Sunday, December 29, 2013

Red: Originally Written on December 14, 2011

Going about posting all my old stories here, and figure I might as well toss on a bit of commentary onto them.

This was the first story I wrote for my character, Redamous, and it is far from the last one. It's easily the worst, with god only knows how many spelling errors(which, for the sake of preservation, I refused to edit despite my want to), grammatical errors, and so on. Also, I'm fairly certain it commits one of the cardinal sins of writing like this, that being using a lore character. But hey. There ya go.


Cold, of course it had to have been cold. He sighed, the tavern would be open to him all night, if he had the coin to keep the drinks flowing. He waited a few minutes, and finally headed in. He saw there was a fair amount of people, but not too many. He walked up to the bar as casually as possible, and leaned in on it.

The bartender sized him up quickly, "What can I get you?" the man behind the counter asked in a low growl.

"Rum," answered he answered, shivering. He decided that in case he got thrown out later, he might aswell be warm. Glancing up and down the bar, he was happy to see it was empty. He gave the bartender a quick smile and retrieved his mug, setting coins on the bar.

He cringed the second he felt a presence behind him, and the air went out of him as a large shadow passed over him.

The barkeep smirked, nodding at the new arrival, "Well, the only man who doesn't drink returns."

The man chuckled in a voice deeper than any he'd heard before, almost like a growl, "Give me a break Reese!" the man bellowed, "I buy rounds for the house from time to time, now don't I?"

The barkeep nodded slowly, letting a short grin show before pointing back at the original man, "Anything else?"

"No," he said, almost shaking from fright, he took a sip from his mug and glanced over at his new companion, almost spitting out his drink.

The new arrival wasn't so much a man, but more a beast that walked like a man. He was covered head to toe in hair. His shoulders broad, his long head stuck out of his body, and he stood much higher than any other being he'd seen.

The beast grinned at him, showing off a row of sharp, pointed teeth. "You should see your face!" he laughed, "Your eyes are bigger than a doe's!"

The man let out a small laugh, almost a cry.

"You aren't from around here are you?" the thing inquired.

"N-no, s-simply passing through, heard there might be work up north in Hearthglen." the man stammered.

The thing nodded, extending a clawed hand. "Redamous," he said, "But most folks'll call me Red," he chuckled, "Didn't mean to frighten you." he added with a smile.

The man nodded, slowly shaking the hand, as if Redamous might try to attack him at any moment. "Graham," he managed to say as he looked at Redamous' eyes, noticing they were glowing a bright blue, "Your o-one of those, er, deaders, aren't you?"

Red smirked, nodding, "Guess that's one way to put it."

Graham nodded, "How'd you, er, you know..."

"Die? Now that's a story, but to to tell you the truth, I'd say my whole life was a story."

The bartender raised an eyebrow leaning onto the bar, "Oh do tell," he said sarcastically, "I got all night you know," he chuckled.

Redamous laughed, tapping his head, "Now just you remember, there's still some holes, here and there, can't even recall my own name." he pulled up a chair, and sat down. Graham followed suit, happy to see he might be here awhile.

"Now then, where to start?" he mumbled, "Oh yes!" he exclaimed, "Gilneas, we begin in Gilneas!"

I was born and raised in the greatest nation in the world, far to the north, Gilneas. My father was a farmer, raised by a farmer, and I'm sure he would have wanted me to farm, and much of my early life was spent in the fields, dreaming of adventure.

I recall when the Greymane Wall went up, though I was very young, when I was small, but I was too young to be involved in politics, and my parents always left it simply put as "We can do fine on our own."

The days dragged endlessly it seemed, my mother made sure I was educated, teaching me the basics of most school subjects, she always wanted me to be able to "Make something of myself,". I'd always enjoyed reading and she made certain there was always text around the house.

About every other weekend or so we'd pack up what extra produce we had and make our way down to the Market District. On occasion we'd stay overnight and go to the Cathedral the next day. Faith was never forced on me, but I still believed in the Light, perhaps not as much as others, but it was still there.

This went on for years, weeks, months, they all flew by, if you'd asked me during this time, I would have complained on how slow the days went, but now I see how fast it all went by.

When I turned eighteen, when I was at a pivotal moment in my life, I made a choice. I could have tried for higher learning, or gone into an apprenticeship, but no, there was still that young boy in my heart, screaming out for adventure, and because of that, I made a decision I question to this day, both in a good light and bad.

I enlisted.
In my opinion, everyone has that moment in their lives, that acts as a hinge, pointing them in the direction your meant to go, this was mine.

Basic training wasn't the torture I'd heard it to be. It was in no way fun, but it wasn't the nightmare I'd heard about. When given the option I chose to be a field medic. My hopes were that my mother's wishes of me receiving a higher learning mihgt be fufilled by this.

As time went on, I had a terrible feeling in the back of my mind. Though I wanted excitement, insided I dreaded the chance anything may happen. About three months after my 'tour' started, I began to see the strange world of politics that surrounded the nation, almost always involving the Wall.

One side supported keeping the Wall up, and they held fast to the beliefs we could, and would survive on our own, that we didn't need to get involved with the world outside. The other, cried out, claiming there would be point where we couldn't support ourselves, where we would be forced to bring it down. I did my best to stay out of it.

On occasion, a fight would break out, and once in a blue moon some blood was spilled. Of course only so much pressure could build up before things began to boil over, and soon enough an uprising had begun.

It lasted at most, three days, totalling of the casualties suggested that at most, thirty people died.

I recall sitting in the Military District tent I was assigned to, about ready to doze off into a nice nap after a dull day, when suddenly shouts filled the air, people screaming for doctors. I jumped to my feet, my thoughts racing. Was this a drill? No, couldn't have been, we'd never had drills like this before. My sanity almost escaped me as I exited the tent, people were dragging wounded, here, there, everywhere.

Someone motioned me over, and I bolted to the spot. Kneeling down, I tried to make sense of what happened. He was covered in cuts, but I finally decided that had been caused by him being dragged here across the cobblestone lined streets. His clothes were bloody, and I nearly fainted when I saw the hole in his side. I swallowed my lunch for the second time that day, and went to work, patching, and repairing the wounded area.

From person to person I went, mind blurred, enough moaning to drive some to their breaking point, until, finally the last had been treated and soon I collapsed onto my cot. Sleep pulling me into a dreamless darkness.
The next day I was awoken bright and early, handed a gun, some ammunition , and a sword. I was assined to a small squadron, and sent into the streets to begin rounding up the rebels. We were informed they were armed, but advised to attempt to avoid resorting to violence.

As we walked, the silent, dead streets a feeling of unnerving calm hung in the air. The silence pressed down on us through the day, and when the sun began to sink low in the sky we began to work our way back. Somehow along the way, I must have taken a wrong turn, but it wasn't until minutes had passed that I noticed I was alone.

I looked, squinting to try to see further in the growing darkness. Footfalls echoed down the street, and by the now rising moon I spotted figures, moving together. My companions! I first thought, almost crying out, but as the silhouettes moved closer I noticed none wore a uniform. One of them was carrying what appeared to be a rifle, the gleaming metal reflecting in the now risen moon.

I took depserate action, spying a bridge and jumping over the railing, I hid under it. My breath held, I listened in the damp darkness, and released my breath once I'd heard the small posse pass.

I dared not leave my hiding spot until daybreak. Where as the night before sleep had pounced on me, this night it was focused on keeping it's distance, after an eternity, my eyes closed and didn't open again until dawn. I picked up my rifle from where it had fallen in my slumber, and looking it over gave a low moan, I tried the trigger and uttered a curse, it had jammed from the moisture.

I tossed the now useless piece of metal aside, and worked my way back up to the road. Deciding it to be the safer route, I began navigating a narrow alleyway. As I rounded a bend, I came upon a group of rebels, and clinched my sword. Suddenly they all jumped up, letting out a large cry. I ran twoards them, assuming an attak, plunging my sword deep into one's stomach.

I spun around my sword gliding right into another's side, turning again, I saw one jumping for his weapon, which I kicked away. Missing his mark he hit the ground with a thud. I attempted to plunge my blade through his back, but he rolled just in time. I swiftly kicked his gut as he tried to leap for his weapon again, and could hear the air plunge out of him, I finally was able to stab his heart and he lay still. My face drenched with sweat, I tried to remain standing, but instead fell to my knees, my weapon clattering to the ground. I looked at what I had just done, and vomited.

Soon enough, a person came running down the alley, screaming "Cease fire! there's an order to cease fire!" I let out a moan, the screaming man entered the area I was in his eyes widening.

"These men were alive but minutes ago!" he cried, tears beginning to stream down his face, "They were cheering with joy but moments earlier!"

My heart sank, they weren't ambushing me, they were just happy the fighting had ended, my thoughts became clouded, and soon enough, I passed out.
The bar had grown silent, everyone's eyes focused on Red as he told his tale. Near the end of his speaking his voice had taken a sorrowful tone.

Graham looked at his drink, which sat, still almost full, he took a sip, and shook his head, pushing it away.

Reese set another mug on the counter, "Let it set too long," he chuckled grimly.

Graham nodded at him, and looked over at Redamous, "So that's how you died? As a sentance?"

He gave a sad smile, shaking his head, "Oh no, what happened to me for killin' those three was a minor punishment, considering death was always on the table." He let out a short sigh. "That is simply the first part of the story my friend." he grinned, "It gets better though!"

Graham similed, "That's good to hear," he muttered.

Redamous nodded, smirking, Graham noticed that he had a hat on, obviously too small for his large head, with holes cut in it for his ears, Red took it off and set it on the bar, scartching his head. "Now where was I?" he muttered. "Oh yes..."
I groaned turning over on my cot. Maybe today of all days, I'd open my eyes and be back home. I sighed, and looked around. No, it was still the cell I'd been in for what had to be three days now.

I sat up, perhaps it would all end today, after the trial, I thought. Someone knocked on the door before entering.

I looked at him, he looked like he hadn't slept in days. He motioned for me to follow, and I got up to do just that, groaning. I felt so stiff, this had to be how the dead feel, I thought.

I was led out ot a hall and my hands shackled. As we alked down the long corridor, I glanced around, the other cells lay empty, before we exited outside to an open courtyard. I was put into a carriage, and it pulled off.

As it began moving, I wondered if they'd make it quick. I prayed they wouldn't force a slow death on me.

Finally, we stopped, and I was lead up the steps of Greymane's Manor. The large doors were pushed open as we approached. AS I entered, I saw how big of a crowd had gathered, the entire upper floor was filled.

Upon seeing me, the crowd went into an uproar, booing, and many spat on me. As I had found out days earlier, then men I'd killed had been quite popular.

When I was finally told to stop, I was in the center of the room, in front of me a few yards stood a table, chair, and a few other things.

A few minutes passed before finally Greymane, the king himself, strode down the large staircase. He took his seat at the table, and cleared his throat. The crowd seemed not to hear, as their roar grew louder. Greymane stood up, and looked around the room, clearing his throat again. This feel on deaf ears.

"Quiet!" he finally yelled, his autorative tone echoing around the large roo. The crowd feel silent at this. Greymane shot angry glances around the room before sitting back down. He looked over some papers that had been left on the table. Finally he looked up at me. "Quite the thing you did." he said calmly.

I nodded, my head hung low. He gave me a sad smile, and I could hear a slight bit of pity in his voice, "Why'd you do it?"

I brought my head up to face him, and retold the whole tale, throughout it he scribbled on a few sheets of paper, until finally I finished. A slight murmer ran through the crowd, but this stopped when Greymane shot a glance up towards the upper floor.

After a short time, the king rose, nodded to me, and walked up the stairs, and out the back. After a few minutes has passed, he returned, and shortly afterwords, he spoke.

"I find you, guilty on three charges of murder." he began, as my head slowly sank, "But," he said, my head moving up slightly, "Under the circumstances, I could not find death to be the proper sentance."

My jaw by now had gone slack, he wasn't going to have me killed. What then? I thought, prison, or torture perhaps.

"After much thought, I decided, you are to be sentanced to work in my house, until I decide otherwise." Greymane declared.

