Archivist note: This post is from an older recovered archive.
((Posted by Bianca Namori on July 16, 2010))
I was nervous and excited at the same time as I paced back and forth within the lobby. The gloves on my hand began to grow tighter as the sweat tightened the leather. What in the world was I getting myself into…
Iniko came down the stairs elegantly in her out of placed gown and smiled at me in a way that almost made my blood run cold. I returned the smile and asked, “Tonight, we pick up then?”
She nodded at me, smiling. "And that one?" she asks, voice low as she nods toward the washroom door. "Is he off the list as well?"
She was referring to the guest we had obtained two nights past, a retired military man who apparently is looking for my uncle Michael. Now found, he must wait around New Babbage for a bit until whatever uncle is working on is completed. I don’t feel so bad about holding secrets from him as I can see this too was a secret.
But was it as dark?
I looked back up the stairs towards the washroom and listened for the man intently. "I do not know…but since he is tied with the milita, I think it’s best to let sleeping dogs lay…" came finally and that was that.
Iniko once again nodded but that lovely tainted smile of hers faded as she grabbed her parasol. She then snickered slightly and flourishing the parasol a bit before heading for the door. "It’s your city and your hunt, habibi."
I stepped into the night air patting down the dagger that rested in my bodice, and wondered for a mere moment how I had managed never to cut myself… As I got into the night air my shivers, chilled to the bone with the thrill of this hunt. Where to go…I could only think of what Iniko told me. How exciting to see a man of caliber squirm before his doom. NO! She couldn‘t kill again…three prospects had turned into three victims all by her hands and Iniko‘s frustration was surely growing with the slice happy young Madame.
Iniko closed the doors and stood behind her grabbing her arm sharply before smiling and chirping, “Lovely evening for a stroll sirrah!” I looked to her for a moment then turned to see our city’s clock winder walking past us on the street. Mayor Tenk nodded but continued his walk and it was right then that second thoughts made themselves known to me.
It was too late…
Iniko rolled her eyes and snapped open her parasol, why she brought such a dainty thing to the hunt beat the mess out of me, but whatever continued her fancy and kept her happy. She then says softly waiting until he was down the street before she leaves, “This way…” and they head up the path towards their newest find.
A couple hours had passed and I began to grow impatient as Iniko didn’t seemed phased in the least at our long walk about the city. I leaned against the wall of the alley way and heaved greatly. “Perhaps he is no more…let’s just head back.”
Iniko was in my face in seconds, my cheeks in her satin gloved hand and her steely gaze piercing into my own. “You’re not changing your mind…are you habibi?” her voice was cold as death and all I could do in reply is barely shake my head no. She released my face and smiled at me quickly before turning around and humming.
We walked a titch more only to be stopped by the sound of a piano it‘s melody far to elegant for the night air it had graced. Iniko smiled and closed her parasol, “Come! There he is…”
Before us stood a beautiful glass house with an equally beautiful man within it…
The man played his tune with such precision it was surreal and as every key stroke made by his slender fingers was landed, my heart began to race more and more with each plunging sound.
We made our way to the door and up the steps, Iniko stopping me for a moment, an air of warning in her voice as she said, "If we mean to make money," she says, nodding, her smile turning wicked. "You need to learn control. Come." She pats her bodice, taking note of the syringe there, used to stun many of their prospects.
I stay a few feet behind Iniko as we enter, positioning myself by the door. My dress gave me the look servant girl of some sort compared to Iniko‘s…a role we used so well when hunting.
The play began
"Oh!" Iniko stops, eyes widening in surprise, her smile softening. "It’s so much warmer here," she
announces, clear but in quiet tones, out of respect for the piano music. The man continued to play, reaching up to the bottle of whiskey on the bar of the piano and brought it to his lips taking a swig, then placing it back upon the piano with out missing a beat.
After a moment he looked up noticing Iniko and I and smirking under who knows what thought. My arms shot to my sides quickly, keeping my hands from fiddling with the dagger that hid within my left arms cuff hungrily.
