The Ashlanders - Chapter 6: The Blind Man's Last Gambit (Closed, Started)

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 . . . 76 NEXT
 

Things were dead silent between the two as they made their way towards the cafe area of the tavern. Occasionally Viola would cast a glance back at Hannibal, his head was rather sunken into his chest, like he was trying to hide. They eventually arrived at their destination. It looked to be a rather quaint little place, reasonably well kept, not overly big nor overly small.

"I-I can p-pay for my own f-f-food, I don't want to take more from you." Hannibal said as he stood to Viola's left side, pulling out a small bag of carbon from a trouser pocket of the 'clothes' he wore.

"I wouldn't necessarily say you had taken anything from me Hannibal up to this point. I've helped out of my own volition, not because I was asked to. How about we sit at that booth table over there by the window, should give us a decent view." Viola remarked, pointing out the table in question to Hannibal as she signaled a waitress to head their way.

The pair got themselves seated at the both, which had a stand filled with various condiments, and started looking at the menus that were on the table. A couple of minutes later, the waitress had arrived.

"Ah good morning to you two. Glad to see the young gentleman is looking better. Harrison told me what a state you were in last night. Anyway, enough gossip for now, what would you two like?" The waitress asked with a carefree smile.

"And a good morning to you as well. As for myself, think I'll have the coffee, decaffeinated if possible; followed up with a stack of pancakes and some bacon." Responded Viola as her eyes scanned the contents of the menu.

"A nice choice Miss. And for the young gentleman?"

Back up in Sirus' private apartments, Amy stood out on the balcony, overlooking the domed city, while her host fetched champagne for the both of them. She had barely touched a drop all night, knowing that she couldn't very well refuse once the two of them were alone together. When Sirus returned, their was a furtive, almost embarrased look in his eye.

'He's paid a fortune for me, and he's still bashful? I wonder when the last time he had anything close to a date was...

Not that she could talk, she'd never had one.

"I hadn't thought it possible for you to become even more beautiful." Sirus told her, passing her a glass. "That was until I saw your face in the moonlight."

"So, I'm prettiest when it's dark? Is this how you flatter every young girl?" she jested.

"Forgive me, my dear." he replied, looking stricken by the thought he might have given offence "I am a man of business. Sometimes, I think managing hundreds of ventures all around the world is easier than knowing just one woman."

"There's nothing to forgive." Amy said softly, inching closer.

"Thank goodness!" Sirus babbled "For I have been drowning in your beauty ever since I first saw you. I had been told to expect someone extraordinary, but I confess myself stunned all the same. All through tonight, I have been kept sane only by the thought of these moments, alone with you, and what they might hold..."

"Shhh..." Amy whispered, drawing closer and pressing a finger to his lips "Then let us waste no more time. Come, celebrate tonight with me."

=========================================================================================================================

*10 minutes later*

The Gentleman's eyes perked up as the electronic tone played, directly inside his cochlear.

"I believe that's our cue." he announced to Meredith.

"...Hey, you okay? I don' wanna pry but ya' look kinda out 'a it."

Maria tried to shrug it off with a laugh and a few words, "Nah. I'm just shocked, is all. Not every does a bandit steal a moped and then gives it back the next day looking better than it ever has for a while."

As if to illustrate the point, Maria roughly inspected the moped, admiring the kid's handiwork. There was nothing left to say, the work was more than satisfactory, and any more compliments would just make the kid blush even more. Or was there? Maria stood up after looking at the exposed engine and posed a question.

"Where's that reckless partner of yours, anyway?"

***

"Hot chocolate?"

For once, Jun had to agree with Asad - cheap liquor was nasty stuff and not exactly the most suitable beverage to drink while on a mission. Regardless, it was kind of nostalgic, Jun hadn't had anything like that in a long while. Still, he had to suppress a groan at Asad's reaction - this was not the time for silly banter. They were in an very freezing and very dangerous place. Hot chocolate or no hot chocolate, this was enemy territory. He grabbed one of the offered cups and was immediately hit by the comforting, chocolatey aroma. Nevertheless, there was still protocol to address. Jun swung his right hand to his temples, "Jun-young Moon. Designated marksman and sniper of Samsara."

After about three seconds had passed, his hand shot down in a straight to his hips.

"A nice choice Miss. And for the young gentleman?" said the waitress as Hannibal tried to avoid her gaze. Looking someone in the eye had suddenly become hard since his incident in the shower just now.

"I um... the, the same as her but with water." He said sniffing.

"Coming right up." She said with a smile as she left to prepare their order. Hannibal just sat in silence as he looked down at his knees. "Thank you. I haven't been this clean in a while. I've never had a hot shower before, its much better than a cold one. I can't even remember the last time I had one of those."

"Thank you. I haven't been this clean in a while. I've never had a hot shower before, its much better than a cold one. I can't even remember the last time I had one of those." Said Hannibal after he ordered his breakfast. Viola took off her hat and fanned herself with it before setting it aside on the booth seat she was in.

"Don't mention it Hannibal, hot showers or just bathing in warm to hot water in general I find to be more effective in cleaning off the dirt and sweat from a long day. I'll admit, you certainly look healthier than you did yesterday; must be all that sleeping you did, I tell you, a warm bed and a comfy nights sleep can do some real good to a person." Viola remarked as she brushed a few stray hairs from in front of her face, whilst she was normally so concerned about her appearance, something like that occasionally bugged her.

"You remember to bring the medicine that the doctor gave you?"

Tobin

'... Damn.'

Tobin grew up around bandits and killers, usually surviving off of scraps and leftovers. He'd seen the biggest and burliest men put away food at a pace where you were SURE they were going to take a wrong bite and mix their fingers into their meal. This reminded him a hell of a lot of that. He wondered why she didn't bother getting food at the bar, then he remembered it was a brothel. And brothel food was a fucking awful idea.

Tobin politely cut up his ham, eating at a much slower pace than his friend of the hour. There was either an angry lion in her stomach or her throat was a wood chipper. What was most impressive was the minimal mess of it all. The dwarf folded the ham on itself and ate it with his hands to try and finish sometime close to her. He slid the plate of eggs over to her while grinning.

"You want me to pay for all this?"
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Vergil

"is there anything you need? A map, or something?"

"That'd be wonderful." He said, hopefully not drowned out in their back and forth. He was getting his personal walkie ready, he left before anyone else but he expected at least someone here. He was a tad disappointed, just a single injured soldier to maybe help them out in this little adventure. He'd have to take what he could get, just a small supply drop near the location. He muttered something into it as they went on, turning back.

"Directions soon, and I'll be on my way. Think the bandits are expecting stealth?" Warren nodded as he seemed to come back, a bit of blood on himself. Vergil decided to just ignore that.

"Fuck swords..." Warren muttered under his breath, feeling a cut on his cheek.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Earlier
Warren VS. Kayneth

The scarred warrior wandered off for a second, seemed they were fiddling with a radio and plans. Warren could rarely keep to his plans, he just went berserk and cleared rooms at a time with his gun. He swung his sword lazily through the air, enjoying the noise it made as steel ripped through air. He heard whistling from an alley, Warren was only walking in small circles around the house they were staying at, it was probably just a bystander-

"You!"

'Or not...' Warren turned to face the man, the red hair and blade he remembered from yesterday. He remembered the kid kinda attacked him, and he left him, but he never asked name or rank... Though his drawn blade certainly told him this wasn't friendly. He looked haggard, and like he hadn't eaten in a bit.

Warren grinned, he'd only been in a few melee brawls, but he had never been in a legitimate sword fight ever. The two men charged each other, Warren making the first swing, the Irishman quickly ducking under it without even bothering to raise his arms. He followed the motion with a deft spin on his heel, driving his shoulder into Smiles, sending him to the ground with a grunt of pain and shock.

Kayneth capitalized, reeling back his foot and kicking Warren on to his front. The skilled swordsman finally brought his blade up, intent to finish this before it even began, he brought it down on the downed bandit. Warren quickly moved his head, the blade slashing his cheek, near the end of his scar. He growled, kicking the legs out from under Kayneth, getting back to his own feet. He waited for his opponent to do the same, finding his sword and holding it up again in a two handed stance.

Kayneth smiled, dropping into a legitimate Fencing stance, extending his blade arm straight towards the oaf. The two circled for a moment, Kayneth lightly slapping the flats of their blade together. He waited till Warren took a step back, winding up for another wild slash, before swiping his leg back, lunging forward with his blade, aiming at his midsection. Warren danced quickly to the side, getting another cut, mostly to his clothing at least. Warren threw a punch, leaping forward and catching the fencer in the cheek, grabbing his bandaged hand hard, forcing a yell of pain out of the Fencer.

One could notice Warren's eyes clouding over, throwing the sword behind him as he cracked his knuckles.

He threw another punch, a left cross to the sword mans temple, using his right to give three quick jabs to the ribs. He took a step back, lunging forward with his knee aimed at his sternum. Kayneth saw stars as he was pushed back again, he shook his head in time for Warren to throw a straight punch into his forehead. Kayneth shook his head again, raising his blade so the flat would protect him. It did, for a moment, Warren quickly kicking his shin out from under him. To his credit, he managed to keep his balance about him, as Warren grabbed him by the forehead, running and slamming him in to a nearby wall, taking a step back and kicking him in the gut.

