Shadows and Sins (Eleste's history)

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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:00 pm

At a glance, Gideon Crowl seemed a friendly old man. His wrinkled face, slightly too large nose and thin, wispy hair gave a greater impression of a slightly eccentric great-uncle than anything else. The effect was only enhanced by how heavily he leaned on his cane. A friendly gleam stayed in his eyes, and his thin lips often curled into a smile. Those he smiled at were never happy to see it.

He smiled as he cleaned and assembled an antique, Terran-made slugthrower pistol, screwing the grip back together as he regarded the beaten man laying on the floor. He picked the weapon up, peering down the barrel to check the sights against one of the ornate paintings in his office and nodding once. He took an empty magazine from his desk and started to slot the rounds into place, one at a time, "So tell me..." another round clicked into place, "Just what am I supposed to think when someone I trusted..." another, "elevated..." and another, "gave a life and purpose to... steals from me?"

The man could only whimper and try desperately to grunt a response. His jaw had already been smashed in, his teeth and blood spread across the multi-colored patterns of the rug.

"No answer? No defense? I suppose I already know everything I need to anyway." he slapped the magazine into place in the pistol's grip, taking up his ornately carved ebony cane in his free hand and pushing up to his feet. His footsteps were uneven, and the cane made a heavy thump each time it connected with metal flooring.

"No begging for mercy? No screams? Well... I suppose you can't do either of those after Sarat questioned you... couldn't you at least humor an old man with a tear or two?" He stopped in front of the crippled, bleeding figure, tilting his head as if regarding an accidentally crushed ant.

The man whimpered and gave him his request. A single shot cracked through the room, followed by a wet thud of a lifeless, half-missing skull reconnecting with the ground.

The doors swung open, and a massive figure, easily eight feet tall, walked in. He was clad in full armor, his face hidden behind a grinning skull and metal plates over his limbs. He reached down to pick up the corpse by his feet and dragged him out into the hall, swinging him against the smooth metal of the far wall and letting the body come to rest on the floor. blood splattering as it connected.

"Thank you, Sarat... now, who has the next appointment?" Gideon made his way back to his chair, gingerly settling into the large leather furniture.

No words came from Sarat as the armored man bodily shoved a small child into the room. She didn't scream as she tripped and fell on the rug, landing on bony hands and knees on the crimson soaked carpet. Her entire body shook as she stared downwards, lips trembling as she slowly, slowly tilted her head up to look at Gideon. She was dirty, thin with malnourishment and clad in tattered scraps. Her ivory skin was nearly black with grime in most places, especially along her ears, and her hair was a mess of tangles. Even so, she looked him in the eye. She was afraid, most certainly. She couldn't have been older than ten, and here she was sitting in a pool of blood before a man with a gun. But behind that fear was something else.

Gideon leaned forward in his desk, staring down at her and setting the gun down next to a stack of papers. He crossed his hands under his chin and frowned, "And just how was it a little thing like you evaded my men for weeks..."

She didn't answer. Sarat walked in and struck her, and she didn't answer. When she was face down on the rug, unable to hold her own weight up with the pain of repeated blows, she didn't answer. Gideon Crowl waved his man away with a smile, "Most interesting... Can you at least tell me your name?"

Eleste still refused to answer.


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:01 pm

Darkness and cold metal were the only things accompanying the dull throb in every inch of her body and the vague taste of metal in her mouth. She couldn't see, but if it was anything like the last time her arms and legs were probably solid black and blue. She tensed slightly in the memory of that grinning skull, accompanied with gauntlets impacting her body again and again.

She wasn't sure just how much time had passed since she'd been dragged to Mr. Gideon's office. Her best guess was that they were feeding her once a day, since she always managed to fall asleep before another meal came. Counting like that, it must've been three weeks. Every third meal, she'd hear that familiar shuffle and thump of old Mr. Gideon and his cane. And the smiling old coot would leave the door open for her and step aside. He always had his gun with him, and the first time he brandished it to make sure she got the point.

