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Author Topic: Muder is a social construct, officer!  (Read 759 times)

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Offline RescateTopic starter

Muder is a social construct, officer!
« on: July 29, 2009, 04:03:54 PM »
Sirrah’s life revolved solely around precious objects. Mainly gemstones or jewellery, occasionally treasured personal items…but always, always things with value. It was not a hyperbolic statement; without them, he would fade. He refused to fade like the others did and had. One way or another, he would find what he needed and consume it; restoring his life- his very being- to its full lustre.

Aah, but such an appetite; life was so fleeting- so many precious things to consume to sustain such a short period of time, before he would have to find more. Sirrah had sunk lower than he had ever expected he would be able to.

It was a terrible pity that the man was wearing (and carrying in his pockets) a large amount of gold, and that Sirrah had seen him fight off muggers for it. He had been watching the scuffle, hung upside down from a gutter in the shadows, barley visible; it had been too long since he had last replenished and his form was fading fast. The man- a seasoned traveller by the look of him, had calmly sent the would-be thieves running and had made the fatal error of assuming that they were the only things after him.

“The gold, please.” Sirrah spoke up, concealed. His voice rasped in an unattractive way and he grimaced. The man chuckled throatily and turned to face the alleyway in which Sirrah lurked.
“Why?”
“I need it.” Sirrah said honestly. The man snorted.
“I think not. Were you present to witness the previous lowlifes who tried this?”
“Yes.”
“Then you know how much these items mean to me?”
“Yes.”
“You understand that if you attempt to relieve me of them, then you will be forced to fight me?”
“Yes.”
“You will be killed.”
“No.”
The man drew his sword and watched the shadows carefully. Silence descended before Sirrah spoke again.

“So…you won’t give them to me?” He asked, in an almost despondent tone.
The man shook his head firmly and focused on the eyes in the shadows; they were a luminescent green, with no pupils and reflected the dim streetlights of the main road.
“…Well…at least I asked first.” Sirrah said simply. The man was not expecting his assailant to move so quickly and to simply lunge forth, unarmed and barely with a physical form. He also did not expect the sudden flash of long, sharp teeth and nails, nor the sudden pain in his chest.
“Don’t cry out.” Sirrah implored. The man’s loud cry turned into a blood-slick gurgle, and he slumped forwards, then lay still.

Sirrah wasted no time.

The watch would soon be upon the scene and he could not afford to be present; they would have mages, they would have summoners, they would have silver. If they had silver, he was as good as dead. The gold was rapidly removed from the body and hastily cleaned of blood- he had never liked the taste. Sirrah gave a small gasp as the sight in one of his eyes dulled and blurred.

He was fading faster than he had been expecting. The gold was hastily stuffed into the shadow’s mouth and swallowed, where it hung in what was most likely the outline of Sirrah’s body. With hoarse pants, Sirrah felt the strength returning to him. Little by little, his form took shape again; a lithe body in plain clothing but one that was wonderfully solid. After so long being merely smoke and shadows, Sirrah laughed deliriously and patted himself down, making sure that everything was intact.

His eyes were, as always, the same reflective green. His hair spiked out at awkward angles, seeming much like he had been dragged through a hedge backwards (which was often not too far from the truth) and was of various colours. A barbed, whip-like tail, curving horns and a pair of flightless tattered wings marked him out (despite his mostly human-eqsue appearance) as what he was; an Incubus. He knew that with no other precious things, he would fade again soon enough and looking like the beast that he was probably wasn’t going to help him in this city. No, no; he would need more. More precious things, or he would fade again; he had let it go dangerously far this time…

A sudden crash made Sirrah yelp and haul himself up three crates before he even thought about it; if he was caught in this form, they’d kill him. Not only for this murder, but for the others. They’d cut him open and take whatever he had consumed…and then they’d send him back to Pandemonium…
“No!” Sirrah hissed, digging his nails into the crate.
He was never going back. However- he had nowhere else to hide; he would have to conceal himself in the shadows again, but without the protection of his shapeless form…Perhaps some other soul would wander by with gems and valuables…then, he could take a human form and evade suspicion…but now, all he could do was wait and watch, and hope for the blessing of lady luck.



