what little information I have provided, and have important things to discuss with Amon...things that would be wasted on a brute such as myself. Good day, Princess Blackwood."

That said, the assassin spun on his heel and returned down the hallway. He ascended the stairs with predatory grace and made not even the slightest nois despite the expensive, thick-soled shoes he wore. Like a wraith moving through walls he appeared at Pandora's side without so much as a whisper. "Good day, lady Elling." he said suddenly with a demure smile. Eos indicated his fine state of dress and looked at her with something approaching curiosity. "You don't look particularly happy."

With unexpected speed--although not threateningly--the assassin grasped the petite mage's arm, lifted it and inspected the other side. He quickly released the appendage and bent over to examined her legs. Finally, the dusky-skinned man stood erect once more and fixed Pandora with a questioning gaze. "You are unhurt, as far as I can tell. You've been doing well with your work and are well protected from what the logs tell me. Erm...I mean, it came up, not that I was looking for you in particular. You okay?"

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Smith
Eos found that he was much less angry than he should have been at being so quickly dismissed by Amon. He attributed the lack of irritation to the urgency of Pandora's condition. The question of where Loki and Caelin were crossed his mind, but the assassin did not bother to voice it.

Well, that went better than expected. Eos sat on a stool across from Pandora's current bed with his chin resting on steepled fingers. He had only breeches on, with a large andslightly stained-through bandage wrapped across his midsection. The burn had not been as severe as the physician had first suspected, but it blistered over quickly and burst several times over causing the nurse to groan in frustration at the need to change the assassin's bandages five times. Yellowish and blood-stained bandages lay in a heap inside a nearby waste can. Eos sighed, staring at Pandora and wishing he had given into his previous urge to run to her aid.

"Sorry." he whispered. Eos creased his brow trying not to give in to anger again, but the effort required more and more willpower as he thought of what was happening to the world. Nothing in books had prepared him for this. For most of his life, the assassin had lived inside a small bubble, just in different forms. At first it was the Tower. Then, it was in Selene's arms. After that and the death of his former life, the slums of Delta and it's familiar locales served as his area of influence. Dark, dirty and simple. What became of his life after that though...

Eos shook his head and sighed. The world was much to large. Too much was happening, too much that he could not control. If he could fight away all of his problems(and even he knew that was not possible), things would be much simpler. Yet, political games were not something one could beat into submission. Indeed, attempting to do so almost always backfired horribly. The mages were a variable that he could not quite grasp either. In a fair fight, most combat-oriented mages would reduce him to ash in moments. Now they were flooding the streets...hadn't they just gotten their second-class citizen status finally revoked a few moments ago? Why ruin that already?

With another sigh, Eos leaned back and put his left arm behind the head of the chair. The world was way too complicated outside of his bubble. He looked at Pandora's sleeping face and wondered what on earth posessed the little woman to get into such a one-sided battle in the first place. Then, he could not help but smile. "We really need to stop doing this. The whole, you being unconcious and me sitting on my hands thing. It's getting old."

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Smith
As the bleary-eyed little medic finally awoke, Eos observed quietly from his seat. It was always worth a laugh or two when a disoriented person was just getting their bearings in what they can not yet tell is a completely familiar setting. Pandora was no exception, as the bandaged assassin had to stifle a chuckle when Pan's bleary eyes eventually managed to orient on him. When the physician spoke, he could not help but laugh in earnest. "Really? This situation does not seem familiar to me at all. Nope. Not in the slightest...

"But yes. I'm fine..." Eos shrugged awkwardly and waved at the other patients and their infirmities. "Better than most of the people here anyway, including you. Nicole caught the last of your spell-duel," he said, referencing a mid-level assassin that had participated in stemming the riot, "She tells me that you went up against an individual of a much higher caliber than yourself. In battle, anyway. I was never one to be interested in the mechanics of magic, but I do know that the better at healing you are, the crappier you are at combat magic." Eos poked the nearest of Pandora's hands and smirked. "With the quality of work you dole out to restore, I doubt you could dish out any real damage even if you tried."

Although it was not meant to be insulting, Eos found fault in his choice of words almost immediately. He had thought he felt something odd about Pandora's mood earlier, and felt that he had pinpointed the problem: She felt inadequate when compared to the rest of the 'team'. Unable to fight on the front lines, so to speak. Reiterating her inability(and partial failure) to do so was not exactly the wisest course of action. Without realizing it, Eos grasped Pandora's hand with his own callused palm and began speaking.

"I wish I was you sometimes." he winced and stumbled over his words, "Not the being female and tiny part--not that there's anything wrong with that, it's pleasant--but I meant being a mage. No, wait, I don't mean the persecution either...uh...damn." Eos sighed, inhaled and slowly exhaled. "What I mean is, since meeting you--actually speaking to you for the first time instead of grunting, I have stayed awake at night wondering how different my life would have been like if I was someone like you. Someone who could mend bones instead of breaking them, someone who people sought to console them and perform miracles of life, not feats that put others six feet under.

"Um...sorry." Eos released Pandora's hand and stood up, wincing at the sudden movement. "I...I just...felt like I should...no. I wanted to say that." with another quiet sigh, Eos gave Pan a half-hearted smile and made his way out of the infirmary. He disliked being around sick people, and felt suffocated being around the wounded and dying. At least, that's what the assassin kept telling himself.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Pandora smiled ruefully; his choice of words may have been indelicate, but Eos was right: she wasn’t built to deal damage. It was something she’d never used to mind so much. Balance was necessary; to heal, one had to forgo harm. Still, though, it forced her to hide behind her friends, something that she was finding less and less tolerable as time went on. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew she’d taken on Azazel from that feeling alone, the desire to be more than a medic to tsk her tongue at the damage sustained by those who had to go out there and take the damage themselves.

