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Old Jul 13th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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Trespasser Trespasser is offline
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The Savant


The Savant

He reclined in the long chaise richly upholstered with watered silk and deeply inhaled the sweet ether. It smelled of sweet alcohol but with some of the clean stringency and burn of sal ammoniac. Each breath made him feel lighter and briefly dissociated his sight, blurring and separating and reuniting his visions of the dim serdab. Dark eyed girls served dozens of men such as himself, sprawled across various cushioned surfaces, insensate and occasionally weakly calling out for more of their chosen intoxicant. Gifted with life, one of the few survivors of his company, this is how he chose to spend it. Even in his state he could appreciate some irony.

In the center of the room was a card table, newly installed to prey on the uninhibited bravado of the drunken patrons. A crowd was gathered and he could barely make out the goings-on, though he craned his neck as much as his relaxed muscles would let him. At the center of the table was a great engine of complex design. With a hundred gears it whirred and clicked and spun, shuffling and dealing the cards with a mathematical precision. Now he remembered...billed as an assurance against the corruption of dealers it likely just made the corruption as simple as programming the machine in some way...and without the requisite bribes and threats and blackmail that come with living dealers. He shook his head, what fool would play with such a machine and stake his money on it. For a single copper coin he knew a bet he hadn't lost yet, Squiff thought to himself with a smile as he took another deep breath of ether and his vision swirled and reformed.

Now there seemed to be some manner of commotion about the center table, a girl of some ten or eleven years (how was he supposed to know) seemed to be at the center of it, in some heated discussion between a lean and hungry looking man and the fat mustachioed one he knew to own this place of ill repute. The surprise of seeing such a girl here temporarily cleared his drugged revery.

She wore fine clothes, dark brown silks and lace that spoke of some affluence incongruous with her situation. Her dark brow and eye held an appraising intellect that seemed uncowed by the hubbub about her. The lean man, with his hand on her shoulder pleaded with a pitiful obsequiousness. Surely in your wisdom and experience you know she always wins in time, in your beneficence grant us some time, in mercy let us have a week and we can make it I swear to you.

The owner seemed to be having none of it and crossed his thick hirsute arms atop his rotund belly, his lips pressed tightly beneath his great mustache, a dangerous anger flaring in his eyes. Meanwhile the girl was shaking her head, mouthing words as if working something out to herself, shooting puzzled glances at the great machine that still whirred. The large man, Jabir, subtly raised one hand, letting a glint of dagger escape from between his arms. With that escalation the crowd stepped back, separating and providing a better view for Squiff of the three figures and great machine at the center of this dispute.

The weasely one bent and mewled almost cowering behind the girl that herself was trying to step back but for the man behind her. Squiff recognized the two burly thugs that stepped up flanking Jabir, he had been beaten ugly more than once by that pair for various disturbances here he momentarily recalled with an inner smile. They not-so-subtly brandished cudgels and towered menacingly over the pathetic pair. With a slight tilting of his head, Jabir signaled these great oafs forward and you knew what was about to come, you had seen it many times and experienced it a few as well. Even so, it didn't require the memories of chivalry from his lordly upbringing to feel some measure of horror at the prospect of those cudgels being used on such a small girl, they each looked heavier than she! The lean fellow sharp-quick drew a flashing blade and whipped it wildly at the men before leaping backwards and turning to push through the crowd. In that moment the girl stumbled backwards and fell, her erstwhile support gone, and let out a horrified shriek as one of the thugs (his name Zabon) looked down in surprise, his belly opened and spilled forth a great gut's worth of entrails upon the girl.


Last edited by Trespasser; Jul 13th, 2014 at 08:08 PM.
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Old Jul 14th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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TempestBob TempestBob is offline
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Robert pulls himself to his feet, and makes a half-hearted attempt at buttoning his shirt as he rises. "Well, Jabir," he starts, "it was only a matter of time til this happened. If you're going to be cheap and hire any old thugs you had to expect it."
Kicking the wounded goon to the floor and away from the girl, he can't resist the opportunity for a good taunt.
"Poor Zabon. Opened up by a guy half your size! HAHA!" his booming voice echoes through the den of iniquity that is Jabir's.

Keeping one eye on Jabir and the thug, a hand is extended to help the girl to her feet, while the other rests on the hilt of a knife tucked into his breeches. "Captain Robert Howard, madame. I wish we'd met under more fortunate circumstances." He gives her a comforting smile before turning back to the club's owner. "What's the meaning of this, anyhow? Allowing your favored imbeciles some sport with a young girl? I know you're not the brightest flame under the sun - and keep that damnable blade where I can see it, curse you - but this is low. Shameful. Even for you."

Last edited by TempestBob; Jul 14th, 2014 at 07:45 AM.
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