"Look here, little one... you've been stealing from me for months now. By all rights? I should shove you out the airlock and let you swim through vacuum to catch up with the rest of that drifter trash. But the fact you got away with it for so long, right under my nose... If you can get outta here, you're free to go. But if you don't..." he shook his head and tsked, "Well, Sarat won't be pleased if he sees you again, certainly."

She'd only gotten a few rooms that first time. The days she'd spent locked up, they'd spent tightening security. More tripwires, different patrols, sensors and bots. Sarat found her easily and grabbed her by the collar, throwing her to the ground and striking her until she blacked out. She got a little further the second, across the hallway and into a storage room. Once there another of Gideon's flunkies dragged her kicking and screaming to his gargantuan bodyguard. The third and fourth, she made it to a different deck of the space station, both times by different routes, but once she was stunned by some sort of weapon mounted on a wall, and the other she only felt a rifle butt connect with the back of her skull.

The last two times, she hadn't managed to get nearly as far. Her injuries were catching up with her, even walking took effort now, nevermind stooping, crawling and climbing.

Today, was her twenty-first meal by her count. Gideon would be coming again any minute. Sure enough, as she laid sprawled on her side in the darkened room, she started to hear a steady thump on the deck plating. Each time, a bit louder than before, and each time, she tensed a bit more, her skin erupting with goosebumps.

Thump, thump, thump and a pause. The slight beeping of keys being pressed, and the whoosh of the door opening. The light silhouetting Gideon's hunched form was so strong she felt herself reflexively trying to back into the corner.

The old man frowned as he looked at the pitiful creature at his feet, cringing away from the artificial lights. She was bruised from head to toe, dry blood caked onto her face and hands, having pooled around her lips and chin. Her right eye was nearly swollen shut, and the left wasn't far behind. Sarat had certainly done a number on her. The fact she wasn't trying to get to her feet was worrying as well. He shook his head a bit, the muscle-head would have to be more careful in the future.

Leading with his cane, he walked into the cell and slowly squatted down to look her in the eye, "Couldn't get away, I see."

She trembled, mustering up enough strength to pull her legs closer to her body. Still she stared at him, piercing blue eyes almost swallowed up by her injuries, but meeting his gaze. Her lip quivered, but she didn't speak.

"I'm afraid it's going to be just about impossible, now. Interesting little tricks you had. The vents, the crawlspaces, learning to time my men's movements... Not to mention how you re-wired that door. Where did you learn that at your age? Oh, no matter. It's all for nothing now, of course. I assure you, it's all fixed," he pulled out a foil-wrapped candy from his pocket, slowly unwrapping it as he spoke.

He rolled the candy between his fingers, "You have nothing to fear from me now, of course. I'm not in the habit of killing children," he slowly reached forward with his liver-spotted hand, dropping the treat a few inches from her fingers.

"In fact, you are rather... interesting, little one. You've done wonders for teaching me where my weaknesses are, if only you were still useful..." he smiled more, noting that the young girl hadn't moved in the slightest beyond the slow, labored rise and fall of her shoulders, "But, well, to be useful... that would require cooperation."

Her eyes dimmed a bit as heavy footfalls came stomping down the corridor. A massive figure whose features were consumed by the shadows he cast, save for the grinning skull faintly illuminated by the red eyes in his mask.

"Of course... just because I do not kill little girls, doesn't mean I don't employ those... less discriminating," he shook his head, frowning as he gripped his cane more tightly.

Sarat stood completely motionless.

"Come, come now... it's not like you were ignorant of your crimes, little one. One way or another... you owe me. My generosity is not a gift. It is a commodity. One that must be paid for," his smile returned in full force, "And as a down payment... I'm just asking for your name, and your guarantee you'll pay for your life in full. Or else... Sarat will have to reclaim what I've given you."

Her gaze lifted from Gideon to the metal giant behind him, then lowered back down as she slowly inched her hand forward towards the candy. She claimed it, and despite every muscle in her arm screaming at her, put it in her mouth. She rolled the lemon drop on her tongue for a moment, before finally whispering in a cracked, broken little voice, "... Mommy called me Eleste."

