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 Replenishing

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Icarus
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PostSubject: Replenishing   Mon May 17, 2010 4:44 pm

Replenishing
Church "Mystic" Shoemaker and Kaio "Hammer" Shoemaker
The sun was already sinking slowly behind the horizon of Bower Lake. Two lone travelers stumbled along the worn cobblestone path, their bags empty and worn. The male held a slim but fit build, and he carried what would have been most of the items, if they had any remaining. The female, small, petite, but with a ferocious gaze, had only a knapsack that looked stuffed with clothes. Blowing past the guard, who recognized the pair, they made their way into the main square of Bowerstone.

Mystic, the girl, stood beneath the clock tower, closing her eyes as a breeze wafted through the dirty streets. While the square was beautifully lit and decorated, she knew that just a few meters away, the shacks and slums that herself and her brother used to live in shook against even the smallest wind. So was capitalism at it's finest. She opened her eyes, finding the Cow and Corset sitting before them. The blood had taken a few days to scrub clean from the tarnished brick, but time made the bar look good as new. Tugging on Hammer's ragged sleeve, she made her way to the bar steps, whose lights were just flickering to life, the OPEN sign turning to greet the patrons.

"Ah, Missus and Master Shoemaker! Welcome back!"
The bartender greeted heartily. He was polishing off some of the tables, resetting the centerpieces and pushing in the chairs. Soon a few men came in, with large hats and upturned coat collars. Their faces were hidden and shady. They took their seats and what looked like were their respected tables and brought out various games: Dice, Keystones, cards, tops.

Mystic dropped her knapsack on the bar and exhaled, a smile on her lips. "It's good to be back. How has everything been while we were gone?" Before the bartender had time to respond, Hammer, the male, had seated himself before a Keystone master, and pulled out a few coins, scoffing. "Sister, we've been gone for a week. Nothing drastic can have happened in that short amount of time. Maybe if we went on an actual quest or adventure, we'd have some concern."

Mystic rolled her eyes, the bartender looking distraught. "Nothing yet, miss?" She shook her head. "Not yet. Most people still want Guild-Trained heroes, if any heroes at all. Thanks to that bitch Sparrow, everyone is scared of us." She held a glass in her hand, slipped there by the bartender, running a long finger along the rim, "We're just here to replenish the goods. Hammer's out of ammo, and we both need food. He wants to upgrade his wares while he's here anyhow. He's been trying to earn money for that obsidian great axe. But..." she cast her eye's over to the gambling table, where, enraged, Hammer flipped the table, throwing a punch across the game master's face and grabbing his money. "He's going about it all the wrong ways," Mysic concluded sadly.
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Mon May 17, 2010 5:35 pm


The thief. The thief was somewhere in Bowerstone, but Captain Pluto Savant had no idea where. He had chased the woman here, following her trail of lusty perfume and stiletto footprints. Following whispers among the peasants of Bowerstone, he had found himself wandering the streets of the slums. Yet there was no woman to be found.

The woman was a member of his crew, and was damn good with a cutlass. After a most recent campaign against a trading vessel, the crew had found itself with a large sum of expensive goods. Among them was a gold necklace. Hanging from that golden chain was the largest emerald Savant had ever seen. And just like that, it was gone. The thief had taken it.

It wasn't just that he wanted the necklace. Though his greed was far from satiated--one of Savant's most endearing personality aspects was his need for material objects--it was the very fact that one of his crew would betray the others as such. She had taken the necklace and ran. And that was just unacceptable. She would pay for her crime and he would have his treasure. All would be square.

If only he could find her.

After a few hours of searching, he found himself outside a tavern outside the slums, back in the central city. He figured he could have a bit to drink, then would get back to business. Or at least he hoped.

He grabbed a mug of rum and found himself sitting on a small wooden stool in the far corner of the room. His legs, wrapped in tight blue trousers, were propped on the table in front of him, one on top of the other. His chiseled chest was exposed by the open white shirt he wore, but his face was hidden by a large black hat customary to his pirating brethren.

If one paid close attention, he or she could see his long, messy blond hair beneath, right next to the scabbard holding a long steel cutlass on his back. With his left hand holding the mug of rum, his right hand rested lightly--as if subconsciously--on the handle of his beloved pistol attached at his side.

