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Insurrection - An RP

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Alric stood behind Celia as the men approached. He wanted to take no chances that she would be pointing her crossbow at his back. It was fairly dark but she seemed to know who was following them. So she was the target all along! Now, here she was trapped between a Zaddok and a Rebel, no wonder she was flighty. Come to think of it, this past day had probably been no picnic for her either. She had raised her bow and threatened them, calling the first one Will.

 

He thought surely it couldn't be, but as soon as the man spoke Alric relaxed his stance. Things were changing dramatically. Laughing low under his breath he turned to Celia, "It's okay, lower your weapon."

"Willaem, what kind of hell has this woman been putting you through? And why on earth are you following us?"

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"Wait... is that... Alric?" Willaem chuckled and practically ran the rest of the way up, leaving Jacob badly confused at the bottom. Clapping Alric on the back, he turned to look at Celia, "First, this one tried to lead us on what was probably a wild goose chase to find some extremely dangerous, malicious, and mysterious rogue mage who'd destroyed a city or something. Then her companion gets caught stealing just after she skips town... and I receive word that someone fitting her description massacred some Zaddock- some of whom I trained... idiots all of them. I doubt they were chasing for a justifiable reason and I know they weren't authorized... but someone had to take care of it. I chose to come since I'd supplied her with those bolts and I was interested as to why she was heading up this mountain. So, how about you? How well has the devilish woman tested your patience? I guess she's managed to do the almost impossible and get under your skin too?"

Finally, red and purple in the face, Jacob caught up with them and managed to pant, "Hi," in a pathetic attempt at a wary tone. Willaem turned back and noticed the boy was shivering, "Jacob, this is Alric. He's a rebel. In fact... he might have helped get your family out of the city for us. Monk, this is my newest trainee and protege, Jacob. I caught him trying to get his sister out before she was killed. Rub your arms, boy. Mind if he goes in to your fire?"

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"Well met Willaem. Ha, I knew your men couldn't have been after us!" He threw a scornful glance at Celia. "But truthfully, she's as flighty as a bumble bee and not nearly as sweet, but I have to give her credit. She's capable of subterfuge and landing on her feet. You could do far worse for a trainee."

 

She had finally earned his uneasy trust. He was impressed when she hadn't pulled some sort of prank to flee again. People behave strangely when they think they are trapped, she was a survivor. He'd give her that.

 

"Hello, Jacob. Do, all of you, come in to the fire. Jacob, you will have to tell me of your family. Perhaps I have news of them." He clapped the man on the shoulder then headed for the cavern entrance.

 

"Allisa, Gerald" he called into the crevasse. "Be at ease, all is well. We are among friends. Though it may not appear so."

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((crap... now I have to go back and check just what i wrote for continuity.))

 

Jacob nodded and immediately ran in, even as his master walked in slowly with the ease of friendship, though still wary of Celia, "I have to be able to trust my trainees... and they have to be able to humble themselves to the training. I doubt either of those things would happen," he cast a critical glance at Celia, "though I would be open to it were circumstances were to change."

Willaem pulled out some packages, "Jacob, go ahead and tell your family's story. If Alric trusts these people- and they are indeed joining the rebellion, then we can trust them as well." Jacob sent a quick glare Celia's way but said nothing as his eyes turned back to Willaem, "Don't worry about her. None but Zarron question my place. He would be the only one to raise a cry of investigation along with her... but she has proven herself an untrustworthy source to the Zaddock and I feel certain that Terla will have continued the look into her mysterious rogue. I'm going to snow for water."

Ducking out, Willaem left Jacob to his story, "My little sister was born with the ability to shift earth. She mainly used it to help in the garden. She- Tricia never hurt anyone... not even in a tantrum as a child. She was taken by the Zaddock... and we were to attend her execution. We couldn't do it... we couldn't see her die for her birthright. So we made these plans... everyone was involved... I tried to keep Dannil out of them... he's only 7... but I doubt it would have saved him. I was the one to go into the headquarters. I'm the oldest... and I was already stronger and at least slightly trained. We almost made it out... but I let go. I didn't mean to but I fell and... she had to keep going. Willaem pulled the arrow from my leg- offered me a way to stay alive- for all of us to stay alive.