I was shocked, looking to the upper floor, where I saw my expression mirrored. I looked back to Greymane, who gave me a sad smile and nod.

Months went by quickly again. Most of my duties involved keeping the manor clean, and occasionally running errands into town. I would've been content if it went on like this forever.

After about half a year, though it came to an end. I was dropped off in the Market District and given some money for room and board. The moment the carriage had pulled away I felt a dozen cold eyes on me, looking around, I found there were many more than that.

I walked the streets for most of the day, most seemed content to ignore me, other's shot me passing glances filled with hatred. After about noon, though, someone came from behind me, and began pushing me, leading me from the city. My thoughts blurred, what was happeneing?

When they stopped pressing me forward, I turned around, not knowing what to expect. When I saw here. As I was trying to piece things together, she suddenly hugged me. My eyes widened. I asked why she was doing this, and she released me.

She looked down nervously, "I'm so sorry," she stated, "You don't deserve being treated like that."

I looked at her, "I earned that shunning," I said.

She shook her head, "You didn't know...."

I nodded, "I didn't, but three people are still dead."

"There were other's who died, you weren't the only one to take a life. They're just focusing on you, and that's not right!" she rebutted. I stared at her, awestruck, trying to find words. "Do you have a place to stay?" she questioned.

I shook my head, "Can't say I do,". She smiled, I tried to force myself to say no when she invited me to stay with her. I tried, but failed. She began leading me back tot he city by the hand. I laughed to myself as I walked the streets with her, hand in hand.

That night stood in perfect contrast to the day. I ate well, I laughed, and overall just felt good.

She asked me what I planned to do, which forced me into thinking on what so far I'd tried to avoid. First my thoughts drifted to working in town, opening a practice perhaps.

She gave me a sad smile, "I doubt, to be honest, too many people would visit a doctor they'd accused of murder.

I nodded, she was right. I thought more, "Only other thing I've ever done in my life is farm." I finally said.

"That could work," she agreed. The conversation ended soon enough, though I still thought on it as I lay, trying to sleep. My parents had recently decided to move into town, as they grew in the years and had yet to sell their lands.

As I worked it over in my head, I sat up slightly, looking across the hall, where she was sleeping. As I sat there, I knew taht if I were to go on, I'd need to work her into whatever I planned.

The next day, I began to working on organizing, getting documents in order among other things. By the end of the week, I was a land owner, I had started the planting, and had proposed. In the middle of the next, the fields were all seeded, and I was working them hours a day, and I had been married.

My life was again a blur. The days ran together, it seemed, but this time the work was rarely as monotonous as it had seemed before. In my free time, I hunted in the woods nearby. By selling the excess from this I slowly chipped away at the mound of debt I'd formed.

Within' a year, we'd added another to our family, and a few years later, another. Looking back, it was the greatest time of my life. I slept every night with a smile. Thinking on it now I'd wished I'd savored it while it lasted, but at that time, I'd figured it'd have lasted alot longer than it did.
Graham blinked, comics back to reality, he'd been picturing the scene, clearly, taking in every detail. Looking down he saw that this time, he'd been able to finish his drink. Even though the night had dragged futher on, the bar hadn't emptied, if anything it filled even more.

He glanced over at his companion. Red still sat, but now it appeared that he had something in his grip. Upon closer inspection, he saw it was a hat. Red seemed to be simply running his hand over it, though the smile and distant gaze suggest something deeper.

Graham simply watched, not saying anything. For the longest time Red continue, until he finally blinked. Red turned his head, seeming dazed as he looked around the room, though in seconds he regained his composure. Red seemed to notice Grahma watching, and gave a slight grin.

"It was a birthday present," he said, motioning to the hat. Graham simply nodded. He watched Red return the hat to it's resting spot on his head. Graham noticed Red's ears poke through the top. "Had to maim it alittle, after the change." Red chuckled.

Graham nodded, "When exactly did that all happen? I take it you haven't always been like...this?" he said motioning to Red.

Red nodded, the expression on his face gaining a slight sad tone. "We're gettin' there," he said, "Where did I leave off?" he asked, jokingly.

My routine of farming and hunting hardly ever changed, though a new addition to the cycle, drinking, did eventually come along. I don't recall how exactly I got started, but I recall how I would spend many a night at the local pub, before stumbling on the long road home.

This reached it's peak one night, when I arrived home, only to find my children still awake. My wife and I entered a heated argument, which ended when one of the kids ran from the room, crying.

The next morning we discussed it, my wife and I, more privately. After she'd informed me of my actions the previous night, I decided on the spot I needed to stop.

I decided to journey into the woods soon enough, I'd found hunting cleared my head in the past. As I slowly walked my usual beaten path, I saw something shoot across the path, yards ahead. I readied my rifle, this beast was large, lumbering on four legs, and I was sure it's pelt would bring in a fair amount.

As I continued further I constantly checked to my sides, I usually found solace in the silence of the woods, but when on an animal's trail, I'd always found silence to be a terrible thing.

Finally, I stopped, trying to find any trace of a sound, but there was nothing to be heard. Suddenly a being the size of a man jumped down from a nearby tree attacking me. I screamed, the once silent forest now filled with the sounds of my horror. In my panic I fired a shot, which was soon stuck in a nearby tree.

The thing clawed my face, it weighed atleast twice as much as me, but I managed to toss it off. Quickly I scrambled for my weapon. I wasable to retrieve it and make it to my feet. Looking back the thing had began to circle me, much like how I'd seen wolf packs do in the past.

I raised the gun, loading a shot. The being suddenly rose, now standing on it's hind legs. At this point it readied it's front claws, which I noticed were more comparable to a person's arms and hands than to legs and feet. Suddenly it pounced again, eight daggers rushed towards my face. I fired the shot, which made it's way into the creature's shoulder.

It let out a howl, I covered my ears, dropping the gun. I almost ran in fear, but decided against it. Leaping for my gun I saw the creature limping towards me, claws at the ready. It was easy to see he wasn't happy.

I found the gun, loaded it, turning around just in time to fire a shot straight into the beast's chest. It feel to the ground, clutching it's now bleeding abdomen, I heard it whimper before it lay still.

It was at this point that the pain struck me. I collapsed to my knees, grasping the torn flesh in agnoy. My blood was everywhere it seemed, and I feared passing out.

Finally I was able to get a grip. Tearing my shirt into strips I nursed my wounds, and soon enough I was limping back home.

When I arrived, my wife was horrified. She nearly screamed when she saw me, blood stained, pants and all. I lied, claiming it aws nothing, that a wolf had put up a good fight, that it'd caught me off guard. I worried she'd see through my ruse, but she just nodded, and brought me fresh clothes. As I changed, I wondered how far from the truth I'd strayed.

That night, was one of the greatest of my life. I was happy, I was alive, and with my family, who all seemed to share my joy. When the night finally drew to a close, I couldn't have been happier.


When I next awoke, I was alone in the wods. A large pike thrust through my chest. As I tried to think back on how I got here, my thoughts seem to blur. Slowly what had occured began to come to me.

The first thing I could recall, was waking up at hom. My head had been clouded even then. As I pushed myself from the ground, questions ran through my mind, how did I get here in the middle of the front room? What had happened? Where....where were my pants?

As the room I was located in came into view, my stomach lurched. Blood, there was blood everywhere. I began back pedaling slowly. Suddenly I looked down, and found myself vomiting. They were dead, all of three of them. Did I do this? I thought to myself, I had to have done, no, perhaps someone had robbed us, and was penning the blame on me, yes, that'd had to be it.

I glanced around, no forced entry, I rushed to a window, looking for any signs of life. In the distance I saw flock of torches coming up the road. They'd be coming for me, I knew that much.

I fled out the back of the house, dropping to the ground in agony. I could feel my muscles contracting in one huge spasm. I ached, and screamed as I felt a shift in my very bones.

At this point, I neared blacking out, but instead seemed to shift perspective. I now seemed to be looking down at a creatrue, much like the one I'd fought today.

It ran towards the woods, howling as it approached the tree line more of it's kind emerged. I watched them, run like a pack of wolves for a week, until a stray guard patrol became their target.

The guards lost none of their numbers, leaving one of the beasts still breathing, as they retreated back to town. I found myself back in the present now, the last besat was me.

Looking around, I saw the last of the guard had scurried away, leaving me here. Thinking on it, I deserved it. Laying there, thinking, I was able to find peace, knowing I'd be with them soon.

"The details of my return are the average tale of one of my kind. Light's Hope Chape and all that." Red finally finished.

Graham looked at him, noticing his clace gripped tightly around his chain. Red glanced Graham's way, and he cleary saw the sorry in Red's eyes. "Quite the story," the barkeep commented.

Red nodded, "It don't show me in the best of lights, but it's all in the past, I'm who I am because of it, and I see no reason to hide it." he said. "If I get asked about it, I'll generally tell whoever asks," he grinned, "Though mosts folks are content with leavin' it bloody well alone."

Graham nodded, and glanced out the door, "Looks like the suns coming up now." he muttered.

Red pulled out a small pocket watch, "Well, look at that," he muttered.

"So what do you do now?" questioned the barkeep, causally.

Grinning, Red said, "Fate decided to drop me back into the military, though with more work of the grunt variety, then again, can't say I prefer anything else."

The other man laughed, "Figure that's what I'll be stuck with up in Hearthglen," he smiled, "though nothing compares to an honest days work."

"I can't argue with that." Red said, he sighed, "Well, need to be off, find something to file a report on to make up for doin' nothin' all night." Red rose and exited quickly. Outside, a whistle, and the sound of wings could be heard, though something was off about the wings, and like that, Redamous was gone.


As he walked the halls of Acherus, Red's usual smile adorned his face, he'd always wondered why he was so happy, especially after all he'd done. Where most of his kind were content with being emotionless, he was almost always smiling and happy.

He shrugged, it was nothing to dwell on. As he passed the Blood Quarter he gave the disciples a passing glance, their mentor was raving on as usual.

He laughed, the usual now would have been maddening before.

As he passed a desk, he made sure to toss the file he was carrying under his arm onto it, more reports for the pile. He shook his head, he'd have gone crazy by now having to read the countless reports his COs had to run through.

He nodded to a passing Knight, planning out his day. Herbs, he needed those, he had some experiments lined up for later. He passed another desk, and a slight grin crept onto his lips. Perhaps he'd find the strength to file for demotion.

The want to file was almost a running joke, just for him. He'd always had a rule, follow orders. The thing he liked about this rule, is he could bend it. He could always follow orders, but he could do it how he saw fit, so long as they were completed he followed his rule. But filing for demotoin was a different animal all together, and he debated whether doing so wasn't following orders.

He sighed, if he was going to do it, today wasn't the day. His walking finally brought him to the balconey.

As he stood there, looking out over the edge, he sighed, another part of his life surfacing. This one before the unit, before anything really.

He'd stood, almost in this exact spot, contemplating. Looking out, in much the same way he did now, he considered jumping. He'd had heard of the unit, and even submitted to join. But he'd had no response. The recruiter had walked up right behind him. The conversatoin slowly turned to the unit, and what he was going to do with the forseeable future, and eventually he joined up.

Since then, he'd slowly, and unwittingly worked his way up a few ranks, and he regreted none of it.

Everyone has a point in their life, he thought, that points them in the direction they're meant to go. Years ago, he'd experienced his. Really, he still didn't know where he was headed, he was just along for the ride.

And he was going to enjoy every minute of it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Accountant's Ledger: Entry 5

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File selected: Log 5. Audio Log 4. Subject: Fear and Loathing.

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“You ever scare somebody? Seen 'em jump, or just go ramrod stiff? Funny as hell. I mean it. Just try scaring somebody. If you don't laugh, then you have no sense of humor. I don't care if you think I'm nuts for liking my job, liking to scare somebody's just a naturally funny thing. Not just that, but it's got other uses too. Makes people get all panicky if you're scaring them in a serious situation. Makes them freak out, makes them make mistakes, and if you're lucky, they'll do something that's really stupidly funny.

