Dark Wishes [Open]

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:12 pm

"I have business to attend to," I said, clearing my throat awkwardly as Alice dropped the pile of garments on the table next to Hope.

"So what happens now?" Hope asked, sifting through the pile of shoes.

"I have an apartment I use during longer assignments, I figure you can stay there for the time being. It's small, but it's dry and safe," I explained my plan, Alice watching me closely, a smile on her face.

"Why her?" Alice finally piped up, resting her hands on the table.

"What?" Hope and I said in unison.

"You never get soft, for anyone, why her?" She pressed further, shrugging as if it weren't a big deal.

"She's got potential," I replied straightforwardly, "Much like you when you first came here," Alice shot a glance at Hope, sizing her up.

"If you say so," She said, shaking her head, "Don't get your hopes up, whatever he tells you," This time she spoke directly to Hope before sidling out the door.

"That was weird," Hope finally chimed in.

"That's Alice for you," I sighed, "Speaking of, where's little Alys?" I glanced around, as if searching for her, even though I knew full well she wasn't here.

"They said she can stay here for a bit, so she's not in any danger," Hope responded, trying on a pair of shoes.

"Ah, fair enough," I nodded. Sometimes the targets we received were parents of young children, in these cases the Blades often returned the child here where they grew up and were either asked to work with the Blades or went off into the world on their own. It wasn't the best childhood, I could vouch for that, but it was far better than a lot out there right now, "I assume they told you, as her guardian, you can take her out of our care at any time?" she just nodded, grabbing a different pair of shoes.

"Just give me a yell when you're ready, I'll take you over to the apartment, then I've got to get a move on," I finished, stepping outside, closing the door firmly behind me.

"What are you filling her head with?" Alice asked in a harsh whisper, poking a finger in my face as soon as the door closed.

"I haven't told her anything," I said, putting my hands up defensively, "She's got talent, though. She killed guards on our way out of the clothes line, rather efficiently, too,"

"She's got too much compassion, she'd never make it," Alice crossed her arms, setting me with a stern look.

"Compassion can be weeded out, you know that," I returned, raising my eyebrows, "You were the softest of our recruits when you joined up, and look at you now,"

"You better not just be after some pussy, Kaun," She warned, "Girls who have been through sh*t like she has don't deserve that,"

"My motives are totally pure, Alice," I said, putting emphasis on her name, "Now shut up or she might hear you, the walls aren't that thick,"

"She's getting dressed, not standing with her ear against the door," Alice rolled her eyes, "Now swear to me you're not getting involved with this,"

"I don't owe you anything," I sighed, "Stop worrying so much, if you keep it up, I might get the wrong impression,"

"Don't flatter yourself," She looked ready to hit me, "And I heard what you said about me to the Listeners,"

"I was just trying to get the promotion," I put a hand on my forehead and drug it heavily over my face, "We both know you're a solid Blade,"

"Promotion?" She asked, her emotions completely changing.

"Yeah, Jeffrey got killed, they're looking to promote one of us to Black status to take his place," I explained.

"So that's why you've got her," She gestured at the door, "You want to take an assistant if you get promoted,"

"I helped her before this thing blew up, but yeah, it crossed my mind," I said, "And if I do manage to get her recruited, you know exactly who she'll be placed with for orientation,"

"That's fine, she's a perfectly lovely girl," Alice huffed, "But you've never tried to recruit before,"

"Maybe I've had a change of heart," I replied, "Why does it matter so much to you?"

"It matters because she doesn't need any more trauma in her life, do you see her?" Alice gestured again at the door, as if Hope were standing right there.

"I'm not going to offer her trauma, I'm going to offer her a better place in this f***ed up world, and a chance at revenge," I was going to go on, but the door swung open right at that moment, Hope looking surprised to find us standing there. I just prayed she hadn't heard any of what was said.

"Shall we get going?" I asked, forcing a smile.