That had clearly gone terribly awry, and she’d managed to succeed in proving the very point she knew already. It stung a little, she knew that, and she sighed without realizing it. Eos must have understood it somewhat, she would suppose later. As it was, she spent most of the next two minutes staring dumbly at their hands, trying to understand what she was hearing.

He… wished he was like her? That was new. Nobody had ever said such a thing to her before. Even when she was healing patients, even when she felt their gratitude, she knew with certainty that none of them wanted to be her. There were too many things in the way of that. A few of the obvious ones were acknowledged, but the elephant in the room was not: she was often in danger, and scarcely able to do anything about it. Pandora knew she was not useless: there was too much use for her craft at the moment, but even so, it seemed an unusual sentiment.

She blinked, but he was standing and leaving, and she didn’t even have anything to say. “Um… thank you, Eos.” She wasn’t if that was the correct response to the sentiment, but it was the on that came to her most naturally, and at least it wasn’t an apology. Shaking her head slightly, she turned to one of the physicians. “What still needs doing?” It probably wasn’t too smart for her to be doing anything so strenuous at the moment, but then Pandora would happily tell you that she had never claimed to be too smart, just tenacious.




Three Days Later, The Palace

She couldn’t claim to be all that happy with the plan. It wasn’t that she was arguing against it or thought to refuse- oh no. she was glad of the chance to do something important that was within the realm of possibility for her. The problem was, and she would never dare admit this out loud- she was scared. Petrified, actually.

She was supposed to make her supplication to Azazel, and claim a change of heart. In doing so, she was to discover as much as she could about the power structure of the Liberation Movement and how they worked. Ideally, this would lead her to David Gilgamesh, or someone else that they had been unfairly assuming was Gilgamesh, though even she knew the former was more likely than the latter.

This was, as she had been made perfectly aware, not without a heavy dose of risk. She was the rabbit in the fox’s den. She supposed she could only be glad she was not being fed to the wolves instead, and she did not envy the others the tasks they had. The healer would admit to being relieved that someone would be going with her, in this case Victoria, the Doctor’s former apprentice. When she’d discovered that the man himself had lost his life that day, she honestly hadn’t quite known what to think. He’d just seemed like one of those people that would remain always on the periphery of important things, always around just when he was needed, but apparently this was not so, and it disturbed her greatly.

She remained silent throughout the proceedings, though when she discovered that Eos and the princess would be breaking into Gilgamesh’s house, she almost made an attempt to talk them out of it. There was no way that could end well, not with the way things had been thus far, and if anything happened to them, she’d be too far away to do anything about it. But, she acknowledged with trepidation, this was their choice, not hers, and if her wishes were the ones obeyed, she doubted they’d ever accomplish much.

“I think… I’ll go tomorrow.” Was all she said when asked to elaborate upon her own plans. This would necessarily be the kind of job that required a quick wit and cunning subterfuge. She hoped dearly that Victoria knew about those things, for Pan had absolutely no faith that she did herself.




Zade, too, did not say much over the course of the discussion, though she did contribute a few suggestions on breaking into the estate. She’d had experience with similar operations, after all, though she’d always been by herself. Still, a thief was a thief, and she’d been a pretty good one.

Her own directive confused her. Just what the hell was she supposed to say that would convince anyone to cough up information on Gilgamesh? She supposed she could threaten them, but then that wouldn’t be much different from what he’d done, and he was quite a bit more frightening than she was, period. Not to mention she detested the thought of using his methods.

She wondered if maybe Loki was just assigning her to look after Taylor and the smith, Forgefire. She could do research and secretarial jobs, and she’d been at this bodyguarding thing for a while now, but she didn’t think she was good for much else. She’d definitely follow their lead on this one, though she did suggest meeting the next day to determine the plan of attack, so to speak. Loki had a few dossiers on potential ‘victims’ of Gilgamesh’s tactics; those would probably be as good a place as any to start. She supposed Taylor would be most useful in dealing with the nobles on the list and Forgefire with the Beta types and guild-affiliated craftspeople.




The Next Day, Morning, District Delta

“Well… I guess there isn’t much choice, is there?” Pandora asked, though whether she was addressing Victoria or the air was anyone’s guess. Raising a hand, she knocked tentatively on the door to the last known residence of Aram Azazel, hpong he wouldn’t just kill her on sight.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Zade had been more than surprised when she noticed the little red symbol in the corner of the parchments the others had obtained. She could have sworn she recognized it from somewhere, but Elisia help her, she couldn’t remember quite where. Disappearing from the meeting room without a word (this seemed more important), she ducked out into the Archives at large and wandered aimlessly for a while, tracing her fingers along the spines of tomes as she went. Chances were, if she’d seen it, she’d seen it here…

“Looking for something?” The Archivist’s voice from behind her almost made her jump. Sometimes, it was easy to forget the wrinkled old bat was an assassin, but then she snuck up on you like that and you remembered that she was probably the second-quietest person in the city. Turning, Zade fixed her with a golden-eyed stare. Unnerving it might have been to the average soul, but the archivist remained unperturbed, standing there mildly and awaiting her answer.

“Actually… yes. I just don’t remember what,” she admitted wryly, shaking her head. It was so damn important, she knew it was, but she could come up with the answer.

Perhaps sensing her frustration, the Archivist smiled slightly and nodded. “I find that when one has misplaced something, it is often in the last place you expect. Like my quill,” she cast a glance around, as if searching for the offending writing implement, then sighed when it failed to produce itself on cue. Zade didn’t really know what she was getting at, but she nodded anyway.

