[PM to Join, Mature] These Golden Ashes Turn to Dirt

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Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld. The small town of Plugit is nearby.

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Niccolette Ibutatu
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:41 pm
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Race: Galdor
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Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:47 pm

Early Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
Sea Breeze, the Waterfront
Very different, in Mugroba. Niccolette found it rather an understatement, but she supposed she agreed. It had, naturally, shocked her. In Bastia – well. Even the Anaxi were lax, by Bastian standards. In Bastia, it would not matter how far Lars fled from Anastou, were he gated there; the Caramaida would note his absence, and they would find him. She had not known about this difference, naturally, until she had started to live in the Rose. In Brunnhold, of course, she had assumed it was the same. But –

But by the time she came to live in the Rose, she had known Aremu for more than a year – she had flown alongside him, and fought alongside him, and he had saved Uzoji’s life and her own, and she had saved his – in the way that one did, over and over – and, to her surprise, Niccolette had found she did not think much of it, that there were passives in the Rose. She had still thought of them as dangerous, then.

Niccolette realized, rather uneasily, that she was not quite sure when she had stopped.

She would have to be very careful indeed, the Bastian thought tiredly, in Vienda. It was something of a wonder she had survived the rainy season. She did not like to think of that either, and so she did not.

“Yes,” Niccolette said, and she fixed her gaze solidly on Lars, because she wished him to understand. “He is my friend too.” Niccolette said, but her voice was more than a little cold, and there was a warning in it, curling somewhere beneath the heavy Bastian accent. She did not look at the bodies behind them on the wall ot the man with the broken leg, and she did not look at Lars’s ears, but she thought he would remember. She thought he would understand.

The silence between them was broken by Lars’s next question, ever bolder. Niccolette sat back against the bar, uncurling her right hand slowly from her side, resting her elbows against the wood. “We worked with him,” Niccolette said, and she looked back away from Lars once more, off to the side, and let the conversation end there.

After some time, without ever looking back at the passive, the Bastian drained the last of her whiskey, set the empty cup back down, and rose from her stool. She walked around the man mopping the blood off the floor, even now, and crouched down beside the only man to survive the attack on her, tilting her head slightly to the side. She held her fingers beneath his nose to check his breathing – touched them to his neck, and counted, silently, the rhythm of his pulse, then nodded to herself and eased back. His leg was still bleeding, sluggishly; someone had wrapped cloth around it, Niccolette noticed – filthy cloth. It was not as if it mattered, not really, keeping the wound clean.

Niccolette rose back up to her feet, and shook her skirts out, and held there against the far wall. She made no effort to wave Lars over. She would not object, not precisely, if he followed her once more, but neither would she begin to speak to him again; if he dared to ask any more questions of her, or even to apologize for the ones he had already asked, he would find Niccolette entirely capable of ignoring him.

It was not that long before Niccolette’s note had the desired effect, and the large men who shoved their way into the bar did so purposefully; almost like they had for Niccolette, the crowds parted lightly for him, with no one needing to speak or comment on it, the rhythms of the Rose resuming as usual.

“Finally,” Niccolette said aloud, although it was not exactly to Lars so much as in front of him. But she turned to him, then, quite deliberately, and raised her eyebrows, and gestured with a flick of one wrist to the door. There was a large carriage outside, and as the humans bundled up the man with the broken leg, Niccolette climbed into it and took a seat at the far end of the bench. She rested back against the wall, and sighed, once, softly, pushing her hair back up off her face. And then it was gone, whatever flicker that had been, and she was set and still and serious once more.

Lars, too, was welcome in the carriage; and the humans would follow behind, the prisoner bound, now, and curled up on the floor between them. They held him steady, or at least steady enough, and one reached out and banged on the wall, and they began to move, the horses stamping and snorting, the wheels turning over the cobblestone streets – carrying them, steadily, onwards towards the King. Niccolette sat with her hands in her lap, her face turned to the window, and let the light play over her face, although she saw very little of what passed outside, and knew even less.