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Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 10:46:24 AM »
The initial scuffle had ended almost as quickly as it had begun. It had taken little for Sirrah’s victim to dispatch the would-be muggers. He had but to draw his scimitar and brandish it with a flurry of motion that had spoken well of his more than considerable skill to send them fleeing into the night.

After such a display, it had been no wonder that the man had all but scoffed at Sirrah’s demand that he relinquish his valuables. If only Atrain had known what it was that had spoken to him from darkness and shadow… Now, alas, the Great Warrior was no more.

Why had the man possessed of so much gold been here? This was the city’s poor district with nothing to offer nor entertain one of such means. And why, though clearly he had possessed the skills necessary to fend off base ruffians, had the man chosen to traverse this foreboding alleyway? Why bother? Why risk the danger?

The scene smacked of mystery.

Beyond the alleyway, in the torch lit thoroughfare, sounds echoed off the crude mud walls of the crumbling dwelling places. It was late in the evening, well past the time that the local denizens should be packed into their hobbles and grousing over pitiable meals, yet Sirrah could plainly hear that quite a throng had gathered in the street just beyond his view, and from the sounds of it, the crowd was still yet growing.

Once again, the question begged to be asked, “Why?”

The raucous den of the stir was growing louder. It seemed no one had noticed the scuffle between the would-be muggers and warrior, the loud cry of terror and dismay as the shadow-vested demon had slain unfortunate Atrain, or the blood-slick gurgle that had been the once might warrior’s anguished death rattle.

Words and phrases being uttered by various members of the throng gathering just beyond his shadowy corridor, began to reach Sirrah's ears.

“Alms…”

Another word: “Rajkumari,” the word meaning princess.

A man’s name being called in a delicate, regally accented, feminine voice only to be swallowed up by the sea of sound. “Atrain?  Atrain?”

Was Sirrah aware of the local customs?  Did he know that the Mahraja’s (King’s) betrothed, according to tradition, was this night visiting the poor district so that she might give alms to the poor and thus prove that she would make a benevolent and charitable queen?

Surely the man that Sirrah had just slain was one of the Rajkumari’s guardians. That would explain his presence in the alleyway as well as the considerable amount of gold that had been upon his personage.

The excitement in the torch lit thoroughfare was growing more and more raucous. Pleading voices cried out for charity, while desperate, begging hands thrusts forward. The princess was being mobbed! Already she had been separated from her bodyguards and now even her serving maids were lost to her. She was being washed away by the tidal wave of the encroaching throng, engulfed and drowning in the mass of nameless bodies...

The princess was lost.  Would she be found?

Offline RescateTopic starter

Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 11:20:08 AM »
Sirrah did not believe in divine intervention; if the Gods actually existed, he very much doubted that any of them were going to help a lesser demon lie, cheat, extort or murder his way to full strength. However, the sudden and overwhelming prickling that caused him to jerk rather suddenly to the side of his makeshift hiding place was almost miraculous. He gave a full-body shudder and felt his stomach twist in expectation; only large quantities of precious objects caused such a reaction...and they were close. Very close.

The noise from the alleyway startled the Incubus, but he was nothing if not a curious soul. Incubi were not known for their intelligence, but common sense was a gift bestowed on most of them; Sirrah knew that investigating and staying unseen was the best course of action for now. He could only hope that the hubbub was not his doing. Still, there didn't seem to be panic in the crowds; only impatience and desire...and greed.

Greed...Greed was an excellent marker that there was wealth for the taking and Sirrah could almost taste it in the air. His stomach growled noisily and he grimaced, shaking his head. Even though he was entirely capable of killing several people for a few gold coins, he took little pleasure in it. Stealing a prize made it all the sweeter but murdering for it sullied it, somehow. The tang of blood in his mouth reminded him of how much he disliked the taste of anything but precious things. He spat onto the ground to rid himself of the taste, but to little avail; it lingered and distorted the delicious flavours of the gold from the man on the floor.