Gideon clapped his free hand down on top of his cane, "Wonderful! See, Sarat, the child has sense after all!"


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:01 pm

"I don't like this."

"Mr. Crowl's opinion is the one that matters, not yours girl."

"Bring age into this. Real mature."

"You're just lucky I can't wring your scrawny little neck. Besides, what're you worried about? All you have to do is open the door."

Open the door, he'd said. Much easier said than done. Eleste sighed, adjusting the harness holding her computer equipment in place before getting a boost over a solid steel perimiter wall. "I'm not ready ye-" she started, but she was already moving upwards, forced to scramble over the wall under cover of darkness and drop into the garden on the other side. She instinctively tumbled when she hit the ground, breaking the impact and lessening the noise, though she ended up on her belly instead of up on her feet.

Without a word, she pushed herself upright into a low crouch, and shot a glare through the wall. Bastards. Open the door. Nevermind the 'door' was the front gate to the private home of a Hunter Knight-Captain. Eleste had never been fond of the Hunters, religious fanatics who thought their guns gave them the right to 'defend the faith', but at the same time she couldn't help but bite her lip a bit at the thought of what was going to happen once that gate was open. Or what would happen to her if she couldn't do it.

Ever since that day in the cell four years ago, Eleste had served Gideon Crowl and his 'business' with forced loyalty. She'd tried to run a few more times at first, but Sarat would always catch her, Gideon smiling his twisted little smile as the bodyguard's hands and feet struck her again and again. By her second year in his service, she'd stopped trying to run. His tasks had been simple at first, a picked pocket here, a window left open there. But he was always pushing her, always seeking her potential as an asset, and always giving her more and more difficult things to do.

She knew she was being tested again. Gideon had others in his service who'd proven they could pull a job like this in their sleep, but he had to see if his 'little girl' could manage for herself.

She could remember the old bastard's words clear as day as she crept behind the ornately tended, exotic foliage, "All you have to do, little Eleste, is open his door. Then my men will make sure Captain Nerun understands his error." Wet-work. Assassination. Taking out a rival. Whatever it was called, it meant for the first time in her life she'd been asked to do something that would get a man killed.

She kept low, hands almost on the ground as she crept along, her body hidden away by a nearly skintight stealth suit. The black material clung to her and didn't make a sound as she moved, shifting her weight. This wasn't any different than any other time she'd snuck in somewhere she wasn't wanted. Any other time she'd stolen some little trinket or cracked into a database to get a file.

The house was getting closer. It was an older style, the outside faux stonework and artificial wood. Large windows on all three of its stories, and the northern corner actually made to resemble an ancient castle's tower. If the Hunters were anything in addition zealotous, it was old-fashioned. There was a half open window on the second floor, an easy way in. She watched for lights, as an officer's home, there would of course be a patrol. Sure enough, a pair of men in green fatigues and black armor plates walked by. Each carried a powersword and an assault rifle. With lamps on their helmets, they scanned the yard for a moment.

She dropped flat on her stomach, shutting her eyes and trusting that her suit would do what Gideon said it would, and blend in. Her heart beat harder and harder in her chest as the footsteps on stone and grass got closer and closer. They were talking, laughing and joking with eachother. Ever louder, ever closer. Her hands and fingers started to twitch, and she bit down hard on her lip to steady herself.

Closer. Closer.

She held her breath.

And then the footsteps started to fade.

She waited a moment, slowly lifting her head up to make sure they were gone. She let out the old air, slowly drawing in more as she scanned the wall for any cameras. Not seeing anything, she ran for the wall. As soon as she reached it, she hopped up, the textured grip of her suit helping her secure handholds as she scaled the facade.

In less than a minute, she reached the window, slipping around underneath it and leaning her head to peek in. The room was dark, barely illuminated through a half-open door. She gripped the edge of the window in one hand, pushing it further open as quietly as she could, only a faint creak escaping it. She drew her hand back and gripped the windowsill, pulling herself inside and dropping silently onto a wooden floor.