He slumped against the wall, getting caught by the neck by Warrens forearm. He looked groggily at the Berserker, as he reared his head back, smashing their heads together, making a kaleidoscope out of their visions, and then he did it again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

He shuddered violently, looking at the unconscious body. He'd need to save some more aggression for later. Warren stumbled back to the group, feeling more pumped than anything else. He bent over the loser, taking a few things. A new glove and some Carbon, he looked around. His shirt now had a hole carved in to it. He found the fencer had a backpack, he looked through it for a clean shirt. They were roughly the same size, though he was taller. He found a green shirt, baggy sleeves and a few buttons near the collar. It'd work, he threw away his old sleeveless blazer in favor of the new shirt, a tiny bit of blood showing up on his side.

Warren smiled, clenching his bloody fists.

Today would be a good day.

"Where's that reckless partner of yours, anyway?"

Sprout let our a nervous laugh as he scratched the back of his head, "Funny story actually... I reckon she's still sleepin' off the beat'n she received last night. Got drunk 'n rowdy at a brothel an' got 'er ass whooped! She managed ta' take one a' them fuckers down though. Me n' some dwarf fought off the rest and...."

Sprout stopped himself to examine her reaction. There was no way she'd buy that story, was there? "Well, I mean... I don' reckon you'd believe a tale like that, but... You know, anyway, I s'pose I should leave y'all to it. Don' wanna overstay my welcome 'er anythin'. I did rob ya' after all."

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************

"You get what I'm saying?"

Elizabeth placed her hand over her breathing mask as if trying to emulate a gasping expression. He could have been lying. Could have, but why lie now? Why after all this? No, for whatever reason he'd felt compelled to share his story with her. It seemed she really had gotten to him.

Staring down at his metal hand she muttered, "I-I'm sorry. I spoke out of ignorance. I..." She trailed off as her words escaped her. What could she say to this man? A long silence followed before Elizabeth spoke once more. "Tell me... what do you know about Lord Basilio?"

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************

Aesop could almost hear a rib fracture before he was lifted back onto his feet and sat down in his chair. Silo was staring across the table at him, breathing heavily. From the looks of it he'd summoned every ounce of strength from within to fight off the pain in his knee. Silo said nothing as his lips twitched and his brow furrowed. Aesop's pain was trivial in comparison.

Just when it looked like he was about to speak, the door flung open once more. Rodrigo and a tall, slender, pale-skinned man with a beard and cowboy hat walked in, "You.... YOU!" Silo spat, his eyes wild. "YOU FUCKIN' RAT I'M GONNA---" Rodrigo cut him off with a sharp slap across the face. Silo hung his head low as he muttered. "I'm gonna rip your fuckin' heart out, Randy...."

The tall man in the cowboy hat laughed, "Sorry ol' friend, but this is the end 'a the line. Dio's seen fit ta' end the ol' ice queen's party 'n I figured I get the fuck out while I still could." He leaned in close to Silo, his eyes obscured by sunglasses. "No hard feelings, bro. Just business." His grin faded when Silo spat a thick, bloody loogie at his face.

Stunned, fury washed over Randy's face as Silo laughed, "Fuckn' pussy."

Sensing the growing rage within Randy, Rodrigo fired his pistol at the ceiling, "ENOUGH!" He slammed the revolver back onto the table and looked between Aesop and Silo. "Shall we continue?" Sliding the revolver over to Aesop, Rodrigo smirked. "How many of your boys are in my city?" Pointing to Silo, he added. "Point the gun at him, not yourself."

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************

Tsubaki rolled her eyes at her men. For a moment she thought to herself how great it'd be if they had all practiced the same level of professionalism as Jun. It didn't take her long to immediately retract that thought, however.

The fewer Juns in this world, the better.

As Skinner stepped behind the bar to get Bryan her drink, Tsubaki pulled up a seat. Taking a sip of her hot chocolate, it took an unparalleled level of self restraint to keep from squirming in joy, "This is good..." She muttered to herself.

Skinner slid Bryan's drink across the counter and leaned against it, "Anything else you folks need?"

Tsubaki shook her head, "No, Skinner, thanks." Looking to her men, she took another sip before speaking. "Take a moment to settle in. Finish your drinks, take a piss, whatever. We have less than a day to prep for the operation and I want the backroom set up for planning within the hour. Got that?"

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************

While Bennie and Ruffles waited for the others outside the door, Bennie lit up a cigarette. After one long drag, he exhaled sharply with what sounded like a long overdue sigh, "How's my girl doin' these days? From what you were sayin' last night she ain't doin' so hot." Bennie's excited mood seemed to fade after every additional drag.

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************

Cameron came up to Warren and Vergil and handed the boy a map, "This should do the trick. Carmine said we're to shadow you, but if we're not in position when you get caught you'll be on your own." She looked concerned. "You sure you're up to this?" As she spoke she subtly ushered the group towards the door.

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************

"I believe that's our cue."

Pixie did little more than grunt in acknowledgement as the pair broke off into separate directions. Making her way out of the main hall, she casually walked past those that lingered in the hallways. None of them paid her any mind as she turned down a hall towards the elevator. The number of party-goers thinned out as she made her way deeper into the belly of the building.

As Pixie came around the last bend she spotted the Gentleman across the hall. The two met in front of the elevator and without making eye-contact, Pixie whisper, "Ready?"

"Tell me... what do you know about Lord Basilio?"

Watching what passed for a road as he talked, Eddie answered, "a little of this, a little of that. He has connections with Wilkes-Vines. General business friendliness I guess, and we worked some racketeering jobs he didn't want connected to a Noble reputation. I was only involved in a couple of those, but I know others by word of mouth. There's some cold shit there. I'll spare you the details. Recently I heard vague, nonspecific rumours he's working on something big. Some people are saying it involves the mines, some people are saying it involves some kinda old world weapon, and other crap that's less believable. Recently, I heard he's been getting cozy on the side with the Yamato bandit clan. Them's some dangerous fuckers. I worked a mercenary contract against 'em last year. Job was a success, but I still have the scars. And a rather nice ornamental katana. Love the perks of the job."

He maneuvered the crawler up a particularly difficult rise before speaking again. "Other than that, I met ol' Lawdy Basilio in person when I took the Maiden job. No offense, but your fiance is both stuck up and one cold bastard. I wasn't lying when I said he said you didn't concern him. And whatever Monroe did to him was big. And I could tell he hated every one of us in the room 'cause of our occupation. But that ain't uncommon."

===============================================

"How's my girl doin' these days? From what you were sayin' last night she ain't doin' so hot."

Ruffles produced what looked to be a simple hand rolled cigarette from one of his many pockets and considered it for a moment before putting it back. Now wasn't the time to be pleasantly baked.

"Honestly, she was fine until the aftermath of that fucken train job. Or at least, none of us had any inkling she were losing her grip before then. I reckon she's losing care for her ideals, to be honest. And her sending Sprout and Lil away makes me think there ain't gonna be an Iron Maiden gang for much longer. Honestly, we all been missing you lately, man. I reckon it'd do her some good to have our second best black crew member back."

===============================================

"Take a moment to settle in. Finish your drinks, take a piss, whatever. We have less than a day to prep for the operation and I want the backroom set up for planning within the hour. Got that?"

Bryan sipped his drink and glanced across the table at Asad. "Shame. If there were some customers in this place, that'd be just enough time for me to wingman a girl for Jun."

"Oh christ." Aesop moaned as he was propped up into the chair, his ribs feeling crumpled. Looking at Silo across the table however, his pain was meager. Silo had truly truly suffered. 'And all because I didn't save us two bullets. I've fucked us both. We're not getting out of here. Neither of us are.'

Then things flared up in Aesop's mind as... "Oh you dirty fucker!" Even Aesop had met Randy a few times. "Oh Barret. Fucking Barret he knew when he saw the body in your house. What poor fucking hobo did you murder you whore? You fucking limp dick whore!!!"

"ENOUGH! Shall we continue?" Sliding the revolver over to Aesop, Rodrigo smirked. "How many of your boys are in my city?" Aesop put his hand on the gun ready to shoot himself in the head when Rodrigo pointed at Silo. [b]"Point the gun at him, not yourself."

Aesop's eyes widened and his cheeks sunk. Rodrigo saw this and grinned even wider. Aesop stared down at the gun. If he died it would be by Silo's hand. But he could very well be Silo's murderer today. Thinking it was the right thing to do in hindsight was easy, but actually doing it. Being forced to... neither of them was going to talk. Aesop was so ashamed just from saying how many there were the night before. Speaking of which why the fuck was he asking again... 'Stop thinking Aesop just, just, just kill...'

"Ice Queen's gonna burn your ass Randy." Aesop said, desperately trying to conceal his emotions as he spoke before pulling the trigger. The best sound Aesop's ears had ever heard. A dull click. He sighed in relief and put the gun down.

"Ready?"

"Always." Gent's whispered back, not looking at her either. It was only a few step more before they reached the sliding doors, with two guards stationed there.

"I'm sorry sir, ma'am," the higher ranked of the two said as they approached "but Mr. Dickens' private apartments are off limits to guests.

"Ah..." The Gentleman replied a little nervously, still very much in character. "I don't want to be a bother, but Mr. Dickens requested that we join him for the evening, to continue discussing a business proposition he had for us."

Predictably, the guard did not seem convinced. "I'm sorry, but I can't let you past without clearance from above... and I was given to understand that Mr. Dickens was entertaining other guests at this time.

'You over-estimate your paymaster's stamina.'

