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There are eight hundred Alliance marines scattered throughout London. It's not actually a big number, not even on paper - not during war and not during a last desperate push against a force that is by and large literally too big to fight from the ground. For those eight hundred marines they have maybe a handful of ground to air ships at their disposal, so a bulk of their force is basically useless as anything by covering fire - cannon fodder. While not exactly pleasant, there's no denying the necessity either. Hell, with the crapshoot of a plan they have rigged up to get to the beam, a few hundred grunts taking fire is as key as the whole damn turian fleet overhead.Not that it's comforting, but at this point she's not really counting. Right now, the most she can do is get her own shit together and hope for the best. Beyond that, it's a matter of hurry up and wait - the one universal constant in any combat situation. Which is more or less how they come to be at the same last line of defense outpost in the ruins of South London alongside the bulk of what remains of the Alliance's forces and a few hundred members of the Council race's men, women and other. There's a meeting with Anderson in twenty minutes. She has exactly enough time to go hunting for her husband - who, rumor has it, is commanding on the goddamn turret wall - before she makes her way through the gutted buildings to talk strategy.
don't you ever t a m e your d e m o n s,always k e e p them on a l e a s h.
continued from here.[ Keener blades could not cut as deep, as swiftly, as her words did. Each breathe, soft word, damning his soul deep. Not even Evie could deliver a harsher blow and she knows the best places to and her strikes. Jacob stills, muscles coiling, fingers trembling in the fists he did not register forming. He is not cruel, he has never been cruel, yet here he stands before her in her fancy new home. A woman wed, a woman beyond his reach, a gentle and sweet creature he has no right to adore. ]Not to you, love. [ Feet move, the distance between them seems so far but he crosses it fast. Hand uncoiling to take hold of her arm, a grip oddly gentle in it's firmness. ] Never to you.[ With his free hand Jacob takes hold of her chin, angles her head - he should leave, pull himself away from the softness of her skin, gentle warmth of her body. He should leave before he does something stupid like take her lips with his own in a kiss neither gentle nor harsh, but a sad sort of in between. Turn around, leave, go.But how can he when he holds her so close with both hands and lips? ]
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"MARRY ME" HE SAYS AND SHE SMILES, "NO"
continued from here.Not even for all the gold our sun-brother cannot see.[ Coolness of her voice is bitter, the cold sea winds come to rip the warmth from the bones of men and replace it all with a chill instead. Let it in sink deep, gnaw upon bone just like her have waves sharpen his land for so long.As they have danced, clashed, come together time and time again. It shall never end, this most vicious courtship, but she will take joy from it all the same. Take all she can from him, greedy, grasping, reaching deep into his chest, through muscle and bone and take until there is nothing left. ]Not for all the jewels hidden deep within the earth, nor all the bounty your domain provides. None of it will come close to sating me.[ Storms rage underneath her skin, a blacker than black darkness shudders in her bones. She looks forward to this, she always has. All he offers, all he does to lure her close, hold her here for as long as he is able. She looks forward to it as much as she looks forward to slipping through his fingers, crisp laughter bubbling upon her lips. ]
vault hunters should never do holidays.[ She's starting to think they're cursed.That has to be it, right? They're cursed. Doomed. Fucked in more ways than a skag wandering into a nest of varkids. There is just... no other way to explain why each time they even try to do something nice - relax for a minute or two - it blows up in their faces. Every god damn time.This? Just one more botched attempt at a holiday, at some rest and relaxation, at something that didn't involve bandits or psychos or skag vomit coating her shoes. Only there is no skag vomit on her shoes this time but blood, lots and lots of blood, way too much for it to be healthy. Problem is they ran out of hypos about thirty minutes ago, just before Lilith grabbed hold of Mordecai and phased them away from the group of blood thirsty mercenaries trying to kill them. Not the usual sort of mercenaries either, better equipped than the last ones and appeared in greater numbers. Thus the last second decision to bail before one, or both of them, were gunned down by way too many trigger happy assholes. Not the wisest idea but hey at least she didn't phase them both directly into a wall, or a bandit stronghold, or a pack of threshers. No, they get a cave - or what was left of some dead guy's hide out before he was likely eaten by the wildlife. That or the locals. But it's cozy? That's sure to get her some points... right? ]
[ She's starting to think they're cursed.That has to be it, right? They're cursed. Doomed. Fucked in more ways than a skag wandering into a nest of varkids. There is just... no other way to explain why each time they even try to do something nice - relax for a minute or two - it blows up in their faces. Every god damn time.This? Just one more botched attempt at a holiday, at some rest and relaxation, at something that didn't involve bandits or psychos or skag vomit coating her shoes. Only there is no skag vomit on her shoes this time but blood, lots and lots of blood, way too much for it to be healthy. Problem is they ran out of hypos about thirty minutes ago, just before Lilith grabbed hold of Mordecai and phased them away from the group of blood thirsty mercenaries trying to kill them. Not the usual sort of mercenaries either, better equipped than the last ones and appeared in greater numbers. Thus the last second decision to bail before one, or both of them, were gunned down by way too many trigger happy assholes. Not the wisest idea but hey at least she didn't phase them both directly into a wall, or a bandit stronghold, or a pack of threshers. No, they get a cave - or what was left of some dead guy's hide out before he was likely eaten by the wildlife. That or the locals. But it's cozy? That's sure to get her some points... right? ]
