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Moseying along

 
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Mareli Day
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Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Moseying along Reply with quote

She should fold. She really should. It wasn't that it was a bad hand, though, true, she'd had better. No, it was the time she'd spent. Her eyes were stinging from the smoke and the stench. A few hours, five maybe? So, maybe more than a few hours had passed since she arrived in the dive that had delusions of grandeur. All proper tassled and turned our shiny, but the folk that wandered through its doors clearly took cleanliness next to godliness meaning they should pack on the dirt as if they were in their grave.

It was time to get a move on from this little waterhole of a town. Problem was, her transport wasn't due to leave until tomorrow morning. That was always the issue, fair weather or not, of relying on others to get to the next stop. She didn't take to one place long, or it didn't take to her. Mareli wasn't of a notion to think long and hard on which way that really went. She hadn't thought on that thing since...well, some years. Best not to let her mind wander.

"You callin' er what?" The man rolled his bit of sparkleaf, the local chew, from one festering pocket of his jaw to the other.

Mareli hummed one soft tone, looking the man in the eye, and threw it all in. "Let's make this a bit more interesting. You ready?"

The greed was high in the man's eyes, glimmering as if he struck upon gold. Shame then, when he turned over his cards and she turned over hers that it turned out to be fools gold. He was stuck with nothing but the drink at his one hand and the pistol in his other. "You cheated! You musta. No way you get that lucky."

"Oh," Mareli smiled as she gathered up her winnings and stood. She'd count later. "Oh, you'd be surprised how often I hear that, but isn't that just the nature of luck? Feast or famine. Seems I'm feasting at the moment, but she'll turn on me someday." She'd done it before. Luck. They'd had more than a few turns.

The man leveled his pistol at her, trembling slightly between his rage, drink, and the sparkleaf. "You give me back what's mine."

With a sigh, Mareli studied the man. She also noted from the side of her vision that no one was going to step in one way or the other. Seems they had their own buried souls to huddle around.

"Give you back what's yours." She spoke each word clearly, to see if the man would pick up on clarifying what exactly he thought was his.

"That's right. That's all I ask. Not gonna rob you like you're doin' to me." His jaw jutted out slightly with the righteousness of the outsmarted.

"Hmm," she nodded as she looked down, her hand touching on the steel round of the pommel topping her blackwood cane. With a twist, it hummed and the electric line zipped out, tagged the man's gunhand, and zapped him well enough to set him backward. The gun dropped from his spasming arm.

Donning her hat, only slightly askew as fashion dictated, Mareli nodded to the downed man and others as she strode from the building, her long coat flapping around her jean clad calves. "Fair evening to you all."

And she was gone. But to where? Place to hide up in case the man had friends until her transport was ready to go. She really needed to fix that lack of immediate transportation for the future.
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Mareli Day
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 10
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Can Be Found: in medias res
641.34 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What came with winning was hubris. She'd need to get that under control. Someday. Someday hadn't come in thirty or so years, so Mareli wasn't holding her breath that frugality was going to blossom in her over night this time either. There was always an experience to be had -- and paid for.

She sat cross-legged on the silky plush bed comforter. It's light blue sheen cradling the cards she turned one by one. The luxury transport had made a timely stop at the waystation just when she had. Mareli did not care where it was going. She was going to be on it.

It had been a long time since she had traveled across the universe in peace. In cleanliness! And this time she didn't have to sing for her supper to do it. But she did have to find a place to earn more credits or coin.

That was not going to happen on this ship. All the games were stacked against players. Don't bet against the house when the house sparkled. They have to pay for those shiny baubles with something.

Gathering up the cards, Mareli set them on the bedside table and curled over, pushing down into the embrace of the pillow and bed. She would deal with that tomorrow. There were a few places to hop off transport and mosey about for a game. Just not yet.
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Mareli Day
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Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Can Be Found: in medias res
641.34 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another shake of her longcoat didn’t keep the strong fuel smell away. Turbines whirred to life and whimpered as they slowed to stillness once more. Sounds of machines and voices echoed up and bounced off the metal ceiling and walls. Mareli walked the length of the hangar surveying the ships for sale. Her back was to the shiny, new ones. Her pockets were too light to afford that. “Something more than parts hanging together,” she muttered.