“Since I won't name names, 'cause that'd be kriffing hypocritical of me, and if there's one thing I'm not, it's a hypocrit. Usually. Mostly. Sometimes. Alright, not all the time, but still. For this situation, I'm gonna keep shut on who it was. Don't know why, considering no one's gonna ever hear these. Lets just call them...Reporter. That works. It's not very subtle, but I'm only a subtle person when it's good for a job. And trust me, it can be good for a job. Sorry. On subject. We'll get to that later.

“So yeah. Freaked someone the kriff out. Made it seem like I was gonna get all mad and stuff. Maybe gonna off 'em. Maybe gonna hurt 'em badly. It's been a long time since I've seen someone shake like that. Seriously. They had to grab their arm just to keep still. It was freaking hilarious. Give someone the impression that they've got reason to be worried and they will be. Some people can take that kind of thing, which is boring, and others can't. Guess my favorite of those. I'd give you two guesses, but that's two too many.

“Back on topic. She ended up running off for a call or something. Someone else who was watching her, apparently wanting to talk to her too, talked to me a bit. Didn't get the point, I guess. Some freaky two personality or some weird armor or something else going on with them. Apparently they were still organic but yeah. Was kinda weird. They walked off right after they told me to not make threats towards miss Reporter. I'm really scared. Just outright terrified. Not.

“I like to think that everybody's scared of something. And I'm sure as hell not afraid of threats or whatever. There's no point. They wanna threaten me, whatever. I don't make threats. If she got a mark put on her head? I'd consider taking it. If anything because it'd be interesting, maybe. I'd have to think about it. If anything, I know she'd be all paranoid by that point. So at the least I'd have the chance to watch her shake and panic again. By that point, though, bet she'd be a hell of a lot more armed. If she wasn't, I figured her to be way smarter than she actually is. If you're walking around unarmed with a mark on your head, you're either stupid, or arrogant. And there's not much of a difference between the two.

“Arrogance might as well be stupidity in plenty of situations. Makes you blind to a bunch of stuff, and makes you ignorant to the possibility of you getting your ass kicked. Also? It makes my job tons easier. But also less fun. I know I come off as arrogant all the time. I like to think I'm just 'confident', because I'm more than willing to acknowledge the fact that eventually, somebody's gonna be able to do better than me, and I'll probably be dead. And I'm perfectly fine with that. Circle of life. Live. Die. It'll happen. Do I want it to happen? Hell no. What do you take me for, suicidal? I mean. I want it to happen eventually, but not now. Sure as hell don't wanna end up all old and stuff. Boring.

“And at the rate I'm going? Gonna have an entire bar full of people wanting me dead soon enough. A lot of them because they don't agree with my uh. 'Beliefs'. Guess when you get joy out of killing people a bunch of people don't like you? I can't even begin to wonder why! I mean. It's almost like I'm a freaking nut or something. They ignore the fact that there are plenty of people who go around bragging about it. Like, say. An entire freaking culture, made up of kriffing idiots in a constant state of wanting to argue about who's got more skulls or whatever it is they go on about. I don't take pride in my work. I enjoy what I do, and I do what I do because I enjoy it. But it's still killing people. And that's just part of life.

“Not really overly concerned about not being Miss Popular, either. Or Misses, I guess. Considering. Whatever. Not a priority. Far from it. Popularity isn't good in a job that requires you to be ending lives. Makes things complicated sometimes if they see you in a crowd and think you give a damn about conversation. Piece of advice, that. Another piece? Emotional. Connections. Suck. When your 'best friend' or whatever gets a price on their head, what are you going to do? Defend them? Do you understand how stupid that would look, especially if you want to look like a professional. And that's what this job should be about. Being a professional. Now, some people say professionals are polite. I say those people should go kriff themselves, because they're complete idiots. If you wanna be polite about murdering someone, you're more kriffed up than me. And I'm a kriffing psychopath. What you need to be to be professional, if you ask me? Know what you're doing. If you don't know, find out, or don't act like you know. Acting like you know can put you somewhere that isn't pleasant, when you actually need to know. Be efficient. Be quick. Be deadly. And at the end of the day, do all your taxes so that you don't have to deal with the dumb collectors. Have terms, and make sure you get to work within them. If people want a professional, it means they're willing to accept them.

“I can't make any promises that that'll work. Hell. I won't make any promises, considering no one is gonna see these, 'sides me. You might say 'what if your datapad gets sliced?' Well if that happens, either I let it happen, or someone is going to need a box about their size, and a hole in the ground to put it in. Bang.”

[[Ending Playback...

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Shutting Down.]]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shadowrun: Vera

"It is my very favorite gun."

There's a reason you never tell anybody you've named a weapon. Actually, I take that back. There's multiple freaking reasons, not least of which is they stare at you, followed by the inevitable question "You named your gun?" People've been naming weapons for eons. Get over it.

That is of course the rabbit hole question. If people decide to leap in, then you're bound to have a few more. Tell me about the gun. How'd it earn its name, or why do you call it that. Where'd you get it. Why the hell did you name your freaking gun.

So what is it? It's an assault rifle. Make and model's hard to tell with how much it's been modified since its original purchase, but if I had to take a guess, it's something along the lines of a Yamaha Raiden, updated to have increased accuracy when you're aiming down the sights, with a scope, smartgun capabilities, a built-in suppressor, and an added dual magazine. If that's the case, someone's added a longer stock, and a more refined barrel.

So where it get its name? Vera, like the woman who was her owner prior to myself, can be extremely loud, eats bullets like nobody's business, has a problem of being aimed at things that I'd much prefer she wasn't aimed at(myself being one of them), and has probably killed a ton more people that I'm entirely unaware of before I even knew she existed. You wanna talk and swap crazy ex-girlfriend stories, I'll toss that one out there. Grade A nutjob, wrapped up psychotic, with a dash of cuckoo. And wielding a decent sized assault rifle. She presently is no longer with us. Considering the fact that Vera got shot by her gun. Ironically enough not the rifle, but the pistol she kept under her pillow.

I would say that maybe she won't try to smother the next guy with his own pillow while he's asleep. But there isn't a next guy. Word to the wise. If you plan on killing someone, don't leave your pistol within reach of them, unless you're using it in the act.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Accountant's Ledger: Entry 4

[[Accessing Datapad...

Username: dmalcolm

Password: *********

Access Granted.

Select program.

Audio Recording Playback selected.

Select file.

File selected.

Opening file: 'Log' 4/Audio Log 1. Subject: “Marriage and Love”.

Starting playback...]]

“I. Am kriffing tired. Of every freaking marriage that I have to keep hearing about. I am tired of all this lovely dovey crap. All of the damn planning that people keep doing, all of the stupid rings people keep wearing, and of all the damn 'I love yous' and everything else. I swear, if I had ten credits for every couple I saw who was getting hitched, I could buy enough booze to kill me. But I hear it all the kriffing time.

“Let me tell you something from four years of marriage. Ain't. Worth it. You wanna settle down for no good reason. Oh. Wait. I'm sorry. You wanna settle down because you wuv somebody so much that you just can't live without them or some BS thing. Do you idiots not get how boring that sounds? To just stop and settle? What the hell are you gonna do all day? Cuddle and knit or something? Why? What does it do for you? Hell, maybe it's for tax purposes! Is that it? Doubt it.

“And half of you idiots that talk about settling down? You won't. A lot of you idiots talking about getting married? Might not. And if you do. How long's that gonna last, I mean really? It's only a matter of time before you slam face first into a brick wall, and get bored, and then what. Oh, I can guess. With the way everything else works everywhere else in the galaxy, one of you'll probably get possessed or kidnapped. Have fun with that. Might wanna prepare ahead of time. Or something. Never know.

“'Oh but how would you know it's pointless'? Because. I can guess. Because I know how easily people get bored. And it's only a matter of time, for all of you 'I'm gonna settle down' idiots. It's a matter of time, before you get bored, and you do something either stupid, or something more exciting than sitting on your ass. And good for you. Do that. Probably all the excitement you'll be getting, outside of kriffing. Which apparently for some idiots is some sort of pass time. Seriously. You people call me crazy and you kriff constantly for fun. That can't be healthy. In the slightest.

“'But I love them'! But you love them? What the hell is love? Do you know? It's something your brain came up with to justify you mating with someone for life, for the sake of making offspring. That's what your little romance is all about, in the end. That's what all romance is about in the end. Kriffing. Children. Dead. Then those kids can do the same thing, and woo hoo, continuation of a species. Big kriffin' win all around, right? Hey. Whatever you wanna think, I guess. We all know my opinion isn't yours. Far from it.

“Doesn't help that people get way too worked up over these things. What to wear, what music to play, who should I invite, where should it be, what will my ring look like? When the hell'd you all get so vain! It's annoying! No one cares but you! 'Oh she looks so beautiful'. Yeah. I'm sure the worms that'll be eating your corpse eventually'll think of that. Enjoy that thought. Really. Hope you do.

“Take a piece of advice from me. First piece of advice on marriage? Don't. Do. Not. End of story! Life's so much simpler now for you! No more significant other? One less birthday to remember! One less gift to buy on Life Day! One less person you have to worry about getting brutally murdered by people like me because they ticked somebody off for some dumb reason and got a price put on their head, followed by a bolt through their brains! Though if that happens, hey, can't say I didn't warn you.

“Second piece. Keep it simple, stupid. That's a saying. I think. Somewhere it probably is. What are you gonna wear? Who cares? Why do you need music? Why does anyone need to be there? Should matter to only two people. Screw everyone else. Not literally, please, all of you kriff-obsessed people. That's still disturbing. Where? Hell if I know. Somewhere that doesn't have air that'll kill you, and that doesn't smell like a garbage dumb. So preferably not Quesh, or Hutta, I guess. Again. Why does it really matter. Only one other person should matter.

“What qualifies me to criticize all of you, and say this stuff, you're asking? Married. Five years. Five. Years. So yeah. I think I've got a bit of experience compared to you. Alright it's not the most normal of marriages. So what? Ain't seen my husband more than a few times over that five years. You know what that means? We never fight. We never argue over dumb things, we never get bored of each other, and we never have to worry about getting hitched or attached again! Perfect marriage, thank you very much.

“No. I don't even 'love' him. Quit saying I do.”

[[Ending Playback...

Exiting Playback application.

Logging Out.

Shutting Down.]]

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Distant Relations

     "What do you want Vince?" she muttered, slowly picking through the pieces of her rifle that she had laid out on her desk.

     His eyes were firmly planted on his datapad, turning it this way and that as if to get a better view of something. He looked at her, squinting, "You've got a brother, right?"

     Li'ana shot him a glance, left eyebrow slowly raising, "Yeah. Jedi. Why?" 

     Vincent motioned for her to look at him, holding his datapad up to where it was right beside her face. His mouth hung open as he compared the picture of the person on his datapad to her, squinting yet again. 

     She sighed, giving him a look, "The hell are you doing?"

     "Well, it's just that there's this guy they just brought in," he said, motioning to the device, "Had the same last name as you, but wasn't a Jedi. Figured it was a coincidence or something. Big galaxy, you know."

     She nodded slowly, frowning by this point, "And."

     "And, well," he said, holding his datapad out to her, "You two look alike. It's eerie is all."

     She stared at the picture, the frown on her face growing. There were similarities, just as she was worried there would be, though whereas her hair was blonde his was brown. Li'ana turned her gaze back up toward Vince, "What'd You say this guy's name was?"

     Vince flicked the picture away, a page of information appearing in its place. He tapped near the top of it, "Red...Redamous Malcolm. Who names their kid Redamous?"

     She sighed, standing, "What room is he in?"

     "Interrogation three," he answered, blinking as she quickly strode out of the room.
     Redamous crossed his arms, resting back in the chair, eyes watching the door they had brought him in through. It was the only entrance or exit into the room unless he wanted to have a try at smashing through the one-way glass that to him was clear as mud and to the officers on the other side was clear as day. 

     This was far from his first time in an interrogation room, and it wasn't likely to be the last. They had brought him in, there was no way in hell he was going to make the have to drag him in, on charges of having associated with some minor thug downstairs. Red had never even heard the guy's name before.

