Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place (Carus)

Anna's arrival in Sunberth

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

Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place (Carus)

Postby Anna Cook on March 2nd, 2018, 1:04 pm

1, Spring, 518

The sun was high when she finally reached the town. The sun shone through the whips of her hair that had managed to free themselves from the bun into which her hair had been carefully twisted as she stepped off the docks into what she hoped was to be her new home. She looked around her to see the people milling about their daily business. She came forward, intent on taking in the city, hoping to find someone with some information as to where to begin.

A seamstress and former whore, she was fortunate to have escaped the brothel with some set of skills she'd be able to trade in beside her body.

She held her arms about herself carefully as she looked around.

She quite honestly had no idea where she was and knew to be on guard as she sought to approach someone who might be kind enough to lend her a hand.

She let out a sigh as she recalled the arduous journey that had led her to finally leave the world that she had know for so long in the past. She had only managed a steerage booking on the ship that had conveyed her to this land.

Walking down the streets, content to let herself wander for a bit, allowing herself to become familiar with the area, she took on the sailors and portsmen who milled about. Some swarthy, some fair, and some dark as they laboured. Some on break made overtures, whistling and calling to her.

She didn’t know if it was something they could see in her that let them in to what her former profession had been. Had she wanted to, she was relatively certain that she could have taken up a residence in one of the local taverns and made money on her back as she had done quite easily before. But the terrible events three and a quarter moons ago had definitely closed that avenue off to her, and she was glad to leave it behind her and take away the risk.

No, she wanted to earn her profession in her own way. She wanted the ability to choose, and she wanted the freedom that came with it which was something she had never had before. It was a longing for that freedom that had called her to Sunberth in the first place: The place was lawless and dangerous, yes—but that lawlessness was what she felt would make the perfect ground for her to begin her new venture and her new life. Now, for the first time in a long, long time, she had the opportunity to tell herself what to do thanks to the efforts of her brothel sisters in helping her get this far.

She felt her stomach growl as the scent of food wafted in the air, and she tried to ignore it as she made her way down the main way.
Last edited by Anna Cook on March 2nd, 2018, 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place

Postby Carus Nothus on March 2nd, 2018, 2:36 pm

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Very soon it would be time to start looking for a real job. He couldn’t take chances any longer that he would be able to survive on his usual skills. But today was the first day of spring, and the usually unforgiving city seemed a little bit brighter, the people a little bit happier. So it was that Carus in the morning decided that today would be a gambling day, his last chance of not having to get an honest job. So in the morning his steps had carried him like many times before to Tall Johnny’s casino at the docs.

After a few hours at the establishment Carus hadn’t much more than managed to break even and one of the luckier gamblers had paid for a few of his drinks, so he felt a bit tipsy even though it was barely mid day yet. It didn’t seem like today would be his lucky day either, and he decided to opt out before he wasted any money. At least he enjoyed playing cards, and it was something to do to pass the time if nothing else.

It did however not stop the slowly sinking feeling he had of having to do an actual job. With no real marketable skills he didn’t know where he would end up in a town like this, and with how desperate he was at this point, he would probably accept any kind of job, regardless of how moral it would be. He walked out of the establishment, luckily enough still sober enough not to stumble as he took his first steps out on the busy street.

People were moving all around him, the docs full of life this time of day. People loading and unloading boats, people arriving at the town and people leaving it. Carus had decided on wearing his fine green shirt and vest today, as he usually did on gambling days. He did however had to resort to wearing his worn out traveling pants, as his fine pants had been destroyed. It made a slightly odd mix, but nothing too noticeable in a place like this.

As he looked around outside of the tavern, trying to focus his mind on what direction tent city was, he noticed someone walking along the street that caught his eye. First his eyes had stuck to her because of her bright red hair, but that was not why he kept looking at her.

He recognised her from somewhere, he was sure of it, but even after thinking for a few moments he was unable to remember from where. His feet carried him closer towards her, if nothing else to get a closer look. Seeing someone he remembered that wasn’t from around here hadn’t happened to him yet, and any memory of another place than this city would be a blessing to him now.

