"Allison? Alllllison?" There was no answer. "Figures the one person I find willing to bolt with me and she gets blown up." The relative silence of the area following the blast was frightening. Then, there was a gunshot and muffled voices down in the distance. "Fuck off..."
Platinum was now faced with a choice. Confront the multiple voices herself, or retreat back to the station and hope that what they were looking for was in a different direction. The sense of bravado she had from before seemed to disappear in the blast, and the second option was looking safer. At least for now. Maybe I'll get lucky. Bound to happen sometime... She turned and dashed back to the station intent on protecting herself and at the worst, setting up an ambush hostage negotiation to let her pass by.
Ilya concealed a smirk when Derrick glanced back at her and gave an exasperated look. She found it funny that a man like Derrick could be so dragged by a woman like her. How a man so confident in his demeanor so sure of himself will just follow this woman's lead. In a way he had done the same for her by helping her in the alley not so long ago. The alley seemed centuries ago despite it happening only a number of hours ago. The day didn't even fully set and now Ilya was being dragged into an adventure she couldn't have seen herself in. Not without Derrick at least.
Ilya followed close behind but wary of the men with the guns and their leader. She was wary of going into their base because she wasn't quite sure what would happen there. Ilya could have sneaked past them and onto the stairs but maybe she was being cocky or fearful of trusting these strangers. Either way Ilya followed behind Derrick's shadow so both their shadows walked as one and became one elongated shadow that stretched back into the tunnel. She doesn't know why she was doing that but it seemed right. It seemed what Derrick would tell her to do.
The leader of the small group turned to William and he motioned for them to follow. With that all of them lowered their guns.
"You'll have to take the middle position of the group. You'll have to excuse me but I don't quite trust the lot of you yet. So while I'll give you the benefit of the doubt I'm not about to do something stupid."
For the moment he remained quiet as he began to walk away back to the station.
The group's leader turned to Cybille who was flirting with him and waited for William to be out of earshot.
"I appreciate the compliment but today has not been a good day for us." He looked to the rest of the group.
"He's usually a lot nicer than this, but he's on edge right now." With that he turned and started to follow William.
Deckard took a deep drink of his coffee product, grimacing at the acrid, bitter taste of it, and rubbed his face. He should sleep, he needed to sleep, but these documents weren't going to read themselves. Some of it so far had been interesting, but most of it was little more than minutiae. Traffic reports and the like. Diddle.
A pounding at the door. "Open up, this is the police!"
He closed down his computer and stuffed it into a bag and threw open the window by his work space, leaping out the drop into the alleyway and grimacing as he hit pavement from a good ten feet up. Fortunately he landed on his feet and managed to avoid twisting his ankles. A boom from above - they'd probably busted in the door, that was his cue to get moving. He took off down the alley, heading for another safe place he had halfway across the city. He moved from street to alley, taking the back paths until he heard a terrible groaning.
With that he took off again, this time without any direction or plan. Zombies in the city? God dammit, today was going from shit to worse.
"We have infected."
Gunfire, cops probably engaging the zombies on the street. God dammit, this was not working. He rubbed his forehead. Place to take cover.
Subway tunnels. Should be clear, no zombies down there, and in a situation like this the cops wouldn't bother. He took a look at a road sign and did some calculations in his head, then took off for the nearest entrance.
A few minutes later he was descending down into a station that was unnervingly silent, like walking into a tomb. There were maintenance and service stations down here, he thought he remembered, they'd be a good place to take cover and lay low until the cops got the outbreak under control. Business could wait, survival was more important right now. He headed down one of the tunnels, his footsteps unpleasantly loud.
A good ways down - and that service station could not come soon enough - and he started hearing voices ahead. Indistinct, barely audible, just echoes and echoes of the echoes, but they were definitely voices. Too soft, too calm to be cops, and not enough moaning and groaning to be zombies. Guess he wasn't the only one to have the idea to take cover down here. Either that, or there were some hobos who lived down here. Maybe a little from both columns.
