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Explorers of Ariqua. Rated R


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#141 Balthamos

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:50 PM

As the silent execution and subsequent boarding proceeded more smoothly than any fairy tale he had not yet had a need to dirty any of his weapons. He allowed the younger frontrunners of the boarding party to quickly dispatch the pirates assembled in the common room. Any more people in that confined space could have turned it in to a blood bath.

As the action subsided and the suspect was interrogated he quickly assessed the situation. He moved back up to the deck and quickly climbed the rigging in to the crow's nest. He swapped his hat for the discarded rag of the fallen lookout and assumed a relatively inattentive pose with his rifle concealed but ready to aim and fire should anybody come to reclaim the ship.

#142 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:59 PM

From his vantage point in the rigging, Damien silently signaled to Rylan as the other man exited the lower decks and climbed to the crow's nest. The humidity was high but a slight breeze kept Damien somewhat cool. Turning back to scanning the beach and the jungle nearby, Damien spotted the raiding party of five emerging from the trees. He couldn't signal Rylan as he was unsure if he'd been spotted and didn't want to give Rylan's position away. With the sounds of fighting having ceased below, there was no sign of the others yet. Raking a hand through his hair to get it off his damp face, Damien swung and dropped to the deck disappearing behind the railing of the ship.

He found a spot to shed his clothes and weapons--soon he would have other weapons--and transformed into his full weretiger form. The slavers would expect to be fighting a man, not a huge beast with sharp claws and teeth that outweighed any of them. Damien peered through a section of the railing that was meant for a gun and watched through bright green, angry eyes as a low rumble coursed through his broad chest.

The five slavers weren't as stealthy as they thought they were being as they crossed the small expanse of sand, but managed to reach the gangplank of the ship. One by one they crept up, continuing to look for Damien in the rigging. The weretiger continued to watch and creep forward on huge silent paws until the first three were onboard and fanning out, then he launched himself across the remaining space. He knocked into the first two slavers and slammed them against the wall of the steering deck above, one paw on each of their chests. He raked his claws down hard and opened them up in slices. Blood poured out along with their innards as they slumped, still alive and writhing in agony, to the deck. Turning sharply, Damien reared up with a growl and wrapped his paws around anothers neck to bring him down. He felt the fourth slaver stumble over him but saw him raise his gun.

Damien broke the one slaver's neck as he swung around to knock the other down. He tried to crawl away but soon Damien stood on top of both men, his mouth and whiskers bloody. One had his throat torn out, the other suffered a broken neck. The last slaver had run to hide but soon peered out. Damien saw him aiming his gun.

#143 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:12 PM

Elizabeth blinked in surprise when Letha suddenly gave an outpouring of the kind of information that she needed. Evidently the female slaver hadn't quite realised that for the most part Elizabeth had been bluffing. Or perhaps her tale was actually true and she wasn't friendly enough with the other slavers to retain much loyalty. Or her loyalty was prone to shifting to whatever situation most favoured her survival. Elizabeth wasn't sure which line of thought was correct but on the whole she generally believed what Letha was saying.

"All right, thank you." She lowered her machete. "Aveline would you mind keeping an eye on her? Make sure she isn't carrying any weapons." She knew of course that Nick would also watch to make sure no harm came to his mate. Elizabeth reloaded her revolver while she waited then looked at the others. "We'll sweep the ship and head for the cells last." She told them. If Letha was telling the truth the sweep would be quick and easy and they'd have no fear of being attacked from behind whilst dealing with the slavers guarding the cells.

#144 Balthamos

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:29 PM

Rylan stayed his hand as Damien entered a melee with the incoming slavers. He'd seen a couple of people die because someone got nervous and shot in to a brawl. He readied his pistol silently and waited for an opportune moment. As the final slaver outside of Damien's reach raised his gun a single shot was fired. The slaver dropped his gun and fell to the floor in agony, his hands between his legs and his face in a look of agony usually reserved for times when a scorned woman has undertaken one of the more painful acts of revenge. Rylan smiled from his vantage point. He wouldn't be getting up any time soon.