Getting closer didn’t really help him in deciding who she was, but he was truly sure he recognised her from somewhere. He tried to wrack around in his tipsy mind for some sort of recollection of were he might have seen her, and it started to slightly annoy him that he couldn’t remember. He thought for a moment if he should approach her or not. If she was from some town he had passed through it would be likely she wouldn’t take too kindly to seeing him. Had he stolen from her? Persuaded her to pay for his room and drinks for an evening in some other town?

In his normal state he might have taken the safe route and avoided her. But his bravery was raised slightly by his inebriation, and he decided to walk straight up to her. When he did so he still made sure not to walk any differently than normal, and when he spoke there was no sign of him slurring, but she could probably smell the alcohol on his breath. As usual his best fake smile came across his face, trying to look as non threatening as possible.

“Excuse me miss, do we know each other?”, he asked as he approached her head on, his mind still trying to figure out who she was.
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Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place

Postby Anna Cook on March 2nd, 2018, 7:10 pm

She saw the young man coming a long way off but maintained her steady pace, continuing to glance around out of the corner of her eye at her surrounds, doing the best she could to try to memorise the immediate area and any possible means of escape; not that her woolen dress would permit such an act as it swished around her feet. As the young man came nearer, she could smell the strong scent of alcohol, though his step never faltered and he seemed normal enough. At any rate, she’d had more than enough contact with drunken men and felt relatively sure of herself in the situation.

She was bracing for some kind of solicitation, but as he came up to her, he said nothing. She was suddenly hit with the sudden feeling that she knew this man. She bit her tongue but gave no outward sign of nervousness as he came up to her and smiled pleasantly while noticing that his own smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.

She came to a stop as his voice reached her. “Excuse me miss, do we know each other?”

So he also recognised her!

Well, if it were anytime before today, it would most definitely have been in her line of work as a prostitute, but was he a former John or one of her brothel sisters’ whom she’d only happened to meet in passing?

Going over these things quickly in her mind, she reasoned that he must have visited with some frequency as she noted that all of the Johns whom she could recognise on sight would’ve been rather frequent ones. And those whom she could recall by name would’ve been ones who had most definitely been hers—not that that was necessarily dispositive. And she had no idea what his name was. But then again, if he had been one of hers, there were sometimes those who preferred to get down to business and leave as soon as the act was done—no small talk. Perhaps it was simply that, and he had been one of hers?

There'd been too many men in her life and the practicality of tracking down this exact man was something too taxing for the moment. For now, she would leave herself content in the knowledge that she knew him from . . . that place in her life.

As she regarded him and his question she pondered what to tell him. She had no reason to lie to him, she thought; and one friendly face as better than none. Establishing a connection with him might work to her benefit. Then again, he was definitely drunk, and as she took in the coarse look of his pants, realised that he might be slightly more down-on-his-luck than on the upswing of the wheel of fortune.

“Yes,” she said to him at last, “I think you must know me—I have the same feeling of knowing you.” She left things there, not quite sure she wanted to bring up her past at this moment. Not directly, anyway. As she looked at him a moment longer, she realised that she knew for certain the city in which she’d met him. “You might recognise me from . . ." she stopped herself from naming the city, hedging a bit, "Syliras—" she said at last, "around here, that is?" she finished lamely. Of course he'd know her from around here! "I was near this area for a little while before moving on again to another place," she said, leaving a clue that she'd been rather mobile. "I don't think I was ever actually in Sunberth, though.”

And she never had been.

Notwithstanding, she hoped that that would be enough to lead him in the right direction without her having to explicitly state out loud where they'd met and in what capacity.

She wasn’t ashamed of having been a whore—not yet anyway—it was simply that she felt more discrete about these things than someone with her background usually did. Perhaps it had to do with the way things had ended for her at her last establishment, but there it was. In the real world, it was a lot harder to get to know someone and be as trusting as it had been in the brothels, where she could have counted on the support of her brothel sisters.

She matched his gaze to see his reaction and get his response.
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Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place (Carus)

Postby Carus Nothus on March 3rd, 2018, 5:16 pm

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When she spoke Carus visibly relaxed, his smile becoming more genuine. She recognised him too, but if she couldn’t remember who he was either the chance that she was someone he had screwed over was much less likely. He smiled at her as she spoke, trying to scan her face, still trying to figure out who she was. She was beautiful, and he wondered if she was someone he had kept company with in Syliras.

