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So Much For Plan B

It seemed such an excellent opportunity: instigate a gun battle under the ruse of disagreement over handling of open prostitution at the Clockhaven border. ((Three cheers for Nathaniel, defending the innocent and the rights of all :D))

Of course the prostitution didn’t really exist, but the guns were out ready to deal with the escaped Asylum inmate already, so strike while the iron is confused. At the very least the distraction could allow Dollianna to go find the escapee and lead him to Addlebrass to take care of her leak problem, then appear to save the town by bringing the creature to its fate.

On the other hand if the gun battle got out of hand, a stray ricochet may just put Mr A to bed for good and save her the trouble. As it happened the conflict escalated as planned, and then devolved into the usual madness before everyone stopped for tea.

A later brief ‘weapons test’ proved to be impossible to turn to ‘tragedy,’ and while this had happened Dollianna had been unable to get away to go track down the escaped wolf. She marveled that out of the thousands of shots fired by Nymlet, none had found their way into Addlebrass’ bed–or anything else, really.

Garnet arrived to save the day just as Nymlet was about to test fire her new pistol into the side of the building, aiming—as  Dollianna had insisted—into the second floor bedroom. The opportunity had passed.

All in all a typical Sunday in Port Babbage. Of course, in the aftermath Addlebrass was still inconveniently alive.

Dollianna sighed and shook her head. Her usual effortless technique of coercing others to perform her ‘tasks’ was proving to be next to impossible with this lot. To protect her secret, grim measures may be required. Very grim indeed.

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  1. Dee Wells Dee Wells October 9, 2012

    Dollianna’s next step glibly evaded her. She had been oddly distracted for a couple of days by the sensation of someone watching her, a familiar presence, felt but unseen. On many occasions over those few days, she had felt a tingling in her porcelain—a certainty that someone was watching her, hidden in the shadows.

    Reflecting on this yet trying to keep a clear head about things, she busied herself sewing a repair into her recently thoroughly perforated jacket, having already pieced her torso back together with cement. ‘Blast that conscientious penguin and his exceptional marksmanship.’

    She ran through her memory of the crowd which formed after the Ceasefire for Tea. There had been the usual concerned parties—authority figures investigating the commotion, a few reliably eager shooting enthusiasts hoping for Round Two, and some merely curious onlookers drawn by the usual human morbidity toward the scent of fresh blood (which Nymlet inexplicably denied them by hitting neither any of her own targets nor Dollianna’s singular obsession).

    Nothing stood out. She had of course been well aware of the precise movements of the ‘villins’ lurking about embarrassing themselves searching for her, and they had of course been during said standoff assembling to put to sea. She had observed the elusive and potentially useful Wolf weapon on an earlier occasion and felt sure that she would recognize it were it hidden in the shadows, by sight of shadow if not by stench (rabies? She had little experience with rabies, but there was an unmistakable odour encircling any ‘wolf’ with a secret as threatening as her own, and Rasend had it. It was a subtle attractant, something humanity would eventually discover and list among other discoveries called pheromones. Undetectable by taste to humans yet brutally effective on them, Dollianna had learned to differentiate it from the background olfactory clutter while hunting in the North—in an area with a ghastly outbreak of a particular breed of ‘wolf’).

    There must have been someone else, a presence seemingly almost benign in overall character, fitting seamlessly—unnoticeably—into the fabric of the milieu, yet menacing enough to her to rattle her joints.

    She tried to shake it off for a moment as she lifted the kettle from the fire and poured its contents over some of the last few leaves from Cooper’s last shipment before the sinking. Settling down to relax and put the other inconvenient unpleasantness out of her nasty little mind for the evening, she picked up the aromatic steaming cup of Ceylon. As she brought it up to her grinning mouth she smugly recalled that nature had done her work with Cooper, and this last cup was a chance to close that chapter for good.

    As the cup met her lip, all at once she noticed a shift in the shadows and heard a very sweet yet chillingly familiar voice, the gentle voice of doom:

    “Hello, Dollianna…”

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