As he took a swig from the mug, a young man and a young woman entered, side by side. He could tell just by the way they presented themselves that they were not an item--probably family or at least close friends. They were regulars, based on the greeting they got from the bar owner. But most of all, due to the conversation he couldn't help but overhear, they were Heroes.

And then a single word struck a chord in his ears.

"Sparrow," the woman said. Savant couldn't even make sense of the sentence she was saying. That simple word was enough to cause a buzzing in Savant's ear. That simple word.

Before he could even begin to stop himself, Savant called across the pub, "What do you know about Sparrow?" Immediately, he regretted speaking.

Usually, he preferred to plan ahead, to know how the conversation was going to end and what information he was going to attain before it even began. But this time... This time he was going to have to make do with what he had. He allowed his legs to drop from position they were in down to the floor, but didn't stand just yet.

"Have you heard news of her whereabouts?"
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Mon May 17, 2010 11:15 pm

There was a stunned silence after the outburst of the pirate. The patrons didn't look up, but they continued their conversations more slowly, cautiously, curious as to how the interruption would play out. More nosy, Mystic thought to herself bitterly as she turned around. Judging by how everyone else was avoiding her gaze and pretending to be distracted, her eyes fell onto the only figure that seemed honestly interested: The Pirate. Mystic hadn't decided how she felt about pirates yet. They seemed to enjoy themselves, something she wasn't able to do with her lifestyle, but at the same time, they were malicious, contemptible thieves who reeked of urine and had scurvy. And while this pirate was a little easier on the eyes and slightly well groomed, she still curled her lip a bit in his direction.

Unfortunately, Hammer beat her to the punch, though he had quite the opposite reaction. Kicking the games man one last time before leaving him on the floor, he stalked his way across the tavern, planting himself before the pirate and slamming his hands on the table, causing the mugs to quiver. "We've been searching for her for years, and we still haven't found her. She's vanished before us, like smoke." His eyes became glazed over, as if thinking of a former lover.

Mystic narrowed her eyes and slipped from the chair, sauntering to where the two men interacted. "That much he has true," she muttered, shoving her brother and pushing him out of his dreamlike state, "But his motive is all wrong. He's trying to reunite us with her, like she did us some favor." Her hand clenched at her side, before relaxing and coming to a rest on the table, "But everyone else in this side of Albion with a level head knows that she's the epitome of evil, and has to be stopped."
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 12:11 am

If there was one thing Savant hated, it was the blindness love seemed to inflict on its victims. Storybooks made love out to be some beautiful thing that every person should strive for. But Savant knew better. Love was a blight, a sickness, a plague. And this boy standing in front of him was the sickest one in the room.

The boy menacingly jumped from the game master he was sitting with, dashed across the room and smashed his fists on Savant's table. The boy had no control of his emotions. At all. He would remember this, possibly as a weakness, if it ever came to a brawl.

Savant decided not to entertain the boy's attempt at intimidation.

"So no news?" was all Savant asked, his words pouring from his mouth smooth as river water. He took another swig of his rum.

Now that he thought about it, it was no surprise there were more people than just him searching for Sparrow. She was a Hero after all--and an evil one at that. Surely there were dozens of people who'd like to get their hands on her, wrap their fingers around her throat and choke her to death.

Then the woman moved across the bar. She was beautiful, stunning really. She moved gracefully, but with purpose. Savant studied her as if she were a textbook, searching for a weakness in her as there was in what could only be her brother.

"'The epitome of evil,' you say?" Savant asked her. As he turned his head to face her, a few strands on his long blond hair fell in front of his eyes, obscuring his face a little more to the woman. "Quite a shoe to fill. If she's so evil, why is she so hard to find? There's been no news of her for years--he's said it himself. Surely if she was the 'epitome of evil,' she'd have a village to lay waste to or something."

He smirked now, staring into eyes as if reading her soul. "So tell me, lady, as noble as your cause is," he said, "why are you really searching for Sparrow?"
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 1:22 am

The wandering eyes of the pirate made her uncomfortable. Though her pauper blouse was decent enough, she still drew the neckline closer across her shoulders, her eyes falling to the ground as Hammer cleared his throat, pulled up a chair, and seated himself across from the pirate. "She is the voice of the Enlightenment," he began, his hands opening up, expressing his new found knowledge, "My sister and I, we were mere workers, no, slaves at this tavern years ago. Our father was our master, and a cruel one at that. But Sparrow, she came and liberated us. She dispersed the hatred for Heroes I once bore. She spoke of adventure, freedom, and a life of no rules. A life that we so badly deserved." His eyes rose to his sister, who gazed down at her boots, pretending not to hear the story. "But this one," he muttered, gesturing to Mystic, "insists that Sparrow caused us grief, put a burden on our shoulders. Nonsense."

