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  • Walking Past Noon (CLOSED)

    Posted by Lynch on 11-23-2002 05:16 AM:
    Walking Past Noon (CLOSED)

    Not for the first time, not for the last time he stood on the cliff before the great city staring down into a reflection of what had once been so long ago. During an brief time of his life he had lived in the city and had practiced his skills, not those of the dark side but of the body and mind. This city where the powerful merchants did rule while numerous less than legal and ill reputated men and women did bussiness a power structure had emerge in the form of clans and syndicates.

    While the numerous clans had made war with each other in the boundries of the city to gain an greater position of power the local cities authorities had turned an blind eye as long as the criminal sects managed to keep their warefare conducted in secret and with nothing to bother the main happenings of city life. To cause any great harm as such would only do well to damage the ability to collect money from their many operations within the great city so the clans and syndicates performed their bouts of aggression when the times came in the most utter secrecy.

    Here where paranoid rumors and whispers often detailed the goings on of the various groups thieves and assassins populated many streets to keep well trained eyes on anything remotely suspicious to inform their employers of anything note worthy to gain favor and thus rank. Rank that came with wealth, luxuary and respect from those around them. This single ambition was the desire of many who would do anything to accomplish such an task that gave them all they wanted.

    A simple chain of life that linked to form the existence of so many. A life he had been placed into despite his own wishings so long ago. A life that had so long pass and yet here he was before the image of all that he had once left behind and had been glad to have done so. A place where he doubted many would know who he was for he had been through so many changes, those he would have known were almost certain to be dead. Too many of them had been ambitious and always in the middle of dubious dealings.

    Walking down the road that lead to the grand gates of Khumd the man did not once let his focus train on the poor and sick that littered the roads, so many of them stretched out boney hands and begged in weakened voices for anything he could spare. Most of them were barely shells of the human race rotting in their own filth and waste as they struggled to move either from pain or the harsh glare of the sun.

    Past the beggers he strode into the city and gazed about at the structures that ran up the streets lined with vendors trying to sell their wares calling out prices and bartering with those who wished to buy. The number of people in the streets made it impossible for vehicles to move to and fro, not even animals were permitted on these streets as they blocked the way for many and made the stench of the streets only worse with their excrement.

    He would need to keep watch and pay attention to those walking beside him he knew, too many thieves walked these streets taking care to snatch the purses from many oblivious pass bys, the rich and careless were often favorite targets due to the payoff. An amount that would not fully be theirs if they were paying tribute to one of the local syndicates to gain membership.

    Pulling his hood down further over his eyes he began to walk into the crowds as he began to wander the street aimlessly having no true direction to go too other than his own discretion. Past alleys, beggers and vendors his path crossed until at last he came to a bridge that spanned a river that ran down into the ocean where many merchant ships sailed.

    Before he could even step foot on the bridge he saw what lurked in the shadow and understood what was about to happen. Out from under the far side of the bridge a youth of possibly 17 ran out and placed both hands to the side of his waist in an attempt to make an powerful impression. One that failed despite the youths stare when he began to speak and half stuttered over his first few choosen words.

    "Good day noble sir, I see you have decided to pass over my bridge this fine afternoon. I thank you. But to maintain this bridge there are cost involved and I must take a toll to keep up the repairs so folk such as yourself can travel and be on your way."

    Not unexpected. Such claims were common during robberies be it on roads or isolated stretches of forest. The claims of being there to better the common traveller often fell apart when denied compensation and the "protector's" weapons were thus drawn in order to strike fear to gain that which they sought. If intimidation failed force always yielded results.

    "Please noble man, if you can kindly give me that which is rightly mine you can be on your way." A claim that carried the unveiling of a knife strapped to the mans belt as he moved back one part of his ragged cloak. Not for the first time Lynch cursed himself for coming to this place dressed as well as he had but after a life of the finest some habits were not easily to toss away. This no doubt street thief had thought him a target based on his clothing that not fancy carried with it the hint of someone who carried more then a few coins.

    Reaching into a pocket Lynch pulled out several pieces of the local currency that caused the theif to look in greed and need. "If you wish to recieve payment than do come and get it bridge keeper" Keeping his speech polite and his expression one of sincerity the robber would no doubt still approach carefully. One did not live by rushing in the streets unless it was to flee.