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  cyclonecasey on Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:02 pm

Trying not to listen to the murmuring outside the door, I slipped on the first pair of pumps and stood with a wobble, I took too shaky steps forward and decided against them. I instead picked up a pair of Mary Janes with a low chunky heel and slipped them on.
"You better not just be after some pussy, Kaun" I cringe as Kaun defends his intentions, I wasn't use to hearing that sort of language coming from anyone other than contraband search officers, it seemed especially wrong in such a feminine voice.
"She's getting dressed, not standing with her ear against the door. Now swear to me you're not getting involved with this"
I pause, my hands stilling as I was about the fasten the strap into place, waiting to hear his response.
"I don't owe you anything" my heart races and I'm not even sure why but for some reason this response makes me happy.
"Stop worrying so much, if you keep it up, I might get the wrong impression" I can't help but smirk and chuckle as Alice snaps in defense. I finish doing up the shoes and try them out, much more comfortable and easier to walk in, I found myself questioning why high heels even exist. I complete a quick circuit of the room and deem the shoes appropriate, I glace back at the pile and notice a simple black headband. I pick it up and place it tentatively put it in place, I then walk to the door, hesitating when I hear Alice saying "she's a perfectly lovely girl, but you've never tried to recruit before"
"Maybe I've had a change of heart" I gnaw my lip, my own heart suddenly feeling very heavy. "Why does it matter so much to you?"
"It matters because she doesn't need any more trauma in her life, do you see her?"
"I'm not going to offer her trauma, I'm going to offer her a better place in this f***ed up world, and a chance at revenge"
I don't let my mind contemplate that too much and I realize the conversation probably isn't going to end anytime soon, so I breath deep and just open the door, surprised when I find that Kaun was actually all but standing in the door way, if I had taken even one step forward I'd have walked right into him. A moments silence and then.
"Shall we get going?"
I smile weakly in response and nod. He holds his hand and arm out in the direction he want me to walk and I start at a slow pace. I hear Alice mutter something as he turns to follow me but I couldn't and didn't try to make out the words. In a few short steps he catches up to me and places his hand briefly at the small of my back, reassuring and apologetic, before letting it fall back to his side.
He takes me across town to a small apartment building, only 5 stories high, and leads me inside.
"Ahh, mistah Kaun" (IDK if the people here would know your real name, feel free to edit this) a boisterous robust man with a thick mustache waves vigorously from behind a counter.
"Ghangi" he smiles genuinely, "long time no see, eh?" he walks over, extending his hand.
"Too long sir, too long" he gaze shift to me, an eye brow lifts. "Well, well, what have we here? Very pretty lady, Kaun. If you're not careful, I might steal her away while you're not looking" he send a friendly wink my way.
Kaun laughs "Well, good man, what chance to I even have?" please with being humored, Ghangi pats Kaun on the shoulder, tells him not to be a stranger, and all but pushes him back towards me.
"Nice guy" I say as he leads me to the elevator. Still smiling he reaches up his hand and rubs his neck, "Yeah," he says slowly "he's really friendly, you shouldn't be afraid to approach him, he could keep you company sometime" the elevator doors open and we walk in, he presses a button "and you don't need to worry, he talks a big game but he'd never actually try anything with you, he just likes to tease"
Ding. We reach the third floor and the doors open. I yawn as we step out into the hallway and suddenly realize how late it must be. Kaun glances at me with look of concern and pulls a card from his pants, with his other hand he gently grabs mine and leads to a door a few down from the elevator.
"Come on, you've had a long day" he says, waving the card in front of a little black box by the door and with a clunk the door swings open "you can have a look around in the morning" he adds as he leads me inside. He take me straight to the bedroom and I can't even mentally acknowledge that it will be the first bed I'll have slept in in five years. I turn and fall backwards onto it, my legs dangling off the edge and not caring. I hear a chuckle and feel Kaun remove my shoes.
"C'mon, get in the properly" he says nudging me. I groan and crawl under the covers. "Here," I crack my eye open to see him place a pile of rags on the night stand, it takes me a moment to realize they're my rags "just in case you find that dress too uncomfortable to sleep in, until we can get you some more clothes" he goes to walk out of the room, hand poised to turn off the light.
"Thank you, Kaun" he pauses a moment just to smile at me.
"Sleep well, Hope"

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:33 am

Once I was out of the apartment building I finally felt like I could breathe. The whole situation was a bit tense and awkward. I wasn't sure what the girl expected of me, and I wasn't sure what I expected of her, but either way I felt I was doing a good thing.

