The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

The ruins of the ancient fort Marn along the city's western quadrant, including the Shanty Town market.
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Cimri Mayensis
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The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:15 am

Hunched shoulders and unpleasant expressions marked most of the residents of Shantytown. No one wanted to draw attention in Marn's seedy underbelly. Normally Cimri wouldn't set foot here, but every now and then, when she made friends with the locks in a Marnian house, she had to drop by and find her fence. She had to fight to keep her shoulders from hunching up that little extra that tells you who's got cash on them. Not that Cim had ever used that info. You'd have to be nuts to pick a pocket in the poor part of town.

"Only the foolish steal from the poor, and only the wealthy get away with it, Kitten," her father used to tell her. The desperately poor are more vicious than any rich man will ever be. When you only have a little, you fight to the death to protect it. She snugged her dagger even more firmly into her sword sheath, suppressing even a hint of jingling from the bishani in the empty part. An unwashed young man with a paunch brushed past her, leering at the golden curves exposed by her low-cut linen blouse. Cimri didn't give a damn about the leer, but when she felt a hand grazing her hip where her nearly empty coin pouch hung to distract people, she turned and flashed a full set of feline fangs at him, rumbling threateningly low in her throat.

He held up his hands defensively and backed up. "Hey, no harm, no foul, right?" She shook her head, her short blond spikes ruffling in the wind, and turned. The lump was no threat to her, and she wanted the hell out of Shantytown before someone more skillful tried to take her money. Or worse. Nasty shit happened to the unwary in this town, and a 16 year old girl was a prime target. Her father never used to let her talk to the fence without him going with her.

A fist briefly clamped and released around her heart. Now that she didn't have a choice about coming alone, she was finally smart enough to realize he was keeping her safe. She shook it off. Fragility and soft emotions would paint a screaming red target at her back, and it had been over a year.
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

Caiomhe Feryn
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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:20 pm

Caiomhe walked along. Stumbled along, more like. She was on the outskirts of the town because she hated dealing with people. She'd been blind three years, and though it was less of a trial than it had been initially, every day was hard. She tightened the fastenings of her robe and touched a hand to her purse.

She'd made a bit of money dancing last time she'd been in a city, and had been hoarding it. Dancing was a lesser evil--she certainly couldn't pickpocket or steal anything more than an orange from an open-air market, and even that was hard. Open markets meant people. People meant running into walls, chairs, vendors, pedestrians, street dogs, humans and not humans as well... So markets were hell.

Her language wasn't tha great either. She got by, but her accent was hard to understand and she often used wrong words, making it even harder to get the point across.

She'd finally, however, figured out that if she brushed a hand lightly along the side of a building she could tell its contours and follow that. She did so now, running her hand along the side of a broekn down building where she'd maybe find shelter for the night. Sleeping in a semi-warm, almost hopefully dry place would be nice.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:23 pm

Her larcenous instincts started dancing gleefully when Cimri spotted the girl at the edge of Shantytown. She was far enough out of the main hustle that no one else had targeted her yet, but the tell-tale purse-touch indicated she had enough money to be nervous about it, and she wasn't street-wise enough to act relaxed. As Cimri got closer, she saw the hand trailing along the wall of an abandoned shop and noticed the girl's careful footsteps. Drunk? Lost? It didn't matter. Cim could have robbed her blind either way.

As she approached from behind, her explanations for the trailing hand made a little less sense, but still vaguely upset by memories of her parents, Cim was in the mood to be reckless. The girl's blackish-brown hair swung a little as she walked, brushing her own back, and Cimri began to time that brush as she took her last few steps forward. It slid along her green-gray robe and gently bumped the purse on the girl's hip and she equally gently wrapped her fingers around the pouch.
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:07 pm

Caiomhe was running her hand along the wall when she sensed something change. She wasn't certain if anything was wrong, so she pulled her robe a bit tighter and rolled back the sleeves, letting the light wind brush over her shoulders. She was beginning to understand how to get along without sight, but it was a hard road.

She put her back to the wall as she felt the air whisper across her bared forearms. Someone was near. She stopped walking and pressed her shoulderblades tightly to the wall and clutched a small sprig of dried herb in her hand. If she crushed it, anyone in a five foot radius who breathed would see hallucinations and black out. Cai herself was nearly immune, having been trained to tolorate poisons, drugs, hallucinogens, alcohol, painkillers, and most other dangerous things from a very early age.