What had she been reading lately that had absolutely nothing to do with killing people? There was precious little; she was officially a hired killer now. Let’s see… weapons, tactics, smithing, emergency medicine… she was truly awful with the last, but she was supposed to know it anyway. Architecture… wait. Understanding lit in her eyes, and she made a beeline for a rather ill-used section of the archives, pulling the large tome on masonry off the shelves and hefting it onto a nearby table. Opened to the marked page, and there it was. A slow smile spread over her face, and she headed back for the meeting room.




So they had options now? Well, scant good that was going to do, now wasn’t it? Zade only just stopped herself from rolling her eyes. Still, the rest of what Loki had said warranted some thought. Quite a bit of it, actually, and honestly it was all a bit beyond Zade. Still, it seemed she had a choice to make, and oddly enough it really was hers. She slid her eyes sideways and met Loki’s, but the princess gave no indication of what she thought Zade should do.

“Well, I know a thing or two about explosives, believe it or not, but it seems like you need mage-fodder more than anything else, right?” She shrugged as if she could care less. “Wherever you need me is fine, but hell if I want to sit through yet another meeting.” This time, she did shoot her gaze towards the ceiling. Sure, she didn’t much mind being Loki’s bodyguard (the job paid well and was a bit more exciting than your average guarding assignment, apparently), but Parliament was a headache. She wasn’t really sure how Loki and Taylor did it. Maybe there was just a kind of temperament that was suited for dealing with such things.




Pandora was unusually quiet throughout the entire proceeding. To be truthful (and she usually was), she found the whole thing almost impossible to believe. All those people, and they’d just been… killed? Just like that? There didn’t seem to even be a reason for it, but she doubted that any such thing Gilgamesh or whomever might have offered would have made sense to her anyway.

The strangest thing was, though, was the cold rage that was freezing her blood in her veins. She’d never been the sort of person to get all that angry no matter what happened to her, but this… this was worse than anything she could have thought of. All those people, treated like they were nothing, and for what? There wasn’t even a discernible reason! Her small hands balled themselves into fists, and she stared intently at them as she tried to figure out what she could do.

“I’ll… do what I always do,” she said in response to the implied question, and her smile was entirely false. Stand on the sidelines and make a liability of myself, most likely. “I mean, there’s going to be a lot of mages out there, so you could probably use a bit of backup, huh?”



Three days later

On an ordinary day, she probably would have been humming away as she cleaned out her rooms and really any place she could get her hands on. It was, as she had repeatedly told Amon, a task she enjoyed and one that made her feel useful. Normally, he insisted that she not do the work of household staff and let his apprentices pick up after themselves like they were supposed to, but he’d acquiesced this time. There was no mistaking that look: she needed to do something.

Loki had told them to take the week to prepare, but really there wasn’t much in the way of preparation that she could do. She needed to conserve magic, but found herself fidgety without some way to expend ordinary energy. She imagined things must be a lot more frantic for everyone else, so really this was her way of helping with that? Who needed to be worried about scrubbing a practice-room floor or reshelve books in the Archives when there were diffusive methods to be learned or weapons to practice with?

Truthfully, she hadn’t seen much of the others in the last few days. Loki was in and out, Zade and Eos and Victoria here and there, and Mr. Forgefire might have been by once or twice, she couldn’t really be sure.

Despite her best efforts to keep her mind off of it, that little clock in the back of her head was still ticking off time… time until everything was going to fall apart, she was sure.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

When the group all seemed to indicate that it was their preference to continue, Loki merely inclined her head. She did not give pretty speeches, nor would she reassure them that what they were doing was for the greater good of the city. They knew that, and in some cases such information hardly factored into the equation anyway. Some of them were doing it because they were obligated, and others because their personal ethics compelled them. In all likelihood, Danterus was doing it because he hated mages, which was somewhat interesting with a healer in the room. She was not going to split hairs over motives, not at this juncture.

Everyone went their separate ways after that, and she herself spent a few more hours in discussion with Amon before heading back home herself. She was expected to make an appearance at a function of some sort tomorrow, and it was at times like these that she was reminded that her title carried more with it than an obligation to do what she could against people like Gilgamesh.

The question of why she felt so obligated was one she had never really considered. Loki was the introspective sort only insofar as the practice yielded useful information, and questioning the validity of familial loyalty was probably not going to do that. The rest of the time, she did not overthink the whys of her own actions- it was the cause of movement from others that became her primary concern, and the concern of her office. She had heard once, that knowing oneself was even more valuable than knowing the enemy, but frankly if all she knew of herself was that she was capable of making a rational decision, that was fine with her.

A shame she was not more introspective, else she may have noticed the sentimentality chipping away slowly at the ability to think in terms of logic alone.



Two days later, the Gilgamesh Estate

Seth Gilgamesh received his steward with a nod, accepting the creamy parchment missive without a second though. Such communiqués were common enough for him to encounter, though this one bore a seal he did not ordinarily receive, and the scent recalled someone he was fairly certain he wouldn’t really want to meet again if at all possible. Breaking the wax insignia, he scanned over the document quickly, then again with greater care, the ruddy coloration he’d inherited from his father slowly fading until his face rather resembled his stepmother’s white draperies.

Swallowing hard, he shook his head slightly and tossed the parchment into the fire, burning away the evidence, and hastily penning a reply.



Three days before the attack, the Royal Palace

Loki tossed the letter onto the desk, along with the other that had come attached with it. The message was clear even if the language was vague- she had made her point. She wasn’t certain Caelin had understood why she wanted the original letter threatening Chander’s boy, and frankly she hadn’t been all that sure it would work, but maybe, just maybe, the coward would pull though. Inhaling deeply, she had just let her eyes drift shut when there was a light knock on the door. Straightening wearily, she called for whomever was present to enter.