#145 Raeven

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:40 PM

Akassa opened her eyes, her hair had escaped its braid and hung limp and matted over her face, she reached up with her manacled hands and tried to brush it away, she winced as even the smallest movement hurt her battered and abused body, the sedatives coursing through her system made her movements slow and uncoordinated…her hands brushed against the spiked collar clamped securely around her neck, she knew from painful experience that there was no way for her to remove it, she couldn’t shift without the spikes ripping into her flesh, not that shifting was an option, starved and beaten as she was. She licked her parched lips and lowered her hands, she started panting, short sharp breaths, it helped to clear her mind….slowly she tested the chains that bound her, in the weeks she had been a captive she had had plenty of time to check each and every link, searching for some sign of weakness, but there was none. The slavers never released her, never turned their back, never made a mistake, she was kept apart from the others in a single cell, apparently she was a ‘valuable’ commodity …..her eyes glowed softly in the darkness and she smiled a feral smile, soon she would find a way to free herself, soon she would take revenge on those who had captured her, she would make them pay, but first she would make them talk, one of them had to know something about her sister Adrienne.

She shuffled forward on her knees and leant forward, pulling the chain tight, but she didn’t have the strength and the chain held fast, she wanted to shout with rage, but drawing attention to herself never ended well so she bit her lip hard enough to draw blood and kept silent.

Her eyes opened wide as she heard what she thought was a gunshot and sounds of fighting….. and then she smelt it, she breathed deeply drawing in the faint metallic tang of fresh blood…she was tempted to scream for help, but it could simply be the slavers turning on one another, she retreated to the far corner of her cramped cell and waited.

#146 EChatty

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 12:49 PM

"Yeah, sure." Aveline said. She'd reloaded her gun while Elizabeth questioned Letha and Letha answered....boy did she answer. Either she had absolutely no loyalty to these slavers at all (assuming what she said about a familial debt), or she was simply shifting loyalties to whatever guaranteed her survival. She went over to the smaller woman and checked her over for weapons and found none, just some food and water splattered all over the deck. "She's clean." She announced, then motioned her to a chair. "Sit down before you fall down." She told her. The woman was either the best actress she had ever seen, or she was really terrified of them. Aveline couldn't tell which, but she'd keep a close eye on her anyway, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Letha waited while the one called Aveline walked over to her and checked her over rather thoroughly. She couldn't help but twitch a few times, and when she was finished and told her to sit down, she hurried over to the chair and sat. She didn't know if she could trust these people any more than she could trust the pirates, but they seemed to be good people, doing what Elizabeth had said they were doing, ridding the area of the slavers at the request of the Arl.

Jhanell moved out of the room and into the corridor after Aveline had Letha sit in a chair. She was ready to help sweep the rest of the ship and to free the captives that were being held. Slavery was just as much an abomination as the Ariqun trying to turn all others to their way of thinking or to eliminate them, and she would do all she could to eliminate both threats.

Demiriz moved aside so that Aveline could search Letha after she gave them all the information she had, or was willing to part with, which was a lot, much more than was expected, he thought. But if her story was true, then she was only here because she had no choice. Now they had to search the rest of the ship to make sure that there weren't any others aside from the four that she mentioned, who were guarding their captives. He could only hope that the captives were all safe, soon they would be free.

#147 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

Elizabeth waited until Aveline had finished checking Letha over and led the other Explorers on a sweep of the slaver ship. True to the former-slaver's word there was nobody else aboard the vessel except for the holding area. Now Elizabeth, Nick and the others were cautiously easing around a corner that would lead to the holding area. She knew that the guards had heard the fight above them in the common room and were likely expecting trouble. As she took another step forward the four slavers rounded the corner having evidently decided to investigate the noise of the fight then the sudden silence.