He paused for a moment to catch his thoughts, then continued to approach, deliberately making his footsteps louder. Sneaking up on people hiding down in the subways was a good way to get yourself shot.
As Derrick found himself falling in with this group of demolition men, he looked about himself. Surviving out in the wilds to collect from time to time meant being able to pay closer attention than he cared to admit at times, and at this time it seemed like as good a way as any to use those skills. First thing he noticed was that Ilya was in step just behind him, keeping up with himself at a particular distance, causing him to grin slightly. Had started out as just a simple little task, to see if he could train someone up to work with him. Dangerous, but then he imagined she was used to dangerous work. Most likely her people skills would take work....
"...today has not been a good day for us. He's usually a lot nicer than this, but he's on edge right now."
Derrick rose an eyebrow slightly at that. A bad day before any of this came to be? If that were the case, then chances are they wouldn't want to stay too long with this particular party. Though, perhaps he could speak with the odd leader fellow, as Derrick knew better than to think lowly of these underground men. They survived here largely on their own, with little more than the scraps that he would find sometimes. Perhaps a nice chat with them should be his first concern.
"A bad day? Something in particular going on down here?" Derrick asked, hoping to at least find out what was going on down here since what was happening up above was obvious.
The man responded simply.
"The infection within the city had us all checking the tunnels, when the explosives went off and the cave-ins happened...well a lot of good people just died. He's the boss, he gave the order that sent them out there to make sure the tunnels didn't get filled up. Not to mention he sees himself as kind of a father to the rest of us, recent events hit him very personally."
Derrick nodded, understanding that the man had apparently taken on the responsibilities of guiding everyone in these tunnels. Or at least taking the leading role of everyone who called themselves part of this...group. In relative silence, they finally arrived at the much better lit and sturdier looking 'hub'. It actually had an alright homey look about it, which Derrick couldn't help but grin slightly. These were the type of people even he could learn some old type survival skills from. As the group seemed to fan out somewhat now that they were no longer in the confines of the now somewhat destroyed tunnels, Derrick made his way about, peering at the few makeshift places that were set up, even spotting a few instruments, tables, chairs....the place might as well been a run down hotel, except somewhat more homely than those.
"...Pretty nice place." Derrick said, his quick look about over. "Though, I just realized I don't have a name from the group of ya. I'm Derrick, and I might as well thank ya for coming around when ya did. I can't claim to know the tunnels all that well, especially when it seems some of them have become more unsafe than I remember."
Well, maybe she was right. This isn't horrible. Well, not yet anyways.
In all the confusion after the latest blast, Allison found herself disoriented but thankfully uninjured apart from a few scrapes and bruises.
She found herself alone in one of the side tunnels, apparently having instinctively taken cover there. That turned out to be a bad move as the blast had knocked some more rubble loose, preventing her from getting back out into the main subway station, at least from her current location.
She could barely make out the voice of the carrier woman from before, she tried shouting out to let her know she was still alive, "I'M IN HERE!" She yelled. "IN ONE OF THE TUNNELS!" she coughed after yelling again, clearing some of the dust from her lungs.
There was no response, her voice was obviously too muffled for anyone to hear. Allison turned to look at the darkness which lied before her. She turned on the flashlight she had clipped onto her and glanced around. Her mood lifted when she found her shotgun lying only a few feet in front of her.
Now rearmed with her favorite weapon, and with a passing familiarity of the underground system, she proceeded to make her way forward. Hoping that an exit back into the city could be found from here.
Simms was standing amongst his latest infected kills, trying to keep a tally of how many people he had seen claimed by the spread of the virus.
Reports had been coming in from all across the city, slowly but surely his men were pushing the spread back, but another breakout could easily destroy that.
The captain was more concerned about the explosions he had felt. They had to have come from undeground. He cursed himself for not installing a patrol unit down there before. Simms accessed his comm system, and radioed in to guard station.
