Solo [Job Thread] Merc Work

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 1st, 2015, 7:54 am

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Winter 67, 514AV

He looked to the woman, then to the child, then back to the woman again. Something about this entire situation just wasn't processing.

"Let me get this straight..." Noven asked through slow, careful syllables. "You want me, a complete stranger who beats the shyke out of other people for a living, to throw your baby on some ship at the Docks and just hope someone decides to take care of him, because for gods know what reason you'd rather die here than take care of him yourself."

He stared at her for a couple of ticks. "Am I getting this right?"

The woman stared back in stoic resolution. "Yes."

"For fuck's sake." Nov threw up his hands and shook his head. "Lady, listen to me. Now that we've established you're actually crazy enough to pay me to do something like this, I'm going to tell you one more time: I can get both of you on that ship. It isn't an issue. I don't understand why you have t--"

"Because it needs to end," she interrupted, eyes gleaming with barely controlled emotion. "Because if they don't get what they came for, they will find out sooner or later that I bore him a son, and they will come after him."

Taking a shuddering breath, the woman forced herself back into a state of relative calm. "I've thought about this for a very long time. It's the only way."

Nov passed a gloved hand over his eyes and thought for a tick. He didn't know who this child's father was and why he would come after the babe so ruthlessly if he found out, but the merc was willing to bet his life that the man in question was most likely a mobster. Which simultaneously simplified and complicated things. On the one hand, it meant Nov would be free to go on another killing rampage, should any of the gang members get in his way, without remorse. On the other, it also meant he would have to keep himself relatively low profile. His ties to both the Scars and Sunset were not facts he would want dangerous mobsters to learn of.

Sighing, he looked down at the babe and extended both of his arms. "Alright, lady...I'll do it. But I don't agree with your decision. I just don't. "

The woman nodded in sober understanding. "I know you don't. Believe me when I say if there was another way out of this, I would take it in a heartbeat." She held onto her babe for another moment, having stopped breathing entirely before the choice she was about to make. Then she handed him over, a warm little bundle that weighed hardly more than a feather, and turned brusquely away.

"They'll be here any tick. Make sure you leave from the side door and not the back. They'll be waiting there for you if you do."

Resisting the urge to try and appeal to this woman one last time, Nov held the babe close to him, making sure to keep its sleeping face covered, and snuck out through the side door. The sack of coins the mother had paid him jangled heavily in his pocket against his thigh, a constant reminder of the sacrifice she had made.

Mouth set to a grim line and eyes hardened to stone, Noven shut the door gently behind him and cautiously picked his way around the building. He kept his footsteps as quiet as possible and moved slowly, not wanting to wake the babe. It was nerve-wracking work, sneaking about with an infant in arms and ears pricked for the first sign of thuggish approach. But the merc kept his cool and paced stealthily around the meager cottage, not stopping until he was safely hidden in the shadows of nearby alleyway.


Last edited by Noven on March 10th, 2015, 11:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Noven
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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 10th, 2015, 12:17 am

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The alley was more or less uninhabited, from the looks of things. Granted, it was too dim for the merc to be absolutely certain, but the telltale cough of a sleeping hobo or grunts of whores on the job were absent. Using what little light the moon provided that evening, Nov walked from one end of the alleyway to the next. Dead end. There was no other way out except the one he'd just come in from.

Taking this to be as good of a place as any, Nov slowly, carefully, shrugged off his coat with the babe still in his arms. Then he made as comfortable of a little nest as he could on the cold stones, making sure to hide the child behind a stack of crates in case anyone did stumble through.

Sitting beside the sleeping infant, Nov sighed wearily and ran gloved fingers through his hair. The plan was to wait until they'd killed the woman before moving out to the Docks. She had been explicit about this part. Anything else she was willing to leave up to him, but he had to wait until they'd offed her, no if's, and's, or but's. It left a twisting feeling in the pit of Nov's stomach to agree to sit in some alley while he listened to this child's mother get murdered in cold blood. But what choice did he have other than follow this woman's wishes? He didn't know who these goons coming after her were, and therefore couldn't risk jeopardizing her carefully laid plans with his own ignorance.