As it turned out, her caller was Elizabeth, which meant that her actual caller had requested something from the kitchens and was someone else entirely. Preempting the inevitable question, Loki gestured against the formality and spoke. “Chocolate, please.” Not normally a favorite, but when she was this buried in things to do, the best medicine. Well, the best medicine that wouldn’t put her off her head, anyway. Rising from the desk, she cracked several vertebrae into place and grimaced at the sound. She’d never liked that particular noise, for whatever reason. Casting one last glance at the letters splayed on the surface of the lacquered oaken desk, she allowed herself the smallest of smiles.

Her ice cream (and Eos, of course) were waiting when she arrived, and she crossed the room without preamble, though she did make a point to raise an eyebrow at the sight of the briefcase. “I wasn’t aware I was yet so corrupt as to take bribes,” she deadpanned. “Really, I thought Amon would have known as much, unless the idea was solely yours.”



The Assassins’ Guild

It wasn’t often that Amon bothered seeking people within his own guild building; the most profitable thing about being in charge was that people generally came to you. However, as the matter was of a very sensitive nature and he wasn’t planning on fully disclosing the details of the assignment to his people until after it was done, it was probably best if he did not make official this particular visit.

As expected, he found Scheherazade in the practice rooms, apparently studiously studying some wicking and chemical solutions, which lay in large, shallow containers on the floor. The Guild contained precious little laboratory space, so he’d given her this ill-used location to do whatever it was she needed to in order that she might prepare for the days to come. It smelled wholly unpleasant, though in a way different from the sewer system. This was the acrid stench of sulfur and flammable liquids.

He had consciously made noise in his approach, not wanting to startle someone at such potentially caustic work, and so he doubted she was surprised by his arrival. “Miss Scheherazade, while I do not question the effectiveness of what you are doing here, might I suggest you find Miss Steins and conduct yourselves to Lord Taylor’s factory? I understand that the workers there know quite a bit about explosives, and I do believe Mr. Vernazza as headed there today as well. It would perhaps behoove you both to study there, if indeed you plan on learning what is necessary to diffuse any incendiaries you may find.”

Without another word, the Guildmaster left the room. One of the skills he’d managed to pick up with time was the ability to give orders as suggestions without much room for actually mistaking them for something other than orders. It was a peculiar talent, but then, he’d accumulated a number of those.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

She’d intentionally shut the windows and was working by what scarcely amounted to much light at all. Still, it kept the room cooler than it might have been otherwise, and she’d always been told to watch overheating the chemicals in this stage. Frankly, she wasn’t entirely certain it mattered all that much, but here she was all the same, hunched over one of a number of shallow vats, taking levels and measurements that probably wouldn’t make much sense to people besides herself. Scheherazade was not a scientist by any means, but the scientific mind does not require the corresponding profession to find some use.

Today, rather than attempting to discover which solution was combustible in the ways she needed, she was trying to figure out how to counteract flammability more effectively than with water. It was not something she regularly spent time doing, and her lack of a formal education was admittedly something of a stumbling block, but she really knew not other way to get at what she wanted other then through trial and error. Empty vials and bulbous blown-glass containers lay together in a corner, the scant illumination of her false laboratory giving their edges a faint glimmer.

The footsteps behind her alerted her to the passage of an ally, and she turned her head sideways to shoot him a glance from the corner of her eye, indicating that though she was reticent as always, she was indeed heeding him. He presented her with an alternative solution, and she in some sense counted herself a fool for not thinking of it earlier. She inclined her head in recognition of the order (at least, that’s what she though it was- Loki had taught her well in recognizing these things) and stood after his departure, brushing off her knees, which had acquired some dust from the ill-used floor.

She wasn’t exactly sure where Victoria was, actually, or even if she was in this building, but it didn’t make too much sense to Zade for her to be elsewhere, so she figured she’d simply look around until such time as she either found the other young woman or else grew impatient in the searching. It seemed they were to learn to diffuse bombs today, which she had to admit was going to be much more useful than attempting to neutralize the other chemicals involved through trial and error, which she had learned early in life could be a rather risky experience.




Pandora found Amon in his office as she had expected she would. After knocking, she was admitted, but she could tell he wasn’t quite sure why she had presented herself here and now. Doubtless, he was very busy, but something was bothering her all the same, and she felt it carried enough relevance to interrupt him to ask after it. Was that selfish of her, perhaps? It might not even be anything, and yet…

“Umm… Sir Gregory, begging your pardon, and sorry to bother you, but I have a question. More than one, actually, if I may, that is.” That was too many qualifying clauses, wasn’t it? She was probably rambling again. Unfortunate habit, that one.

Taking a deep breath, Pandora tried to collect her thoughts before she made a fool out of herself. A constant worry, when you were as self-conscious as she was, and a pauper set to play a game with nobility. That was probably how some of tem saw it too, wasn’t it? A game of some kind, where other people’s lives could be gambled away like those gaudy metal disks that represented money at a card table.

And now she was meandering along even in her thoughts. “Is Gilgamesh really behind all of this?” she asked speculatively. Okay, that might have seemed to come from nowhere. Attempting to rectify this, she qualified. “By which I mean… it seems like so much, for just one man to engineer all of this by himself. I know you probably don’t think too much of Aram, but he’s not a fool, and manipulating him could not have been so easy as all of that.” Actually, he had a reputation for being quite an intelligent man, but then she wouldn’t really know.