There were plenty of buyers today. They all watched each other as much as the ships. If one paused and took a long look at one ship in particular, they all would try to see what he saw in the ship. Maybe it was a good buy. Maybe it was the gem in the pile of garbage. Others, like Mareli, kept their own counsel. She would trust her own thoughts, though her knowledge was a might bit weak. What was she thinking? A ship? Just so she could get out of town fast if someone took exception to her luck? Likely as not, she would need a book, too. “Can ya learn to fly a ship by book?” She guessed most did. And then practice. Trouble was, unlike practicing a song, miss a move on a ship, and it’s time to take a dirt nap. Mareli hummed through a wince thinking on that halo of reality. “How delightful.”

She walked on to the next ship in line. Now, then, this looked promising.

“All your bluster. I’m standing, you wretch.” The man a few steps closer to the ship, snarled beneath his breath. Mareli couldn’t see his face, but all the tension was in his hunched shoulders. His hands at his side flexed and relaxed, grasping air only to let go again. “Took it from me, but what have you got? Nothing, now. All gone. Couldn’t feel it, but I know it was there. Heard about it. Gone, gone, gone, and I’m here. Still here.” His voice hiccupped on the last words, escaping through clenched teeth.

That man was trouble, and he glared at the ship in front of Mareli as if it had a soul and a life to shrivel under his gaze. Mareli looked back to the ship. It was…a ship. Not big. Reminded her of a beetle in a way. Its wings could tuck in close or spread out.

“What do you want?” The man turned his sharp gaze on her. She had lingered too long. Best play was to walk away. Fold the cards dealt and wait for the next hand. No fun that way.

“The ship,” she said back to him. She folded her arms, one hand holding the pommel of her cane, and gave him her best stage smile.

With one swift stride, he was a hair’s breadth away. She could smell the dirt on him. The sweat and stink wafted around her, and she instinctively held her breath until she could handle it. She missed the smell of fuel in that moment. “Not yours. Mine. By rights. Mine.”

“I don’t know all the rules, but pretty sure you have to buy it. You all do buy and sell things on this floating rock, right?”

“Passes to me. I’m family. I’m kin. She would have left it to me.”

Even without overhearing his previous comments to the ghost-of-family-member-past, Mareli could tell that was a lie. The man had tells all over his person, and he was too angry to hide them. That twitch at the corner of his eye. The stillness of his hands. How broad the pupils dilated, like he was ready to blast her with his sight. On this planet, she’s not sure he couldn’t. She had seen a few things in her time here. “Well, mister, she didn’t. For sale. Says right here on the screen describing it.” She pointed to the holographic image floating above a post in front of the nose of the ship.

Mareli took a moment to realize no one had stopped to take notice of what was going on between them. People kept to themselves here, it looked like. Could be a good thing for her. If she plays her cards right too often.

“It is mine,” he stated again, as if the repetition would make it so and unnerve her. His fingers clenched and did not release, staying in white knuckled fists.

“Mister, I don’t know what happened with you and your family, but you take a swing at me, and I swear,” she tapped the top of her cane, “I will end you.”

Someone finally noticed the growing tension between them, and an older woman with more white than red in her hair, came over. “May I help you two?” She had a badge of the hangar authority on her.

Before the man could speak, Mareli turned with a smile, setting both hands on the pommel of her cane set to the concrete floor, and leaned forward as if ready to start a tap dance. And so she was. Of a sense. “I am glad you have arrived. I’ve got my eye on this beauty here,” –beauty being in the eye of the beholder – “and think you’ve just made yourself a mighty fine sale, if we can come to terms. Let’s deliberate in the office, shall we?”

“No!” The man shouted just as Mareli turned to walk away with the woman.

Taking a knee as she stepped forward, the man went over her shoulders. He stumbled and tripped, nearly falling down. A nearness attained when Mareli swung out her cane at his feet. He crashed to the ground. She stood, swinging the cane in a full circle, and brought the pommel down on the man’s shoulder. The shoulder crunched in chorus with the man screaming in agony.