"Tricia, Mum and Dad, and Bryne and Dannil were to stay in a home in the country. Just days before I was gonna get to see them again- about 3 months ago now, Willaem told me they'd had to move. I thought he'd betrayed me- thought he'd just seen a soldier in me and nothing else... but I received-" his breath caught and he realized he would start sobbing if he said anything else. Instead, he pulled a large stack of letters from his bag and handed them to Alric. They told of love and friends found- skills learned... happier days than Jake had ever imagined for a family with a citizen mage.

As Jacob was speaking, Willaem quietly made his way back in and placed a pot of snow above the fire. When the melted snow reached boiling point, he poured in the contents of one of the pouches and soon a cereal smell was wafting through the cave.

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Allaphym's eyes twinkled at the lad's display of muscles by hauling in a sizable stack of kindling.

"It doesn't take breasts to prepare a meal, just two hands and a little knowledge," she answered, trying to keep a straight face, thinking how few men would admit to an ability to cook, unless it was some kind of fresh kill....

"You can start the fire then, and I'll come up with something."

 

She began plucking the succulent mushrooms off of the inner walls, and motioned to Princess to assist her.

 

"My name is Allaphym Lambeth, and this is my charge, Princess Twerza."

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Kyrus

 

He set about building the fire as she had requested. Watching the young lady from the corner of his eye, he hoped he got it right and that it would light. He'd hate to look foolish in front of her...or her traveling companion.

His eyes widened and he turned to face the damsel when Allaphym introduced her as Princess Twerza. He stood and bowed politely to each of them. "It is my pleasure to meet you both. I am Lord Kyrus, traveling to Hayote."

 

He knelt quickly and continued working on the fire. When he set the candle to it he breathed a sigh of relief as the flames spread, filling the tree with a warm orange glow. "I have never seen fungus like that, are your certain it's safe to eat?"

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Celia

 

Left standing outside, half-glazed eyes following the others as they moved back to that cave, trying to make sense of what was going on. My finger slipped after they were out of sight and I very nearly shot myself in the foot. "Willaem... a rebel?!" I asked the mountains incredulously.

 

No answer. Heh, I guess there wouldn't be, right? I followed after the others with a sigh. They seemed to be in the middle of a coversation, but I butted in anyway. "I had to cause you some grief, I thought you were a loyal zaddok!" I lied. At the time, I really had been trying to catch the escaped mage. "But my cover as a sympathizer got blown when I helped Alric, so here I am now."

 

Yes, here I am now... here I am with the identity of a ranking traitor amongst the Zaddok, information that might fetch quite a sum from the right people. I also knew of this secret cave and an escape route used by the mages. I wonder, how much money would it all bring me in addition to a pardon for my crimes? Hrm, still, I like my neck in one piece slightly more than I like money, and I didn't trust the Zaddok to pay me with anything but a sharp blade after they'd heard all I had to say.

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Willaem chuckled, "I am a loyal Zaddock, Celia. I'm loyal to the throne and the true purpose of the Zaddock. Things have been twisted. Conspiracies have been started. Lines have been crossed so many times those who can still see them are scorned. I want to put the balance back. I only capture mages who have proven themselves to be dangerous- like your apparently formless rogue." Willaem pulled out enough bowls for them and filled one, offering it to her, "You're trying too hard to convince me you're truly on my side. You sought me out as a mercenary for hire and that is how I will continue to think of you. Your companion being placed in jail really doesn't help your status in my mind. However, you can't go back. I have little doubt that Zarron would take you as his personal project... and you're good looking enough that torture would not be an adequate word for how you would be received. Zarron rarely is refused what he wants. Do you want dried fruit with your meal?"