"Why her?" Alice's words came back to me. She had a point, but I couldn't explain it. Perhaps it was the compassion she'd shown me in my few days at the clothes line, with no real reason or expectation. Very few people in this world would go even slightly out of their way for fear of being punished. I passed by a diner as I walked, glancing inside to find a familiar face staring out at me, several, actually. Three of the girls who escaped with us were huddled around a table, staring out into the dismal, smog coated night. How they managed to get some money for food, I had no idea, but they definitely had a few empty plates. It then struck me to tell Hope there was some freezer food in the kitchen. Shrugging, I assumed she'd find it, and carried on. Maybe I was getting soft? A lot of our veterans admitted to going easy on people, even feeling guilty, later in their careers. What if this was only the start? What if I was compelled to help more people down the line? I shook my head, it was all nonsense, surely I wasn't going soft. I still couldn't nail down my exact reasoning for doing what I was doing, though.

After a short walk, I was at the train station, waiting for the tram that stopped at the foundry, the same place I'd been only a week prior. I dug in my pocket and pulled out my PDA and began flipping through recent ID saves until I found him, Dale Harrison, a steel worker who'd worked at American Metals for his entire life, just like his father before him, but for whatever reason, there was no information on his grandfather. Suspicious, the government didn't like to be out of the know and had records dating back generations on everyone. Boarding the train, I took a seat and read a bit more as the train ground away from the station.

He lived only a mile away from the metalworks with his mother and sister, neither of whom worked. A tough life indeed. His record was spotless as well, never so much as a ticket or fine. Armed with this new information, I slid my PDA back into my pocket and waited patiently for the train to arrive.

--

Stretching, I approached the door to the alley home in which Dale lived, giving the old wood a few hard cracks with my knuckles. It wasn't a moment later that the door swung inward, revealing a woman in her mid forties, the tired, worn look on her face mirroring so many others in this city.

"Can I help you?" She asked, a twinge of fear in her voice as she eyed me suspiciously.

"Is Dale available?" I asked politely.

"I don't know anyone named Dale," She responded, starting to close the door.

"Well, if you happen to meet a Dale Harrison, could you tell him that his brother has come and is waiting for him up the road, next to his work," I said with a smile and turned and left.

I was halfway up the street when he caught up with me, panting from the exertion, he stopped next to me, giving me a surprised look.

"It's you," He said, "I knew it!"

"Hello," I said, extending a hand toward him. He shook it firmly, looking me up and down.

"So you're an assassin?" He asked, looking around warily, as if we were being listened to.

"Let's find somewhere more private to speak," I advised. He just nodded and led me back to his home. As we passed through the kitchen to his room his mother and sister gave me strange, wary stares.

"How does this work?" He asked, grabbing a rickety old chair to offer me. His room wasn't much, basically a closet with a writing desk and a bed, a single lightbulb hanging froma frayed cord in the center of the ceiling providing a bit of amber light.

"You give me a target, I complete the assignment, simple enough," I explained, choosing to remain standing.

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:26 am

He sat there, hesitant, staring directly at me, the same way he had when he saw me leaving the foundry a few weeks prior.

"This is some stupid government setup isn't it?" He asked, glancing around the room as if there would be a camera poking through the wall. This was actually the first time in my career that someone questioned the legitimacy of the Blades, and it caught me a bit off guard. Most of the time they would just tell me who they hated most and off I went.

"You saw the foreman of the foundry fall from the window, yes?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I saw you push him out of the window," He responded, crossing his arms.

"Was he not a government official?" I went on, "Placed there to make sure the company followed their guidelines?"

"Yeah," He said, trailing off.

"If you don't want the favor, I'll just take the book and go," I offered, opening my hands innocently. He didn't move, in fact, I think he tightened his grip on the book. The options were: one, take a chance and improve his life in some way, or two, play it safe and continue on the way he was going.

"The owner of the apartment complex," he said flatly, his mind made up, and handed the book to me. I nodded and stood up.

"It'll be done," I said, giving a curt bow before I left. I made sure the memorize the name printed on the outside of the building as I exited and headed back to my hideout apartment.

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:53 am

I arrived back at the apartment just as the sun was coming up. Although you really couldn't tell beneath the dilapidated highrises that stretched on for eternity and the thick layer of smog coating the sky. It was almost always raining, almost always dark, and always grim inside the city, no matter the time of day. As I entered the building, I could hear tenants above me yelling at one another, Ghangi just standing at the desk shaking his head as he read the latest edition of the Inner-City Journal, a posh newspaper dedicated to making it sound like the poor, downtrodden percentage of the population was only a tiny percentage.

"How've you been, Kaun?" He asked, without looking up.

"Busy," I responded, leaning my knuckles on the desk and giving a tired sigh.

"That is the life of a lawyer, is it not?" he laughed, turning a page and looking up at me with a knowing look.