"I see, well, perhaps I mis-read the time." The Gentleman said, sounding wrong-footed. "We'll come back later perhaps, I wouldn't wish to intru-"

"Wait." The guard interrupted, holding a finger to the his earpiece.

'Quite impeccable timing.' The Gentleman thought, pausing halfway through having turned on his heel.

"The authorisation has just come though. Please proceed into the elevator, and I'm very sorry for the inconvenience."

"Oh, not at all."

The ride up was a lengthy one, as the ascended what must have been over 30 floors, which they did all in silence. Sirus might not be a particularly paranoid sort, but he was rich enough to afford to pay men who understood the meaning of high-security. They couldn't trust that they were not still being watched, and listened to. Only once inside the apartments themselves, would they be in the clear.

When they reached the top they were greeted by a set of double doors almost as large and just as ornate as the ones that they had entered though at the start. A few clicks from the other side, and Amy admitted them through.

"Our host is asleep." she told them. "I suspect he will not be waking for some time. Even so, I suggest we move with haste."

Lilith couldn't remember the last time she was this hungry, with almost surgery like precision, she assassinated every target on her plate, the only thing more impressive than the speed at which she ate was the fact she did it without making any mess whatsoever, only stopping at intervals to drink her tea.

The woman didn't even stop when she suddenly found herself with two more eggs, courtesy of her guest, she smiled at him, a mouth full of bacon as she effortlessly scooped the eggs from his plate and onto her own, grabbing the four slices of toast from the rack she had ordered, she put each egg between two slices, mopping up the sauce from the baked beans, she finished her glorious slaughter in moments.

Regaining her composure somewhat, she coughed slightly as she brought her napkin to her mouth, dabbing the corners in a ladylike fashion.

"You want me to pay for all this?"

"I said it was my treat, and I me-" Just then, a huge belch erupted from her mouth, as if the spirits of her victims vowed revenge.

Lilith paused, her napkin held closely to her mouth, colour rising to her cheeks.

"Yes, well, quite, I said I would pay, and I jolly well aim to." She exaggerated her lexicon, her gaze aimed downwards she proceeded to sip from her teacup like she hadn't just deafened every dog within a mile.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Take a moment to settle in. Finish your drinks, take a piss, whatever. We have less than a day to prep for the operation and I want the backroom set up for planning within the hour. Got that?"

Asad raised his cup, nodding slightly, "Aye ma'am, I'll get right on that." No point standing around doing nothing, he always preferred doing work anyway.

As he began to head into the back room to begin setting things up, he heard Bryan chime up behind him.

"Shame. If there were some customers in this place, that'd be just enough time for me to wingman a girl for Jun."

Asad genuinely laughed, a rare thing, "Ha! Good luck with that, this is Frostfall remember? The only thing colder than the weather are the women."

"Ha! Good luck with that, this is Frostfall remember? The only thing colder than the weather are the women."

Bryan took a leisurely sip of his drink and then shot back, "hey, I didn't do so bad last time I was here. Don't forget who you're dealing with, lad. Then again, I was naked at the time..." he took another sip, thinking hard.

"Y-Yes I did." Hannibal said limply before sitting in an uncomfortable silence. "I know you just wanted to help me I just... I can't say what happened. I wish I could tell someone but I can't..." By this point their breakfast had arrived, to which Hannibal thanked the waitress. He sat there, in awe of the food, the scared and humiliated look on his face was still present, but the sight of food, legitimate food, real, somewhat healthy but at the very least doesn't come in a wrapper food!

His mouth once again drooled but at least it was on his plate. Blushing, he quickly shoved some bacon into his mouth, sinking into his seat as he did so. One thing Hannibal had learned living out in the ash with little food day by day: savour it. No matter how much you want to commit food murder, you have to eat slow, take it in, make it last a while and enjoy every single second of it. It makes the difference between your belly being full for one hour or a few.

That said, he viciously went at his food with both hands, butter and grease running down his fingers as he slowly murdered his pancakes and bacon.

Elizabeth stared out across the rolling ashlands as Eddie divulged all he knew of her fiance.

... And whatever Monroe did to him was big. And I could tell he hated every one of us in the room 'cause of our occupation. But that ain't uncommon."

She didn't reply, not right away. What could she really say, after all? He was to be her husband. Could she really do anything to change that? Her family had bred her for this... she'd spent her whole life preparing for this.

And for what?

Elizabeth rested her forehead on her finger tips and sighed, "What can I do? I don't have a choice in whether or not I wed him... I can't simply disobey the will of my family. That's not how we nobles work."

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Honestly, she was fine until the aftermath of that fucken train job. Or at least, none of us had any inkling she were losing her grip before then. I reckon she's losing care for her ideals, to be honest. And her sending Sprout and Lil away makes me think there ain't gonna be an Iron Maiden gang for much longer. Honestly, we all been missing you lately, man. I reckon it'd do her some good to have our second best black crew member back."

Ruffles could see it as plain as day. Bennie wasn't a hard man to read once you got to know him. He was worried... more than that, he was hurting. Though he could have guessed it, it was clear now Bennie hadn't stopped thinking about Pixie after all these years. Bennie nodded, "If we survive this," He took another drag. "I'll come back with y'all, see if I can get her head sorted. Doubt she'll be thrilled to see me, but... it's been four years. Things change. Maybe..." His mind seemed to trail off as he spoke, staring into space as he absentmindedly took another drag.

Shaking himself from his trance, Bennie placed a hand on Ruffles' shoulder, "I don't know what it's been like these last few years, but please Jake, don' lose hope. She's the toughest bitch in the planet... there's no way in hell she'll ever let us down." Bennie said, forcing a smile.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Ice Queen's gonna burn your ass Randy."

Randy chuckled, "Her ass'll be Dio's within the week, I assure you."

The men booed as the revolver clicked and Rodrigo handed it to Silo, "Now, w---"

"When are you going to ask us real questions?!" Silo spat. "You already know all this shit. We're here for Randy's head and butt fuckles here gave you our numbers last night. Do you even fucking know what questions to ask?!"

There was a long, painful silence as Rodrigo stared at him with a blank expression. Suddenly, Rodrigo burst out into hysterical laughter, "You're right! He's right!" He shouted, looking around the room at his men. "We have been askin' you bullshit, haven't we?" He pried the revolver from Silo's hand and opened the chamber to reveal a red shell. "Fake bullet." The room erupted in laughter. "We like prolonging the show. Get's my boys riled up, but y'all wanna cut it short? That's fine by me."

Producing a real bullet from his pocket he slid it into the chamber, slapped it in and spun it. Handing it back to Silo he grinned, "Now, tell me. What is the Gjallarhorn Protocol?"

Silo's eyes went wide and without hesitation, he pointed the revolver at Aesop's head and pulled the trigger. He was greeted with another dull click and sighed with relief as he slammed the revolver on the table.

Randy grinned, "Not sure the other one would even know the answer to that question."

Rodrigo laughed, "That can be his question! Yes or no: do you know what we're talking about?"

Silo shook his head at Aesop. This was something only he knew... and he needed Aesop to kill him.

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"... Don't forget who you're dealing with, lad. Then again, I was naked at the time..."

Tsubaki shook her head, "A body like yours entices little more than common whores and wenches."

Skinner furrowed his brow and laughed, "You seem like a tight group."

"You could say that." Tsubaki shrugged as she sipped her hot chocolate. "They're all excellent soldiers. On the battlefield, they have no equals. Other than in a fight, however, well..." She glanced over at Bryan and Asad. "They're manchildren."

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Pixie remained silent as the Gentleman tried to weasel his way onto the elevator. Eventually their guardian angle sent for them, however. After the long, silent elevator ride, Pixie was delighted to see Amy. Sort of.

"Our host is asleep... I suspect he will not be waking for some time. Even so, I suggest we move with haste."

Pixie put her hands on her hips and chuckled, "An' I suspect he gone in' had 'imself a good ol' time, didn' he? Did ya' do that thing with yer..." Noticing the impatient look on the Gentleman's face, she rolled her eyes. "Oh, fine. Let's fuckn' get this done. Lead the way."

"Y-Yes I did." Hannibal said bluntly before adjusting his seating position, he looked a little uncomfortable. "I know you just wanted to help me I just... I can't say what happened. I wish I could tell someone but I can't..." A annoyed sounding huff came from Viola in response to that, this was starting to become a problem.

"If he at least gave me a bloody reason as to why he won't tell me, then I wouldn't mind so much." Viola told herself as the food arrived, regaining her composure briefly as the waitress dispensed a customary smile in-between handing the plates of food over, setting aside of pot of coffee and a mug for Viola and a glass of water for Hannibal before heading off to take the order from another customer.

At the moment, she didn't feel like saying anything to him, all she wanted to do for now was enjoy the pancakes. It appeared the pancakes came with a small jug of syrup; she poured some of it on the top, watching it flow down the stack whilst pouring her self some coffee from the pot. Taking a sip, she found it to be a little bitter for her liking, and so looked around for some sugar, finding some in the form of little packets on the table. One of these was usually enough to take the edge, and she found herself proven right, it tasted perfectly.

Viola now thought it was time to try out the pancakes, hadn't had any in a long while. Cut off a chuck with a fork, she noticed they had a niece beige colour and looked rather light and fluffy. Taking a bite, she found them to be rather delicious, the added syrup giving them that sweetness. Looking over at Hannibal, Viola noticed he was gorging himself silly on them, butter and grease running down his fingers.

