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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: A Few Stray Lights  (Read 1218 times)
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #15 on: Jul 28th, 2009, 4:03pm »

Senka peeked over her shoulder at the man and boy behind her. They didn’t show any outward signs of noticing her at all. That was probably for the best. If Silas was right they didn’t want anyone tagging along, and she certainly didn’t want to get a child involved. She turned back with a set jaw. She nodded once.

“It should be Mr. Peller for this I think.” She said, holding out a long, thin hand. “You’ve convinced me, sir. I’ll follow you as far as the end of this thing.”

She suspected he had no idea what she really meant. It meant that she would be by his side until his target was dead, or both of them were. She was his knight and his servant. It was a vast and weighty promise, but she had put herself in less stable hands more times than she would like to count. Old habits die kicking and screaming and have a habit of wiggling back out of the mud.

“Shall we see to that lock?”
« Last Edit: Jul 28th, 2009, 4:03pm by inkhat » User IP Logged

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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #16 on: Jul 28th, 2009, 5:52pm »

"Righ'!"

Silas whisked around again, head down, using one calloused hand to ram his cap down tight to his head and levered himself from seated to standing with a motion that appeared to be mostly a process of falling off a stool, remaining hunched and shrunken, as if his coat was spun of lead.

"In trade f' such workin', you'll have a shard of the price of the great beastie and my thanks!"

Silas gestured with one knobbled arm to the low entrance way and bowed, adding:

"By th' way: Whassa follower?"
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #17 on: Jul 28th, 2009, 6:11pm »

She fiddled in her pocket a moment and came out with a carefully folded bill. She smoothed it and placed it delicately under the bottom of her empty water glass. She made a motion to the bartender like a tip of a hat, though she wore none. The bartended nodded and tried not to watch them too closely. She gave a last glance to the duo behind her and raised her collar to her chin with one hand.

“I’ll take my payment from a higher power, but if you have a meal to share that would be appreciated.” She didn’t like having the door opened for her. That always seemed like her job. She set her jaw and walked through. She began going through her inner pockets for her lockpick. She hoped she wouldn’t need the whole set, which sewn into the inner seam of her boots. The one might do fine. It wasn’t in that side. She tried the other.

“A Follower is another name for a Volgeni. It’s a religion.” Ah, there it was. She patted it reassuringly against the fabric of her pocket. “We believe that the highest calling is service. We dedicate ourselves to helping those with passion and drive, regardless of what their goal may be. We assist them until they achieve it.”
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #18 on: Jul 28th, 2009, 7:50pm »

Silas whipped around, issuing a throaty cackle in response.

"Y'picked it good! We'll be done in an hour outside. One task attempted, completed and sewn up pretty!"

The last, more of a shout than a mutter, knocked his cap off his head, which he snatched and hammered back onto his head in one fluid motion. Ducking low, he gestured towards the exit, scuttling sideways and then trotting, head down, coat making dust swirls from the low planks as he went.

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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #19 on: Jul 29th, 2009, 7:15pm »

Senka thought of the time between her tasks. She usually spent that time wandering around feeling completely at loss for direction. She had been in some terrible scrapes in her line of work. She’d been stabbed, buried alive, shot, and in one memorable circumstance forced to learn the delicate art of juggling hedgehogs. She still had the scars across her palm. Still, she missed those fuzzy little rascals. But she was becoming distracted. Any job was a good job. Any work was good work. That is what she spent her entire childhood learning.

“Out of curiousity, Mr Peller.” She said politely. She noticed she was a hair taller than him. Maybe it was the boots. They drew a few curious glances from the sides of the road, but not as many as she was used to. Perhaps this town was used to stranger sights. “How long have you been tracking this thing? What do you plan to do once you catch it?”
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #20 on: Jul 30th, 2009, 9:37pm »

Silas flashed some teeth as he pushed aside the saloon door. "Some" employed as a term for 'most' or 'all.'
When he responded, his little eyes flashed and shone.

"Since I was knee high to a groundhog, Missy. But this'll mark an end t' it. We're gon' find it, and take it's hide."

Scratching his head fiercely and glanced around, bowing his arms out and whistling tunelessly.
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #21 on: Aug 1st, 2009, 8:28pm »

Senka stopped with a quiet jingle from her spurs. She glared at the enigmatic man. “Do you mean to tell me.” She began slowly, “that you have been chasing this thing your entire life, and you have yet to catch it?”

She rubber the bridge of her nose as the whistler wandered on. Yes, she had certainly found someone with drive and passion. Personally she would have like a teaspoon less of the one for an ounce and a half more good sense. But, her father always told her to take what the good fortune that was put in front of her, even if it was mostly okay fortune. She sighed and started after him. Her left hand wandered to her hip and loosened her long knife where it hung on her belt. Just in case the thing had some thoughts other than going quietly.

“Perhaps you only needed some backup.” She chuckled.
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #22 on: Aug 4th, 2009, 7:57pm »

" 've had help, but oddly none as didn't regard Rattler scales as big as a man's palm as good enough reason to cut and run."

Silas lapsed into a moody, flickering silence, alternating between phlegmatic little noises and muttered catechisms about fewmets, fairings and tracks. Heavy lids hooding his narrow eyes, in the dry twilight he was a solid night colored shape, sliding along the dusty lane without any particular gait. Minutes slid by and his pace, initially rapid slacked off into a more contemporary shuffle.

The little farmhouse had just begun to pick itself up off the horizon, outlined against the end of the lane, bruised skyline alternating with dour gray house shadow. Maybe ten minutes short, Silas cussed, hopping off the lane and into the long grass beside it in a single bound. He sank to his knees, snatching the hat off his head and gusting his copper-wire hair around his ears as he did so.