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Alric looked through the letters and smiled, "Yes I remember your family. I was not the one to lead them over the pass but I have passed on some of these letters with my own hand." He handed them back to the boy as Willaem was handing out bowls of porridge. He passed the first one to Allisa then the next to her father.

 

"So Willaem, are you crossing the mountain this trip or heading back empty handed?"

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Willaem thought for a while as he picked a package of dried fruit to add to his porridge. Finally, he nodded, "I think I'll go see the boys... and Jacob can see his family." He looked at the others as they ate their porridge, "So, what can this family do?"

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Allisa

 

Her father shook his head. "We're not mages," he said, "but unfortunately, it seems legitimate crimes are no longer needed for some Zaddok to execute the law."

 

Allisa nodded once and took up the story. "We were accused of magecraft because I did not service a corrupt soldier. None of us actually have any magical power." She smiled and glanced at the priest. "Alric saved us just the same, thank the heavens."

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"You won't feel out of place Allisa. There are many in Hayote that have no powers. Being part of the resistance is power enough. In fact if you can transcribe as well as your father you will have plenty to do. I might add, the atmosphere is considerably more pleasant without the threat of the Zaddok hanging over you. The Order of Aisel can put you up until you find a place to settle in. The crafters are constantly building new homes for the inflow of refugees and rebels."

 

He turned his attention back to Willaem, "It will be a pleasure to have your company. Our good Celia has some of your horses," he laughed giving her a sidelong look. "So you'll not have to proceed on foot either.I think you will be surprised at how much growth has occurred since your last visit."

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Jacob brightened considerably at the mention of horses. Chuckling lightly, Willaem turned to Celia, "Much thanks. So kind of you to take care of the poor beasts for us It's almost as if you knew we were coming behind." Nodding, he chuckled, "Well... there was quite a bit of planning and talk before I left last. The rebel city does seem to grow magnificently... the first time I returned, I was expecting huts and was fronted with small houses and a few apartments. The second time there was a building serving like an inn... and a house for every family there. With all the people we... lose," he winked, "I wouldn't be surprised if there's a hospital and schooling districts and government."

All joking aside, Willaem's mind turned back to Allisa's comment and his eyes narrowed at his porridge before he looked up, "Dedrick?" The looks on their faces was enough answer. Shaking his head Willaem grumbled, "I suppose he's dead now? Easy death?"

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"These are 'tree ears', eating them will make you able to hear whatever the trees are thinking, and they're delicious, too!"

 

Allaphym winked at Princess, who had sidled up to the young man after his gracious bow and introduction, and was standing near, looking over his shoulder while he stoked the small fire.

 

The flames glowed steadily in the quiet interior, the slight smoke drifting upward into the impenetrable darkness above. The shelves of mushrooms cast giant shadows, stretching out over their heads, as if they were now transformed into tiny wee folk living on the forest floor only slightly larger than the insects.

 

She began shredding the thick, tender light brown caps into a beautiful, delicately wrought brass bowl.

 

Princess continued to watch Kyrus with large golden eyes, framed by arching brows and sweeping eyelashes, her small round face surrounded by honeyed shades of soft curly hair. She looked half her age, more baby than child, although her mind held at least twice the wisdom expected of one so young.

 

Her lips softened slightly, melting into a conspiritorial smile. "The trees in this woods are very intelligent," she murmured in a light girlish tone, "we may not be able to understand them anyway, even if we do hear their thoughts."

 

@everyone - Twerza looks 5 years old, but she is really 10....