"Indeed it is," I smiled, gazing down at the polished wood beneath my hands. Despite how rough the outside looked, Ghangi kept the interior of the building looking as fresh as the day it was built. Probably better, actually.

"How long will you be in this part of the city this time?" He asked innocently, going back to his paper.

"I'm not sure, I'm working a pretty big case right now," I shrugged.

"Do share," He said, his interest piqued, giving me an expectant look.

"A complex owner over in the metalworks sector is in a bit of trouble for immoral practices regarding tenants. I'm still trying to find out information about him to file the papers,"

"Which one?" He asked, raising his eyebrows.

"Ringden," I said looking at the picture on the front of the paper. It was a dead girl, shot several times in the chest, the headline Indentured Servant Attempts Attack on Daphne's Clothes Line Guards, Several Dead, Accomplices On The Loose.

"Ringden?" He said loudly, obviously surprised.

"You know him?" I asked politely.

"My ex-wife married the man," He laughed bitterly, "Owns seven or eight highrises in the production sectors,"

"Which sectors?" I asked, leaning casually on the desk.

"The Iron sector," he started, and I nodded, that's where Dale lived, "The Fabric Sector, The Builders Sector, The Fabrication Sector, and he's building one right now in the Bank District,"

"Well off, then. I might have a rough time on this one," I shook my head.

"Who's after him?" He asked, leaning in close for the juicy gossip.

"Seven families out of the Iron Sector, they've got a pretty good case, but I don't know if it'll hold up to his kind of power," I said, keeping my voice low as someone wandered down the stairs to check their mail.

"What do they want? Money?" He asked, glancing over the person, his face serious now.

"Yeah, compensation for the damage he's caused. He trashed their building to try to get them to move out while still under contract. Their theory is that he's doing it so they have to pay him the cancellation fee for leaving and he can just rent it out again," I explained, Ghangi just nodding slowly, knowingly.

"Best of luck to you Kaun," He said,leaning back in his chair, "Watch your back out there, a man like that can get away with anything," he warned.

"I'll be careful, thanks Ghangi," I said, clapping him on the shoulder and turning to go up the stairs.


Hope was still asleep when I got in, so I left her be and went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water out of the fridge. A cup of instant macaroni sitting empty on the counter nearby. Looked like she'd found the food, I thought to myself as I took a drink. I walked out of the tiny kitchen to the tiny livingroom where a table was set up under a window that looked straight out over the street and into the brick wall of the neighboring building. Turning on the laptop resting there, after blowing off the dust, I made myself comfortable. It was going to be a long morning of research. I just smiled as the laptop booted up, it was about time I had a challenging case.


-------

And then I woke up. Groaning, I propped my head on on my hand, glancing at my watch for the time. It was almost ten in the morning. Seemingly in my rush to get started on my new assignment, I'd neglected to sleep and had passed out on my computer at some point in the early morning.

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  cyclonecasey on Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:29 pm

I stretched, still half asleep. I could feel the soft mattress beneath me and the even softer sheets strewn over me. A part of me wanted to just scrunch up into a ball and stay in bed all day, just because I could. No guards to jostle me awake, no clothes to slave over for hours on end. I look down at my hands, at the callouses and bandages and broken nails. Callouses heal, right? Cuts and bruises and broken nails and even broken bones all heal, but callouses always seemed to stay the same, only changing for the worse. I wipe my hands on myself, as though it will somehow wipe away the ugliness, and force myself to get out of bed.
I approach the kitchen, deliberately dragging my feet on the smooth wooden floor, free of the fear that a fallen unpicker becoming lodged in my foot. I can't help grinning. Life as an indentured servant didn't leave much room for happiness and the alien feeling was making me giddy.
I stop short, noticing the lump of a man on the couch, slumped over over a shiny blue laptop. My smile softens and I'm torn for a moment between waking him and letting him sleep. I dart around the kitchen, silently looking in cupboards and looking in the fridge, coming to a quick decision and hoping I wouldn't end up waking him up.
Ten minutes later a groan informs me that Kaun was awake.
"Good morning" I call out, letting him know I was there.
"Morning" he replies groggily. He stand, stretches and turns around. I smirk as he blinks a couple of times, clearly surprised. I scrap the last of the scrambled eggs onto the plate and place the frying pan back on the stove, now turned off.
"Hungry?"
"You can cook?"
"I wont be cooking any elaborate meals any time soon but, you know, eggs are pretty basic. Just cook until it's opaque"
He smiles at that, a real but partially retrained smile that gave the impression that he didn't smile often either. I made a mental note to try my best to change that.

