Running a Legal Business

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Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:31 pm

(( Co-Written by Skulley aka Rouba on these boards, and most certainly not finished, expect more to come ))

Two large fishing nets, cranes, plenty of line and rope, supplies; each of the crew helped with the loading of the ship. Lafoot kept inventory of everything that came onto the ship. This wasn't a large job, but it was policy. Lafoot always kept the books, among his many other jobs. He stood right inside the gang plank as various small crates were carried up by the rest of the crew. All but Xionn and Arioch seemed to be carrying supplies on board from Booty Bay's docks. Arioch was high up on the rigging and Xionn wasn't above deck, but in the quarters down below.

"Dooooon't drop that ya swabs! That's some fine cargo you're carryin' there!" Lafoot made a very dramatic show as Jerijah nearly tripped and dropped a crate.

"Shove it up your arse, Lafoot." Alejandra was right behind her brother, carrying another crate. She had responded before Jerijah himself could.

"You can shove it up my arse, sweetcheeks." He gave her a winning grin. She just scowled back at him and aimed some spit at his feet.

"S'whadda fook is da cap'en doin' ey?" Hawkeye was right behind the two, he was lanky and easily carried a crate under each arm.

"Briefin' the new girl on policies and shat." Jerijah piped up, having set his crate down. "Y'know, all the good shat about what we do. Takin' ol' Mustardbeard's position she is. Buildin' a fancy mess hall below deck 'n everythin'."

Alejandra snorted, "Hope new girl isn't in over her head. This ain't no place fer bonny lasses."


"Everyone pitches in Skulley, we got a job ta do. Until we get ta the salvage operation, yer job is just as it is in the contract, cookin' an' takin' care o supplies. On th' job, y'do what y'kin. Cuttin' throats, takin' orders, gettin' yer hands dirty 'r yer clothes salty. Ain't goin' ta ask ye ta do anythin' outlandish, but if I give ya an order, y'does it on the spot." Xionn took a long drag from his cigarette, exhaling. He was sitting in a chair bolted to the floor in front of the desk. It was bolted off center and turned sideways so he could kick his feet up on his own desk, rather than make any practical use out of it. "This's a salvage job, ain't nothin' big, but yer goin' ta be helpin' us haul shat outta the water. Lafoot and Alejandra be cataloguing it on board as it comes aboard, you'n Jerijah 'n Arioch down below. 'm helpin' Hawkeye bring it all aboard."

"A'right." Skulley paused and slid one of her own cigarettes out of the slim silver case in her hand, lifting it deliberately to her glossy purple lips. (No one ever caught her applying lipstick. One merely assumed she did it on the sly with a tube of paint hidden somewhere on her person. Same went for the thick coal-black liner around her eyes, though it was anyone's guess how she kept it from smudging in the heat and humidity.) She had no tricks or sleight of hand today; simply lighting up with a flick of one bony wrist, she took two puffs in silence. "All that's well enough. I know how t'be useful, y'already know it. For my part I expect the crew'll keep outta my galley 'less they got pressin' reason t'be in it."

His eyes studied Skulley's face to see if she was serious. She was. "I'll mention it t'the crew." He blew more smoke in her direction. "They's used ta havin the runna the ship. Y'seen the crew's quarters." He was referring to the room with hammocks hanging along the walls. "It ain't a big boat t'be picky about space. Hit the big load an' we kin buy a luxury cruisa fer these jobs." He stood up, tying a black headband around his forehead, pushing his hair back. He threw one just like it to Skulley. "Keep th' sweat an' drippin water outta yer eyes."

She caught it lazily, a gesture like an afterthought, and refolded the cloth into a large triangle, tying it around her head and tucking in the loose sides. It swept the dark wings of hair back from her cheeks and made her face look even thinner. He could see how she might've earned her nickname for a brief moment, then she tipped her head forward to twist her ponytail into a massive knot and produced a dozen pins from nowhere to hold it up. "I'll be wearin' a mask too, 'less y'object. An' I've got reasons for the wankers t'stay outta my cupboards, after the state they was in. Rats an' boots. I intend ta run a respectable kitchen an' if the crew's hungry they'll learn ta ask me or be stuck eatin' naught but beets fer th'duration. Shittin' red fer a week'll teach 'em."

Xionn couldn't help but give that mental image a laugh. "Right, headin' up then, donna try ta pocket anythin', 's all bolted. Har."

Skulley just snorted as she ducked into the tiny cubbyhole of a kitchen and pulled a thick leather apron over her head, mindful of the lit cigarette dangling from her lips. "Not plannin' ta steal from ya. Y'know what they say, cap'n. 'Don't shit where y'eat'." She poked her head out from behind the cupboards and grinned at him. "Ain't shite t'steal anyway."


The last hint of the sun disappeared in the West just as they lost sight of Booty Bay to the East. The Guppy was the registered name of their ship for this job. They were to sail overnight and park around the corner of an island for the job the next day. Xionn had made the crew pick straws for their respective watches. However he was still awake while much of the crew had retreated to their quarters. It was Alejandra's watch first. Everyone wanted either the first or last watch, it meant they wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night. The new girl was assigned to breakfast duty so she was free of watch duty.

Xionn pursed his lips, hanging over the side of the stern of the ship. He'd tied the wheel of the ship so it wouldn't move. Alejandra would let him know if they were coming up on anything in the water. He exhaled wisps of smoke, looking out over the darkened sea. A familiar voice spoke up beside him, just loud enough to be heard over the wash of the waves.

"Last call fer chow. 'Bout t'close up." She leaned over the stern beside him, looking at the horizon while she breathed in spiced smoke and salty air, a respite from the dank below decks.

A single lamp hanging nearby illuminated Xionn and Skulley from behind. He didn't look at her directly. " 'm not hungry." He took a long drag from his cigarette then tossed it over the side. "Expectin' a farkin good breakfast though."

"Eggs 'n sausages. Dunno if y'like watermelon but it's on th'menu." The winds were soft this far south, and they toyed with the wisps of smoke that curled up from the cigarette wedged between her knuckles. "How long y'expect it'll be before shite hits the fan, then?"

"If we do everythin' right, shouldna be nothin' hittin th' fan." He gave her a sidelong glance. "Y'know how t'use a divin' helmet?"

"Don' need one. Have a bottle a' some fish scale extract bullshite." She turned her head to look at him and exhaled a cloud of smoke into his eyes.

"Masks traditional way ta go, filled with danger if'n it don' work." He turned about, the lamp now illuminating his face. He smirked around a new cigarette. "Guess'm stuck on tradition. ... Shouldna ye be in yer bunk?"

"Not tired. Don' sleep much before a job. You?"

He took the cigarette out from between his lips and spit over the side. He looked up into the rigging where Alejandra hung, looking the other way. She wasn't watching them, but she was most certainly listening in. "Just t'night." His eyes stayed on Alejandra.

"With all due respect captain, quit staring at me ass."

"S'farkin' creepy, Alej. An' yer arse ain't shite ta look at."

