[Memory/M] Homo Homini Lupus Est

Nothing like a friendly face.

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Tom Cooke
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 20
Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: Ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζον νεκρόν.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Graf
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Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:10 pm

🙞 angler's alley / old rose harbor
on the 9th of bethas, 2718, at night.
Image
Clocking cold night. Frost clung to the dust-caked glass of the windows, settled – glistening – over the old bricks, the twisting dead vines, the mottled cobbles. Cold, quiet night. Somewhere in Sharkswell, shutters slammed and somebody yelled something unintelligible; things clattered, scraped, broke the silence in paroxysms. Some dog wouldn’t shut its head, and it’d woken up some other dog, and at intervals their ragged caterwauls twisted out into the cold night air, warped by the tortuous streets and their leaning, crumbling tenements.

In Angler’s Alley, cradled in the crook of a doorway, a beggar stirred. He was like sinew and skin stretched over the knobbly bones of an old tree, and his long, tangled beard was patchy and stained. A heavy shadow was shouldering its way down the street, and he raised his sunken eyes to meet it, disentangling his skinny limbs from his threadbare blanket. Despite the man’s massive size, despite his heavy boots, he barely made a sound. He walked with his shoulders drawn up, huddled into his patchy black greatcoat.

As he passed, the beggar reached out a thin hand and plucked at the hem of his coat.

The man yanked the hem of his coat out of the beggar’s hand and landed him a swift kick with one boot. Groaning, the beggar scrambled back into his blanket, filthy wooden bowl clattering against the stones. As the man turned, he got a glimpse of his scarred, craggy face, the curl of his lip and the glint of his eyes in the deep shadows cast by his heavy brow. Then he’d turned away again, pulling his greatcoat tighter around himself and grunting. He continued stalking single-mindedly down the alleyway as if he’d never been distracted.

Tom Cooke was supposed to meet someone here for a job he would’ve been fair fucking fine to do alone, and he wasn’t happy about it. It was a clocking cold night, in the first place, and he was already tense, thinking about what was to come – and being honest, he’d been tense all day. Ne, he’d been tense all week: the last eight days had been one bit of chroveshit after another, and he hadn’t had a moment’s peace, between Clark and Meggie and the gods-damned landlord and the fight he’d had with hama that morning. The last thing he needed in this mood was teamwork. Left to his own devices – if this shipment hadn’t been so crucial, this job so urgent – he’d have been at the Mad Queen right now, fucked up out of his mind, borne up on the winds of a warm, pleasant dream. Tangled up in some pretty lad’s arms, the whole world forgotten.

Instead, he was out here, meeting gods-knew-who in this shithole, far too cold and sober for his tastes. He stopped underneath a worn, half-broken sign – it wore a blob of chipping paint in the vague shape of a mortar and pestle – and leaned up against the doorframe, squinting out into the shadowy, moonlit street, scanning it. A small, black shape wound its way up the alley on the opposite side on four legs, tail flicking.

Tom smiled briefly, reaching into his coat for his flask. He took a long draught, feeling himself warm up; he watched, one eyebrow raised, as the cat stopped in its tracks. It was looking at him, its eyes glassy mirrors for the moon.

“’lo, lovey,” he cooed softly. “What’re you doin’?”

The cat stood stock-still for a moment, eyes fixed on him. Then it scurried on with hurried steps, snatching the occasional wary glance back at him before it disappeared into the shadows at the other end of the alley. Tom watched it go, taking another drink and then tucking the flask back into his coat.

After a moment or two more of waiting, hands deep in his pockets and shoulders drawn up around his ears, he caught a movement out of the corner of his eye. There was somebody else in Angler’s Alley with him, somebody approaching. The back of his neck prickled. Lightning-fast, one of his hands darted to the pommel of the dagger at his belt. His eyes flicked over the faces of the buildings opposite him, flicked up and down the alley, and then landed on an approaching figure. He licked at his teeth, stepping out of the doorway carefully.

Then the light fell over the figure’s face.

“Hulali’s fucking tits,” he snarled, a look of recognition and shock – and rage – spasming across his face. “What the fuck’s this about?”
🙝
Last edited by Tom Cooke on Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 832

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Luella Blythe
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:29 am
Topics: 3
Race: Human
Character Sheet: Luella's Character Sheet
Post Templates: Luella's Templates
Writer: Euphoria
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Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:02 pm





Clouded breath fogged the air where Luella Blythe walked, a substantial shiver running down her spine. It was freezing, almost unbearably so, and the surly pirate could think of about a thousand other things she’d rather be doing. Curled up in front o’a fire sounds ‘bout right, she thought to herself, shadowy eyes darting back and forth before stepping into the alleyway. Some rum in me hand and some food in me belly, an’ I’d be a much happier woman. She grunted. Least I’m gettin’ paid.

