[LF] Pincers [K 3.1]

edited November 2012 in In-Game
Three days have passed since the kiss, you haven't had time for a repeat performance.

The day after your blissful reunion, you and the bunch had to sneak out of Mama Feng's in the wee hours when the Ba Sing Se guards were searching house by house along Clay Street. It was close. They came in the front door as you and Min crawled up onto the roof to escape at the last minute, following the rest of the bunch away. You glanced back right before you leaped off the roof to the next house, just for a peek at the guards. You saw Suli with them. She looked angry.

They have been systematically taking away every little hovel you have known. Your old hangout was broken up. The textile factory was boarded up and is being watched now by guards.

Yesterday, Canlid brought everyone a sheet of paper that had a drawing of you on it. you have long hair, it looks really nice. It referred to two aliases: Dare and Keela. Listed you as a Firebender, very dangerous, attacked four guards. There is a reward out for you now, 100 koku. A pittance to Jun Da, a fortune to anyone in Lower Ring. The one piece of good news you got was when Dash went to talk to his brother and found out that Rui is being released tomorrow.

This morning, after a night with no sleep, a day with no food, you and the gang had been hiding at the sand docks on the outskirts of the city. That's when you saw a small sake house with a wood cutting of a broken drum. Inside one of the windows, you saw a woman with bee tattoos who looked very familiar.

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  • I won't lie, things have been rough. Every day I've felt more and more guilty for dragging the gang into this mess. All the places we've ever loved have been taken. We've been on the run, hungry and tired.

    I can't stop thinking about Suli. That whole sob story about how she can't leave the prison because she's in danger...what was that? A lie? A trick? Was she trying to get to me? Did she think that story would make me confide in her? She seems to be hunting me through the city just fine. She doesn't look afraid of being kidnapped. If anything, she looks pretty mad that she hasn't found me yet.

    The drawings...well...it's good that they're painting me as such a beautiful girl. Cause it's easier for me to walk around the streets, my short hair and boys clothes making me nearly invisible. Still, knowing that I don't look like that, like a beautiful girl, well it's a little hard to swallow. But I have Dash, and that's all that matters.

    But when Canlid brought that last poster....the one that had both my names....I knew I was in trouble. Either Suli figured out who I was or Haidong gave me up. Either way, it changed everything. Rui's getting out tomorrow, and I've been thinking madly, making a plan. A new plan. I haven't told the gang yet. They aren't going to like it, at all. But it's starting to look like my only option.

    I think I need to leave Ba Sing Se. They know who I am. I don't have any leverage any more. I'm pretty sure Rui would go with me, back to the Fire Nation, and...well...I'm going to invite the gang to come with us. It'll be like a trip, almost a vacation. I'm confident that once I get home, my father will smooth all of this over. He's the only one who has the power to do so at this point. I just have to get there. The problem is that I'm not sure what my father will do with me once I get back. I don't want to be apart from Dash, and I'm afraid my father won't approve of him. The other problem is what to do if the gang won't come with me. I mean, this is their home. It'll be dangerous. I know it might cause a rift. But I can't stay here, not any more. This isn't blowing over like I hoped. It's getting worse.

    I'm thinking about the plan, for the millionth time, when I spot the Broken Drum. And then it all comes back to me. Hornet. I promised I'd pay her back. If I'm leaving the city, I have to take care of that first. I turn to Canlid and motion him over.

    "See that woman in the Broken Drum? The one with the bee tattoos? Will you do me a favor? I owe her...from prison. Just tell her....tell her that the street rat wants to pay up. She'll understand what you're talking about. I'll meet you both behind the building."
  • Canlid nods and Dash looks at you quizzically. When he scampers off, Dash says nothing, trusting in you. Boot has become more and more distant, this is getting progressively worse and you can tell he thinks he was right all along and Mew Mew has been keeping him in check. They are spending more and more time "looking for food" together, Min thinks they're up to something.

    In a few minutes, you're n the alley behind the Broken Drum and Hornet is walking out. Who did you bring with you?

    She smiles and comes up to take your hand with hers. She has a very nice looking longbow strapped to her back, unstrung, and a large quiver beside it, the arrows fan out like some brilliant bird's plumage. She also has a curved sword at her belt. "Hello there, my friend. What, ah, should I call you?" While the accusation may sting, her intent is to be amusing, familiar, non-judgmental.
  • Dash comes with me. I give him a quick version of the story while we wait, leaving out the part about my new plan. I think I'll tell them about it tonight. I just don't want to tell Dash right this second. I have to think about what I'm going to say...well, more than I have already I guess.

    I smile at Hornet, but it's a little tired. "Street Rat doesn't work anymore? I guess you can call me Keela then." I gesture to Dash. "This is Dash, Dash this is Hornet." I wait until they've at least nodded at each other before growing more serious. "Thank you, Hornet. For helping me. You didn't have to do that, and it means a lot to me that you did. I want to pay up, if I can."
  • Hornet politely offers Dash a handshake, he nods and returns it. Then you offer payback and she quirks a brow, "I'd given up on collecting that, seeing as how you're wanted and a dirty Fire-bender and all. I've always heard you can never trust those so and so's.... hey now, Dash, calm down. This is our banter. We're friends, don't rush up to defend your little girlfriend. Hey! You're the one she begged me to help her for! Wow, you are a looker, aren't you? I guess I can't blame you now, can I, Keela?"