Alejandra gave a subtle smirk and a snort. Their exchange wasn't without humor. Skulley didn't seem to notice. Then again, she probably did. "Don't lose your wits, new girl."

Skulley looked up over her shoulder at the girl suspended in the network of ropes. "Reckon I'll manage. Guess we'll see."

"Oi ye tw', s'a salvage job, cut it down. Only thing tha' could go wrong 's equipment failure." He placated. "Alej, make sure ye wake Lafoot fer his shift, imagine he'll be more'n happy t'sleep through it if he ain't woken up."

"That's a given by now." Alejandra still hung from the same place in the rigging.

"I'm thinkin' I may 'ead down t'sleep meself." Xionn kicked himself off the railing, starting down the steps towards the main deck.

Skulley flicked the stub of her cigarette out into the water and turned on her heel. She called up to Alejandra as she ducked into the cabin. "There's a screw-top fulla coffee tied t'the sink, if y'need it."


Sprawled in her hammock, she kicked her leg restlessly over the side and rolled one cigarette after another. They lay in a tidy pile in the hollow of her belly, and she was fast running out of papers to keep rolling. There was nothing much left to ease nervous tension past this point. That was all right. She simply swayed with the softly rocking motion of the boat and stared into the darkness, waiting.

Xionn sat in his chair, boots kicked up on his desk. In his lap were old ship's logs. It would be a long night.

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:46 am

When someone happens upon a piece of vital information that could save lives, they can do one of two things. They can either report it to the proper people and save those lives, or sell it to someone else for profit. A horde supply ship filled with otherwise unknown goods is scheduled to make its voyage from Steamwheedle Port to Orgrimmar, keeping its distance from the shoreline. An SI:7 agent discovered the port orders for this unguarded supply ship and the Stormwind Navy is scheduled to send an unmarked attack ship to sink it and make a quick escape afterwards. This information is quite valuable to someone with a salvage ship, which is why our captain now has his hands on it. The informant however did not get to keep his money for too long after being drugged and cleaned out by a wench who bought him a drink. The moral of the story? Don't accept drinks from strange women in Booty Bay if you're carrying enough gold to weigh your pants down.

"An' tha's where we step in mates. In a coupl'a hours we'll hear gunshots 'n cannons 'round th'other side'a the isle. We wait a few minute 'n move in, scoop up what we can outta the water 'n make our getaway with the goods. Take what y'kin, leave weapon an' armor crates. Kinna sell Horde weapons t'alliance an' the Horde will jes' know s'stolen. If'n there ain't nothin' else useful take th' weapons 'n armor, kin at least melt it down if this salvage s'a wash, although a secret supply ship's bound ta have somethin' of import on't. Any questions?"

The crew all sat around a small table, crammed in near each other, plates of breakfast food in front of them. This was an easy job for the rest of the crew. Skulley leaned against a wall, wisps of smoke coming from the end of her cigarette. Arioch was already eating, even though he wasn't supposed to be, and Lafoot was looking hungrily at his plate when his stomach suddenly growled loudly.

"Hearing nothin' but Lafoot's gut, dig in crew, y'got a long day ahead o'ye."

Arioch took his food and left, everyone else started digging in, except Alejandra who went to Xionn and whispered something to him.

"Right, fer Skulley and any mate who fergot. Fer this t'be a legal salvage job, there are no survivors. Savvy?"

There were affirmitive sounds from food stuffed mouths around the table. Skulley merely nodded from her post against the wall, apparently content with a cup of coffee and a cigarette for her breakfast. She was dressed for work, having shed the heavy apron that protected her skin and clothes from boiling water sloshed by the motion of the waves; a curious skin-tight suit of dark leather clung to her slim body, paired with light boots and the kerchief on her head. A leather mask sat bunched around her neck, ready to be pulled up at a moment's notice. She seemed to be extremely interested in the contents of her cup.

Jerijah was suddenly in front of Skulley, waving his hand directly under her face. " 'ey, since ol' Arioch is workin' on puttin' things in the crane, we get to decide which of us is divin' and which one is workin' the surface."

"She's already got them new fancy fish potions, Jer." Xionn shoved some more food in his mouth, he wasn't the least bit polite about eating.

Skulley stared for a moment at the excitable little man flapping his hand mere inches from the cigarette in her mouth. Then her long white fingers were curled around his wrist, yanking them down to her side and pulling Jerijah's face in close to hers. At this angle she had to look down to make eye contact. "Watch y'self, love. Won't do to waste yer energy an' mine."

Up close Jerijah didn't smell too bad, in fact there were remnants of a spiced cologne on his skin. He smirked as he was pulled in near, twisting his wrists in her grasp, "Oi love, if you're goin' ta get frisky at least save it for later aye?" Alejandra deliberately ignored her brother, Lafoot of course deliberately followed every detail of the exchange.

"I'll do the divin'. Y'look like ye'd float." Skulley leaned forward and whispered in Jerijah's ear, eliciting an embarrassed chuckle from the admittedly pudgy man, then released his hand with a tight smile and blew out a stream of smoke from her pursed lips as she settled back into her deceptively relaxed position against the wall.

Xionn finished his breakfast, leaving dirty dishes on the table as he stood up. "Sometime in the next few hours mates, be up on deck'n thirty an'prepare t'watch some fireworks." Xionn paused at the door, "An' remember mates, only dirteh stinkin pirates say yarrrrr. Harrr harr har!"

There was a resounding "Harrr" from those remaining in the room.

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:52 pm

The crescendo of canon fire echoed into the little cove they were hiding in. Neither ship could have seen them unless they were specifically looking for them. The setup was almost too convenient for Xionn's liking, a little danger was always preferable to a clean job, at least in his mind. Arioch and Hawkeye were on opposite ends of the mast, ready to release the sail. The sounds of gunshots stopped, ringing fresh in their ears, and then came the cries of men that were previously drowned out by cannon fire. The echoes of rifles came next. Each crew member of "The Guppy" seemed rather complacent to all this, more ready to jump at the call of orders than to anyone's rescue. The shouting quieted and the gunshots stopped, the quiet after the slaughter. Some time after there were shouts of orders and not long was it before the attacking ship set its course east, passing into view of the cove. They either didn't see the hiding ship or didn't care, most likely the latter as sea vultures weren't a rare occurrence.

"Y'know th'drill mates." Xionn half shouted lazily.

"That an order 'r a statement'a fact, captain?" Jerijah piped back at him from the lower deck.

"S'both, m'feelin' lazy t'day."

Arioch and Hawkeye both gave each other a look, then each jumped off the mast, pulling the sail down on either side, free falling before swinging around and tying it off. Alejandra unrolled the scroll she'd had tucked under her arm and chanted the spell on it. A simple and weak spell that put just enough breeze behind the sail to push them out of the cove. The ship lurched forward and tipped a bit as Xionn flung the wheel around, making a sharp turn - for a ship - out of the cove.

