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To Lose One's Grip
Tue Jan 2, 2007 08:37 (XFF:

“Kill your brother?” The question came out like a laugh, if a bit forced and louder than she would have liked. Another not-quite-sane laugh escaped her lips before she managed to compose herself and return her mouth to the closed position. She stretched the corners of her mouth back, smiling at him like an insane cat. The idea was more than mad. If this man only knew what she still thought and felt about Orlan. “You can’t possibly believe that I actually murdered him. I—” She wasn’t sure what sort of explanation that she should be offering to him, since she didn’t know herself what happened that night. The past was smoky and broken into pieces; holes in her memory still hadn’t been filled. She wasn’t sure that they ever would.

“You may not have killed him, but I believe it is your fault that he died.”

Wiley had no argument or defense for that. “Alright…” Finally she was able to stop smiling.

“Look, I don’t know who you are, or why you’re here, but I’m Child Calvin Mailhem. Wiley is meant to come with me for Questioning. She isn’t going anywhere else until I say so. Is that clear, son?” The Whitecloak had one hand on the hilt of his sword while the other looked ready to reach out and take her by force if he found it necessary. After a glance to the metallic gloves that he was wearing, she hoped he wouldn’t.

The younger Jarrick, or rather the only Jarrick boy now, seemed to be unimpressed by the Whitecloak and his aggressive attempts to prove his manhood. “I don’t think you understand. I’m here to avenge my brother’s death. This woman needs to pay for what she’s done.” He aimed an accusing finger at her, though his demeanor was calm and cold rather than angry. “I plan on taking her back to Altara and having her hanged for the murder of my brother. I won’t rest until justice is served.”

During this speech Wiley had began to consider her options. Both of these men wanted to see her killed because Orlan had died, and even though she didn’t remember that night as clearly as she would have liked, she had a pretty good guess that it wasn’t her fault that he had died. For now the two of them had the same goal, but they wanted to go about it differently. She felt it would be prudent of her to keep them on opposite sides. She didn’t want two angry men to be teamed up again her. Those were just unfair odds.

The two men began to argue over who was going to be taking her with them. Their self-righteous voices kept getting louder. Even though there were few people in the streets, the scene that they were causing was bringing more people out to watch the spectacle. Wiley, who wasn’t normally a fan of causing a large scene was beginning to feel nervous. Getting away from these two clowns wouldn’t be too difficult, but her job would be easier if there weren’t any other witnesses to point them in the right direction.

“Listen, can’t we just flip a coin? Heads, he takes me back and I get hung. Tails, I get Questioned and then hung. It’s a win-win situation.”

“No!” They answered in unison.

“Alright, fine.” She crossed her arms and just listened to them for a few moments. Obviously they were too self absorbed in their own fight, and would probably never miss her if she left.

Slowly she backed up until Calvin’s horse was against her back. She began petting the animal, stroking his velvet soft muzzle and checking to be sure that his saddle was securely fastened around his middle. “You want to go for a run, Crusader?” She whispered as she took his reins in hand. The animal nuzzled her again and considered her with his large brown eyes. “Let’s go for a run.” As quickly and quietly as possible, she boosted herself into the saddle before kicking her heals into the sides of the horse, causing him to rear and bolt forward into action.

Stopping in mid-sentence, the two men who had been arguing nose-to-nose, turned to see Wiley as she waved at them from the back of the horse. Giving a yell, she flicked the reins and urged him forward and in the direction of the docks of Ebou Dar.


She crouched on the rooftop, doing her best to hide behind a chimney until things were clear down on the ground. After riding Crusader’s Glory through the streets she had abandoned him in an alley behind one of her favorite taverns. She had no doubt that Calvin would locate the horse in short order. He had enough coin in his pocket to secure a small army if he so felt the need. As for the other man who was chasing her—damn her if she could remember his name—she didn’t know where he was or what tricks he may have had up his sleeve to employ, but she was relatively sure that he was still nearby and looking for her with just as much gusto as before.

It was still raining. Getting on the ground was going to prove a bit more tricky than getting up there had been. If she did not get down soon, she was going to find herself missing the boat that she had spent so much of her previous coin on securing. And while waiting till the cover of darkness had its appeal, she felt that if the two men were going to find her, they were going to find her no matter the position of the sun.

She waited until she was sure no one was below her on the ground. Slowly she snuck to the edge of the rooftop, and looked below to the street. The alleyway was empty with the exception of some garbage and the normal roughage. Getting onto her belly she backed herself off the roof until her feet her dangling freely and only her torso and arms kept her secured on the slick surface of the shingles. As she hung there, her mind went to the last time that she had been in this position. Well, there would be no unexpected kisses for her today.

Finally she was hanging by the edge of the roof. The ground was still several feet below her, but it would be an easy landing if she did it correctly. As she starred at the unwelcoming ground, she began to remember that she actually disliked heights quiet a bit, and decided that perhaps this wasn’t the greatest idea. In order to give her a bit more distance from the side of the building, she moved her hands from the roof to the rain gutter, which at that moment, choose to give-way, sloshing the dirty rainwater into her face and up her nose, causing her to let go of the gutter in surprise.

Wiley landed hard with one of her legs bent underneath her. She sputtered into the cobblestone street for several moments in order to clear her lungs and to find a way to pull a full breath back in again. Only once she was able to breathe did she feel the pain coming from her ankle. “Bloody…” She began to mutter as she got to her feet and found that putting any weight onto her left leg brought forth a searing pain that flared to life and then continued to throb once the weight had been removed.

“Lovely.” She whimpered as she hobbled toward the docks, hopeful that she would make it there before her ship left without her, and equally weary that Calvin or whats-his-name would find her before she made it to the safety of the sea.


Continued from this strand.

    • A Woman Below DecksWiley Darwish, Tue Jan 2 22:16
      The crew was upset. Ever since she had stepped—no, limped was much more accurate—on board, they had been at his door raising a fuss and letting him know that their voyage was sure to be damned. Women ... more
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