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[TC OPEN] Ebonhawke: A Rock Opera

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"I knew she was going to be a problem." Fort was glaring across the rooftops in the direction the strange, maybe-Crispin silhouette had vanished. He snapped his gaze away just long enough to glimpse the unmistakable form of the sheriff below before Saint obscured his vision. Black leather hedged out his view, and the little murder sprite was primed and loaded.

This wouldn't end well. Not by a long shot.

"What the hell you lookin' at?" That was all Fort needed to hear. The hellcat was going to get them locked up or worse at this rate. And that was not at all on the agenda for Fortinbras Carlyle. Not that night, and not any night afterward.

Desperately Fort began, his own tune running under and around Saint's own, a desperate balm to soothe scorched pride, swathed on as thickly as he dared. "I understand that your upset. You have every right to be. It's obvious to see." Ophelia's hands were snaking down toward her hips and all Fort could do was try and talk her down from the ledge.

"I was in the wrong. But I will make it up to you. I'm gonna make this right." They'd missed their quarry. Maybe he'd heard Fort singing in the alleyways. Sure, perhaps he'd had the time to clean out his room in the minute and a half it had taken to ferret out his hidey-hole. Whatever. He'd take that blame if it meant that they could creep away and manybe have a snowball's chance in hell of getting the arsehole next time.

"If we could put this in the past. And never speak to anyone about this gaucherie." It was poor form, and unprofessional besides to fire at officers of the law, after all. Especially when you weren't getting paid for it.

His reasoning became a litany and one hand extended, halfway, before he realized that only Saint's derriere was close at hand for a meager bit of human contact. That was liable to get him shot instead. Nope. Not a good choice. Even so, he tried to reason with the woman."No tears. No noise. No cause. No choice. No lock. No key. No third degree. No flight. No flaws. No breaks. No pause. No clues. No trace. No hands. No face" He rattled off the many reasons that this was all a bad idea. Right now, they were looking at a possible breaking and entering of an empty room. The thief-taker had nothing on them yet. And they could break away clean. If...


"No black. No white. No source of light. No second chance. No end in sight. No friends. No stone. No blood. No mess. No hate. No love. No sweet caress. Nothing to see. No leaks. No ties. No time for that. No long goodbyes. No lies. No fakes. No secrets. No problem."
If they cut their losses now, if they'd only turn away from the window, let their tempers cool. If they just melded back into the anonymity of the tumble-down fortress city shadows. If they just dodged this bullet.

But Saint was already on the triggers of her matched pistols. Time slowed down and it seemed to Fort that the fall of the hammers of the sleek firearms took a slow, languid eternity to fall.

"...No, wait!"

Fort's indecision was gone in that moment of sulphur and flame and he wrapped arms around the little hellcat, dragging her bodily off the sill.

"We're leaving." He set her on her feet and made for the door.

"Gods damned amateurs. Like I ain't never been shot at b'fore." The sheriff's reply caught him a little off-guard. That was quite a hail of bullets. He'd expected wet gurgles and maybe a final sobbed prayer. Not corn-pone and sarcasm. "Nevermind. We're REALLY leaving."

Fort'd tussled with some bad company. But anything that bullets bounced off of was something altogether different. Though, in passing the old scoundrel wondered if, and only if, he bought her a round the next time she sat in the corner looking dark and mysterious, she'd teach him THAT trick.

Lyrics provided by Darkest of the Hillside Thickets "Shh"
Posted May 24, 15
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Standing in the windowsill, O’s mouth fell slightly ajar. Did… bullets just bounce off of them? “What the – hrk!” The stunned blonde was pulled from her perch, too dumbfounded to evade, or fight back, or even care that she was being carried off from her target. She was out of bullets anyway, and the casings were still rolling across the old wooden boards underfoot before settling here and there.

There was something very wrong with this place.

O had seen a thing or two in her time, but never once had she seen two people standing stock still, with no magical wards, simply fail to absorb a single bullet amidst that kind of heat. Now, O was a deeply superstitious sort. And quite frankly, pro or amateur, a vision impaired child would have likely hit something with the amount of lead she had just sprayed if they weren’t actively getting the hell out of Dodge. The only possible explanation she could fathom, while being drug out of the room all but on her heels, was that the Gods had returned from their hiatus just in time to stop those bullets.