"Hae b'there?" Her words were slurred and quick, heavily accented with a faraway speech. Who is there, her mind screamed in her language, the language that sounded like waves and wind among valleys. Who is there, don't hurt me, I have nothing you want, I am blind, leave me alone. But she was powerless to say so much, and her sightless eyes flicked left to right, seeing nothing beyond blurry shapes and pale colors.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:28 pm

When you're raised to be a criminal, you learn early not to feel remorse for taking from others. When your parents are brutally murdered, it teaches you not to feel compassion or trust. When you're wandering the streets of Shantytown, you'd have to be a fucking idiot to show vulnerability or let yourself be distracted.

But that stammering, terrified sentence caught at Cimri. Her target clearly knew someone was near her, but she wasn't looking around. Was it foolishness or something else? Cim's parents may have been thieves, but they drew the line at taking from those who would feel the loss keenly. Fools deserved to lose their money, their jewels, but...

Her hand was already on the purse, and she had to think fast. Attempting to withdraw quickly, she forgot her stealth and bumped her hand lightly into the girl's hip. Shit! She dropped to the ground and did a backroll to leave her maybe three feet from the girl - out of easy arm's reach if she was wielding a blade. Her muscles tensed in a fight-or-flight struggle, locking her in place for a potentially crippling moment. This is exactly why there's no room for fucking up in Shantytown! she berated herself, trying to suppress the adrenaline without shifting.
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:34 am

Caiomhe was nearly hyperventilating at this point, and the brush of a hand on her hip almost caused her to stop breathing entirely. She was scared. One of the worst things about being blind was constantly having to guess where she was in relation to other people. Sudden, unintended brushes, when she couldn't see the person nor had any idea where that person might be, those were some of the worst.

Pressing her back even tighter to the wall, she tried to get her breathing under control. She'd dropped the handful of hallucinater herbs/drugs at the touch on her hip, so they were now utterly useless. Unless she attempted to step on them, but she'd have to hunt around until she found them, and that would take to long.

Plus, she was frozen in fear, shoulders tight to the dirty, tumbled down stones of the building.

Her hands were white-knuckled against the brownish-grey blocks of rock that comprised the broken building. She was certain that her antagonizer could tell how scared she was easily enough. "Jest... jest donnae hurtin' mesel'plaese. Plaese." her words were still rushed--it'd be a small miracle if she was understood, combining her fear with her accent.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:49 pm

The words grabbed at Cimri. She couldn't take from this girl. It went against her code. What she had of a code, anyway. Options, options, what do I do? Leaving was a very attractive possibility. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw some of her competitors encroaching. Attractive, but no longer a possibility. If she wasn't robbing this target, no one else was going to either.

She straightened. "Chill. I won't hurt you." Cimri reallllly hoped she'd translated the girl correctly. "But the others... I can't vouch for them." Slowly offering a hand to the other girl, she held it still and waited to see if the girl would at least try and take it.

"Let me get you out of here. I'm not sure why you're in Shantytown, but you don't belong here." Cim wanted to get the hell out of this neighborhood herself. If the girl didn't come with voluntarily, her ass was getting left behind. "Be smart or be a victim, lady, 'cause as soon as I'm gone, someone else'll move in on you."

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:52 am

Caiomhe couldn't see the hand offered, and she didn't really understand much of what the other girl was saying beyond 'get out of here.' And that sounded like a good idea. She shifted forwards a bit, not quite as scared as she had been. She reached out a hand of her own, moving it through the air until she found her no-longer attacker's arm.

"'Elp? Ye 'elp me?" Cai wrapped her fingers around the forearm of the other girl tightly. What she was doing in Shantytown, she had no idea either. She wanted to leave, and this girl had eyes. Caiomhe was willing to ignore the fact that she'd almost been the intended victim of a robbery if she could just get out of this dangerous place. "Tak'n mesel' oot o' ere."