(sorry if this is inaccurate, I feel like a job like his would be a strain and result in mostly fake smiles)


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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:46 am

"How do you afford this?" She asked after downing a mouthful of eggs. We were sat at the small table next to the only window in the apartment, plates of steaming eggs laid out before us. The smell was divine, and it reminded me I hadn't had a well cooked meal in weeks.

"The Listeners pay me well," I said, digging into the meal.

"Do all of The Blades make as much money as you?" She pressed, looking to me expectantly.

"I make more than most," I said, trying my best not to sound arrogant, "Being Red has its perks,"

"Red?" She furrowed her brow.

"My rank, I'm Red, the second highest rank I can reach," I explained, puffing my chest out a bit, it was one of my proudest achievements in this life.

"And Alice is red as well, then?" She had question after question, it seemed.

"Yes," I nodded, "as well as four others you haven't met,"

"How many people are part of The Blades?" She had finished her eggs by now and was eyeing my plate longingly.

"A few hundred, a thousand? I'm not entirely sure," I shrugged, "I definitely haven't met them all, and there are more at different bases scattered around the world," I reached over and scraped half of my eggs onto her plate, to which she lit up.

"I don't want to take your food," she laughed, looking sheepish now.

"It's fine, I'm a light eater," I said with a reassuring smile. After a moment deliberation, she started to eat again. I could only imagine living on the foul gruel they fed you at the clothes line, she must have been in a permanent state of hunger for her entire life.

"How old are you?" She asked after a few minutes of silence, catching me off guard.

"I'm twenty," I responded, "And you?" I asked only to be polite, I already knew her age thanks to my friends in the forgery department.

"Seventeen, eighteen next week," She actually had to pause before answering, "Sorry, I lose track of time sometimes working on the line," she laughed, though the darkness in her words betrayed her.

"How long were you working there?" I asked, folding my hands across my waist and leaned back in my chair.

"Since I was thirteen," She looked down at her plate, not wanting to make eye contact, "My mother worked there before I was born, my father worked in a fabrication plant. They did their best to support us,"

"What happened to them?" I asked, realizing how cold it sounded only after I said it.

"I don't really know, they just disappeared and I was shipped off to the line where mom used to work," She still didn't want to make eye contact, and I couldn't really blame her, it sounded rough.

"It's in the past now," I said after a moment, trying to reassure her, "You've got a new future, you can do whatever you want from here on out," I was going to go on, but my phone rang in that moment.

Excusing myself, I walked into the kitchen and answered.

"Kaun, are you okay?" came Alice's panicked voice before I could say anything.

"Yeah, what's wrong?" I asked, instantly concerned, I could hear shouting in the background of the line.

"The ATC hit the base hard, we're still not sure how many were killed, the Listeners had no idea it was coming," She explained.

"Do they want everyone to come down there?" I asked, pacing back and forth, unable to do anything else.

"No, they said carry on with your duties, I just wanted to make sure you're okay," I could hear the strain in her voice, she was scared.

"What of the orphan ward?" I asked, suddenly concerned for Hope's orphan, Alyce.

"It's fine, they didn't make it that far and everyone's being shipped off to Area 3 until further notice," She reassured me, I could hear her pacing the same as me.

"The nest is clear until the storm blows over," I said cryptically, a code we had in place since we'd become friends, meaning that our respective cover apartments were still safe and the other was welcome there until whatever was happening was resolved.

"I'll take you up on that, how's Hope doing?" She sounded at least a little reassured.

"She's alright, making herself right at home," I responded.

"Good, her chances of making it might have gone up significantly," And she hung up.

"What happened?" I jumped, turning to find Hope standing at the entrance to the kitchen, a concerned look on her face.

"The Blades just took a big hit," I sighed, "Alice will be here soon, I'm sure she'll explain it to us better,"

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  cyclonecasey on Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:51 pm

I subconsciously run my tongue over my teeth, the two halves splitting apart to prod the points of my canines as I thought. I turn on my heels as head back to the small table to pick up the plates and cutlery.
"What are you doing?" Kaun asks, following me.
"Cleaning up" I reply shortly, I carry the plates to the kitchen and set them down next to the sink.
"You don't need to do that" he gently grabs my wrist as I go to turn on the water "Really, I'll take care of it"
I look up at him, trying to smile reassuringly as I reach up and pull his hand from my wrist, holding it for the briefest of moments, "It sounds like you're gonna have enough to deal with right now, let me do the dishes" I give his hand a quick squeeze before letting go and turning back to the sink. Out of the corner of my eye I see his hesitation, he wants to argue but he knows I'm right.