Typically large, but now ridiculously so, eyes looked up at the redhead. And of course, she burst into song while being hauled away. “I'm one card short of a full deck, I'm not quite the shilling. One wave short of a shipwreck… I'm not my usual top billing.” It wasn’t clear if she was apologizing for her actions in general, or lamenting how well and truly she had missed her marks; but if he had been paying attention he could safely assume it was the latter option.

“I'm coming down with a fever”, she complained woozily, “I'm really out to sea. This kettle is boiling over. …I think I'm a banana tree.”

Somewhere along the way O had holstered her pistols (but only after giving deep and serious thought to throwing them out of a window for their obvious betrayal) and now placed the back of a graveyard tanned hand across the bridge of her nose, blocking most of her vision in a perfect damsel in distress pose. “Oh dear. I'm going slightly mad.”

Her dramatics stretched on for eons as they evaded anyone who may have meant to pursue them, and she was so taken aback by the events of the gun... fight? that she did not even make it a point to get in the last word. (Never mind that she had invited the slights aimed at her. What with the shooting and all.) When at long last she was willing to let her disbelief pass, she furrowed a fine blonde brow and looked for confirmation. “Have you ever seen anything like that before?”


"I'm Going Slightly Mad" by Queen

Posted May 24, 15
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Shani stood up from her cover, noting that there was a considerable lack of bullets coming from the direction she had been firing in. She'd seen one of the assailants drag the other back, so there was a good chance that both had cut their losses and skedaddled. The Sheriff of Prospect Valley looked up to the rooftops and furrowed her brow, making a motion to the figure in silver to get down to street level as she muttered. "Git yer ass down here."

As the Silver Fox clambered down from her rooftop perch, Shani was pulling the metal backed hardened leather from her coat. A makeshift breast plate and pauldrons, a trick she and Pania Alow, who now joined her as the Silver Fox, had learned during their time as "guests" of the Iron Legion. "I gather yer well informed, dear Sheriff."

"Cut the crap, Girly Girl," she replied with a heavy sigh as she dropped the metal plates to the ground. There was about five bullets lodged in each plate. "So glad I decided ta wear these things out here."

"How'd ye know?" the Silver Fox asked in a low voice.

Shani looked to the woman in the mask and tricorn hat and shook her head. "Question I'd be askin' is who don't know." Shani sighed again as she looked back to the building. "At least yer a mesmer, so thet usual trickery o' yers saved ya from a hail o' bullets."

"Comes in handy from time ta time," Pania said with her usual smirk. "So, goin' after a pair o' dangerous outlaws?"

Shani just shook her head. "Ain't my jurisdiction," she finally replied with a sly grin. "Leave it ta the Vanguard. C'mon. Let's get a drink." The pair turned and began the slow walk back to the Wayrest Inn. It was about time for something quiet and unassuming. "On a long and lonesome highway east of Dry Top, you can listen to the engines moanin' out it's one note song. You can think about the woman or the girl you knew the night before."

Pania removed her tricorn hat with one hand, and the mask with the other, letting her blond hair spill over her shoulders as she walked beside her friend. "But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do, when you riding sixteen hours with nothing much to do. And you don't feel much like ridin', you just wish the trip was through."

Here I am, on the road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playin' star again
There I go, turn the page

The pair turned the corner, heading directly to the Wayrest entrance. It was a quiet night, now that the gunplay had ended. Would be nice to see a quiet morning. "You walk into a restaurant, strung out from the road, and you feel the eyes upon you, as you're shaking off the cold. You pretend it doesn't bother you, but you just want to explode."

The pair walked over to the first empty table and sat down heavily in empty chairs, facing the doorway. All eyes of the patrons stopped to look at them curiously. "And most times you can't hear 'em talk, other times you can. All the same old cliches, 'Is it woman? Is it man?' And you always seem outnumbered, you don't dare make a stand. Make your stand"

Here I am, on the road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playin' star again
There I go, turn the page

The waitress brought of Shani's bottle of Blood Whiskey and a pot of coffee, and offered a cup of Earl Grey for Pania. "Out there in the spotlight you're a million miles away. Every ounce of energy you try to give away. As the sweat pours out your body, like the music that you play."