"Get me a layout of Triumph's underground, tunnels, subway systems, anything" he ordered, "One of the city's construction contractors must have them."
"Yes, captain," the man on the other side of the comm responded.
With the immediate area free from the infected, Simms gathered up his men, who were taking a quick, well deserved break.
"Move out!" he said, and the unit carried on to their next destination.
"I can only imagine how hard it is. Demolitions..." Sapphire tucked her hair back over her ear. "There's at least a 30? Percent? Maybe higher? Mortality rate. And that's not taking events like this into account. I don't envy his position at all."
Before she could get any further, they walked out into... what Sapphire could best describe as an underground plaza. Lined with tables, chairs, people... Doors leading into sleeping areas and bathing areas, a kitchen and dining area... just what you would expect from some sort of underground demolitions community. Why did they live underground. Mole people.
She masked her smug thoughts with a face of wonder and appreciation. "...Impressive... I didn't think such things existed underground."
William lead them back and had been speaking into the walkie-talkie for much of the walk back, giving and receiving reports of where the various cave-ins were and who was lost.
"Alright when people get back we need to start standard search-and rescue ops. Find some side passages to avoid going to the surface and continue to fortify the station. We probably don't have much time before more starts coming down here." He then turned to the group that had followed them back.
"Name's William, the team leader who found ya is named Johnson." He then turned to Sapphire.
"It's closer to 35, but most don't care so long as they get the benefits that come with us dying. Space for buildings that aren't about to collapse and tunnels not full of what roams outside the walls or is currently ravaging the city.
We try to make do with what we got, but most of it is scavenged from jobs. One of the few perks that comes with having the dangerous and hated job, we live a little better than most of the people in this district. I would suggest staying here for the time being."
Derrick kept his gaze wandering, noting that most of the things lying about seemed to be as the now named William had said. Living somewhat better than the masses above tended to have to live with. He was more impressed with all the old interesting....things lying about. It was a collection of a long time, which Derrick doubted he would be able to match with all of his own scavenging and collecting.
"Greetings William, Johnson....Nice of you to take us in. Any idea what is going on around...well, anywhere? I don't think that this city is...I would be tempted to say half as safe as it used to be." Derrick said, leaning back to take the whole room in.
"Though, not that I don't enjoy the...interesting hospitality down here. Perhaps we could work out something in the future, as I like to collect bits like you have down here....And I don't have the space for it, so I would imagine you being much happier with the stuff to use."
Derrick's mind was already figuring how this could work for himself. The place was...practically a mansion ready to be filled with all sorts of things. It wasn't the cleanest of places, but to Derrick it was just a change of what was crowding a room, and dust and dirt tended to be a relatively easy moving job.
"I would suggest staying here for the time being."
"Given what we just escaped from... I, er, don't think we really have much of a choice," Sonia piped up from her place at Sapphire's side, her tone as shy as it ever was when talking to people she didn't know. She felt a little like she was speaking out of turn, but wanted to chip in her two cents. "I mean, it's either here or wandering the tunnels, as far as I know. Because why would you want to go back up to the surface when there's... infected - " She choked a little on the word, and shuddered at the thought of facing them up close. "Them. Running around."
The city probably had security measures in place to combat the infection, but she thought it was scary enough just to be reminded that the threat was still there.
"Whatever that thing was in the tunnels, it set off remote explosives." Johnson said before William took over.
"A little too coincidental to be random chance. If I had to put my money on it a less than friendly carrier got a bunch of people infected and set up explosives. Once topside started goin crazy and we followed procedure to secure the tunnels it detonated them and made its escape. Now we got people missing and it sounds like the guard is starting to gain some control again. Apparently the head guard is sendin a guy over to check on our situation.
As for your offer, we are always up for trades. We don't have a lot of money to offer but we can always trade what you need and give ya a port in a storm in exchange." He then turned his attention to Sonia as she spoke up.