Skulley ducked out of the cabin, uncorking a small vial of silver liquid and tipping it down her throat. It wasn't a terribly pleasant elixir, downright fishy to be truthful, but it would buy her up to an hour of underwater breathing without a mask. She didn't grimace, simply pulled her heavy mask up over her nose and chin and buckled herself into a harness of her own making. It hugged her torso, a spring-loaded hook hanging from the thick-gauge thorium ring sewn into the strap that crossed her ribcage. The hook was braided into a stout length of rope that she uncoiled from her arm and passed to Hawkeye. "Tie that off to yer towrope. Pull me up for goods or if shite goes bad; one yank fer safe an' two t'scuttle." She thumbed open the hook on her chest to demonstrate, then bellied up to the stern and looked down at the water. They were beginning to reach the wake of debris from the wrecked ship. A handful of survivors clung to bits of floating wreckage just ahead.

Xionn brought the ship into the midst of the wreckage, the other members of the crew working the sails and bringing the ship to a slow pace. He called for the anchor to be thrown down just as they were entering the wreckage; he was taking them right into the middle of it all. The ship lurched to a stop just as fast as it had started right as they were about to bump one of the larger remains of the supply ship. "Aaaaaalright crew, y'know yer respective jobs, git to it!" He shouted from the upper deck.

The morning sea breeze was giving way to midday winds. They pushed the ship around despite the sails being closed, but the two anchors on opposite ends of the ship kept it mostly stationary.

Some of the survivors that still clung to life realized now that there was a ship there, possibly their salvation? Some began weakly calling out for help. Jerijah started down a rope ladder into the water. He probably would have just taken a dive in if not for all the debris. Hawkeye went to his crane and rotated it around, lowering the fishing net near to the water where it looked like many supply crates still remained afloat. Arioch followed Jerijah, and Lafoot pulled out a battered looking writing board with some crudely made paper on it. In the middle of the lower deck was a grate, beneath it one could see the lower storage decks of the ship. Alejandra opened this grate and lithely jumped down inside, easily a twenty foot drop.

Xionn threw on a rather fancy looking hat and stood around Hawkeye's crane. Skulley snorted at him as she climbed down the ladder, eyes laughing even though her mask covered her grin. Then she was out of sight and in the water, a darting shape just under the surface. A survivor grabbed at her arm as she passed and she pulled him under with her, easily maneuvering the thrashing orc in the weightless sea, holding his head in the crook of her arm as she slit his throat. The water bloomed scarlet above her and the body sank. She continued below, ducking a large portion of the mast and the bodies of a pair of tauren tangled in the rigging on her way into the ship's sunken cabin.

The rudders were first to go into the fine mesh bag she wore over one bony shoulder, pulled from the locked box she found under a pile of debris wedged in the now-tilted corner of the captain's quarters. It also contained a fair supply of gold pieces and a pouch of thistle. A fel elf had been running operations then, most likely. She put the coins into her bag as well and picked the lock on a large lower drawer of the desk that dominated the upmost side of the room, bolted both to the wall and floor. Several tugs pulled it loose, releasing a cloud of air bubbles. A locked document case lay on top of everything, and she removed it first, tucking it away for perusal later. Beneath it was a jumble of items of dubious value, including a jeweled dagger in a fine leather scabbard. She deemed it fine enough and into the bag it went; the rest looked like so much junk.

The hold was a mess. Crates were heaped and scattered everywhere, some bobbing in the water and threatening to crack her skull should she be careless moving among them. Some had smashed open with the impact of cannonfire and the contents littered the steeply angled floor, mostly worthless plate and chainmail, although the contents of a weapons crate appeared to be sown among the rest like pikes, wicked points ready to impale the reckless. She pulled a crowbar from her back and pried open the nearest crate that didn't bear a large armaments stamp. She stared in disbelief at the sacks labeled "RAZORFEN GUANO" inside. The next crate was slightly more promising. It contained row upon row of colored inks, most likely products of Kalimdor herbs, and in a large enough supply to stock a small scribe shop. She pounded the nails back into the lid and knotted a pair of leather straps tightly around it, unhooking her towrope and clipping it to a ring sewn into the straps.

The rope coiled at her feet as she pulled it through the water, two dozen feet until it was taut. She yanked once and it began to retract, gradually reeling in the slack length of rope and finally tugging the crate out of the shattered hull. She helped guide it up to the surface and followed it to the ship, paddling with just her eyes above water while she waited for Hawkeye to haul it up and toss her hook back down.

Jerijah had done his own share of throat slitting. A few desperate souls tried to swim away from the wreckage and their life-saving pieces of flotsam, but their injuries only enabled him to easily catch up with and dispatch them. He was pushing floating supplies towards Hawkeye's net. Anything floating was worth its weight to sell. When the fishing net would fill with crates, Hawkeye would pull them up and Xionn would help guide the crane to put the cargo in the hold, were Alejandra and Lafoot were taking inventory.

One of the bodies clinging to floatsam began to wail for help. "Oi, shut 'im up Jerijah, s'gratin' me nerves," Xionn called down to him below. He scanned the wreckage for the source of the wailing, and saw a blood elf clinging to a floating piece of mast. "No... bring 'im up on deck. I'll deal with him proper up 'ere." Jerijah looked a little displeased to be expending energy to bring someone on board, but he didn't argue, helping bring the blood elf over into the large fishing net. Skulley watched for a moment, bobbing just above the surface, then swam over to help load the man into the net. He was favoring a broken arm, and he screamed when she touched it pushing him up onto a crate.

"You bitch!" He spoke in orcish, but his meaning was plenty clear as he let loose a stream of expletives, berating the masked woman for her carelessness. Skulley simply stared at him as Hawkeye cranked the net up out of the water with them in it.

They pulled the blood elf on board, along with the few crates they'd also put in the net. Xionn paced over to the net, stopping right in front of the coughing blood elf who was clutching his sides. Arioch and Jerijah, who had both pulled themselves temporarily out of the water each grabbed an arm and hefted the blood elf up. "Sounds like the Captain has a bit of a speech for you. Damn fel elf." He spit in the blood elf's face.

Xionn sized the blood elf up, then began speaking in Darnassian. "Are you awake enough to hear me, fel elf?" Darnassian and Thalassian come from the same roots, and much of the two languages are still the same. There are some nuances that developed from the separation of cultures, but the roots of words and at least some phrases between the two are understandable. Meanwhile, Skulley hauled herself onboard and took the opportunity to produce a miraculously dry cigarette out of thin air and light it, the smoke dulling most of the remaining fishy elixir taste. She smoked quickly, pulling inches' worth of the smoldering tobacco into her lungs as she watched the wet and gasping elf attempt to square off with her boss. Arioch and Jerijah held the other elf while Xionn spoke.

