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Author Topic: The Hard Way  (Read 39467 times)

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Offline Murometz

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #175 on: April 28, 2011, 03:47:01 PM »
Kate pulls up.

This should be Farmer Nightgoggle's house.

Cutter on level 9, intense. Not paying attention.

Frank gets out to stretch his limbs.

Kate sees a man stumbling across the field about 100 yards away. Dressed pretty spiffy for middle of nowhere.

Tha hell?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 05:18:00 PM by Murometz »
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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #176 on: April 28, 2011, 06:35:25 PM »
He's shivering now. Is that the cold? Shock?

A farmhouse. People. Oh, thank God. People.

Takes a minute, gathers himself. Closes his eyes for a moment, takes a deep breath. Brushes dust from his shirt. He's out of his element. Way out of his element. And his world has collapsed in upon itself. But he can get through this. Maybe.

Tries to speak but it comes out as a croak. Throat sore, he clears it.

"Excuse me? Hello?" Raises his hand in an uncertain greeting.
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Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #177 on: April 28, 2011, 06:51:51 PM »
Kate paused, doing a classic double take at the haggard man stumbling towards her, he looked to be a banker, or maybe a stock broker judging by his 5th avenue style of dress.  But what the hell was man like this doing on a corn field? Unless he was from the IRS and doing an audit maybe?

Shaking her head to clear the jumble of thoughts from her mind she realized he was speaking to her, with the voice of someone who was on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion. "Are you okay sir?" She Glanced over at Frank, giving him a puzzled expression, a Wal-street Refugee was the last type of person she expected to encounter in a place like this. 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:50:10 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #178 on: April 28, 2011, 07:14:14 PM »
"My... my car. Back that way." Vague gesture.

"There was a truck. A big truck. In my lane."

Takes another step, stumbles, goes down this time as his legs finally betray him.

"I'm so terribly sorry. I don't mean to be so clumsy."
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #179 on: April 28, 2011, 07:26:02 PM »
With a glance, Frank looked over the stumbling man, watching him fall. Either one hell of a trap, or close enough to innocent. Either way, better to take the bait. Rolling his shoulder to put the shotgun in an easy to draw place within his long coat, Frank looked once to Kate, letting his eyes slide meaningfully to the injured man, then well away from the house. Patch what you can, get him out of the likely line of fire.

Look for the lights. Head up to the porch. Hope Cutter has the attention and sense to flank. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Don't stand directly in front of the door. Stand to the left side, where the frame is in the immediate line of fire from inside, but he can roll the long arm out easily enough to point in through the frame. Just far enough to be visible if he opens it, close enough to dodge into the wall. Breath. No nerves, you've done this a hundred times. Knock HARD.

Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #180 on: April 28, 2011, 09:21:04 PM »
Kate nodded at Frank, reaching back inside her vehicle to grab a blanket form the bank and nudging Cutter hard enough to get his attention. "Frank needs you to back him up, I've got my hands full with the new arrival."

Stepping towards the purple shirted man Kate paused long enough to make sure her pistol was securely fastened and then knelt down next to him, pulling the blanket across his shoulders as she pulled him into a sitting position and began to speak slowly and gently while trying to guide him towards the back of her Cuda, safe from any initial gunfire. "My name is Kate, you're on a farm in Nebraska, can you remember your name and where you're from?"

He seemed shaken, but didn't look to be seriously injured, most likely worn out from wandering lost through the cornfields half the night. From the sounds of it a truck ran him off the road, probably one of the Rednecks on their to or from the motel, hopefully no one else was injured in the crash.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:54:22 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #181 on: April 28, 2011, 10:49:38 PM »
His face is pale, his eyes glazed over in shock. Dried tears still streak his cheeks. The girl wraps a blanket around him and he almost breaks down again.

Human contact.

Hours, or days?, spent fleeing from the spectre of death. All alone in his misery. All alone for the first time in 10 years.

Finally, feeling safe again. Just a little.