It suddenly hit him where he knew her from, right when she was done talking. His face lit up with recognition at first, happy he had figured it out. His face then turned a bit, unsure. He didn’t know how to approach it, without saying too much. He decided to tell her he knew her without saying too much.

“Ah yes, Anna if I am not mistaken?”, He said, still smiling and staying calm. “It must be a few years since I saw you last, you were my friends, favourite”, he said, putting some extra weight on the last word, making sure she understood that he knew who she was.

He didn’t have a problem with people in that line of work. When he was younger he often, met, people in her line of profession. Very regularly. Since he left home he had done things he wouldn’t call prostitution, but in earnest the only difference was that no one had ever paid him with money just with a good night or with favours. And off course, none of the ladies never knew they paid for him, they simply thought he actually liked them.

He didn’t know is she was here planning on continuing doing the same work, but he didn’t want to press the issue if she was uncomfortable talking about it, so he decided it would be best to simply change the subject. His mind was getting clearer now, the worst of the alcohol already over. He didn’t know is he should even ask what she was doing here, but it was clear from her words that she was new in town. After the last season, and even more so the last few days, he needed someone he didn’t owe anything that he could get to know. If she was new it seemed like the golden opportunity to do so.

“So, you’re completely new here then?”, he asked her, taking a small step back to make her more comfortable. Now that he knew he wouldn’t have to worry about some sort of altercation with her, it was always better to make sure the other person found him non-threatening. He gave her clothes an overall look, assuming she at least wasn’t showing that she planned on working as someone selling herself here as well.

Even so he didn’t understand why anyone would pick Sunberth as their place of residence if they had any other choice. Maybe she was also running from something like he was. He thought for a moment about if he should try to convince her that this was not the place for her. But knowing people who didn’t want you dead or wanted you to kill someone else here in the city was always a good thing, so he would keep his mouth shut about it. He would simply tell her what the city was like, and let her make up her own mind.
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Anne Cook: Fresh Meat in a New Place (Carus)

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 8:06 pm

She watched rather carefully as he came to realise where he knew her from. It was rather amusing to be able to watch the cogs turning in his head. She began to feel rather more comfortable around him as his smile became more genuine and realised that he had been as en guard about her as she had been about him. Of course he would be, she mentally kicked herself.

She returned his pleasant smile as he spoke. “Ah yes, Anna if I am not mistaken? It must be a few years since I saw you last, you were my friend's favourite,” he finished.

Ah yes, she thought to herself, he knows exactly where he knows me from. She could see he seemed rather apprehensive about whether to actually bring it up or not. If he really needed to ask her something about it, she wouldn’t mind—just not in public. Though it seemed some people here might already know her from her previous line of work. If she met someone who knew her from such an establishment right off the boat, then it might stand to reason that there might be others around here who would recognise her.

“So, you’re completely new here then?” he asked her.

She watched as he took a step back, and she thought it rather kind of him to make sure she felt comfortable around him.

“Yes, my name is Anna. I . . . have to say that in spite of where, exactly, you know me from that I’m rather pleased you remember me. I . . . I must say that makes me rather ashamed that I can’t remember your name. And, uh, yes . . . I’m completely new here. I’m looking to become a seamstress. I can’t tell you how relieved I feel at knowing someone in this town. And, uh, thank you for your discretion about my other profession. If you want or need to talk to me about it, we can—just not in public. I’m not sure how serious the people of this city will take me if they learn of what I used to do.”

She could have turned on some of her charms if she had wanted to in order to get her way but believed in her heart that what was needed here was total honesty. Here was someone who was at least presenting himself as a friend, the least she could do was be as guileless as she could. He seemed friendly enough, and his manners were careful around her. She gathered that he didn’t want to piss her off which meant that he at least had some concern about how she perceived him which indicated to her that he wanted to leave her with a good impression.

She returned his smile shyly, and perhaps a little coyly, as she inclined her head gratefully.

“I . . . don’t suppose you know of any places to stay? My sisters left me with a tidy sum for a house and one of my sisters who was from here originally suggested that Sunberth might be the best place for me, considering its relatively crime-free status.”
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