He could not risk them coming this way; not when he was so close to the scene of the crime. He needed a distraction or he needed to be gone. A glance around the alleyway revealed that there was no other escape; on his left, there were buildings- but no way to climb them unseen and on his right, a large wall towered up that had no handholds to scale it with. That left him with only one escape route; the way he'd come in. Nervously, the Incubus risked climbing down from the crates. The quiet clicking of bone on stone accompanied this, but it was drowned out by the commotion that flowed from the streets. He did not know the local customs, nor was he ever inclined to know them; he travelled to wherever there was treasure and it was only by unfortunate coincidence that he had ever strayed this far from his original 'home', of a sorts; a ruined castle, far west of here, that had yet to be plundered. He had lived comfortably there for a great deal of time...until the incident...

Cries in a language he didn't quite understand (and could not hope to translate, given the state of his body and the basic mind he possessed) sounded closer and closer- but one word caught his attention: Alms. A word that he knew well enough- a word that had connotations, connotations that pleased him greatly. Only the poor cried for alms...the question lay in how best to appear like the poor of this place...?

Another scan of the alleyway yielded the perfect answer; a fading, dirty sheet and a makeshift crutch formed from a splintered crate both concealed and disguised Sirrah. Making sure to keep his head down to avoid revealing his eyes, the Incubus attempted to replicate the motions of someone with a broken leg and left the alleyway, searching for this new source of wealth.

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Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 11:54:15 AM »
Nadira, the princess who’s name meant Rare and Precious was terrified. Hers had been a cloistered life. Like a treasure locked up tight in the palace vaults, the princess had spent her entire life behind the white-washed, glistening stones of her father’s stronghold. How now could she be expected to prove herself charitable and benevolent, when before this night, she had not known that poverty existed?

Nadira gasped as the tide of bodies, reeking in stark contrast to the jasmine and perfumes of her father’s harem, shifted. Everywhere the sheltered princess looked, she saw disease and deformities heretofore unknown to her. To virgin eyes that had spent a lifetime beholding naught but beauty and luxury, the sights before Nadira were not unlike a chamber of horrors.

In truth, for the purposes of this custom, it was as if Nadira were a babe, once more passing through the birth canal, that she might be born anew, a woman, a bride.

“Alms!  Alms!”  The crowd cried.

Overwhelmed, Nadira cried as well, unshed tears glistening in her lustrous, gray eyes. Trembling, the Rajkumari reached into her silken purse, producing coin after coin, placing each one in filth encrusted hands whilst trying to preserve the sanctity of her body by not touching the unwashed flesh of the poor.

Another surge of the crowd and Nadira stumbled backwards, further from her entourage that was desperately seeking her out. Reinforcements were being summoned from the palace. The Rajkumari had to be found. She was worth a king’s ransom…

Offline RescateTopic starter

Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2009, 01:08:05 PM »
Sirrah was not an intelligent creature, nor did he claim to be. However, he was a textbook example of an Incubus and he had the blessing of common sense and perceptiveness in a less-than-perfect situation. One thing and one thing only was different about the slums today and it was this that Sirrah found himself drawn to. It was not the woman herself who attracted Sirrah, but instead the fact that she was handing out coins to all and sundry. Pushing through the thronging crowd, Sirrah realised that it was largely futile and far too dangerous. Better that the crowd see another beggar than a weakened demon. He turned to leave the scene.

His stomach wrenched and he stooped suddenly, grimacing at the pain that accompanied it. A low, pained growl caught the attention from a couple of individuals, but they soon stopped caring. Sirrah was forced to push himself up and to scan the crowd properly; none of them had anything worth taking. She, on the other hand, had a large amount of wealth and was very, very vulnerable. It wouldn't take much to take her away and no doubt she didn't know how to fight- she seemed to be overwhelmed and afraid of the crowds and the pestilence around her. Sheltered life, presumably. If he was swift enough, he'd be able to take her and be done with her before they found him. Assuming she had enough valuables on her, he would be returned to enough strength to assume a much less conspicious form.

To hell with it, then- he'd have to do things the difficult way.

Keeping the sheet tightly wrapped around him and knotted to avoid losing it, Sirrah utilised the Incubi's phenomenal speed and dexterity by knocking down a fellow member of the crowd to use as a step. Using his strong hands and feet as firm grips, and clawed fingers and toes as safetyholds, he sprang atop the crowd and darted towards the woman with inhuman movements. The jerky, erratic patterns made it difficult for him to be predicted or grabbed at and soon enough, he was reaching down to take hold of the woman by the back of her clothes, attempting to hoist her out of the crowd. 