    Placing a hand on his knife as he made his way towards the money the thief kept a wary eye trained to be ready for any sudden moves. Pulling free his knife slightly to strike in case the stranger tried anything he reached out to take his coins. More money for him to collect and use in his quest to gain membership to the Patha clan. Quicker than he knew the hand that clasped the coins reached out grabbing him by the wrist hauling up his arm pulling free his knife from its sheath as the thief continued to hold it. Twisting the youth around before this novice thief could gather his wits Lynch gripped him about one shoulder and yanked his knife arm behind straight into the thiefs own back.

    Pushing him forward the thief fell to one side of the bridge into the river with his own blade firmly planted in his spinal cord.

    Tossing one coin in the air Lynch grabbed it and slipped it back into his pocket, turning away from the bridge he decided not to go this way, it was getting late and he needed to arrange a room to stay at during his stay before proceeding to to other matters.






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    Posted by Lynch on 11-26-2002 09:42 AM:

    The Blood Order.

    A fitting name for a building that was part tavern and held rooms for rent that gave an occupant either sleep, drug or women depending on ones wishes. One could not overlook the numerous wine and potent alcoholic beverages one could partake in as well but that was largely an issue to be decided over during a carefree time at the bar or table with many friends telling stories or trading rumors and making up more than one story of beautiful women that could drive a man wild.

    Such was life for this place who’s biggest excitement save for that of the occasional bar fight that often ended with Hugor the Huge, the establishments star bouncer tossing men twelve feet across the street from the tavern’s door was the always intriguing if not often mislead rumors full of fancy, boast and booze laced gossip concerning the many clans and syndicates. Their daily goings on, who was up to what, spying on who and who still lead what where.

    Much of the information was of a dubious nature told by many dubious men although that never stopped the number of tales spun, weaved and told during a day and night here any more than that of the many other taverns and bars that dotted the city, some who’s surroundings were much more of a questionable status than that of The Blood Order.

    It fit his needs, here among the common man and low borns that flowed and went about their daily drinking binges or other illegal acts he could remain inconspicuous unless one knew of his nature and that was surely something none in this place did.

    To know his life and his state of existence was to know an secret that lay buried in the past further than many could ever imagine or dare to believe. His purpose was one of greater and terrifying purpose than what most so called dictators could ever conjure during their life times. Knowing all this there was but one thing that Lynch did at the very moment he gave it a single thought.

    He shrugged, looked at those around him and knew they were meaningless anyways.

    “Zaknafein?”

    A man past his mid thirties clothed in traditional garb stared at him with skeptical eyes daring to believe it was him. “Wallace you can stop the wide eyed doe act and pull up a seat, the waitress if you care not to fondle her for once while you drink will be along and you can order your Menge special…..or what may pass for your drink of choice now.”

    Sliding into a seat opposite him knowing the tone of the voice and the way it was spoken to be a match to that of his old friend Wallace relaxed, if only slightly still on guard in case some mischief was in play. The words chosen was a match for how Zaknafein had spoken so long ago but his appearance was nothing of that of Zaknafein himself. A remarkable job on reconstruction of his entire face was done if such an operation had taken place.

    Holding out his hand Wallace looked to him and waited, he did not have to wait long for a Emerald broach was dropped in his hand. A symbol from times past of an item many of their sect had worn. A carved Z was on the back of this one and upon seeing it Wallace the assassin of Boldens Guild visibly relaxed. “Well met old friend.”

    Rising a cup in salute of his old ally it was time for them to discuss things of past and preseant.


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    Posted by Lynch on 12-08-2002 06:27 PM:

    In the shadows it moved weaving in and out of the darkness making its path with blood red eyes falling over all it surveyed. Across the tops of houses it leapt moving from path to chosen path to keep all but unobserved from the common eye. Its body massive made no sound as it crept vanishing from any trace of night light from the double moons.

    Across an alley it jumped causing those huddled down below who sought warmth against the trash and discarded debris to shiver and stare at each other as if a shadow of death had fallen on them. If they had knew the truth it would have chilled them to the bone more than any cold had in their lives.

    In The Blood Order two old comrades sat and talked of times past that had faded along with old allies who had passed from this world into the next. So much could occur over such a limited time, in the span of a few short decades much could change in so many ways while having an outward appearance of little ever having come to past.