All around her was the excess of human filth, beggars and vagabonds prostrating themselves for the barest of coin… or even just for pity, of which Luella had none. She held nothing but contempt and disgust for the disgusting creatures debasing themselves in her direction, pitiful whimpers pleading for a scrap or a penny or whatever she would give. Her lip curled at their plight, lifting her chin and refusing to even acknowledge the voices echoing off the encroaching walls. Luella was here for a purpose. And that purpose was not charity for degenerates.

A seedy place fer a seedy job, she thought, stepping around the immobile form of a passed out drunk, though not before feeling a crunch beneath her heel. A flung out hand positioned just the wrong way, its owner issued only a single moan before falling back into his intoxicated stupor. “Idiot,” she muttered underneath her breath and continued on, doing as best she could to avoid the sight and touch of the alley’s other rather numerous lurkers.

At last, she reached the agreed upon location, an apothecary’s decaying sign clattering above a washed-out doorway. Here, it was a bit quieter and emptier of vagrants, though not so desolate that her presence would be noted. Given her choice, she’d have preferred a nicer spot, preferably one with booze and dice, but even she had to begrudgingly admit this was perfect. No one would ever suspect she and her as yet unknown companion were here for a different reason than any of the other layabouts populating the area. And speaking of her companion, just where were they?

Luella squinted through the dim light at a bulky figure, standing just near enough to their meeting place to give her reason to think that was likely who she was here for. Her hand rested warily on the butt of her pistol, fingers slowly sliding around the grip. Carefully, she eased it from its holster and held it down at her side, the tip of her index finger resting lightly on the trigger. Friend or foe, one could never be too careful, and she had no way of knowing if this was the right person.

Another step and the figure’s head jerked up, revealing a man’s bearded and scarred face that rang a vague bell of familiarity in the back of her mind. An exclamation of rage accompanied a hand on a dagger, Luella reflexively pulling up her gun and aiming it in his direction. “I’d think twice if I was you,” she snarled, deliberately cocking her pistol and meeting his gaze with steely determination in her own. “I’ll ‘ave a bullet twixt yer eyes before ye can even draw that thing, so I’d suggest ye just put it right back.”

There was a long, tense moment before Luella realized exactly who she was threatening, and once she did, she only growled. Tom Cooke, a Bad Brother and one who’d nearly killed her the first time they ever met. Even if she’d won out in the end, there was very little fondness stored in her heart for the grimy bastard. Obviously, he was no happier to see her and from the look on his face, he’d recognized her immediately. Quickly, she did the math in her head—a fellow Bad Brother here now at the meetup for the night’s job… Her snarl only deepened, lowering her firearm with a massive force of will, even if she was far more tempted to just pull the trigger and be done with it.

You. You have got to be kiddin’ me.”

This exclamation of rage and disbelief was followed by a heavy, melodramatic sigh, holstering her gun, but not taking her hand off it. There was little honor among thieves, and she wouldn’t trust Cooke as far as she could throw him. Yer the one they paired me up with?” Luella scoffed, shaking her head in disgust. “I thought they actually wanted this shit taken care of. Might as well ‘ave just sent me on me own if they wanted it done right. Her eyes scanned down the crags of his dimly illuminated face, the hint of a smirk playing around the upturned corner of her sneering mouth. “I see ye ent gotten any prettier since last I saw ye,” she commented, a cruel glimmer in her dark eye where she examined the thick line of scar tissue marring his brow.

The pirate’s tone was noticeably gloating when she added, “I see ye ent healed up very well, either. Some say scars give ye distinction, but I see they ent helped ye much. Just made an ugly bastard even uglier.”


word count: 890
User avatar
Tom Cooke
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:15 pm
Topics: 20
Location: Vienda, but also hell
Race: Raen
: Ψυχάριον εἶ βαστάζον νεκρόν.
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: Graf
Contact:

Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:02 pm

🙞 angler's alley / old rose harbor
on the 9th of bethas, 2718, at night.
The night had just gone from bad to worse. The barrel of that pistol was the first thing he’d seen, and he’d frozen in his place, his fingers an inch from the hilt of his knife. Standing there, his heart pounding in his ears, he had plenty of time to scan that familiar face. He remembered the ugly sneer on that pretty face, and those clever, cruel dark eyes. Cocky bitch. He’d wondered how he’d gotten here, what trap he’d fallen into and how he was going to get himself out of it; he turned over the options in his head, grappled to make sense of what he saw. Expected to hear that crack ring out into the night air, expected the smell of gunpowder.

Who the fuck would’ve set me up?

Then she spoke, and, to his surprise, began lowering her pistol. His eyes widened a fraction as she holstered it; then they narrowed, swept up toward her face again. It took him a few moments to put the pieces together in his head, and once he had, his scowl deepened.

Tom had heard from a friend of a friend that Blythe was one of Hawke’s now, and back then, he either hadn’t believed it or hadn’t cared. Now, though, at the sight of that straight-backed, proud stance, that tapestry of tattoos, he felt a flametongue of rage. She was quick as a whip and strong as a sapling, and he knew that firsthand, knew the white-hot sting of her blade. Back the first time they’d met – how long ago had that been? – he’d been younger, stupider, drunk on his status with Hawke’s men; he’d thought he could throw around his weight, thought he was indestructible. Thought a little pirate chip couldn’t do shit to him.