     Outside through the door he could barely make out a few people talking. What they were talking about was beyond him. After a few minutes it grew silent save for a slight click as the lock in the door shifted. Red leaned forward, resting against the table that sat between him and an empty chair. 

     There was another moment of silence, before the door opened and a woman entered, looking through what he could only guess to be his file on her datapad, taking a seat in the other chair. "You know," she said, her voice making Red frown, "Figured this would happen eventually."

     She set the datapad on the table, leaning forward in an almost perfect mirror of the Captain. Red frowned a bit more, shaking his head, "Ain't this a conflict of interest or somethin'?"

     Li'ana nodded, jerking a thumb over her shoulder at the door, "It's like you just heard my conversation out there. We discussed it. They said we're fine."

     "Well ain't that pleasant," he muttered, resting back in his chair, crossing his arms again.

     "The hell's got you in a mood?" she said, scrolling through her datapad as it lay on the table. Ana chuckled, glancing up at him, "What? You know this guy?"

     "Said it enough times already that I don' know 'im," Red said, not sounding amused, "An' I'm in a mood 'cause I just got arrested for somethin' I didn' do, an' now the person they got questionin' me's my damn sister." He leaned forward, squinting. The right side of her face appeared to scarred, from a burn most likely, "The hell happened to you?"

     "What?" she said, laughing again, "Idiot with a flamethrower." Li'ana shrugged, "And really, you think I like the fact that my big brother can't keep himself outta trouble and got hauled in here? You think I like that or somethin'? 'Cause I don't. I don't like the fact that you even do somethin' that might even get you hauled in here."

     He rolled his eyes, "Oh now you sound like Dey."

     "Oh I do not sound like Dey," she said, rolling her eyes as well, "I'm not in here reading you the riot act, am I?"

     "You're pretty damn close."

     "Close ain't doin' it now is it? If anything, I believe you."

      Red blinked, taking his turn to laugh now, "Oh really now."

     "Well yeah," she said, turning towards the glass, "'Cause if any of you guys were paying attention that guy cleared out his contacts list for us last week."

     He stared at her, jaw dropping open slightly, before he turned his head to the glass as well, "Are you kiddin' me? Are you freakin' kiddin' me?"

     She laughed, "They do that sometimes. Like you don't screw up stuff."

     "Maybe. Sometimes."

     "Only sometimes, huh? Never got told to kriff off and didn't know it, still showed up anyway?"

     He covered his face with his hands, rubbing his temples, though a smirk played on his lips all the same, "Ma know you're talkin' like that?"

     "Ma know you talk like that?"

     "She might've got an inklin' back when she was tellin' me about dead."

     "Yeah, she was tellin' me you weren't exactly Captain Smiley."

     Red stared at her, shaking his head, "Didn't have much of a reason to be, now did I?" He shot a glance towards the glass again, before looking back at her, eyebrow raised slightly.

     Li'ana raised an eyebrow of her own, "What? They ain't recording us. Hopefully. Shouldn't be." She said, shooting a glare towards the glass, "Hell. They shouldn't even be watching."

     "People get awfully curious," Red muttered, shaking his head.

     "Don't they?" she said, rolling her eyes in return.
     "She's got another brother," one man muttered, squeezing into the small crowd forming at the window.

     "I swear I've seen that guy before," a second said, squinting, "I didn't even give it a second thought."

     "It's the eyes, right?" a third said.

     "Yeah. Eyes. Looks like it's in the eyes," the first agreed.

     "Was hoping there'd be more screaming," the second muttered.

     "Geeze. Aren't you mister Nice Guy?"


     "Came in here hoping to just watch a fight?"

     "Well why the hell are you in here then?"

     "Just. Just shut up."
     There was a moment of silence between the two, before he cleared his throat. "Well. This has been pleasant and all that but at the risk of soundin' rude, I'd like to check out, if I can."

     She nodded, jerking a thumb over her shoulder toward the door, "Right. Yeah. You're free to go." Red offered her a small smile and nod, standing and shifting over to the door. Ana twisted slightly, turning to look at him, "Hold it."

     He sighed, resting his head against the door, "Yep."

     "Just," she bit her tongue, shrugging, "Just call or somethin'. Or hell, I don't know. Catch me when I'm off or somethin'. Buy you a drink. Or you can buy me one. Yeah, that sounds better."

     Red looked at her, "Guess I could do that."

     She smiled, "Good. I'll call up Dey or somethin'. We can get kicked out of a bar for arguing too loud."

     He rolled his eyes, "I'd prefer you didn't."

     "I'm just kiddin' Red. Mostly."

     He nodded, opening the door and slipping out, raising his voice, "Good."

     She yelled at him in return, "Don't get shot or anything you idiot."

     Li'ana Malcolm sighed, resting forward against the table and rubbing her temples. It was going to be a long day. She could feel it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Accountant's Ledger: Entry 3

[[Accessing Datapad...

Username: dmalcolm

Password: *********

Access Granted.

Select Program.

Video Playback selected.

Select File.

File selected.

Opening: Video Log 3. Subject: “Ice Queen”.

Starting playback...]]

The pink-haired Chiss sat back in a chair, arms crossed, a cold gaze set on the camera. Her lips slowly curl into a cruel smile as she leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees. There's a coldness to her voice as she speak, despite the smile, “'Ice queen'.” Her fingers slowly began to drum against her leg, the smile remaining, “'Ice queen'. You know what? I like that. Good description. So, miss 'I Could Break You in Half'. You wanna know why I'm such an 'Ice Queen'? I have to be.”

She held up a single, gloved finger, the smile fading, “One. I kill people for a living. Let me repeat myself. I kill people for a living. Do I need to explain that? I commit murder, and get paid to do it. See? Easy to understand.” Daeria narrowed her eyes slightly, the smile returning, a horrible amusement hanging in her voice, “But, I know what you're gonna say. Plenty of people get their money through killing people, and they aren't cold heartless monsters, now are they?

“Oh, but they are. With me, you see somebody who admits to what they are. I mean come on. I'm not exactly subtle about it. I say it all the damn time. I'm a psychopath. I kill people, and I don't feel bad about it. And, to boot, I like thinkin' about how I'd kill most everybody. It's a fun mental workout, try it sometime. And two, I'm a sociopath. I don't give a damn about your dumb social guidelines or any of that crap. It's boring. It's just so boring to have to watch someone try to be polite and all that when they obviously just want to tell you to go kriff yourself. I mean really. And no, I don't say those two things because I 'watch too many holovids', despite what some idiots may think.”

She motioned towards the camera as if she were referring to another person, “But with everyone else? They just go about their day like it's nothing. They're the real monsters. They kill people, they get paid, and then they brag about it. Then they tell stories like it's a tale of glory or something like that. And people don't find that creepy. But when I tell it like it is, I'm weird, and I'm crazy, and I'm just plain mean.”

“So yes, maybe I am some sort of 'ice queen', and I'm perfectly fine with that. 'But why would she want to do this?' you'll ask,” she said, tapping her chin as if pondering the question, before waving it away, “Simple. I'm good at it. I like it, I enjoy it, and I'm good at it. Sure, I had to find that out the hard way, but it was worth it to find it out. I'd probably be dead if I didn't. Do what you gotta do to survive, and it may not look like it, but I still do that. I still do what I have to do to get by. Even if I had enough money to retire on, I wouldn't, because that would drive me insane. So I have to keep doing something, and that's what I have to do to survive. Simple as that. Some people need to kriff, some of us need to kill.”

“From where I'm sitting, I like to think I've got things pretty well figured out.” She held up two fingers, “There's two truths to life. We're born, and we die. Everything else in between's fair game. But if you're alive, you've been born, and you're sure as hell gonna die. Whether that's in your sleep of old age, or from some poisoned drink, or some big showdown on a crowded street. You're gonna die. I've figured that out, and I quit caring. When it happens to me, I'm gonna be perfectly fine with it, because I'm certainly due for some death. That's a debt we all owe, and that's a debt we'll sure as hell all pay. Tell me you're wrong all you want, but when the reaper comes knockin' on your door, well.” She shrugged, grinning, “Guess we'll know who was right then, huh?”

“And all that stuff that's in the middle of all that? The romance, the closeness, the friends, the family, the stuff like that? They come, and they go. Just like you. So while all of you people wanna kriff, and wanna kiss, and wanna stand around complaining or making wedding plans or doing all of that stuff? You're welcome to. I'll complain, and moan, but you're more than welcome to. 'Cause that's how you wanna spend your time. But as for me, I've gotta kill for the sake of living. That's how I work, and that's how I am.”

“Also, if somebody hasn't said in some ancient saying or something that by the time you're talking to yourself alone in an empty ship that you've named means you're crazy, I'll say it right now. I've got to be kriffing nuts. Nobody'll ever see this. And if you do see it, it's 'cause I let you, 'cause anybody who tries to get a hold of my files?” she made a blaster with her hand, pointing it towards the camera, “We'll be seeing each other soon. On that topic, and to any other psychopaths and sociopaths who may want to break into this line of work, I'd suggest having other skills. There's a good chance you might suck at this, and it's best to have something to fall back on. I slice, and deliver crap. Messages. Mail. Packages. Been doing a lot of that lately. Boring as hell. Not recommended, but you've got to do what you've got to do.”

She rested back in the chair, resting her hands behind her head, “Think that's all I've got to say on that. Lot about me. Does that make these self-centered? I guess that's kind of the point, ain't it. Is what it is, I guess.”

[[Ending recording.

Exiting Video Playback.

Logging Out.

Shutting Down.]]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bedtime Stories, Undead Raptors, and Mind Control

     While perhaps not the first setting or tool one may think of when dwelling on how they wish to tell a story and bring/drag people through a campaign with roleplaying at the forefront, the following occurred to an innocent(not) party of adventures in an MMO that has yet, despite many's cries that such is upon it with nearly every action, has yet to keel over and die.

     It began with this party, a group of deceased knights organized into a military unit, being called upon by a settlement in the cold lands of the north. While at first they saw nothing out of the ordinary, aside from odd glances from the living, it was soon discovered by them that by nightfall, the town came under siege by bands of howling, undead wolf creatures. With their nature being tied to the party's kind, they had been called upon to aid the village.

     Following the trail left by the creatures to an abandoned old castle, the party came across a number of pages from a tome on raising the dead, one that had signs of having once been among their own but that now found itself in a breather's hands. Trailing behind them was a shadowy figure, who escaped upon being discovered, leaving behind two of the creatures from earlier to cover her retreat, named 'Mr. Hugs' and 'Mr. Snuggles'.

     Weeks later the party would be called upon again for a similar situation, this time a small camp plagued by undead raptors that swarmed at random. Fighting back the raptors, the party followed them into the forests, and finally to a small clearing. Once there, the party stumbled upon a woman, likely in her early twenties.

     Despite her apparent age, the woman acted with the energy of a child, and had a personality to match. Bouncing around eagerly, she treated her undead monstrosities like pets, even having a rotting gryphon which she had dubbed 'Fluffy'. Upon their arrival, she trapped the group in a ring of fire, but prevented them from reaching her by summoning a line of fire down the center of the circle. While her pets leaped from the outside in to attack the party, one member approached the girl, kneeling down and pulling a storybook from her things.

     As the woman-child warlock enclosed the undead storytelling woman in a circle of fire all her own, trapping her even more than her companions, the others fought off the undead beasts, which were soon enough joined by a hulking T-Rex. The girl, though, was enthralled by the tale, and paid the others no mind. The T-Rex met its end when someone allowed themselves to be eaten, detonating something from within the beast, and exiting unharmed. Angered at the loss of her pets, the woman stomped her feet, pouted, and fled on her rotting gryphon.

     As she fled, her thoughts drifted to the woman who had read her a bedtime story, and whether or not she could control her the way she controlled her 'pets'. Of course, that was not how she saw such. To her it was a matter of 'waking' up something that was 'sleeping', not reviving something once decided as a slave of sorts.

     Following an investigation into the woman's origins, the group discovered that she had come from a town to the south, that was covered in gloom. Her father had been a drunk, and her mother a person whose mind had long since broken. Both were long since in the ground. The woman had gone to live off on her own, discovering an abandoned tower, choosing to live there, practicing mastering the fire-based magic. That was until her only companion, her faithful dog, was killed by wolves.