"Excrement."
Silas spat, nudged something, and opined "Excrement" again.
« Last Edit: Aug 5th, 2009, 3:09pm by Sykes » User IP Logged

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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #23 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 2:43pm »

"Well I guess those were just amate-" She slid to a halt as Silas bounded off. blinking, she edged forward and leaned forward, feigning curiosity. Really, she didn't want to know what sort of thing elicited that response. Certainly, one never used it for good or exciting reasons, though there was that one paleobotanist, but she was fairly sure he'd been mostly out of his head.

"Interesting choice of word." Her nervousness crept into the corners of her voice. She really had been hoping this was an easy job. "Is there a Problem?"
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #24 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 3:28pm »

Silas gestured Senka over, still low on his haunches and prodding at something with one long arm. When he finished his gesture, he swept his hat off his head almost sheepishly, mashing it against his breast.

He was still now, his circus variety of tics suppressed in favor of a monomaniacal attention to his find. The grasses picked at his narrow spuncloth coat, covering the backs of his exposed hands and the lower verges of his cheeks with hairline scratches. Breathing heavily through his mouth, each induction tugged at sallow cheeks and made his eyes sparkle wildly for a second.

He was hunched over a crick, a doleful rivulet of drainage from one of the flanking farms with banks all torn asunder by bird tracks and upshooting weeds. The water was cut with reflections from the sinking sun setting it off in wild pyrotechnic shades which similarly marked the edges of Silas' heavy face. And the rest of the crick's contents. Slumped in garish parody of the fetal position, two ragged halves of a corpse lay in parallel. Male, by what was left of his canvas shirtfront, his heavily muscled arms were oddly untouched, splayed away from the torso, one blocking the drainage ditch, creating a pool which was already attracting insects. Silas sifted the fellow's white Ten Gallon to cover his ruined face, distended to a wild blue by two puncture holes along the cheeks. Without the color of the cheeks, the red and raw pieces of the body seemed more fitting in the setting sunlight.

In the center of the corpse, pushed into the soggy dirt between the long stalks, was one massive footprint, a cloven hoof, easily the length of Silas' forearm.

When Silas did speak again, rustling through muck around the body, uncovering the remains of a sixshooter, crushed beyond all recognition and a single spent shell case- when he spoke again, it was to himself, in a low mutter.
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #25 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 4:17pm »


Oh. excrement.

Senka hopped and slid up beside Silas. She knelt, her knee hovering a few millimeters above the mud. She squinted at the body. Drawing on her childhood was almost a spiritual experience; her training, religion, and youth were so amalgamated they were almost the same moment in time. She moved her hand over the body…or what was left of it, as if moving things aside, though she didn’t touch it.

“Massive application of strength. Ragged wounds including dislocation. This wasn’t any weapon I know. Teeth? Claws.” She glanced over the torso. “And that is not any animal I know. I hope the man was no one I know.” She watched the crick a moment. It was oddly quiet. Most tiny animals seemed to have taken wise and disappeared. “It didn’t kill to eat. He was in the way. It either crossed water, or moved downstream. Harder to track. It’s…it’s intelligent?” She looked at Silas’ face torn between respect and disgust. “This is thing you’re tracking, isn’t it?”
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #26 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 5:18pm »

Silas tapped his knuckle in the depression made by the hoof for a long minute, seeming almost not to breathe in the space.

"Mmm. You know your critters. This is mine- In a hurry, too. It never leaves tracks, else it couldn't half go unseen with hooves like this."

Silas stepped long leg over the track, brushing the dirt with two long fingers, scenting the digits, the dirt, the digits. After a second he pointed two fingers.

"Draggin' something. Up th' lane." Silas looked up at the house, shuddering. Something, evidently, once alive.
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #27 on: Aug 5th, 2009, 7:10pm »

“I had no idea you were following something…something like this.” She mumbled, mostly to herself. “This really is the stuff of legends. Myth, even, if you believe that sort of thing.” Very carefully she checked his pockets. She found nothing very exciting. She also, to her relief, found nothing that indicated that she knew him. “What do you suppose spooked him? Maybe you?”

She straightened. “if he’s dragging something maybe it’s slowed down. We should move.”
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #28 on: Aug 6th, 2009, 8:52pm »

Silas snorted, expelling clouds of 'backy and alcohol.

"Doesn't spook, gets hungry. Never seen'm this hungry, is all."

Silas smelled his knuckles again and wordlessly lit off into a rolling lope, a tracker's jog, his maligned cap gusting off his head revealing a flashing shock of hair in the end of the light. He wordlessly ate up the turf towards the house, a grim light on his face and a weird in his eyes.

Bouncing along, he managed to shoot back over his shoulder
"If it comes to it, ca' ya fight at all? Pops innt' known to love visitors well."
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xx Re: A Few Stray Lights
« Reply #29 on: Aug 6th, 2009, 8:58pm »

Senka glanced up as Silas shot off. He had seemed vaguely bumbling in the bar. She never expected him to move quite this quickly. Maybe that was good. She took off at a sprint behind him. She never was a great runner, and these boots well…she was making excuses. In any case, she would never catch up.

“Yes,” she called up to him. “I can hold my own. It’s mostly defensive though I....” She blinked at him a moment. With a strain she covered the distance between them and grabbed his shirt sleeve. She couldn’t possibly have heard what she thought. “Did you say Pops? That’s a colloquialism, right? A colorful metaphor?”
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