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Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2009, 01:48:48 PM »
It was chaos, even before the demon had made its presence known. Though in truth, most were still blissfully unaware. A few cries of alarm and dismay went up, more from confusion than enlightenment. Who is the beggar running atop the backs of others?, was likely the most common thread of thought weaving its way through the witnesses' minds.

...   ...   ...   ...

The man with fetid breath and missing teeth pressed in on her.  Nadira looked and a bandaged finger fell from his hand and to the ground! A leper!  

The princess knew not the word for the gods forsaken man's mallady. She only knew what her senses told her. Death! Nadira gagged on the stench of decay.

It was a clever ploy, exposing the naive Rajkumari to the horrors of this squalor. Such a shock would all but ensure that she was grateful to her new husband for his shelter. No matter if he were beneficent or cruel, Nadira was certain to revere the Maharaja, for after this, there could be no doubt, she needed his protection. Life outside the palace it was... unfathomable.

Nadina cried out, a startled yelp, as something scraped her back and left a deep bleeding scratch in its wake. Then she was no longer standing. She felt light, like a feather caught on the breeze. Had she fainted?

No!

It was than that the Rajkumari realized that she'd been hoisted above the crowd. She could not see who'd fished her from the sea of living flesh, but surely it would be none other than the captain of the guard come to save her from the horrible rotting man.   

"Atrain?"  The princess desperately cried, the previously unshed tears of dismay cascading down her cheeks in a rain of premature relief.


OOC:  If Sirrah is not moving too fast to be made out, a few guards will foolishly try to fire arrows at him until the order is given to "Cease fire!" After all, we can't have some oaf shooting the princess   :P

Offline RescateTopic starter

Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2009, 02:38:51 PM »
"Stop!"
"Bastard!"
"Put her down!"
"Alms!""
"By Allah!"
"Rajkumari!"
"Fire!"
The shouts erupted around Sirrah in a cacophany of confusion and outrage as he hoisted the woman up and over his shoulder. He sank his clawed fingers into her side, albeit not too deeply, to keep her steady; he didn't need her squirming to make jumping and running awkward. He'd carried far heavier loads than this before, certainly- but normally he was in considerably better health and his burden was treasure (and that didn't often tend to scream or struggle). He cried out as the high pitched whistle of an arrow, accompanied by the feeling of something grazing his sheet, informed him that he was under fire. ~Idiot!~ He scolded himself, but there was no longer time to think. He allowed his reflexes and his basic instincts to kick in.

Hands grappled at his legs as he jumped swiftly from peasant to peasant, away from the guards and zigzagging erratically to avoid being a clear target. He knew the way from here; all he needed to do was make his way to the market stalls, where he could jump up and onto the rooftops. In fifteen minutes, he would be as good as gone with this woman. Suddenly, a hand latched around his ankle and Sirrah yelped loudly, missing his step and falling backwards. The sheet was torn from him by desperate, furious hands. Perhaps it had been a blessing in disguise- he caught sight of an arrow speeding past his cheek which would have sunk into his back and certainly wounded him severely. As the rags came away, the crowd recoiled and began to scream, attempting to flee the scene. That suited the Incubus considerably better.

Hauling himself and his captive to his feet, Sirrah gave another full-body shudder and lashed out with the barbed tail, using it as a vicious whip to clear the area around him whilst he shouldered Nadira once more. He was hardly a strong demon, but the people around these parts were unaccustomed to seeing them at all, so he cut quite an imposing figure for now. His right hand rummaged through Nadira's immediate clothing to locate her purse, which he then consumed in its whole- silken fabric and all- and began to run again, pleased to find that people were now fleeing from him and panicking for their own lives, whilst the guards could not train their bows on him without harming the princess.

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Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009, 03:21:30 PM »
OOC:  You’re doing great!  :-)


Nadira could scarcely hear anything above the pounding of her own pulse, then some of the muffled cries began to register. No longer begging for alms, the crowd was yelling for Atrain to stop, ordering him to put her down, swearing at him, and taking Allah’s name in vain.

Then: “FIRE!”   