“I know that we’re hated, and to a certain degree I even understand it. People fear what they don’t know, and it’s hard to know magic unless you can feel it. So it only makes sense that it would scare some people. But that kind of hate… can one person really feel all that rage towards people he’s never met?” It seemed such a simplistic motive, too much so for her. Pandora had seen the gamut of negative human emotion, but never had she met anyone with such unbridled loathing as would be required to want to destroy half the city to exterminate the object of it.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Arke
Hunched over a small work table, the blonde girl was prodding a trapped rat to a tray with a needle. Proving to be the best way to test poisons so far, Victoria felt she had no choice but to follow in her Master's footsteps and kidnap rats off the streets of Revelation for scientific purposes. She had wondered briefly when he had become completely desensitized to their keening squeaks. She was testing quick-acting poisons, as she may need to fight enemies with the defusing of the bombs under the city. This means she didn't have to get a killing blow with her blade, merely a scrape and the opponent would be down for the count.

She carefully wafted the beaker of liquid toward her, picking up the faint smell of almonds. The best part about her is that she was able to detect cyanide- one out of a thousand blessed with such an ability. Cyanide was so far, her best choice. 30 seconds after entering the bloodstream it would render somebody unconscious, and after a full minute they'd be dead. She took a small scalpel, and laced it with some of the poison. Whipping it across the Rat's stomach, a small cut appeared right under it's torso. The rat struggled and shrieked, but as expected, after about half a minute the animal stopped struggling.

She dipped the scalpel in water, diluting the poison then carefully wiped the blade down. It was at that point she heard the door open. Turning around, she saw Scheherazade looking in at her. She quickly turned red and tried to cover the rat corpse, pulling it free of it's bonds and shoving it in a bag to be disposed of later. "Uh.. Uh.. Did you need something... Hera?" She was terrible at remembering nicknames. The chair groaned as she pushed it further back, quickly gathering her things and organizing them in a little case of droppers, vials, and beakers. She was just about done anyways. Aside from select other poisons, she had gathered her main killer.




District Alpha

Taylor's Chemicals was separated from the other districts purely because of construction and worker issues. While Caelin also had to build a little complex for workers to live, that meant building closer to Alpha so the cost of chemical shipping would be less of a drain. Workers that signed up for Taylors job often also received the spite of their neighbors, as some cannot comprehend bending their head for a snotty noble, and others become jealous of their higher pay. Therefore, the families had to be moved to Beta as well. A large cost, but it kept his workers happy, and that was important. He barely had enough people in the first place.

Two men were standing in front of his desk, looking at each other uncomfortably in their specialized suits. Taylor quietly urged them to take a seat. "You're not in trouble." He began, and they visibly relaxed. "The thing is, people might be coming in, and I want you to teach them about explosives. Whatever questions they have, answer them. You can trust them." He said. The two men looked at each other quickly, confused. "Don't worry about everything else. I'll cover it somehow. Just do as they ask." He said. Taylor thought they should be over soon. If not, there was little to worry about. He could just explain that they never showed up or invent some other excuse and send them back to work. The workers filed out.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Amon leaned forward as the little mage–woman spoke, resting his chin on his folded hands and tilting his head slightly to one side. Anyone with the inclination to study mannerisms would be able to understand without difficulty where Loki had gained many of hers. At first, he was simply inclined to be amazed even still that a person could live the life this young lady had and not be made unbearably bitter or defeated by it. Granted, he got disproportionate exposure to the embittered ones, being who he was, but when this was accounted for, Pandora was still most extraordinary in all the wrong ways. Well, wrong if you wanted to survive, that was.

Still, when he thought about it, he realized that she had a point, in her own way, and it was one that had not necessarily escaped him either. He didn’t know much about Aram Azazel as the man was rather secretive and Ishtar wasn’t exactly willing to speak to him extensively on the subject of the little underground leader, and he hadn’t thought to interrogate the one before him on the point because she didn’t seem to, either.

He was left with the inquisitive overlarge blue eyes and a great deal of silence, and he exhaled softly, straightening himself and rubbing at his neatly-kept facial hair. This whole thing was putting more white in his beard than a man of his age should really have, but then this was one of those jobs that tended to do that. He was without the Queen’s youthful genetics, as the looking-glass was wont to remind him. He took a moment to appear to give the consideration some thought, though in truth he knew what his answer was to be anyway.

“Since you asked, I suppose it will not hurt to say that I believe that on some level, you are correct, Miss Elling. Through our research, we came to the same conclusion. The problem is, the truth behind the matters at hand as yet eludes us, but it is there. Thus far, we have only one clue, and it has lead us to what seems to be a dead end. Lux adventum. A dead phrase in a dead language, last used in the days of Elisia, when it was how she personally chose to end correspondence. Unlike the mason’s mark, though, there seem to be no notable contemporary applications. Frankly, even if there are, we have not the time to deal with them before the events push us forward further. It is if anything an investigation for another time.”

He smiled softly, as if to reassure her, and then stood, seeing the woman out with all proper politeness. He knew he was brushing away her concerns too brusquely, but it would not do to inform her just how relevant he found her question. In the end, what he had spoken was still the truth: there were battles to be fought and explosives to be defused before he would be able to satisfy his own curiosity on the matter.



The Royal Palace

Loki endured the words in silence, though the truth was, she had once wondered the same thing. She knew just as well as she knew anything that their chances were horrible, that in the end she’d be surprised if she survived the day, but this was bigger than that, at least to her. It was bigger than duty, and certainly more important than her happiness. That was not to say, though, that she couldn’t understand.

Not that she was pleased. No, she was far from that. At first, she’d assumed it was another poor joke, indicative of his taste in such things, really. Then, she’d though to make an honest attempt at killing him right there, not because she was upset (though she was) but rather because no matter what he said, there was always the possibility that he knew too much. In the end, though, she neither said nor did anything. His reason could be countermanded; she could have cruelly pointed out that if those explosives were designed to do what she thought they were designed to do, he was going to die anyway, probably, but the sharp words dulled under the scrutiny of consideration, and so instead she simply stared at him in that disconcerting way she had and said absolutely nothing.