 

~~~~~

 

3am and clean up time at the Lucky J.....and time for Frohaver to dodge any further honest employment, sneak out and count the tips he had collected along with a few other items purloined from drunkard's pockets. Now he could sleep until noon, or later, and return to his self-assigned tasks in the afternoon. He headed down the alley, and up a back staircase to a small, one room loft over a tack shop. The smell of leather blended with wood smoke as he ignited a small blaze inside the old stove squeezed in one corner, and stretched out lounging on the large bed that seemed to fill most of the room....hardly space left for the table and three chairs (who knows what happened to the fourth chair, surely there must have been one at some time).

 

He was pretty sure he knew why such a small space held such a big bed, knowing the fellow he rented the place from, but it surely had been a private affair, since the guy was never reluctant to lend him the room, whatever reason encouraged the muscle it took to bring this item up the steep stairway had to be history by now.

 

Ah, if the mattress could talk.....he could certainly get this room for free, if he knew who Sir Landlord was romancing up here before sheer lust had turned to mere lust for money.

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Travist had long gone home and Bellyndra sat straight up in the bed with a scream on her lips. It wasn't the first time she had had that dream and she feared it was not the last. The Zaddok would be coming, it was just a matter of time.

 

Bellyndra got up and warmed herself a mug of milk over the glowing embers in the fireplace. She threw on another log and climbed back in bed. The milk relaxed her and she was soon fast asleep dreaming of peaceful times.

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Celia

 

Brock grimaced. "That guy didn't deserve an easy death, but I hope he's dead just the same!" Hrm, what's he on about with this he hopes business?

 

"Hope? You killed him yourself, ya dunder-head! I heard you say so back on the trail!" I stopped, wondering if he was worried that Willaem would take offense. Why should he, eh? If Willaem was all about honor, loyalty, the true Zaddok way and all that nonsense, then he should be happy when a guy like Dredrick gets snuffed.

 

"Y, yeah I stabbed him. I just wasn't sure if I killed him." Brock tried to cover for himself.

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As if in response to Twerza's words, a whisper of a draft, like a faint sigh breezed in through the crack in the trunk, catching the flames and lifting them higher for a moment, while cooling the air slightly, and tossing a handful of sparking snow about the moss carpeted hollow.

 

Allaphym's hands searched her pockets and the emerged with a transparent aqua tinted disc, that with a deft tug from her fingers unfolded vertically along neat even pleats into a medium sized bottle. "Princess, would you please fill this with melted snow?" she requested, holding the flask out toward her companion.

 

Princess nodded, and taking the water bottle, slipped out of the trunk to fulfill the task.

 

Allaphym's gleaming dark eyes rested on Kyrus as she tossed some tasty pecans and dried tarragon with the mushroom mix. He was a pleasent, impressionable fellow, that much easier to influence with her magic.

 

Her talent was a very subtle one, no great displays of power, no lightening bolts, or fireballs, sometimes her skills were barely recognized as magic at all....and sometimes they weren't magical, she was wise in the ways of human nature, and could often sway others without it's use...

 

but just in case, she could exert an extra enchantment, binding people emotionally, intensifying existing feelings, affecting hearts enough to influence minds.....minds were always subject to hearts anyway, and prone to finding reasons to justify desires, rather than deny them.

 

She smiled at young Lord Kyrus, and began to cast her silent spell....

 

...envisioning herself wrapping her arms around him gently, until the warmth of the glowing fire became her body holding him close....and kissing his cheek like he was a small child, her brother, snug in her embrace, while a damp snow flake melting on his face became her lips....was it another stray breeze intruding, or her fingertips ruffling his hair tenderly? Secure in the hollow trunk of the ancient tree, the safest place in the world this chilly night....

 

Princess returned, shaking clouds of snow off her cloak before stepping inside, full flagon in hand, her knowing eyes reflecting Kyrus' face as she gave the water to Allaphym. A full meal and deep sleep, and the effects of the enchantress' magic would probably be permanent...Kyrus should trust them both implicitly, and possibly defend them with his very life.

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Kyrus

 

Kyrus was aware of Allaphyms every move even though he appeared to be observing the princess. It tickled him how she watched him with such intensity. She had a delicate sparkle to her eyes that was endearing and he couldn't help but like her. He had recently come of age and his powers had manifested. Thanks to Alric his parents had been able to secret him out from under the Zaddoks noses. He watched Twerza as she left the tree for the snow then turned back to the warmth of Allaphym's stare.

 

As if all his troubles bled away he felt as if he had known her forever. He suddenly felt an overwhelming desire to protect the two of them. Why were they on their own out here anyway? But the thought dissipated as the princess re-entered the warm comfort of the tree.

 

Wanting to see her smile again he reached for a handful of sandy loam from the floor. After closing his hands around it he closed his eyes for brief moment of concentration he opened them and extended his palm to her. Laying within it was a small glass flower with beveled edges that glinted in the firelight like so many diamonds.

 

"For you," was all he said before the flush crept up his neck.

 

((Kyrus is 14))

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Willaem grunted, "Hopefully you failed and Zarron's ability can be exacted for a good use... once in his life. I would love to see that man squirm and melt under Zarron's hand." Willaem pulled back a sleeve to show a long, raised scar, crawling up to his elbow from his wrist, "Her name was Tristie... beautiful girl with hair blacker than tar and eyes so brilliantly blue, they could dazzle you in a second. I'd seen her a few times... barely 15 years old... but he took her... I didn't find her in time... and even I couldn't save her once the blood started to run. The lout gave me this when I tried to save her... and he got off with no scar on his body or record." Willaem's eyes darkened once more and he nodded, "I'd pay to see him under Zarron's hand."