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word count: 871

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Lars
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
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Location: Old Rose
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: le machiavel
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Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:43 pm

SEA BREEZE; THE WATERFRONT
ROALIS 69, 2719 - EARLY EVENING
Lars met the woman's gaze when it was fixed upon him, clearly meant to solidify her words in some note of warning, as if he had the intention of somehow hurting her companion. He almost felt offense at the gesture, though his eyes betrayed nothing, and said nothing in response, perhaps unwilling to dignify the words. He wasn't a brute, after all, he'd meant it when he'd said that Aremu was kind, and he certainly wasn't of the mind to do anything to hurt or otherwise inconvenience him. He supposed he could understand her feeling the need to clarify (although wordlessly) that if he did, it would be met with the harshest of consequences - he couldn't say he'd given her the best of impressions since they'd met. He couldn't blame her for simply caring about her friend.

His second question was not well-received; whatever friendly front Niccolette had shown had been buried, again, and he didn't think to try and drag it out again. He had felt safer to do so with Aremu - safer to speak what fragments of his thoughts were coherent, and safer in the situation that if things went badly, at least the other passive couldn't kill him with a single spell. No, Niccolette was different, and he made no attempt to save the conversation once she had went silent.

He finished off his drink as well in the silence, allowing himself to look around the bar rather than focusing on the golden ring on the woman's hand, and the questions that surrounded it. It was enough to get him feeling a bit more at ease, a bit more comfortable in his skin; if he hadn't been concerned with the galdor sitting beside him, he likely would've laid his head down, and would have been fine to just tune everything out and rest a while before returning home.

But, he was still waiting for this questioning, this... he supposed he didn't even know what it was, really, or what exactly he was expecting to see.

When Niccolette rose from her seat, crossing to the unconscious (and dead) men that'd been pushed across to the wall, Lars didn't immediately turn to see what she was doing. It wasn't until he heard more people enter the bar that he turned his head, eyes flicking to the larger men that went immediately to retrieve the injured thug, and the passive left the counter, stepping over to Niccolette quickly.

Lars followed her outside without protest or inquiry, even if he was slightly wary of the carriage - he hadn't been in them all that often, since he was a child. The last time had been with Professor Moore, on the way to and from his house in Muffey - but now was no time to be thinking of Harper. He almost felt guilty for thinking of him now, and pushed the thought from his mind, climbing into the carriage behind Niccolette.

The white-haired man sat beside Niccolette, leaving her as much room as he could but not particularly wanting to sit all that close to the humans either. He watched the prisoner on the floor, and again examined the wounded leg, using it as some form of distraction from the people around him.

Still, he was unable to suppress a question, quiet as it was as it exited his mouth, "where is it we're going, exactly?"
word count: 609
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Niccolette Ibutatu
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Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:40 pm

Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
A Chamber Underground, The Palace
The carriage rattled over the streets of the Rose, with the galdor perched closest to the window, the passive on the bench next to her, and two humans at the door, their captive curled and bound on the floor between them. If he was aware of what was happening to him, of where they were taking him, he gave no sign; faint groaning sounds could be heard over the rattle of the wheels on the cobblestones, but only just, and never strong.

The two humans seemed content to leave space between themselves and Lars as well; the one on the same side of the bench as him was fairly pressed into the wall. Niccolette herself took up very little space, and she kept her gaze fixed solidly out the window as they went, small face hard and set.

When Lars asked his question, it was the two humans who looked at him, first, then back to one another. One smirked, and the other turned to Niccolette.

The galdor looked slowly back from the window, not turning all the way to look at Lars, but far enough that he could see the gleam of her eyes in the dim light. “The palace,” she said, and grinned, teeth glinting white. “The home of our King, Silas Hawke.”

It was not a short ride, back along the Waterfront, with all its light and bustle outside, and then up, into the warmth and wealth of King’s Court, skirting the edges of Artisan’s Court, and finally to the gates of the Palace. It must have been a busy night, there in the Rose, but they never seemed to be slowed by any of it. They were checked, and checked thoroughly, but no one said anything about Lars’s presence, not with him sitting next to Niccolette Ibutatu, her chin raised and her field filling the small cabin of the coach.