Survive one lightning strike, and half the world will think you're immortal. Will think you're a Knight, or some other miraculous monster from Heaven or from Hell. Minho is none of these things, but he's certainly sick and tired of being hunted, cornered, sought after, known. Apparently (unfortunately) it wasn't enough to leave home - however temporary a home it was. Now he's in a city he barely knows, but all it has given him are less places to hide and less people to turn to. This trail of rumor attached to him like a leech makes it hard to do any kind of covert work. Never mind that some of the burns he sustained still haven't healed, but they're all hidden under his clothes, more a hassle than an actual threat.Still. There are shipments to track and to sabotage, "people" to expose for what they are, if all goes as planned. But not if he can't even risk finding a safehouse without bringing a threat along.
[The window in Garrett's quarters is open by the time Corvo passes his chambers, night air blowing the curtains softly back and forth in the empty room. There's been no word as of yet of the Royal Spymaster missing, but anyone who knows him knows that he hates standing still- especially when there are things he can still do. Said things aren't exactly what is expected or possibly even desired from royalty; stealing is among them. Habits are hard to break, especially when they're ones he enjoys, things that are few and far between enough as it is, being in his position, and constantly by Emily's side. It's up, away from prying eyes, gives him enough space to clear his thoughts of all the political ruin and corruption within the palace walls.It's late by the time he comes back in through the window, but he's quiet in doing so. His feet lightly touch the floor as he slips in, eyes watching for the shadows in his room that sometimes he swears is the Outsider mocking him. It's not until he feels a pair of eyes on his back; Garrett stiffens, spending a second debating on whether to grab the throwing knife lodged in his belt as a warning.Then, there's a split moment where he turns his head, and his shoulders relax.]Corvo. [Quietly, almost too expectantly, at this point.] You need to stop doing that.
[ She needs help, which is the grating part. But she isn't so hung up on her pride as to not be sensible about it. There's no ignoring it as she walks through the back streets of England, she didn't find soldiers. She found desperate mouths to feed, without the skills to fight these battles.But she did find a people no better treated than her own, more than willing to fight. That was something she could not turn her back on. It was however, an insurmountable task to do without help. The style of war she had trained for was not one for such closed spaces. She was trained for riding recklessly on horseback into the thick of it, she was made for bleeding out, all glorious stories, on cliff edges with swords in her hand and room enough to swing them. Oh, the British soldiers, she knew those, how to defeat those, but they would not be who she was fighting now. They would call for aid, and there was only one group of people they would turn to. The knights would not stand for this sort of unrest on their shores and if she was going to be fighting them, she needed someone who had centuries of experience doing it. Odd thing to be no more than a rumor, chasing another one. Stories like his hung around though he was hidden under the same muck she liked to cloak herself in. It makes it easier at least when she begins to ask questions, what it utter nonsense that is being said to throw off the track. Takes awhile to even find out where he was last to know where he is now. Once she finds it out, then there is nothing but a matter of waiting, organizing what meager forces she has. It's not like she doesn't have plenty to do. The vampires pray on many, and she and Devi work in tandem to defend those they can. She has an ear to the ground, always listening, waiting to hear the telltale signs. That when a ship pulls up into port, and a group of men arrive with it, all heavily armed mercenary types, she is quick to act on the information. She only has a short amount of time, and she needs this audience sooner, rather than later. She can't get any leeway, going the way she is. In the slums, areas all have different allegiances, different gangs rules different areas. Not afraid, and not looking for a fight unless it gets her what she wants. But if she wanted his attention, apparently he didn't roll out of bed for nothing. Liked - a challenge, maybe. Things he hadn't seen before, was the other rumor. She could give him that. Hopefully, it would do. Goes in alone, all glittering arrogance. It attracts stares, as much gold as she wears attracts stares on anyone whose hungry enough. Sets herself in a corner, and waits. He would come, she was rumor enough. Watching the whispers fan out from her corner around the room, and around like a shockwave blast. Enough to match him. Not being subtle, she only had so much time to waste to go chasing ghosts. He'd appear or he wouldn't. Apparently, she would spare only so much pride. ]
[ It's cold, in the high room of her tower. This far into the forest where she had picked it, certainly may have been far away from Jack, but it meant that sunlight was only ever speckled at the high point of the day through a canopy of leaves. But like that, Angel left the windows open, she let the sunlight pour in for whatever it was worth. For that short while, the room was warm and filled with brightness twice over. It bounced off her mirrored ceiling, threw beams about in the shift of a kaleidoscope. She liked to sit then, on the floor of her cluttered room. Books that Jade had brought her shoved into every corner with a loving want to keep all of them close at hand. Angel likes it, it's pretty, all softened edges, she especially likes it for how it turns the grey Jade has become with her abilities a lighter colour. Tinted faintly as it caught on her hair. More life to them both that way as they sit sprawled on the floor, basking in the brief burst of warmth. As warm as their laughter that filled up the room. ]No really, all of them did it. They set themselves on fire and threw themselves at the basketball hoop. Vault Hunters are the craziest people you've ever met.