"Stefan. My name is Stefan. From Seattle. Actually, it's Portland now." He smiles weakly. "But, I guess that's neither here nor there anymore."

His eyes focus a little. "You're very sweet for helping me, dear. Thank you. I'm on my way to my sister's house. I lost my phone... somewhere." His eyes blank out again, horror flashes across his face briefly.

"I need to call her. Let her know I'm coming."

He allows himself to be led to the car.
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #182 on: April 28, 2011, 10:53:40 PM »
There is subtle, and then there was Cutter. Frank has heading for Farmer McGoggles place, but he wasnt going entirely alone. He had the P90 ready, the butt of the gun in his good shoulder and his finger on the trigger. He squatted down along the rear quarter panel of the car, putting the house in his field of fire. He could move quickly and put Kate and GQ Zombie in a similar field. Kate probably had that taken care off, zombies are easy to fight one on one unless you were a banker, lawyer, kid, or the plucky but weak female lead in the zombie flick.

Should have grabbed the first aid kit from the truck.

Hindsight is a &^%$@


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Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #183 on: April 28, 2011, 11:12:59 PM »
Kate debated informing the shaken man he'd stumbled into a worse situation then was previously in, but decided there was no need to further panic him with the truth, and instead take things a little slower. "Was there anyone else with you when your car went off the road? Also your sister, where does she live?" He seemed innocent enough, and likely uninvolved in the mess they were all in. So far.

Frank and Cutter seemed to be preparing to greet the farmer like he was enemy combatant, perhaps they forgot his was in his seventies and could die of a heart attack if they scared him bad enough. Then again, an old man with night vision goggles might not be quite so fragile, and there was no telling who his younger family members were, or if they had been involved in the firefight earlier.

She kept a close eye not only on Stefan in front of her, but also on the road and barn near by; places like this usually had hired help, and that hired help may not take kindly to people with military weaponry prowling about their front yard..
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 05:57:24 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #184 on: April 29, 2011, 07:13:55 AM »
"Anyone with me? No." But there should have been. He feels the heartache take hold again, the same heartache that had dogged him since Vegas. Seemed like every couple of minutes there was a reminder of Gary, just waiting to clamp its jaws around his heart.

Fresh tears trickle down his cheeks. He fans himself. "I'm sorry. Here I am, a thirty-year-old man crying his eyes out like a ten-year-old girl."

Eyes suddenly widen.

"Is... is that man holding a gun?"

Looks to Kate, looks to Cutter, looks to Kate again.
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #185 on: April 29, 2011, 12:01:34 PM »
Tears, whatever the man had been through it must've been painful, much like her own past. Before she could inquire further he voiced another question, the realization of what he'd stumbled into evident on his face.

So much for keeping him distracted while her allies made contact with the farmer. Stay calm, and the civilans you're dealing with will remain calm, panic is infectious, never let fear or uncertainty show when others are in need of support. More words from her father echoing in her head, god how she missed him.

Shoving thoughts of her family from her mind Kate nodded in agreement, noticing the early morning sunlight reflecting off the smooth finished exterior of the weapon. "That's Cutter, he's carrying a P90 assault weapon, arguably one of the most lethal close quarter firearms invented within the past couple decades."

Explaining everything that happened so far would take too long, but lying to the man would be just as troublesome, especially when he saw through it. He had the look of a college educated person, far brighter then the hayseed hicks common to this part of the country, even if was he partially in shock at the moment.

"The other guy up near the door with the long arm is called Frank, he's a bounty hunter, I'm-" She paused for a second trying to find the words to describe herself, realizing she didn't really classify as anything other then an arson and murder suspect on the run from the Russian Mafia. "I'm helping them look into the murder of a young man; my father was a detective in the NYPD." A slightly rose tinted version of the truth, but it would do for now.