    The minutes passed into hours as the two discussed what had been, what was and what might yet be. Then they talked about the nameless horror that had been stalking several of the clans in the last four months. One minor house had been wiped out completely leaving none to tell the tale of what had happened. The only evidence of foul prey was a telling one enough, inside the building where the men and women had been butchered everything had been burnt to cinders, all things of worth taken, none had suspected until the morning after for the building outside maintained the image of normalcy.

    Through it all he sat and listened of those who had been slain, some of the names he knew from long ago, capable men who were not fools to battle and the ways of the world. They were bound to die in their profession one-day by a highly skilled opponent or a lucky punk who happened to be in the right spot at the right time.

    All of them dying so fast and brutally within a short time was entirely another matter.

    The two parted ways clasping arms in an age-old salute to being comrades in arms, in tribute to their resourcefulness in having survived. There was much to do and investigate having been told the smallest of details to find out what had happened which he had to admit to himself would be difficult, he would not deal with the clans or spies himself instead he would only talk to Wallace who would bring him any new information should it be discovered.

    Walking into the alley opposite The Blood Order he quickly yanked his head back to avoid a dagger impaling itself against the wall across from him and immediately jumped to the side in a roll to avoid any additional projectiles. The angle of the weapon having been through at him had originated from across the street, using the force to leap up onto one roof top he brought up his cloak waving as several more daggers flew at him slashing and shredding portions of the garment.

    Retrieving three small balls from a pouch he threw them forth across the street. Colliding on stone they instantly released an paralyzing cloud meant to stop the hidden assailant although he doubted its effectiveness, this one he judged to be capable enough to keep on the move while taking down his query.

    There was one thing his foe could not know, that he could see perfectly well into the dark leaving no place for the man to hide in the cover of darkness unseen. Scanning the rooftops he saw the man crouched low aiming a small cross bow at him, the dart itself would be full of a poison to incapacitate him if not kill upon impact. Holding out his hand the crossbow itself flew out of the assassin’s hands to the ground.

    Slightly bewildered at how the weapon had left his hands the assassins focus quickly turned back to that of his prey in time to see him leaping across the roof at him, the mans cloak waving behind him. Breaking into a run the man ran across the roof as Lynch followed.

    Turning a curve Lynch held a blade in his hand ready to block an attack should there be an ambush instead he saw the man climbing up a ladder to a stone bridge that lead into a tower. The man was quick but no matter how quick was he in climbing Lynch would be faster with the aide of flying.

    From his back came a pair of wings that unwrapped and expanded and into the night he soared landing onto the bridge before the startled assassin. With a snap of his wrist he brought up his sword to block the assassin’s blade striking him across the face with an open hand. A trickle of blood seeped forward from the man’s lips that curled into a grin apparently pleased that this was not just a common hit. This would be a challenge.

    They stared at each other for some time, looks of respect more than hate for each other for there was nothing to hate the other for, each knew this was but a way of life on the streets. A way of life that could only have one victor.

    They exploded as one charging for the center of the bridge to gain the advantage of ground to backtrack should they need it. Slashing his blade out at the assassin Lynch aimed directly for the man missing when the assassin ducked and rolled under the blade to come up with a slash that caught his cloak slicing through the fabric. Turning Lynch brought his weapon back to clash against the assassin’s blade.

    He snapped into motion with a quickstep thrust of his blade even as the assassin perfectly adjusted his blade to push out his prey’s blade meaning to run him through. Instead he found a punch to his face that snapped his head back, clenching his teeth the assassin dropped pushing out his blade to tear into Lynch’s stomach, instead he found the slap of a wing hitting against him knocking him back.

    Landing hard on the bridge the assassin dropped his blade down below him off the bridge. Advancing on his downed opponent the Sith knew he had the advantage, scrambling to his feet the assassin crossed his arms over as holes in the glove of his finger tips opened. Out came a shiny small mesh that weaved and flowed in the air around him, with both hands he cast his hands causing more of the stuff to flow free from his gloves like flowing string.

    With an outward thrust of his hands he sent the wire like mesh out at the man, Lynch through up in his wing to protect him as the wire mesh wrapped itself around his wing like a lasso. Grinning he would give a tuck sending the man into the void below where he would interrogate the man after should the fall not have broken all his bones. The red hot pain that flowed through his back told him the folly of such an counter attack.