It's been years.It's been years, and she hasn't seen them. Fiona doesn't know what they look like, doesn't remember their voices. Sometimes she forgets the shape of Liam's face. Instead, she memorizes their handwriting, and looks forward to every letter, running her fingers over each letter and privately memorizing all the words they use that she doesn't know the meaning of. It's a shock, then, when she gets a letter clearly done up on a typewriter. Where would any of them get one of those-But it's not any of her siblings. It's one of the professors, the one Lip always complains about. She remembers his name, knows he looks down at her family, thinks they're trash. She reads the letter three times over, hears about how her brother is going to be expelled, the smartest one of them, the one she dared to brag about to Corvo. How he's going to rot behind bars in a filthy prison for years, and if he survives that, what then? He'll end up a drunk like his father, eking out a miserable existence on the wharf.Fiona reads the letter, carefully folds it up, and begins to cry. She has duties to attend to. The Lord Protector is out on one of his jaunts, and she doesn't have to, but she always tries to bring him some scrap of food and clean water for when he returns. It's a point of pride that she notices when he's gone, can guess where he'll return, from a lifetime of service. Most girls don't last as long as she does, don't notice the patterns. She's already set out the food, and is quietly waiting in one of his favorite parlors, she can't be crying. No one can see her cry.She puts her head in her hands, takes a deep breath, and stills her nerves. Her face is wet, and she's sure her eyes are red, but at least she's no longer weeping.
Merle's been gone for five weeks and Whitechapple's still a shithole. Whitechapple's been a shithole for who knows how long. Never should've gotten on that damn boat in the first place. Go to England! Make your fortune! They love Americans there! Load of horseshit.If Daryl knows one thing, it's how to shoot. If he knows two, it's how to find people who don't wanna be found. Word is Merle was last seen around with his favorite girl, which was news to Daryl until he realized the favorite girl was a whore. After that, it's easy to pick up the peices. Black Mary liked this tavern. Folks at the tavern remember her going with an American to this hotel. Folks at that hotel remember this. People over there remember that. Eventuall he finds her brothel.People tell him not to go there, but he ignores them. He's got shit to do more important than bullshit rumors about an Indian queen. "Ain't gonna cow to no squaw," Daryl grumbles from his latest lead. There's commotion going around the whorehouse when he gets there. People weaving in and out, some crying, others looking weary-eyed at the wall. Nobody's doing anything. Feels more like a funeral parlor than a brothel. Merle wouldn't have liked this. Something's wrong.The barkeep comes over to shoo him away. "Closed for the day," he says, and Daryl nearly hisses at him. Everyone's an ass because of the bow slung over his shoulder, who'd have goddamn figured. "Need to see Black Mary," Daryl says, ignoring the barkeep's words. He doesn't care if they're open. He's not here for whoring. But when they hear him say the whore's name, the girls nearest him at the bar just cry harder, and Daryl's an idiot, but he's not stupid. He can put two and two together.He looks at the barkeep. "Black Mary's dead, ain't she."The barkeep sighs, looking downright dejected. "Found her torn to shreds," he says, all sorrow. "Must be the Ripper."Before now, Daryl'd thought it was a myth. It doesn't take much to murder whores in America; folks're just being prigs, here. Easily scared the second some fool takes out a knife. But Daryl'd be an idiot not to lend some credence to it now. And if there's any truth to it, Daryl really doesn't want to find Merle at the center of it. He bites his lip, trying to decide what to do next. Impertinence wins out in the end.He smacks his hand on the bar. "Who's in charge here?"