They came to a stop in the courtyard. The humans descended first, and dragged the captive with them. Niccolette held at the edge of the seat, and waited for Lars to pass before her, and then emerged, slowly, from the carriage with her chin held high, skirt lifted up in her hand to keep it from dragging in the blood smearing the carriage floor. She went down the small steps without needing a hand, and adjusted her skirts and the line of Uzoji’s jacket. Too big in the shoulders, but the silk did not wrinkle easily, and it glowed a deep, rich golden color in the yellow lamplight. The black kohl around her eyes was unsmudged, and though she had left behind a smear of crimson lipstick on the glass in the bar where she had fought, there was no sign of the lack of her lips.

Niccolette nodded to the humans. They lifted the captive, and began to drag him, steadily, down the hallway, not paying any particular care to the broken leg; the filthy bandage that had covered it had begun to loosen, and eventually it unraveled free and trailed behind, and then they left it behind entirely. Niccolette did not bother with any particular instructions for Lars, trusting that he would follow her into the halls, and then down into the ever-dimmer corridors, her heels marching a steady eat against the ground.

Niccolette stepped ahead, once and only once, to open the door to a room off to the side. She glanced in, at the back of a large man with a gleaming bald head and a leather apron, making ready his knives. Breaker, Niccolette thought, and she was pleased; he had a reputation for quality.

The Bad Brother held the door as the two humans dragged their captive in past her, and gestured with her chin for Lars to follow.

“Where d’ye want ‘im?” One of the men asked, and he grinned, broadly, at the sight of Breaker making ready.

Niccolette would wait until the man was settled, and then step forward to her captive. She was chanting monite already as she walked, strange and heavy syllables, and hazy energy streamed from her into the man, easing to an end the stabilization spell she had placed on him. There was an immediate difference – he thrashed, and he whimpered, although he still looked more than a little daze.

The Bastian grabbed hold of the man’s face, and pried at his eyelids, glancing at his pupils, and then let him go and turned to Breaker. He was a bit weaker than she had hoped, and the spell seemed to be clinging to him, keeping him alive - but, unfortunately, not terribly ready for questioning. Well enough; it would not last much longer.

“He shall be ready for you in a few moments,” The Bastian said, and she smiled. It was not a nice smile, and her field was sharp enough to cut in the air around her. “This man and two of his… former friends attacked me in a bar tonight,” her eyes flicked over the mess she had left behind of his leg, the white bone jutting out into the air, and she gave the faintest of shrugs. “I should very much like to know why.” She looked back at Breaker then.

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Rolls
Ending the stabilization spell: SidekickBOTToday at 9:14 AM
@moralhazard: 1d6 = (2) = 2
word count: 919
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Breaker Cooper
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Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:46 pm

Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
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A Bad Brother runner had been sent ahead to inform Breaker that he should expect 'guests' he'd been at the Palace anyway.
Exercising with a few kettle bells and other weights he kept in a disused store room, along with an old duffle bag filled with sand he'd hung from a beam, for punching.

By the time they arrived he had set what would be his workspace.

When Niccolette and the others arrived he was finishing putting a fresh edge on his clever, all the rest of his 'tools' were laid out on a countertop. A full set of butchers knives, a lump hammer, a chise, a set of pliers and a small oil burner. He'd secured a meat hook to a handy rafter as well.

Breaker spread his thickly muscled arms wide in greeting and beamed a smile just as wide as his greeting. Gold gleaming amongst the white of his teeth.

"Good evenin' an' welcome."

At the thugs question Breaker made a show of looking at the man's shattered leg and then around, his voice full of mock concern.

"Well, we should get the weight off the poor kov's leg ne?"

His smile of welcome became a cruel grin.

"Up on the hook with 'im boys."

