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Welcome to Year Eight

"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' fore she keens. Makes her a home."

Year Eight and Still Flyin'! Thank You, Everyone!


Pages: (3) [1] 2 3  ( Go to first unread post )

 Brown Bottle Bar: Eavesdown, Thread 2:
Sid
Posted: Jan 9 2011, 04:19 PM


'Versal


Group: NPC
Posts: 17
Member No.: 1,069
Joined: 19-March 10





Previous Brown Bottle Thread Is Here

The Brown Bottle sits in the center of a dusty block of similarly squat, square concrete block buildings, near enough to the docks that the impact proof windows shimmy whenever anything with a Cappesin engine dropped into berth.

With a constant decor in shades of dingy and dark, The Brown Bottle lives up to it's name. Brown laminate tables and chairs were scattered here and there. The bar occupies one large room, only casually divided into sections by the mere arrangement of seating. Frivolities are limited to a pool-table with settings that mostly work, a few dartboards with some of the numbers worn off. An automatic music system drifts dusky background music, loud enough to break silence and soft enough to not harm conversation. And behind the bar, on shelves backed with a long wide bar mirror, rest rows and rows of vintage beer bottles in shades from palest amber to darkest mahogany, some from as far away as Earth-That-Was.

----------------
(Posted Image)
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Sid
Posted: Jan 9 2011, 04:36 PM


'Versal


Group: NPC
Posts: 17
Member No.: 1,069
Joined: 19-March 10



(Posted Image)

Sidonia Baron unlocked the door and took a cursury glance around, her lank brown hair swinging under the brim of the western hat she wore in deference to the misty 'rain' that fell outside, turning the pale yellow dust to grimy mud that clung to everything.

Kicking the mud off her boots, she shed her light-weight canvas jacket and headed behind the bar, glad it had been slow the night before and there wasn't much to do to get ready to open.

A flick of her wrist opened the cash register, and she pulled the day's change from it's hiding place under the bar, prepared to make change for whatever currency swaggered in off the docks that day. In the kitchen, she flipped on the deep fryer and the grill to heat up, scrambling up an egg and dumping it into a bun for some breakfast for herself. After a moments hesitation, she grimaced and chased it down with a mug of coffee, still cold from the night before.

Back in the bar, her sharp eyes took in the room, swallowing it up with a vague sense of irritable pride. It was hers, and it was good, mostly, but lately something had begun to tug at her. Too many folk came through and went again. More folk knew her name than she'd ever remember of theirs, but sure enough, a bar like this was a lonely place. She missed bein' around folk who hung around, who knew more than her name. Rutt, she even missed that jackrabbit Boone.

"Hell with 'em," Sid grumbled, striding back to the door and flipping the open sign on. "Got enough to do without folk in the way."
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Dominic Doyle
Posted: Jan 10 2011, 12:09 PM


Big Damn Hero


Group: OC
Posts: 132
Member No.: 158
Joined: 17-September 06



OOC- Any GM'ing in this post has been okay'd by a couple in red. They are also to be thanked for the editing.


I am the voice inside your head
And I control you


Light seeped through the cracks between the blinds of what was in the least a dingy rundown room. Cockroach's were too good to nest here. Dom wasn't however. He'd stayed in much more decrepit spaces before; this was just the next one. At the moment there was no discerning of time, night or day but he knew one thing for certain. It was time he got up. He had a fix to get and the Brown Bottle was calling him.

I am the lover in your bed
and I control you


He pulled himself up to a sitting position before rubbing his alcohol-weary eyes. Those same eyes then traced over to the naked form lying beside his pillow. Smelling of booze and stripped of clothing and empty on the inside he stared long at the still figure.

"God, what've I done this time."

I am the sex that you provide
and I control you


With one fell swoop he slapped the neck of last nights company sending the bottle spiraling through the air before smashing into a million glass shards on the floor. He turned around again and looked at the small wad of credits on the table. Like the bottle it wouldn't make it another day.

I am the hate you try to hide
and I control you


He slipped into his brown jacket, something that brought with it a sense of guilt, pride and anger mingling together in a dangerous cocktail each time it was adorned. Memories would never fade from the fabric of the cloak. Hatred for the Alliance and what they had done would never leave.

I take you where you want to go

He grabbed his cane.

I give you all you need to know

He grabbed his credits.

I drag you down I use you up

He grabbed his flask.

