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Prospect of a Life
Mon Apr 16, 2007 23:19 (XFF:

Twenty five years old and running the largest guild on the south coast, Mirk Diminoth was feeling the stress of his life. In the past four years since gaining his illustrious position, he looked like he had aged ten. Dark bags had taken up permanent residence below his eyes, and his skin had started to crease from the constant worry. He knew better than to worry over his employees in the field, but something was eating away at him. He’d considered guilt as an option for the stress, but that wasn’t it. It was an emptiness. Even after he’d accomplished so much, he still felt as though he was missing something. It had been over two decades since his parents had been murdered. It had been over two decades since he had lived a normal life, one without the suffering that came with living in poverty, one without the stress that came with killing for a living. It had been over two decades since he’d lived in peace.

But this wasn’t in his mind at the moment. The only thing on his mind was to get the behemoth’s hand away from his windpipe, and to get the knife that had clattered to the floor. If it wasn’t for the trying to kill him thing, this man would have been perfect for Mirk’s recently vacant position in Tear, but apparently he was already under contract. Mirk’s back hit a wall hard, putting a dent in the thin wood. Mirk jabbed at the man’s throat, only to have his wrist caught in a bone crushing grip. So there he was, with a hand on the throat, holding him off the ground, his other arm immobilized by the giant’s hand. There was only one thing left to do. Before the spots in Mirk’s vision completely blotted out the real world, Mirk kicked out, vainly trying to make contact. The kick struck home, square in the large man’s groin. With a low grunt the man’s knees buckled slightly, and his grip loosened enough for Mirk to wrench his hand free and suck precious air into his fiery lungs. Unfortunately, the man wasn’t a stranger to pain, and seemed to recover quickly. Mirk, still woozy, lashed out in a blind effort to hurt the goliath in order to buy him some time to get the knife.

It didn’t work. Mirk got away from the crushing grip to be picked up by his jacket and tossed through the wall he’d just dented. He landed hard on his stomach, feeling as though he’d just been hit with a hammer. The large man ducked through the hole Mirk had made and bent over to pick Mirk up again. Hearing the footsteps, Mirk grabbed onto a shard of wood that looked particularly pointy and spun, stabbing the man in the outstretched arm. The man withdrew his arm in pain, the piece of wood deep in his forearm. Mirk pushed himself to his feet and drew in a deep breath. Blood was starting to seep from the wound, and would flow freely if the man took out the large splinter. Mirk took advantage of the man’s attention being turned to the arm to search the room for a weapon. The crackling of a fire in a hearth immediately caught his attention, and his eyes locked on to a fire poker sticking out from the red hot coals. Unfortunately, it had also caught the attention of the assassin Mirk was in the midst of battling. Mirk leaped for the poker, and arrived a split second before the other man. Mirk grabbed hold on the handle and swing, hitting the man in the back of the hand.

A kick to the groin and a piece of wood in the arm seemed a mere annoyance to the man, with a red hot rod smashing him in the back of the hand seemed to be past his pain thresh hold. He retreated, screaming while he held his freshly branded hand. Mirk advanced, wielding the poker fiercely, hoping to get the man again. He rounded a corner, and just as Mirk was about to, a piece of beam that was probably dislodged when Mirk flew through the wall struck the poker and knocked it to the ground. Mirk ducked just in time to avoid the skull-shattering swing that would have surly ended the fight. A diving roll saved Mirk from the overhead swing that hit the ground, breaking the chunk of wood into seven or so pieces. Mirk looked around the room and saw the knife, lying several feet away. Mirk tried to circle towards it, but was forced to make another dive to get there before the other man. But this time, before Mirk got there, he was grabbed by the ankle and pulled back across the floor. Mirk twisted to face the man, and saw a golden opportunity. He aimed a kick square at the shard of wood, driving it to the bone. The man let go, and cradled his arm. Mirk scrambled across the floor and snatched up the dropped knife. Just as he grabbed the handle, he felt something hard hit him in the back. The piece of wood from the man’s arm clattered on the ground as Mirk turned to see the bleeding man rush him.

Mirk felt the full power of the man, condensed into a single shoulder, hit him in the stomach. Mirk was knocked back, completely winded. Every thought about the knife in his hand was gone, only the pain and feeling of desperation. While he was being pushed back, Mirk slid an arm under the man’s throat and pulled up as hard as he possibly could. He hit a wall but he held on. Eventually the blood loss and lack of air got to the man, and his knees dropped out from underneath him. Mirk, having regained his senses, brought the nine inch blade down into the man’s back, piercing his heart. Instantly the man fell face first on the floor in front of Mirk.

Exhausted, Mirk slumped back against the wall and slid down to the floor, breathing heavily. He looked at the body in front of him with a bored sort of interest. The man was obviously a fighter, based on the battered up knuckles and extensive skill. He was obviously not very high class, based on his brutish techniques, beating his marks to death, and not in a discrete manner. Probably a guard of some sort gone rogue in order to gain some extra gold, perhaps even silver if he was just getting started.

‘Poor guy never even had a chance to get going. If only he’d come to me instead.’ Mirk thought. After regaining himself, Mirk stood up. The only thing running through his head was his retaliation for the obvious set up. He'd been sent to the building on a very high paying job, only to find a giant waiting to fight him. He’d deal with that after getting checked out by the staff doctor, Aralyn. Then he’d have a word with Guidion Shairen, the man who hired him. Mirk stepped over the body and headed towards the front door, leaving the mess behind him.

Mirk walked away from the house, through the streets of Tear. He’d spent so much time wandering the streets in his life, either looking for a place to stay, or an escape from the places he had found. He would bet any amount of money that he knew the city better than any thief catcher or city guard, even after his four year absence. It hadn’t changed in the time he was in Mayene and traveling around the world. Spending much of his time doing business in the city helped him become reacquainted with the elaborate maze of side streets and back alleys. He had yet to return to the home he’d shared with Hether, either of them, for that matter. He’d never been one for nostalgia, and most of the time he spent in Tear was on business, and he returned to his home in Mayene as soon as he could.

Currently, however, he was seeking his base of operations in Tear, where he would find Aralyn, who would hopefully sooth his aching body after the day’s adventure. He was sure his ribs were broken again, based on the sharp pains every time he inhaled. He hoped those were the only injuries.

‘I’ll just sit around, then get back to Mayene as soon as I can travel. I’ll be fine in a few days,’ he told himself, although it didn’t feel like it. It felt like he’d just been force-fed twelve pounds of glass shards. After feeling a particularly sharp jolt, he sped up his journey in hopes of getting back before he collapsed from the pain.

“Well, you’ve got a couple bruised ribs, but none of them broke. You’ve got some nasty bruises pretty much every where else, but I don’t think he did any permanent damage. Just take it easy for a couple weeks and you’ll be fine.” Mirk flinched as Aralyn smeared some freezing cold ointment on his side. She smiled at him.

“Oh toughen up, it isn’t that cold.” Mirk glared at her while he put his shirt back on. Mirk tried to make eye contact, but she averted her gaze to the floor.

“What’s wrong?” Mirk asked, sensing the more-than-obvious signals that something was on her mind. She shrugged nervously and looked around.

“Well… nothing’s wrong exactly, just… well….”

“What is it?” Mirk asked impatiently.

“I’m pregnant.”

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