Post by sentranicia on Mar 12, 2010 14:35:38 GMT -5
Zandara laughed quietly, "Behind me, silly." She scooted forward slightly in the saddle and patted the leather just behind her, reaching her hand out again to help him up. She looked over his face, bright red from embarrassment. There was something...cute about that. An embarrassed soldier...What were the odds?
He took her hand and she pulled him up carefully, seating him snugly behind her. She smiled and bowed her head, placing the arm she still held around her waist, "Hold on tight. Whisper has a rough walk, and we won't be going slow for long."
Squeezing her legs around the horse's sides, she turned him around to the street and urged him into a fast walk through the crowds. They stepped carefully through the seas of people, and when the people began to disappear, Dara squeezed her thighs and leaned forward ever so slightly in the saddle, pushing Whisper into a steady gallop across the cobblestone street.
Post by Steinerman on Mar 12, 2010 15:13:29 GMT -5
It was almost relaxing, at first. The gait of the horse, that was. Sitting behind Zandara, unsure of how to ride doubled up. (He was actually accustomed to horses, using them when they were called for. But he'd never ridden double, and never behind a beautiful girl.)
But then the horse sped up, and the ground sped by at a sickening pace as they sped down the street. he shut his eyes for a moment, calming himself as best he could. The nagging thought of the book in the small satchel at his side still there. It was his duty to get it to a drop-point, to get out of the city.
For a moment, he madly contemplated leaping off the horse. But quickly dismissed that thought as moronic and suicidal. All he could do was hang gingerly on as the horse ran.
They passed by several buildings, each of which Joe fervently hoped was their destination. But Zandara continued onwards, ignoring each of them.
Finally, he noticed the horse start to slow, whether for a turn, or because they were nearing their destination, he did not know. "Is that the place?" He asked, pointed with one hand at the building them seemed to be heading for.
Post by sentranicia on Mar 16, 2010 13:58:46 GMT -5
Zandara smiled as she felt Joe tense up behind her when Whisper's pace sped up. Certainly a soldier had ridden a horse at this speed before! But they were nearly there now. She leaned back and pulled slightly on the reigns to slow Whisper down. Joe's voice sounded in her ear, "Yes, that's the place." A large wooden sign hung out over the road, a slain lamb carved in. "The Slaughtered Lamb."
She guided Whisper to the post and dismounted, careful to avoid Joe with her bare legs. She tied her horse to the post and fed him a sugar cube before turning back to Joe, "Hope I didn't bother you too much with the ride. I probably should have warned you that I like to ride fast."
She clasped her hands behind her back and crossed one leg behind the other, bowing her head shyly, "Would you care to go inside? I'd be happy to buy you something to eat." Her ever present smile broadened slightly, "You may as well have a meal while we speak with each other."
Post by Steinerman on Mar 16, 2010 15:55:56 GMT -5
The Slaughtered lamb? Not exactly what I'd call a good name, considering the circumstances. Joe thought sarcastically as he saw the name of the bar.
He slid gracefully of the horse and landed lightly on his feet. Hearing her question, he nodded thoughtfully, it was true, he was hungry. But if she was truly trying to raise money for her sister, he didn't wish to inconvenience her.
Don't worry, His cynical side mentioned lightly inside his head, she'll make a fortune off the bounty on your head when she turns you in. This is probably just her giving you a last meal. His soft smile remained in place as again he felt the urge to bolt. But now the soldier and spy in him was telling him to stay, that she might turn out to be a useful contact.
He nodded in answer to her question, "Food would be nice. But no worries, I still have a few coins. You have your sister to care for, no need to go around buying meals for strangers." He replied half-joking.
As they walked inside, he pondered the situation. He was fairly certain she knew he was a spy, though most likely she didn't know which country he worked for. She hadn't turned him in yet, and that was odd. Most Stamarians would have screamed for the guards the moment they had an inkling of what he was. But she hadn't.
And then she'd mentioned her adventures, off searching old ruins, finding old tech sometimes. Valtheran Intelligence would pay quite handsomely for tech found within, or even near Stamarian borders. Anything and everything was useful information.
It was possible that she was searching for a better paying job, better money meant better care for her sister. And Valtheran Intelligence could pay her quite well.
He decided to play it out longer, see what she wanted before decided on his course of action."So, what would you suggest from the menu for a new costumer?" He asked softly, cocking his head to the side in curiosity.
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2010 15:57:10 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by sentranicia on Mar 19, 2010 17:21:15 GMT -5
Zandara's eyes scanned the room and found a small table beneath the staircase to the balcony seating. Shadows masked the table and it was distant from the others. She made a beeline for the chair facing the room, leaving Joe to sit with his back to the empty building, but hidden from view of anyone who might walk in. She looked up at his question, "They serve great steak and potatoes if you want a heavier meal, but if not they have good soups as well. Their ales are excellent, too." She smiled.