With all in hand he stepped towards the door, the glint of light in the filthy mirror reflected in his eye, causing him to turn and stare at it. He walked over and wiped away some of the filth with his sleeve, staring at himself both vacantly and deeply at once.

"Mr. Self Destruct." He uttered as he left the room and headed down to pay his tab. After that he was on the streets of Persephone wandering his way over to the Brown Bottle.

I speak religion's message clear
and I control you


A street preachers booming voice rose above the sound of even incoming ships, as he spoke of rapture and the coming doom. Dom had to forge a path through his followers who had gathered around him before leaving them in the past.

I am denial guilt and fear
and I control you


Two Alliance soldiers bumped roughly into Dom, pushing him off balance and when their eyes met with his they openly challenged him to say or do something about it. As tempting as it was he turned and continued his way down the street.

I am the prayers of the naive
and I control you

I am the lie that you believe
and I control you


From crazy street preacher on to institutionalized insanity; He came across a cathedral as the shepherd at the top of the steps flocked in his sheep. Every so often a God bless you escaped the aging bible banger's wrinkled lips as if it carried some form of verbal poison, casting a spell upon the naive. Dom passed them by as well.

I take you where you want to go
I give you all you need to know
I drag you down I use you up
Mr. Self-destruct


Cane, creds and flask on his person he finally came to his destination near Eavesdown Docks as the Brown Bottle appeared in front of him. A haven for those like him, a sense of comfort and soon, hopefully it would be a source of employment.

I am the needle in your vein
and I control you


He found a seat at the bar which had likely just opened for the day as attested to by the sparse amounts of people. He didn't pay attention to anyone but the bartender, good looking girl but he didn't want her for her looks.

"Drink. Whiskey. Please." Today he had decided the problem with English was all those pesky words. He chose to simplify.

I am the high you can't sustain
and I control you


He finished off the few drops in his own flask and slapped down the remainder of his credits on the counter.

I am the pusher I'm a whore
and I control you


The drink came to him almost immediately and disappeared nearly as fast.

I am the need you have for more
and I control you


He raised his empty glass, shaking it to ask for another.

I am the bullet in the gun
and I control you


An Alliance patrol poked their heads in, Dom wondered for a second what trouble they thought to cause. His hand instinctively slipped into his jacket where his gun lay to rest, seldom used anymore. Where most people saw purple on their chests he only saw red. The anger and need for revenge.

I am the truth from which you run
and I control you


It wasn't that patrols fault however. Two fresh-faced young men had no part in his war. In fact the Alliance wasn't to blame for his rage anymore than he himself with the guilt he bore as a cross, replacing the one his dead wife had given him and he'd lost years before. He was his enemy now.

I am the silencing machine
and I control you


His refill had come, drawing his attention from the two men. He filled his flask, then polished off the rest of it. His urge to draw his weapon remained and in a moment of overwhelming denial decided it was those two men who needed to pay for past sins.

I am the end of all your dreams
and I control you


His chance at vengeance had passed as the two men who once occupied the entrance were gone. Reluctantly Dom drew his hand back out from his jacket and hugged his glass as if it would run away on him if he wasn't watching it closely.

I take you where you want to go
I give you all you need to know
I drag you down I use you up
Mr. Self-destruct


OOC2- Song is Mr. Selfdestruct by Nine Inch Nails
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Sid
Posted: Jan 16 2011, 02:40 PM


'Versal


Group: NPC
Posts: 17
Member No.: 1,069
Joined: 19-March 10



Sid relaxed a fraction when the vet's hand moved away from his weapon, and her own hand moved away from the shotgun under the counter. Her grim expression didn't alter. Ling and Belzen were just doing their job, and they didn't like bein' in this part of town anymore than her clientele liked havin' em there. But it was a symbiotic relationship on this end of the docks. The Law kept the streets a bit safer and the drops dealers out of the front stoop and Sid kept the Browncoats from stirrin' fights just to be stirrin'.

"They ain't worth it, soldier." She gave the man a shake of the head, her voice a slow drawl, "You can't fight the whole world, 'specially not on the booze you're guzzling."

Her head cocked, dark eyes appraising, "You want some chow on top of that?"
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Dominic Doyle
Posted: Jan 16 2011, 06:48 PM


Big Damn Hero


Group: OC
Posts: 132
Member No.: 158
Joined: 17-September 06



"They ain't worth it, soldier." She gave the man a shake of the head, her voice a slow drawl, "You can't fight the whole world, 'specially not on the booze you're guzzling."