As Breaker listened to Niccolette speak, dark eyes intent, broad scarred hands resting on the counter top. He nodded his bald brutes head.

"Boemo. You would be Niccolette? I'm an admirer of your work, tis a pleasure to meet you."

He turned his dark gaze on the prisoner, black eyes turned cold.

"So, this kov and 'is mates thought they'd have a pop at Bad Brother did they.""

He came round from behind the counter and stared into the wounded man's eyes. In a low voice that carried with it the cold certainty of the grave said.

"Well well well. You 'ave a choice, answer all the questions put t'you, honestly. Or I will cause you more pain that you could dream off, even in your darkest nightmare."

He lead closer, so that his lips almost touched the man's ear and said in a whisper to freeze the blood.

"I would prefer if you picked the latter."

Breaker stood back up and turned to face Niccolette with a smile and said.

"Ready when you are."


word count: 412
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Lars
Posts: 198
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Location: Old Rose
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: le machiavel
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Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:43 pm

BENEATH THE PALACE
ROALIS 69, 2719 - EVENING
The palace. He wasn't sure if he should've been more frightened or excited at the prospect of finally seeing it, of finally meeting other Brothers besides Aremu and Niccolette - so he felt a healthy mix of both, and opted not to linger too long on either one. He wasn't certain that he'd even been to this part of the Rose; the scenery outside the window wasn't nearly as familiar as the neighborhoods around the Mad Queen, and he had to wonder what exactly this palace looked like. He supposed he'd find out soon enough, if his heart would just slow down in his chest and allow him to get there.

The passive left the carriage once they'd arrived in the courtyard, eyes scanning the area with a thinly-veiled curiosity. He thought then to help his companion as she exited behind him, but looked back to see her descend the few steps easily, head held high and skirts upheld in her grip. It wasn't consideration, exactly, but habit that had made him think of helping; he was glad to see it unnecessary. Lars allowed himself to fall behind as the humans and Niccolette continued on, following after the galdor at a small distance, just enough to let him look around the halls without worrying that his curious enthusiasm would draw her attention. He said nothing as they descended, although thought for a moment to grab the dirty bandage that had fallen off the injured man's leg - he reminded himself, again, that it was not his duty.

He was done with tidying and cleaning up after others, as well as with submitting to their demands without question or input - he just had to keep remembering it, so that one day he'd forget what it had ever been like to call himself a slave.

Soon enough they reached a door, and the Hessean stopped himself from cutting ahead of the humans to peek inside, waiting (im)patiently for them to take the prisoner inside before following them in. It was then that he finally saw the man that had been standing inside - was he a man? Surely he was part beast; far too tall and far too muscled for anyone of galdori descent, but that certainly wasn't a bad thing.

He wasn't sure that he'd ever seen someone so tall, not anyone that he could remember anyway. The man - human, he must've been - towered above him by at least a good five inches, and though Lars was quite strong for someone born of two galdori, he couldn't imagine beating this man in any contest of strength. His surprise was made clear by the way he lingered at the doorway for a long moment, widened gray eyes fixed upon the Brother's form, and he had to remind himself to walk further into the room.

The passive barely registered the conversation happening around him, too distracted by the sight of various tools and a hanging meat hook, too giddy with the thought of seeing them in action. When he finally tuned back into the conversation, he found himself somewhat lost but somewhat able to guess at the meaning of the words he didn't know. He also found, however, that he didn't really care - they could use whatever wickish words they wished, so long as they got to the point of this visit soon.

Lars raised a hand, pushing it through snowy white hair and keeping it away from his face. The long cut along his cheek had still neglected to stop bleeding, and by now several lines of crimson had spilled down his jaw and dripped onto his dark shirt. His hand, similarly, hadn't stopped, but was small enough not to warrant much concern anyhow, and the blood was only smeared when he moved his arms to cross over his chest.

It was necessary. If he didn't cross his arms, then he didn't know that he'd be able to keep his fingers from tapping against his sides or reaching for the tools clearly meant for the larger man's use. Light gray eyes positively sparkled with excitement in the low light, the passive's face still rosy red, from both the drink he'd had earlier and the warmth that'd flooded his face.