"Once we're done following up on this lead here we can give you a lift to the nearest town, and let you borrow a cell phone to call your sister." Hopefully this influx of information wouldn't send the man screaming back into the cornfields, although in his condition she doubted he'd make it to the end of the driveway before collapsing again.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:00:04 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #186 on: April 29, 2011, 01:51:49 PM »
Stefan blinks a few times. Trying to process, trying not to go completely out of his mind.

Bizarre reactions surge. Run screaming? Laugh hysterically? Curl up into a ball until it all goes away?

Kate's matter-of-fact tone cuts through the haze. Mindless thugs didn't bother to explain things to men like him. He fastens onto the phrases "bounty hunter" and "murder investigation."

Wipes his face, dirt streaks through the tears. Nods. "You're the good guys, then?"

Pause.

"I'm a little... worn out right now, so I'll just sit for a bit while you guys take care of business."

Close to two days without sleep, hardly any food, driving mile after endless mile. A wonder he hadn't been the one crossing lanes.

"Besides, I think I'm a little out of my depth. Unless you think a former U-Dub professor can be of assistance somehow?" Flashes a tired but sardonic smile.
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Murometz

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #187 on: April 29, 2011, 03:09:11 PM »
Frank knocks hard.

"Yeah, yeah, come in. Its open. Coulda' raised the dead with your arrival. You think i don't know you're there?"

Old raspy voice, but one full of pride and gumption.

Suddenly Frank hears a low growl coming from inside, accompanying the old voice. Doggy. Sounds like a big one.

No one comes to the door though. No welcoming committee.
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Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #188 on: April 29, 2011, 10:55:02 PM »
Kate did her best to give him a reassuring smile at his mention of good guys, it was accurate enough from what she could tell, so far. "We're not gang bangers or hit men if that's what you mean, think of us as independent investigators."

She stood up and popped the trunk of her car at his mention of being worn out, passing him a bottle of watter and half empty pouch of beef jerky. "After stumbling around these cornfields half the night you could probably use some water and protein, just don't guzzle it or you'll be hurling it right back up again."

A university of Washington professor, quite a long way from home, either on vacation, heading across country because of a family emergency, or running from a past. Given he was driving and not on a plane, Kate doubted it was either of the first two, unless he had a fear of flying and being groped by airport security.

Nodding in understanding she tried to shift the subject away from Frank and Cutters initial breach of the building, not something this guy should be paying too close attention to in his condition, in case things got bloody. "A professor? If you don't mind me asking what was your major?"
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:02:41 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #189 on: April 29, 2011, 11:12:51 PM »
Reaching to the door to open it, Frank shifted the long arm under his coat so that it would stay there on its own, just in case he was going to have to grab Doggy. He knew how to deal with that, if he needed to.

"Call it being polite," he said as he opened the door, his voice soft and unthreatening as possible. "Rude to sneak up on a man's home, wouldn't you say?" It's with a slight smile that he looks about, even as he says, "Name is Castiglione. I suppose you could call me a private eye, but right now, I'm just looking for one of my friends, and they tell me you were the last person to spot his car."

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #190 on: April 29, 2011, 11:38:52 PM »
Stefan takes the water, grateful. Sips at it a little, sees how it settles. Looks at the jerky. Nausea and hunger go to war.

"Antiquities. Bronze Age of the Mediterranean and Near East were my broader focus, though I always had a special soft spot for Mesopotamia. Did you know they unearthed some cuneiform tablets from ancient Sumeria, almost 4,000 years old, detailing a father's diatribe against his layabout son? He asks all the usual questions: Why are you skipping school? Did I pamper you too much when you were young? Why can't you be like your cousins?

"Look how far we've come as a species, huh?"

Turns sheepish. That tired, self-deprecating smile again, but at least a little life has crept into his eyes. "Probably more than you were asking. I tend to become a little long winded. Professional hazard.

"Maybe I will try a piece of that jerky after all."
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #191 on: April 30, 2011, 12:14:41 AM »
"I have some Chinese heritage on my mothers side, never followed the culture back that far..." Kate let her voice trail off as she realized her utter lack of knowledge about the subject made any in depth discussion mostly one sided, time to switch topics to something less complicated.