If that didn't get the point across that she was blind without actually admitting it, she didn't know what would. Cai hated saying that she was blind. It made her feel even more helpless than normal, and she already felt helpless enough.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:55 pm

A part of Cimri's brain found it interesting that instead of looking at her hand and grabbing it, the other girl waved her own around until she smacked into Cim's arm. The more detached and intelligent part of her brain was too busy watching shadows creeping closer. Especially the small one. That better not be him. She swore at herself mentally.

There was a particularly vicious younger boy around here somewhere, known not for his talent in picking pockets but for his love of attacking women. From what she understood, he had a "deal" going with some of the other thieves. He'd knock the girls out, and they got all the goods in exchange for helping him carry them off. A sick and sadistic son of a bitch, she'd chew off her own foot before she'd turn her back on him. Unfortunately, she wasn't quite sure what he looked like, so she kept her back pressed to the wall as the girl tightened her fingers around Cimri's forearm. That same curious part of her brain that had been studying the girl earlier noticed now that she was tracking none of the shadows following them. Finally, some of the pieces clicked. The girl is... blind? What the fuck is she doing in Shantytown blind? This changed the stakes. She secured her own grip on the girl's forearm, locking them together better, and looked for an open path.

None presented itself, leaving her only one relatively safe alley to go down, with only one obstacle blocking her way. Her other hand fell to the handle of her knife. This was going to get ugly if they thought one guy was enough to stop a shifter. "We'll get out of here, all right," she murmured to the other girl, a somewhat dark grin baring her teeth.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:53 am

Caiomhe was calming down. She was reassured that her attacker (she needed to get a name, she couldn't keep calling this girl her attacker, as she most certainly wasn't being attacked anymore) was going to help her, and it did quite a bit for her peace of mind. Also, having someone with eyes to cling to was good.

With that in mind, she fumbled around in her herb pouch. Now that she wasn't paralyzed in fear, it made thinking quite a bit quicker. She could feel eyes on her back, unfriendly ones, and she got the idea that her helper knew they were being watched as well. Cai wasn't totally defenseless, and she pulled out a different dried plant than the one she'd dropped.

This one was a little nastier, a little more powerful, also carried on the air. Now she would be hesitant to use it because of her guide, but it produced the same effects. A thought occured to her and she crumpled the brittle leaves swiftly, tossed them behind her to where she thought the watchers might be, then tugged at her guide's arm. "Les'a gae, noow. Ye donnae wanna be'a cloos'n breathin' the air." It was her way of saying she didn't know how strong the girl's immune system was, and making her see unicorns and sparkly stars then the equivalent of a sledgehammer whacked over her skull was no way to ensure a good relationship.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:45 pm

The shifter had no idea what the heck the blind girl had just thrown towards the shadowy figures encroaching, but out of necessity, she decided to trust it. With a low snarl, Cimri rushed towards the lone figure blocking their escape, tugging the other girl's hand once and pleasantly surprised that she needed no further encouragement to keep up.

The hulking man leered at her, revealing unexpectly neat, white teeth - startlingly white against the sickly brownish-green grime all over his skin and clothes. Of course, Cim was probably just as dirty wherever she'd touched one of the filthy stone walls on this street. A hoarse chuckle rumbled from the human mountain as his eyes lit on her sword sheath. The hand she was using to drag her new "friend" with her was her knife hand, and to all appearances, she was shit outta luck.

"Bad luck, Sin, m'girl," he pretended to sympathize, using her street name. "Nothin' personal, y'know. Danimov is payin' real purty for a piece o' your golden hide, though." Well, that explains a lot, Cimri thought darkly. Boulder was a low-level thug known not for vile crimes or evil nature but his willingness to lend muscle to any venture in exchange for enough cash. Until now, he'd have let her pass in this sort of situation.

"Danny-boy can kiss my ass!" There was no way she was ending up victim to the scrawny bastard she'd left further back in the alley. She jerked hard on the other girl's arm, a sharp movement that drew Boulder's eye. Another laugh thundered out of him at her failed attempt to free her knife-hand, and he never even saw the claws burst from her other fingers as her free hand dove straight for his stomach.

His laugh cut off abruptly as he looked down at his own innards being coated in the street's green-brown muck. "It was just business, Sin," the big man said lowly.