A woman came to take their order and she quietly asked for a bowl of potato soup and a glass of water, waited for Joe to order, and set her smile to a smaller one. It was time to talk business, "So where are you from, Joe? Obviously not from here. And let's not lie, please. I can easily have the guards in moments, and you know it. Also, I am not completely incapable of defending myself, so please don't try anything silly. I am truly curious about your job as a whole, and perhaps even returning with you to your captain."
She cocked her head to the side slightly, gazing at him as sweetly as if she had not just threatened his life and asked what country he was spying for. Her tone had not once escaped a polite and sweet voice, nor had her face offered any sort of hint that she might be tense. Her blonde hair draped over her shoulders casually, covering the skin that her shirt left bare. She crossed her legs beneath the table, high boots squeaking ever so slightly as the leather shifted.
Focusing her eyes on him, she prepared to use any feeling she must to extract her information, or even defend her life.
Post by Steinerman on Mar 20, 2010 16:32:31 GMT -5
Joe quietly ordered a small sandwich and a water, and then leaned forward to hear what Zandara had to say.
His smile saddened as he heard her threaten him, though he had to admit, she was polite while threatening his life. His voice stayed low and calm, the same gentle warmth from before still there in his tone.
"Firstly, thank you for the information about this bar, seems like a nice place to visit when I'm in town. Secondly, no, you really can't have the guards here in moments. I didn't know this bar, but I know this city quite well." He cocked his head to the side, indicating the door, "The nearest guardpost is three minutes hard run from this area, I don't see any guards here right now, and it's doubtful anyone else in this room would even try to stop me as I left, much less succeed at doing so."
As he spoke he took a sip from the complimentary water glass on the table in front of him. Using it for cover while he gathered his thoughts. "Another thing, Zandara. You are in no danger from me, at all." He stated in a matter-of-fact tone.
Probably wouldn't do to mention that she reminds you a lot of your dead sister... He thought half-bemusedly. He paused as their food was delivered, surprised at the prompt service of the bar. Once the waitress was gone, he spoke once again.
"Now, as to your actual question and not the threats. I'm Valtheran, that much is quite obvious to most people, or so I'm told. My job, I can't tell you much about it, though I imagine you already know. My captain..." He paused, unsure of what to say.
"is not exactly a personable fellow, He would be extremely interested in you, it's true. But believe me, his is not the notice you want to come into, if you can avoid it."
He took a measured bite of the sandwich, chewed and swallowed."You know, this really is good food." He ended with appreciation.
Post by sentranicia on Apr 2, 2010 17:55:39 GMT -5
Zandara's eyes narrowed fiercely for the briefest of moments before returning to their natural brightness, the smile on her face never wavering. Taking a mouthful of soup, she blinked gently in thought and nodded, "You would be surprised, I think, to know just how easily I could stop you from walking out that door." Looking up with a soft smile, she locked eyes with Joe, taking care to let him know that no part of her body was moving toward him.
In the gentlest tone and lowest value possible to give him, she said in a calm voice, "Pain." She harnessed the wave of power that surged up into her throat, holding it back, letting just a finger of the silky feeling pass into his body. She waited for a moment, watching his face for the inevitable twist of agony. Pulling back the small amount of magic she had placed in him, she removed the feeling completely and gave a gentle gaze into his eyes.
Allowing a moment for him to relax, she took another swallow of soup and cocked her head, "Understand that I have only given you a taste of what I can do. That feeling can be magnified by about twenty times." She smiled, "I have felt what you just did. Don't pretend that it wasn't painful. I already know."
Pain filled Joe's world, his vision swam for a moment before returning to normal. With effort, he concentrated his will and held back any expression of surprise or pain. After all, he thought, That was nothing compared to losing Val...
After a moment, he widened his eyes and smiled, albeit shakily. "As I said, Zandara. You are in no danger from me. However, if you do try and disable me, or hold me for the guards. Believe me, I'll force you to kill me or render my mind useless to the Stamarian Empire."
He refilled his glass of water, hand shaking as he did so. The pain had been immense, and the only explanation for it was she knew at least a little magic. He carefully thumbed the knife in his pocket, wondering absentmindedly how fast he could take it and slash his own throat if necessary. Death wasn't something he desired, but if this young girl really wanted to hold him prisoner with her mind while the Stamarians came for him, it was the only option.
Well, besides killing her. But that's not gonna happen.
He took a moment to calm the pain that had wracked through him like a fire. Shuddering inwardly at what she could possibly do to him. But then he looked up with the same soft grin, "That's quite a useful trick for a beautiful girl like yourself. Twenty times the pain, eh? Impressive. Pretty sure that'd floor me, for a few moments. Now, you seem to have something you want to talk to me about. So how about I don't threaten to run away like a good spy, and you don't try to melt my mind for a few minutes. Deal?"