Lars didn't move his gaze away from the man in the leather apron, but leaned slightly closer to Niccolette to inquire, quietly, "and who is he?"
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Niccolette Ibutatu
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Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:20 am

Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
A Chamber Underground, The Palace
Niccolette raised her eyebrows at Breaker when he called her by name, and called himself an admirer of her work. “Mrs. Ibutatu,” she corrected, although her tone was – if anything – lightly amused.

Once the pleasantries were done, Niccolette turned her attention to the prisoner as well. He was well awake now, his eyes darting back and forth, and they fixed on Breaker. He swallowed, and made a motion that looked like it might well have been an attempt to jerk at his bindings, if he wasn’t so weak.

His eyes flickered shut, and Niccolette thought it best to give him a moment or two, to let the reality of his situation sink in. She was not too optimistic about what might be learned, but perhaps - perhaps there would be something useful, at least.

Lars had followed her without hesitation or complaint, and with a bright-eyed sort of enthusiasm that was almost palpable. If he'd had a field, Niccolette thought, amused, she'd have been able to feel it lapping against her. Niccolette glanced back at him when he whispered to her. She saw the still open cut on his cheek, the blood trickling from it, and she wondered; the Living Conversationalist knew, from a good deal of training and experience, that such a wound should have clotted by now. She had touched it; it had not been deep enough to need stitches, and yet…

“Breaker,” Niccolette said, looking back at the tall, enormous, moustached man, and then back to Lars, the slender white-haired passive who was staring at him with what bordered on open admiration. “Breaker Cooper, I believe,” she said the name without any indication of finding it ridiculous. Then, as if finishing some internal debate, Niccolette shrugged lightly. “Breaker, this is Cailan,” she gestured with one hand towards the man hovering behind her, and made the introductions as politely as she might have at a party as Vienda, although she did manage to resist the temptation to bow.

Perhaps, Niccolette thought, she should have held off on finishing the whiskey. She was not afraid, nor giddy, nor, in truth, even upset, but she was conscious of a faintly lonely feeling, and she did not care for it.

It was not long before Niccolette turned her focus back to the prisoner, all of it. She studied him, and took a few slow steps forward – not nearly close enough to touch, but close enough to bring him deeper into the bright strength of her field. She flexed, powerfully, the same sharp living energy he had felt when she broke his leg, washing over him (and Breaker and Lars) and holding vivid in the air around him.

“Who hired you?” Niccolette asked. This man was not known to her, and she did not think any three humans were such fools as to come after her for their own sakes; although she had spotted it, their tailing had had a measure of professionalism to it. This had been planned, albeit not well enough.

There was silence for a moment, hanging in the cool air of the windowless, underground room.

The prisoner twisted, and then he spat, feebly, bloody spittle dripping from his chin. “Fuckin' golly bitch,” he said.

Niccolette shrugged, and turned to Breaker, and she smiled.

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Breaker Cooper
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Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:44 pm

Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
Breaker's eyes took in the rooms other occupants and settled on the the white haired man, who stood in the doorway staring at Breaker. A very different kind of grin played briefly over his face, another kind of hunger in his eyes. Later he thought, work first.

When Niccolette corrected him on her proper term of address he fixed his dark eyed gaze before bowing slightly and saying, his voice sincere.

"My apologies Mrs Ibutatu, it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

When she introduced the pale haired man as Cailan, Breaker bowed once more.

"An' a rare pleasure to meet you Cailan, an' call me Bertold, please."

He took in that sharp featured face, the lean athletes build and long limbs, all sharp angles and edges, finally those grey blue eyes. That grin came back briefly before Breaker looked back to the prisoner as Niccolette asked her first question, he could feel her galdor magic like prickly heat, it was odd though not unpleasant.

At the man's answer Breaker grinned like a bear trap and bought his hands together with a sharp clap.