"I know. If you weren't so damn tall, I'd have taken your throat and made it faster," Cimri replied. The slick feeling of fresh, hot blood went almost up to her elbow, stirring simultaneous feelings of hunger and revulsion.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:50 am

Caiomhe just followed where this 'Sin' girl pulled her. She didn't know what the word meant, if it even was a word. She though she'd heard it before, and she remembered that it wasn't anything good, but she had to put her life in someone's hands. Or paws. She could smell fur and the tangy, musty scent of claws, though she didn't know what that meant.

And then the metallic smell of blood was in the air, and she could taste it in her mouth too. Though that was probably from biting on her lip while being yanked around like a puppet. Caiomhe remembered puppet shows she'd seen when she was little, and she felt a little bit like one of the marionettes. Not that she was whining, if it meant getting out of the street alive.

Blood flecked against her arm, hot and steaming. Cai knew the feel of blood on flesh, and she wasn't exactly sure what had just happened. She heard the conversation and deducted that she was being dragged along by a wanted criminal, not that that was any surprise. She had been almost robbed by the girl. Cai just stayed silent and thought her favorite prayer (well, second to the 'oh whatever god there is please accept this gift of another's sight and give me my own back'), which went something like 'whatever god is listening don't let me die.'

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:54 am

Cimri had never had to kill before. Not a person. She'd crossed a lot of moral lines before, sometimes even gleefully, but she'd never taken another life outside of a hunt. Fighting the nausea of hungering for a human's blood, she wiped her arm off on the fallen man's clothes. She felt no remorse for taking his life, but part of her wished she could have just slashed his throat and given him a clean death. His agony was apparent, but she was out of time, so he was on his own.

"I don't have a clue who you are, girl, but I hope you can run fast." Cim rose from the dying thug's side and flowed into a smooth, ground-eating lope, holding her new friend's arm like the girl was trying to get away. Blood had been spilt, and Danimov would either take the hint or take it personally. Either way, Cimri had no intention of sticking around to find out.

She wove in and out between buildings, using the narrow, shadowy alleys and their nearly-hidden offshoots to throw anyone persuing them. Danimov, unlike Boulder, wasn't going to forget she was a shifter. Why would he? I may not have seen his face, but I recognize the scent of another feline in the air.

More turns, some doubling back, another dark gap between broken-down buildings. "Where's the fucking end of this town?" Too late she bit back her words. Scaring the other girl worse wasn't going to fix anything. Nor was admitting Cim was lost.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Caiomhe Feryn » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:10 am

Caiomhe was surprisingly at ease as they dashed madly through the streets she couldn't see. There was something reassuring about being led around, as much as it grated on her pride. She felt strangely secure even though she was being towed along at a fast pace.

She didn't comment as they ran along, and she tried her best to remember the way and the corners. Left, left again, right, left, straight ahead for a bit, right again... left. Caiomhe eventually lost track, then she heard the muttered "Where's the fucking end of this town?"

And she was still calm. She simply said in return, "Well, et's a'gotta end sumwhere. Sae, ere we a'gunna keep runnin' 'round en circleys, ere what?"

She hoped she didn't get ditched for her pertness. But, then again, this girl was around Cai's own age, judging by the sound of her voice, and if she took the sarcasm to heart she was likely more tense than Cai wanted to deal with. Although, the blind girl mused, if a sighted person couldn't find their way out... she sighed, and waited to be pulled in the next direction.

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Re: The Enemy of My Enemy is... A Criminal?

Post by Cimri Mayensis » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:46 am

"Duh, it has to end somewhere. But where? There's about a billion backstreets in this hellhole, and a lot of them double back on each other." The other girl seemed oddly calm, but Cimri couldn't shake the feeling that she hadn't shaken their new friends.

She finally found what she'd been looking for - a rough wall on a fairly low building. Slowing down, she pulled the girl with her and pressed her own fingers into the grooves. It was a little crumbly, but sturdy enough for people their size.

"Look, I don't know what your deal is, but can you climb? Because I don't like that we haven't heard anything, and I want to get us up off the streets before Danny-boy decides to show his ugly mug." Not waiting for an answer, Cim placed the girl's fingers in the same gap she had already tested.

"Sorry it's a little muckity. Shantytown's not big on cleanliness, but Danny-boy's worse than any infection you might get. Now climb." She tried nudging the other girl up the wall, scooping her hands under the girl's foot to push her upwards.

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