     The group would go weeks without meeting the warlock, until she sent a message, summoning the storytelling soldier to meet with her again. Once she arrived, the soldier found herself blocked inside by magic, while her companions were stuck outside trying to find a way in. Once they had managed to do so, they found that the warlock had managed to do as she planned. The storytelling soldier believed herself to be the warlock's mother, and the warlock her younger child that needed to be defended from the undead monstrosities that were threatening her now.

     After much fighting, facing off against their own friend and the bones of a long dead dragon, magically brought back together and given life, the heroes of our tale emerged triumphant and freed their friend. The warlock was spared from being killed, instead being handed over to people who would hopefully help her recover mentally, and also learn to control her abilities, as was insisted by a merciful member of the group.

     Time would pass, and the group would fully recover from such quickly, while the warlock would do her best to learn proper magic training. This was, of course, just one of this particular group of the damned's many tales. But those are another story.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013



     Her gaze remained on the man sitting behind the desk, her expression giving the impression that she couldn't have been more bored. Despite this she did not once allow herself to break her posture, back rigid, hands folded behind it.

     As tempted as she was to allow her eyes to wander around the office, she wasn't even going to give him the pleasure of thinking he was getting to her. Besides, she had seen it a few times now. The walls were made of a reflective metal that gleamed in the bright light, spaced evenly from each other to form a decent sized box. To her left stood a bookcase littered with a number of older tomes and texts, to her right a glass case displaying medals, trophies, and photos. 

     After some time had passed she rolled her eyes, Imperial accent coming through clearly when she spoke, "Major."

     "We've been over this a number of times," he muttered, not looking up once from his work, "I am a very busy person. When I am free and can get around to your requests, I will consider doing so." He fell silent again, continuing to tap away at his console. 

     She rolled her eyes, a hand leaving its position behind her back to motion at the console. Xulmisi smirked to herself as the Major let out a number of curses, before staring at her. Her tone carried an air of amusement now, "Now that I have your attention. I would prefer having my permits processed now, Major. Especially considering I am unable to have any of my digs continue to work without them."

     "And I will repeat myself again," he started, before being cut off by her raising a hand. 

     "Please stand, Major," she said, motioning for him to rise. 

     Major O'Connell muttered something to himself, but stood all the same. She seemed even more amused now, a smirk firmly in place on her face. "Repeat what you just said, but to where I can hear it."

     O'Connell scowled, growling loud enough for his voice to echo off the walls, "I can't say I've ever been reprimanded by a slave before." 

     "Lovely. Exactly what I thought you said," she replied, both hands coming forward now. She idly motioned upward with her right hand, and closed her left as if grabbing something. Behind the desk the Major slowly rose from the ground, gripping his throat. 

      The Twi'lek looked him over, shaking her head, "And now you've brought me to such a generic form of making you understand." She frowned, motioning towards the wall, the man flying towards it as if flicked by some giant unseen creature. "I have to be a bit more creative, don't I."

     O'Connell slid along the wall, ending up in a pile on the floor. He slowly sat up, taking deep, desperate breathes. She slowly walked over towards him, staring down at him. He slowly worked his way into the corner, like an animal with nowhere to run. 

     Her voice remained calm, the amusement gone for now, "Now, Major. I want you to understand something. I am not a slave. I was at one point, but I am such no longer." He was still breathing hard, and only acknowledged her by spitting at her feet. 

     She kneeled down, grabbing his chin with one hand, pulling his face to where he was looking directly at her, "I am a Dark Lady of the Sith, Major. And you are being horribly disrespectful to me. And we cannot have that."

     "And just what are you going to do about it?"

     She gently patted the side of his head, a horrible grin creeping onto her face, "They say there is no such thing as a stupid question. But there are certainly those you will regret asking." With that she stood, turning and walking back over towards the desk. 

     Behind her the man's face twisted into a look of pure terror as he tried to force himself more and more into the corner, trying to escape some unseen horror. She paid him no mind. 

     She hit the button on his desk that would call his secretary. As much as she tried, she could not for the life of her recall the secretary's name, simply deciding not to bother, "Please send in the person directly under Major O'Connell." 

     Walking back towards the door, Xulmisi returned to her previous stance, back straight, hands folded behind it. After a few minutes had passed, another man entered, this one slightly younger. 

     Upon seeing her he quickly offered a salute, standing at attention, "My lady, what can I do for you?"

     She smiled sharkishly, "I am simply here to congratulate you," she trailed off, looking for his name and rank, "Captain Connors. You've been promoted, and with such you will be rewarded with this lovely office."

     Captain Connors frowned, shaking his head, "This is Major O'Connell's office, my lady."

     She couldn't help but smirk, "He will no longer be needing it. Of course you will inherit his work as well, but I'm sure that will not be difficult for you. It would be absolutely lovely of you to get my permits signed for." 

     She slowly walked around him, watching his eyes search the room for, and finally find the Major. When she knew he had done so, she lowered her voice, any sort of pleasantness in it having vanished, "I'm certain you will be much easier to work with than your predecessor."

     Connors gulped loudly, nodding. With that said, she exited the room, leaving him to pick up the still terrified Major from where he was cowering in the corner, fleeing whatever his mind decided was most terrifying. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Accountant's Ledger: Entry 2

Warning: Violence

[[Accessing Datapad...

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Record selected.

Connecting to Camera 1 feed...


Recording beginning.]]

The camera's feed slowly cuts in, revealing a small room on an older ship. Front and center, about halfway back from the camera, sits a man. His hands and feet seem to be bound to a chair with what might be tape, his mouth taped shut as well. His eyes are focused on someone, apparently someone behind the camera, his gaze filled with poison.

“Is it on?” a voice from behind the camera said. “Is the little light blinking?” The man just stared. “Nod your head if the light is blinking.” There was a sigh, before a Chiss's face appeared in the from, a small smirk on her face as she looked at the shot, “Oh I see how we're gonna be. It's gonna be a long night for you pal.”

Seeming satisfied, she stepped out, walking behind the chair. Running her hand along the man's shoulder, she smirked even more, “Hey mister Ogotta the Hutt. This here's that guy you've got a mark out for, and this...” she stuck a hand down the man's left pants pocket, fishing out a small card, “Is probably the info he stole.”

The man squirmed in his seat, but did nothing else. She held the card in front of his face, “Now is this the...” She blinked, looking back towards the camera, “Oh. Right. Confirmation, first.” Walking around to where she was in front of the man, Daeria tore the tape from his mouth, laughing when he recoiled in pain. “Now then, what's your name again?”

When he had recovered, he stared up at the Chiss, before spitting in her face. She shook her head, pulling her blaster from her belt. He only grinned in return, “Kriff off.”

She glanced back at the camera, before shooting him in the foot. He reeled back again, howling in pain. “Your parents must have been really mean to name you 'Kriff Off'. So, wanna try it again? 'Cause it looks like you have two feet there.”

The man appeared like he was ready to cry, and was biting his lip. Finally he opened his mouth to speak, regaining some of his composure, “Christopher Wells.”

She smirked, nodding. Holding the data card in front of his face again, she couldn't have sounded more amused, “Now. Is this the data you stole from the angry Hutt?”

Wells gulped, staring at the card, and then shifted his gaze to the Chiss. Then he looked at the card, and then the Chiss. “I have no idea,” he finally said, almost in a whimper.

Daeria shook her head, before bringing her right elbow down against his right forearm. There was a horrible cracking noise as he howled in pain again, this time the tears coming. “Let me put it this way,” she said, circling him, running a finger along his shoulder as she did so, “You're just the data guy, am I right? You're just the data guy. You aren't the guy who wanted the data, so what really does it matter to you? It was just a job, right? Just give it up. What? Are you worried that someone else is gonna hurt you when we're done here? Little late for that, don't you think?”

He looked away, biting his lip again, slowly shaking his head. She crouched down slightly, staring him in the eyes, holding his head to try to focus his view, “So lets try this again. Did you steal this data. From Ogotta the Hutt?” Looking away, the man slowly nodded. “Good boy.”

She stood, walking back over to look directly at the camera, “Alright. There you have it. I'll be dropping him off once you've got this confirmation and all that crap.” Looking back at the man, she muttered, “Mark cut. This parts for me.”

She turned, striding back over to the man, “So. It's a long flight. What do you think we should do with that?” Casually running her finger down his arm, she pressed it into the part she had broken, watching him scream again. “Would watch you squirm, I guess. But that ain't much fun. Got any cybernetics in you? Help with the slicing or anything? Maybe I could see about playing around with those. But I guess I shouldn't kill you, considering I'm not getting paid to kill you. Not in the contract, can't do it.” She tapped her chin. “I'll think about it.”

Striding out of the camera's view, the Chiss whistled softly. The feed would die soon afterward.

[[Ending Recording...

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Site Write Finale: The Long Way Home

Site Write Round 3

Finale Entry

The Long Way Home

      The sun sat high in the sky, half hidden by the orange smog of the Eastern Plaguelands. Were one watching from above they would have seen the creatures of the area, as diseased and mutated as they may be, running this way and that, going about their days. To the west stood the bridge that connected the Eastern Plaguelands to their Western, healing, sibling. Crossing it was a deceased Worgen.

      Resting on his head was an old leather hat, its condition better than it should be based on its age. One could still identify a few black marks where, though they likely wouldn't know it, Beckyann Eastberg had cried against it while she waited for the Worgen to hopefully wake up after an incident. It had holes cut in the top of it for his ears to poke through while still doing its job, that being to cover his head. Below the hat the Worgen's face was rather neutral, glowing blue eyes signifying him as a Death Knight, his fur a darker shade of blue. The armor he wore was a black-blue, Saronite, covered with his black and white tabard a skull on both sides of it. Unlike some, he wore no pauldrons, no helm, and no cloak.

      His pace was slow and steady, arms slowly shifting back and forth while he walked, eyes slowly shifting around to examine his surroundings, not that he needed to. He had walked down this path enough times to know the land well. Of course, there wasn't much land to see. Plagued grounds, and trees for some time, before the old homes would start, some in one pieces, others having degraded to the point where you could easily see inside them. As he came upon the first one, his pace slowed, before out right stopping as he stared at it. Rather, at those in front of it.

      He could recognize it easily as the first house one might encounter on the road, as well as it being one of those that had survived well enough to be in one piece, roof still hanging overhead, walls still supporting it. In the past, though, it had been abandoned. Now there were three men standing outside of it. One was pounding his fist against the door, the other two standing behind him. Of those two, one was resting against an ax, the other a club.

      “Come on! Open it up! We just wanna talk!” the man yelled, pounding more against the door. Redamous silently approached them, standing back, arms crossed. The man kicked the door, “Open it now! We can break it down! Ken back here's got an ax!” He glanced over his shoulder at the two behind him, namely the one on the right, “Get the ax ready.”

      Ken nodded to the man, bringing the ax's head from the ground, holding the weapon with both hands now. He slowly stepped forward, offering it to the man at the door, who turned to take it. “Lewis, get ready to bash her brains out. Let the plaguehounds find her for all I care.” Lewis nodded, stepping up to the door, raising the club's head up and dropping it down into his hands over and over.

      Red coughed into his hand, causing the three to turn with a start. The Worgen slowly looked them over, examining their respective weapons, before looking directly at the man knocking on the door. When he spoke, his voice maintained a fairly neutral tone, “Problems?”

      The man knocking took in a deep breath, looking at the Worgen. He shot a glance to both of his sides, slowly offering Ken his ax back, before drawing a knife from his belt. Using the knife, he motioned for Red to continue on up the road, smiling as politely as a shark would to its prey, “Just. Keep going. Nothing to see here. None of your business.”

      “Well,” Red said, looking at the knife, “When you put it like that, suppose it ain't none o' my business. But now I'm deathly curious, 'cause now you're kinda threatenin' me there mate. So. Maybe you folks should be the ones to keep walkin'.”