"You should probably take it slowly with those. Don't want to give yourself indigestion." She remarked nonchalantly, not directly looking at Hannibal as she took a sip of her coffee.

Aesop groaned at the bullshit display Santiago had been putting on, and feeling like a traitor for having given up their numbers. 'Oh fucking jesus why did I do that they can prepare now? There was no damn point me and Silo WILL die here we will WE WILL WE WILL! What was the point finding out he's alive if I screw over the only people who care about me. Who took me in, they'll hate me forever and I deserve it. I deserve to die! And even if they already hated me for being a shit all the time they deserve better than me.'

"Gjallarhorn Protocol?"

Aesop was snapped out of his own self pity as he saw Silo once again lose all hope but it wasn't just that there was... something more than fear. His eyes then widened at the willingness Silo had to kill Aesop. Aesop at least felt bad about killing Silo, but Aesop's feelings here weren't personal or about his own loneliness or feelings. Silo didn't want to kill him because he didn't like him, he was so willing to kill him for a duty. A reason. Something bigger than both of them that Santiago could not, could never know about.

"Not sure the other one would even know the answer to that question."

"That can be his question! Yes or no: do you know what we're talking about?"

Silo shook his head and... 'Jesus no... fuck...' It wasn't that he wanted to kill Aesop, he just wanted his 'turn' over so Aesop could fire the gun. Silo wanted... he needed... 'I need to kill him.' Aesop had his jaw notably lower than it should have been. He picked up the revolver, only breaking eye contact with Silo for a second before gazing back up into his eyes. 'Its my duty to...'

*Click*

He put the gun down without moving his face at all. No flinch, no reaction, nothing. If he could make a proper thought process he would wish he didn't look so shocked. He didn't know whether he would have reacted even if he had killed Silo at that point. The horrible build up to the murder and the actual murder. Two stages that he couldn't get away from. This build up was hell but it wouldn't last long. Murdering Silo would follow him the rest of his life.
=======================================
"Don't want to give yourself indigestion."

"What's indigestion?" He asked after gulping down his food. He licked the grease and butter from his finger, although it had now made its way down to his forearms and he found himself licking all the way up to his elbows, and when he couldn't lick his elbows he was forced to use a napkin, and even tried to lick the butter from the napkin.

He thought it a good idea to slow down, drinking some water to let his food go down easier. He sighed satisfied at the prospect of food. However Viola did not seem pleased with Hannibal. He thought it best to speak up although he still felt goose pimples along his skin as he thought back to... even for a second it was...

"I'm ashamed to talk about it. Its just a bad memory."

'Just? Just a bad memory? What happened to you was psychologically scarring and you use the word "Just?" They forced you against your will to do things... FUCKED UP THINGS KID! Hannibal you can't just fucking act like nothing happened. For crying out loud they fucking mol-'

Hannibal began a long series of blinking as he left his trance, staring straight down onto his plate the whole time. The voice in his head was not his own, but of someone who he wish he could be. Someone he honestly wish he was instead. He wasn't just stronger, but he had a better handle of his emotions, he had less trauma, and when people tried to hurt him he hurt them back before he had the chance. He hoped he was still alive- he probably was considering his strength and courage.

"Um, honestly I have spent too much time thinking and talking about it I'd rather just move on. What-what are we going to do after breakfast?"

"What can I do? I don't have a choice in whether or not I wed him... I can't simply disobey the will of my family. That's not how we nobles work."

There it was. Underneath all the denial and desire to do the 'right' thing, she really didn't want to marry Dio. She was probably more well aware of the kind of person Dio was than she would otherwise admit.

"Well it seems to me," he said slowly, "that that all depends on why you want to obey the will of your parents. If it's because you're scared of what Dio would do if you were to seen to back out on an agreement, then I get it. Although as I said, I don't think that'll really matter. His attention's elsewhere. But if it's because you feel like your parents get to live your life for you, then that's total bullshit. Just because they made you doesn't mean they control you."

Changing the Crawler's gear, he carried on. "Y'know I was kind of aware of your sister marrying him back in the day, right? It just seems like the reason he's marrying you is as some kinda consolation prize because your sister was killed, and that's fucked up. You can't live your life being someone's backup plan, being some kinda shadow of another person or you're pretty much doomed to fuck up and hate yourself for fucking up. And if that's 'how Nobles work' and if that's the will of your family, then Nobles are idiots and your family is wrong."

With that, he fell silent, aware that he had run off at the mouth more than he intended.

===============================================

"I don't know what it's been like these last few years, but please Jake, don' lose hope. She's the toughest bitch in the planet... there's no way in hell she'll ever let us down."

"Yeah..." Ruffles replied. There was a silence that hung in the air for nearly a minute, and then, "I feel like I could be doing more. Not for the Maidens, I mean. For my family. Whatever work I was doing, I always sent as much carbon as I could back home. My brothers are all laborers and shit, and my sisters are married to laborers or they have some kinda little trade. And they all pitch in helping look after Grandma. When I joined the Maiden, it was me being selfish. The money I send is much less consistent, and sometimes I have to wait to send it and all that crap. All this shit with the crew recently just reminds me. Makes me question all the reasons I did decide that it was right to join. But of course I ain't leaving. You guys are like my family too, and..." he sighed, "I dunno, man. Just ties me in knots. So yeah, I hope she don't let us down, or else I don't know what the fuck to do."

==============================================

"A body like yours entices little more than common whores and wenches."

Bryan gave a roar of laughter. "All the whores and wenches, Commander! The bonny lasses come from all over t'see me with my shirt off. And somewhere out there's the lass for me, 'cause I'm a romantic at heart, so I am!"

Boomhower Group

"This should do the trick. Carmine said we're to shadow you, but if we're not in position when you get caught you'll be on your own."

"Thank you kindly." Vergil said politely, taking the map and checking around landmarks he knew, making sure it was valid. He nodded after a moment as the woman ushered them in, whispering something in his ear.

"You sure you're up to this?"

"You're the third to ask that. Yes, I am sure. I've stuff like this before, it's fine." Vergil offered her a reassuring smile as they entered, and went to different ends of the room, flanking Bennie and Ruffles.

Warren left to enter the building first, it was kind of clear he was psyching himself up. He got to kill a few the other day, but more out of reaction, and he was still holding himself back. He'd soul searched, he'd beaten a man without killing him... and they had taken something close to a friend. He had every justification to just let loose. And damn did he want to do just that, drown the bandit family in gunfire, let the rivers of red run tonight!

Vergil stuck around, eavesdropping on their small conversation. Sounded like reinforcement of what he knew of the two, still. Background was always nice. Still, he needed a map and a head start for this job, to make sure he could be as meticulous as he pleased.

"I dunno, man. Just ties me in knots. So yeah, I hope she don't let us down, or else I don't know what the fuck to do."

Vergil cleared his throat, and addressed the two; "If nothing else, you can come work with me. Or ply that massive brain of yours in a trade... Prostitution is and always will be a thing." Vergil shrugged, looking at the door. He wanted to get going soon...
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Tobin

"I said it was my treat, and I me-"

The Dwarf smiled, holding in his laughter. That was certainly up there on best belches, though Tobin had to admit Ogre beat her in that regard. And everyone else, especially in stench... why the hell were they friends...

"Yes, well, quite, I said I would pay, and I jolly well aim to."

"I have a steady paying job is all, but if you insist!" Tobin smiled, ringing his finger around the glass a few times. He remembered the guy he was supposed to be guarding could make music out of it... he was likely getting shot up or set on fire or some shit. Seemed about right.

"... You're still hungry, aren't you?" He asked after a moment, sporting his usual wry smile.

"... And if that's 'how Nobles work' and if that's the will of your family, then Nobles are idiots and your family is wrong."

It was clear Eddie had strong opinions about the nobility. In truth, it seemed everyone she'd come across this past week had. It came as no surprise, of course. While she was raised to appreciate her station--if not think herself above others because of it--she couldn't shake the sense that there was more they could do. Elizabeth wasn't stupid. She understood how the carbon economy was rigged and that nobles used others, namely bandits and mercenaries, to get at each other. She could see the truth behind their self-righteous grins.

She understood all of this, yet she still felt this overwhelming sense of superiority. There was a small part of her that wanted to dismiss everything Eddie said, not because of the content of his words, but because of who he was. He wasn't highborn. He had no title, nor station or name. He was an outcast. No, even worse, a man cast out from a band of outcasts. To someone like her, his opinion was worth less than dirt. He was scum.

He was right though... or at least, Elizabeth wished she could take his words to heart.

Enough of this!

Elizabeth was troubled enough already. Now was not the time to question her ideals. No, she'd have to change the subject... get Eddie talking about something else, "What will you do once I am returned to Boomhower? Will you go after the Captain?"

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"I dunno, man. Just ties me in knots. So yeah, I hope she don't let us down, or else I don't know what the fuck to do."

"I hear ya', man," Bennie said as he put out his cigarette. The three they were waiting on appeared shortly after.

"If nothing else, you can come work with me. Or ply that massive brain of yours in a trade... Prostitution is and always will be a thing."

Bennie laughed, "The day Ruffles starts workin' corners is the day I become an astrophysicist. Think you've got our dossiers mix up there, kid." Bennie turned to face the new arrivals. Now that the five of them had gathered, it was time to head out. "Let's not waste anymore time."