Heroism was not her goal. Her goal was to save the lives of the people this was going to kill if she did not act. She was not willing to accept the consequences of inaction- to do what so many politicians do and be there at the forefront of the mourning with none the wiser to their silent complicity in the preceding tragedy. She could act, she could do something, and therefore, she must. Not everyone shared that necessity nor that power; one could go so far as to say that the effort probably would not fail or succeed just because of Eos’s choice.

Were she who she had been a year ago, that would have been the long and short of it. She was learning, though, that with increased consideration came increased vulnerability, and she could not deny that those words and the simple act of walking away had hurt somehow, and this was the reason for the flare of anger that remained even as she watched her dessert melt away into nothingness. What does one do with one less limb? One adjusts, and continues to walk. There is no other choice.

Slumping in her chair, she absently wove her spoon around in the bowl, assisting the liquefaction process. She found herself distinctly without appetite, now that she got around to it. This was going to require adjustment… if Victoria and Zade and Garbiel plus Amon’s people handled the defusion, she could put Danterus in with the other armed group, and send Pandora along to heal. That was a disgustingly-flawed plan, and even she knew it to be so. Danterus was decent, from Amon’s assessment, but by no means a professional, and Pandora… wasn’t even that, if she were being honest.

And none of it stopped necessity. Her eyes flicked to the copper disc on the table, but she made no move to do anything with it as of yet. She was still trying to decide whether or not it might be best off in the fire.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Scheherazade had finally found the person she was looking for in a rather remote corner of the Guild. She took one look at the prone rat on the work table and resisted the urge to shake her head. She’d been to Etzel’s clinic, once upon a time, and distinctly remembered cages full of rats, all squeaking and rather large, if she recalled correctly. Delta rats, in other words. She supposed this made the most sense for what happened to them.

“Not to… erm… disturb you, but Amon seems to think it might be a good idea if we bothered learning how to defuse a bomb. Just in case something happens to the trained professionals, I guess.” She raised one shoulder and let it fall in a gesture of half-sincere nonchalance, raising an eyebrow before turning on her heel to exit. It didn’t really require more words than that, did it? She was never sure, and anyway, she certainly wasn’t going to force Victoria into doing anything she didn’t want to. No need to end up with a needle sticking out of herself, after all, and she appreciated the damage poison was capable of, even if she didn’t know much about it.

The walk to Taylor Chemicals wasn’t so bad, and it looked as though there were personnel waiting around form someone to show up and ask about what to do, because it looked like there was already some sort of demonstration set up. An ordinary person might have been a little wary of such a display in an enclosed space, but someone who specialized in lighting things on fire and occasionally exploding them was at once more conscious of the fact that such things could be contained and also more wary of letting someone else do it.

Still, it was something she pushed to the side for the moment. Chances were good she was going to die in a couple days anyway; what was the point in worrying too much about it? Why she was so indifferent to this was something she couldn’t really explain, but perhaps when you’d spent so long hating someone the way Zade hated the person responsible for this, well… things started to get a bit skewed, and she knew it better than most.




Lux adventum… the light is coming?” The phrase didn’t make much sense to Pandora in this context, but then it was doubtful Amon expected her to even know what it meant, so either it wasn’t important, or it was too important for someone like her to know. Unlike a good number of people, she did not protest this and did not demand further information- she trusted his judgment because she was no longer certain she could trust her own. Ishtar’s words rang in her head, but it wasn’t really letting herself be walked over if she made the conscious choice not to pursue the inquiry, was it?

Duly appeased by his limited explanation, she simply nodded and left without further protest, even if she didn’t have the answers she had sought. She truly doubted anyone did; the question was much bigger than this solitary chain of events, after all. Maybe she was just looking in the wrong places for the answers.

The acrid smell of cinders and sulfur filled her nose, and Pandora watched the smoke billow out into the streets, obscuring her vision. As always, the world of her precognizance was completely silent and murky, and there was no color to it this time, either. She could feel a raw hoarseness in her own throat, and guessed that she had been yelling. Unusual, that she should be in her own body for such an event. It seemed that she would be witnessing this personally when the time came.

Figures moved past her on the crowded street, all indistinct save for the expression they were wearing. Anger mixed headily with grief and loss upon their countenances, and she wondered for whom they wept. Mayhap it was for themselves, the ones they loved; such were the kind that most people would weep for, she supposed. The procession was solemn, but urgent- she realized she could not even tell if she was witnessing fighting or its aftermath. Reaching up to her own eyes, she found them dampened with the same moisture. For whom was she weeping?


”Hey, hold on just a second,” the voice broke her prematurely from her reverie, and Pandora started sharply, surprise etched across her visage as she turned sharply. It was Mister Forgefire’s son… Danterus, she thought. She’d never spoken to him before, being somehow under the impression that he was not at all disposed to look favorably at her in any way, so she wondered why he was speaking to her now.

Blinking, she realized she had yet to say anything. “Oh, um… is there something I can do for you, sir?” She fell back on formality from discomfiture with the situation, not wanting to offend by presuming the use of his given name. She was pretty sure that could be offensive to some, anyway.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Arke
"Uh.. uh, yes! That sounds good!" Victoria said, clapping her hands together. She was still insanely embarrassed she was caught doing this. How long ago was it that she promised never to do such things as long as she lived? She really needed to get a hold of herself. She quickly followed Scheherazade out of the room, taking a rather quiet walk down to Taylor Chemicals.