      “Can't,” the man said, tapping the blade against the palm of his hand, “Kind of invested in this, you see.” He turned the blade in his hand, grabbing it by its tip, before flinging it at the Worgen.

Red ducked, watching the knife fly over his head. Turning to look at the men again, he frowned, shaking his head, “Oh you're gonna wish you hadn' done that one, mate.”

      Without any warning, Red reached out, unholy energies slamming the two men at the knife thrower's sides against the ground, pulling them closer to the Worgen. The remaining man blinked, eyes widening as he retreated only to find his back hitting against the door. The Worgen charged, slamming into him, before grabbing his shoulders and tossing him to the ground. He stared down at all three of them, face the picture of calm. Lewis began to slowly rise from the ground, only to find the Worgen's foot pressing him back towards the dirt, and his weapon tossed somewhere. Ken didn't even try to rise, only hearing the snapping of the wooden ax across the Worgen's knee. Both of them watched, horrified, as the Worgen brought a claw close to their leader's throat.

      “Now. You get a few options here. All of them involve you leaving. One of them involves you walking while you do that. Another don't. Take your pick,” Red said, not even trying to sound threatening by this point.

      The man stared at him for a few short moments, testing to see if he could actually physically end the Worgen with his gaze. Sadly for him, he could not. “Fine,” he finally said, growling more than the Worgen had the entire time.

      Red nodded, rising, motioning for them to leave. They slowly pushed themselves off the ground, the first two not even leaving the Death Knight a second to go back on his word, bolting The third stared Red down, before doing the same.

      Once he was certain that he was the only one left nearby, Redamous turned to look at the house. He wanted to just continue up the path and leave it be, but a morbid sense of curiosity wasn't about to let that happen, especially not after all of that. Approaching the house, he looked left and right, trying to peek through the windows to find them too dusty for such. Slowly, he reached out to try the doorknob, surprised when he found it unlocked.

      The door opened with a loud creak. He let it remain open for a time, peering into the small one room home, until he decided that it had to be empty. First one of his feet crept forward, before being followed by the other, until he had brought himself fully inside. As he peered further and further into the back of the room, he entirely missed the figure sneaking up behind him, wielding a large piece of wood, before slamming it against the back of Red's head. The Worgen dropped to his knees, before slumping forward face first onto the dusty wooden floor.

      “Shit,” he heard someone say. A girl, and not too old by the sounds of it. “Oh shit shit shit,” they said again. He could feel a hand pressing up against his throat in a few places, checking for a pulse that they would never possibly find.

      “He's dead. Oh shit he's dead,” they said, voice growing more and more panicked, their footsteps echoing around the room as they paced about, up and down to his right. “What the hell am I going to do with a dead guy? I can leave him here. Yeah, yeah. Who's gonna come looking for a dead guy? I mean really. They'll just figure bandits did it, or something. Yeah. Oh shit it's a dead guy. I killed him. I killed him. No. Wait. Maybe they killed him. I bet they hurt him, and I just finished him off. Yeah. That's got to be it.”

      He could feel a hand poking against the side of his head, yet he still decided to keep his eyes closed, “Maybe I could take his hat.”

      Red groaned, turning over to where he was on his back, slowly opening his eyes, just in time to see the girl recoil in horror. “You ain't stealin' my hat,” he grumbled, sitting up and rubbing his head. He slowly looked her over, blinking a few times, “What in the holy hell are you doin' out here?”

      The girl couldn't have been more than fifteen, if she was that much. She was wearing a red cloth shirt that was untucked, leaving it to hang over ever so slightly her darker cloth pants. Her shoes were older, and worn, brown hair tied back to rest against her back. She slowly regained her composure, crossing her arms across her chest to stare at him, “I'm out here 'cause I want to be out here. Simple as that.”

      “Well you shouldn't be, simple as that,” he said, still patting his head to make sure that nothing was damaged. He was looking for any sort of structural damage. The last thing he was worried about was brain damage.

      “Not like it's any of your business,” she said, moving over to a spot on the windows that she had dusted off to have a view outside.

      Red rose slowly, grunting slightly as he did so, “No, it ain't, but still, you shouldn't be out here.” Noticing what she was doing, he added, “They're gone.”

      She let out a sigh of relief, looking back at him, “Do I have to say thank you?”

      “Wouldn't hurt,” he said, “Maybe tack on an 'I'm sorry' while you're at it too.

      She rolled her eyes, “Yeah, sorry about that. Can't be too careful.”

      “Uh huh,” he muttered, staring at her, “Again. What in the world are you doing out here?”

      She was only half paying attention to him at this point as she wandered around the room, picking up a few things scattered across the floor. A knife, what looked to be a few cans of food, a bedroll. All those things were shoved into a pack that soon went onto her back. She looked up at him when she was finished, shrugging, “Stuff.” With that, she headed towards the door, exiting the house.

      Red blinked, following her. When he exited back out into the Plaguelands, he found her walking further up the road, the sun making quite some progress in its trek towards the west. Sighing, he followed after her, a voice screaming in the back of his head that he was going to regret it.

      She could hear him coming up behind her, but she never turned to look at him. Instead her focus was on the sights around her, whether that be the number of dying trees, or the old ruins of homes. Occasionally an animal would scurry across the road in front of her, and she would try to follow it with her eyes for as long as she could.

      “Oi,” Red said, trying to draw her attention while still keeping a distance behind her. She wasn't walking extremely fast, making that rather easy. “Where in the world do you think you're going?”

      “This way,” she said, pointing forward.

      Red sighed, “Why.”

      “I feel like it, I guess,” she said, offering a simple shrug, “Let me guess. I'm probably gonna get eaten, aren't I?”

      “Ain't my problem,” Red said, looking around himself. They were passing through by one of the old ruins of a town.

      “Then why are you heading this way, huh?” she asked, turning around and walking backwards to look at him.

      Red blinked, staring at her, “...'Cause.”

      “Well if it isn't your problem, why are you walking this way?” she said, looking amused now.

      “'Cause you shouldn't be walkin' through here. That's why.”

      “Didn't you just say that wasn't your problem?” She was smirking by now.

      “It ain't.”

      She turned, walking forward again, “Then you're welcome to leave! Before you get eaten too! Besides, haven't you heard that old story about a Worgen chasing a girl through a dark forest?”

      Red opened his mouth to speak, before shutting it and simply following along. She said nothing more to him, taking in her surroundings. They walked in silence, him a few feet behind her. After awhile, his ears twitched ever so slightly. He reached forward, resting a hand against her shoulder, feeling her tense up under it. She turned, looking prepared to run, but he shook his head, grabbing her shoulder to prevent her from doing so. When he knew she was going to be ready to scream, he put a finger against his lips, looking around again.

      Somewhere behind them, a twig snapped. Her eyes grew wide, and she slowly nodded, stepping slightly closer to him. Red's eyes shot around, this way and that, seeking out the source of the noise. A figure slowly moved through the trees around them, first appearing here, then there, before finally emerging to their left.

      Its skin was rotting, and it was missing an eye that it didn't bother to cover. Adorned in leather armor, two knives on its belt, the Forsaken tried to grin with what was left of its face. He tilted his head this way and that, trying to make sense of the situation, only finding it more and more amusing. His voice was a horrible cracking tone, “Well isn't this interesting.”

      Red slowly slid the girl behind him, staring the Forsaken down as it slowly inched closer to them. “Suppose you could see it that way,” he said, keeping his cool about him.

      “Oh I think it is,” the Forsaken crackled out, tapping a finger against the side of his face, “A Gilnean mutt, and a bald little pup to go with him. That's quite the picture, you know. It's very entertaining.” He slowly began circling the pair, Red turning to make sure that he kept himself between the Forsaken and the girl. “Protective one, aren't you?”

      “An' you're a patchworked creep,” Red said, staring, “Now that we're all established, why don't you just keep walking.” From behind him, the girl glanced up at him, looking thankful.

      “No fun in that,” he cooed, stepping closer to the Worgen. The space between them was shrinking, the two of them waiting for the other to make a move. The Forsaken's fingers played over the hilt of his daggers, waiting. Upon the Forsaken's next step, Red muttered something under his breath, rushing forward.

      The Forsaken grinned, trying to pull his daggers from their resting places, only to find that he couldn't down. He looked down to find that they had been frozen in place. When he looked back up it was in the split-second before the Worgen slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. Red stared down at the other undead, who hardly looked worried. The Forsaken brought his elbow up against the Worgen's nose, using the point where he lifted his head up from it to bring his knee against Red's stomach, flipping him over to where the Forsaken now sat on top.

      Smashing a hand against one of his daggers, the ice around it broke and the Forsaken drew it against the Worgen's throat, “Someone decided to be all playful, didn't they. I knew you were a playful puppy all along. You just look it. Pent up rage and all that. So come on little puppy. Toss me around a bit. Or try.” He brought the dagger closer to Red's throat, smiling, “Off with his head, they said.”

      He began the motion to begin cutting into the Worgen's neck. Red began to try to push the Forsaken off of him, before seeing the girl standing over them, a large rock in hand. She heaved it against the Forsaken's head, it landing with a large thud, his teeth slamming against each other a few breaking out. There was a horrible crack as Red could practically feel the thing's skull crunch. Red jerked his head to the right, nearly being hit by the rock as it slid forward off of the Forsaken's squished head.

      Casually pushing the at least stunned Forsaken off of him, Red stood. Staring down at the it, he took a step back, running forward and kicking its head clean off for good measure. He sighed, looking to the girl, offering her a faint nod, “Thanks.”

       “D-did...D-did I...” she covered her mouth, stepping back from the decapitated creature. “Did I kill it...” Her voice was hoarse, and worried. She didn't even wait for a reply, heading for a dry bush, retching into it.

      Red sighed, walking over to gently pat her on the back. When she had recovered someone, he looked down at the re-deceased, “I think I did. So lets put that one on me, and you not worry about it. Okay?” She slowly nodded, hands still covering her mouth. For a moment, he was worried she was going to be ill again. He sighed, trying to lead her a bit further up the road. “Come on. You need to lie down, and it's getting late. You got food and a sleeping bag or somethin', right?”

       She simply nodded, and said nothing more.

       Night found the two sitting around a campfire that Red had started. He sat on one said, resting back against a log, watching her on the other side eat while curled up halfway in a sleeping bag. Her eyes mainly rested against the fire, a can of soup and a spoon in her hand. She slowly ate, he simply watched.

      Earlier when she had pulled out the cans, she had offered him one, but he had declined, leaving her to give him an odd look. He was certain she was eventually going to ask, but as of yet she hadn't. Yet.

      “So,” she said, glancing up at him, “Why are you out here?”

      He looked towards the dark woods, before looking back to her and shrugging, “Live out here, I guess.”

      “Odd place to live, if you ask me,” she muttered, looking back at the fire. “Do you have any family or anything?”

      “Kinda,” he said, shrugging again, “Kinda. I got folks I hang around. I trust 'em enough. They ain't blood or nothin', but they're close enough to count. Make sense?”
      “I guess,” she said, looking up at him again. She eyed him over, before looking up at his face, “Why are you following me?”

      “'Cause. I ain't gonna let no kid get killed out here 'cause they ain't gonna turn around and be sensible.”

      “Uh huh,” she said, looking at the fire, “I have to be out here. I have things I want to do.”

      “And what kinda o' things are those,” he said, shifting forward a bit, elbows resting against his knees, “Gettin' yourself robbed or worse by bandits or whatever the hell those guys were? Maybe getting' eaten by an animal or somethin'. What could you possibly have to do out here?”

      “I don't think that's any of your damn business,” she said, glaring at him, for a moment sounding older than she was. “If I wanna come out here, that's none of your business. Didn't you already say it wasn't your problem?”

      He frowned, “Yeah, I did.”

      “Well it isn't your problem. And I recall you saying you don't care, either, so why are you really here?” she said accusingly.

      “'Like I said. I ain't about to let you get yourself killed, kid,” he said, “'Cause you're in a place that ain't safe for you, and you got a bit of a ways to go 'fore I can make sure some paladin makes sure you get shoved on a gryphon back to Stormwind. That's why.”