(Literally blowing hot air here, just wanted to post something since Dyl's making a new character and obviously won't be posting)

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Mon May 01, 2017 6:04 pm

She showed a lot of affection for having only met me recently, but that didn't worry me, what worried me was if I might start to return the affection. Shaking it off, I made my way to the computer and made sure to save all of my documents before shutting it down. With that taken care of, I stepped into the bathroom and washed my face in the cold water. Taking deep breaths, I leaned on the counter, my fingers clenching the corners as I gazed at my reflection. My hair was messy and unkempt, likely from having slept on the computer the night previous, dark circles under my eyes indicated that I didn't do it frequently enough. I ran a hand through my hair, smoothing it back haphazardly. My white shirt was half tucked into my black dress pants, a fleck of egg on the thigh, my jacket and tie likely thrown over the back of the couch, though I honestly couldn't remember what I'd done with them last night.
Straightening up, I re-tucked my shirt, brushed myself down, and combed my hair back into place. With one final, deep breath, I set my jaw and returned to the apartment to find Alice lounging upon the couch, a plate of eggs on her lap.

"Where did you get these? They're delicious!" She said through a mouthful of egg. I looked up to find Hope leaning against the kitchen doorway, an amused smile on her face.

"You made her eggs?" I asked, rolling my eyes as Alice shoved more into her mouth. Sometimes I could swear she was born a man.

"She saw the dishes," She shrugged, "You alright? You were in the bathroom a while," She asked the second part a bit quieter in an attempt to avoid Alice's keep hearing.

"Yeah, was just cleaning up," I responded gruffly, not wanting her to know I'd spent a solid half hour staring in the mirror.

"sh*t's exploding out there, Kaun," Alice cut in, saving me from another question on the tip-s? Of Hope's tongue.

"So you said, what happened?" I asked, dragging a chair from the table over to sit across from Alice.

"Huge raid is what happened, and they knew what was going on, too, came in guns blazing," She said, shaking her head sadly, sitting her half finished eggs on the coffee table, "Lot of bodies, I'm not sure exactly how many of us died,"

"f**k sakes, how'd they know?" I asked, glaring out the window across the room.

"I don't know, and if the Listeners know, they're not telling," She leaned her elbows on her knees and put her face in her hands, "But the HQ is dead to us now, the Listeners said they would contact us when we have a new home, until then, keep doing what we're doing,"

"Hope, could I have a minute alone with Alice. I can't discuss certain things around you at the moment," I piped up after a few moments of silence.

"Alright, I wanted to have a look around the building anyway, gives me an excuse," She said, either not at all put off by the request, or a great actor. As she headed out the door, I turned back to Alice.

"Will you be staying here?" I asked after a moment.

"If you let me, my apartment was too close to the HQ," She shook her head.

"Of course, and-" She cut me off.

"Yeah yeah, you told me so," She rolled her eyes as she leaned back on the couch. She looked tired.

"All I said was you should at least pick a place in a different district," I sighed.

"Shut up, Kaun, this isn't the time," She snapped at me, and I withdrew, she was right, after all. Now that I was sure Hope would have wandered off, I pressed on with the real conversation.

"I assume you have a file for me?" I asked, knocking my knuckles against the coffee table before me.

"Yeah, we're taking ten wishes apiece," She nodded, removing a flash drive from her pocket and tossing it onto the table, "The Listeners asked you and I to take this bunch specifically, apparently they're some more challenging cases,"

"Sounds like something they'd do," I nodded, grabbing the drive and walking over to my computer where it sat on the table by the window.

"You taking Hope on the assignments?" She asked as I booted up the laptop to take a look at the list of targets we were responsible for.

"Yeah, I'll either scare her off entirely or it'll draw her in and I can get her a silver," I responded, scrolling through the pages of info.

"Think she could actually do it, though?" She pressed further.