Taylor Chemicals

Two men noticed the two girls looking around, and looked at each other. These were the people their boss wanted taught? They weren't ones to complain, as they were still paid without having to work the monotonous job of sorting and verifying chemicals. They waved once, but they were already approaching. There was a little table with several small squares on top. They were fitted with many things, from glass cylinders to simple timers on a nondescript box. Victoria sat down on a little stool, while a wheeled chair was provided for the fire-dancing bodyguard. Victoria eyed the table with interest the entire time, her hands twitching slightly as she resisted the urge to touch them.

"Our boss instructed us to show you how to defuse a bomb. Well, Chemical bombs." One began. "There are so many kinds of bombs it's not really that funny, but all of them work on a simple foundation: action and reaction." The second man motioned to the table. "There's a source of ignition, and a source of reaction. Boss brought us a few compounds that whatever you may be dealing with would most likely possess. Don't tell us who- the less we know, the better."

The second man smiled, pointing to the first one. "Gas bombs. Usually, you'll see a cylinder or container on the exterior that contains the chemicals. There are usually two of these storage containers. They can cause widespread bio-damage, leaving little damage to structures. Usually, the best way to defuse these is to simply cut away the tubes connecting the ignition wire or tube to the container. Unless your guys got their hands on some serious shit, you should try that. Some containers have volatile substances that will combust upon reacting with the air- but that's far and few so you shouldn't worry about that.

The first man walked over to the first bomb, taking a blade and smartly cutting off a single black tube that connected the container to the inside of the bomb.

"Next we have the Combustion bomb. Typical explosion bomb. The most trouble, as it destroys structure and living beings. Burns are no fun. Same as above- just cut the wire connecting to the explosives. There are few other extremely different bombs, usually they run within the Gas or Combustion branch. There are Frags, which are combustion with sharp things inside to cut people up as they propel out. That's the worst kinds."

The first man pointed at the rest of them. They looked either nondescript or very detailed.

"These are the parts of the bomb you'll have trouble with. Since it's so easy to defuse straightforward bombs, bombers create dummy wires and such of the likes to cause the bomb to blow up immediately with tampering. There aren't any real good or concrete techniques to deal with these- they're all dependent on the maker of the bomb- so if you catch him and force him to spill the beans somehow that'll work out very nicely."

"Some bombs will have no wires, but attempting to cut your way to them will cause them to explode. In these cases, you have to carefully dismantle the outside to reach the inside- even if it's on a timer. There's simply no other way." The second specialist demonstrated it by carefully taking a metal box and taking it apart to reveal a piece of paper inside saying "bomb".

Victoria watched them explain carefully. It was a shame, because if it were to be a bomb there would most likely many "dummy wires" as they would put it. She turned to Scheherazade. "What do you think? I'm stumped for questions."

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
“Oh, um… is there something I can do for you, sir?”

Danterus could honestly not remember where he had seen the pretty young woman standing in front of him before that moment, and by the look on his face this fact was quite evident. The change of his expression can be equivocated to a machine starting up after the motor had seized for second, but when that second ended the young smith recognized the shorter woman from previous meetings. Unfortunately she seemed to recognize him while he could not even recall her name. Not Victoria…Scheherazade was the one assisting Father… Something like…Pandora? Besides hearing her name mentioned Danterus had not actually learned anything about her, or the fact that she was a mage.

An overly-embarrassed grin spread across his clean-shaven face whilst his right hand soared upwards to scratch the back of his head nervously. “Apologies Ms. Pandora, but please call me Danterus, Father is still the “sir” of the Forgefires.” By that time the cooler hallway air quickly reminded the young man of the fact that his shirt lay on the wall inside the training room, and blushing, he murmured an apology while expediently running to get his shirt. “Uhm… excuse me a second… Sorry about that miss. I didn’t mean to bother, but I was just looking for a sparring partner. Practice for the big fight huh?” It took only a second for the youth to pull the shirt over his unruly hair to cover his torso.

He was not sure of what part she played in their gambit, and she did not seem to be of the fighting kind by the looks of her frame, yet the fresh bruises discoloring the side of his face and arms were a sore reminder of his last sparring match. The sting had begun to die away, but the red marks had already begun fading to a purplish-blue color and they soon began to throb. Suddenly his stomach began to growl from lack of nourishment, and after glancing over his shoulder to an open window it seemed a good deal of the day had flown by without him even noticing, and his hunger was not likely to go away on its own.

“Uhm… Guess I shouldn’t have skipped lunch!” A seemingly fun idea crossed Danterus’ mind as the words left his mouth. “You haven’t dined yet have you? It’s just that if you weren’t busy we might be able to lunch together. I don’t believe I have formally introduced myself yet, but I am Danterus il Forgefire, and it is a pleasure to meet you.” He bent his large figure down in a half-bow with his right-hand placed on his left-waist and his left-hand reaching across his back so his palm could touch his right waist.

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

#, as written by Ezarael
Danterus pondered slightly over the comment Pandora made concerning his wounds, and that happened to be the second time he heard her mention such a subject, so what did that make her? She might be a doctor or even just some medicine woman that was used to helping around her neighborhood. Whatever the case she did have a point about the bruises, and the older ones were beginning to impeded his movements from the stress they endured with each strike or parry. Maybe after lunch he could ask for the aforementioned help, and besides that she was not an altogether unpleasant individual in several regards.

“Actually, I think I’d quite forgotten it was that time. Lunch sounds nice; I’m sure there’s still something down in the kitchens.” Her stream of words was broken by her bewildered reaction to his formality, and she blinked slowly, unable to keep herself from laughing, not derisively but rather with genuine amusement. “You know… I’m not sure anyone’s actually bowed to me before. For future reference, I’m really okay with handshakes.”