She took another breath, closing her eyes for a moment. There had to be a way into the house's network in here. It was just a matter of finding it. Sticking to the shadows, she took a few tenative footsteps and froze when she heard movement. When the sound didn't repeat itself, she turned her head, slowly, and gasped a bit at the sight.

Another little girl, a human only a year or two younger than herself. She was curled up under a thick blanket, colorless in the dim light. Adjusting more and more to her surroundings, Eleste saw the vague shapes in the dark slowly form into toys, stuffed animals, books and furniture. A typical child's bedroom, she knew, even though she'd never actually seen one.

She turned and watched her for a moment, swallowing hard before moving again, her eyes adjusting to the new lighting conditions as she moved closer and closer to the little girl's desk and the small computer sitting on it. She kept crouched when she reached it, glancing over her shoulder once to make sure the child was still sleeping. Satisfied she wasn't stirring, she reached for her back and pulled a set of goggles away from her equipment. She slid them over her eyes, and pulled the network device out of the girl's terminal, before plugging it into a small slot on her own machine.

She reached up and pressed a small button on the side of her goggles, and the room faded away.


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:02 pm

Four men were crouched low in the tall grass opposite the gate to Captain Nerun's estate. Each remained perfectly still, weapons clutched and at the ready as they watched the wall surrounding the building. Three of them were dressed in simple sneaking suits, the materials pulled up covering their entire bodies and blending them into the swaying grass. They were all roughly the same height, and the way they observed and waited without banter or coordination spoke volumes of how long they'd worked together, and the professional ease they handled their silenced weapons attested to their professionalism. The fourth, however, towered over all of them, his grinning skull mask treated with more traditional camouflage and no weapon readily in sight as he kept low, kneeling almost to the point he was on his hands and knees to keep out of sight.

They'd been waiting for fifteen minutes after sending the girl in before the gates swung silently inward, revealing the concrete pathway that led right up to the Knight-Captain's home. No words passed between them as they rose all at once, the four figures dashing inside, the only sounds their footfalls and the rustling grass.


Eleste pulled her goggles off and put them in a small pouch on her thigh, settling back and blinking as she rubbed at her temples. She wasn't used to 'hot-diving' into a system, and the electrical impulses that had bridged the OS of her computer with her mind left her with a migraine. She took a few deep breaths, and started back towards the window.

She froze in place when she heard the yelling.

Through the open window came the crack of a rifle, then a cry of pain as someone dropped. It was impossible to tell who without actually peering outside, but in a few moments she heard a crash from inside the building. They were already in.

For several long moments she was keenly aware of her own heartbeat in her ears, right up to the very tips of them, and a shake in her fingers. It was only the mixing of two sounds that shook her out of it, occurring nearly at the same moment. The rapid, light footfalls of someone rushing through the hallway just outside the door... and the gasp of a startled, frightened child who'd just discovered a shadowy bogeyman in her bedroom.

She had just enough time to turn and look at the little girl, now sitting straight up in her bed and holding a small stuffed animal close to her chest. The child's eyes were wide in surprise and her mouth twitched, unable to articulate a response to having her room invaded while she slept by a moving shadow in the corner. That moment seemed to drag itself out, and Eleste always remembered just what she saw. The curly hair, impossible to discern the color of in the dark, the striped pajamas, the torn ear of the little plush ral-cat. But mostly, she just remembered that expression of unasked 'why?' that remained on the girl's face even as her door flew open. A tall woman who must've been her mother pushed the door into the wall, only to stop in the entry when she saw that her girl wasn't alone. That pause kept her there just long enough for her chest to explode in red across the room, a quiet, repeated 'phpt' of suppressed weapons fire coming from the hallway.

Only then did the little girl finally scream. All Eleste could do was stand there.