But the longer he waited, the more difficult it became to ignore the voice in his head telling him this was wrong. And just when Nov thought he might go Vex someone while he waited just to release some of his building frustrations, sounds exploded from the house.

He heard the rush of boots hitting stones first. Multiple sets, somewhere around three or four if his estimations were correct. Then came the heavy thud of someone crashing through the front door and a woman's outraged scream. There was laughter, too. The snide, oily kind that got right under Nov's skin, reminding him of all the times he'd been subjected to that same laughter by the same ilk who called themselves rulers of the Berth.

How he petching hated Daggerhands.

That had been part of the reason he'd listened to this woman's pleas in the first place. She told him the ones after her would be Daggerhands. The stupid, low life, brutish henchman types that got sent out to do their Boss's dirty deeds. Just Noven's kind of Vexing fodder.

He waited in the shadows with clenched teeth and fists. There was some low murmuring now. No doubt one of the goons was trying to draw out that delicious fear him and his kind thrived on, pushing the woman to the very limits of her sanity before taking her life. He hadn't thought about what might happen if they decided to rape and torture her, too. He'd tried not to think that far.

The voices suddenly rose in volume, culminating in a resounding smack. More laughter. More brutal slaps. And then...Krysus. He could hear the sound of fabric tearing now.

The plan could rot in hell. Nov checked to see if the babe was sleeping and slipped out from the alleyway, scanning his eyes across the streets and toward the backdoor of the house for any sign of reinforcements. There, crouched beside the backdoor. A dark, man-shaped figure, given away only by the faint gleam of brass knuckles gripped between his fingers. Nov kept himself moving through the shadows, ducking behind crates and barrels until he was back near the side door of the woman's house. A common had broken out within. It sounded like the woman was trying to fight back and her captors making a game of it.

Fortunately, the lone man they had left outside to guard the door had his back faced to Noven. The merc wasted no time. He advanced as quickly and quietly as he could, unsheathing one of his Tamos. Once he reached the thug, he grabbed a fistful of the man's hair, yanking back to meet wide, frightened eyes with the cold fury of his own, and slit his throat without a second thought.

Letting the body fall in desperate spasms before it gradually simmered down to a lifeless heap, Nov stood there, waiting. It didn't seem like anyone inside had heard. They were too busy toying with their new prey.

He stepped over the bloodied body and placed one hand on the back door latch.


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 10th, 2015, 11:06 pm

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He opened the door slowly. It led to the small, humble confines of the woman's meager kitchen. Beyond it was the hearth and general living space, where a series of raucous laughter and mad scrambles could be heard.

The sounds made Nov's blood boil.

Suddenly, the woman burst into the kitchen, her dress half torn, careful bun loosed in wild strands, and lips bloodied from where she had been slapped. She stared at the mercenary in shock, too many emotions flitting across her face to label all at once. "What are you--why...I told you not to--"

"Oy!" one of the thugs called out as he strode after the moment. "Enough petching around. You've got us all worked up tonight, woman, and it's time to pay your dues." He walked right up behind her, only to catch sight of Noven and his bloodied dagger and balk. The merc wasn't sure what he should do. He hadn't thought this out very properly. For the hundredth time in his ill begotten existence here in the Berth, he had stormed into a situation without thinking. And now that he was here, he hadn't the first clue what he should do. The woman was standing in his way and he was most certainly outnumbered.

Without warning, the woman gave a startling cry and rammed her elbow straight into the thug's gut, winding him for a precious few ticks.

"GET OUT HERE!" she yelled at the merc from across the kitchen table.

In a roar of rage, the thug grabbed the woman and threw her down on the table, nearly splitting it in two. She groaned in pain and tried desperately to scramble out of the way. "Get out, get him out of here, please..." she was pleading even as she struggled to escape.

Nov could see no other choice in the matter. Go big or go home, as Henry had always liked to say.