[ The seas have reached Nevada. Caesars Palace is submerged under wet sand and Fremont Street is nothing but faded and sunken roofs peeking out of the untouched shoreline. Nobody has been here in forever, and yet the place feels occupied somehow. If she closes her eyes, she thinks she can hear these people rushing about her. She can picture how they lived and laughed and wept as if she was here and it was yesterday.And so, as much as she can, Shuyi stumbles through the hushed hallways of the abandoned hospital with barely-seeing eyes, preferring the images her mind creates over the truth. There are invisible servants rushing about her to prepare tonight's state dinner. Her sister towers over them all, directing them to their rightful places. Darje and her husband playing cards, talking of matters reserved for the men. Corvo (and here the fantasy wavers) by her side, a trusted friend full of wisdom. And all is well. Their worries are petty, inconsequential, and easily soothed. The world is whole. Her hands are free of the scent of blood. Her heart is light.The thought causes her throat to clench up. It's sadness, she thinks, then brushes it off. They have no time for that.Behind the hospital is a church, more beautiful in its old age and if she stands just by the altar, the sunlight draws a crown above her head. She takes a chair that barely holds its shape and takes her seat ceremoniously, resting both arms on either sides of her as if she occupies a throne, rather than a chair stolen from an abandoned asylum. Her smile is serene, with mischief bubbling under the surface. She weighs her next words with authority, meaning for her voice to echo against the decaying walls, the broken windows. To that, she adds a gesture to him, beckoning him to come closer, lay his lips upon her hand. ]Corvo. Tell us. How may we ease our people's grievance this day?
Serkonos is a pit, and all pits are familiar by what they lack. The slums of Serkonos aren't that different than the slums of Dunwall. The accents are different, the jokes are worse, and the alcohol is stronger. The important difference is that no one here knows that her father killed somebody in a fight in a back alley, or if they do, no one cares. That was back in Dunwall, after he moved them all on a boat in the middle of the night. It might as well be on a different planet.There's one other difference, of course. Joan's pale skin and red hair stick out like a sore thumb, but she's used to that. Sure, there were more redheads in Dunwall, but she has a face like a horse and a bad attitude. She's used to fights. She sticks out twice as much here, sure, but that can work to her advantage.She has to rebuild her reputation as someone not to be fucked with. It's about getting into fights and winning them, and making sure nobody lays a hand on Lucas because they know she'll break their fingers. So she gets into fights. This time, it's with a bunch of idiots about her age. They called her a whore, and that doesn't really matter. It doesn't hurt her feelings. But she can't let it slide, because they need to know she doesn't pull punches. She fights, she wins, and they tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends. That's how it happened in Dunwall. Here, she'll do it on purpose.It's all going fine until someone pulls out a knife. Joan does not have a knife. "Shit," she says, because they all know she's fucked. Time to bluff. "You really that afraid you gotta pull a knife on me?" Her voice echoes off the old stone walls of the alleyway they're crammed into. It's the kid with the knife-- Stefano, she thinks his dumb friends (Alessandro and... the tall one) called him-- who charges her, of course he is. It couldn't be one of the ones without the knife.She dodges, but she can only dodge for so long.
It's been hours she'd been arrived here. Long, frustrated hours in a place she does not recognize or know. To hear people speak what she thinks is - Russian? Perhaps? European definitely, nothing she knows by any means except in passing from the long days spent running from one country to another. She'd never been that far north granted, in truth, to need to know it. So she didn't know half of what was going on, and it hadn't put her in a better mood - if there was any such thing as a good mood when you think you've been captured - somehow. Though if this was a kidnapping, it was a bad one. She might not know what they were saying, but she understood what this isn't what was expected. It leaves her feeling rather like a passed around piece of contraband that no one seems to know what to do with. Hadn't endeared herself any to the people she found herself captive by. She would not let them take her knife and guns, and made it clear that an attempt to remove them would come with a cost, nor did she take the water they left near her to wash off the splattering of blood on the side of her face, her neck, staining the silks she wore. That too, an apparent interest, she wasn't dressed very much like any of them either. Which led her here, sitting across the table from someone - apparently the person left to deal with her. From what she heard them talk over her head. He seemed busy with something, whatever that meant, he was apparently important. She just watched him, waiting for whatever was to come of this apparent mess. Her fingers curled around the arms of her chair, back straight and stiff, and the expectation clear on her face that he had best start talking and quickly, like they were some how at her leisure here.