They split up: Bennie and Cameron cut through the poorest district, "The Boro", while Ruffles and Warren made their way through the alleyways of midtown. Vergil was on his own, making it up as he went by following the map. Soon enough they'd found themselves within a few blocks of Bandito HQ; a large, luxurious mansion that sat on the edge of Boomhower's most dangerous district.

By this point the kid should have been close and Ruffles and Warren would be setting up the radio equipment on a nearby roof. Inconspicuously, Bennie hid himself in an alley and fingered his radio, "Y'all in position?"

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

The cheers of the crowd intensified as Rodrigo took the revolver and failed to spin the chamber. Someone would die within the next four questions. After placing it in front of Silo, he hesitated for a moment. If he fired the gun and killed Aesop... it was all over. They'd torture him night and day until he gave up the information they wanted. But if he died... they'd never get the information. Aesop didn't have what they want, despite being easier to break.

There was no easy way out. There was no choice. He had to pull the trigger and pray that it didn't fire. That was all he could do, "Same question."

Silo pulled the trigger. Another dull click. The crowd booed and Silo winced. As the pistol slid across the table to Aesop he knew it... somehow... somehow he just knew this was it. This was the end of the line. Picking up the pistol, Silo saw the hesitation in Aesop's eyes. Silo whispered, "Do it."

Eddie noticed the condescending look flit across her features and then be stifled, but chose not to comment. He was used to it, after all.

"What will you do once I am returned to Boomhower? Will you go after the Captain?"

"I don't know. Maybe. First I need to go and find my dumb ass of a partner and figure out how the cable I used to climb onto the ship snapped. Then maybe I will. Although to be honest, this job brings me closer than I'd like to Wilkes-Vines. And it's hard enough staying off of his radar when I was his general who had a metal boned and plated left hand, and now I'm a well known bounty hunter with the exact same hand. If I'm smart, I ought to drop this job before it gets me killed."

=============================================

"Y'all in position?"

"This is Black Magic to Dark Chocolate. We are in position and read you loud and clear, over," replied Ruffles satirically. Despite being crouched on the rooftop, he was virtually hopping with anticipation.

"I'm ashamed to talk about it. It's just a bad memory." Hannibal remarked, soliciting another annoyed sounding huff from Viola as she continued to eat her breakfast, which was doing a decent enough job of preventing her from snapping. She noticed that Hannibal was now blinking rather rapidly, and then stared blankly at the empty breakfast plate.

"Um, honestly I have spent too much time thinking and talking about it I'd rather just move on. What-what are we going to do after breakfast?" Hannibal then asked after coming back to reality from wherever it is his mind had wondered to.

"Well first off Hannibal, your going to get yourself cleaned up, again; you look like a right mess with all those grease marks on your clothes, told you to take it slowly. Then after that I have to investigate a lead I picked up late last night regarding the job I am currently working on. If you would like to tag along, then the invitation is there, your choice." Viola said in a rather frank and straightforward manner as she finished up her pancakes, and was working towards finishing the coffee.

"...Well, I mean... I don' reckon you'd believe a tale like that, but... You know, anyway, I s'pose I should leave y'all to it. Don' wanna overstay my welcome 'er anythin'. I did rob ya' after all."

Three words escaped Maria's lips.

"Is she hurt?"

She tapped the medic armband.

After that tackle, she could honestly believe anything about that wild girl. Especially if it involved violence. That's what bandits did anyway, hit and run or rape and pillage. But she couldn't imagine this little kid doing stuff like that. Nevertheless, Maria felt she needed to get back in business - the Carbon pile was looking a little small, after all. Not that she would actually charge for people who had paid already. Still, it presented a good opportunity to focus on her work, if the answer was a "yes". That would be good, something else to focus on instead of MIA Micky.

***

"All the whores and wenches, Commander! The bonny lasses come from all over t'see me with my shirt off. And somewhere out there's the lass for me, 'cause I'm a romantic at heart, so I am!"

That was strike three. Jun shot Bryan a look and then settled over in a corner, keen on enjoying what remained of his hot chocolate. The guy really seemed to, to put it bluntly, think with his dick. Well, he didn't really have to concern himself with what the hot-blood Irish hound barked about. Still, at least he had the time to settle his thoughts. The icy air kept him on edge, that was good for the mission, however, the warm hot chocolate melted that. Oh well, the temperature wasn't going to change anytime soon anyway. He could count on Frostfall staying frosty, unlike his fellow squad members.

The three of them crossed the gigantic living area to where another elevator lay in wait. From the bedroom Sirus could be heard snoring as the doors slid open to take the thieves down to where their prize awaited them.

"Our intelligence informs us that there are no personnel inside the vault." The Gentleman announced, producing two tight rolls of cloth from the inside pockets of his dinner jacket. "The risk of leaks would be too great, and so the sorting and transport processes are completely mechanised. However, in the event that I am wrong, I'd like this to be done as bloodlessly as possible. Better for us all if nobody even knows a theft has taken place until we're well clear of this business."

Handing one of the rolls to Meredith, The Gentleman unravelled his to reveal a black balaclava, which he affixed over his already altered features. It wouldn't do to be recognised if any part of their heist was seen or captured on tape. If the trail went back to Boomhower, his contacts there would be in jeopardy.

The last five buttons on the elevator's console led to floors that were not listed on the building schematics, and could not be reached by any other means; and their journey took the three of them right to the bottom. After the lengthy ride down, the doors opened to reveal the entrance to the vault right in front of them, quite possibly the most impressive lock The Gentleman had ever see throughout his industrious career. Over four feet thick of reinforced steel, with thirty two bolts around it circumference, each as thick as a man's arm to keep it in place. A few feet in front of the door, they passed under an array of nodes that would have deployed the energy barrier before Meredith had knocked out the circuit. Mounted on the wall adjacent to the door was another console, with a keypad and a protruding dish-like attachment.

Without hesitating, Amy strolled over to the console and draw from within the folds of her dress a Q-tip, which she swabbed over the surface, to be met with an affirmative beeping noise and a flashing green light. As the Gentleman took her place and punched in the pass code, she gave Meredith a mischievous 'Are you sure you want to know?' look.

Once the Gentleman had done his part, the bolts began to move with the mixture of a hydraulic hiss and the screech of metal sliding over metal, before the door itself swung open with a clang that, even this far down, The Gentleman was surprised didn't wake half of the dome.

"This is as far as I go. Have fun." Amy announced, before turning back down the hallway towards the elevator.

Stepping through the threshold, the remaining pair found themselves in a hall three times the size of the one in which the party had been held. With column upon column of high shelves stacked full of unmarked crates, adjacent to the waiting tramlines at the far end.

"The last stop before the end of the line." Gents whispered with something that was akin to awe. "An Immeasurable amount of carbon, siphoned, collated, sorted and stamped; ready to mingle with legal tender. The combined assets of the ten wealthiest noble families on the Rock couldn't equal the amount of raw wealth that is locked away in this one room. A small portion of this could buy a ten thousand armies, could bribe every judge and councillor from here to Frostfall, could build and arm a fleet of five hundred ships."

He turned and looked at her. Even through the balaclava, and the layers of prosthetics beneath it, it was possibly to see pure, child-like glee etched into every line of his face.

"Shall we?"

Aesop's mouth dried up and his heart was a million miles an hour, his hands... steady. Unshaking. Why did his hands not shake when the rest of him was freaking out? Was it because it was the right thing to happen to him after all the pain he has caused? To Alex? To his old friends in Yuteni? To the Maidens in fucking up so much? To squealing on his comrades? To disgracing himself and Silo? To his parents who raised him better than the god damn drunk he became? 'Because I deserve to die for the piece of shit I am?'

*Click*

'DAMMIT WHY DIDN'T I DIE?!' His eyes widened even further. 'I... I actually thought that... I actually want to die?...'

He picked up the gun as his jaw hung low. His heart rate slowing down before immediately speeding back up. Aesop was cold, yet hot. Sweating yet it felt freezing against his skin, his arms felt limp yet he had full control. He thought he was having a heart attack. Panting hard his breathes became restless as the desperate words reached his ears.

"Do it."

His expression went blank and he could have sword in that moment, he was dead.

===============================================
10 years ago.

"Come on son drink up." Spoke a 22 year old man as he patted the teenager on the back.

The fourteen year old downed half of his beer, making it fizz up in the neck of the bottle and spill all over his chest when he put it back down. "Ah fucken' Christ!" said the boy.

The man laughed. "Calm down Sillah, take it slower. Fuck it I'll get you a pint, that you can drink easier." The man signalled to the barman to come since the bar was mainly dead. "'Nother one, but in a pint if you please."

"Please Peter, call me Aesop." Said the boy, his face looking incredibly unstable.

The man chuckled, but stopped once he saw his friend in distress. "Alright, Aesop. Listen I know what its like. The first time I killed a guy my brain went all "goo-ey" too. Its just something you get used to. I know you're young but son we're cops its what we do."

"No man its not that. I..." Aesop sighed as he took another sip of his drink, trying not to spill it on himself. "Its that when I shot him I... I didn't care. It felt like it didn't matter." Aesop sped up his words. "Is like when I pulled the trigger and watches his brains splat all over the place and I thought, "eh, fuck it, doesn't matter." Knaa'mean?"

Peter sighed and kept drinking. "Yeah. Yeah I know what you mean. I always feel like that now. Believe me Aesop that's a good thing."