Pania nodded her thanks to the waitress and took her cup in hand. "Later in the evening, as you lie awake in bed, with the echoes of the amplifiers ringin' in your head. You smoke the days last cigarette, rememberin' what she said. What she said." Pania took a sip of her tea, sighing and smiling as she leaned back in her chair. That was enough excitement for one night.

Here I am, on the road again
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, playin' star again
There I go, turn the page



lyrics from Turn The Page, written by Bob Seger, performed by Metallica

tumblr_phjrisFT7y1tg2mtpo1_1280.jpg
Posted May 25, 15 · OP
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Saint was dumbstruck, but Fort may've been more so. The lines of complete insanity that spilled from his bad-news in black leather companion would be enough to put any sane man off further entanglements. Which rather left Fort with some interesting questions as he caught a wrist, braceleted it with his fingers and pulled her toward the stairs.

She had a right, after all. She'd unloaded on the Sheriff and gotten nothing to show for it but empty pistols and a rapidly fragmenting grip on the situation at hand. That was enough to have anyone who lived and died by the gun thinking that perhaps this was what going mad felt like.

Her final question was plaintive; a little girl begging for confirmation that monsters weren't real, and the sun would rise tomorrow. He drew a breath, not stopping on his headlong rush for the rear of the rooming house and away from the witch who could be shot so very many times and take no real offense. "I don't believe in UFOs and little men from Mars.I don't believe in magic lamps bought at junk bazaars. I don't believe the world will ever be without a war. I don't believe a lot of things." He paused at the landing to the third floor to check an be sure that no vicious crossfire was waiting at the foot of the stairs. That'd put their misadventure to a rather more exciting end than he'd prefer. "But I've been wrong before."

His pistol was still out, held ready at the level of his eyes in his free hand, sweeping, clearing as he went. "I don't believe the souls of man can haunt you after life. I don't believe the world hangs on the edge of a knife. I don't believe we should stop thinking for an oath we swore. I don't believe a lot of things. But I've been wrong before" Nothing waiting in the second floor hallway, and they passed as silently as a woman with empty pistols and a man singing in a rasping basso whisper could be. "People tell me their crazy yarns. Like ghosts, and gods, and ESP, and UFOs in barns. Half this crap has turned out true. If you close your mind at this point, the only fool is you."


The first floor, now. Bucket boots over floorboards that had been left to their own devices sounded far too loud in the aftermath of the hellcat's fusillade. But then, if the Sheriff or the Vanguard were out for blood, they'd have met some resistance now, certainly. Luckily, the Vanguard on the street, conversing with the Sheriff, had been unable to hold in a sneeze when Saint had sped her rounds. Otherwise, it would be all the less likely that their escape would end in anything but a couple of bullet-ridden rogues in an Ebonhawke tumbledown. "I don't believe a God above invented all that's good. I don't believe that there's a need to rush from childhood. I don't believe the world began with a lion's roar. I don't believe a lot of things. But I've been wrong before."

Fort glanced through what windows he could see in the empty common room that made up the first floor. No motion on the street. Praise be, but this town could ignore gunfire. Of course, with a life lived in constant threat of death at the hands of any given faction, it was a place that knew how to keep its nose out of it when it wasn't it's business. Six bless them.

Finally, the door. It was a shoddy little hang-to job with rusted bands and gave the impression of a gap-tooth grin from the way it hung awry in the frame. It'd squeak something fierce, but even that little bit of ill-fortune couldn't dampen his spirits. They were getting out of here. And no one had even fired a return shot. "I don't believe it's always kind to say the nicest thing. I don't believe a sugar lie is awe-inspiring. I don't believe in posing kind and sneaking out the door." He paused for effect, taking a moment to fix Saint with a level glare that was one of combined displeasure and sheer gall. She'd shot at the Sheriff? While they were on the job? Who WERE these people he was signing on with?

"I don't believe a lot of things, but I've been wrong before."


Fort eased the door open and motioned Saint to take the lead. Then he thought better of it and stepped out into the Ebonhawke night with a leveled pistol preceding him. Her guns were empty, after all. It'd hardly be gentlemanly.


Lyrics provided by Abney Park, "I've Been Wrong Before"
Posted May 25, 15
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