"Well I more meant instead of trying to go to the guards, but an excellent point. We'll keep ya safe until the all clear gets sounded and then you lot can stay if ya want or be on your merry way." At that point another man ran up and whispered in his ear.
"She's what? Get a team together and go find her now. Take who you need and however many you want. She ain't dead and she's family, you find her now." He turned his attention back to the group.
"A friend of ours got separated in the tunnels and is unaccounted for."
"Pleeeased to meet you. I'm Sapphire." she giggled, holding her chin. She could get used to this place. It was spartan and probably not very comfortable, but it had a... "homey" look going on. It was fine for now. But she had a better place to stay at, and hopefully they weren't going to have to take shelter here for that long. Derrick was prattling on about the jun strewn about, and Ruby was whispering something or another.
Sapphire took her fan and rapped it under Ruby's chin without looking. "Speak up, Ruby dear. It's impolite to whisper.
Thank you for this little "port in the storm", as you put it. We'll be out of your hair as soon as the soldiers retake the city."
She raised an eyebrow when Johnson started talking about a "lost friend". What, she wondered, made this one more special than the men they had lost in the blasts? Besides the fact that this one was a she. Shes usually didn't work in demolitions. "Someone's lost? I think it'd be wise to have her back here soon then. Who knows how many new pockets to the surface have been made with all these tunnels collapsing." Sapphire wasn't about to volunteer to go back out into the tunnels yet. But the comment about the head guard sending someone down worried her more.
"Not to be that person, but... aren't guards bad news? They've become no doubt excited and trigger happy with the breakout. I hope no one's wounded." Because they'll put a bullet in your head "How do you know they aren't coming down here to blame you for setting off these bombs? I'm sure they'll be happy to pin it on the people they consider expendable..."
"Nice to meet you as well. You can all feel free to make yourselves at home for the time being. It may be a while." William said politely before continuing.
"She'll be well enough, she can handle herself but she isn't one of us. She doesn't know the tunnels all that well as a result. Which is why we need to send people in to find her. As for the guards, we have an understanding with them. It was us who originally cleared the tunnels of the things and collapsed the tunnels that keep them from coming back. Baron made it our job to make sure they stayed clear since the guards didn't want the duty and we knew the tunnels so well already. He's probably just sending a guy down here to get a report. In any case though, you lot and any other guests will be kept a bit out of sight for that time. Don't want to start a misunderstanding." He continued as he started to mark where reported collapses were on the subway maps.
In the hastily formed plan she had concocted, Platinum was in the best position. Up by the beds with the ability to hear, see and smell her attackers coming before they could accurately identify where she was, she figured she was set. She didn't know where the other people had gone to, probably scattered in the explosion, or retreated to a deeper, safer part of the base. One she didn't know the location of. So she waited.
OK, OK. I can get them. I can stop them. I took down that guy in the bar, I can get these guys. Like in those old goofy action movies of Dad's. Yeah. I've got the tools, I can do it.
The voices grew louder, as they approached the station. There were more than anticipated.
Fuck! I can't get them all. I don't have a guy with a hammer or a gun. I'll get one, two tops? Maybe that's the best I can hope for. Go down in a blaze of quickly forgotten glory. Like a monster. Exactly like they want to see me. No, they want it, it's what I'll give 'em. Just like the old days.
The voices finally grew to audible levels. As they approached, The familiar commanding tones of William reached her ear.
William? He made it back. That's good. I might be all right. Maybe I can come out.
Then the unfamiliar voice came in, another man, once who reminded her of the types of men who slid in to the brothel after a days work for the government.
Seriously? Are you turning me in? After all the flirting? Well fuck you too, you bastard! Fine, if you're going to sell me out, I'll take you down with me!
Platinum crept closer to the corner that led into the grand hall way, allowing for a better position of attack but also allowing her to hear the conversation better. A young woman had started talking, and as Platinum drew near she could hear her closing words.
"...go back up to the surface when there's... infected....Them."