      “So you do care,” she said, pointing her spoon at him, “You just don't want to admit, right? Come on. Just say it. You're worried about me.”

      “I ain't havin' you dyin' on my conscience.”

      She sighed, shaking her head, “Good to know.”

      They sat in silence for some time, her eating, him watching. Every now and then he would toss a stick into the fire, letting out a short sigh. Finally, he broke the silence again, “You got a name?”

      “Well duh,” she said, sticking her tongue out at her, “Everyone has a name.”

      “And yours is...” He sighed, tossing another stick into the fire. He was far from in the mood for this.

      “Ashley,” she said. She set her can aside, now that it was empty, leaning forward to caustiously stick her hand over the fire, “Ashley.”

      Red tried to smirk, shaking the hand, “Redamous. You can call me Red, if you want.”

      She nodded, “I guess I'll go with...Red? Red works. You don't look very Red, though. More blue. 'Specially your eyes. What's up with that?”

      “It's a long story that ain't worth tellin' right now,” he said, frowning slightly. No, she actually had no idea. Odd.

      She let out a yawn, nodding, “Maybe another time?”

      He nodded, “Maybe another time.”

      Ashley tucked herself deeper into the sleeping bag, resting back against the ground, and closed her eyes. Silence over took the small makeshift camp again, leaving the Worgen to watch her, the only thought running through his mind being him questioning why in the world he was still there.

      “I'm heading home, Dom.”

      “Well I sure as hell ain't. If you wanna let some deader push you around, that's your problem, Lewis. Girl's probably still alive, if he didn't eat her or something.”

      “And if he did?"

      “Then I doubt he took her shit.”

      “I'm with Lewis, Dom. I'm going home. Not worth it. How much do you even think we'd be getting?”

      “Easily three hundred."

      “You really want to do all of this for a hundred gold. You're gonna mess around in the Plaguelands for that much? Not worth it.”

      “Well screw you then. Mine.”

      “You're freaking nuts.”

      “Hey, if he wants to meet his maker, let him. Not our faults.”

      “Yep. Good luck with that, Dom. Really. Don't screw the pooch too hard.”

      As she rolled up her sleeping bag and put everything back where it belonged in her pack, Red idly kicked out the remaining embers of the fire. Considering he had nothing to collect himself, they were only waiting on her.

      “Sure you don't want me to carry that for you?” Red said as they headed off down the back.

      She grunted a little as she adjusted the bag, shaking her head, “Nope. All mine."

      “I ain't gonna steal nothin', you know,” he said, smirking.

       “I don't care. I got it. You're just gonna keep following me, aren't you?” She didn't sound sad about that fact. Though she still didn't sound certain about it either.

      “For now, I guess. At least gotta make sure you get to the Chapel. Gryphons are there.”

      Even though she liked to think she said it quiet enough that he didn't hear it, his ears twitched slightly as she muttered softly “Keep telling yourself that.”

      There was nothing of note for some time after that. The path was much like others in the Plaguelands, deteriorated. Around them, the trees remained dead, the ground dark and dead, the trees dying. Suffice to say the Plaguelands lived up to their namesake. Eventually a tower in the distance came into view, the bright light shining from its top shooting straight into the sky seemingly forever. She stopped in her tracks, staring up at at it.

      “What is it?” she said, craning her neck as far as possible.

      “It's a tower?” Red said, not entirely certain what she was asking.

      “No, no. Why's it all bright up there?” she said, turning his head up towards the light.

      “Oh. That? I dunno. Beacon or somethin'? Paladin's tower. Probably the Light or something,” he grumbled.

      “Can we go look at it?” she asked, looking up at him. She immediately coughed into her hand, “I mean. I'm gonna go look at it. You can stay here if you want to wait for me or something.”

      “Think I will,” he said, glancing at her, “Just. Please don't go running off without me.”

      She shrugged, running up the hill towards the tower, “Don't start caring or anything.”

      From where he stood, arms crossed, he could see her talking to one of the paladins at the tower. He sighed, shaking his head. Why in the world was he even still here? The obvious and most likely answer he hated. To make sure she was okay. Wasn't that the exact same thing he had criticized Beck for the other day? Trying to take care of a kid that wasn't her's? It was that or she was probably going to get herself guild, and like he said, there was no way he was going to let that sit on his conscience.

      When he saw her returning, he frowned slightly. A paladin was following at a distance behind her, and as best as he could tell, she wasn't aware of it. When she got reached him, she began to speak, before the paladin beat her to it, “Has this man been following you?"

      She turned suddenly to look at the paladin, mouth dropping open slightly, “Uh. Well. Kind of.”

      “I see,” the paladin muttered, stepping forward, pushing the girl behind him much as Red had done the previous day. The Worgen was less than pleased with the motion. “Is there a reason for that?”

      Red frowned, “I'm makin' sure she's not gonna get 'erself killed, pal. You got a problem with that?”

      “Actually,” the paladin began to say.

      “He's fine,” the girl said. When Red looked at her, her eyes shot straight to the ground, before she found the nerve to look back up at the paladin. “He's fine. I know what I'm doing, and if I say he's fine, then he's fine. It's none of your business, buddy.”

      Red glanced at the paladin, smirking slightly, but shrugging. He scowled in return, mouthing the words “Watch it.” The Worgen nodded, tipping his hat politely to the man, before looking to the girl, “We movin' on?”
      She nodded in return to him, “We're moving on. Have a nice day, sir.” She bowed slightly to the paladin, before they began to walk up the road again.

      “Why'd you do that?” Red asked, staring at her back.

      “Why'd I do what?” she said innocently enough, not returning his look.

      “Stick up for me.”

      “That? I don't know. Don't think about it. I don't care, if that's what you're thinking.”

      “Not implying that.”

      “He was gonna yell at you or make a scene when you haven't done anything wrong. Yet.”

      Red raised an eyebrow slightly, “Yet?”

      “It only takes once, I guess,” she said in return. “And you never know when that once will be, do you?”

      “No, suppose you don't.”

      They stopped further down the road when they came to a fork. To their left stood another tower, the road passing right by it. The road to their right ran off towards a town, a wooden signpost on it bearing a skull and crossbones. Beyond the sign, a number of shapes could be seen moving in and out. Some where transparent spirits, other more physical, yet ghoulish. She slowly backed up towards him.

      “What's that way?” she said, peering up at him.

      “That's uh. Oh what's it called. Corin's Crossing. Little town. Was a little town,” he said, looking down at her.

      “Oh,” she said, peering back at the town. She started leaning this way and that, tilting her head as if searching for something, “My mom's from Corin's Crossing. What happened to it?"

      “Well,” Red started, before pulling his hat off his head and scratching behind one of his ears, “Somethin' bad, obviously. Same thing that happened to the rest of the stuff around here. It got plagued, an' well. It wasn't a very happy endin'.”

      “Oh,” she said again, frowning. Ashley pointed towards one of the houses that sat on a corner near the center of town, “I think that was my mom's house. She said it was somewhere near there. On a corner.”

       Red nodded, glancing downward again, “Ain't your parents worried about you?”

      She blinked, looking up at him, her voice never faltering once, “Nope.”

      “Right,” he said, leading her towards the left path, “Lets not wait too long, then. Night's gonna be gettin' here soon.”

      As they passed the tower, the Light not present at the top of this one for some reason, he could feel at least a dozen eyes on him, most of them with some degree of malice. All the same, no one stopped them, and they continued on without any sort of conflict from those of the Light.

      By now they were following the river, their reflections barely visible against its dark waters. In front of them, a few slugs crossed the road. She stopped and stepped back when one of them grew close to them, but he assured her that it wasn't likely to harm them. If it tried, it wouldn't be too hard to either get rid of it, or leave it behind.

      They eventually saw a pair of figures in the distance, slowly approaching them. Based on the noise, they were invested in their own conversation, and Red was fairly certain that they had yet to see him. He led her off the path, much to her annoyance, positioning them behind a tree. When the other pair passed, her eyes went wide and she pressed her back against him when she saw that they were two Forsaken. Red assured her when they were gone, shooting a glance up at the sky and the dying light. With that said, he went about gathering wood, and soon enough they were sitting at a camp again.

      “What's wrong with those guys?” she said, much as he had expected her to, taking another spoonful of beans out of a can.

      Red frowned, looking at the fire over looking at her, “Honest answer?”


      “They're dead,” he muttered. Red glanced up at her, noting the odd look she gave him, “Well. They were dead. They aren't now. Somebody kind of brought 'em back. 'Cept they ain't alive again.

      “Oh,” she said, looking down at the fire, “So they can get hurt worse and stuff? That must suck. Are they all mean like that?”

      He chuckled, shaking his head, “I'd like to think not all of us are mean like that, no.

      Ashley blinked, finishing off her food and setting it aside, “Us?” She gulped, realizing what that meant, “Is that why you don't eat or sleep or anything? Because you're like them?”

      “Not entirely, I guess,” he said, shrugging, “We're put together differently, if that makes sense. Held together by different things. Kinda like how you can make somethin' outta different metal, I suppose.”

      “Sounds like a shitty deal,” she said, frowning at him.

      “Kind of is, I suppose. Things could be worse. Could be some mindless thing looking to kill folks or somethin'. I sure as hell ain't that. An' no. I ain't gonna hurt you or nothin'. I'm not like them in that regard,” he said, smiling at her.

      “Hey,” she said, raising her hands defensively. “I never said anything like that. You did.”

      “Right,” Red said, nodding, “Just wanted to make sure you got that.”

      “Like you would tell me if you were gonna hurt me,” she said.

      Red frowned, nodding, “Right.”

      “So are you as uh,” she said, breaking the silence that set in after his last word, “Those people you talked about earlier. Do you act like this around them? What's the word for it? Detached?”

      The Worgen frowned even more, staring at the fire and thinking. After a bit of time, he shrugged, “Maybe. Sometimes.”

      She yawned, resting back and working her way deeper into her sleeping bag, “It sounds lonely.”

      After he was certain she was asleep, Red muttered to himself, “I guess it is.”

      By the middle of the next day, they stood outside of the walls surrounding Light’s Hope Chapel. The Worgen’s arms were crossed, the girl staring back and forth between him and the Chapel itself. Inside the walls, people were going about their business. A dwarf was smithing, a few of the guards were talking amongst themselves, while others were haggling with a merchant or two. Somewhere in the camp Red could smell someone cooking.

      Ashley looked between the Worgen and the Chapel, frowning. She shook her head, pointing back down the road, “I’m going that way.”

      Red sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “Just how far are you goin’, exactly?”

      “The ocean,” she said, looking past the Chapel to the lands behind it. “We’re close, right?”

      The Death Knight sighed, nodding, “Yeah. We’re close, I guess.”

      “Well,” she said, “I guess if I have to, I’ll just make sure one of those guys gets me there. Sound like a plan?” He shook his head. “What? It’ll be ‘safe’. That’s all you really care about, right? Besides, if I die, it won’t be your problem.”

      “You ain’t doin’ that,” he said, turning to walk back the way they came.

      She stared at him in disbelief, walking after him, “And why the hell not?”

      “’Cause. No need to bother those folks when I’m already makin’ sure you’re gettin’ there.”

      Behind him, the girl smirked. She bit her lip and shook her head, doing her best to hold off a remark.

      They stopped in Tyr’s Hand come the evening, and he rested by the fountain, allowing her to wander the settlement. He could only hope that she wouldn’t run off without him, what with the light of the day fading, but they were close enough to her destination that he was certain that should she decide to do so, he would be able to catch up quickly.

      A few of the people walking around the settlement shot him odd glances, but most were polite enough to offer him a faint nod. The Ebon Hold was close by. The last thing they wanted was to make one of its inhabitants angry. In return to their nods, he would politely tip his hat, and offer a smile in return. Though it struck them as odd, they weren’t about to deny the seemingly passive Death Knight that he was at least courteous.

      Every now and then he would see her leave one building and wander on to the next, moving from the inn, to the library, to the chapel, and finally up the hill to the large Cathedral near the northeast end of the settlement. As it got later and later, he could smell food being cooked somewhere and hear people talking. A glance over his shoulder confirmed that there was smoke rising from one of the buildings, and probably most of the settlement’s inhabitants wandering over in that direction. He spied Ashley among them.