Mystic's eyes rose to glare at her brother, sharp and hateful. "She may have destroyed one burden but has put the blood on our hands and created one much more!" She turned to the pirate, resisting the urge to spit on him. "Not that it's any of your business, but on the night she 'liberated' us, she so happened to massacre every breathing body in this bar. Their blood still stains the walls, the sweat of fear still stinks in the wood. Lucky for me," she rolled her eyes at this, her words dripping with sarcasm, "Hammer here locked me in the cellar, as to avoid being killed in their little spree." She exhaled sharply, blowing a tuft of dark hair from her face. "He was doing me a favor. I'd rather be dead in the dirt."

While Mystic spoke Hammer said nothing, though his brow furrowed and his face reddened. Ignoring his sisters venomous words, he turned to the pirate, letting a calm composure overcome him. "And you. Who are you? Why do you crave the whereabouts of Sparrow?"
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 1:47 am

He would like to call these two Heroes the two sides of the coin, but Savant knew that would be a false statement. As much as he was sure the girl would like to be as different from her brother as possible, that just wasn't the case. Though they obviously had different views on Sparrow and the lives they led because of her, they were similar in more ways than one.

Based on the way she spoke and the way he had slammed his fists on the table, both wore their emotions on their sleeves. And both had an overwhelming willingness to tell complete strangers their life stories. He smiled when they had both completed their sides of the story.

"It appears to me that you two really are yin and yang," he said. "Very different, yet unable to exist without the other, in a manner of speaking. I can tell you are very fond of each other, even if you don't want to admit it."

He looked to the boy when he posed Savant a question. Instead of baring all to the stranger, he gave him the condensed version.

"As Sparrow set you two on your separate paths," he said, "she, too, set me on mine. I'm searching for her so I can understand why she chose me. That is all. Nothing glamorous or dramatic like you two. As for my name, my crew calls me Captain Savant. The people of Albion, however, address me as the Hero Smoke Bullet."

He stood up now, readjusting his hat. "But since you two have no news of her whereabouts, there's no reason for me to stay."
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 2:03 am

"Don't let the door hit you on the way out," Mystic warned, poison in her words before returning to the bar, sliding back into her stool, still warm. The bartender said nothing, instead graciously refilling her mug, brimming with foam. She raised the brew to her lips, savoring the bittersweet coolness in her mouth, though her ears were still intently listening to the men behind her.

Groggily, the games keeper rose to his feet, using the table as a brace, legs wobbling like the unstable table legs. His dirtied and tilted top hat fell over his eyes, though he pushed it up, red eyes searching for his assailant. Hammer sat at the table still with the pirate, now knowing his name as Smoke Bullet. "Hero, eh? You know, they can't just throw that term around anymore. They say you have to actually have it in your blood nowadays. And if you do, you should be ashamed of yerself." He threw a dirty glance back at Mystic, as if ashamed of her, as if she were the embarrassment. "That girl, she can't tell her ass from her elbow when it comes to what's important in life. She's all about saving the innocent and helping the harmed and shit. She'll wind up starving on the streets, as long as some orphan kid got to eat for a day, even though we know," he gestured to his forehead, then pointed at Smoke Bullet's, "that kid is still gonna pilfer and steal once her back is turned."

He turned to her now, talking to the back of her head rather than to Smoke Bullet, "That one's got much too much faith in humanity. It'll be the death of her." While no one but the bartender could see her face (which he avoided her gaze at all costs) the hairs in the back of her neck prickled, but she drank on, drowning her resentment with delicious alcohol.

The games keeper had regained most of his mobility, and set forth towards Hammer, lumbering with drunkenness putting iron in his boots, stumbling. He fumbled in his long coat pocket, for what seemed ages, finally brandishing a worn rusted sharp object, one could only assume used to be a pocket knife.