She yelped in surprise when one swung a wooden sword at her and the blade of her hastily-raised machete sank into the wood of the sword. The slaver, a big male Hume with light brown hair, seeing that her weapon was jammed with his, promptly grabbed her and slammed her into the corridor wall. Around her she could hear the other who had accompanied her to the holding area getting into scuffles with the other three slavers. Instinctively Elizabeth pushed at the slaver telekinetically. She'd mustered enough force that he stumbled back a step.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Despite wanting to stay with Aveline, Nick had accompanied Elizabeth and the others in a sweep of the ship knowing that his mate could handle one small, unarmed Hume. Letha seemed genuinely afraid of the Explorers but it was a dangerous situation so they had to be cautious with her anyway. He too was slightly surprised when the four guards rounded the corner and practically collided with the Explorers. He instinctively struck out with his cutlass at a male Elviri slaver who blocked his attack with his own weapon-a spear with a blade on one end and a wooden kind of paddle on the other.

For the most part the guards were armed with wooden weapons and there were sedative darts clipped to their belts. Clearly they were armed to guard the slaves against escaping, not against intruders. He guessed that the watchmen and the slavers in the common room had been meant to kill any intruders long before reaching the guards and the holding cells. Nick shifted into his fighting stance and fought with his opponent, looking for an opportunity to finish him off.

Edited by Mikoto, 20 March 2013 - 01:42 PM.


#148 EChatty

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:13 PM

Aveline sat in a chair she pulled closer, but not too close, to the one Letha was sitting in. She then regarded their prisoner as the others went off to sweep the ship. "Why didn't you go to the authorities once he threatened you?" She finally asked.

"I wanted to, but he must have anticipated that." Letha said. "He took me to his ship as soon as I said I'd help and wouldn't let me leave. Now, here I am. I'm not trying to justify what I did or play on your sympathies, I know I'm going to have to face the authorities when we get back and I'll serve whatever time I must." She just hoped she wouldn't be an old woman before she was free again.

"Well, maybe they'll take your story into account once you tell it." Aveline said, sitting back. She hoped Nick would be all right once they found the guards because they would likely not go down easily. She worried for Elizabeth as well, since she wasn't much of a fighter, at least not without her abilities, but those wouldn't last long.

Demiriz was momentarily startled when the four guards rounded the corner on them and started attacking. The one attacking him was armed with what looked like large darts, and he assumed they were laced with the sedative used to capture the slaves. Demiriz didn't waste any time, he kneed the other male in the stomach, and then when he was doubling over, grab his head and twisted it until a distinct crack could be heard, and when he dropped him the man looked like his head was on backwards.

Then he looked around just in time to see the one attacking Elizabeth throw her against the wall. With a growl of rage, he grabbed him by the shoulder when he stumbled backwards and turned him around, then he smashed his other fist into his face, splintering his cheekbones and snapping his neck with the force he put behind the punch. He then hurried over to Elizabeth, concerned. "Are you all right?" He asked

Jhanell ducked when the slaver who attacked her swung a wooden sword at her. While it wouldn't cut her, it would certainly leave bruises and possibly knock her down if he hit her hard enough. She hissed angrily and jumped on him when he tried to swing at her again and proceeded to maul him until he collapsed in a heap and wasn't breathing anymore. She then stood just in time to see Demiriz drop another one, and the only one left was grappling with Nick using a weapon he was clearly unfamiliar with, but that she had seen before, only not being wielded by a pirate. "Ariqun." She hissed.

#149 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

When the shot was fired from above, Damien whirled around transforming as he did so. He crouched, naked on the deck, to see that Rylan had taken out the fifth slaver. Waving his thanks, Damien hurried to his clothes and redressed, then splashed some water on his bloody face.

"I'm heading down below, you coming?" he called out to Rylan. "Thanks for that!" He nodded toward the dead man.