Them? Oh screw you too bitch. I should take you out after I get William first for backstabbing me. A little back stabbing might be appropriate for him. I can get him from here.
The subject changed from the explosion to a rescue for some reason as William announced the intended search efforts.
Wait, are they talking about Allison? Can't be, she was killed in that explosion. Or is he talking about me? No, it couldn't be. He knew I was leaving, but does he know I'm alive. Any puzzle Platinum was trying to put together was derailed in an instant when the other person started talking.
"Pleeeased to meet you. I'm Sapphire."
What? No. No it couldn't be! But that's the same voice...the same sing-songy tone she'd use to greet johns! No, I wouldn't get that lucky. Cybille wouldn't have made it all the way out here. It couldn't be timed that perfectly, could it? Platinum allowed herself a quick peek from the corner. In the center stood the five people she heard talking, and from the looks of it...she wasn't sure. There was also an infected standing with them, she could smell it. This gave her pause. Why is there another carrier with them? Are they hunting us down again? No, they would have been on me by now. But why would Cybille be with them? I could be totally wrong and she's some agent of the Baron...but it could be her. I mean, it looks kinda like her. It's been so long though, it might not be her. Could just be an unlucky coincidence. But what if it is her? She might be able to help me get back to Baronstadt. She can help me find Derek! Even if it's not her, William's here and he and the carrier still haven't pointed me out yet, it can't hurt. Just say I heard wrong or something. Who's going to care? ... I have to know, I have to find out. This could be my ticket out of this dust bowl.
By the time Platinum made her decision the talking seemed to have stopped. Keeping her position behind the corner, she shouted, "Cybille? Is that you out there?"
Ilya entered the rather spacious underground base of what seemed to be a demolitions crew. The man's name was William Johnson and he looked rather larger, fitting for such a role. The rest of the others introduced themselves to him but Ilya was hesitant. She wanted to improve her "social skills" but her shyness seemed to be getting the better of her.
Ilya's eyes wandered around the places, seeing the life forms of the workers except for one. It was yellow which meant it was another carrier. She guessed it was a woman, guessing by her posture but it saddened her a bit. Then she called out to the group, addressing Cybille.
"Cybille? Is that you out there?"
Ilya sneaked her way around Cybille and went to Derrick.
"There's another carrier." She whispered to his ear. She pointed out the woman's location to him.
"There's another carrier."
Derrick nodded as Ilya pointed out the location. Though the shout had given him a general idea, the much more exact eyesight of Ilya was proving to be a fantastic choice. Even better when she finally got around to her proper form of being a fine merchant....or gatherer, whatever she really wanted to be.
"Just the one? Interesting...Thanks." Derrick whispered back, looking over at Cybille as he did so. An old acquaintance? Perhaps someone from the brothel who had gotten too close to the outbreak and was wandering around here? Whatever the case, he needed to make sure Cybille didn't go rushing to meet....whoever it was.
"Perhaps they would be more inclined to answer you if you weren't hiding around a corner, shouting to know who people are?" Derrick said back, intrigued as to who this could be....and what they could possibly know. They knew a name, which was strange in itself, but infected? That was something he knew that wasn't going to be taken well.
Sapphire's look quickly became one of annoyance.
There were only a handful of people who knew her by that name, and they knew better than to call her that in public. Fists on her waist she cocked her hips, flipping her hair back over her shoulder. A woman that knew her name... it was a family member, more likely from the Sparrow than a blood relative.
"Depends which bitch wants to know."
Hmmm, I guess I should have remembered how much she hates people using her real name in public. Still, that's pretty much confirmation right there.
Platinum stood up behind the corner and spoke a little more confidently now that she had the proof that it was her former co-worker that stood in the group of people in the lobby. "Oh Cybille sugar, from the sounds of things you haven't changed a bit in four years!" She took the advice of the official sounding man who shouted out to her and moved into the lobby, revealing herself to the others. A little more sheepishly, she added, "I guess that makes one of us, huh?"