      He sat, enjoying the constant buzz of conversation somewhere behind him, eyes closed, before someone nearby coughed. A single eye opened, looking around, before it settled on an older woman standing in front of him.

      Redamous sat up a bit straighter, nodding politely to the woman, “Somethin' I can help you with, miss?”

      She slowly eyed him over, taking him in. The Worgen was pretty certain he was being judged in some way. Without any forewarning, she squeezed in beside him on the bench, staring at him. She sounded somewhat amused, as she spoke, “Quite the pair, if I may say so myself.”

      He blinked, an eyebrow slowly raising, “Pardon?”

      “You and that girl,” she said, smiling. “A giant dead Worgen, and a teenager. I've heard a lot of odd pairs in my time. But that's the oddest I've heard in some time.” His eyes shot around for a moment, noticing that no one else was nearby. She chuckled, shaking her head, “Give an old girl points for at least trying to be subtle, please? Fine. The point. Why are you with her?”

      Red shook his head, trying to find the words, before managing to mutter, “I don' know.

      “You don't know,” she said, sounding more and more amused, “You don't know, but you're doing it anyway. Oh if that isn't the funniest thing I've heard in some time.”

      “'Cause if I didn't, she'd get 'erself killed,” he grumbled, “I'd have trouble sleepin' if I knew that.”

      She laughed, shaking her head, “You would've passed a number of people coming up this way, my friend. Unless you tried to avoid them, which doesn't look very good in your favor does it? Large man, escorting a young girl around, trying to avoid other people. That would sound a bit weird.”

       “Suppose I did,” he said, nodding, “We walked by the towers an' such. What about it?”

      “Well you could have easily passed her off to some well-to-do follower of the Light, who would have seen her safety as his sworn duty,” she said, laughing again as if the thought was silly. “But you didn't. It's interesting.” He stared at her, but she simply winked, “I'm old. I don't exactly get out much. I thrive on this kind of thing. I'm just curious. I'd like to think she'd have run off if this was a bad situation. And that looks very good in your favor.”

      Red sighed, looking off forward, “It's...Nice. I guess.”

      “Nice, hm? Interesting way of putting it,” she said, prodding his side. “I need more.”

      “It's nice to have a place to go, a person to watch, I guess. Somebody to talk to, a bit. I mean. We don't talk too much or nothin', but it is nice,” he said, “I've had some trouble with that as of late, I guess. Knowin' where to go, or havin' a place to go. Or havin' somebody to have to watch.”

      The older woman offered a gentler smile this time, nodding, “I'm sure it is. Aren't there plenty of your kind to have to watch though, hm? I've seen many of them pass through here. All high and mighty and making a fool of themselves. Why you'd think they were a person of the Light.” She chuckled to herself, elbowing him, “That one stays between you and me.”

      He brought his right hand up, nodding, “Got my word. An' I suppose you're right, and there are times I do try to do that. But I guess they just happen to be grown folks, an' for the most part, the ones I can watch know how to take care of 'emselves. This is different.”

      “Well then,” she said, staring forward herself, “That will make for an interesting story. If you ask me, it appears to be going well. Don't screw it up.” She laughed again, elbowing him, “And take an old woman's advice, would you?”

      Red smirked, “I'm listenin'.”

      “Enjoy it,” she said, slowly standing back up, resisting his attempt to assist her, “Stuff like this only lasts for a bit.”

      “Right,” he muttered, watching her walk off. “Right.”

      Once she had finished eating, they moved into the Enclave, making camp there. He had to search high and low to find any wood worth using, but in the end got the job done. She didn't need to worry about cooking anything, having already eaten alongside everyone else, and simply took to her sleeping bag, staring into the fire.

      “Hey, Red,” Ashley said, not looking up from the fire.

      “Yep?” Red said in return, glancing past it at her.

      “Thanks,” she said, sitting up a bit to look at him. “For this.”

      “No problem,” he said, smirking slightly, “We ain't there yet, you know.”

      “It isn't that far, is it?” she said, trying to squint past him into the gloom.

      He shook his head, laughing, “No. 'Bout maybe half an hour from here. Not that far.”

      “Well I'm gonna be up bright and early to get to it.”

      “Bright an' early,” he said, shaking his head, “Darlin', you've been up at maybe nine each mornin', every day. That ain't bright an' early.”

      “Yeah, well. I'll show you,” she said, sticking her tongue out at him.

      “And what exactly are you gonna do after all this?”

       “I don't know yet,” she said, trying to shrug as best she could in the sleeping bag. “I'll figure it out when I need to. Right now, I know where I'm going, and I know what I'm doing.”

      “Good feelin', that,” he said, chuckling softly, “Guess I do too. Up until tomorrow.”

      “And what do you plan on doing?”

      “I dunno yet. Guess I'll figure it out, won't I?”

      “I'd hope so. Unless you're really boring or something.”

      “Sometimes, yeah. Yeah I am.”

      After she had nodded off, the Worgen remained awake. He rested back against a house they had decided to camp near, staring up at the sky. He could see no stars, and the moon was barely an outline. Every now and then he would sit up, poke at the fire or maybe toss a log in, and then rest back.

      There was something calming about the quiet of the night, yet his mind was anything but calm. Try as he might, he couldn't dispel the thought that maybe, for some ungodly reason, he did care. There was no reason to care. He couldn't think of anything he had really cared about, beyond his own people, in years. Even that was pushing it, sometimes. It was hard to believe he 'cared' when he couldn't even bring himself to blink at one of them acting stupid and getting in trouble. Maybe that was natural.

      He allowed his arms to cross, sighing quietly to himself. The morning would come soon enough, they would hike out to wherever she wanted to go, and then he would make sure she was on a gryphon back towards Stormwind or somewhere safer than this. That would be that. And then what? What would he possibly do after that? Go back to prowling Stormwind here and there?

      Red sighed again. He was boring. More than sometimes. This was at least something different. Not only that, but he let himself actually laugh at things today. He had actually conversed with people outside of his own kin. Yet once this was all said and done, what was he likely to do? Go back to sitting around brooding. Dig himself back into the rut he'd created at some point in his un-life.

      She started turning a bit in her sleep, the smallest of smiles on her face. Red allowed one of his own as he watched her. It was a sight he certainly hadn't ever planned on being able to see again.

      Savor it. The woman had told him to savor it. He might as well.

      Once she had quit tossing around, Red lay his head back against the wooden wall of the house, watching the sky. He pulled his hat down over his eyes, closed them, and waited for her to poke at him to get up. Without even trying, somehow, someway, the Death Knight found sleep. A dreamless sleep, but sleep nonetheless.

      Red jerked up, hat falling off of his face and landing on the ground. Blinking a few times, he rubbed his eyes, looking around. The sun was barely poking its way over the nearby hills. He had to blink a few more times before he realized that he was alone. He quickly rose, brushing himself off and silently cursing. He should have known she was going to do something like this.

      In the distance he heard a shrill scream. Were his heart still functioning, it would have began to beat quickly, but instead his entire body was still, calm. When the scream came again, that calm was gone.

      Red started sprinting towards the noise, before dropping to all fours, rushing forward as quickly as possible. His mind focused on the source, vision narrowing to nothing but the ground in front of him. As he ran across the land, in the distance he managed to identify shapes in the growing light.

      He skidded to a stop, the dirt crunching under his feet, and stared. Before him, the man he had seen pounding against the door days ago was sitting on top of Ashley. Red could barely make out the glint of steel against her throat.

      In that short moment, something in the Worgen simply snapped. He charged forward, letting out a horrifying growl as he did so. The man looked up in time to see the creature slam straight into him, the both of them sliding across the dirt, Red on top of the man. The Worgen looked down at the man, letting out a loud snarl, spit flying over the man's face. He flinched, looking away in fear. Red raised his fist. In most instances, he would have stopped himself, or at least tried to stop himself, but this time he let loose, punching the man's face over and over. After he had landed a few blows, he raised his hand, the fist uncurling, prepared to begin slicing into his flesh.

      “Stop!” He almost didn't hear the voice. Almost.

      Red held his hand in the air, glancing over his shoulder to look at her. She had her hands covering her mouth, a look far too close to how she had looked when he'd finished off the Forsaken days earlier. He clinched his fists, steeling himself. After a tense moment, he dropped his hand to his side, looking down at the man. His face by this point looked closer to tenderized meat than actual flesh, but he was still alive.

      The Worgen slowly rose, the man letting out a faint groan when he did so. Red turned to look at her, eying her over. She was in one piece. That was enough.

      “You alright?” he said, letting out slow, even breaths.

      She simply nodded, looking around. When she spotted it, she retrieved her bag from the ground. “Lets get this done,” she said, heading for the shore. Red shot the man a final glance, before nodding and following after her.

      She found her way to a dock, sitting down and crossing her legs. He followed suit. Tugging her backpack in front of her, she began to rifle through it, finally pulling out much to his surprise, a small vase, with a layer of clear plastic across the top. She peeled it off, shaking the vase's contents, before standing, walking over to the side, and dumping the contents, dust by the looks, into the water below.

      Red blinked, realizing the object was an urn, looking up at the girl. She smiled sadly, offering a small wave to the ashes as they fell into the water, before bowing her head and muttering softly. His eyes never looked away from her.

      Having finished her business, she turned back to look at the Worgen, smiling sadly, “Guess I should explain?”

      Red simply nodded. She brought the urn up to where he could look at it, offering it to him. He took it, looking it over. It was a simple thing, and far from expensive. “My mom was born in Corin's Crossing, and she always said she liked coming up here.” Red blinked a few times, looking up at her, motioning for her to go on.

      “She,” Ashley hesitated, rubbing her arm awkwardly, “She got sick a couple months ago. And we couldn't really afford any medicine, and the priests couldn't really do anything. And then a couple of weeks ago she. Well. You get it.”

      He nodded, sighing, “Yeah. I get it.”

      “And she always talked about how much she'd love to see this again, the ocean. She said she walked over here a lot when she was a kid. So I figured it would be nice if she could. Those guys were supposed to help me get up here, but they really just wanted the urn. It's not even that expensive. Guess they didn't know that.”

      “An' your dad,” Red muttered, guessing he wouldn't like the answer.

      “I don't know,” she said, shrugging, “Never met him.” The Worgen was silent, nodding slowly. She sat down, staring at him, “So.”

      He ceased staring at the wood of the dock, looking up at her, “So?”

      “So,” she began again, “What now?”

      “I got an idea,” he said, “Involves gryphons. You probably won't be partial to it, but I think it's good for now. From there, well. I guess we'll figure it out, won't we.”

      She nodded, “I think I owe you at least going along with you. This one time.” She held up a single finger, “This one time.”

      He smirked, holding up a single finger himself, “This one time.”

      They sat on the steps of the Stormwind Orphanage, watching people pass by. Every now and then one of them would chime off a number, going off of the number of people who looked at them oddly. They were up to thirty.

      “Thirty-one,” she said, looking over at him. “So you really think this is gonna go okay.”

      “I don' know about that,” he said. Smirking, he offered a small nod to the woman who passed by, gawking, “Thirty-two.”

      “You think somebody'll adopt me?” she said, not sounding interested in the idea.

      “Possible,” he muttered in return. “Guess we'll see where that winning personality gets ya. Thirty-three.”

      “You know what I think you are?”

      “What's that?”
      “Full of shit.”

      “Anybody ever tell you that you got a really...Colorful vocabulary?”


      “Why ain't I surprised.”

      “Because you shouldn't be. Thirty-four.”

      “I think this'll do for now, for you. We'll see what happens.”

      “Hey, you could always take me home.

      He glanced at her, shaking his head, “I don't know about that. See those people lookin' at me? That's the kinda look the people inside'd give me if I tried that one. Not sure things allow for that right now either.”

      “Oh,” she said sadly. “You'll at least come around, right?”

      “Oh, I'll come around,” he said, elbowing her. “I owe you at least that one thing, don't I?

      She grinned, nodding, “Yeah, you do.”

      “Then I'll be around.”