Zandara smiled as she watched his hand shake and his body calm slowly, not gaining any pleasure from his pain, but more from the recognition of her power. There was something to be said for frightening a Valtherian spy. She nodded, "It is quite the trick. And to think I could fill you with three other feelings...well, I can see where my magic would be quite the weapon to an army. I've always wanted to try it on more than one person, and I should think that your captain would pay handsomely to have me at his side. It is, I've come to realize, a rare bit of magic."
She took a sip of her tea, enjoying the warm steam that greeted her face, "It's fascinating how easily even the strongest soldier can be put out of commission...men particularly. I can fill you with such pain that your heart stops, or direct it to one point on your body. I can envelope you in overwhelming sadness, such that the only thing to do is take your weapon to your throat. I can sear rage into your mind until you destroy every other person in this room."
Taking a bite of her soup, she took a more relaxed position, "And I can fill your body with such pleasure that it will bring you to your knees. I am a weapon built to fight men, and my magic has gone wasted on boys who came too close to doing me harm out of lust for my body." She leaned in, her gentle smile still softening her face, "I am of use to your captain, Joe. The only thing I ask of you is that you take me to him. You may give him whatever story you like. I need the soldier's pay for my sister. Whatever he asks of me will be done, and whatever you require as payment for this, you shall receive."
Joe thought carefully, she didn't realize what she was asking.
"I can take you to meet him, yes. But Zandara, you must understand something. This man, my captain. He thinks there's a war coming between Stamaria and Valtheran. And he means to win it by any means necessary. He's not..." He paused, searching for an apt description. "He's not...like other people. Believe me, he will find you interesting and useful, but if you cross him. It won't just be you that dies, it will be your sister, it will be anyone who ever knew your sister. He doesn't screw around."
He paused again, trying to think of something to make her understand how dangerous this thing she asked was. "you may think you're scary. And truly, you have power. I think that you most likely could disable me, maybe even kill me. Pain I can handle...pleasure? that most likely would bring me down quickly. But have you tested your range? You can't make a high-powered bullet feel pain, a sniper could drop you before you even knew he was there. If I thought of a way to bring you down, rest assured that my captain could think of a hundred more."
He downed his glass of water, "But..." He began carefully. "Deal with him honestly and fairly, and he will return the action. If you truly wish it, I'll set up a meeting. But you need to realize that he will ask of you many things, what I cannot say. But he intends to win this looming war, and he will undoubtedly make use of your talents. Are you sure this is what you want?"
Zandara's smile widened, "I am not, perhaps, what you might call scary, but I am powerful as you have experienced. Certainly I am not completely finished training myself, but I am improving at a steady rate. Besides, what sniper would aim a bullet at an innocent young woman's head for no good reason?" She winked, "There is something to be said for such a power coming with this appearance."
Finishing off her soup, she leaned back in her chair, sipping her tea, "This is a win win situation for you, really. You're providing your captain with a grand weapon, your fellow soldiers with a pretty girl, and yourself with a traveling partner. Surely, a soldier such as you would not go wasted for something such as this."
She swallowed her last bit of tea and crossed her arms, "Arrange the meeting. I am not afraid of your captain." Cocking her head and smiling she finished shyly, "And I certainly wouldn't mind traveling with you...or proving the other parts of my ability." Fluttering her eyelashes at him she giggled quietly.
Joe sighed sadly, "I'll contact my captain. It may take up too a week to set up a meeting. He won't meet in this city, by the way, too much could go wrong. And he's not the type to let things go wrong, not yet, at least." He ended vaguely, mind already playing through the way he'd tell the captain.
"Yeah, it can be done. I'll have to travel to a secure location to contact him. Do you wish to come along? Or will you stay and care for your sister?"
Post by sentranicia on Apr 10, 2010 10:37:27 GMT -5
Dara listened carefully, noting that Joe was none too happy about having to tell his captain about this. She thought for a moment and decided it would be best if she went with him. At least then he would not appeared to have completely blown his cover. If she came along afterward there would be suspicion that more people knew about the mission. That would not do for her purposes, "My sister has enough money to get herself through the next month without my aid. I will go with you."
Post by Steinerman on Apr 10, 2010 14:34:45 GMT -5
Joe nodded and stood, mind racing with plans. "Right, then we need to leave, now." He checked the time on a nearby wall-clock and frowned. Ah...boy, Laramie's not going to like this at all. He thought bemusedly. His partner and his friend, Laramie was most likely done with her own mission by now and was waiting at their camp in the wilderness.
"We'll need to move fast for a while, I have a partner who's waiting for me outside of the city. If we take too long, she'll bug out, or do something rash. And she's the one with the comm gear right now."
He paid his tab and walked over to the door, opening it for Dara, "Kindly follow me, milady." He finished with a soft grin.