Catching up to the others, after staring for a moment at the bloodbath in the common quarters, Damien passed Aveline and another woman. He nodded but kept going after seeing Aveline was alright. Finally he reached the slave quarters where others were waging small fights with the remaining pirates. Suddenly Damien sniffed hard, a familiar scent invading his sensitive nose. The scent was covered with dirt and sweat and fear but it was there nonetheless.

But that was impossible. What would she be doing here?

Damien followed his nose, ignoring those fighting around him, weaving between the others until he came to a solitary cage in the stern of the ship. He gripped the bars, staring into the dimness of the cramped cell. The figure was still. Damien sniffed again. Anger overcame him so hard and fast that he nearly transformed right there. Without thinking he ripped at the bars of the cell several times until the bolts came loose and the door came apart.

"Akassa?" he breathed. "Is that you?" Damien knelt down on one knee.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 March 2013 - 04:19 PM.


#150 Raeven

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

Akassa blinked several times, her vision was blurred and she could only make out the rough outline of someone where the cell door used to be, she pushed herself away from the back of the cell and crouched on all fours, she could hear fighting in the background, she could smell  blood and something else, she inhaled and laughed sadly. "my mind is playing tricks on me, it cannot be....it just cannot be" She inched forward, her atrophied muscles burning, the closer she got the stronger the scent became....she held out her manacled hands towards the man..."Damien?"

#151 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:31 PM

Elizabeth was reaching for the gun holstered at her hip when Demiriz once again saved her. She relaxed as she saw that between him, Nick and Jhanell had taken care of the four guards. Demiriz had reacted a shade quicker than Jhandra who had moved towards her to help her. She stepped away from the wall and flexed her muscles, barely aware that Damien had rushed past them during the fight. "I think I'll have a few bruises but I'm fine. Thank you." She stepped forward and hugged him. "I'm glad that you watch out for me." She found herself enjoying the hug more than she thought she would and a few vaguely naughty thoughts came to mind regarding how she'd like to do more than hug him when Jhanell's hiss caught her attention and she broke away and looked over. She followed her line of sight to the unusual spear-weapon lying on the ground after Nick had dispatched the wielder. "Ariqun? That's an Ariqun weapon?" She asked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tasha lay on the crude straw mattress in her cell. Like the other unfortunate prisoners that the slavers had captured she was shackled. She might have been able to break the shackles with her raw strength had she not been constantly drugged. How long had it been? Days? Weeks? She could no longer tell as most of it had been spent in a drugged haze. Her water or her meals were always drugged and she had no choice but to consume them or starve. She opened her eyes when she heard the fighting in the common room upstairs and had wondered what was happening up there. Then there had been silence until she caught the sounds of fighting in the corridor outside her cell. And the sound of voices. Tasha shook her head and tried to make out what they were saying.

#152 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

Jhandra backed away when Demiriz reached Elizabeth first, a slight intimacy passing between them. Well, that was going to be interesting, Jhandra thought in passing, a small smile playing over her lips. Glancing around for Damien, she didn't see him although had remembered him rushing past everyone.

But when Jhanell and Elizabeth both uttered the word 'Ariqun', she frowned and walked to the weapon in question.

"Do you think the slavers are working with these Ariqun?" she asked Jhanell. "I have a feeling that would be very bad indeed."

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 March 2013 - 10:14 PM.


#153 EChatty

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

Jhanell glanced at Elizabeth when she asked about the spear on the floor. "Yes, it is Ariqun, which means that they either killed one or captured one since they do not part with their weapons willingly." She would bet on killed, though she could be wrong. If they got enough sedative into one, it was possible that they captured it.

Demiriz was just a bit startled when Elizabeth hugged him, expressing her gratitude, then his arms went around her and he hugged her back, keeping his hold gentle so he wouldn't aggravate her injuries. When she glanced at the weapon on the floor and asked Jhanell about it, he looked too and nodded. "I have seen the Ariqun wielding these types of weapons." He said,then glanced at Jhandra and shook his head. "They do not work with anyone, they conquer them. Either the owner of that weapon is dead, or a prisoner."

