Success at Any Cost

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Writers Rift

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Fesipt City

Submitted: October 16, 2017

Reads: 53

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Submitted: October 16, 2017

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Fesipt city was a sight to behold, even though she was born there she always found herself in shock every time she returned. The city was a strange marriage, modern design was pressed up against the monumental architecture of the old Mage Kings in a way few would appreciate. Black basalt towers stretched up more than fifteen stories high in some cases. Meanwhile squat wood and clay buildings slid into the space between the towers. When the basalt was damaged the citizens were quick to fill the holes with simple clay bricks, giving the city an almost ruddy complexion throughout.

 

She always loved the city's harbor, something about so many lives all happening at once but all living their own separate isolated stories for most of her life it was the only entertainment she ever got. The sound of sailors fighting with seagulls to protect their cargo, people from all over the world conversing in a myriad of languages, lovers kissing goodbye before wives and girlfriends climb onto ships to sail for money and country. She started to smile until she saw a series of small stone opening in the side of the harbor. Brooke reflexively clenched her jaw and turned away in search of Piper. In the few days since she had woken up Brooke had become very good at finding Piper’s bright red braid in a crowd. Normally she had used that skill to initiate other more physical pursuits, but this time just seeing that she had someone who wasn’t planning on leaving her anytime soon gave her just enough comfort to relax her freshly tensed muscles.

 

The sailors were permitted to leave the ship in order of reverse rank with captain leaving last. Once they were finally moored on the black stone pier the women started to process down. Being just shy of a true officer Brooke was set to be one of the last before Frost, Cyprus, and Maccavern. As this was a formal occasion was expected to be in full dress, she was forced to keep her great coat buttoned up to hide the blood stain over her ruined vest, sadly there was nothing she could do about the bullet hole in over her chest. When it was finally her turn Brooke walked to the gang plank, at the far end of the pier she could see Piper speaking with Cairn and two female magicians both dressed in large black dresses that spread out around them in wide circles. Down on the pier were all manner of families happy to welcome the crew of the Courser back onto dry land. Those that didn’t have families went straight to the clerks at the start of the pier, they had the option of either renewing their contracts and taking a week of shore leave or cashing out and going out into the wide world to find new work.

 

Weaving through the happy families Brooke made her way to one clerk. She towered over the clerk who was young woman most likely from the officer’s academy. Despite the shadow Brooke cast this young woman had been ground down by the gears of bureaucracy and betrayed exactly no emotion in anything she said or did.

 

“Name?”

 

“Brooke Gains.”

 

“Ship?”

 

“Courser.” Brooke was confused every single woman on this pier was from the courser, but she shook her head and continued.

“Rank?”

 

“Midshipwoman.”

 

“Intention?”

 

The words caught in her throat, although she had committed to both the captain and Piper her leaving never felt real until now, four years in the officer’s academy and two years of service at sea had led to this moment and she didn’t even have a commision to show for it. But took a deep breath and said in a near whisper “resignation.”

 

The clerk leaned in. “Repeat”

 

Brooke looked over her shoulder uncomfortably and saw the captain take off her jacket and stand confidently at the top of the gang plank. Turning back round she could see piper smiling behind the clerk. “I’m going to resign effective immediately” Brooke said with more confidence that was probably necessary.

 

The clerk rolled her eyes and let out a long sigh and said “Best wishes.” before offering her a small ticket with the words Give to Burser written on the top. Brooke huffed and walked past, as she left she heard her mutter under her breath “I had the courtesy to keep my questions to one word why can’t they keep their fucking answers the same.”

 

Brooke was undeterred by the clerk’s sour mood. She got close to the magicians to try and hear their intentions for Piper. Unlike Cairn the female magicians had thick glowing veins that ran along their skin. A blonde haired magicians whose veins glowed much less than her counterpart was speaking rather enthusiastically. Unfortunately for Brooke no matter how close she got she couldn't make out anything they were saying. Getting frustrated she walked past the group over to an apple merchant shouting at passersby. Despite being able to brush the blonde with her shoulder they were never louder or softer. Brooke sat down on a bench and tried to read their lips, but that too proved futile as their mouths seemed to only barely be moving despite clearly having a full conversation.

 

Brooke never had anything against magicians, but that was more due to underexposure than open mindedness. A large being sat down next to her wearing a large black cloak “I have no trust for those ghouls”

 

Brooke tensed and tucked her hand into a fist, ready to land a hit against her conversation partner’s kidneys. She only pulled back when she noticed a pair of tusks sticking out from underneath the figure’s hood. Orks were never impossible to find in the city but in this climate none would walk freely around military personnel. “Balil? Why are you out here? We told you to stay on the ship.”

 

“I left as soon as I saw your shamen speaking with Miss Smythe.”

 

“Not my shamen.” Brooke snorted. “We keep them separate from us, so they don’t cause too many problems,  they’re beings all their own Balil.

 

“But they are human. Orks don’t try to lock their shamen in towers, they let them walk freely like the people they are. I don’t trust your shamen because I’ve seen what happens when you corner a cat for too long.” He sat forward resting his hands on his knees. “Even if you give her your hand as a friend, she’ll still scratch it.”

 

“Surprisingly well said, for a merchant.” Brooke crossed her arms and leaned back.

 

“Thank you miss Gains.”

“So something’s been bothering me Balil.”

 

“Something to do with me miss?” He turned to her with concern in his eyes.

 

“Yes. How is it that a merchant who was press ganged into the military at the start of war just over a year ago was able to hold his own against a combat veteran of the Glorious Navy of the Republic, who had already killed several orks in single combat?”

 

“Well miss Gains when I called myself a merchant I only meant it in the barest sense of the word.” Brooke bristled up her attention was now completely on Balil. “I moved goods from one place to another that much is true but the places I took them to were not kind places.”

 

Brooke leaned in ready to press him further but Smythe’s voice echoed out suddenly very clear “I’ll see you all tonight then.” She appeared somewhat sullen when she walked out of the cluster. Only at the sight of Brooke and Balil did she perk back up. With her chin held high she offered Brook her hand to kiss, in a faux aristocratic accent she said “My lady would you do the me the honor of escorting me to the bank so that I may withdraw my fabulous wealth.”

 

Brooke snatched her hand and used it to pull herself up so that she was pressed up against Piper. Brooke smirked at the audible gasp that escaped from Piper’s mouth when she grabbed her around the waist and held her close. In a thick city accent “Well love I’d be happy to take you down to the old iron. I’ve got some kit of me own to cash while I’m there.” Brooke produced her bag of tokens and shook them up next to Piper’s head.

 

Piper offered a hand to Balil, maintaining the posh accent she said “And you fair sir, shall you join us?”

Balil stood up, unfortunately his command of Fesin was not quite strong enough to produce accents instead he simply took Piper’s hand in his and stood on Piper’s other side. The three of them set off to the bank.

 


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