Slapping down his Tamo into one of her open hands, Nov bent to pick up a chair and smashed it over the thug, who had been trying to yank the woman back by the ankles. The man shouted in pain as he raised his arms to protect his head from the impact. Using this momentary distraction, Nov clambered over both woman and table to tackle the thug to the ground, ruthlessly punching his face and head over and over until his compatriots came to pry the merc off of their leader.

Unfortunately for them, they were unaware that their target was now armed. The woman came down on their leader with dagger raised high and stabbed him at least half a dozen times before she too was thrown off. Meanwhile, Nov counted three other Daggerhands in the room before one of them pinned him by the arms and another socked him in the stomach.

Noven gasped in pain, lowering his head as he absorbed the impact. But as his attacker drew back for another swing, the merc tightened his muscles and pushed back against the man pinning his arms, using him as leverage so he could lift both legs and kick the oncoming Daggerhand right in the jaw. An audible crack! could be heard as the man's head snapped back from the force of Noven's boots. The Daggerhand reeled back a few steps before falling right on his ass.


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 10th, 2015, 11:25 pm

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Nov twisted in his captors arms to no avail. He needed to get free before the other one got back on his feet and the fourth Daggerhand did away with the woman, who was alternating between fleeing and swiping at her own pursuer.

As a last resort, he leaned his head as low as he could. Then Nov snapped it back to slam into his captor's face. Pain erupted for both men as skull met nose. One had to give, and fortunately for the merc his skull was far thicker than the man's nose. The agonizing impact loosened the Daggerhand's grip just enough for Nov to break free and put a bit of distance between them both.

"Filthy petcher broke my nose!" the man howled as blood streamed down his mouth and chin. "I'll kill you for this!'

"I'd like to see you try you fat fuck."

The two of them collided into one another, each grappling to find purchase. Nov took a page from the woman's book and jammed his elbow into his opponent's neck. It made the muscle spasm and the thug jerked in pain. Pressing his advantage, Nov kneed the man in the groin and then slammed both elbows into the center of his back. The moment his opponent hit the ground he pinned him on top. Then Nov placed one hand on the thug's chin, the other on the top of his hand, and twisted with vicious force.

The body stopped struggling immediately. Wasting no time, the merc left the corpse where it was and unsheathed his second Tamo. The thug he had kicked in the face was back on his feet and charging down on Nov with frightening speed. There was an iron poker in his hand, too. No doubt retrieved from the cold hearth.

Nov dodged the first swing to his head, then the second aimed to skewer him right in the stomach. He played cat and mouse with the Daggerhand for a few chimes, running about in the tight confines of the cottage, throwing whatever he could in the thug's way. Until, at last, his new opponent slipped up, lunging to fast and hard and getting the poker end wedged deep inside a wooden wall.

He saw the merc coming for him a beat too late. The Daggerhand tried to let go of the poker and back away, but Nov was already upon him, grabbing him by the shoulder and sinking one Tamo straight into the man's eye. His victim screamed, the sound cut short as his attack pressed the blade even deeper.

Nov yanked the dagger back out in a spray of hot, red blood. Three down, two to go. Stepping over the freshly killed body, he advanced on the last Daggerhand standing, who was being kept at bay by the pointed end of Nov's other Tamo, now gripped firmly in the woman's hands.


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 10th, 2015, 11:40 pm

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The woman saw him first. The thug, second. By then Nov had already transferred his dagger from his right hand to his left and wound his free arm for the punch of the surviving Daggerhand's lifetime.

His fist met the man's face with brutal force, knocking him sideways to topple right over an overturned chair. The Daggerhand went crashing down in a flurry of swears. But it wasn't Nov who got to him first. It was the woman, terrible, cold resolve blazing in her eyes as she brought the Tamo straight down into the man's neck. She dug in deep and twisted just for good measure, and suddenly Nov was forced to question whether or not his assistance had been truly needed.

He had his answer soon enough, however The woman backed away, as if awakening from a bad dream, upon seeing what she had done and slumped against a wall. Then she hurled. Profusely.