The man then raised a hand to point at the bottle in an offering matter. Iniko smiled sweetly and shook her head. “No thank you Sirrah, and as for the girl with me, she is merely a servant of mine, not permitted to do such…I’m sure you understand.”
The man continued playing for a moment, completing the melody then rising he popped his neck. I watched him move checking the man and all of his weak spots call to me and my sharpened blade. Iniko stood her ground and removed her hat.
"More for me then." He winked at the both of us and moved around Iniko to have a seat by the fire. “Care to sit and relax in the warmth madame?"
“Oh thank you so much! It’s much warmer in here anyway, the night air is simply too cold for this woman to enjoy,” Iniko slunk into her seat sensually and smiled as she crossed her legs. After a moment she motioned to me, "Tea, girl," she ordered imperiously.
I looked at her strangely for a moment not getting the tone, but quickly snapped to attentions of the game. Thank heavans there was freshly brewed pot already sitting on the tea cart.
The man spoke again, "Please excuse me, I do not mean to be rude. My name is Peri." He eyed both of us lustfully, getting his fill off his gaze and winked at me as I placed my cup. I felt myself blush a bit, then I felt her rise in thought, ‘How I would love to pluck out your pretty little eyes sir…’ I blinked for a moment staring at the man as he offered a sleezy smile jerking me back to reality.
“She’s lovely, a great servant girl in deed, both looks…and skill.”
She rose even more.
Iniko quickly slipped the sedative into a tea cup and laughed trying to defuse the situation a bit hoping to turn the mans attentions back on her. "I am Jasmine," she says smoothly, taking up both cups and turning to offer Peri one that was laced. “I hope you do not mind the company, the music was so lovely, so unique to me that I had to stop in!”
The man took his cup and smiled at her completely unaware, “I would be a fool to not wish the company of such elegance.” He rose the cup to his lips and stopped for a moment and looked to me eyeing me once again, “The both of you…” he put the tea cup back on it’s saucer not taking a drink.
Iniko sat up as if she was about to come from her seat, but instead she took a drink of her tea. “You’re too kind sirrah…”she said softly.
“Where did you say you where from?” the man asked curiously. I felt her rise even more…it was because I was getting nervous…she only rises when I am no longer balanced. I needed my medication.
Iniko almost rolled her eyes but batted her eyelashes instead and smiled, “I am from Ireem sirrah, a beautiful desert land far from here, but I am visiting New Babbage on business, you?”
“I too am visiting, passing through and waiting my train home down south of here,” he picked up his tea cup and I swear I could hear Iniko hold her breath. The man winked at her and took a long drought of his tea. “Perhaps I shall take you back with me?” he laughed.
Iniko smiled and I sighed with great relief as I quietly moved behind the man who would soon be no longer conscious.
“Oh no darling, it is I who shall be taking you…” she watched the mans hand go to his head as he looked at Iniko drowsily. He rose, only to fall back into his seat and into his capture.
I don’t know how we managed it…but Iniko’s strength is often scary at times. He we where, the back room of the hostel, the man in chains and gagged, and me in my frame of mind…mostly.
“What easy fools they are habibi. You where right in inviting me here…this will make 6 total and without a problem to boot! Except…for the one you killed two weeks back. Such a fine man he was too. I should replace him with your darling uncle.” she sneered at me for a moment before turning back to the man who was now waking.
I felt my heart beat climbing with each and every groan he released. I was nervous…the whole thing made me nervous. I never thought I would find myself scrounging for money such as this, but I owed Iniko…she got me home, and what’s a few passers here and there? No one would miss them…
The mans brows furrowed as he tried to raise a hand to rub his forehead only to feel the tension holding him back. His eyes opened quickly looking at the shackles upon his wrists.. "What the hell?" he jerks at them as he tries to get free. "HELP! Anyone Hear Me?"