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:03 pm

Nerun had probably been a handsome man before the right side of his face had swollen up and started bleeding, but it was difficult to tell through the cuts and black eye. His skin had the pallor of someone who spent far too many hours in an office, though it was difficult to tell if that was natural or due to blood loss. His short cropped blond hair was stained with that blood in places, along with a simple robe thrown on in haste. His limbs were thick, however, ripped with muscle that didn't do him any favors against the metal giant restraining him, one massive fist holding both his arms behind the small of his back, and the other holding him a few inches off the ground by his shoulder.

As always, Sarat was silent.

When Eleste descended the stairs, following close in the footsteps of one of Gideon's assassins, for a moment she thought the man was already dead in the bodyguard's hands. Then his eyes flicked to the corpse being drug behind the tall man in front of Eleste, and the small, still living, figure slung over his left shoulder.

The assassin walked a few steps closer, and dropped the body at her husband's feet. Her legs were bent in unnatural angles, and a slick red trail led all the way back to the stairs as she stared lifelessly at the ceiling. Try as she might, Eleste couldn't pull her eyes away from the multiple holes in her chest and blouse, gleaming red in the light. She felt bile rising in her throat, but forced herself to swallow it as she shut her eyes.

Another of the assassins walked up to Nerun, his face masked as he laughed, kicking the side of the corpse's shattered ribs, "Y'just couldn't play by the fuckin' rules, could you? Should've wised up, like old Stelak did. Made your posting to this rock a bit easier, eh?"

Nerun didn't give him a response, setting his jaw and muttering quietly. At first, Eleste thought he was trying to get mercy, but when she listened more closely, she heard him speaking the names of the Lord, Lady and Sage over the body of his wife, right up until the second assassin backhanded him. His head jerked to the side, but he continued his prayer a moment later.

"No, no... you gotta be a hardass. Well, guess what? Hardasses make enemies. And enemies like Mr. Crowl make sure to bleed their foes in turn." he hit Nerun again, twisting the stock of his SMG into his solar plexus and making the man cough up a mouthful of blood, "You killed our men... we kill you. And anyone else who happens to be around..."

He nodded at the first and third men in stealth suits, and they both nodded in turn, the first dropping the little girl onto her stomach before stepping on her back to keep her in place as they both drew their weapons on her, the first at her spine, right between the shoulder blades, and the other aiming for her head.

"W-Wait!" the room went still for a moment, as everyone turned to look at the source of the voice. It took roughly two seconds for Eleste to register that she'd been the one to speak up, "She... she didn't do anything, she's just a damned kid! We're here for him, aren't we?"

There was a sound of metal grating on metal, with a hiss and growl mixed in for good measure. The voice that followed was low and fierce like a snarling beast. Eleste had never heard it before even after four years, "Spare her... how amusing... you want that responsibility on your head, girl?"

Sarat's gleaming eyes bored right into her skull, but she stood firm, "... she isn't part of this..."

That same horrendous grating noise, the Mistern realized he was laughing as the bodyguard's gargantuan shoulders rose and fell with it, "You wish to keep her, then? You will have to earn that..."

The assassins glanced between each other, but none dared to question.

Sarat bodily hurled Nerun into the wall, he impacted with a crunch of bone and slid down to the floor with an agonized groan. His arms twitched as his head lulled slightly to one side, his eyes unfocused, but still watching his tormentors. Sarat walked a few paces to a nearby discarded pistol, something Nerun had pulled to fight off his assailants, no doubt. He picked it up with disdain between his thumb and forefinger, and tossed it towards Eleste. She caught it on pure reflex.

"You want to save the girl... then you'd better dirty your hands with the rest of us," Sarat stood back to his full height, his voice setting Eleste's nerves further and further on edge with every syllable. She looked from the silvery weapon, sighted and polished, its only blemishes the spots of fresh blood on it. It was growing steadily heavier in her palms as she looked up at the figure of Nerun, his eyes fixed on her with resignation. He tried to reach towards his little girl, only a few feet away, but couldn't reach. The child was screaming again, sobbing and wailing under the boot on her back.