"You mentioned you had a sister? Is she from around these parts?" Given the mans gentle demeanor and purple shirt she very much doubted he grew up in red neck country, San Fransisco maybe, but nowhere even close to this part of America, not that it didn't mean his sister hadn't moved out this way. "If you don't like Jerky I think there's a bag of fried pork rinds in back seat." She offered helpfully, gently closing the trunk link with a soft thud.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:04:28 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #192 on: April 30, 2011, 03:49:06 AM »
Things seemed to be very calm, almost sedate. One walking wounded and Frank seemed to have McGoggles in hand. Cutter felt the small coil of tension that had been building unwind and relax. He let the P90 drop, slowly at first, and then left it to dangle from its shoulder strap. He pulled the pack of smokes and lit one.

"Hey buddy, need a smoke?" he asked the shuffler in purple.


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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #193 on: April 30, 2011, 12:56:00 PM »
"I have some Chinese heritage on my mothers side, never followed the culture back that far..."

"I'm sorry. Here I am prattling on about ancient civilizations and you're dealing with murders and escaped felons. Feel free to ignore me when I go on like that."

"You mentioned you had a sister? Is she from around these parts?"

"My sister, Lisa, she lives out toward Lincoln. She, uh, doesn't exactly know I'm coming. This trip was kind of... unexpected."

"If you don't like Jerky I think there's a bag of fried pork rinds in back seat."

His gut clenches on him; high emotions, fatigue, and nausea all rebelling at once.

"It's been..." Pauses as he tries to figure out just how long. "At least a day since I've eaten anything. I should probably take it a little slow."

Wry grin. "Unless you happen to have a bottle of Pinot and some crab cakes in there?"

"Hey buddy, need a smoke?"

Stefan turns, looks at Cutter. Intimidated. One arm, stump bleeding, big fellow, haunted eyes, letting the gun (is that a rifle? a wierd pistol?) dangle with such practiced ease. Nothing in the bubble he'd been living in had prepared him for anything like this.

"Um. I appreciate the offer. Truly. But I don't smoke.

"You're, um, bleeding. Can I help?"
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
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His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #194 on: April 30, 2011, 01:48:26 PM »
Kate nodded in sympathy at the unexpected part, lately her life had consisted of nothing but one long unexpected nightmare. "Unexpected? I remember the last time I had an unexpected visitation from someone who was in too much of a hurry to send me a text or call ahead of time. Her parents had just tossed her out in the middle of the night when they found out her prom date wasn't a guy." She paused, smiling at the recollection of those simpler times.

"The &^%$@ of it was she stole their car to drive over to my place, and traded it to a couple punks down the street for a six pack of beer and bottle of Captain Morgan. When my dad came home and found us drunk off our ass he-" She stopped talking abruptly as she realized she'd been divulging waay too much info; spending the last couple weeks alone with no one but herself to talk to had taken its toll, especially now she ran into someone seemingly just as bad as off as she was, if not worse.

She cleared her throat to avoid the uncomfortable silence, focusing back on the present, registering his inquiry about crab cakes, and the mention of Cutters wound. "Don't tell me you've been bleeding all over my back seat the whole drive here? s**t!" Genuine leather, and her few clothes were back there, along with some blankets, too late to worry about it now. "Here I've got a first aid kit in the trunk."

With a click she reopened the Cuda's trunk and pulled it out, passing it to Stefan; if he wanted to play doctor for Cutter he was more then welcome to, she needed to properly bandage her own injury anyway. Hopefully they'd be to preoccupied with his bleeding arm to notice her lack of undergarments while she tended to the puncture on her thigh.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:05:55 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #195 on: April 30, 2011, 02:28:41 PM »
"I'm no doc so if you can better than wrapping a shirtsleeve around it be my guest. It's mostly a flesh wound, didn't hit anything hard, and no arterial bleeding. Probably a .38 or something small like that. I've had a bit of granny's pain medication so I can't tell if it went all he way through or if I have a tiny passenger in my shoulder."