"You 'eard the kov boys, up on the hook 'e goes!"

As the Bad Brothers grinning hooked the man's bound wrists over the hanging meat hook Breaker had to stop himself rubbing his together in glee, today had been dull.

Breaker rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he looked the man over as a butcher might as he appraised a fresh pig carcass. In a conversational tone he said.

"Well chum, I'm goin' be sportin' you got one more chance to answer Mrs Ibutatu question before I begin."

The man hanged there, silent pain from his leg clear in his face.

Breaker let out a laugh and hammered his fist down with bang on the counter that set his grim tools rattling.

"Yes! You've got grit I'll give you that."

Then without warning his big left fist smashed into the man's stomach with all of Breaker's considerable force behind it. All the air in him roared from the man's mouth and he tried to double up at the white hot pain in his guts.

Breaker grabbed his face, his right hand over his mouth and nose and slowly increased the pressure, like tightening a vice until the bones started creaked and the man's eyes bulged.
He moved his face forward till their foreheads almost touched, his face a blank mask, eyes cold and savage as he said, voice barely above a whisper.

"I want you to remember, all of what is 'bout to happen could have been avoided. But you 'ad to play the big man."

Breaker let go of his face, and then slammed the back of his left hand into the side of his head hard enough to swing the man, he followed it by slamming the open palm of the same hand into the other side. Then he took the man by the throat reared back and slammed his forehead into the centre of the man's face, his nose exploded with twin arches of crimson and a sickening crunch.

Breaker turned to face Niccolette, a splatter of blood on his forehead, and said.

"Well, I believe our guest now understands how this goes. He's all yours."

One of the Bad Brother's said.

"Ere Breaker, you've knocked the kov out."

Breaker turned, it was true, he turned back to Niccolette and bowed slightly in apology. He went to a barrel in the corner, stuck a cup in it, went back to the man on the hook and through the cups contents into his face. He awoke with a spluttering start. Breaker growled out.

"Wakey wakey sunshine, we ain't done with you yet..."



word count: 652
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Lars
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
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Location: Old Rose
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: le machiavel
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Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:44 pm

BENEATH THE PALACE
ROALIS 69, 2719 - EVENING
Breaker Cooper. An odd name, albeit a very fitting one, considering what they were relying on him to do. Lars nodded his head ever-so-slightly to the answer, appreciative but not enough to grant her verbal thanks for a simple name. Besides, his eyes were still fixed firmly upon this Breaker, who had turned now to look at them again, taking Niccolette's correction with ease. When he was addressed, he felt himself swallow, almost nervously - he wasn't easily intimidated by anyone besides galdori, but he knew he didn't want to be on the other end of Breaker's work.

Or - Bertold's work. Lars offered a smile in response, bowing his head slightly.

"The pleasure's all mine, si - Bertold," the passive corrected himself quickly. Gods, what was that? Sir? He'd not called anyone 'sir' without getting paid for it since he'd left Brunnhold, and it wasn't a habit he was intent on bringing back. It was as if the man simply demanded that respect, or that Lars felt the need to bestow it upon him, just for existing as a creature so unlike himself.

Fortunately he was distracted quickly, gray eyes dragged away from Bertold when Niccolette went to her prisoner again. He felt the flood of living magic as her field pulsed, again, and he willed himself not to flinch at the sudden sensation, not now. When he'd been badly injured it had been one thing, but he didn't particularly enjoy showing weakness otherwise, even if a galdor could tell that their field affected him.

Their prisoner did little in the ways of answering the Bastian's question - he was a fool, especially after he'd experienced her wrath firsthand - and remained, fortunately for Lars' morbid curiosity, defiant and (mentally) unbroken. If he was surprised to see Niccolette shrug it off and turn away, he did well at not showing it, his gaze darting back to Bertold hastily, expectantly, like a child waiting to be given his sweets.