#154 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:41 PM

Damien drew in his breath, anger seething underneath his horror at the sight in front of him. What they had done to her made Damien wish to kill the slavers all over again. Covered in cuts and bruises and dried blood, her body thin and horribly bruised with what could only be daily beatings, she was nearly unrecognizable.

But Damien would know her anywhere, even after all the decades that had passed.

"Kass," he said, his voice almost a growl. His eyes took in the spiked collar around her torn and bloody neck. "You are not dreaming," he assured her, taking her manacled hands gently. His were none too clean from the fight above, but they held all the emotion he had inside. "I am here...we are here. I'm going to free you," he promised.

"Someone help!" Damien called out from the cell. "Does anyone see keys anywhere? I need the keys!"

Spying an ax lodged in a piece of wood, Damien wrenched it out and stepped back into the cell. "Watch your eyes, Kass," he warned. With several fury-filled strikes he broke the chain holding Kass captive. Then he scooped her up in his arms as gently as he could and carried her out. Standing there he could feel how weak and malnourished she was. "We need to get this collar off!" he called out.

#155 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:10 PM

Elizabeth frowned whenDemiriz and Jhanell confirmed that the spear was an Ariqun weapon and that the owner was dead or captured. "Then we'll have to search the cells and see who is prisoner here." The words were barely out of her mouth before Damien returned from the cells calling for help-and for the keys. She looked down the corridor and saw him approaching with a malnourished female Lycan. "Oh-goodness." She turned to the slaughtered guards and searched them until she came up with a ring with several keys attached. "Try these." She handed them over to Damien. Then Elizabeth turned to Nick, very unhappy at the condition of the female lycan. "You'd better go find Aveline. Tell her to go to the galley with Letha and raid it for food, then bring the food down here. That Lycan must eat. While she's doing that, bring Tevyn and Arlene aboard." Nick nodded and turned to head back up to the common room. Elizabeth then began checking the other cells for prisoners. Two were empty but the third contained a large, grey, horned female. "Jhanell, would this be an Ariqun?" She asked.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nick nodded in acknowledgement of Elizabeth's orders, his expression reflecting his disgust at the poor condition of the lycan female in Damien's arms. "We'll be back shortly." He promised, sheathing his weapons as he hurriedly made his way back to the common room, to Aveline. "Hey Aveline. There are captives in the cells. One is a woman in terrible condition. Very malnourished. Elizabeth wants you to take the prisoner and raid the ship's galley for food and bring it to the holding cells. I have to go and collect Tevyn and Arlene." He explained.

Edited by Mikoto, 20 March 2013 - 05:14 PM.


#156 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:19 PM

"With the high pay we get for being part of this Explorer venture, you should be able to open your own business sooner or later." Arlene said encouragingly but quietly as she eased to her feet and looked around. She tuned every sense to the jungle around her and stayed alert for any sign of danger. She heard more fighting coming from the general direction of the slaver ship and wondered what was going on. But until someone came to collect them or she and Tevyn were found by slavers, she was staying put with their gear as ordered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tasha turned her head when she heard someone getting closer to her cell and her eyes widened when an unfamiliar Hume female stopped by the bars and looked in. She asked another person Tasha couldn't see if she were an Ariqun. This made the Kelishe narrow her eyes and she grumbled irritably. "Tal-Vashoth." She corrected. Even the name she had chosen for herself was Ariqun slang for Tal-Vashoth. "I did not like my 'role' within the Quanar." She further clarified when a female Khajitaar stepped into view by the bars to her cell.

#157 EChatty

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:43 PM

"Yes, of course." Aveline said when Nick hurried in and explained what they needed. When he said a human female was in bad shape, she glanced at Letha suspiciously. "You starved them?" She asked.