A broad smile spread across his face at the lyrical quality of her laughter and her apparent unfamiliarity to his formality, a rather subconscious trait embedded in his personality after years of parties and balls to which his father and him had been invited. His left hand reached out towards their side as he invited her to walk with him towards the awaiting kitchens. “Please, after you Pandora. Sorry for prim and proper manner, but it’s just something with which I have become accustomed throughout the years. I will try and remember the handshake bit though.” The pair proceeded down the hallway until reaching the door leading to the stairwell, and upon approaching this barrier Danterus made a long-reach to open the door before his companion came walking within the door’s opening path.

As they passed through the door and proceeded downwards towards the ground floor the young smith picked up their conversation once again. “So might I inquire as to how you became so entangled in this mess? It just seems that you are slightly out of place in comparison to the assassins, their apprentices, and the nobility involved with this conspiracy. Apologies if this is a rather blunt question, but I was just hoping to learn a bit more about whom it is I shall be working with in the time to come.” Luckily the training room Danterus had been using was only two stories above the ground floor, and using the western stairwell expedited their journey to the kitchen, whose entrance was opposite that of the stairwell’s.

Once again Danterus repeated the process of opening the door for Pandora, a habit he had learned quite early in his post-adoption life with Garbiel, and as soon as he did the aroma of fresh bread, roasting meat, and stewed vegetables wafted towards his nose. These unexpected stimuli forced a tremendous growl to sound forth from his stomach, and a rather embarrassed look was covered up with his right hand as several of the cooks turned to look with incredulity to discover at what could have made the sound. The kitchen-head strode towards them confidently to inform them of their choices.

“Always some stragglers comin’ in after the usual time. Not to worry though we always have extras lyin’ about in case somebody drags up after the hour. We got some roast mutton on the spit off ta yer left along with a few loaves of rye ‘n vegetable soup. Come on hurry up now we got business to take care of kids.”

The man then proceeded to herd them off quickly towards the food with his right hand while his left signalled several serving boys to hurry up and prepare a plate for the duo. By the time the plates had been handed to them the kitchen-head had already taken rushed them off towards the dining hall on the kitchen’s east side while barking orders to cooks and servants alike. All of a sudden they were hustled through the door and could feel the whoosh of air as it was summarily slammed behind them. It took a second for Danterus to overcome the dizziness of what just happened and speak to Pandora.

“Uhm… I guess we should have a seat?”

Characters Present

No characters tagged in this post!

Earnings

0.00 INK

Two days earlier

Pandora had just finished speaking and lifted her fork to her mouth when someone burst in through the kitchen door and zeroed in on her location. “There’s been a training accident,” the man explained. “Hestia isn’t looking too good right now. Is there any chance you can help?”

Pandora lowered the eating implement and nodded immediately. “Of course.” Standing, she gave Danterus a look of earnest apology. “I’m sorry, but I have to go; I don’t want to be rude, but…” here she lifted a shoulder, inferring that the circumstances probably spoke for themselves. “It was nice meeting you!” she called, already on the way out, then disappeared through the doorway again.



Presently, District Gamma

The group of assassins with whom she travelled was hoping to cut off the magi’s march, and thus coming in at an angle on the predicted trajectory of the rebels. Pandora felt a sickly anxiousness in the pit of her stomach, which rolled uncomfortably as if to confirm her suspicions that this was going to be a hellish experience. Her visions were seldom so clear as that one had been, even though she couldn’t really see who was involved, or where.

As they neared the intersection, the clamor of panic suddenly erupted, and a gout of fire flew past her line of vision. The assassin in charge of the group swore low under his breath, and only she was close enough to hear it. Apparently, things were not as they had thought they would be. In a louder voice, he ordered everyone to hasten to the location, and Pandora had to run to keep up with the ground-eating strides of the assassins, all of whom were significantly taller than she was. She hadn’t yet seen Danterus, but surmised that he was probably somewhere in the area.

When they emerged into the crossroads, several bodies already littered the streets, rivulets of crimson life running in inexorable streams toward the sewers which would carry the precious fluid far and away from its sources. Oh no, not already… but why? There weren’t supposed to be any soldiers here; Loki had said she wasn’t sending any unless the assassins as a fairly neutral force failed to stop the march with the means, both peaceful and violent, available to them. Only if they called for reinforcements would there be any Crown troops here.

But then, these did not look like Crown troops. The royal colors, Pandora had thought, were purple, black, and silver, and these men wore red or green or blue. She did not know enough about house sigils to tell who they served, but did it really matter now? She and the assassins alike were faced with a dilemma: who, if anyone, were they to aid? Should they just allow the groups to destroy one another? No, that couldn’t possibly be right.

Pandora settled on the thought that if those men did not belong to Loki, they probably worked for Gilgamesh, and his plan was probably the most dangerous. That was a couple too many ‘probablys,’ but she didn’t have much other choice. That decided at least, she conjured a shield and blocked a blow meant for Azazel, hoping that if she could at least talk to him this time, things might go differently. They had to; she didn’t want to imagine what would happen if they didn’t, nor did she need to- she knew well enough.



District Gamma, the sewers

Having decided that it would be wisest not to light any of her weapons on fire within the proximity of incendiaries, Zade was left with only more mundane means of execution. Removing the steel ring from its place on her back, she began a constant rotation of it using one of the three perpendicular handles and surged forward, arcing the bladed hoop outwards at the nearest guard, who blocked it with a well-timed turn of his longsword. The resulting counterstrike nearly tipped her off-balance, but she put a lifetime of performance to work to keep her balance, instead pivoting on the ball of one foot to strike at his other side. Amon was already on his second of five, and the third man was engaged with their other assassin, but the fourth of their party had been stabbed by a woman, who was now moving past the line and towards their engineer and Victoria.

Zade couldn’t allow herself to get distracted, and trusted that the doctor’s apprentice would be able to handle it.