Her fingers tightened around the pistol. She knew what she had to do. A life for a life. She finished the job, the child would live, even if it was a life in Crowl's service, it was better than being dead.

She leveled the gun at Nerun's chest. Her hands wouldn't stop shaking, the barrel jerking this way and that in a small circle as she felt her stomach turn to ice. She asked herself if she could really do this, could she really shoot someone, even like this?

Sarat took a single heavy footstep towards the girl, and that was all the further motivation Eleste needed. She squeezed the trigger down, the report of the shot echoing through the room as Nerun jerked back, the bullet taking him in the gut. She fired again, and again and again, pulling the trigger even as the gun clicked uselessly without any further ammunition in it. Nerun lay dead on the floor, blood oozing out of half a dozen wounds in his ribs and stomach.

Eleste felt her legs go out from under her and she only just managed to drop the pistol and catch herself on her palms as she stared at the rug underneath herself. The child cried out and wailed for her father, but at least she was alive.

She gasped for air, her lungs burning. Had she been holding her breath that entire time? She didn't have time to question it as she was dragged bodily back up to her feet by Sarat. The bodyguard gave a single nod to the assassins as he started to drag Eleste out into the hallway.

She couldn't see it, but the quiet rush of air left by the suppressed weapons told her everything she needed to know, and she went limp.


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:03 pm

No one truly remembered when Callidus Station had been built. As far as the few scraps of galactic history could tell, it had simply always been there at least as a derelict. In the rebuilding of the recent decades, it had been found again and a variety of corporate survey teams had moved in, judged the repairs within budget, and sent word to move in the repair crews. In thirty years, it had changed from a floating piece of scrap to one of the most important border trading hubs between the nations of Serim and Bree. And of course, all that economic growth attracted businessmen of all shades.

Mr. Techin was one such businessman, though certainly of the more unsavory variety. He stood an imposing 7'9”, with cobalt blue scales and silver eyes. His features were dulled faintly with age, and his claws and teeth no longer glinted as they did in his youth, but all were still just as sharp as his wits. Leaving his guards outside the door to his office, he strode in, simply standing in the darkness for a moment as the door slid shut behind him.

Varien Techin was one of a very small minority, and not specifically because of his scales. Being nearly three thousand years old, he was one of the only beings left in the galaxy who'd lived to see the rise of the human Maxwell and the Terran Republic he would ultimately found. The nation that would ultimately grow to include half the known galaxy before collapsing in on itself with the sudden destruction of Sol. The ancient lizard had done many things in his long life, soldiering, politics, mercenary work, even a bit of piracy. Now, he contented himself with a less physically demanding pursuit. Varien had spent the last century cornering the vice markets in the supposedly 'Holy' Empire of Serim.

Now it was time to expand.

He'd have to step on a few toes, of course, but that was just how the business went. He had enough credits to finance a long term turf war if things couldn't be settled diplomatically, but he had his doubts it would come to such. His men and women were paid for, as well as the local authorities, and he had the tactical know how to lead them through, he was sure of it.

As he reached for the light switch, he paused. Something in the office wasn't right. He couldn't see yet, but there was a scent...

He pulled his hand away from the wall and started to reach inside his coat for a blaster.

“I wouldn't do that if I were you~...” the voice was almost a purr, a smug young woman's voice. Accompanying it was a single red dot centered over the hand that had just found his weapon.

With the sight activated, a glint of red light came from a shadow near his desk, he wasn't sure where she'd been hiding herself before, but she must've been a damned fool to stand right in the open in front of him, any moment now security would see he was in distress. He held that belief for another half second before attempting to figure a way to get himself out of this. No one could've snuck into his office so easily and simultaneously been stupid enough to leave the alarms or cameras running. No doubt the feeds were hacked. Or perhaps the observers were already dead.

