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Author Topic: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]  (Read 292 times)

August 24, 2021, 10:44:48 PM
Read 292 times

petroglyph

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Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« on: August 24, 2021, 10:44:48 PM »
A bead of sweat dripped down the back of her neck, as she shifted uncomfortably in the chair. The fans weren’t moving nearly quick enough in the bar to offer any relief from the beating hot sun outside. At least the light was low enough in here that it didn’t make her feel the need to recoil. She much preferred the dark evenings to the brightness of the day. The sun didn’t feel nice on her pale skin. She’d only made the mistake of not covering up once, and her skin was red and burned for days afterward. Octavia adjusted the hood she’d pulled up over her head to simultaneously allow her to watch the door covertly and keep the light away from her eyes. The Moon Weaver had blessed her with many gifts, but suffering the sunlight was not one of them. Besides, it covered her ears in the sea of humans she was surrounded by.

They always seemed astonished to see a pallid elf in their midst, but she was used to it by now. Still, she tried to stay out of sight most of the time.

Octavia looked at the clock on the wall, it had stopped working at two-fifteen at some point, who knew when. She knew it was at least four o’clock.

They had a job to do, or well…she did…she was hoping that her counterpart would show up soon. Of course, Fitz could be a little flighty sometimes...but he had yet to let her down.

Hopefully there would be no mummies involved with this job.

She rubbed her chest, still trying to get over the last time. It took them a day or two to find someone who could remove the curse, and it’d taken her a bit of time to recover. It was the closest she’d come to not finishing a mission in a long time, perhaps in forever. The others had gone off and enjoyed their treasure, deciding to take some time off, and Octavia couldn’t blame them. After this, she told herself, she’d take a nice vacation. Somewhere that hd a cooler climate and lovely views of the night sky. Maybe somewhere she could see the Aurora.

Now, however, she was ready to get back to it. She’d been going crazy with all the rest and now…now she was ready to go. There was a tidy sum of money in it for her that she was…willing…to share with Fitz. Ok, she was willing to share mostly because she needed the backup. The truth was that she could have asked Adeline, or Malcolm to come with her but Fitz had been, admittedly, her first choice, and if she was being extra honest? Her only choice.

August 27, 2021, 04:21:56 PM
Reply #1

artifact

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Re: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2021, 04:21:56 PM »
It was too goddamn hot here.

Not that Fitz would really expect anything else. He hadn’t moved on after the last job. The last job in a forgotten city, where there was a forgotten pyramid with a forgotten tomb of a forgotten queen. It had vanished once they had left… and Fitz wasn’t going to forget what they had left behind. Oh no, he’d be back next year. And this time with reinforcements. The group -- Octavia, Adeline, Malcolm -- had been essential to getting what treasures they had been able to scrape out of the inside of that tomb. But they were going to need far more back up to pillage the true jewel in there. That huge sarcophagus had gone unviewed. They had been far too jumpy and far too injured to try and tackle whatever lay in wait beneath the large granite slab. No, the huge crates of money, jewels, and jars filled with mummy remains had all collected quite a bit of cash for all of them and that was enough for now.

But next year… next year he would be going in with far more firepower.

For now, though, Fitzpatrick Daybreak (although the Gods forbid anyone who called him Fitzpatrick) was on his way to meet Octavia. She had a job and the willingness to share some of the spoils with him. If he were going to be honest, Fitz enjoyed working with the elf the most out of their little crew of four. Malcolm was alright although he could come off as a pompous ass sometimes. Even Adeline was fantastic and they bonded over their love of long range weapons, even if he couldn’t quite understand why she stuck with bow and arrows as her main offensive weapon when there were guns that could be used. Octavia was certainly someone he found himself gravitating to, like she was a star with her own orbit that he just kept getting caught in. He couldn’t help it and rarely fought it. They got along well and knew how to keep each other safe. Or as safe as one could. Fitz tried to forget about how he had nearly lost her after their last heist.

Instead, he made his way into the bar, following the directions Octavia had given him for their rendezvous. His eyes scanned the darkened room as he brushed the hair out of his eyes. His usual pistols were holstered but absolutely loaded. This was not a place to make friends. Luckily, he had a friend already situated within the bar and immediately moved through the field of chairs and tables to drop down next to her in a chair of his own.


“You know… you are more conspicuous with that hood than without, ‘Tav.” Fitz greeted her with a wide smile, self confidence flowing through every muscle as he elicited his own nickname of her butchered full first name.