    The wire mesh easily sliced through the wing tearing it into shreds as the assassin yanked back his arms and the Sith pulled his wing forward. Staggering in pain clutching his shoulder as the pain flowed down his shoulder blade he looked up to see the assassin running at him bringing a boot forward to smash into his jaw. Stumbling back he felt the pain of a small arrow slamming into his stomach knowing instantly the assassin had a second hidden arm cross bow. The pain in his stomach flowed through him, pain that faded as a boot slammed up against his head knocking him from the bridge to the void below.

    Tumbling in the air he sought to use his wings to catch the air currents to ease his fall but the assassins wire mesh followed flowing through the air to latch on and tear easily through the remainder of his wing and that of his untouched wing slicing it severely. Falling he slammed against a building and tumbled to the alley below in a heap.

    Through one swollen eye his vision blurred the world appeared to rock back and forth. His jaw he felt was dislocated, his ribs ached, several were likely broken, as was his wrist he could feel when he saw the form of a shadow walking towards him. Almost passing out from the pain greater detail came to him and he saw the assassin with a grin walking towards him taking out a knife.

    Kneeling down letting the man see the knife wave back and forth in Lynchs one good eye the assassin reached out to clasp the blood caked face of his victim and lead the blade in. A second later he stood up with the mans eye as darkness washed over Lynch from the pain.


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    Posted by Lynch on 12-14-2002 01:46 PM:

    Wave after wave of agony poured at his body as it sought to right itself, the wounds infected slowly repairing themselves due to his unique physiology, a process that was slowed due to the middling of others who had chained him to a wall for three days as they kept him laced up in a straight jacket. They watched him with a mixture of awe and loathing, they knew he held some sort of allegiance to one of the other underworld organizations that operated within the city.

    They had learned through their spies his name, that of Zaknafein and thus carefully sought to find out all they could of him. Their records of the name showed one had used that name long ago before vanishing without a trace. Little existed in evidence of a clear facial shot of him in their computer databanks so they relied on other means to confirm who he was.

    A creaking of his prison cell soon brought light to the dark room causing his one remaining eye to wince slightly over the blood that had dried and crusted on his face. He lived only because his body kept him alive otherwise he would have been dead. In walked a woman, her hips swaying as she moved, a snake tattoo adorned her face down to her leg, with a smirk she kicked him slightly noting he could offer no resistance.

    In fact he did not look much alive at all although she had been assured as such much to the continual shock and amazement of her fellow clan. The chains and straightjacket would keep him in line, not that in his condition it mattered much she purred to herself.

    Bending over she took his chin in her hand and brought up his bloodied face to gaze at it. Slowly his eye barely opened to stare back, she quickly hid her surprise knowing they were still discussing what to do with him. It was pointless to try and use him as a bargaining chip to recover anything of value they might have lost, he had been gone for too many years and was not sponsored by any current guild operating if he did prove to be who he was said to be. Any current involvement he would have would be denied making him all but useless as a prisoner unless torture yielded some results.

    Much to their dismay it had not, nor had the truth serums they had pumped into his body in vast doses worked. They thought by the time he would die it would be too late and so they had taken no gentle methods to obtain anything of worth he could tell them. He had given them nothing even as they gave him lashes to cut through his skin.

    Having lost his patience with the prisoner Gaokurd had decreed for the man to be killed and disposed of. As whispers of the mans fate made its round through the guild along with his alleged identity Camilla had requested to verify his identity, once so long ago when she was but a child she had seen the original Zaknafeins face as he killed her father and silenced her mothers screams. She held no grudge against him for his deed; her father had beat her often and worse when her mother was not around. Her parent’s death freed her from the harshness of family life.

    Studying his face her expression turned to one of anger slapping him once. Leaving him behind she turned her face to talk with the guard as the door shut sealing him in with darkness again.

    They came for him that night. Unlocking his chains and pulling him along through the halls they dragged him as they mocked his fate hitting him any time should they felt as doing so until they entered one of the lower chambers where a great metal circle hatch had been created on the floor. Pulling down on a steel wheel chains were yanked opening the thing as foul smelling air that carried the scent of rotting carcasses below flowed upward. With a great heave they his cast his body down into hole below to rot for all eternity.

    Against bones and rats his body crashed on the ground to roll down on the discarded remains of prisoners that had met a solitary fate, his lower body coming to rest in a pile of water that had seeped in through cracks over the years, his body lay there unmoving. Nothing moved save for the rats that looked at their latest dinner to be delivered to them.
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