“I don't respond well to threats, girl. What is this about?” he practically snarled as he spoke. Perhaps a bit of intimidation-

Phwpt! The sound was barely even there, a simple snap of steel cable tension and a rush of air, and a four inch long metal dart was suddenly impaled halfway in the lizard's kneecap, the force shattering the bone and tearing ligaments as it sent him down to the ground with a pained growl. A second found his right shoulder and a third his left wrist.

“Bad move,” she chided him, and he could see the silhouette lift a hand, waving a single finger back and forth, “Don't worry... it's not going to kill you, but you'll probably be in a fuck of a lot of pain your whole trip.” She was walking closer, a bounce in her step and a slight roll in her hips. She was enjoying this.

He tried to move, to get back on his feet or even just lift himself off the ground a few inches, but the woman was quite correct. He was already in a fuck of a lot of pain as whatever substance coated those darts spread a fire through his veins and nervous system. All he could manage was a twitch of his tail, which was rewarded with a fourth dart right into the base of it, and a swift kick into the side of his head. His vision swam with the impact, and the blow and toxins together conspired to fade his vision and consciousness further, leaving him in a torturous dream-like state just short of true unconsciousness and the temporary freedom from the pain that would bring.

The girl, he could see now it certainly a girl, not a woman, her build too slight to be more than a teenager, was activating some sort of communicator with a press of a device resting in her long, pale white ear, “Roomsweeper, package is secured. Proceed with cleaning.”

She looked down at him with a grin as she received whatever response came over the line. Through the sealed door the muffled sounds of gunfire began to echo through the station.

Eleste knelt down next to the man, drawing a long, thin blade from the side of her boot and toying with the tip of it against her finger, “Mr. Crowl wants you alive, only reason you're still breathing. It'll probably be a few minutes before my friends finish off your little operation here... and we can't exactly leave without them, now can we? But don't worry... I'm sure I can think of a way to pass the time...”

Unable to move, unable to speak, unable to do a Gods damned thing to save himself, Varien could only watch as the knife inched closer to his chest.


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Post by Dulkor on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:03 pm

Eleste reclined lightly back against the bulkhead, her shoulders braced against the metal along with the bottom of her right foot as she took a slow drag from the lit cigarette. She closed her eyes as the familiar sensation of hot smoke filled her lungs again, holding it for just a moment before letting it out her nostrils. From beyond the door immediately to her right, damn-near unearthly screaming and screeching leaked through the sound filters as Sarat did his own part of the work on Mr. Techin.

Four years now. Four years since she'd first taken a life and been molded by Crowl and his men to take more. It had been hard at first. Even after gunning Nerun down, she couldn't look at her targets without seeing the man's face accusing her when she shut her eyes. Or worse, remember the choked, weeping screams his daughter had made. Nightmares had plagued her for the first year. Her dreams now were no less bloody, but they no longer terrified her. There was an artistry to it, she saw now. Every new victim to make her list was a challenge to be overcome with precision. And once the person was in her grasp, the body was a canvas to work with. A knife wound here, a bullet there, a peeling back of skin to see what sort of sounds would be made by it...

A heavy thud from the other room shook her out of her thoughts and she stood up straight, rolling the cig to the corner of her mouth.

She'd been a scared little girl before, scurrying around out of sight and tricking machines and computers into doing what she wanted. Gideon, sick bastard that he was, had at least taken the fear away. She didn't trust him, she didn't like him, but he had enough of her respect to keep her interested in the jobs he gave her. She still entertained thoughts of killing him, but there was always...

The door slid open and a familiar figure in a grinning skull mask walked out, arms and chest still dripping with fresh blood. The giant was idly tossing a few pieces of something red and white in one hand. She flinched a bit despite herself at the sight.

"Varien has agreed to speak. Watch him while I inform Mr. Crowl," the grating, mechanized voice barked at her as the armored figure started down the hall.

The only thing the sixteen year-old Mistern still feared, was the massive, blood-splattered metal monstrosity casually walking down the hall and tossing freshly-skinned and peeled finger bones in his hand.

She stepped through the door and waited, making sure the broken gangster inside didn't die before her boss had spoken to him.


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