Dom brought his grey eyes up to the dark eyes watching him, knowing that they had been on him ever since his hand entered his jacket.

"Maybe not. S'pose it wouldn't do nothin' t'bring 'er back anyway." He let out a defeatist sigh as he stared at his once again empty glass then back to her.

"Sure as rut coulda put two holes in 'em purples b'fore ya pulled yer piece there though." He nodded at the counter not that he knew exactly where her weapon was concealed but certainly she had been ready with one.

"I do however take it as a kindness ya ain't shot me anyhow. Or thrown me on th'stoop."

"You want some chow on top of that?"

"Norm'ly I'd say money spent on grub is money wasted not spent on a good ale. All things considered I am slightly famished. If it ain't a bother maybe I will trouble ya for some. Not picky whatever you throw in front o'me I'll eat. Oh an' another drink wouldn't hurt. Please."
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Sid
Posted: Jan 24 2011, 11:49 PM


'Versal


Group: NPC
Posts: 17
Member No.: 1,069
Joined: 19-March 10




"Maybe not. S'pose it wouldn't do nothin' t'bring 'er back anyway."

Another soldier sob-story. Sid didn't react,

"Sure as rut coulda put two holes in 'em purples b'fore ya pulled yer piece there though."

"You keep tellin' yourself that." She clipped shortly, knowing that the soft- imitation wood of the bar wouldn't much impede the slugs in her shogtun. No drawing needed.

"I do however take it as a kindness ya ain't shot me anyhow. Or thrown me on th'stoop. Norm'ly I'd say money spent on grub is money wasted not spent on a good ale. All things considered I am slightly famished. If it ain't a bother maybe I will trouble ya for some. Not picky whatever you throw in front o'me I'll eat. Oh an' another drink wouldn't hurt. Please."

"Well, good to see you got some manners left, but I hope you don't take offense that I ain't ruled out out shootin' you just yet. Still early around here." Sid flashed the man a half-smile and, after a glance around the room to ensure that the few other customers were set she stepped back into the kitchen.

And nearly jumped out her skin as a shadow emerged from behind the stacked potato sacks.
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Clare Rilke
Posted: Feb 11 2011, 12:16 AM


Medic with a Cause


Group: Members
Posts: 29
Member No.: 1,135
Joined: 10-February 11



Shortly after the Alliance left the doorway to the Brown Bottle, a far smaller form blocked the entrance, but only briefly. Clare Rilke cast a very small silhouette before moving out of the faint, rain-dimmed sunlight. This was not the first time she had visited the Brown Bottle, but it was the first time in quite a while. She certainly still knew her way to the bar and soon found herself a seat near Dominic Doyle as Sid left for the kitchen.

Clare's brown eyes followed the proprietor before studying the man beside her. She set a beat up leather duffle on the floor next to her chair, then laid a black backpack on top of that before she stretched her dark brown leather jacket over the pile to dry.

Likely picking up on the tension that just preceded her, she folded her arms on the edge of the bar and gave the veteran a slim smile, brows rising slightly. "Is the whiskey here still good?" she asked, her voice a little dry and drawling. She glanced over her shoulder at the rest of the bar, picking out some of the decor and any of the other patrons. "Nice to breathe some real air for a while, at any rate. The recycled stuff gets old in a hurry, sometimes."
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Quarter Key
Posted: Feb 14 2011, 11:25 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 14
Member No.: 1,070
Joined: 19-March 10



It was the rain, in the end, that drove Quarter Key to seek refuge in the Brown Bottle. She was tired, and cold; the damp had worked its way into her leg and had been gnawing at her bones for hours. And much as she disliked the idea of sharing close spaces with people just now, she would have sat through hours of one of the major's speeches if it meant a mug of something hot would be at the end.

A single glance was enough to take in the dingy, grumbling 'coat and the skinny blonde that made up the clientele as Quarter Key crossed the distance and folded an arm across the bar. Remembered just in time to smile because that's what normal people did, smile and talk back when other people talked, so she took a deep breath and let it out again before ending her days'-long silence, saying with a slight smile, "Haven't found a better clock yet." There was another dull, hollow dip in her mouth. A perfunctory creasing of the lids and the lips lagging just the extra second behind her words, and by the time her expression had caught up her eyes were off again, going this way and that, from Clare to Dominic to the bar and back again. She tried to keep eye contact with Clare, but she couldn't stop blinking, so she turned back to the bar and said, "Still and all..." She trailed off, took a deep breath, then let her eyes shut as she exhaled. Talking didn't used to be this hard.