"Yeah, she killed a guard when we escaped the clothes line together. She has it in her, but I don't know to what degree," I paused and looked up to find Alice peering at me over the back of the couch, "Yet,"

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  cyclonecasey on Mon May 01, 2017 8:55 pm

I click the door closed behind me and lean against is for a moment with a sigh, I was thankful not to have to sit awkwardly to the side, pretending not to listen to their conversation, I also wasn't sure I wanted to hear what they had to say. My world had changed so drastically, so suddenly, and I was having trouble adjusting, and this whole 'Coded Blades' thing was especially hard to wrap my head around.
I push the thoughts from my mind and push away from the door and head down to the lobby. To the right was a small sitting area with old but comfortable looking armchairs, a low coffee table, and a large stack of magazines and newspapers, to the left was what looked like a wall of lockers, probably for mail and packages, and next to that was the front desk. There sat the friendly man from last night, silently stacking cards higher and higher, his tongue sticking out in concentration.
"Ghangi, right?" He looks past his house of cards to me and smiles broadly.
"Ahhh, pretty lady! Kaun treating you right?" he winks. I can't help but smile and laugh, I walk over and knaw my lip gently as I lean on the desk looking at the impressive height of his card.
"And what pretty name does this pretty lady go by?" he asks casually as he laid out a layer cards to start a new level.
"Hope" I reply automatically, instantly worrying that it was the wrong answer, I was technically a fugitive, Kaun had to get me fake IDs, IDs I haven't seen yet, was my name still Hope?
Ghangi seemed to notice sudden change but didn't press further, keeping up polite conversation and keeping the topics as apparently impersonal as possible. He didn't ask me how I know Kaun or for how long, or where I came from, instead asking how I liked the building and if I slept well.
By the time I heard the elevator ding and footsteps approach Ghangi had an astounding ten levels to his house of cards, now so high he had to kneel on his chair to keep stacking.
"Making friends I see?" he smiles at me, quirking his eyebrows. My only response is to poke my tongue out at him and smile back.

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Re: Dark Wishes [Open]

Post  Damxge on Wed May 03, 2017 12:16 pm

I made for the door, paying Ghangi a wave and a smile before stepping outside, Hope following quickly behind me. I paused on the stoop of the apartment building and took in a deep breath of the smog filled air, suppressing my disgust at the sulfurous stink that permeated the very streets on which we stood. Glorified sidewalks at this point, no one in this district could afford cars. Even bicycles were a rarity now, they were quickly stolen and shuffled off to a different area of the city or made into weapons for the local gangs. Even now in the late morning, a mid evening shade fell over our heads, a combination of the tall buildings surrounding us and the permanent layer of pollution hanging over the skies. Thankfully the rain had let up, though the steam that rose from the streets now in the midday heat served a similar purpose to drench anyone who dared walk the streets.

"Where we going?" Hope asked, glancing up and down the empty road, curiosity in her voice. Everyone was at work or in hiding, daytime was not the time to be caught wandering about.

"To the 'fun' district," I responded, rolling my shoulders and straightening my jacket.

"Why?" She asked, her curiosity replaced by revulsion. The Fun district was home to prostitution rings, underground casinos, and drug bars. People seemed to think that they were rebel causes, flying under the radar of the ATC when in reality they were funded and run by the ATC through a lot of back doors. These particularly seedy pockets were to give the illusion that people could do something without the ATC knowing, to be rebels, even if it was just getting a line of coke off a trashcan in a back alley.

"We're paying a visit to a man by the name of Gerald Hink," I explained, setting off up the road toward the tram station only a few blocks away, Hope close on my heels.

"Hink," She spat, obviously she knew of him.

"Hink," I responded, nodding, assuming she would go on.

"The other girls used to talk about him," She confirmed my expectation, "They came from a cathouse he owns and if they didn't make enough money he would sell them off to the clothes line, like livestock,"

"So I've heard," I glanced back at her to find her jolly mood ruined.

"Why are we going to talk to him?" She spat, likely reevaluating her opinion of me.

"We're going to kill him," I responded plainly as we came to the trap station and began to ascend to the platform.

"So," her voice dropped significantly and she glanced around, as if she were scared to be overheard, "Someone ordered a hit?"

"No, I just felt like murdering someone," I shrugged, going to lean against the suspended station's support, but thinking better of it and just standing beside it while I waited for the tram.

"That's not funny," She scolded, clearly put off, "I thought you had to find some apartment owner,"

"Snooping are we?" I raised an eyebrow and she immediately looked away.

"It was on your computer when I woke up, kind of hard not to see," She said indignantly.