August 28, 2021, 04:28:51 PM
Reply #2

petroglyph

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Re: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 04:28:51 PM »
She signaled for the bartender to bring her another drink, hopefully with less melted ice this time. Hopefully that would cool her just a little bit at the very least. Even the nights were hot here though the amount of stars in the sky out in the desert was brilliant.

The door swung open, and Octavia squinted her eyes, instinctively leaning away from the sun that burst through the door, but the corner of her mouth twitched up into a smile as the man dropped down into the chair next to her.

She pushed her hood back, revealing a full head of pale white-blonde hair, quite out of character for the desert dwellers that they’d found themselves among recently. “Is that better?” She turned to him, raising an eyebrow with her blue eyes filled with amusement even at the terrible nickname that he’d given her. Fitz got a pass though, he always got a pass, even when she wasn’t so inclined to give one to anyone else, and she didn’t exactly know why.

Octavia felt the bartender’s eyes lingering on her elongated, pointed ears as he set down her fresh drink.

“You know the sunlight and I are not friends, Fitz…” Her eyes flicked around the room as she brought a hand up to the point of one of her ears. “And the humans around here don’t seem to be used to Pallid elves such as myself. They stare a little too much for my taste.”

She shrugged her shoulders. To be fair, elves often stood out wherever they went, Pallid elves? Even moreso. The Moonweaver’s followers kept themselves hidden away, choosing not to venture out into society. Even at her age, she was still young for an elf, and for a human? Well, close in age to Fitz, but she knew she had about two hundred and sixty years on him…give or take.

Either way she nudged him affectionately with her shoulder, signaling for the bartender to bring him a drink too. “I wasn’t sure you’d come, or if you’d decided to travel back to cooler climates.” She reached into the bag that she’d been keeping at her side and slid a piece of paper across to him.

“The job will be lucrative though, I’m quite sure that even with the payment, if we make the recovery the client will owe us a favor.” She took a swig of her drink, a cold ale, no ice, but it was surprisingly cold, and she was grateful for that. “So, you up for venturing into the desert again?” To be fair, she couldn’t blame him if he wasn’t. She wasn’t quite sure if she was ready to go back out to the desert with the heat and…the mummies they’d run across last time.

October 15, 2021, 03:31:42 PM
Reply #3

artifact

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Re: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2021, 03:31:42 PM »
“Much,” Fitz replied, his crystal green eyes scanning over her moon bright hair for a moment. He had always admired her hair when she ducked out from beneath her hoods and cloaks. It always seemed to give a soft glow, even when it didn’t actually emanate any light at all.

“Ah, screw them. I’m the only human that matters anyway,” He winked, grinning wildly at his own ego. However, he shifted in his chair, casually attempting to block any onlookers behind him and giving them both a bit more privacy. No one ever tried to start anything, typically when they saw the number of firearms Fitz was laden with. But it was better to stop conflict at the source. The last thing he wanted was for Octavia to be uncomfortable. There was a reason, however, as to why they flourished in the desolate and deserted ruins rather than in large cities.

“Nah, not when I could be gallivanting around the desert with you.”

Fitz took up the paper, flipping it open with a hand. A pale eyebrow raised at the numbers on the paper and the directions out into the desert.

“Just the two of us?”

Not that Fitz was complaining. He liked Adeline and Malcolm well enough. And those two at least had some magic on their side. Octavia could do a little bit, but Fitz was without pretty much any sort of magical talent. However, Octavia was always the one he drifted toward. They had each other’s backs on more than one occasion and there was a reason he had answered her call. He couldn’t help the widening smile on his face as he folded up the paper again and slid it back to Octavia for safe keeping.

The bartender returned with a drink for Fitz and the gunslinger reached out, raising the mug up to Octavia in a toast.


“With you? I’ll cross the desert and back again. When do we leave?”

October 25, 2021, 03:25:45 AM
Reply #4

petroglyph

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Re: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2021, 03:25:45 AM »
Octavia felt the pale blush creep across her cheeks and down the tips of her ears. Fitz had a way of making her blush that no one else could really replicate. It was…something in the way he grinned, and look at her, or maybe it was the way he just always made everything seem easy.