"Sid?" She said, finally, her thumb coming up to rap the bar in time to the music, one-two, clean notes pouring over the back of her hand. The singer was off-key. Third verse, second measure. "Got a coffee without the coffee?"
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Dominic Doyle
Posted: Feb 16 2011, 08:10 PM


Big Damn Hero


Group: OC
Posts: 132
Member No.: 158
Joined: 17-September 06



"Well, good to see you got some manners left, but I hope you don't take offense that I ain't ruled out shootin' you just yet. Still early around here."

"None at all." Came his response returning her half smile as she disappeared into the back. A friendly warning but for from an empty one he was sure. As Sid left into the back another woman came in and took a seat near Dom giving him a slim smile. This time he didn't return one, not out of disrespect more due to a mouthful of liquid hell, he did manage a slight nod.

"Is the whiskey here still good?"

"Better'n you'll find on Verbena in th'least." Just the mention of the name brought him back to the cold purgatory where his war was undone. He swallowed hard, feeling the ache of his souvenirs.

"Nice to breathe some real air for a while, at any rate. The recycled stuff gets old in a hurry, sometimes."

She had a point, the fresh air was a nice change from the stagnant reprocessed oxygen he had spent half a decade inhaling in jail but he didn't feel free yet. This fresh air in this independent friendly joint was still on a planet firmly entrenched in the empire of his enemy. His thoughts were continued out loud as he set down his glass and spoke.

"Somethin' t'be said for certain types of recycled air too. Sometimes it has this feelin' o' freedom. It's your air an ain't belongin' to any gover'ment or company. Breathin' it all in can feel like your piece o' serenity in this chaotic 'verse…" A moment of peace washed over him as he turned his glass in circles, watching the contents swirl within.

"O'course, that same air is found in all the fine slammers as well. So I s'pose I'll take this real stuff while I can." He finally directed a smile at her, a smile that was extended as well to the woman who just came in from he rain and took her own place at the bar.

"Haven't found a better clock yet… Still and all..."

She seemed as prone to wanting to talk as Dom was… when he was sober. Which meant not at all. Dom's eyes finally lowered back to his whiskey. Purgatory in a glass.

And he thought he was done in jail.
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Clare Rilke
Posted: Feb 19 2011, 07:48 PM


Medic with a Cause


Group: Members
Posts: 29
Member No.: 1,135
Joined: 10-February 11



Haven't found a better clock yet. Sid? Got a coffee without the coffee?"

Clare gave the next arrival a brief smile coupled by a half nod. "Clocks have such limited usage, anyway. The second you leave terra firma, the thing becomes pointless." She turned back to the bar to rest her elbows on its edge, her fingers loosely folded together. "And I'll take whatever coffee is leftover," she added quietly after Quarter Key's last before glancing back to Dominic.

"Better'n you'll find on Verbena in th'least."

Clare gave a quiet laugh in response and leaned forward to rest her chin on her knuckles. She waited long enough to see the man's hard swallow, which brought a faint frown to Clare's face and a pensive squint to her eyes. Whatever she had been about to say, she shelved it, gaze moving past Dom to look for Sid, then back again.

"Somethin' t'be said for certain types of recycled air too. Sometimes it has this feelin' o' freedom. It's your air an ain't belongin' to any gover'ment or company. Breathin' it all in can feel like your piece o' serenity in this chaotic 'verse… O'course, that same air is found in all the fine slammers as well. So I s'pose I'll take this real stuff while I can."

The pensive look cleared as Clare politely turned away, letting her eyes focus on the various objects behind the bar. She remained silent for a few beats before replying in her same dry, quiet voice, "I suppose in the end, it's all recycled, really. Still have to breathe in the bad with the good."
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Charlie Mortar
Posted: Feb 20 2011, 05:58 PM


The Lovely Gunner Extraordinaire


Group: Members
Posts: 37
Member No.: 1,137
Joined: 20-February 11



Beep, beep, beep. The Cortex screen in her motel room wouldn't stop beeping to indicate an incoming call. Charlie sat up, her long hair knotted in all sorts of directions. She pushed off the covers and yawned, blinking the grogginess out of her bright green eyes. After a few more moments, Charlie crossed the room in only her nondescript gray tee shirt and simple underwear. When Charlie reached the screen, she clicked the buttons to receive the call. An image of a man in his early thirties appeared on the screen. He had black hair and brown eyes. He looked Charlie up and down and smiled, Charlie rolled her eyes.