"A good thing?" Aesop shouted at his older friend. "I'm a fucking monster man! I-"

Peter interrupted him loudly. "Look you feel bad that you felt nothing, so technically you're feeling something right?" Aesop was silent, the wheels turning in his head as he considered the words of his closest friend. "Aesop," he spoke softer now, "people feel differently when they kill people. Take Alex for example. I fucking swear she enjoys it. But that doesn't make her a monster. She channels it, she directs it. Hell she's a mother fucking super cop."

Aesop sighed as he took in his words. "I dunno. Maybe." His drink had came and he immediately set off to finish half of it in one go.

"Woah woah hey there son don't set off too fast you'll fuck yourself up." Peter said pulling away his pint a few inches like a parent might to a baby's bottle.

"Fuck off Peter, and stop calling me son its weird you aren't my dad. Hell my dad's an asshole-" Aesop was once again cut off.

"Hey! You're father works hard for you alright! His back is fucked but he still works his ass off for you and your mom so you can keep eating." Peter looked legitimately disappointed in Aesop.

Aesop didn't really know how to react to Peter behaving like that, but he responded like a scolded child. "I'm sorry Pete. You're right... I'm an asshole to him."

Peter sighed once again, swigging his beer until there was nothing less. "Now, now you aren't. You're just stressed out. And sorry about always calling you son. Alex being pregnant is fucking with my head man."

Aesop smiled and punched his friend softly in the elbow. "Seriously? Fuck dude you act like a dad to everyone, even those poor fucks you used to bully love you around here. Trust me that kid is gonna be glad to have you as a dad."

"Maybe... maybe... thanks man. You're my best pal you know that right?"

"Yeah. And you're mine." Both of them clanked their glasses together as Aesop finished his drink and filled the pint glass with the beer from the bottle. "Any idea what you're gonna call the kid?"

"I dunno." Spoke Peter. "I keep thinking boring names like "Nick" and "Daniel". Alex keeps coming up with these fucking awesome sounding names like "Troy" and "Eli", way better than anything I could come up with."

"Awesome?" Aesop asked. "Are you sure you don't mean cuntish? What's wrong with "Nick" and "Daniel"? They're actual real people names."

"Nah man you don't get me. She has imagination. Hell she came up with the best name the other day." He paused to sip his new drink the bartender had given him. "Austin. That's a fucking great name. That's better than my name. Who wants to be called Peter? Austin is a kick ass name."

Aesop laughed at his friend's quips. "Its better than Sillah."

"And Sillah's better than Aesop." Smirked Peter.

"Fuck off man I like it. Except I can actually call myself Aesop, what are you gonna do, name yourself after your kid?"

"Fuck it maybe I will." Both men laughed and kept drinking.

==================================================================
Aesop's eyes snapped back up to meet Silo's. He still didn't shake, but his heart rate had slowed down, his temperature became easier to control and feeling came back to his arms. He thought back to the advice that the man who at one point was his closest friend. The very same man who went on to murder almost every other friend Aesop had, going on to become a vindictave evil cult leader. 'Thinking of his advice? You really have lost it Aesop... he's not wrong though. What is killing? Hell you're first kill was trying to kidnap someone? You killed like fifty fucking Banditos yesterday. And Silo... he needs to die. He wants it, think about that. Focus on that man. He's dying for a cause, and if he believe in it so much he is willing to die, then its something you can believe in too.'

"I'm sorry Silo." Aesop said, so calm it was creepy, his eyes looking cold and dead like a corpse. "If I had just saved us two bullets, then you wouldn't have gone through all of this torture... by a bunch of faggots who get their rocks off like this cos they have tiny pricks. I won't talk I swear on your life, I'm sorry."

*BANG*

==================================================================

"then the invitation is there, your choice."

"S-Sure!" he said possibly too excited. "I don't have anything else I could be doing other than running... and thats a bad idea right?" Hannibal said, referring back to what she had told him the night before. He could learn-maybe a little slowly but he could learn. He managed to make a small bomb in the matter of a few days... even if it was faulty.

Aaaaand just like that he was sad again thinking about him being responsible for blowing up a bunch of gangsters. Wonderful.

Lilith placed her napkin down on the table before pouring herself another cup of tea.

"I have a steady paying job is all, but if you insist!"

Smiling wryly, she decided it was best to keep the case full of carbon that was stashed under her mattress a secret.

"I'm fine for money, but thank you for the thought." She replied, holding her cup in both hands as she raised it to her lips. A few moments passed, Lilith kept her eyes on the market behind Tobin. Her and Sprout were still wanted criminals, and it wasn't impossible that she could get recognised, even in such a quaint setting.

"... You're still hungry, aren't you?"

The dwarf broke the silence, a smirk on his face. Lilith glanced down into her cup for a moment, deciding it would be best if she contemplated his question for a moment.

Raising her eyes, she smiled slightly, "Just a little bit, but I'll manage until lunch time."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Asad started for the back room, he slowed slightly as the commander spoke of their prowess, smiling slightly at the 'sort of' compliment.

"They're manchildren."

Asad raised a hand over above his shoulder, waving it slightly as he walked away. "Don't lump me in with O'Lafferty, commander, a man could take insult to such an accusation." He chuckled slightly as he left them to their drinks.

Heading into the back room, or what would be their command centre for the next few days, Asad set his drink down and began organising the room, arranging chairs, setting up equipment, typical braindead busywork.

'Hope we get this one finished quickly, I've got a bad feeling about this.'

He furrowed his brow, as he raised the cup of hot chocolate to his lips.

Asad's gut was trying to tell him something, something he could usually fathom. Not this time. Running a hand through his hair, he sighed as he began setting up further equipment.

"Don't lump me in with O'Lafferty, commander, a man could take insult to such an accusation."

"That's downright treachery, that is," Bryan called after Asad as he left, grinning at his back. "Of with yeh, ya beige fucker!"

With Asad gone, he chuckled to himself. "That were the comedy stylings o' me best friend, such as he is, ladies and gents. Anyway, Commander, it's just occurred to me, in the interest o' keeping a low profile, I'd do well to stay away from Frostfall's Abbey."

"... this job brings me closer than I'd like to Wilkes-Vines. And it's hard enough staying off of his radar when I was his general who had a metal boned and plated left hand, and now I'm a well known bounty hunter with the exact same hand. If I'm smart, I ought to drop this job before it gets me killed."

With her elbow hanging out the window, Elizabeth rested her cheek on her fist as Eddie explained his situation. It seemed the both of them were at the mercy of powerful men, "Yes, perhaps you should. Pixie's..." What? What was Pixie? Had she just caught herself attempting to protect that... witch?! "Uh, w-what I mean to say is: I wouldn't mess with her. She's ruthless and unpredictable."

Elizabeth sighed in frustration. She still had no clue what her story was or why she was so concerned for Elizabeth's "safety".

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"This is Black Magic to Dark Chocolate. We are in position and read you loud and clear, over..."

Bennie sighed and barked back into the radio, ignoring Ruffles stupid jokes, "Hey kid, what's your status?"

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Is she hurt?"

Sprout shrugged, "Well, um... I mean, she's well enough, I think. I reckon she's stuff'n 'er face right 'bout now at any rate! Though..." His eyes lingered on her sash. Was she some kind of doctor? "I s'pose it wouldn' hurt ta' 'ave 'er looked at." He gave her a knowing grin. "I don' reckon ya' know any... discreet doctors 'round here, do ya'? We got carbon."

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************

"That were the comedy stylings o' me best friend, such as he is, ladies and gents. Anyway, Commander, it's just occurred to me, in the interest o' keeping a low profile, I'd do well to stay away from Frostfall's Abbey."

Tsubaki saw the glow in Skinner's eye before he could speak, "No." She stated, nearly slamming her mug on the counter. "Please, don't humor him."

Skinner smiled and shook his head. He didn't take orders from her, "I'm sorry ma'am, but the abbey? I have to hear this one!"

Finishing her drink, Tsubaki hopped off her stool and headed into the backroom, "Have fun." Glancing over at Jun before disappearing through the door she added. "You too." Jun was too easy to annoy, she just couldn't help herself.

Closing the door behind her, Tsubaki leaned against the wall, arms crossed. "What's wrong, Harel?" She asked as she watched him work. There was something on his mind. Something distracting him. "And don't give me that 'it's just the cold' shit. Speak freely."

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Pixie adjusted her stance as the Gentleman accessed the panel, meeting Amy's gaze with smile on her face. She'd done what she had to... nothing more.

"This is as far as I go. Have fun."

Pixie blew her a kiss as they passed her by, "You know I will, sweetheart. I'll tell ya' all 'bout it durin' the after party." She whispered, her words dripping with innuendo.

Pixie pulled the balaclava over her head and knelt down to remove her heels. At this rate she'd be more effective going barefoot. Stepping through the threshold, Pixie was awe struck by what she saw. So. Much. Money. Though she'd hardly had the attention span to listen to his ramblings, she could tell the Gentleman was excited as well. He was like a kid in a candy shop.

"Shall we?"

Pixie gave a mocking curtsy, "Of course, my Lawd." Taking another cursory glance around the room, Pixie laughed. "Reckon yer ol' flabby bones 'er gonna be able ta' lift these crates, Gents? I don' wan' ya' ta' throw yer' back 'er nothin'!" Excited, Pixie slapped her palms together and rubbed them vigorously before running to the nearest crate. Lifting it off the stack took every ounce of strength she had. The Gentleman was surprised she'd been able to lift it at all.

