Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

With the escalation of hostilities between Etzos and Rhakros, a series of small walled towns is being established as a network of early warnings and defenses against Rhakros' reprisals. Only the very bravest and most formidable of characters should risk themselves on the Witches' Wilds frontier.

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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Zipper » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:01 pm

60th Zi'da 717

Two women. One boat. Eightteen freshly made pirate corpses.

One half-dead crewmate left to share.

Zipper wasn’t exactly in a sharing mood today.

“Red,” Zipper said. “Red, I’m hoping you got everything out of ol’ Jimmy over there, because this one’s coming with me.”

“If you’d spared the Stinkbeard, I wouldn’t have needed the boy, Fiona!” Rayna spoke scathingly.

“He made the decision to try to cleave me in half. I made the decision to protect myself.”

“There’s protecting yourself, and there’s cooking someone’s brain in their skull just because you can, and what you did was the latter!” she accused, sounding very much not amused.

“Well, you know what they say: threaten to cook a man’s brains and he’ll fear you for a trial, ACTUALLY cook a man’s brains and he’ll fear you for the rest of his life.”

Rayna opened her mouth to list just about everything wrong with that sentence, then stopped without saying a word. She shook her head, and Zipper could see a muscle below her eye twitch. “You,” she said, sounding like a furious person trying their hardest to keep it together and calm down, “made your bed killing every goddamn pirate on this vessel, and now you will lie in it. The boy is mine, you can have him once I’m done with him.”

She had stepped towards the glitching spectacle of a human being called Zipper, prodding her in the chest with a finger as she spoke -- a difficult task considering that the glitching Transmuter didn’t remain in the same spot for even a trill.

“I didn’t need to take you on this, yeah?” Zipper retorted, her own rising anger seeming to give her some stability, some foothold onto a single location to meet Rayna head-on. She leaned in just as her ex-wingmate leaned in. “You people all think that magic is a precise art. ‘Kill seventeen out of twenty of them, Fiona, but leave one of them whole and pristine like a newborn babe.’ You make it sound like I can raise my hand in the air and summon a blaze of energy that can pick them off neatly one by one like some super archer. You’re here because I allow it, no questions asked. You’re here because you needed something and I was nice enough to oblige a former wingmate…. treasonous as she may have been found to be.”
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Postby Yanahalqah » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:03 pm

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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Zipper » Sun May 13, 2018 11:27 am

“Firstly,” Rayna hissed, not backing away at all, instead coming even closer, to the extent that their foreheads butted into each other, “I am here because you needed someone to row your fucking boat, Miss Every-tool-I-use-becomes-unusable! Secondly, if you can’t control your magic, what’s the point in having it, eh?”

“Excuse me?” the half-dead pirate lad said. “I can’t feel-”

“SHUT UP!” they both screamed in unison, not even bothering to look at him.

“Grown ups are talking.” Zipper said.

“No, grown up.” Rayna rebutted.

“Which would be me.”

“If only!” the retort came, “Then this situation could have been avoided in its entirety!”

“You’re just a bundle of shit today, aren’t you?”

“Better just today than every single day, Fiona.”

“I think we should just cut to the chase then. We know what you’re doing, Red, so let’s get to it.”

“And what’s that then?”

“I think you’re provoking me into a physical altercation, building up insult upon insult until I get angry enough. I think you saw what Skunkbeard tried to do to me and you don’t know what will and will not work on me anymore. I think you remember the headbutt on the pier, the punch on the docks and you know -hope- flesh will work where steel failed. I think you’ll cap off that list of insults with a derogatory remark about my inability to function without magic, attempting to confine me to the one manner of challenge you know you might -just might- have a chance against: a fist fight. I think you want to make this a fight over the last pirate” Zipper leaned in closer. “I see you baitin’, Red and I’m okay with it. If you want to go, let’s go.”

“You know what I think?” Rayna spat, “I think you have been wasting my time for the entire duration of the season, and it’s pissing me off. And now that I have a shot at getting what I need, you’re trying to cut me off. I’m not letting you. If it’s a fight you want--”

“YOU want.”

“--it’s a fight you’ll get, you magic-dependant piece of social dysfunctionality.”