Cutter swings the p90 behind his back and undoes the strap that holds his artificial arm on. He lays in on the trunk of the 'cuda and let's Mr. PurpleSleeves see the damage to his shoulder. It's not a sight for the squeamish as the war would is still ugly years later. There is little to nothing left below the point of the humorus where the shoulder muscles attach. The missing bicep is obvious and the pucker in the end where most of the bone was removed can turn a weaker stomach.

"I've thought about getting it tattoed, but never could think of anything to put on it," he says, puffing his third smoke and feeling a tad light headed from the third round of nicotine.


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Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #196 on: April 30, 2011, 03:21:05 PM »
Stefan wobbles a bit. Cutter's words sound like they're coming from the end of a long tunnel.

Oh, please, dear God, don't let me faint!

Stares at the old wound, bloody from the fresher one. Closes his eyes, thinks of something familiar and pleasant. Like walking across the Golden Gate on a foggy day, smelling the fresh ocean breeze, sounds all muffled, Gary's hand entwined with his own. I must remember Gary as he was back then.

Better.

"I'm no physician either, my friend." Hopes his voice is steadier than it feels. "But, we'll see what a little antiseptic and some gauze will do for things.

"My name is Stefan, by the way. I understand you go by Cutter? Is that a last name?"

If he keeps talking, maybe he'll be able to get through this without making a total fool of himself.
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The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #197 on: April 30, 2011, 07:37:17 PM »
"It's my tag from the marine corps, real name is John. My therapist would be glad to hear me say that," Cutter says. "You look pretty rattled man, and thats bad coming from me. Maybe you should sit down and have a cig even if you don't smoke." There was a look a man got in his eye, that shell shocked thousand yard stare that comes after getting hit by your own air support, or getting caught in a crossfire between RPG and machine gun nests. The way he sort of imagined how he looked after the blast that took his arm off.

"you know I've been to Mesopotamia? Even seen the ruins of Babylon and all that."


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Offline Kate Hammerhill

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #198 on: May 01, 2011, 02:52:04 AM »
Kate half listened to the conversation between the two men, focusing mostly on quickly hiking up her skirt and bandaging her leg as she sat on the edge of the bumper. Compared to Cutters injury her leg was nothing, barely a scratch she'd had far worse injuries in her Krav Magha classes before.

As she applied the disinfectant and clenched her teeth against the pain she hunted for another distracted to keep her mind focused on something else. "So how's Washington Stefan? I heard there's some lovely country up that way, prettier then all these cornfields anyway." The wound seemed clean, without any wood fragments lodged inside; some gauze and a little medical tape it'd be good as new.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 06:09:07 AM by Kate Hammerhill »

Offline MysticMoon

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Re: The Hard Way
« Reply #199 on: May 01, 2011, 10:36:57 AM »
"you know I've been to Mesopotamia? Even seen the ruins of Babylon and all that."

"That must have been magnificent. You know, I've studied the history, even seen a few artifacts, but I've never had the opportunity to go there. Of course, if you served in Iraq I don't know how much I should envy you your experiences."

The toll of the last few days is becoming too much. He listens to Cutter and sits down, his knees and hands shaking.

"So how's Washington Stefan? I heard there's some lovely country up that way, prettier then all these cornfields anyway."

He turns a little so his attention is divided between the two.

"I wish I could tell you, but I didn't get to see much beyond Seattle. We only lived there for three years and I was a new hire, desperate to achieve tenure, so I spent most of my time at the University."

He holds his hands out, palms upward, and looks at them. His voice becomes ragged, defeated. "All that work, and what do I have to show for it?"
Chosen of Aktagarti – Divine Synod Guild – Level 1
Might: 2 | Agility: 3 | Wits: 4 | Charm: 3 | Spirit: 4 | Power: 2

The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.