He knew better now. Blythe was a force to be reckoned with, and he’d reckoned with her and nearly died in the process. The scar she’d left on his brow was nothing compared to the one that ached on his right side, the one that’d nearly done him in; he stifled a wince as he remembered it. She’d nearly skewered him.

Well, all that was done now. That night had taught him an important lesson, and since then, he’d lived by it.

He snorted, lip curling.

“Ne, I’ll tell you why I’m here.” He raised an eyebrow. “See – they want the job done, hey? As in, finished. You know what those words mean?” With a heavy shrug, he stepped out into the alleyway, a cruel gleam in his own dark eyes. He gestured loosely at his head. “A scarred man’s an alive man. Think you can manage puttin’ these kovs in the harbor proper, ’stead of just signin’ their heads an’ then leavin’?”

He stared at Luella long and hard – met her eyes and held them, unflinching and unblinking, as if daring her to do something about it. He took another slow, casual step toward her, his shoulders back and his chin lifted; he was looking down at her from the near foot in height he had over her, sucking his teeth and scowling.

Tom’s eyes flicked from her face to her hand at her belt – curled round the grip of her pistol – then back to her face. His scowl twitched. He showed her a crooked, mocking smile, one that didn’t touch his eyes in the slightest.

“Maybe you’re lookin’ for a chance to finish the old job tonight, hey?” he said softly. “Well, I got an eye on you, and I ain’t forgot nothin’. You better watch yourself, too, Luella Blythe. You may be a Brother, but you ain’t no kin o’ mine.”
🙝
Last edited by Tom Cooke on Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 696
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Luella Blythe
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:29 am
Topics: 3
Race: Human
Character Sheet: Luella's Character Sheet
Post Templates: Luella's Templates
Writer: Euphoria
Contact:

Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:10 pm





“Yer one t’ talk,” Luella snapped back, stepping forward just as he did in their little flexing contest. She might be a woman, but she was far from weak, and “easily intimidated” had never been a phrase used to describe her. “Ye boast ‘bout finishin’ jobs an’ creatin’ dead men, yet here I am, hale an’ whole.” Her free hand thumped her chest, eyebrow raising in his direction. “I walked away from tha’ job, same as ye did, an’ as I recall… My crew was th’ one t’ leave wi’ th’ goods! Y’happen t’ forget that li’l detail?” A gloating expression dared him to contradict her, that self-satisfied brow raising higher into her forehead. “So do ye really think ye ought t’ sound so pleased wi’ yerself? ‘Tween th’ two o’ us, seems to me I got a bit more o’ a leg t’ stand on wi’ gettin’ jobs done.”

Her nose wrinkled in annoyance, dark, calculating eyes never leaving his. “An’ as far as you go…” She shook her head and spit to the side. “If I was here t’ finish ye off, I’d’ve done it already, ‘stead o’ standin’ ‘round wi’ all this jawin’. I’m ‘ere fer a job, same as ye. An’ no matter what ye think o’ me, I keep m’ word. ‘Specially where th’ Brothers are concerned.”

You may be a Brother, but you ain’t no kin o’ mine.

Luella fought the urge to laugh, only barely restraining herself from rolling her eyes. If that ent an understatement… “Feelin’s mutual, Cooke. Quit tryin’ t’ prove ye got th’ bigger cock, and let’s jus’ get this shit over with, aye?”

The pirate stepped back, at last, releasing her grip on the pistol and crossing her arms over her chest. As she’d said, she wasn’t trying to waste time. They needed to get to the matter at hand, and standing around here threatening and posturing wasn’t going to accomplish that… no matter how gratifying it might be. Plus, the sooner they got it done… the sooner they could rid themselves of each other. And a good clockin’ riddance at that.

Her face relaxed just enough to give her less of a sneer, clearing her throat and shifting her attention to why they were here. “They gave me a name an’ wha’ we’re after. Said they didn’ wanna give up everythin’, jus’ in case I was ‘compromised.’ Said ye’d know the rest.” Her gaze searched his face as if to verify this was true before nodding, apparently satisfied with what she saw.

“We’re goin’ after a shipment o’ Drake’s Tongue, carried in by some luggers thinkin’ they can take a chunk o’ the King’s territory.” The twisted expression on Luella’s face made it clear just what she thought of that, snorting before she continued, “A Hessean crew, led up by some bastard by th’ name o’ Ernal Loshtif. Our source’s best guess was a small group. No more’n three men. Said a pair o’ us should be able to take ‘em on well enough, long as we’s careful.”

Luella looked at Cooke expectantly, waiting for him to fill in the blanks. “Ye know where we’re 'eaded? Somehow I doubt we’re meant to find ‘em in this alleyway.”


word count: 570
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