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The crystal bloom glistened, resting in the young man's outstretched hand, and tiny rainbow lights spun and flickered about the tree-trunk's inner walls, reflected from it's flawless surface.

 

Allaphym's lips spread smooth as honey into the desired expression of delight, sparks from the beautiful gem swarmed across her delicate face and behind her head and shoulders like a myriad of tiny fire bees surrounding their queen.

 

Rising to accept the offer, she lifted it gingerly from his palm, marveling at the precision and intricacy of its petals, that had just a moment ago been nothing but debris on the mossy ground.

 

"We have just traveled through the mountains from Hayote, Lord Kyrus. I believe you will find it a safe, secure haven, and in fact a prosperous one. Our destination is Thuor." The enchantress watched the lad closely, wondering what his reaction to this revelation would be.

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Kyrus

 

His eyes widened, "You'll be in danger! Why would you head into the massacre that is coming? Two females alone are an open target. Even I know that."

 

He was torn with a desire to protect them, but knew he was woefully inadequate to the task. He was suppose to go to Hayote and begin training. Having much to learn about his talent, Alric had told him that reorganizing matter was very rare and he needed to be someplace safe. He ran his hand through his sandy blond hair feeling a bit fuzzy.

 

He was about to tell them he was still traveling to Hayote but when he looked into Allaphym's eyes the words that passed his lips were not the ones he had intended.

 

"I have just escaped from there. I may be able to get you past some of the dangerous areas."

 

Why on earth did I just volunteer to do that? Alric will have my hide for a saddlebag.

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Allaphym gazed at him fondly and thought about taking his hands in hers. "There will be no massacre if the magic users taking refuge in Hayote do not initiate the assault. I have debated with the elders for months now, recommending against any action that would increase the violent confrontation between those with the Gift, and the ordinary citizens. Revenge on the Regent and his wicked Zaddock forces is not worth the lives it will certainly cost us, even if the rebels succeed and defeat them. Also, the ordinary folk of Torvir are being taught to fear those with Magic Talent, and an outright offensive attack could cause even more mistrust."

 

She shook her head, her shining dark braid swaying fluidly with the motion. "The rebels must not aggravate this war....to do so is folly."

 

"We go to seek the Prince, he can dismiss the Regent himself when he is old enough. He is young, and needs friends, and it's probable his life is in some danger as well, the Regent may not willingly relenquish the power he is abusing so readily, and may be plotting Sorin's assasination as we speak. It would be too convenient for Arashin Joszi to blame another death in the Royal family on those with magical skills....I believe the young Prince needs protection."

 

Princess whispered softly in her small childish voice, "He's my age, and I want to meet him."

 

At this comment Allaphym smiled in encouragement, then continued her explanation, "You can be of much assistance to our plan if you decide to, Kyrus, but to do so you must continue to the rebel village in Hayote. What do you wish?"

 

His offer to return into recently escaped danger assured the enchantress than her spell held him strongly enough to entrust with a Secret. However, leading him to believe the choice was his own would reinforce the magic, and his decision to aid them would also increase his natural confidence in himself...again she exerted a slight measure of magical pressure, erasing all internal conflict as she thought of cupping his comely face in her palms, and looking at him with nothing but the utmost trust in her own...

 

She could sense the tension increasing behind her back, and the restless desire for combat taking over as her calming presence was no longer close at hand amoung the rebel mages, and thought of the letter from her dear friend hidden deep in her pocket.

 

Dear Allaphym,

 

I understand your position fully. And I understand your quest. As you stated, I don't always agree with your position, and at the same time, I am your friend and will support you in your endeavors to bring our world to peace.

 

I am deeply concerned about your safety away from Hayote. Please be extremely careful and if it looks as if to be a 'no-go', please pull out. Our teams are ready and will fare well in war. No need to sacrifice yourself in Torvir.

 

I will look after your things as if they were my own. And I will continue to talk with the elders about holding off any war until you have had sufficient time to complete your mission.

 

Please send word when it is safe to do so. I will miss you and your smiling face.

 

Forever in friendship,

 

Bellyndra

 

Allaphym was not sure the teacher could stall those anxious to take action for very much longer...and this young refugee Lord Kyrus was exactly what she needed to assure a lengthy delay.

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A sigh of relief escaped his young lips. He really wasn't looking forward to return to Thuor. He had no real reason to trust her, but he did. "How can I help by going to Hayote?"

 

It seemed a strange request since she just left there. If he could help, he would. After all his family was still in Thuor. He wouldn't endanger them by mentioning their names though. It could be bad for them if it was discovered their son was a mage. They had managed to get him out before anything suspicious had happened.

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Frohaver woke up in the middle of the night damp with a slight sweat due to the proximity of the warm, dimly glowing stove, and in a mood that made it a shame to waste the large comforting bed on just himself....he spent the next hour dwelling on memories of the pretty faces and feminine curves that he had spent most of his time ogling covertly during the day, then finally drifted back to sleep ...certain that any one of them would desire his attention if she only knew what a man he was....

 