Zipper feigned a contented sigh as she pushed off from Rayna. “There it is. There it fuckin’ is. Army rules? Or do you want to chance your other eye today?”
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Zipper » Sun May 13, 2018 11:28 am

Rayna gave an angry smirk. “Use magic if you want, Fiona, you’ll only prove my point.” She threw off her coat and lowered herself in that familiar defensive combat stance, ready to respond to whatever Zipper would throw at her…. and as tempted as the mage was to throw an ether missile, as completely aware of Rayna’s plan as she was, she lowered herself to the one-eyed woman’s terms anyway.

“Army rules it is then.” Zipper said, shrugging out of what was left of her Zi’da coat, and it was pretty evident that her black blouse didn’t go unscathed from the big battle prior. She approached Rayna cautiously, fists up and at the ready. Both women slowly closed the distance between each other.

“Last chance, Fiona. Let me get the info I want from the boy first, and you’ll walk away as you are.”

“Okay, you can have him.” Zipper said, her hands spread wide in a gesture of surrender. “Take him. Go. Take him the fuck away. But we both know,” Zipper tapped her right eye. “You want this too.”

“Good. I’m glad we understand each other,” the other woman said, straightening up and walking away, heading for the pirate laying on the deck. Evidently, the information was worth more to her than a squabble with Zipper.

Which was at the very moment when Zipper decided that, yes, killing one of the pirate crews harassing Foster’s bay was consolation prize enough.

She would find her intel another way.

A streak of violently colored energy streaked by Rayna’s retreating back and exploded straight into the now more than half-dead pirate lad. His screams were faint but definite. The air was filled with the scent of charred flesh.
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Zipper » Sun May 13, 2018 11:29 am

“I think I missed one,” Zipper said innocently. “There we go. A job well done.”

“You incorrigible bloody butthead” Rayna roared, now more than ever ready to throw down. She whipped her body around to face Zipper, brow furrowed in a magnificent scowl.

“Ya know since my magic is sooooo imprecise, he might be still alive.” Zipper stole the insult from her scowl with the twisted mockery of a warm, gentle smile. “You sure you don’t want to check on hi-” A second streak ripped from her hand, and a second explosion of volatile ether engulfed the pirate lad. Smoke and visual static covered the grisly result.

He didn’t scream this time. He wouldn’t scream ever again.

“I’ve had it with you!” Rayna yelled, storming towards Zipper, eye burning with absolute rage. She drove her shoulder right into her chest before she had to opportunity to dodge. The force was enough to send the Black Guard stumbling backwards. The distance was closed immediately, and Rayna unleashed a barrage of kicks and punches which all targeted the wounded areas of Zipper’s body. The woman grimaced in pain as some attacks broke through her guard, her efforts at blocking not sufficient in stopping them all. She’d be a poor Black Guard if that was all it took to take her down though.

With a snarl Zipper began a counterattack when one of Rayna’s kicks missed their target, creating an opening as it harmlessly sailed past her. Zipper quickly landed a blow in Rayna’s stomach, expecting the woman to double down winded and in pain, but while she grunted, Rayna didn’t budge. Zipper followed it up with another couple punches to the same location, and was met with the same result. Only now her knuckles were starting to hurt from the impact against the seemingly rock-hard abs of her opponent. She was reminded of their fight at the docks after Rayna’s treachery, then too having experienced the unnatural hardness of the woman’s body.

She could have taken from the wood of the damaged wreck of a ship and cake her fists in power that could shatter steel. She could tie a piece of her torn fabric around her fingers and push the quality of fire into it. She could have ripped the floor from under Rayna and dragged her where the sun didn’t shine. She could have turned every conceivable inch of the ship to searing heat. She had a thousand ways to win and Rayna didn’t even have two eyes to see it all.

But that would be admitting defeat to herself.
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Yanahalqah » Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 am

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A vicious arm caught Yana’s hair and yanked her down where a rising knee met her head in a sickening crunch. The woman stumbled, one hand reaching for the place of impact, but she wasn’t bleeding just yet, however, she was clearly very, very pissed off now. With a vicious roar Yana practically threw herself at Fiona, arms wrapping around her waist as the two of them collided and Yana pulled the legs from underneath her opponent. They smashed onto the wooden boards of the deck, rolling and wrestling to get on top of the other and gain the advantage.