“Now,” Mareli hooked her arm with the sales woman’s, “ante up. What’s your opening bid?”
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Mareli Day
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Well," Mareli stepped just inside the door, "'least there's nothin' dead in here." She dared to take a deep breath and regretted it immediately. Coughing away the dust and taking a few more steps, she looked over the ship. "This is going to take work."

Work meant money, really, because she was not going to be doing the work. The very idea of digging into the mechanics of the grand metallic beast was laughable on the level of hysterics. The tip of her cane tapped out along the floor as she strolled. A tinny, tiny echo trembled along the walls. "Ah-huh," she muttered.

It was both better and worse than she imagined. That was always a bit of a gamble she played with herself. Just how bad could she imagine it, and she never did win that bet. Except in the things she failed to imagine at all. Like there being no real rooms. Just one big cargo hold, an area for the actual flying of the ship and two maybe three closets beyond the mechanics.

"I really need to learn to be a details type of person," she chuckled at her own folly. Stopping in the middle of the ship, she placed both gloved hands on the pommel of her cane and leaned slightly. "So now, I suppose it is time I see if I can't coax some luck into the cards." She tapped the cane twice on the floor and then swung it into motion as she walked to the exit. "I wonder where a lady could find some action." The restraint of wicked glee barely touched her lips, but brightened the dark of her eyes.
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Mareli Day
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Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Can Be Found: in medias res
641.34 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was one thing that could be said for this chaotic rock she had landed on: it had all manner of games of chance. She hadn't witnessed gladiatorial combat in some time, and it was going to take more than a few weeks to really learn the combatants before she lay down a worthy wager. Speeder races took less time to research, and she had cast a few notes and credits on upcoming big races. The small ones were not worth her time or attention.

Still, as she sat in the club at the edge of a racing track, her feet up on the table edge with the lack of social etiquette generally observed in that place, she realized this was all going to take too much time. And there was one way she could typically count on earning a quick crate of cashy-money.

Singing.

It was as much of a gamble as any of her other monetary adventures. Music may be a universal language, but not all ears are tuned the same. A faulty choice of music with unexpected tonal shifts, and she's just a keening banshee in a hollow log.

Her fingers rested lightly on the cane still upright by her side as she observed the walls and visitors around her. This club used music from the aching jukebox like a sedative. This was not the right place. "Right then," Mareli hummed softly and stood. She straightened her waistcoat under the long coat and placed her bowler at a slight angle before strolling from the club and down the hazy night street of Stars End. If there was a song out there, she would find it.
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Mareli Day
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Can Be Found: in medias res
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were no couples here, curled up in overly large booths, sipping from bio-luminescent drinks, and using her song choices to make subtle -- and not subtle -- indications of what the trajectory of their night would bring. Mareli only gave a little more effort to her performance than the crowd gave to listening.

It was not a dive, at least not the way she would describe one. Having visited more than her fair share in her years, she felt a reasonable authority. This was a club that catered to a particular clientele. The folks that lived on the edge of society, whether nobly or not. Gangs, vigilantes, roughs, toughs, vixens, vamps, fallen angels, cast-off knights, and all their like would keep their eyes on each other, boast of being able to be there without fear, and keep apart from the rest of lighter and darker social circles. All the middling people, just living life.

The smell was clean below the musk of unwashed and the wafting signal flags of cigars, cigarettes, and pipes. A drift of flowers and fruits tickled through the air when some customers walked by. Those smells were crowded out again by the heat of bodies.

A few loners sat at tiny tables about the edges of the room. They kept their backs to walls and eyes on every movement without seeming to do so. Professionals at their trade. Mareli smiled through the tune when she thought of how much trouble she could give them if she chose a song meant to get the folks really moving.

Three groups, no more than five in each, were huddled about various gaming stations, whooping at victories or laughing and ribbing losers at their hard luck.