Of course, it helped that people didn’t normally screw with someone so heavily armed as Fitz was. Not that Octavia couldn’t hold her own, but her talents weren’t quite as outward as Fitz’s. She carried a simple quarterstaff, or at least it looked simple even if it was anything but. Her training had taught her how to use her own body as a magical weapon, and yet…her stature was small, and she knew she often looked like she was swimming in the baggy clothes she often war, hiding her small form. It caused many people to underestimate her.

But never Fitz.

She appreciated the chair shift to block her a little more from the rest of the bar. “My favorite human, obviously.” She grinned, knowing it would only inflate his ego even more, but she took a sip of her drink, letting him stew on that for a moment. “Or…I should say, the only one I trust to have my back anyway.”

Especially since he’d rather be traipsing around the desert with her than going to less scorching climates.

“Well…just the two of us unless you’d like to split that more than two ways.” She ran a hair through her pale blonde hair and looked at the paper in his hands. “Easier with two people, I think, to be honest. A quick in and out, less of a chance to set off traps.” She gave a little shrug of her shoulders and took a few moments to swallow some of the cold beer in front of her.

Not that she didn’t like their other companions. Adeline and Malcolm were great, except for the fact that Malcolm had all of those clanky fucking lanterns attached to his pack and…he wasn’t very stealthy in the dark…but that was something they worked around.

“I mean, I hear there’s an oasis in it for us, I certainly wouldn’t mind a stop over there.” A slight shrug of her shoulders at the question on when they left though. “Well, I’d suggest leaving tonight, but I figure that tomorrow morning would be the easiest. Besides that, I’d already splurged on a really nice room for the night when I got the offer. Figured I deserve it after getting that damn mummy curse removed. So...No reason to let that go to waste.”

Plenty of room for two…that was the part she let hang off of the end of her sentence. Unsure if she should extend the offer for him to join - the room was large enough for two people easily, and came with a fantastic dinner…but…well…She gave him a glance out of the corner of her eye as she took another drink of her beer. Always best to drink it before it had time to warm up in the heat of the afternoon.

June 20, 2022, 11:41:31 AM
Reply #5

artifact

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Re: Time pays us but with earth & dust [Private]
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2022, 11:41:31 AM »
It wasn’t always easy to find an adventuring party – or a single partner for that matter – that you could trust to always have your back. Most adventurers and treasure seekers were worthwhile when the prospects were good. Everyone wanted to get paid and everyone wanted to stay alive to enjoy the cash after. And no one was going to get paid if a key member of your group died. But when the chips were down, the tomb crumbled around you and an ancient mummy was hot on your heels… well not everyone was loyal enough to help someone up when they stumbled. Instead, they’d take the honor that was amongst thieves and throw it down on the ground with their compatriot, instead allying with the old adage “You don’t have to outrun the thing chasing you… just the slowest guy in your group”.

But Octavia was different. So were Adeline and Malcom, of course… but there was always a feeling with Tav. She could teleport between shadows, flitting through the darkness silent as a bat. Yet Fitz knew that she’d be there to catch him if he ever fell. And without hesitation, he’d say the same for her. He knew that if they were surrounded, without a single moment of doubt, she’d be back to back with him ready to cover what came to try and overtake them. The crazy thing about it was that there had never been a time when he hadn’t thought that. Fitz wasn’t sure when he had begun to trust Octavia, but it felt like he had always been able to and he couldn’t remember when that had kicked in. The only thing he did know was that there had never been any doubt. Call it thieve’s intuition or something else, but he had learned to rely on it.


“I get you all to myself and an oasis?” Playfulness flashed across Fitz’s face as he took a gulp of his fresh drink. It quenched the thirst he nearly hadn’t realized was caught in his throat, washing down the sand and dust there. “Makes me nearly not want to take the gold too. Nearly.”

He wasn’t surprised that she’d want to leave tonight. Octavia always felt better moving at night. And while it was smarter in the desert to do so, both for stealth and a bit of reprieve from the scorching sun, he found it difficult without being able to see. Torches and lanterns gave away their position anyway. Better to get up just before sunrise and keep moving until the heat of the day kicked in, then find shelter and sleep through it.

Not to mention there was a prospect of a comfy bed if Octavia’s look was any indication. They didn’t have that kind of relationship, although Fitz would be a liar if he said he never thought about her that way. When you traveled together, there was little privacy while camping out in the wilderness. And Fitz certainly wasn’t shy.

The corner of his lips twisted into a crooked smirk. Holding the mug to his lips, he paused before sipping.


“Surely something like that would be far more enjoyable with company…”