Fiona won that battle, triumphantly pinning Yana to the floor, ready to unleash a rain of blows onto her foe’s face, if not for Yana jabbing her fingers into the wound on her leg, digging into it in and pulling, as if to tear flesh from bone. Fiona winced and whimpered and when she brought her hands up to Yana’s face in retaliation, she had to force herself not to ignite an ether missile. Instead, she scrambled for her eyes -well, eye- and when Yana proved too slippery for her, she pressed down with her knuckles onto Yana’s throat, seeking to crush her windpipe.

Which didn’t seem to be working.

Instead, she had given Yana an idea, and her hands found Fiona’s throat as well, pressing down hard in an attempt to choke her out. Realizing the futility of this mutual choke contest, Fiona instead resorted to using her grip on Yana’s throat to Slam. Her. Head. Into. The. Floorboards again and again and again even as Yana’s grip tightened. Somehow, though the woman winced in pain over and over, she still stubbornly held onto Zipper’s throat, determined to not stop until she lost consciousness. In the meantime, however, she was also kicking and squirming to get free of Fiona’s hold, growing more and more successful as less and less air remained in Fiona’s lungs and her slamming became slower and less forceful and her hands relinquished their grip on Yana’s throat, going up instead to her own throat to pry Yana’s hands away.


Yana was impressed, for lack of a better word, that Fiona hadn’t tried to cheat yet. She hadn’t even done anything too dirty by either of their standards-

Spoke too soon.
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Yanahalqah » Sun May 13, 2018 11:40 am

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Fiona stretched her head to the left, her neck tendons straining hard, and bit down onto her forearm. There was a look in her eye where she tasted the texture of rock, of something harder than human flesh… and then she bit down further anyway. She bit down as if Yana was a overcooked side of beef she had to devour anyway because it was so bloody expensive. Yana’s eyes widened in shock, disbelief, and --of course-- pain, her expression turning from a near-triumphant snarl to a pained grimace, teeth clenched. The arm Fiona had sunk her teeth in made an effort to make its fingers clamp down harder around her throat, while the other hand released it, aiming a blow at the face instead. And again and again and again, wearing down the other woman so she’d just let go.

She half-expected Fiona to use magic. Craved it, even; that moral defeat would haunt her that little, prissy, self-involved sociopath for her entire life. No amount of lost battles could compare to getting pummeled into submission by one of the ‘mundanes’ she so lorded over, after so confidently challenging them. To use magic was to admit defeat, to admit she was nothing without it, and her pride would simply not allow for such a thing to happen. Fiona would exploit all weaknesses, use every trick in the book, every dirty little tactic she could think of, every single little thing that would gain her the advantage and assert herself over someone else. Just not any magic. Not when she’d boasted about not needing it.

She knew Fiona well enough to know of her complexes; she knew she loved a good brawl. She knew when it didn’t matter -and it didn’t matter here to the mage’s warped mind- she was looking for every excuse to throw down.
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Yanahalqah » Sun May 13, 2018 11:41 am

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Fiona strained even further and her teeth carved a jagged line down towards her fingers. The chomp that came with it felt extra personal in a way that hadn’t been before. Fake blood, the touch of her illusionary form, dribbled through her fingers and into Fiona’s mouth. She wondered what the mage tasted. The liquid filled up the wounds and began clotting together as the tiny crystals within it began to catch and interlock, thickening the fake blood, while connecting it to the damaged locations. Still, light escaped where the liquid couldn’t yet cover, where the make-shift band aid had yet to be produced. A few moments, a few rays of light shining through, shining from within, and then there were none, the clot covering the gauges. Yet, the arm burned still, the pain no less than before.

Yana’s rage flared.

Her fingertips heated up, reshaping themselves into something better suited for combat. No drastic changes, no new form created, but it was certainly effective. Her crystals shifted and rearranged themselves, the heat allowing for them to almost flow freely, to relocated, to form new shapes and structures. In trills her fingertips were no longer rounded, but angular and sharp, tapering down into a spike. She rammed her free hand in the closest flesh she could find, then grabbed and pulled at it, twisting and wriggling around in the fresh wound. Two could play dirty.