~~~~~

 

Allaphym hestitated briefly..."There is something I neglected to do before I left. Actually, I wasn't certain it should be done, especially without my continued presence...but, now I think it would be best, and if you could complete a small task for me once you arrive among the mages, our future will be quite a bit more secure while I'm gone."

 

She waited again to hear what he would say.

 

Clear, pure, Blessed Water. Nothing can be accomplished without it, symbol of passionate emotions, source of strength and cleanliness, the wellspring of youth....Allaphym's magic often used plain, simple, fresh water, innocuous and ordinary, easily ignored and overlooked, yet above suspicion and easy to infuse with elements affecting the feelings of those who touched or drank the enchanted liquid.

 

At her dwelling was hidden a most powerful talisman, one of only three were known to exist in the world.

 

The rebel village was fed drinking water from a single spring, spilling down from the crisp snowy heights of the mountain range, splashing over it's arrogant rocks and boulders, flinging itself with wild abandon over cliffs and among the scattered stones without hesitation, smoothing them with a slippery sheen, and encouraging mossy fur to coat their rugged faces as it wandered ecstatically into the valleys below.

 

Other than fresh rain and snowfall, it was the mage's only source of fresh water.

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Celia

 

"Zarron sounds like such a nice guy." I put in with dry sarcasm. "He could probably do with a nice little bolt right between his nice little eyes." I hated bullies. People who only felt good when they were hurting others. I get paid to hurt people, but that's a whole different thing from doing it just for fun. This Zarron... I don't think I'd work for a person like him no matter how much he paid me, and that's saying alot!

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