"With the raid on the HQ a lot of people are dead or missing, so the rest of us have been saddled with their wishes," I explained, the blinding headlight of the tram coming into view further down the line.

"Wishes, is that what you call the contracts?" She asked, shuffling away from the edge of the platform as the metal box screeched to a halt before us on its overhead metal track. Thankfully it was completely devoid of occupants, so we had the ride to ourselves.

"Yes, we hand out the tomes and the people who call us are granted a wish," I elaborated on her question, the rickety tram rocketing away through the city.

"Who wished for Hink?" She asked, obviously hoping to hear a familiar name.

"I don't know, I didn't hear the wish, I just know the target," I said, indifferent.

"Doesn't it bother you though?" She was full of questions, as I assumed she would be for a while.

"Does what bother me?" I glanced to where she'd taken a tentative seat on one of the benches. I remained standing beside the door, a fist clenched around the grab rail beside it.

"That you don't know who's asking for someone to die, and if they have a good reason for it," She gave a small shrug.

"It's not my place to question the motives, my place is to fulfill the wish," I realized how cold it sounded, but it was too late to backtrack.

"But you're not a psychopath, you feel," She looked conflicted, "What happens when you're sent to kill a good person, how do you deal with that?"

"There are two ways to deal with it, and this bleeds into what I did for you and your little escape party," I started, the tram sliding to a stop at a relatively crowded platform. I nodded my head toward the door and Hope rose to her feet and exited, my glare keeping the people outside from pushing past her to get on board. This little chunk of hell stretched for about eight or nine blocks, the streets crowded with half dressed women, people selling questionable merchandise, and people who probably shouldn't be spending the little money they had, "You either kill them, or you make them disappear," I finished the thought as we descended the stairs to the street below.

"How often do you let people live?" She asked, latching onto my arm a we marched up the road to the cathouse Hink owned, avoiding the stares of the depraved individuals packing the pavement.

"Relatively infrequently," I said, "The Blades aren't really known for letting people go, but-" she cut me off.

"No, I mean you," She said flatly, I could tell she was looking at me even without turning my head.

"Once," I said, coming to a halt before the entrance to the apartment building operated by our target. Hope was deep in thought as we strode up to the bruiser standing in front of the door, a vacant gaze staring out from under his thick, woolly brow.

"It's full," He said gruffly, not even bothering to look at us.

"I'm not here as a customer," I laughed, putting on the most arrogant persona I could, "I'm here to speak with Gerald, business proposals and all that, is he around?"

"Mr. Hink doesn't meet people," He continued to stare off into space.

"I'm sorry, you think I'm just people?" I spat indignantly.

"I don't really care what-" He started, but at this moment looked down at who was speaking to him, "Why's you not using the back door?" He asked, narrowing his eyes at me.

"Because, I like to see what I'm investing in without a boss pushing me around on a guided tour," I responded, straightening my tie as indignantly as I could.

"Investing?" He seemed interested now.

"Joseph Connel, real estate and building management," I said, holding out a hand, "I'm here to discuss a possible second location for Gerald's business in a bit nicer part of town,"

"A second location?" He definitely wasn't hired for the muscle in his noggin, that's for sure.

"Indeed! I provide the space, he provides the service, I get a bit of a cut, win win win," I said energetically.

"He know you're comin'?" He asked, glancing back at the closed door, the thump of music vibrating it in its frame.

"I should hope not, I don't have an appointment until three, I was hoping to look around a bit and see just how profitable his business is before we met," I bluffed, pulling my phone out and checking the time.

"You know where you're meeting him at three?" He pressed, raising a thick, brown, caterpillar of an eyebrow.

"Fifteenth floor in his office, I presume," I answered quickly.

"I guess if you've got an appointment you can go in and wait Mr. Connel," He said, obviously unsure of his decision. He moved out of the way and pushed the door open to allow us through.

"Thank you kindly, sir," I said, stepping through the doorway with Hope by my side, "I'll be sure to mention the impressive security Gerald employs, truly admirable," And with that, he closed the door and we were in.

"That was ridiculous," Hope hissed, barely audible over the music that made the very air around us quiver. The office area was nothing special, just a lobby like any other, doors leading to halls of rooms, likely filled with employees and clients at the current, an elevator stood centered along the back wall, right next to the reception desk.

"You'd be surprised what a suit can do for you," I cracked a smile at her and made for the elevator.

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