"I only had control over the hornhe....Ariqun's food." Letha said. "There was one....a Lycan...they kept her starved and in a horrible collar that would kill her if she transformed. I had no control over what they did to her or anyone else, though I think the others were kept fed since they were...normal."

"All right, well come on, let's go get as much food as we can carry." She said. She then hurried to the galley with the prisoner, who was very compliant, and found some sacks. The both of them filled the sacks with as much food as they could carry, then half-dragged the sacks to the holding area.

"Ah, one of their hated outcasts." Jhanell said when the large horned female identified herself as Tal Vashoth. "This one is no danger to us, she has renounced the Quanar. Any Ariqun who found her would immediately slay her because that is what they do to anyone who speaks against their 'religion'." She was growling softly as she told them this, as she was very upset. "They have been attempting to indoctrinate our people for a long time now and have been unsuccessful." She then looked up as Damien walked in carrying a female in horrible condition. If the rest of them were in the same condition they might find corpses instead.

"It is nice to see even some of their own speak out against them." Demiriz said as he regarded the female, who was at least as large as he was. "To hear them speak, their way is perfect and no one questions their role, but we have heard of these Tal Vashoth, though I have never actually met one. They must be keeping her sedated, or she would have broken her chains by now and killed every slaver on board herself."

#158 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:45 PM

Jhandra stared in shock between the dark-haired woman in Damien's arms...at least she appeared to have dark hair, it was hard to tell in the dim light and with all the dirt and grime...and the horned woman in another cage that the others were clustered around. This, on top of the fact that the Ariqun only conquered and tried to dominate as well as killed, filled the Salaran-Elviri with disgust.

"I'll check the other cages," she said and began to walk down the rest of the deck. She heard noises and voices coming from both sides, but she would be careful not to get too close. Not all slaves were innocent people, although no one deserved to be enslaved to another.

Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 March 2013 - 10:18 PM.


#159 RJDiogenes

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:50 PM

Everything happened quickly.  By the time The Professor reached the area of the holding cells, the four remaining pirates had been dealt with and lay sprawled on the deck.  He put his survival knife back into its sheath and leaned on his walking stick, taking a moment's rest while he had the chance. As Eru came up beside him and transformed back to her Human self, he said, "Watch your step. Some of those tranquilizer darts got scattered on the floor during the fight."  

Loping up beside The Professor, keeping her head low so as not to bump it on the ceiling, Eru saw that the last of the pirates had been finished off.  She transformed back into her Human self and was about to ask Arjhay for her clothes when he warned her about tranquilizer darts on the floor.  She instinctively took a step backward, stepping directly on the point of a dart, and slumped to the floor, unconscious.

#160 Mikoto

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:45 PM

Tasha shifted a bit and pushed herself into a sitting position, propping herself up against the wall of her cell. She watched the Hume and Khajitaar as well as others start to move within view of her cell. They were well armed and well dressed and she read mingled disgust and discomfort over the plight of her fellow captives-particularly over the lycan female. "I pose no threat to you." She said simply.

"I left the Quanar to become a healer instead of cleaning one of the temples. Do me no harm and I'll do you no harm." The dark haired Hume then stepped closer to the cell bars. "I am Elizabeth." She introduced herself. "We come from Niobia-our town that isn't too far from here. We're here to shut down the slavers." Tasha gave a small, dopey smile at that. "Then you should allow me to sober up and release me. I will help you deal with the slavers." She then saw Elizabeth thinking it over.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth regarded Tasha for a long few moments after she briefly explained a little about herself and offered to work with her to 'deal' with the slavers. Another healer would be useful and she had good reasons to want revenge against the slavers. "All right." She went back and searched one of the other guards and came up with another set of keys. She unlocked the door to Tasha's cell and started unlocking her shackles. "Thank you." The Tal-Vashoth said gratefully as she worked on unlocking.


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