Luck. Mareli nearly snickered at the end of her song, but instead turned her head down a little and away until the urge passed. Luck and she were having one of their usual spats of unfriendliness. It would pass. Luck just wanted to make sure Mareli didn't get too comfortable -- just like every other agent she's had in the past. Got to keep her humble.

And with that thought, Mareli mentally threw a few choice phrases at Luck and picked up the last song of her set. It was time to be moving on. She was not going to let Luck keep a hold of her strings like she was some gorram puppet. The itch was in her fingers and scratched along her back.

She needed a game. She needed to risk her intuition against possibility.

She needed...to pay attention to that woman creeping towards the stage trying to steal her cane.
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Mareli Day
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Can Be Found: in medias res
641.34 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She hated when things got messy. Why couldn't something just keep simple? Do the work, get paid, be left alone. But no, someone always has to just tweak the plan to their own advantage. Or, in the case of the lady laying at the edge of the stage staring up at the ceiling like pretty-pretty lights were twinkling a tune just for her, tweak the plan to a disadvantage.

Mareli leaned over the woman, ignoring the few audience members that stood up to get a closer look, and whispered, "Just don't touch the cane, yeah?"

Straightening again, she gave a smile and a little gesture of her hand as if to brush away the scene. "She'll be fine, folks. Just taking a little detour and re-thinking her way of life. We all do it from time to time." Gathering up her coat from nearby, she walked past the bar where the tender tossed over her pay keeping a better distance from Mareli than she did earlier that night. "It's been a pleasure. Thank you." Mareli placed her hat on her head at just the right angle, tugged a little on the brim in her thanks, and sauntered out.

The cane was kept in hand with her thumb next to the sensor, keeping it alive just in case.

But, for once, just in case wasn't necessary. No one chased her down. Not a soul even scowled. Spoke well of the clientele there. She just might have to visit again.
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Mareli Day
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Wyrmling


Joined: 20 Mar 2008
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Can Be Found: in medias res
641.34 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Tick-tock, m'dear," Mareli cooed at the woman in the seat across from her. While they both wore silk in varying shades of blue, Mareli's gown fit her muscular figure with a stylish cut and modest decolletage and the other's grasped at faded glories in past beauty. "Come now, Beatrice, you are renowned for your shrewd deals for the betterment of..," the chuckle slipped through the slim smile, "well, let us be honest, the betterment of yourself."

Beatrice settled her aged, well protected bones back further in the chair. Her fingers, curled and knuckle swollen, rested lightly on the velvet and leather upholstery. Her blue eyes were shadowed and lined, but the mind that worked behind them was just as bright as ever. "You think that, if you like."

"Thank you," Mareli inclined her head. Her cane rested in hand, and she fought the urge to start spinning the pommel like a globe.

"Clinging to delusions is an important part of surviving in this world," Beatrice reached for her tea without a tremor or evidence of pain.

"That explains a great deal, but you still have to face some certain facts." Mareli ignored the teacup waiting for her. The delicate green design along the side, curling in infinity loops, felt like a warning sign, though there had been no evidence of tampering. But there wouldn't be, would there? That would be a failing of both Beatrice's reputation and any purpose to the tampering.

Beatrice sniffed, setting a curl on her ice-gray hair swinging. "Impertinent. I am perfectly satisfied with the facts I have at hand, and they tell me I should have Collette show you the door, and then some," she harrumphed.

"A pity then, we could not come to an agreement," Mareli began to gather her things, pulling on the white gloves that had rested on her lap. "It would have been easier, you see, for you to hand over the contacts and contracts to me, enjoying a much deserved retirement. Instead, I will take it from you, piece by piece, and you can watch your dark little empire crumble." It felt warm inside, like the first aching sign of dawn after a winter's night, to speak the words. To speak them and know them to be a promise, a vow.

Mareli stood up, tapped her cane on the hardwood floor, and dipped her head. "It is better this way. A good day to you, Beatrice Westlake. We will see each other again."

"I should think not," Beatrice crowed at Mareli's back when turning for the door.

Mareli did not respond, but nodded her way past the servants and rotated the cane to set it recording the entry codes as she left.
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