Hammer felt the rusted steel against the back of his neck instantly, unmoving. "You give me back my money, cheat," the man gurgled, spit flying from his gap teeth and landing on Hammer's cheek.
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 3:36 am

Savant lifted the mug of rum to his lips and suckled in the last few mouthfuls like a baby from his mother's teat. He smirked, tipping his hat once more to lady's less-than-ladylike words. "You truly are a work," he said to her. As she walked away--rather quickly, he noticed--Savant was distracted by the girl's brother. He was babbling away as if Savant cared what the boy had to say.

His eyes drifted to the games master that had been wronged just a few minutes ago. He seemed angry, though drunken. Savant's hand stealthily moved a few inches closer to the pistol stashed in its holster in his belt. Something fun was about to happen, and he wasn't going to miss it.

He turned to face the boy again, though he kept a careful watch on the old man as well.

"And what is it, exactly, that is so important in life?" he asked. "Money, freedom, power, purity?"

And just then, the man drew a rusty dagger from his shirt and rested it on the back of the boy's neck. In an instant, Savant had drawn his pistol and had fired a shot directly into the man's forehead. With a squirt of blood and a cry of anguish, the drunken games master crumpled to the floor.

Instantly, people in the pub began to panic. The barman stared in shock, startled at the blood and the body, but somehow used to such a scene.

"Self defense," Savant said simply, pointing with the barrel of his pistol to the dagger now lying several feet away. The barman shook his head, clearly upset.

"Get out!" he demanded. "Get out, now!"

Savant nodded in agreement, deciding he didn't feel like dealing with guards today. He bent over, his free hand searching the games master's coat. Pulling out a small sack of coins, he looked to the boy once more.

"For me, life's about greed," he said, bouncing the coin purse for the boy to hear the clink of gold together. "But for your sister, it's something else--a noble cause. Respect that. It's something neither of us could do."

He tossed the coins to the boy's hands, a crude smile crossing his lips. "I recall hearing something about an obsidian war hammer? Consider this a contribution." And with that, he moved to the doorway.

"One more thing," he said. "There's an infestation of Hobbes near Rookridge. I'm heading there now, but I'd be more than willing to share the fun." Then, winking at the girl who undoubtedly looked his way, Savant stepped out into the dusk-lit stone streets. The thief had obviously got away. But perhaps the Rookridge Hobbes would be a pleasing adventure to take his mind off it.
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Tue May 18, 2010 10:39 am

The moment Mystic head the chair scrape against the floor, she turned her head, catching the advancing game master make his way towards her brother. The veins in her arms began to glow blue, and her fist a bright red, burning. But her Will was not needed, as suddenly the pirate leapt to his feet, a bullet square in the master's forehead before toppling to the ground. She winced but said nothing, watching the trickle of blood begin to pour along the bridge of his nose and the temples of his forehead. Her hand returned to normal, and she turned fully to the pirate just as he spoke to his brother. While her cheeks blushed at his compliment, or so she thought, she still had a scowl on her face as he turned and left. She didn't have to hear the rest of what he said, because Hammer made his way over to her.

Raising his hand to his neck, the dark leather rubbed off fragments of rust, crushing it to dust between his fingers. "That knife couldn't cut a fruit, let alone flesh," he muttered to himself, taking the glass of ale waiting for him on the bar next to his sister. "That man is going to Rookridge. Going to bloody up some Hobbes infesting the place. Invited us to go with him."

Mystic's jaw dropped, "You can't be serious. He just killed a man right here in front of God and everyone! He's scum." Hammer cleared his throat, a vein throbbing at his temple as he repressed his anger. "Church, he saved my life." "You just said that knife was garbage. He couldn't give a paper cut with that thing."

"We're going. Go buy some food, and I'll wash our clothes upstairs. We hunt at night while the Hobbes are out." Taking the knapsack of clothes, Hammer turned the corner of the bar and disappeared up the stairs. Eying the gold coins Hammer left in her charge, she exhaled and scooped them up, making her way out to the square to purchase some perishables before the shops closed. She caught the Hero Bullet Smoke disappearing across the bridge towards Bower Lake, brow furrowing as the sun set just beyond him.

[I guess Mystic and Hammer out?]
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PostSubject: Re: Replenishing   Wed May 19, 2010 2:51 pm

Lock?

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