Her mouth moved before she could process it. But that couldn't be right. Kristina... Mcsomething. She hadn't seen her old teacher for years. But that couldn't possibly be her...
"Oh my god... are you a Carrier!?" I thought she retired, or quit, or something... "What the hell, Kristi, did you go back to working in the back alley of a Rithenean strip bar or something?"
Years... Platinum had really gone downhill. She looked like a ghost, or a wraith, scared up by some little kid's imagination. Gray skin pulled over bones, and a hollow pair of clouded eyes. The only thing Sapphire recognized was her voice. She looked like the mummified version of the voluptuous Platinum.
It was an instantaneous emotional reaction. Joy at being recognized by her former co-worker, protege and friend, then slight shock at how she addressed her. But then again, she should have known better. In Job Mode, Cybille was always snarky like this, and from the looks of her dress she was here on business. She didn't like hearing her old nickname, but it was better than her real name. At least at this moment.
"That what you have to say to me?" she asked. "Not even a 'Hey, how are you? It's been forever?' Thanks, sug. Making me feel welcome." She moved closer to the group. "But yes, I hit the genetic jackpot here. Wasn't my choice, that was made by Lord Eberle's brat, who I had to deal with thanks to you. Eberle was your customer, you should have taken his little half-cocked twerp. But you were out and I was in and now I'm this. There. All caught up. Good now?"
Platinum looked at the woman standing with Sapphire. She was trying to place the face, but was having a hard time coming up with anything. Do I know her too? She's dressed for it. I'm guessing a new girl, but...nah, think I'm seeing things.
"Well it looks like Lordling Eberle had bad taste. That doesn't explain what you're doing here. Offering other services to the Baron now? One of his faithful little scavengers? You of all people I figured would disappear after you served your sentence. Get married, have a family, the whole shebang."
Sapphire kept a good distance from Platinum. Was she involved in the breakout somehow? Where had she been all these years? It sounded like she hadn't been in Ritheen proper for a while, so she probably wasn't registered. Otherwise they would have known what happened to her. And she happened to be in the city just when a breakout happened? They didn't live in a world of coincidences...
The insinuation that Platinum would do anything for the Baron other than help him remove his own eyeballs hurt. Sapphire was starting to go from her usual snark to being downright mean. "How dare you," she snapped. "It's because of the Baron that the only family I've been able to put together since I got infected got massacred and captured. It's because of him that I now have to travel like an rat, scurrying out of sight just to try and get some justice. It's because of him, that I have no idea if the only man I've ever known to actually love me for me is dead, or being tortured or anything else!"
Tears were starting to form. Platinum was holding out hope that Derek would be merely captured, but saying the alternatives out loud reintroduced the fates that wouldn't have been his if he didn't feel the need to protect her. A couple drops fell onto the tiles. "So that's why I'm here now, Cybille. I'm going to Baronstadt, and I'm not leaving there without Derek."
William couldn't stop himself from putting his hand on Platinum's shoulder even if he had wanted to.
"I know how you feel Platinum. I've lost a lot of friends, family, and damn good people because of the baron. I want nothing more than to see him fall as much as anyone. Why we all want to join up with Erebus in the first place, they want him dead and we want him dead. We'll find this Derek if the baron's got him and we'll make sure you get a turn with the bastard before we put him down like the dog he is."
"Maybe this wouldn't have happened if you were more careful!" Sapphire spat. Platinum was her mentor for... years. Like a mother. And she just left, and got... infected. She clutched her hands into fists. "I could have told you that Eberle was trouble. Maybe if you had thought about your real family instead of trying to scavenge the wasteland like a rat, having to survive by the skin of your teeth!"
She wasn't sad. That time was long, long past. She had grieved, mourned, and moved on. Now she was angry. How could Platinum have left her alone all that time? And just show up out of nowhere? They shared their lives, their secrets, their clients, their beds, for 8 years. EIGHT years. Just seeing her again made her sick.
"Good luck getting around Baronstadt looking like something the cat threw up. Let's hope they don't shoot you on site."
The comfort that the underground leader provided was quickly overwhelmed by the anger at this attack from her former protege. All that time spent in the wild, wishing someone from back home would find her, and this is the treatment she gets? Abuse? Threats of violence? Well, this was definitely a tango she could keep in step with.
"Don't...you...fucking talking to me like that!" she shouted. "New Buffalo was more a family to me then you guys were! You didn't even care to find out what happened! You let me wander the wastelands for months! No. No, I see now that I was only valued there as long as I looked pretty. Well take a good look Cybille! You too Strawberry! Cause this is what happens when you suddenly become unpretty! You get cast out with no one to care for you! So keep talking, bitch. Keep talking like that," Platinum pointed one of her talons at Cybille. "And I'll make it happen a lot faster than you think. We'll see which one of the 50 shades of grey your skin turns."
Platinum? The Platinum? This was the one who had taught Cybille everything - well, maybe not everything - that she'd passed down to Sonia? She'd been described by some of the other girls as being well-known even before she'd worked at the Sparrow. Something about fireworks... still. It wasn't every day you got to meet your mentor's mentor. Sonia looked on in both awe and concern. So the infection didn't turn absolutely everyone into mindless monsters.
In contrast to Sapphire's rant at the end of Platinum's tale, Sonia felt nothing but sympathy. What manner of horrors would one have to endure out in the wilds between cities, with no armed guard or armoured transport? Apparently Platinum had lost someone out there... that must have been painful.
When the carrier rounded on the younger courtesan in her counter-tirade to Sapphire, Sonia flinched. Things were getting a little out of control... Should I say something to try and calm them down? I'd just make things worse, probably. Still, though, I can't make it any worse than it already is... unless they actually get into physical fighting. That can't be good... An introduction can't hurt. Well, hopefully not.
"Um... my name isn't Strawberry, ma'am. It's Sonia, Ruby during working hours," she explained, still a little timid about speaking with someone who was both older, more experienced, and most likely seething. "Miss Sapphire is my mentor. It's an honour to meet the woman who taught her, ma'am." She felt a tiny bit more confident as she continued speaking, but had no idea if the feuding courtesans would round on her next.
The unexpected praise somewhat disarmed Platinum. At least one of them is being somewhat civil. "Well thank you...Sonia?" That's it! That's the name! "Weren't you the one running around on clean up duty back in the day? I guess you turned out pretty well. Definitely have a better personality then my former protege!
"Nice to see they finally found someone to take the Ruby name again though. I figured it was pretty well cursed after Jasmine had that blowup with the fifth regiment." Least Cybille did something right. Would never have pegged the riffraff as courtesan possibilities.
"Going back up to the surface is sounding like a better and better idea." Sapphire hissed to herself through clenched teeth. She turned on heel and walked in the opposite direction, further into the camp. I can't believe she's alive. That she's always been alive...
The stares and the no doubt souring opinions of the surrounding peasants didn't bother her. You didn't get to work with a brothel of backstabbing women by having onion skin. It was always a contest of cheek and nerve. And even though it was a bridge burned, she wasn't planning on trying to have to impress any of them anyway. Not her crowd.
She walked until she reached the other side of the station. "Ugh... stupid whore!" she shouted, drawing her dagger and throwing it into an old wooden beam. It stuck with a muffled Thunk.
Derrick knew better than to step in between the women. He had been to enough brothels and high end parties to know that there were some things better left alone. He nearly visibly shook his head as William stepped into the fray, only to quickly be brushed aside. Which Derrick now assumed was a good thing, since he imagined this would probably get a lot more ugly than necessary. Though, as it all finally seemed to wind down, with Cybille storming off after the....less than pleasant times with....Kristi? He couldn't claim to know her at all, but then he imagined it was kind of like knowing a good merchant. You wouldn't know it unless you were in on the trade.