It wasn't long before the nameless Brothers pulled the prisoner up and suspended him on the hook like one would do with a fish. He was disappointed, he realized, that he'd not been hooked by the neck, or the back, or the leg - but this was perfectly fine, suitable of course for what Bertold intended to do, and Bertold did not disappoint.

The white-haired passive couldn't help but jump as Bertold's fist slammed against the counter, rattling his tools, voice booming out like a crack of thunder. It didn't help his nerves beneath his jittery skin, the former servant puling his arms tighter to himself across his chest, taking a deep breath of stale air into his lungs as the larger Brother finally connected his fist with the prisoner's weakened body. However, a hand did snake upward to his own face as Bertold's went to the prisoners, the passive's delicate fingers pressing slightly into his sliced-up cheek.

He managed to stay quiet and relatively still - until, of course, Bertold grabbed the prisoner by the throat, rearing back his head to smash into the man's face, practically destroying his poor nose. It was impossible, then, not to laugh, his fingers slipping over to cover his mouth in some attempt not to let the giddy laughter out, but the sound was there all the same.

Was this really a career one could make for themselves, or did Bertold do this out of pure enjoyment? If he could only get paid to do this, gods. He didn't know what else he could want.

Lars did manage to control himself soon, the light noise muffled into silence, and looked again to Niccolette to see what she would do next with her unfortunate attacker.
word count: 662
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Niccolette Ibutatu
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Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:11 pm

Evening, 69 Roalis, 2719
A Chamber Underground, The Palace
Whatever Niccolette did or did not think of Breaker – Bertold’s – exchange with Lars, she said nothing, and there was no particular change in the expression on her face. If she thought anything of Lars’s near slip to sir, or the faint lingering glance Breaker bestowed on the passive, she gave no indication of it. It was all subtle anyway, she thought, and besides – the Bastian was hardly one to judge, even if she found the thought of a human and a passive just a little deviant.

Breaker took over just as Niccolette had hoped, hanging the man up from his wrist on the meat hook. Niccolette had not, naturally, had the opportunity to watch his work at conquest up close. It was crude, naturally, but a flawless use of the tools available to him, the bulging arms and heavy body. She watched him squeeze the other man’s face; the skull was strong, Niccolette thought curiously. Living conversationalists had tested such things, because it helped to temper generic bone-adjustment spells to specific thicknesses.

It wasn’t possible, with one’s hands… was it? The Living Conversationalist could not help a faint pulse of curiosity, watching Breaker’s enormous hand against the man’s face.

He did not, so far as she could tell, make a true attempt, but pulled back. He hit the man, once, and again, with the back of his hand and his palm, and then he flattened his nose, shattered the bone.

That, Niccolette thought dispassionately, would not heal. The man would whistle as he breathed, the rest of his life. Well. He would, if he ever lived long enough to attempt to breathe through his nose again.

The Bastian raised her eyebrows when Breaker turned to her, her eyes tracking beyond him to the fading man hanging from the hook. She accepted his apologetic bow with a faint inclining of her head, and stepped a little closer to look at the prisoner as he spluttered back to wakefulness, not in the least disturbed by the shattered bones or bloody smears. Neither, however, was there anything like Lars’s pleasure on her face; the only real emotion she’d seemed to display was curiosity.

It was not displeasing to Niccolette, in truth, but neither was it enjoyable. It was, however, necessary, and that trumped all else. It was, she thought idly, another sort of conquest, almost a noble use in its way, although she could never feel the same closeness for Breaker or any of Hawke’s other torturers as she did the mona.

“Shall we try again?” Niccolette asked, curiously. “Who hired you?”

“I don’ know,” the man groaned through his shattered nose, his voice thick and hoarse. “I don’ – he didn’t give a name, ye chen?”

Niccolette crossed her arms over her chest, and waited. After a moment, she shifted, and tapped one foot slowly against the ground.

“I ent – ” The man was shaking, and he turned to Breaker, eyes bulging; evidently, at least for now, he was still the least scary of the two. “Tell ‘er,” he said, a faint sound of pleading in his voice. “Tell ‘er I don’ know!”

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