Panting heavily, Pixie doubled over and laughed, "'Reckon we should use the dollies, eh?" And with that, the two went to work loading up the tram. It was exhausting work, even with the dollies, but Pixie couldn't be happier doing it. Not only was she hauling around fat stack of carbon with her name of it, but she was stealing it right under the nose of that dimwitted, noble-loving scum!

Lost in her own world, she almost didn't notice the surprise guest who'd crept around the side of the tram. He was armed, "GENTS!"

Garbed in a black jacket and balaclava, the man leveled his submachine gun and began firing at Pixie from no more than two meters away. Instinctively, Pixie threw the dollie forward, allowing the crates full of carbon to tumble onto the floor between them. The crates managed to catch most of the bullets as she dropped into a crouch, drawing and firing the snubnose revolver from out of her purse in one fluid motion. The rounds pierced through the man's chest, dropping him to the floor like a sack of meat.

Behind.

Sensing another behind her, she dropped into a roll as a barrage of bullets embedded themselves into the steel floor. Coming out of the roll, she sprang to her feet and scooped up the submachine gun, leveling and returning fire on the new arrival. Hiding against the bulkhead on the opposite side of the tram, one bullet managed to find it's mark in his shoulder before she ran the clip dry. As he dropped to the floor, she closed the gap in a flash, placing the barrel of her revolver at his temple before squeezing the trigger. Blood splattered all across the floor and the mist created from the pointblank impact covered the length of Pixie's forearm.

Her lips curled into a cruel grin as she heard the footfalls of more men approaching from the tunnel. Were they Sirus' goons? No, they were disguising their faces. They were rival thieves, here for the same reason. While Pixie and Gents had entered through the front door these men had seen fit to come through the back. Unfortunate timing... for them.

Reloading the machinegun with a fresh clip from the man she'd just killed, she crouched down behind the back of the tram, removed her balaclava and began spraying into the tunnel. The men scrambled for cover and returned fire. Barking over the gunfire, Pixie laughed, "YOU GOOD, GENTS?!"

This was great. This was exactly what Pixie needed. Good ol' senseless violence. For every drop of blood she spilled she felt lighter. More attune to her surroundings. More at piece with her thoughts. More alive.

The shrieks of her enemies as hot lead pierced their flesh! The smell of gunpowder and blood filling the air! That's what it was all about!

Lost in a frenzy while holding the enemy at bay, Pixie almost hadn't noticed another who'd managed to take cover on the side of the tram near her first kill. Thinking himself hidden, he slowly made his way around the tram only to be pulled around the corner suddenly. Grabbing him by the collar, Pixie let the machinegun hang by its strap and pulled the man in close before jamming the palm of her other hand against the base of his nose. The force of the impact shattered the cartilage connecting his nose to his skull and shot a sharp, jagged piece through his frontal lobe.

Blood poured through his nostril and down Pixie's arm before she dropped his lifeless form and took cover behind the tram. They were closing in now.

"Come on! GET FUCKED!" She screamed as she began spraying into the tunnel once more.

"Uh, w-what I mean to say is: I wouldn't mess with her. She's ruthless and unpredictable."

Eddie chuckled lightly at the stumble. Maybe the girl had a touch of Stockholm syndrome. In response, he said, "well, ruthless and unpredictable is the usual package for me. And I haven't made up my mind, yet. Thanks for the concern though, it's very touching."

==============================================

"I'm sorry ma'am, but the abbey? I have to hear this one!"

Bryan grinned ingratiatingly and moved to sit across from the barman. "Well, when I were last here, I woke up naked on a transport shuttle just as we were being thrown out. You can imagine my plight. Anyway, after getting into a wee fist fight with a couple o' homeless chaps I can only assume liked what they saw enough to make a move, I find this Abbey. O' course logic dictates that's the easiest solution, with them tending to the needy. So, they give me some ill fittin' clothes from the donations box and a bed for a few days until I can get myself to be moving on, on the condition I let 'em store me swords. No guest o' theirs running armed, y'know?

"Anyway, I'd been there about three days, helping with the cleaning, doing the prerequisite amount o' praying and playing no-stakes poker with the Brothers. A few o' the sisters had been eyeing me fer awhile, now. Just so happens that on the evening o' the third day, I'm finishing up dusting the pews in the main prayer room, and I stand up, and there's a couple of 'em there. Fine couple o' lasses, y'could tell even under the shapeless nun's shifts. Anyway, this young priest comes in about an hour later, hears some noise and opens the door o' the confession booth only to find I've gone and soiled it. As well as the two obliging young nuns. The brothers and some o' the heftier nuns chased me from the premises on pain o' death. Had to sneak back in the middle o' the night to grab me swords."

"GENTS!"

'Oh bother!'

As the gunman opened fire, The Gentleman spun away behind one of the shelves for cover. Peeking around into the next aisle, he came face to face with another man creeping around, trying to flank the pair. Stepping out gracefully, The Gentleman swept the man's sub-machine gun aside, before stunning him with a three-fingered strike to the throat. Spinning the gaping man around for use as a human shield, the Gentleman drew his own weapon as two more thugs broke from cover at the end of the aisle. Two muted coughs from the suppressed barrel of his pistol, and the two goons crumpled with holes in their heads.

Pretty standard stuff, no need to make a show of it.

"YOU GOOD, GENTS?!"

"Not to worry my dear, all in a day's work." he replied, snapping the neck of his human shield before moving towards where Meredith had taken cover, dropping two more as he went. There were more of them, about a dozen at first glance, coming down the tram tunnels. As Meredith sprayed bullets and expletives both into the tunnel, The Gentleman calmly reached into his front pocket, before removing and affixing his trademark monocle.

"Unfortunately I have no spare for you this time," he told Meredith, while once more taking off his cuff-link. "so I suggest you take cover."

Almost lazily, he flicked the cuff-link over his shoulder into the no-man's land between the two groups. Upon twisting his remaining cuff-link all the lights in the massive vault flickered and died. Everyone's world was plunged into darkness, deep below the ground. Everyone but The Gentleman, for when he twisted the outer frame of the monocle, the vault before him lit up, bathed in a deep green.

Breaking from cover, The Gentleman traced an arc from the tram to the entrance of the tunnel, firing all the time as he flanked the men who had taken cover before it. They died one after the other as shots went through heads, necks and chests. One man tried to break and run back down the tunnel. Two quick shots from the hip , and the man's kneecaps were sent flying out the back of his legs. He fell screaming, until the Gentleman put him out of his misery with a round through the back of the skull.

"Is that all of them? Shame. I was just starting to unwind."

Asad closed his eyes, sighing slightly as he heard the commander enter the room. Her footfalls distinct compared to his heavier comrades.

Tsubaki would know.

She always knew.

"What's wrong, Harel?"

'Called it.' He smirked slightly, furrowing his brow as he turned, his eyes lacking their usual warmth.

"And don't give me that 'it's just the cold' shit. Speak freely."

Crossing his arms across his chest, he leaned against the table he was standing at, a wry smile on his face.

"Well, it is pretty damn cold." He quickly noted the commander's unimpressed reaction, as the veneer of playfulness fell from his expression, his smirk replaced by worried frown.

"I don't like this, Tsubaki." He said softly, using her first name. He furrowed his brow, running a hand through his hair. "I don't like this one bit, you know what I'm like for gut feelings." He lifted is cup from the table, raising it to his mouth. "I have nothing to base it on, but I think something major is gonna go down soon, something we don't want to be a part of."

Placing the cup back on the table, he took a few steps closer Tsubaki, his hands back across his chest. "This won't interfere with my work, I promise you that, just..." He smiled slightly as his mask began to surface again. "Be vigilant."

He knew asking the commander to be vigilant was like asking a bird to fly, but he hoped he managed to get his anxiety across.

"S-Sure!" Hannibal said rather excitedly, a far cry from what he was earlier. "I don't have anything else I could be doing other than running... and thats a bad idea right?"

"Whilst I wouldn't say running would be a bad idea Hannibal, it has the potential to be detrimental to your situation. In any case, you get yourself cleaned up, and I'll wait for you in the lobby. I'll pay for this using our combined funds." Viola said, finally showing a small smile as she finished up her breakfast, downing the remainder of the coffee in one fell swoop. Hannibal returned her smile with a soft albeit awkward one before taking off his small bag full of carbon and leaving it on the table.

Hannibal

"I... t-t-trust you to take what you n-need." He set off towards their room, washing his face and checking it once over. It felt odd looking so clean, although his teeth were still a show. He didn't really know what else he could do by cleaning up other than washing his face, there was no toothbrush he could use and even Hannibal thought it dirty to use another person's toothbrush. Gross. He would buy one later, after remembering he left his pack in the building that had exploded.

Viola

"You can trust me Hannibal? I'm a woman of my word." Viola remarked as she took Hannibal's pouch of Carbon and went up to the counter, where she was greeted by a different waitress from before, but wore a similar outfit.

"Well howdy there, I trust you and your friend enjoyed your meal?"

"Yeah that we did, gave us time to talk as well. Poor kid, from what I can tell, he's been through a lot. Anyway, I hope this is enough to cover the costs." Spoke Viola as she poured out a handful of Carbon pieces from both pouches of roughly equal size. The waitress picked up the pile and placed it on the scales. It took a few moments, but eventually the scales weighed out, and the waitress placed a few small pieces back on the counter.

"There you go miss, here's your change, hope you have a pleasant day. Do dine here again."