As Cybille stormed further into the base, he made his way after her, keeping a keen eye on if anyone else was following. Luckily, it seemed that he would have a moment to see if there was anything else bubbling beneath the surface without others watching. That, and it was as good a time as any to get a look at the place....and with the knife sinking itself into the beam, to relieve a bit of tension with some knife tossing.
"You can throw these a lot harder when angry, my lady." Derrick said, stepping over to the knife and, with a small tug, pulled it free. "So, that's her, eh? Seems like you two have a lot to catch up on..." he then stepped over, offering the knife to be thrown again if she liked. "Course, I imagine that isn't quite what you were expecting either, so there is probably quite a bit more to work on than...catching up."
"Shut up merchant." Sapphire grumbled, taking her knife back. "I'm leaving as soon as the guards come and check up on this station. I am not staying down here with that Carrier." Another Carrier... if he's alive, he's probably well registered, somewhere, even if it's not in the main system. Baron likes to keep his dogs in a line... Despite everything, she started thinking of a way to get the information Platinum mentioned. She twirled her knife thoughtfully before throwing it again.
That day, 8 years ago... she wasn't in the Sparrow. She was in Inistra, entertaining some merchant or another. She even remembered seeing Platinum when she came back. Was it her fault? No. Platinum should have been more careful. Fate had switched their places, not Sapphire. Still... hints of guilt plagued her. She threw the knife again. She couldn't wait to get out of there.
While he had no problem being quiet about the squabble that had just happened, he wasn't exactly keen on wandering back with the guards either. And with two carriers down here, chances are if they were discovered they would be spending a long amount of time in a set of cells, being asked what they were doing, how they knew them, and what was going on. And with the history of Cybille with Kristi....
"More than happy to get out of here, but I can tell you we are not going to be doing so with the guards. Its still a mess outside, and I think being in slight approximation with a Carrier is better than being filled with bullets." He collected the knife again, handing it to her once again to throw. "And besides...I'm certain you want to do something about this particular Carrier, even if you don't much care for them."
Kind of funny, actually. Ilya shows up, and I have a Carrier tagging along, and then this Kristi shows up, and has some history with Sapphire. Fate, you manipulative bastard.
Sonia watched Sapphire storm off in a huff, closely followed by Derrick. When she was in that kind of mood, the younger courtesan knew to stay away from her. She'd already been subject to one outburst from Sapphire, back at the Behari estate on their way out, and had no desire to repeat the experience. Instead, she tentatively approached Platinum, making sure to remain a fair distance away. Just in case.
"Um... do the older girls always fight like that, Miss Platinum?" she queried, curious. She'd seen a few shouting matches in the past couple of years, but they had always been over something smaller. 'Stolen' clients were often the worst of it. This, though... this was something new to Sonia, and she didn't like it.
She'd deliberately avoided responding to Platinum's comment about cleaning: Sonia didn't like to talk about the years before she'd become a courtesan-in-training. Of course, that didn't mean she had completely abandoned the skills she'd picked up in that time.
Platinum watched the only strong link to her prior life storm off in a huff. She tried not to show it, but even with her blank white eyes, there were visible signs of regret over how the dialogue went. Cybille, what happened there? I know you can dish as good as anyone but that was full-blown venom from the word go...Do you really hate me that much? It wasn't my fault. I didn't ask for this, and I didn't want to leave. You don't have to treat me like one of the spunk maids because of this...
"Um... do the older girls always fight like that, Miss Platinum?"
Speaking of which... Platinum sighed. "Sometimes, Ruby. But it's not usually that bad. Or at least it's resolved pretty quickly, either with words or knuckles. That...I don't know what that was." She was speaking rather quietly, to keep it private away from the other people still in the lobby, but the young girl was standing rather far away. Another sigh escaped her lips as she guess why "You know, I'm not going to bite you, which is pretty much the only way to get infected unless you've got any open sores I can spit on. You can stand closer without worrying about getting what I've got."