    As she rattles this off, the whole bit delivered quick and easy, Dash runs through a gamut of emotions, surprise, defensive, shocked, embarrassed. He ends up on a little dismayed, mostly.

    "So how do you propose to pay me back?" She says with a smile still. You notice the bruises haven't healed completely, but she's in much better shape than she was at the mess hall a few days ago.
  • "I don't know, honestly. You said you didn't want money, which is good cause that option is gooooone." I sigh, but I grin at her as I brush my wild hair out of my face. "You know what my...particular skillset is now. Although I can't really do much in the city, if I'm spotted I'll get hauled back to jail." I narrow my eyes at some spot over Hornet's shoulder. "And Suli would make sure I never left. That woman seems to think me escaping was an insult to her personally."

    I shake my head and look back up at her, noting the fading bruises. I wonder if maybe I should tell her my plan about leaving. Maybe she'd even come with me...hopefully us? But I'm not sure how to do that in front of Dash without spilling the whole half baked plan. "I owe you pretty big. You got any ideas?"
  • Hornet quirks a smile and quips, "Well, I'd call us even for some time alone with Dash here, been a while since I got some kissing from such a pretty boy, but no, this is your one true love. That's what you told me before you took my comb, I'll never forget. Not that you need a comb so much anymore." She smiles again, then waves off Dash, who is still, unsure.

    Her mirth drops as she steps closer to both of you. She smells like aloe, "Listen, Keela. I think you should leave Ba Sing Se. Suli tried to hire me to find you, she thought I was angry at you for the comb. I'm sure she hired others. The Water-bender lady, whats-her-name, she already caught her. You're the only spot left on her record."

    She puts a hand on your shoulder, its a friendly touch, "I've leaving myself, actually. Tomorrow at first light. There's a sand-bender's caravan leaving, they hired on some guards and I took a slot. The pay is dung, but we're headed to Serpent's Pass, then on. To wherever. You should come. Bring Dash here, too. We can teach him how to fight." That one bothered Dash.
  • I roll my eyes at the alone time with Dash thing. I'm not worried about Hornet. But then when she steps closer and tells me, well, basically my plan. I sigh, glancing at Dash and trying to outline my plan in my head. I guess the time is now.

    The poor water bender. I wonder if she ever found her kids. Suli must be pretty desperate to hire criminals. I give her a crooked smile. I'm pretty lucky she didn't agree to help Suli. "Well, thanks for not hauling me back to jail. And...well...you're right."

    I pull away from Hornet to face Dash. "Dash...I...I've been meaning to tell you. Our old plan isn't going to work anymore. They know who I am now. Jun Da's family isn't trying to cover it up anymore. They don't want me to disappear. They want me to be punished. I have to leave." I continue on before he interrupts me. "I have to go back. To the Fire Nation. I can't stay here. I can't keep putting you all through all this." I gesture at myself and him, our dirty selves, tired eyes, empty stomachs. "I know Rui will go with me. And...I know this is your home, but...but you could come too...we could all go...the whole gang. I think my father can clear all this up. I just have to get there....and I don't know what to do after that. I'm not asking you to move there permanently....but...I..." I bite my lip. "I'd like you to come." I almost whisper.
  • Without pause, Dash says, "Where you go, I go, Keela." Then he blinks a couple times lost in thought, "What about the gang? Canlid would love an adventure, but I dunno about Mew Mew, Boot and Muh-Min. If we get Mew Mew, she can talk Boot into it." He looks to Hornet, "How many slots are there? We're not big on, guarding skills exactly."

    Hornet looks to the two of you, sizing you up, then exhales, "Who are these people, Keela? I could pass Dash off. But I don't know if I can get jobs for them all... we can buy passage for as many as you want. But you said you're broke, and to be honest, so am I. Anything we can hock or hit up for some koku?"
  • I let out a shaky, relieved breath and smile at him. I'm so glad he said that. "I don't know." I say honestly. I don't know if the gang will come with us. But I hope they do. I don't want to leave any of them behind.

    Hornet starts talking and I give her a firm look. "They're my family, Hornet. We stick together. And they might not be guards, but they're tough. We all are." I purse my lips thoughtfully. "As far as payment....I have tons of stuff we could hock if I could just get back into Jun Da's house without getting caught..."

    A slow grin spreads across my face at the idea. Sneaking into Jun Da's house, stealing back my stuff, that would be a crazy challenge. "How sneaky can you be?" I tilt my head up to look at Hornet, my eyes sparkling.
  • Hornet gives you a sly wink. Out of the corner of your eye, you see Dash grin, too.

    --END SCENE--
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