(or "Yay, more boats.")
You’re nothing but scum, do you hear that! Scum!”
It was dawn. The cusp of a bright new morning. The great light of the great light maker fought its way above the horizon like a cosmic delta, darting between the clouds and slowly spreading to every corner of the sky. To most of the empire, it was the refreshing start of a brand new day. The cock crowed.
When he heard it, a barely-clothed Ransom was lying in the dirt in front of a huge Koridaien villa, wishing he was more of a morning person. A hulking figure towered over his sprawled shape, and it was angry.
“Who in the goddess’s name does a street urchin like you think he is anyway?” The man kicked him, hard.
Although he was dressed in nobleman’s attire, the big man packed a punch. Ransom suspected an ex-militant.
The oppressor dispatched out another painful boot to ransom’s ribcage. From behind the man, a girl’s high pitched scream cut the morning air.
“Stop it daddy!”
He whipped around.
“Silence Child! Haven’t you disgraced me enough! I go to visit our estates for one night, I trusted you as lady of the house for the first time only to return and discover a slimy lizard in my daughter’s own bed!”
By this time Ransom was already standing, and facing his attacker.
“Don’t worry darling,” Ransom grinned at the girl, “I’m not gonna beat up your daddy.” Her big beautiful eyes brightened and she smiled back.
Of course this only served to anger the young beauty’s father more, and with a roar he took a swing at Ransom, who having grown tired of all this pain, easily dodged the assault.
“Really sir, or Lord… uh, what was your title?” Another fist brushed past his face.
“Um… sir, did you really think, at her age...” Ransom shot another wink at the girl as he dodged blows, “That Lilith wouldn’t be ready for a man in her life?”
“She is barely 17! And you are scum!” The noble relaxed his onslaught and leaned over panting. His big, hairy forearms weren’t what they used to be.
“Do you really think that you have immunity from the law in this land!” he gasped between heaves of breath, “The goddess will judge you as she judges all scum!”
Actually Ransom did have immunity. But he had to wonder what exactly this lord… lord Whathisname was really implying he needed immunity from. Consensually seducing a beautiful young maiden of a year over legal age (at least in the empire, those Calatians were popping out babies at 12) didn’t exactly sound like summoning the goddess’s divine wrath to him.
Hurting civilians however, would probably earn him some form of demotion. It was time to be gone.
Ransom blew a kiss to Lilith.
“Until next time, darling!” Then, he ran.
With his daughter still giggling, the buffoon could only hurl abuse at the speeding figure.
“That’s right you scum! Run! Next time I find you in my daughter’s bed I will kill you myself! Go home to your dungheap you worthless pile of shi…”
The enraged voice faded off to a whisper as Ransom overed a hill.
He stopped to catch his breath, only to find he really hadn’t lost any. There was an ache in his ribs however, and made him wonder if Lilith's stunning looks had really been worth it. She was a lot richer than his usual fare, and something about the daddy’s-gone-away situation was just incredibly alluring. But he was sore, and practically naked, and stranded on some country road.
A stab of pain hit his chest, this time, with no relation to his ribs.
He looked down at his bare chest. A wickedly distinct black shadow was beginning to form in the middle of his chest like a bruise from hell. A kind of jagged array of small, thin veins were beginning to push themselves out from the middle of the bruise.
They were black.
After obtaining some clothing and hitching a ride on a passing wagon, Ransom reached the city and began to wander around, idly wasting the hours away. As head of Lord Steel’s personal guard, he had been surprised when he hadn’t been included in the troops heading for the Alliance force, and now he didnt know what to do with all this time off.
Until now, open war had never been his specialty; that is until he had fused with a piece of the Blacklite. Now, everything was becoming his specialty. Over the last two years his rapid growth had surprised even Steel, his trainer, the same man whose past was riddled with similar experiences of sublimation.
This progress was putting Ransom in a good mood. Could this self-improvement finally make up for what he had lost?
He thought about it. No… still nothing rivalled the ability of flight.
He had reached the market. Browsing some tables, he noticed a man out of the corner of his eye who was obviously targeting him. Intent on his goal, the young figure pushed and bustled through the crowd impatiently. Ransom waited, ignoring the urge to make the first move. The stranger approached without fear.
“Viscount Ransom of Thebes?”
He nodded to the courier and received a scrawled note from between the man’s dirty fingers.
The note was in Steel’s handwriting.
“A Mission. Here is your team.”
The rest was just a list of names, but they didn’t matter. Ransom knew which mission this was already, and if this was from Steel himself it meant he was to head it up. Just a simple intel reconnaissance , but it was very important.
He could feel it.
He turned to the courier and gave him the list of names.
“Distribute these instructions to every individual on this list: ‘By divine order of the Empire, you will be present at the royal docks tomorrow at dawn. We travel light. R’. It is extremely important that this message reaches all recipients before sundown, so hurry.”
The courier bowed and took the note. He made the appropriate adjustments, and then intently disappeared into the crowd.
“Would you like to buy that, gracious sir?”
Ransom stared at the stall-merchant who had spoken, and looked down to suddenly find himself fiddling with an ovular talisman. It was strange, he couldn’t remember ever picking it up.
He payed the man and pocketed the strange object. Maybe he would give it to Tai’lor for a lookor one of the palace scholars for a look. Which reminded him, he need to get back to the palace. There was much to do, and it was important that everything went perfectly. After all, they were heading straight into the lion’s mouth.
The Wall Of The Gods.
(all Koridaiens feel free to join! I think its gonna be a good one.)
Edited by RNSM, 05 May 2010 - 12:00 PM.