But why fire?  Something was burning?  Nadira smelled no smoke.

Razor-sharp nails dug into the Rajkumari’s side.  “Atrain, please, you’re hurting me…”  The frightened woman whimpered.

Part of Nadira wanted to see if she could spy where the fire was, but she was too frightened. Instead, she squeezed her eyes tight and, in desperation, clung shamefully to who she perceived to be her guardian, her savior.

An unfamiliar masculine cry emitted from somewhere very near her. If Nadira had not known better, she would have thought that it was Atrain who’d cried, so close did the sound seem, but still frightened, the princess refused to look.

Did the princess refuse to look because deep down a part of her already instinctively knew the truth of what was happening to her, even as she had recognized the danger of the leper’s malady though she had not the words for it?

Then it happened, they fell.

The princess cried out as the razors dug more deeply into the soft flesh of her slender waist. “Atrain!”   She cried, but the sound was drowned out by even louder screams of… horror!

The fire!

Nadira felt her perceived rescuer hauling her up from the ground to which they had fallen. At last, she dared open her eyes. Only then did she begin to realize, though she could not ever hope to fully understand, the truth.

The thing that Nadira now knew held her captive, shuddered beneath where it held her lodged upon its shoulder. She watched in horror as its barbed tail lashed out, forcing the already scrambling throng even further back.

It was then that the Rajkumari felt the demon's hand rustle through her saree. Her virgin mind instinctively flooded with unnamable fears.

Pushed beyond her limits, darkness claimed Nadira as Sirrah felt his captive go limp. She had fainted.

Offline RescateTopic starter

Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2009, 12:39:39 PM »
It did not take long for Sirrah's powerful digestive system to break down and assimiliate the purse and its contents; within three minutes, he was able to utilise the new strength of his regenerated muscles. It made little impact on his exterior appearance, but his tightly corded muscles were fed with a steady and constant supply of oxygen-rich blood, allowing rapid respiration and incredible speed. Soon enough, he was out of the crowds, although he was only aware of the woman he held being unconscious after he nearly lost his grip on her whilst scaling a building, up from a market stall. Those within the market shrieked and wailed at the sight of him, but he was long gone before anyone could think to try and stop him.

In truth, Sirrah hadn't been the least bit interested in the woman herself; he cared only for the jewels, gold and precious things around her person. Frankly, he couldn't see what all the fuss was about. She was a pretty thing, yes- but no more so than any other woman he'd seen of her calibre of looks. Incubi had devastating sexual appetites, but that was only when they were at full health and were not in immediate danger. Sirrah was neither of these things, so he paid the woman behind the plush fabrics very little attention indeed and fixed his low attention span on hopping and scrabbling from roof to roof. For a creature fleeing a scene with a captive and a great many witnesses, he was able to navigate his way rather well. There were advantages to his genetics, after all.

After a good quarter of an hour of leaping and running, Sirrah deemed it safe to stop. Panting, he ground his taloned heels into the high stone roof of a nondescript shop and forced himself to be still, snapping straight forwards as his momentum carried him, yet falling as his tight grip on the stone beneath him forced him back. He managed to stop before he made contact with the roof and congratulated himself mentally for a rather exquisite getaway. A long, lazy yawn left him and he moved to flex out his limbs. However, his new dilemma was presented to him in the form of a heavy weight on his right shoulder. He realised what it was; the woman he'd accidentally kidnapped. Sirrah frowned at her slumped form for a moment and shook his head, uncurling his talons from her side with a slick noise. He dropped her rather unceremoniously onto the stone and wiped his hands on her robes with a look of digust.

"...Waste not, want not." He remarked cheerfully, frisking the body for more valuables. She was soon relieved of her jewels, her necklaces and bracelets, the rest of her coins and the sequins on her shoes, for some strange reason. These were piled up beside her and Sirrah turned his back on the woman in favour of enjoying his meal. He even went so far as to dangle his feet off of the roof as he did so, popping a few of the more spectacular gems into his mouth to crunch and savour, making noises of relish and utterly ignoring the woman.

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Re: Muder is a social construct, officer!
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 02:51:01 AM »

Rescate and I agreed to put this tale on hold for the time being...     O8)