"Get up..." Nov muttered, retrieving his dagger and wiping it hastily before returning both to his belt. "I said get up! We don't have time to stick around. We have to get back to the babe and somehow sneak you both on that ship. Who knows how many more of them are out there."

His words struck the woman with icy reality. Wobbling back up to her feet, she wiped her mouth with one sleeve and walked over to the leader of the pack of thugs. He was still slowly bleeding out, but his death was imminent. It was only a matter of time.

"You'll...you'll never get away with this you b...bitch."

The woman stared down at him, covered in blood and puke, clothes torn and hair askew. Then she stalked over to her pantry, pulled out a giant tub of cooking oil, and pointed right at it. "Mercenary, I need your help."

Nov required no further explanation. "Fine by me. But you need to get out of those clothes and into something less...recognizable. Here."

Crouching down by one of the several bodies littering the floor, he picked the one least bloodied and bulky and began pulling off their clothes. "Shear your hair. Ditch those clothes. Do whatever you can to look as least woman-like as possible. Find a pack to carry your babe in as well."

Eyes widening in understanding, the woman began stripping right then and there. Nov looked away and bent forward to heave the container of oil out into the open. Using mostly his back and leg muscles, the merc lifted the heavy tub and began sloshing oil everywhere, getting plenty on the bodies--much to the sputtering ire of the pack leader--for good measure. By the time he was done he was panting with effort and the woman freshly transformed.

She looked a right proper mess. But hopefully in the dim light and chaos of boarding a ship last minute everyone would just mistake her for a dirty young man and find no reason to question it.

"You do the honors," Nov rasped. "And then we get the petch out of here."


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
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[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Noven on March 10th, 2015, 11:48 pm

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The house was roaring in a fierce blaze by the time locals came running out of their houses to put it out. Fires were terrifying things in such cramped, wood-based districts. Nov had been reluctant to let the woman go through with the plan, memories of Calyn's scorched body resurfacing against his wishes, but he could find no fault in her logic. At the very least, the ashes would throw her pursuers into confusion with the lack of evidence and context.

Half a bell later two young men could be seen striding toward the Docks, one of them wearing a backpack, both looking as if they'd gone through Hai and back.

"Passage for one," the shorter of the two asked upon approaching the captain. He had the mizas to pay and the captain had too many other last minute passengers to deal with to look too closely. So long as the kid wasn't planning on becoming a stowaway, he had no qualms. Gold as gold.

Hardly able to believe her look, the woman turned to thank Noven one last time.

"I can't--"

Nov shook his head. Then he stepped forward to give her a quick, brotherly hug. "See you sometime in the future, brother. Don't forget about us here, and more importantly don't forget who you are. Thomas."

The woman nodded, understanding Nov's implications without further explanation. "I will. Take care, then."

And with that both she and the hidden babe were gone, walking up the plank to join the dozen or so faces looking forlornly back at the Docks. Nov waved one more time before turning to head back to his quarters for the night. Another job finished, another round of intense laundering to do for his stained clothes.

Ah, well. At least it had been worthwhile.


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Noven
Taste my fist
 
Posts: 530
Words: 816414
Joined roleplay: December 16th, 2013, 11:11 pm
Location: Sunberth
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Featured Thread (1) 2014 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

[Job Thread] Merc Work

Postby Elias Caldera on April 16th, 2015, 10:34 pm


Behold, Your Just Rewards !


Noven


Experience and Lore :
Skills
  • Stealth +2
  • Tamo Dagger +2
  • Unarmed Combat +2
  • Brawling +1
  • Leadership +1
  • Bodybuilding +1
  • Persuasion +2

Lores
  • The Madness of Motherhood
  • Petch the Plan
  • The Advantages of Arson


Miscellaneous :
Injuries
  • None

Loot and Expenses
  • None


Comments :
    An exciting read, plus a happy ending to boot. You don't get many of those in Sunberth, but I think Noven earned it this time.


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If you have any questions or concerns about the grade I've given, feel free to send me a private message and the two of us will work it out together.
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