"Captain, why are you calling me? You kicked me off your ship months ago." Charlie said, pulling out a hair tie to pull her messy hair back. The man's smiled widened.

QUOTE
"Charlie, hun, you know I didn't want to do that. You broke my brother's arm because of an argument." The captain said.


"Right, an argument. Because your brother insulted my planet, the Browncoats, and me. Excuse me for breaking his arm." Charlie rolled her eyes and responded. "Anyway, what's up Captain?"

QUOTE
"Well I see you're still staying in the place I hooked you up with. You know, we'll be in the area in a couple of days. I could come see you. We could talk like we used to when you were on board. You could work with us again, I still need a gunner." He said, his eyes alluding to all the other offers he was making.


"Captain, you know I liked our..talks. I had a good time on your ship. But I talked to a buddy of mine and he said there's a ship looking for a gunner that might be more suitable for me." Charlie said, smiling.

QUOTE
"Charlie...I miss you. Why don't you just leave that jacket off and come back." The captain said.


"Sorry captain, but Glacius is just not my place anymore. And if you have to even ask me to leave my jacket, you know there's no future here. I gotta go now Captain. You take care of yourself, and your ship's shiny guns." Charlie smiled. The captain nodded in defeat.

QUOTE
"Alright, alright. Wo dong. Ching bian, and take care. And if you ever need anything, I'm just a call away."


Charlie waved as the screen went black and sighed. She stretched her arms over her head and looked around the messy room for her pants.

A few minutes later, after successfully getting dressed, Charlie closed the door to the motel behind her. She uncrumpled the napkin in her hand with the directions Boone had given her to the bar that was pro Browncoat. It was messy and hard to read, but she had recognized the area Boone mentioned. She headed towards the docks that were less than respectable, slightly excited by the prospect of new work. Hanging around, drinking a ton and not doing much else was not a lot of fun. Charlie much preferred life on a ship, operating the guns. That was real happiness.

Charlie arrived at the docks in no time. Sh walked the streets, searching for the sign that Boone had described. She turned one corner almost to run directly into a pair of young alliance soldiers. They eyed her up and down, noting her brown leather jacket, and went on their way. Charlie waited until they were a few minute gone to continue on her way. The Brown Bottle was only a few steps down the street, and Charlie entered, eager to get out of the dreary weather. When she entered she could see she was rather early, there were only a handful of people inside. Charlie took a seat next to the others at the bar. This was as good a place as any to spend the day. As she was sitting next to a rather striking black haired woman, she heard the mention of coffee.

"If coffee is available, I would love to partake."' She said. Smiling and nodding to the bar's other occupants.

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Dominic Doyle
Posted: Feb 21 2011, 12:40 AM


Big Damn Hero


Group: OC
Posts: 132
Member No.: 158
Joined: 17-September 06



"I suppose in the end, it's all recycled, really. Still have to breathe in the bad with the good."

"Ain't that th'truth lass." He smiled at her as he finished off his drink and rose to his feet. His first instinct was to reach for his cane but rescinded his hand, opting to leave it resting there as he went over to the dart board.

"Ain't that th'truth o' it all." He whispered to himself before collecting the darts. He took several paces back, feeling his weakened leg nearly give out, the muscles kicking into action just in time to save him from an embarrassing fall. The first dart barely hit the board landing outside of any scoring territory, causing the vet to grunt and adjust his positioning. Accuracy had never been a problem for him but then again he hadn't exactly had much practice aiming in anything other than a toilet bowl in the past few years.

The second throw was better, landing in the inner ring a couple inches shy of the bulls eye mark. As he prepped a third throw the doors to the bar opened and in walked yet another woman, this one a bit younger than the other two, though she couldn't have been much more than a year or two junior to the second who'd entered. All three lookers not that he was looking, four if one counted the woman behind the bar with a big gun.

"Nice coat. If I di'n't know better I'd reckon you ladies were part o' some sort of club." He indicated the similarities in attire between Clare and Charlie with a nod before turning back to his game. His own leather jacket would have placed him in the same cult but then again that was why all of them were there. He wasn't quite certain of the one girl who'd come in just before the last but he was pretty certain she might be in he same club as well.
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Quarter Key
Posted: Feb 23 2011, 08:35 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 14
Member No.: 1,070
Joined: 19-March 10



"Nice coat. If I di'n't know better I'd reckon you ladies were part o' some sort of club," the man said after a while, bringing Quarter Key back from her reverie.