They were locked in a stalemate for a few bit, neither woman trying anything else beyond inflicting the maximum amount of hurt on the other. A second contest within the contest; whoever broke first, whoever tried to push their way out of this stalemate lost. Fiona’s bite only grew more vicious and Yana’s invasion into Fiona’s chest dug deeper and crueller as she willed her crystals to produce more edges and barbs, to inflict pain whether she was going in deeper or was forced to draw back.
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Yanahalqah » Sun May 13, 2018 11:45 am

Image
This new stalemate had now become the focus of their attention, both women locking gazes, a physical manifestation of their unbridled anger almost shooting out of them and clashing where their scowls met.

The floor decided their contest for them; it collapsed sending them spiraling down to lower deck in a heap.

No matter how much fervently Fiona would deny it in their future interactions, no matter how much she continued to insist that it was the structural integrity of the ship compromised by the battle with the pirates earlier and not any use of magic, no matter how much she continued to insist that because her hands were on Yana, there was no possible way she could have casted-

Yana would never believe her.

Especially if she was telling the truth.

Both women separated themselves from each other, though the falling had done most of that for them already. Both hoisted themselves onto their feet, aching all over. Fiona with a new wound in her chest, a ragged and ugly set of holes, five in total. Yana, bleeding from the teethmarks running across her arm and hand.

“Fuck you,” Fiona spat, cupping her right breast, trying and failing to right herself at her own corner of the lower deck. Something that looked like blood but clearly wasn’t seeped at her blouse where the hand was pressed and the barbs tore in. She was clearly blinking back some tears. “Fuck you, you fuckin’ fucko.”

“Right back at you,” the one-eyed woman snarled, flicking her hand to cast off pieces of torn-off flesh which had been caught by the barbs. She panted heavily, not even a trace of a victorious expression on her face. To her too, this was a total defeat, it seemed.

“You’re beat, Red,” Fiona said. Uncharitably to her bravado, she said the words between pants and winces of pain. “Beaten like a rented fuckin’ gong.”
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Keeping Abreast of a Handful of Pirates

Postby Yanahalqah » Sun May 13, 2018 11:49 am

Image
“Less than you though,” Yana responded in kind, keeping a wary eye on Fiona as she tore off a piece of a filthy shirt still worn by a dead pirate. She wiped the blood of her hand, then wrapped another strip of cloth tightly around her arm. The trembling of her hands made it harder than it should be. Fiona noticed, because of course she did.

“Cold, darling?” she taunted. “I’ll let you walk if you want. No shame in losing, loser.”

“Perhaps get up first, then talk big. Or I could give you some time to catch your breast-- breath, I mean breath--” She flicked her hand a couple more times, then picked out some imaginary tiny flesh particles from between her fingers. “-- and, you know, get your act together.”


That got her going. Fiona stood up and marched on her. She lifted Yana up by the shirt collar, and slammed her straight into the wall. The entire ship rattled - less so because of some ungodly strength but more so because the whole damn thing was falling apart. Fiona pressed a knee into her stomach, grinding it straight into her abdomen.

Yana reached out to her left, feeling for something she’d spotted very close to her current location. There was a reason she’d hadn’t advanced on Fiona; it generally a bad idea to tip your hand. She grabbed hold, and swung her arm with every bit of strength she had left and prayed it wouldn’t break against her like Skunkbeard’s steel dagger. The wooden board splintered on Fiona’s head with a loud and sickening snapping noise and, for a moment, Yana feared the worst.

Then Fiona’s grip faltered, her eyes rolled up in her sockets, and collapsed to the side like her bones had melted. The Yludih let a shaky breath blow past her lips, and wiped the sweat off her brow, wincing slightly. She took a moment to look around, and not for the first time she wondered just what the hell she was doing. For someone preferring stability over risk, she’d been toeing the edge a tad bit too much lately. The only reason this hadn’t turned into something way worse was because it’d been with Fiona.

Another tremor rumbled through the ship, like shivers down a spine, with creaking wood and the sounds of wood being crushed by the water pressure. The floor was bent down, curved by Fiona’s magic, and at the far end there already was water pooling. By the looks of it, the ship had begun to sink not long after the Transmuter had warped it completely. The process was slow, but the water visibly crept closer and closer, the ship gaining speed as more water was added inside.

Right. This was her cue to leave, then. She cast one last glance at the unconscious blackguard, and cursed.
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