Iniko walked over to him slowly, "Hush!" she snaped at him, all sweetness and innocence gone from the act she held earlier. Anyone who knew her simply wouldn’t recognize her. That is a woman of business standing there, cold and calculating.
The man shook with anger, a trapped beast ready to rip Iniko apart as he shouted "You Bitch! Let me go!"
I jumped at the mans screams and she rose greatly, begging to be free. I couldn‘t let her, I couldn‘t kill again or Iniko would be very mad at me. "Make him stop Iniko…I can’t be patient when he’s like this!" my heart began to race even more, very unnaturally.
Iniko passed me a threateningly glace and reaching to grab the mans jaw in a firm grip she sneered, "I said hush or you’ll set my friend off…and I hate it when she damages my goods.” she smiled at the man and shook his face with her hand. “It isn’t at all a bad life you go to. I’m sure you’ll find it just as rewarding as I do. And if you behave, I might even see what I can do about making sure you are sold to someone who will treat you well."
The man jerked and pulled at the shackles and tried to kicked out at Iniko but it was no use.. he then looked to me and began to spat curses. "Piss off!"
That drove her wild within me, it was almost as if a defense mechanism had been triggered in my soul for it burned for his death. “ Make…him…stop.” I said coldly doubling over slightly, my voice fading within my mind as I began to crack under the pressure of his screams. ‘This man was screaming for all the wrong reasons’ I thought. ‘Perhaps it’s best I gave him reasons to scream differently…’ she was out…and all had gone black for me.
I woke up covered in blood…again. My hands, skirts, and tights where soaked in the accusing pool and laying next to me was a faceless man…
“Oh my god…” I backed from him into the corner of the lightless room and began to cough violently until I released onto the floor in my disgust for the slow rotting man before me.
I did this…I knew I did, because I had seen all this before…and I shuddered. But where was Iniko? I crawled out of my mess and felt around the floor until I could push myself to my feet. My legs wobbled beneath me and I turned to open the door of the back room.
I tried it again and again.
It wouldn’t budge.
“Hello…” I whimpered…”Iniko are you there?”
Of course not you dummy! I snapped at myself within.
She was long gone…we where alone….all three of us.
I began to panic horridly and beat on the door with all of my might only to feel the door budge barely but not enough to give me hope.
I looked around the room again, my fist throbbing as much as my head did. I remembered, after stopping to think a moment I remembered something! Beneath the floor boards of my hostel was a small sewer drain big enough to fit a person in….and I prayed it was here.
I felt around in my bodice for the knife and to my dismay it wasn’t there. I peered into the darkness looking for anything that could pry up a floor board or three.
The knife was in the mans face…trapped in his eye socket daring me to take it.
So I did and the squished sound of released made me lurch slightly but I did not care as I began to pry up boards.
Nothing here…or there….or anywhere! I had cleared the outskirts of that blasted room and now I had run out of options…unless. I looked at the corpse and leaned in closely and with luck, the blood was draining through the floor boards instead of building up beneath the man.
But dare I touch a corpse…
I shook my head, what an idiot I felt like after I took the mans bloody lapels and tugged him slightly over off the floor boards she needed. The smelled of him and his final moments causing me to gag yet again.
I stabbed at the floor board hearing a clank I tore the board up and smiled gratefully as I heard the sewers running waters beneath me.
Making quick work of the other floorboards I soon met the grate that had separated me from my freedom. I tore a couple nails from my hand but soon it fell into the sewer waters with a plunk. I was so pleased I could of laughed…but what about the man.
His stench brought me back to reality…and I knew I had to get rid of him too. I pulled the pins from his shackles and began to shove him through and with a plunk he too fell into the waters of the sewers.
I jumped in after him sputtering and groaning as my head felt it was detached and floating by itself. I let the current take us through the darkness as I clung to the man like a life vest even if he was dead as a doornail.
Soon there was a light at the end of my tunnel and I smiled seeing the rays of the dawn…I had been out all night…and now I’m free…but where was Iniko?