"You see, we used to spare unfortunate sailors of attacked ships that we were salvaging. Sometimes we'd even feel bad for the poor souls and give them help." Xionn pulled a fresh cigarette out, lighting it and blowing a wisp of smoke into the gentle breeze. The other elf's face was crossed with a mixture of hope, fear, and loathing. "But the Horde and Alliance, being locked in their eternal all important struggle against each other, felt the need to implement laws about -their- goods being vultured. Most of the laws they implemented never worked. The floatsam law for instance, nothing above the waves in controlled seas were fair game." He laughed, it was a cruel laugh. "But there were so many loopholes in that law, looked like alterac swiss. It didn't help them keep much of their goods at all. Then they came up with this brilliant new law to try and trip up the cartel. You see, for a law to go through about the high seas, whatever faction is trying to pass the law must run it by the cartel. You following me so far fel-for-brains?"

The blood elf scowled. "Are you going to let me go or not?"

Xionn ignored his question. "Now naturally, the Cartel is going to look out for its own, but it's going to want to keep everyone happy for profit. Of course the Cartel isn't going to allow any laws that prohibit vulturing to pass. We keep the seas clean and free of pollution after all! But the Horde and Alliance, they do try. The latest silly law is that all floatsam from wreckage belongs to survivors of the crew, so the Horde can extort those belongings from them after they've recovered the survivors." Xionn turned around, his hands clasped behind his back.

The rest of the crew looked on, all the veterans well aware of what was coming.

"I won't speak a word, just let me go," his voice cracked, possibly from injury, exhaustion or pleading fear. Perhaps all three.

"Well see lad, if'n I let ye go, th'Horde'll find ye, know what supply ship y'worked for, and come demandin' their booty. We kinna have that." He was speaking in common again, the blood elf completely oblivious to what he was saying. He went and picked up a very large, notched axe from its resting place against the ship's cabin.

"No please, anything you want..." The blood elf broke down into cries and sobs, jerking at the two captors holding his arms. Skulley quirked an eyebrow and tossed the remains of her cigarette overboard, crossing her arms over her chest and watching the captive shriek, her face emotionless.

Xionn turned about in place, pointing the blade of the axe at the blood elf. "May Neptulon guide ye inta th' afterlife, saila." He brought the axe down, the point just barely skimming over the deck of the ship. He took several steps forward, like a batter getting a running start before taking a swing. Jerijah and Arioch both sidestepped, releasing the sailor just in time for Xionn's axe to swing up and sever his head from his shoulders. The head, by the sheer force of the blow, went flying over the edge of the ship, and the body slumped, partially falling in the direction of the axe's blow, blood spraying up onto the captain's clothes. There was a grim look of sadistic satisfaction on his face. He set the axe down, looking to the crew. "There are no survivors."

"Right." Skulley straightened up and pulled her mask up over her mouth and nose. It muffled her voice, but the meaning came through clear enough. "Remind me never t'piss ya off, boss." Then she took her hook back from Hawkeye and hopped over the side of the boat into the cool water below. There were plenty more crates left to look through.

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:00 pm

They were nearly finished salvaging all that they wanted. Lafoot and Alejandra were busy below deck piling freshly salvaged (if slightly damp) goods and taking inventory. Xionn had since scrubbed most of the blood off (although there was some traces of it left on his skin) and changed shirts.

"Start packin' up crew, feel like we've ovastayed our welcome as i'tis."

Skulley leaned against the bow, a cigarette poised just over the mask she'd pulled down to her chin. The late afternoon sun reflected mercilessly off the rippling water, and she squinted at the horizon for a moment before she called out across the deck. "Boss. Believe we've got company."

"Mate Skulley, what color does our company fly?" Xionn was already pulling out his spyglass. "And if'n yer goin' ta call company, gimme a direction. Starboard, port, bow and stern. Ain't fuckin' hard."

"Horde, off the bow, boss." Skulley spit into the ocean and flicked her half-smoked cigarette in after it, pulling her mask up high over her face. Now only her eyes were visible.

Xionn was very intrigued by the sudden use of the mask, but went to the bow of the ship. There were more important things to attend to than his curiosities. He used his spyglass to look at the oncoming ship. Sure enough they flew the red flag with the Horde's symbol on it. His teeth ground audibly together.

A deadly pair of daggers concealed somewhere on her person were revealed briefly, and Skulley swabbed a viscous yellow fluid over the keen edges, made them disappear, and grabbed a bucket of watery bleach from below decks. A stiff brush made quick work of the remaining bloodstains on the darkly-stained wood where the elven captain had fallen, and while she scrubbed, she spoke. "Awaitin' orders, boss."

"Good idea, Mate Skulley. Crew, keep at what yer doin', grab a few weapon crates if need be. Even 'f it d'lays our arrival 'n th'bay." He took off his Captain's hat and handed it to Hawkeye. "Lafoot, y'got papers?"

"Aye!" Lafoot ran down the deck below, returning with several sheets of crude paper. All of them had a Horde seal stamped on them.

"I'll be damned if I didn't figure on th'possibility." In truth, Xionn hadn't expected anyone to show up, but always planned for likely situations. They were far enough off Ratchet that the Goblins might have heard the gunfire of the raiding ship, but they wouldn't have hurried a messenger to Orgrimmar unless they thought it would profit them. Goblins weren't known to do anything unless it involved money for their time. They'd only been a couple of hours pulling stuff out of the water, and he'd given it at least three hours for the news to reach the Horde.

The ship was small, but it looked like it had enough cannons to defend - or attack - as necessary. "The Guppy" wasn't completely unarmed. The cannons below deck were covered and hidden, but it would take a bit to ready them.

"Should we make ready for a fight?" Jerijah looked to Xionn.

"Nay, get ready t'do what y'do best crew. Bullshit."

"If Mustaadbeard was here ee'd be breakin out da brass knuckles 'n cannons." Hawkeye was adjusting the hat on his head. It didn't fit him well.

"Mustardbeard ain't here, 'n this ain't no ship'a bandits lookin' ta steal our salvage that we kin beat th'shit outta. This's Horde. Savvy?"

Skulley worked fast, cleaning blood out of the brush and slopping the bloody water over the stern. Stowing them below decks, she went back up the stairs three at a time and helped Hawkeye pull up a few more flooded weapon and armor crates from the surface. Jerijah helped her stack them in plain sight, mostly covering the bleached spot and making a conspicuous cover that could possibly serve as a minor barricade if things went south.

"Looks about ten minutes off crew, get ready t'extend our friendly plank."

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:43 am

Hawkeye was all set up and looking like the official captain of the ship, everyone was set about doing menial tasks. Arioch's height made him the next likely candidate to operate the crane that Hawkeye had built for his proportions. Lafoot and Alejandra were still taking inventory. Skulley slowed to a more methodical pace, moving crates from Arioch's post at the crane over to the pile mid-deck, then returning to help him untangle bits of stray flotsam from the nets. Everyone looked about as nonchalant (and bored) as any government contractor might, treating the affair as a matter of pen, ink and labor, rather than a tragedy of life lost and routine disrupted. The other ship was along side them before long and throwing hitch ropes over. The crew obliged, tied the two ships together and extended a gang plank.

"Look alive ye swabs." It was hard to tell if Hawkeye was just acting or genuinely enjoying berating the rest of the crew in front of the other ship's crew. Skulley shot him a dirty look, mostly for show. She'd certainly been working harder before, and now it was all she could do to keep it to a slow and steady pace. She kept her eyes lowered and her mask on as she plucked chunks of splintered wood and kelp from the net and chucked them into the water.

The captain, a rather muscled looking orc, came over the gankplank with two other men, a goblin and a blood elf. Arioch was suddenly nowhere to be seen, probably a good thing, given his previous distaste for fel elves. "Motley crew you have here captain."

"Welcome t'the Guppy mate, we be a friendly fishin' boat commissioned t'be cleanin' up da waters of floatin' wreckage. What honorable captain be in me presence?"

"Gonrah Greenfist." The orc captain looked around at the other crew members. "This don't look like a horde ship," he twisted his face at Hawkeye. Hawkeye was the only one that could pass as a Horde. They spoke to each other in Orcish.

"I assure you, captain, dis be a perfectly sanctioned operation." "Lafoot!" he called out in common. "Show 'im de papers."

Lafoot procured the papers he'd prepped before their departure. They bore the insignia of the Horde as well as a bunch of scrawl that none but probably Hawkeye and Lafoot could read. Captain Greenfist looked over them, rubbing his chin. He tried to not make it too obvious that he wasn't well versed in the various point of Horde law that were scrawled on the paper. "I haven't heard of no Guppy, Captain Hawkeye. But your papers seem to pass. We were sent out here to investigate the raided ship and recover any survivors and its supplies." He passed the papers to the goblin, who began looking over them. "If I understand your papers correctly, then you were ordered to recover supplies as we were."

It was clear from the captain's voice that he was suspicious. Hawkeye kept face while the rest of the crew put a bit of extra effort into actually appearing busy. "Aye."

"And... there were no survivors?"

"Der was none." Hawkeye and the rest of the crew knew, as a general rule, not to offer up information that wasn't directly asked for, but there were certain times when it was appropriate. Like right now, for instance. "From da style of da cannonballs, seems da Alliance took em out."

The goblin scrutinized the papers. He was tall for his kind, came up to his orc captain's waist, even. Ugly fellow had a flat head and a pointed nose, no hair to speak of, a curious dent near his left temple and a series of titanium bars threaded through the holes in his long green ears. Xionn's gaze shifted from the goblin to the blood elf, and he realized that the blood elf had been staring at him, sizing him up. Before either of them could speak, Gobbo looked up from the impossible legal gibberish printed on Lafoot's crumpled paper and caught sight of the gaunt figure clad in snug, oiled black leather untangling nets off to port. "Oy! Skullz. Skullz!"

Every eye aboard the tiny ship was on her as Skulley's dark head swiveled toward the sound of the goblin's raspy voice. Her eyes, the only part of her face visible between the damp bandanna above and the mask below, were carefully expressionless. A barely perceptible tilt of the neck asked the question for her, and the goblin was more than happy to answer. "'Course ya don't remember a greeny tosser what took a chunk from yer own bottle a' rum, fine fookery that. I see how it is." He pointed to the two-inch dent in his bald green pate just above the scraggy ear where his piercings reflected the late afternoon sun. On closer inspection, one could see how the hollow spot might just line up with the bottom curve of a glass bottle. Skulley stared a long moment longer, then her eyes crinkled up at the corners and she laughed soundlessly, dropping her attention back down to the netting in her hands. Tensions immediately seemed to ease a bit, and the goblin grinned broadly.

"Remy fuckin' Bilgebottom." She was amused, you could hear that much through the tight leather mask over her mouth. Her orcish was impeccable. "Was a whiskey bottle, but I don't blame ya fer forgettin'."

"Teach a blaggart like me ta stiff me best piercer. All healed up nice-like, yarr. Head and ears, both. You should come back ta the Bay, lady, got some more business for ya when yer not slummin' it up on a dinky vessel like this."

Skulley waved a hand dismissively in Remy's direction, still chuckling silently as she tended to her work. The goblin turned to his boss and squinted his eyes against the sun. "Checks out, Cap'n. Looks like we wasted our fookin' time. If Skullz is in th'salvage business we may's well quit now." He tipped the woman a wink (she rolled her eyes at him; he only snickered) and turned on his heel, cramming the ship's papers into the orc's hand as he walked back over the plank.

The strained atmosphere was broken and the captain of the other ship seemed convinced, but the blood elf was still engaged in a mutual staredown with Xionn. Neither recognized the other, and their silent exchange could most likely be chalked up to a tremendous dislike for the other elven race.

The captain nudged the blood elf. "Theln, let's be off then." The blood elf snapped something out in Thalassian and there was a quick retort from Xionn in his own language. He spit at Xionn's feet, then turned and went across the gang plank with the captain. Xionn and Jerijah helped unhitch the larger boat from theirs, and soon the ship with its Horde colors was sailing back toward Booty Bay. Once it was a speck on the horizon, Skulley yanked the mask off her face and crammed a cigarette in her mouth, sucking down half of it in one enormous pull.

"Good job crew, props t'our mate Skulley fer bein' a goblin lover," Xionn grinned her way, arms crossed. "Now, we got what we came fer, let's get outta here."

"Fuckin' aye, boss." Skulley spit into the ocean, took a quick look at the setting sun and ducked into the cabin. "I'm makin' dinner. If ya need me fer anythin', go fuck yerself."

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:01 pm

(( Cowritten with Illithias ))

They'd just come in the previous day from their job, a haul of goods in the hull of their ship. Several of them had already spent a small chunk of their earnings on booze the previous night, and the money wasn't even in their hands yet. It was midday when Xionn finally awoke from his drink induced slumber and stumbled out of his room at the inn. His hair was even messier than normal, like a frazzled rat that hadn't shed a single hair in five years. The inn in Booty Bay was built out of the hull of a large ship, and the rooms were all those of the brig and the crew's quarters. The perfect place to feel right at home for a sailor or pirate. Not that they wanted to spend even more time in a ship. He took a step outside of the top floor of the inn. It was a brisk fall day, even for the tropics. Groaning, he went back inside and stumbled his way downstairs. There were already people drinking and the place was rowdy as usual, but then again there wasn't a time when people weren't drinking in Booty Bay. Xionn looked at the kegs of drink as he leaned on the bar.

"Back for more?" The barkeep eyed the pirate - nay, privateer.

Xionn didn't look at the barkeep, just the intricate pattern of lines and rings on the unpolished wood of the bar. "Gimme a tonic."

"Didn't think your type got hungover." Contrary to popular belief, even pirates could still get hangovers. It was only the dwarven ones that seemed fairly immune. The barkeep filled a tall glass with some warm bubbling liquid and then threw a couple of ice cubes, which quickly shrunk to half their size.

"Thanks mate." Xionn started off the day by nursing his hangover against the bar.

He didn't stir, slumped over the bar with his forehead resting on the backs of his hands, when the stool to the left of him squealed as it was dragged back across the floor. Someone unceremoniously dumped themselves into the seat with a "Hmph", sweet smoke from a cigarillo wreathing their arrival. Xionn recognised the smell. Rolling his head to the side, he peered blurrily at the figure sitting at his flank. The dwarf raised a hairy eyebrow at the elf, mouth working around the cigarillo clenched between his teeth.

"Mornin', cap'n."

The dwarf removed his cigarillo with two meaty fingers and raised a grimy tumbler of rum to his lips, still peering down at Xionn. The snow coloured worg sitting beside the dwarf's stool, each of their heads level with the other, and watched the elf too.

He didn't respond at first, only concentrating on the pounding of the smithy's hammer in his head. It registered that someone had just greeted him, and for that matter called him captain. He pushed himself up and sat like a proper captain should, or at least tried to. He slouched like a down-on-his-luck bum. No mentioning the large haul of booty he and his crew had. "Ahoy mate, but y'dunnae look like any'a mine," his slur surprisingly didn't make him sound any worse than his pirate drawled common normally did. He squinted and reconsidered, there was something familiar about this dwarf.

The dwarf sighed, placing his tumbler down onto the greasy bartop. Tucking his cigarillo into a handily placed notch in the edge, he reached across the slouching kal'dorei. He took a hold of the tall glass of tonic - now almost tepid in the Stranglethorn heat - and proceeded to upend the vessel, and therefore it's contents - over Xionn's head. He reached over and picked up his cigarillo, wedging it back between his jaws.

"Y'fuckin bint," he sat up more like a captain now, although his hair now resembled something akin to a drowned rat. "Y'owe me a drink 'r a punch 'cross the face fir--" as he focused on the dwarf, a name came to his lips, "Rafe?" He looked past the dwarf to the worg. It didn't take a whole lot to stun a hung over pirate. "An' th'fuckin mutt, am I still dreamin?"

"Hrmmm." the dwarf grumbled a bit, twisting in his seat to face the bar again. Catching the barkeep's attention with a flash of silver in his fingers, he tossed a handful of silver bits to the bartop. Two flagons were pushed down the bar to the dwarf and the elf, dark liquid slopping over the rims to stain the woodwork. The dwarf nodded to himself in apparent approval before twisting back in his stool to face Xionn again. He wasn't the fastest of dwarves in the Eastern Kingdoms, but Xionn wasn't feeling particularly spritely himself. The dwarf's rough knuckles caught Xionn in the jaw, more loud and startling than damaging. He settled back into his stool.

"There's ye drink an' ye punch. An' I dinnae think ye're dreaming any, either."

Xionn took a moment to recover from the blow, caught off guard more than anything, and as soon as he could focus he turned and gave the dwarf a like punch. It was almost ceremonious for the two. He looked at the drink and his stomach did a flip that wasn't nearly as bad as the one it would have done two minutes ago. He grabbed the mug and tipped it up, drinking several big gulps. After all, they say the best cure for a hangover is to keep drinking.

His half drained mug hit the bartop, the barkeep had kept half an eye on them to make sure nothing serious broke out. "S'now that th'formalities 'r outta the way, an' I know yir notta dream, where th'fuck y'been?"

Rafe rubbed at his bearded jaw with one hand while the other fished the cigarillo out of his mouth so he could speak.

"Oh, all kinds'a places. Plen'y fer a dwarf an' 'is mutt to do an' see. 'Swhere's nae import'nt."

Swapping his cigarillo back into his mouth and picking up the filthy flagon infront of him, the dwarf peered at Xionn over the rim.

"Ah also hear a lot o' things while away too. Hear ye're still down ah good mate since th' last one, Bosun Craghammer or wh'chever it was, took off an' left ye in th' lurch. Th' true?"

"Old Mustardbeard disappeared ta." He eyed Rafe. "Picked up anotha' ta fill in fir botha 'em. Rest'o the crew's still around. Lafoot's th'same. Yaknow me Rafe, neva ask 'bout any o' me crew's business 'less it affects me business." He lifted the mug to his lips, then reached in his shirt. He felt around, then seemed surprised that he didn't find anything. "Right." He reached into the other side of his shirt and found what he was looking for, pulling out a crudely wrapped cigarette and lighting it. "We just got in from'a job nice'n easy, little runin with the Horde, made me a bit curious 'bout new girl though." He rolled his neck around, popping it several times, then gave the dwarf a sidelong glance. "S'what 'r ya doin' here?"

The dwarf worked the butt of his cigarillo over in his jaw. "Oh, ye ken, drinking." He glanced to his side; Xionn wasn't particularly amused by the joke. Rafe pulled the butt out of his mouth and took another mouthful from his flagon.

"Found meself back in th' Bay, wouldn't ye ken. Contracts an' th' like had run dry, so ah'm livin' off've meh purse nae. Cannae keep meh in grog an Blackwood in sausage for'ver tha way, ye ken. 'Eard tha' tha 'Guppy' were in berth 'swell, so ah thought ah'd see if'n meh bunk were free or nae. Af'er all, tha Herero kids love tha pup 'ere, and 'o else is gunnae drink wi' ye're sorry arse, elf?"

Rafe put the stub of his cigarillo back in his whiskered jaw, inhaling another lungful of black smoke. He eyed Xionn appraisingly. Blackwood whined sympathetically.

Xionn chuckled. "S'what yir sayin' is, down on yer luck and y'want a cutta the booty t'grace us with yer presence?" He leaned in towards the dwarf, looming. "Or's there somethin' else yer offerin'? Got a lead onna job that needs more'n one set'a hands maybe?"

"Well..." the dwarf began, grinding the stub of his cigarillo out on the bartop, "nowt ye mention 't, meh fair share o' ye're ill gotten gains is rether tempting. An' lahght ken, ye're gunnae need someone able t' 'elp boss 'bout th' motley rabble ye call a crew abowt. But, since ye're talkin' abowt jobs, ah maght jes' have somethin' t' tickle ye're fancy. Th' is, o' course, only if'n th' 'Guppy' don' have nae oth'r pressin' matters..." The dwarf grinned wide, the sparkle of gold alternating between smoke-stained teeth.

One side of Xionn's face gave an intrigued twitch. "Ayeh? Y'hungry mate?" Xionn ordered two plates of food. "S'Rafe, tell me bout--" Xionn spun about and jumped up from his stool, grabbing a passing man around the neck and punching him in the kidneys. There wasn't much sound, just a grunt and a slumping body. He reached down, procuring a money pouch from the man's curled palm. "Fucker tried ta take me money." He was getting several looks. "Back t'yer business!" The quieting bar roared back up again.

He sat back down on his stool, picking up his fork and shoving a pile of cooked cabbage in his mouth. He spoke with his mouth full of food. "Fuckers ready t'start a swingin' bar fight at th'drop ova hat." He swallowed. "S'tell me about this job a'yers."

The dwarf shoveled a few ladlefuls of boiled cabbage into his mouth, washing it back with more dark drink. He pulled another cigarillo out of a suspiciously well kept cigar case from inside his vest and struck a match.

"So, ye'see, I found meself out Tel Abim way earlier in th' year. Decent work if'n ye need it, at th' time ah needed it. Won' bore ye wi' th' details why, bu' ah 'adn't much choice in' matter. On m' way back t' th' Kingdoms, en'ed up 'aving t' sail through th's uncharted arch'pelago. Had t' shake some guest's of'n our tail, ye ken? Stopped in t' refill water an' what eadibles we could find. Di'n't have much time neither, oth'wise ah nae would be here wi' this."

Rafe reached into a surprisingly deep pocket on the leg of his leather trousers. Pulling out something bunched up in his thick fist, he held his hand over Xionn's, and let go. With a jangle, it fell into the elf's open palm. A heavy necklace, glinting gold. Thumb sized skulls, trollish, worked in gold and silver, with tiny rubies inset as eyes. Xionn turned it over in his palm.

"Found troll ruins. Lot o' them. Found tha' there, must've been more beside. If'n we thought we could stan' a chance 'gainst our guest we would've stayed, but sadly we had t' keep runnin'. 'Though, nae a'fore I took note o' where we were and broke th' ship's sextant. Made gettin' back t' port a shade diff'cult, but ah'll wager silvers for whores th' ah'm th' only one who 'members where th' islands were." The dwarf's face was split from ear to ear with a coniving grin, echoed by the worg beside him.

"Keep the jewel'ry, think o' it as an apology f' a'fore. Ah's wondering if'n ye'd like t' join meh in an exped'tion to lib'rate th' poor dearly departed trolls from th' 'eavy burden of th'r riches. Th' nae be needin' th'm no more."

He turned the necklace over in his hand. Realizing that he wasn't the only one admiring the treasure, he shoved it inside of his shirt, the weight of the gold necklace in the inside pocket leaving an awful obvious lopsidedness to his garment. "Mate, th'story alone'd be worth a drink'r two. 'll extort it outta ye 't some point." He was now ignoring his half finished plate of food, picking up the heavy mug from the bar and turning fully about to face the dwarf. "Y'see Rafe, 'm highly interested in this proposition o'yers. Two problems presentin' themselves in me mind. Firs' a troll treasure tha's nay disturbed oft 'as a hefty curse. Seein' as Hawkeye 'as no farkin' clue 'bout hexes, we needs ourselves a troll 'at does, 'r someone really good at de-hexin'."

"Second problem mate," he leaned in, talking very quietly right next to Rafe's ear. " 's 'at when y'come inta a busy tavern talkin' bout th'location'a treasure, y'git th'attention of blokes ova in th'corner behind and t'yer left-- dun look't em." He sat up, talking louder now. "S'we's goin' t'the Lost Rigger's Cave 'n talk more about it there, aye?" Lost Rigger's Cave (Not to be confused with Cove) was a well known location for illegal business to go down. The suggestion was also code that they split up after leaving the bar and meet up later that evening in the bleachers of the Gurubashi Arena.

"S'let's shake on it?" Xionn grinned at the dwarf, then turned around and punched the human on the other side of him square across the jaw.

Rafe released his cigarello with a grin beneath that bushy beard, turning to the man opposite him and giving him a hard headbutt. The other man fell off his stool dazed. A shout carried out over the bar and the barkeep goblin pulled out a musket, shooting at a hole already in the ceiling. But it was too late, the bar fight had broken out. A large mug sailed across the room, hitting Xionn in the head.

"Fer the love o'fuckin..." But this was exactly the distraction he had wanted. He darted through the crowd, not even keeping track of what Rafe was doing. They were both short and would easily lose those men in the confusion.

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:46 pm

(( As a follow up to Skulley's arrest. ))

"Skelton's over an hour late Captain, how much longer are we going to wait?" Lafoot was sifting through papers attached to a clip board, most of which were notes from Rafegar about the location of cursed troll treasure. "We didn't wait near as long as this for Old Mustardbeard."

Xionn took a long drag on his cigarette, leaning of the railing of the ship. They were currently docked in Stormwind. Only a single moon hung in the sky like a lonely Winter Veil Ornament, the other hiding somewhere over the horizon. "I know how long we been waitin', Lafoot. What ye don' realize 's th'value o' information 'n patience." There was a long silence. John expected Xionn to explain, but finally spoke up himself.

"I don't follow, Captain."

"Word is, major raid's gone down on tha blokes what calls themselves the Riders. Every lowlife in th'city's all giddy. Gettin' ready t'play their 'ands."

Lafoot nodded, "I follow ye so far. You're not planning on raiding them too, are you?"

"Neptulon no, Lafoot. Y've got South Sugar Cane fer brains." Xionn turned around on his heel, stubbing his cigarette out on Lafoot's surcoat. John winced, despite the layers of clothing. "All'a th'goods 'ave been confiscated already. Anythin' valuable, both illegal 'n legal's in th'pockets o' Stormwind's blue 'n gold. That is t'say, th' nobles. Word is 'few crates of 'rathi Gold made it inta the'r 'ands as well."

"So... we're going to steal from the King himself, is what you're saying?"

"King prolly don' know shat 'bout this. Nay, yer goin' ta take Jerijah, clean 'im up, an' botha ye 're goin' t'look like presentable blue 'n gold. Accents 'n all. Only yer paper's goin' t'list ye 's Shaw's men. Only Shaw'n 'is two lapdogs'd know the dif'rence. Git those goods onta th'ship."

Lafoot showed concern on his face, although his features were mostly hidden by the shadows cast by the sails, "And what about the troll treasure? Brother Sul's Cargo?"

"We sail 'fore th' next moon Lafoot. Troll treasure ain't goin' naywhere, 'n Sul's men don' need us fer 'few days yet."

"And what about the rest of us?" Alejandra's voice came from just below the stairs on the deck below them. She quickly ascended them and stood beside John. "I'm not taking a pay cut 'cause I didn't get t'do anything."

"I was gettin' t'ye," Xionn gave a quiet chuckle. "More'n likely, Skelton's hold up somewhere safe, 'r in the Stocks 'erself. Given 'er tendency t' 'ang round with this crowd, 'd wager th' latter."

Alejandra snorted, "So I'm breaking Skelton out? Fan-fuckin'-tastic."

"Not just Skelton, Alej. Yer doin' a large scale jailbreak. Wouldn' want th' higher ups t'think Skelton's important 'r anythin' like that. An' if Skelton's nay there, jailbreak's a good distraction fer Lafoot anyways."

"And if I refuse?"

The sails cast shadows on Xionn's face as well, but there was just enough moon glow to make his wide, malicious grin stand out. "There're worse things'n helpin' a matey y'dun like, Alej."

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Thiyenn » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:27 pm

[Skulley goes ta jail, the sequel. First part's here.]

Marta stared at Skulley.

Skulley stared back.

The stockade was no hotel. Dead roaches lined the floor under the rough wooden bench on which the slender woman now sat, lit cigarette in hand. The rough-hewn stone walls wept cold moisture. Somewhere, water dripped slowly and relentlessly onto the damp stone floor. Marta was planted on the sagging bench bolted to the opposite wall. She coughed, a distressingly wet and noxious sound that echoed in the tiny cell.

"Nice place, innit?"

Pale, piggy eyes regarded her stonily from a bloated face marked with broken red-purple veins. Marta was a massive woman with ponderous, sagging breasts; broad as well as tall, she was as fat as Skulley was thin. Her enormous feet sprawled halfway across the room, covered in worn and filthy workboots. Tattered overalls attempted--and, thankfully, mostly sufficed--to cover her bulk. Skulley reckoned each of the thick hands resting limply on Marta's bulging thighs could easily lift a small child by the skull and crush it with a minimum of effort.

Marta spat.

Skulley stared briefly at the quivering lump of congealed phlegm as it steamed next to the rusty iron bars cemented directly into the floor and ceiling.

"...Reckon if we put up some curtains it might make the place right cheery."

Marta grunted. "Bate 'is 'ead in wi' a 'ammer."

A cloud of smoke and steam issued from Skulley's painted mouth. "Y'don't say."

"'Ee na'er shat up nei'er."


Plink. Plink. Plink.

"Well! S'pose I'll spend th'rest a' me evenin' in th'parlor, then. Call if y'need me, eh darlin'?" Skulley shifted slightly on her bench and lit a fresh cigarette off the stub of her old one. She'd been chaining since Newhall'd had her frisked and taken both the plain silver lighter and her box of matches, as well as a number of other items labeled as contraband. Who knew when she'd get another light? Clearly the only solution was to smoke 'em while she had 'em, and they'd been kind enough to leave her with the worn tobacco pouch she wore knotted around a belt loop. Her jacket and confiscated locksmithing kit, however, were now hung somewhere in a cheerless, dingy office not much better than the rest of the run-down city jail.

The smoldering butt of her dying cigarette danced off her fingers and hissed in a small pool of standing water near the south wall. Then it hissed again. Skulley's pencil-thin brows lifted.


"Fancy seein' you here, Alej."

"Funny how that is. Captain sent me." Alejandra, snippy as ever, materialized just outside the prison cell, her small, dark form lodged firmly between the bars and the small stone outcropping that divided the room from the main thoroughfare and kept her hidden from casual observers. She passed a handful of bobby pins and a small thief's kit, a leather wallet with a row of small picks tucked into the loops inside, through the bars.

"Bit a' overkill on th' picks, love." She felt out the keyhole on the door, skinny arm wrapped around the bars. The lock was old and in spite of a bit of rust, it tumbled over in seconds.

"Don't bitch, you're lucky I came out here at all."

"Now now, sweetheart. Save the pussycattin' fer th'ship. Can ye pick at all? These locks is child's play, an' I need ta make a stop at th'warden's office fer me shite."

Alej rolled her eyes. "You need a distraction."


"You owe me, Skelton."

"'Course I do, sugar." Skulley swooped down toward the little deckhand. Alejandra didn't have time to react and took a brief but firm kiss to the mouth.

"...I'll fuckin' kill ya."

"Go on, darlin'. Lots to be done before we can clear outta here." Skulley's grin threatened to split her face. She turned and executed a sweeping bow toward Marta, dodging a half-hearted dagger-lunge from her livid crewmate and darting out into the hallway, where she promptly melted from sight. Alejandra sighed.

"Feckin' shite." Alejandra spat and headed the opposite direction, relying on her own tarnished pick to flip the locks on half a dozen cells down the block, picking the ones housing the least offensive-looking brutes--all the men who looked at her without a dull spark of rape-lust in their eyes, anyway. Just enough to cause a ruckus.

By the time the hectic clanging of the alarms began, both of the Guppy's crewmates were safe on board. Alejandra disappeared down-decks. Skulley pulled a lighter from the pocket of her reclaimed jacket and lit a cigarette, then knocked on Xionn's office door.

"Sorry I'm late, boss."

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Re: Running a Legal Business

Postby Aleros » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:58 pm

Four cigarettes sat on the cold stone. Beside them a deck of playing cards. "Raising the stakes?"

"Naw, you already cleaned me out. Show."

"Three aces."

"Full house."

"Dammit, bound to lose sooner or later." The guard grinned behind his helmet.

"Right, at least I have enough to keep me warm tonight." He picked up the four cigarettes, putting the three into a pile much smaller than the other guard's. He took one and lit it.

"Uh-ten-shun!" a voice shouted across the grounds.

The two scrambled to put their gambling supplies away, their armor clattering as they quickly stood up to either side of the store house door. They were around the side of Stormwind keep, guarding one of the many many store houses on the grounds.

"Gambling, men?" The voice that had yelled at them from a distance away was much closer, and the guards made out two figures quickly approaching them. They hadn't heard the approach as the figures were clad in leather. Both were dark haired men, about the same height. A blue and gold tabard partially covered their black leather.

"Yes sir. We're sorry, sir. There's been no activity for hours."

"Forgiven and forgotten, so long as orders are obeyed." The four men now stood facing each other. The one that had been yelling produced a piece of paper, the other stayed silent. Short and brief orders were written on it. Shaw's seal was stamped in blue wax on the paper, not the usual black wax with silver flakes of SI:7. Neither of the armor clad guards seemed to notice this. "You're to report to the stockades immediately to assist with a prison break. We're here as temporary relief of your post until such a time as the commotion settles."

One of the guards leaned forward, giving the document a quick glance over, then nodded to the other. They both gathered their supplies, saluted the two leather clad men and marched off towards the keep gate.

"Told ya that would be easy Herero, all you had to do was sit there 'n look pretty 'n let me do the talkin'."

"Remind me to kick your family jewels in later, Lafoot."

"Right mate." Lafoot procured a whistle from around his neck and blew on it. It made no sound, but a barking and howling of dogs arose from nearby streets and alleyways. "Come on then, let's be quick, they'll be here with the wagon soon."

The two opened the door to the storage house. Inside were many crates and boxes of goods. On several of the crates was the seal of Arathi, bathed in lantern light the yellow stood out particularly well. Over top of the seal, and indeed on every item in there was the contraband stamp. Lafoot gave a quiet, sharp whistle, "Captain was right, this one's going to be a nice haul. Twice the booty for half the work."

"Don' forget, we still have to switch everythin' t'new crates, ain't gettin' far with that contraband seal on it all."

"Right, and replace fake bottles filled with South Seas Rum into the contraband crates. Your average dimwit guard won't know the difference between real Arathi Gold and look-alike bottles filled with Sunrise Rum. Captain figures we'll be selling these goods before any of the higher ups are any the wiser."

They both exited the storehouse just as a wagon with two hooded drivers pulled up. Draped sloppily over it in various places was the Stormwind flag. Both men threw off their hoods, one a troll the other an elf. Hawkeye had a contraption in his ear that looked like an over sized hearing aid.

"That thing really works, 'en?"

" 'ear like a dog mon."

Jerijah smirked at the troll's invention. "Right, let's get t' work."

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