She gave him the smallest of pauses, little else. Frowned and bit her thumb, tasting the grit and warmth of it like a prayer. Feeling for the thickening swells of blood where bone met the flesh beneath. Names scrawled in a language all her own. It was easy to see the bruises left over from the last time, still sore red and healing, every bump a stitch holding her together, stitches that were dug out again with blunt fingernails. She'd have to wrap them later. "Ran out of shirts," Quarter Key finally said, distant. She looked at Dominic's reflection in the polished wood bar, muted and lost in the black beneath her hands, and she thought about whether she should be angry. There was an argument on her bottom lip, something biting and sarcastic, but it never took flight.

Her lips parted, and Quarter key found herself offering a sickly sweet smile through their indirect connection. "Be easier if we looked at each other sometimes. Talking," she said then, a weak attempt at a joke, half-forgetting that she wasn't alone, and maybe that wasn't entirely wrong.

This post has been edited by Quarter Key on Feb 23 2011, 08:36 PM
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Clare Rilke
Posted: Feb 24 2011, 02:27 AM


Medic with a Cause


Group: Members
Posts: 29
Member No.: 1,135
Joined: 10-February 11



"If coffee is available, I would love to partake."

Clare glanced over at the newest arrival and gave Charlie a nod of greeting, returning the younger woman's smile before she turned on the barstool to lean against the bar, possibly to watch Dom toss the darts. Her gaze fell briefly to the cane the man had left behind, but it returned to him at the mention of coats and clubs. Her deep brown eyes took in the attire of both Dom and the other two women in a brief glance, but for now she merely shifted so she could hook an elbow behind her for a casual lean on the bar top, her hands folded together.

The same scrutiny from before turned now to Quarter Key, details picked up and sorted, stored according to some internal mechanism. The thumb biting, the marks...

"Ran out of shirts."

The tone. At first, Clare's expression turned impassive, instinctual walls thrown up before barriers could be breached. Her eyes narrowed with hints of suspicion before she could force them to relax, before she could force herself to relax. Her folded hands separated slowly until the fingertips of each hand were pressing against each other. Nothing but a simple mental exercise. One she found she needed far too often these days.

She swallowed a flutter of doubt as she studied the other three one more time, then she turned to face the room squarely, her hands resting on her thighs as she perched on the barstool. "I'm going to toss out a wager here that we're all veterans," she began in a low drawl. "The Brown Bottle's reputation isn't entirely a secret." She didn't need to be all that careful of her volume this early in the bar's business hours, but she kept her voice quiet anyway. "The tension in here is downright unhealthy, so I'd like to propose some simple introductions to help pass the time. My name is Clare." And I'm a recovering Browncoat, just like the rest of you.

This post has been edited by Clare Rilke on Feb 24 2011, 02:34 AM
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Covenant
Posted: Feb 24 2011, 03:05 PM


Seek Ye Not


Group: NPC
Posts: 6
Member No.: 512
Joined: 14-January 08



The grizzled man in the window booth hovered over his mug of dark ale, body ducked down into his overcoat, an image older than his years, like an illusion cast over his frame for any who might look.

The group of gathering patrons amused him. Somewhat. He could guess their histories by the dust on the soles of their shoes, and if he were a wagering man, their futures as well. They were thoroughbreds, stomping in their stalls, waiting to run again, even if it was a race they would lose. They wanted to run, even if it was up against each other.

And in the end, though their goal was the same, Covenant wasn't just a breed apart. He was a different animal entire.

"The tension in here is downright unhealthy, so I'd like to propose some simple introductions to help pass the time. My name is Clare."

Might as well get the words out of the way. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not for years. But one of them would one day need the monster they didn't know how to be. That was the nature of war. The thoroughbreds would run their race, doing their damndest in honor and faith, out in the open. The Thin Red Line.

No one wanted to think about what happened behind the Line. What actions happened in the shadows.

Until they needed him.

He didn't look over, eyes still on his drink, steeping his voice with the gravel of years of brown dirt, musing on days gone by, "Clare... I knew a Claire once, but he wasn't a she. Good name, though, still."
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