"That I will Miss, that I will." Viola said as she gave a tip of her stetson to the waitress as she placed the change into Hannibal's pouch, he was in need of it more that she was. After making sure everything was secure, Viola made her way out of the restaurant, and stood with her back leaned against a wall in the tavern foyer.

Hannibal

Just before leaving the bathroom Hannibal suddenly realised "... my arms are all sticky..." he promptly went back and actually cleaned himself up. "That's what she meant. I need to pay attention more."

Making sure he was all clean he set off outside. He got a polite nod from the waitress but he just awkwardly shuffled out. "Ready to go?" he asked, he had never worked with another person before... well he wasn't sure how much he could actually help.

Viola

Viola looked up and saw Hannibal standing nearby, he looked a lot cleaner than he did earlier, must have put some effort into it.

"Ready to go?"

"I sure am Hannibal. Come on then, let's be off. Stick close to me as we make our way towards the hotel were this next lead of mine is staying, shouldn't be too long a trek. And uh, be careful." Viola said with a smirk as she opened the door of the tavern and out they stepped. Her lead was actually Maria again, as she felt she may have spooked the girl a little last time, and wanted to make amends. This time however, she hoped things would end more successfully.

"... Thanks for the concern though, it's very touching."

Elizabeth wasn't sure whether he was being sarcastic or not, but decided to go along with it anyway, "You're welcome." Bored of the barren landscape, Elizabeth's eyes found their way to her lap. Though it had begun to dry, she was drenched in blood. "D-do you think there's a blanket or something up there I could use?"

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

"... The brothers and some o' the heftier nuns chased me from the premises on pain o' death. Had to sneak back in the middle o' the night to grab me swords."

After a hardy laugh, Skinner poured Bryan another drink, "Well I hope you keep a lower profile this time around. I don't want Vasa's people knocking down my door, you know? Those guys are ruthless."

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

Other than rolling her eyes at his little quip, Tsubaki remained still and silent as Asad laid out his concerns. He had good instincts and Tsubaki was right to put her faith in them in the past. But now? How much of this was a fear of Frostfall and Vasa's people? Likely very little. His concerns were likely rooted more in their lack of intel. Samsara had played no role in planting the mole. Moreover, none of them were told what the big picture strategy was.

They were simply following orders. Blindly, some might say. Tsubaki had faith in her lord, however.

"Be vigilant."

Tsubaki cocked an eyebrow, "When am I not, Harel?" Glancing around the room she sighed. "Look, I can finish up in here. Go out there with the others and finish your drink. Have everyone in here and ready for a briefing in ten minutes."

********************************************************************************************************************************************************

Blood dripping down her arms, Pixie shot the Gentleman a wild grin as he took cover beside her.

"Unfortunately I have no spare for you this time... so I suggest you take cover."

"Don' reckon I take kindly to 'suggestions', Gents!" Pixie laughed as the lights went out. Several gasps could be heard among the sporadic gunfire. The Gentleman disappeared shortly after to dispatch the flatfooted combatants leaving Pixie to adjust to her new environment. Hardly able to make out anything other than muzzle flashes, Pixie closed her eye and concentrated.

Gunshots and shrieks echoed all around her, making it difficult to make out what noise was coming from where. Focusing on her immediate surroundings, she could hear heavy breathing and frantic footfalls on the right side of the tram. Exhaling sharply, she opened her eye and jumped to her feet, sprinting around the side of the tram with reckless abandon. The three men she found there had all crouched behind the bulkhead in order to escape the Gentleman's slaughter only to find themselves trapped in Pixie's thirsty maw.

The man in front noticed her first, raising his gun to cut her charge short but was too slow. A faint glimmer of light reflected off the surface of the blade as it pierced the darkness and split his throat in two. The other two panicked, screaming and firing their submachine guns at the space Pixie had occupied moments ago. In the darkness, however, they couldn't keep a bead on their target.

Before they knew it Pixie was upon them, her knife caressing the inside of the second man's stomach. She came in close, her face mere inches from his own to see the life fade from his eyes. The third man saw this and froze. He saw the ecstasy on her face. The empowering joy she felt in taking his comrade's life.

"NO! NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!" The man screamed, firing his weapon. But it was too late. Ducking under its line of fire, Pixie grabbed the barrel of the gun and disarmed the man with ease. As he stumbled forward, the gun still strapped around his shoulder, she brought the stock down on the back of his head sending him crashing to the ground. As he lay there, struggling to get back to his feet she used his own weapon to tear him to shreds.

Soon after, the gunfire died down.

"Is that all of them? Shame. I was just starting to unwind."

Pixie laughed, but before she could respond the lights returned. Scanning the tunnel she could make out one remaining person coming around the bend. He was unarmed. A tall, hansom tan man with slicked back, long, curly black hair, a goatee and black clothing.

No fuckn' way...

"Stop! Don't shoot, I---Meredith?!!?"

Pixie's jaw hung for a moment, "Carlos... I don' believe it..." Signaling to the Gentleman, she shook his head. "Don' shoot, he's a friend."

Carlos Santiago.... no way....

"D-do you think there's a blanket or something up there I could use?

"To clean up? No idea," he replied. Fishing around in his breast pocket, Eddie drew out a handkerchief and gave it to her. "Best I can do, sorry." Noticing that pulling out the handkerchief had nudged a small oval shaped locket from under his shirt, he tucked it back hastily and then settled back to driving.

==============================================

"Well I hope you keep a lower profile this time around. I don't want Vasa's people knocking down my door, you know? Those guys are ruthless."

"Oh, I'll do me best, mate. After all, this time it's business, not pleasure," Bryan answered, knocking back the second drink in one swallow.

"Reckon I'll stick to coffee now. Don't reckon our Tsu will be right pleased if I'm a bit foggy."

"Don' shoot, he's a friend."

"Ah, well in that case," The Gentleman gestured over to the strewn corpses of Carlos' associates "this may be a little awkward."

Turning off his night-vision, The Gentleman strode over to pick up his cuff link again, reloading his gun as he did so, on examining the corpses, he noted without surprise that he'd made a much cleaner job of the slaughter than Meredith had. Did the woman always have to be so... ostentatious?

"Given the circumstances, I hope you'll understand if we dispense with the pleasantries Carlos." he told the man, having lowered his pistol, yet still keeping it trained on him from the hip. "As you can see, we're in something of a hurry to become inordinately richer than we were when we arrived. Now, normally I'd say that there's plenty here to share but... actually, wait. That's not right at all, could you imagine if I was like that?" The Gentleman said playfully, looking over at Meredith.

"In any case, why you're here seems simple enough to answer, although I had heard you were retired. What I would like to know before we're on our way is why I didn't know you were going to be here three weeks ago. It seems like a fairly important detail to slip through the cracks of my intelligence. These men don't look like bandito's, so I'm guessing this isn't family business."

Pixie took a moment to study the former bandito as her partner questioned him. Despite having all his men gunned down and the assassin of the ashlands threatening him, he managed to keep his cool. Yep, that was the Carlos she remembered. Greeting threats with a fearless grin.

She laughed and waved towards the Gentleman dismissively, flinging blood around aimlessly as she did, "Oh, there's no need fer that, Gents. He'll tell us what we wanna know an' let us take the loot," Turning her attention towards Carlos, she added. "Won' you, Carlos?"

Carlos nodded, an enormous grin on his face, "Of course! For you, Meredith, I'd give up the world!" Given his personality, most would assume he was guilty of little more than flattery. Pixie knew he was genuine, however. He had to be. "Take it all, it's yours, not mine. Neither are these men, as a matter of fact." He said as he tapped one of their corpses with the heel of he shoe. "And I can assure you they are not banditos. I left the family over a decade ago."

Pixie snickered as she dropped her guard and made her approach, closing the gap between them, "If ya' hadn't you'd be six-feet under by now, I reckon." Knowing Pixie's outgoing nature, the Gentleman thought her demeanor odd. Seeing an old friend usually prompted a more... physical reaction from her. Instead, Pixie kept her distance from the man.

Shrugging, Carlos' grin wavered, "And rightly so." Looking back at the Gentleman, he dropped the smile. No amount of fake charm would convince this man of anything. "I can tell you all about it once we get the carbon out of here. Doing so now would only waste the little time we have remaining. Suffice it to say it was a noble with deeper pockets than Basilio, who may be in the market for an army that can match his own." He nodded. "And you're right, I was in retirement. It gets boring suntanning and sipping martinis everyday, however. Got an offer I couldn't refuse and here I am... not that any of this matters now."

Pixie glanced over to the Gentleman, "I know it's askn' a lot Gents, but you have'ta trust 'im."

"Thank you, Meredith, but there is no need to come to my aid. The Gentleman is a sharp man, we've met before... not that I knew of it at the time." Carlos mused. "He may not know how it came to be, but I pray he's aware of our mutual agreement."

"Yeah, you do what tha' fuck I say, when I say it."

"Sounds about right." Carlos shrugged. Looking down at the corpses Pixie had left behind, he grimaced. "You haven't lost that spark of yours, I see."

Unamused, Pixie glared at him and signaled towards the fallen dollie, "Get ta' werk, beaner." Chuckling, Carlos left her side to do as he was told. Pixie crossed her arms as she looked back to the Gentleman, her smile all but gone. "Don' ask, I don' wanna talk 'bout it." She stated coldly before walking off to load another dollie.

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 . . . 76 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked