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MmmTasteIt

MmmTasteIt

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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyWed Nov 21, 2018 8:27 am

Christina's excitement to be out of the wilderness dimmed somewhat upon seeing what passed for "civilization" on Mire. The ramshackle shantytown was a welcome site nonetheless, but it's sparse amenities were so far below her standards she was at somewhat of a loss; how could the inhabitants of this decrepit hovel be useful in getting her off planet? Her mind drifted back to her moment of clarity within the fortress.

She Who Thirsts is waiting, she mused, there must be opportunities here, no matter how challenging to find.

She glanced over at Reek. The foul creature had reached the end of it's usefulness; it now would expect the compensation she had promised the tribe. Not that she had ever intended to fulfill that promise, of course, but she would need to find a way to delay sending him away; the matter of his "punishment" was still fresh in her mind and, while she had the perfect vision of how it would be meted out, it would take time to arrange those circumstances.

"It seems you've done your guide duties admirably, Reek. If I recall correctly, you'd said that the inhabitants of Virolous do not look kindly upon your... fiefdom, was it? If you'd rather avoid a confrontation with the locals and possess the patience, you could make camp here in the outskirts while I find my shuttle and valet. My private transport is stocked with a sliver of my holdings for the purposes of trade; I will hire some porters that you may guide back to your people with the compensation I've promised Megascolides. It should not take long; I am used to traversing far more complex city-scapes. Is that a suitable course of action?"

She concluded her proposition with a genuine smile, though it's authenticity was founded in far darker intentions than Reek would have believed.
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Solodice

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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Nov 22, 2018 4:45 pm

Reek casts a slide eye glance at Christina, "It's not a matter of malice but of appeasement for our fiefdom. We pay our tilth so to speak to Virolous to stay in its good graces as does every other fiefdom." He turns to face her fully, "Did you not already gift us? Your meek gift already appeased my lord. I won't except anymore gifts from you. I did my duty and I will leave you to the clutches of Virolous."

Reek flashes his own smile to Christina, one of rotten and sharpened teeth, as he turns to leave.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Nov 23, 2018 3:01 pm

Christina stared, nonplussed, at Reek. The being's disinterest was alien to her; had he no desire for worldly pleasures? Achievement? Adulation of those beneath him? Such aestheticism was foreign to her... and was complicating her plan to visit her vengeance upon him for deserting her during the raid.

She raised a hand, indicating him to stop.

"A moment, Reek," she began slowly, "such meager gifts may appease one such as Megascolides. But I can understand why one such as yourself would not wish to labor further to impart further benefits upon a leader so satisfied with such simple rewards."

Doing her best to feign sympathy, she continued.

"I have not forgotten your willingness to assert your opinions amongst your people. But their affections for Megascolides have rendered you unable to convince them to act wisely... even if you are more able to do so than he. You speak of your duty, but do they deserve such loyalty when they ignore the benefit it provides them? Would it not be better for them all if they acknowledged your abilities?"

She spread her arms, gesturing to herself.

"In my travels, I have seen many loyalties lead to one's own destruction. Far better for the most competent to rise to power than to let their inept superiors lead them astray. Is not your duty to your fiefdom to protect them and guide them to greater heights? Will returning to be Megascolides' outspoken thrall really fulfill that obligation?"

She knew such empty platitudes would not serve without cold, hard truth. It was time for the gambit.

"I've seen your mistrust. You were forced to guide one that Megascolides fawned over when you knew better. I take no offense to your contempt; your intuition is admirable. And your loyalty to your people prevailed over those doubts. Were the circumstances different, I would try and convince you to join my crew; such loyalty is hard to find here in the Vortex. But I know that would be pointless; you wish to return to your people and continue to protect them from Megascolides' foolishness in whatever capacity you can."

She paused thoughtfully.

"I could enlarge that capacity. You may not trust much of what I have said of myself until now but know this: I despise such weakness in a so-called leader. The thought of that wretch wielding such power sickens me. My business on Mire is not yet finished and I believe this partnership could continue to benefit us both. You said you will accept no further gifts from me? Fine. What I offer you is not a gift; it is an exchange. Continue to serve as my guide here on Mire. In return, I will return to your tribe with you and show them the extent of Megascolides foolishness. At which point the tribe will need a new leader, a better leader, one whose intuitions were correct when Megascolides' were not."

She smirked.

"Or you can be on your way and let things continue to be as they have been. I could be wrong, of course. If I've judged falsely, by all means, return to your glorious leader. I hope that his future errors of judgment end up being as harmless as this one."

Shamless Flattery:
 

It was her turn to smile and move to leave, looking to Zigg and inclining her head towards Virolous. At worst, the doubts she had sown with her observations would destroy the deplorable Megascolides or the irksome Reek. At best... he would stop her to continue their parlay. Either way, her mind had been made up; she would most certainly be paying that wretched hovel a visit before she left Mire.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Nov 23, 2018 3:33 pm

Reek stops to listen to Christina but quickly turns to continue on his path when she finishes, "I'm not blind to who you worship, Captain. The sweet nothings, sowing of doubt, empty platitudes, and the gift of pleasure. You still fail to remember who's planet this is. It is not the Prince of Pleasures domain. This is Papa Nurgle's domain. We of Mire are his children. You are not."

Reek's voice disappears as the two move from each other.

Christina steps foot into Virolous and being up close to it doesn't make it any better. One thing of interest though is the lack of outsiders. She sees no one that doesn't belong. Unluckily for her she's the one that sticks out with all interested eyes tracking her as she plods through the mud and filth.

The presence of Zigg keeps anyone from getting to curious though.

She makes her way to the supposed space port (more like a landing field than a true port). Either someone is playing a sick joke or this planet was her ultimate bane because there are no shuttles or operating ships.

All that sits in the field is a cordoned off Dark Eldar raider vessel. The guards are not Dark Eldar though. They are guards of Virolous.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Nov 24, 2018 7:37 pm

Christina shrugged as the brute wandered back into the swamps. It had been an enjoyable attempt. If he had acquiesced, maybe she would have made his death a tad less excruciating. Maybe.

---

Christina's disappointment faded as she entered the disgrace of a city, replaced with unease. She would normally not complain about the attention of the masses... but she preferred that all eyes be on her for reasons other than being as out of place as a Cadian in a hive pleasure-house. While the lack of any mundane transportation in the "port" nearly moved her to despair, her pulse quickened at the sight of the sleek Eldar raider. It was almost comforting to see a kindred spirit trapped in the foulness of Mire; a sleek, graceful instrument of acquisition amongst the ramshackle architecture of necessity that comprised the "port" of Virolous.

It was the will of She Who Thirsts, Christina was certain. Why else would such a fitting means be placed in her path? It would be hers... but she needed, first, to know where it's original crew had gone.

She paused to consider the situation. While she could attempt to ask the guards directly about the vessel, she was certain their suspicions would be too great for her to get any useful information out of them, at least if they had half a brain between all of them. And while that was unlikely, caution had occasionally served her well in the past; this case seemed as good a time as any to recall that lesson and apply it liberally.

Instead, she took care not to linger too long in observing the vessel and, instead, began looking for the nearest thing to a local watering-hole that the "port" could offer. While her presence would certainly kindle interest in the patrons, it could not hold their attention for long, and could very well trigger them to discuss other odd happenings that had occurred in Virolous. With any luck, that would include the appearance of the Dark Eldar ship and the mysterious lack of attending Dark Eldar. Given her current streak of luck, it hardly seemed like too much to wish for such a meager bout of good fortune.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Nov 29, 2018 10:09 pm

Christina starts to make her way away from the landing field and towards the local watering hole in these parts. As she approaches the establishment Christina catches the sound of a hiss from an ally next to them. Zigg catches it as well and levels his bolt pistol towards it. Whatever it is ducks under the pistol and levels a finger at Zigg's head.

"Tell your brute to stand down." The cloaked figure says, "That or he becomes my new play toy."

"Not if I make you mine first." Zigg huffs back with his hand inching towards his chain axe.

Christina can see past the hood of the cloak. She's looking at a Dark Eldar. One that's a little worse for wear.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Nov 30, 2018 12:54 pm

Christina raised a hand to halt Zigg. "Stow it, Zigg. If it wanted to attack us it'd have done so."

She narrowed her eyes, inspecting the face of their surprise visitor. Prideful and vain, the evidence of the Cabalite's dire situation were apparent from the imperfections it had allowed to remain upon its face. No self-respecting Dark Eldar would allow such imperfections to persist unless they were pressed by matters of utmost severity. She grinned humorlessly.

"You have my permission to continue, Dark One, but make it quick. Pray tell; what misfortune has driven you so far as to seek allies outside of your fellows? She Who Thirsts must be most displeased with you."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 07, 2018 10:29 pm

"We can not talk here. To many eyes and ears." The Dark Eldar says as he leads Zigg and Christina down the alley.

Finally out of sight the Dark Eldar continuous, "You're the first foreigner I've seen in Virolous in weeks. None of these Nurgle blessed wretches are worth my trust or even the end of my sword. You on the other hand... a follower of the She Who Thirsts... you might be of use. I saw you eyeing my ship. You want off the this planet as much as I do. I can grant you a way off if you help me retrieve my crew."

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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Dec 08, 2018 2:08 pm

Christina did her best to let the Dark Eldar's comment go unmolested.

Of use?! Who did this xenos scum think it was talking t- oh, right, it had no idea who she wa- wait, what distant backwater hellhole could it have been on to not have heard of- oh, right, this one. Of course.

Deciding that it would be for the best if the xenos continued to be ignorant of her reputation - especially given that it was the ship's captain - she feigned thoughtful consideration of its offer. It clearly was well-schooled in the silver-tongued platitudes of their patron deity: the calculated disdain for the locals was one she would obviously share. It had overplayed its hand, however, by implying that their shared affiliation warranted the granting of trust. It had mistook her for a lesser follower of She Who Thirsts, one who would still mistake a compliment as a reason to believe the sincerity of the one who gave it. Amateur, but a pleasant change from the blunt, tedious interactions she'd had over the last few days.

While a more astute negotiator may have taken more time to consider the offer, gauging the extent of the Dark Eldar's desperation, Christina had never been one for subtlety when it came to her desires. When she wanted something, there was no hiding it; it may as well been written in warpfire upon the sky. "An exquisite vessel, certainly. It's an atrocity for such an elegant ship to be bound here. And you're quite right, I would like nothing more than to leave this foul excuse for a planet. You had my interest, Captain; you now have my attention. I will help you free your crew in exchange for passage. Where are they detained?"


She winced internally. Too eager, Captain. One should take care in acting the part of the fool to not become one. For once, no amount of paranoia would cause her to overestimate the danger of a pact with the Dark Eldar. Many pirates admired them as exemplars of the art of piracy... and with good reason. Tales of their raids were legend. While Christina often indulged in the more romantic aspects of her craft, she held no illusions about the intentions of her "ally": it was a vicious, ruthless slaver that would betray her the instant they had recovered its ship. Faint memories of her enslavement and rise to power within the Vortex briefly surfaced before she dismissed them. There would be no rise to power as a slave to the Dark Eldar; it would be a nasty, brutish, and short existence. While part of her yearned to learn the exquisite magnitude of the agony they were rumored to be capable of inflicting on captives, such banal pleasures would have to wait. The magnificent raider vessel would give her the freedom and power to explore a far more extensive array of passions and pleasures. The thought brought a smile to her face, one she quickly did her best to justify:

"Foul and worthless as the denizens of this fetid sphere may be... it would not fully prevent me from enjoying their demise. And I'm sure my ship-mate would in no way fail to enjoy slaughtering any wretches who stand in our way."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Dec 13, 2018 10:18 pm

Zigg nods his head at the invitation of violence, "If pointy earz wants a scrappin' to go down I'm more then ready to knock some heads and teef around."

The Dark Eldar ignores Zigg, "They're being detained by the leader of this place, the Keisari, at his palace... if you can call it that."

The Dark Eldar leads Christina through the streets of Virolous heading into the shadow of the deck plate. Near the base there's a complex. It's very secure. This would be the home of the Keisari.

"Time is against us. I'm sure you've come across these vile creatures habits." He puts a finger up to his temple, "And their appetite for grey matter. My crew are the Keisari's new food. Left to simmer and for him to enjoy one crew member at a time."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Dec 14, 2018 10:01 pm

[RE: Palace. 3 main walls reaching 20 feet high. The back of the palace is the base of the deck plate. There are 20 guards at a time and they rotate out with 3 shifts. The main door of the palace is closed to almost everyone but any known faces are let in. However, the palace is opened to the public at one time of the day for about 2 hours. This seems to be a gift giving ceremony for the Keisari. Those gifts of course being brains and other gifts but mainly brains.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Dec 15, 2018 9:04 am

Christina scowled... the Dark Eldar hadn't been understating the miserable condition of the "palace" - who in their right mind would call that disgusting hovel a palace? More evidence that the inhabitants of Mire were insane even by the standards of the Vortex. It was almost pitiable enough to be beneath contempt. Almost.

She inspected the "palace" with a professional air; she had taken on far more defensive positions, but not without the benefit of a ship and raiding party. Here, she was limited to her own cunning, Zigg's brutality, and whatever the backstabbing Dark Eldar could provide. She loathed the thought of including it in any strategy she devised; it was as likely as not that it would subvert her masterful tactics, ruining her to further its own ends.

Satisfied that she had done sufficient reconnaissance for the time being, she convened with Zigg and the Dark Eldar. "Seems we're in a bit of a bind." she began, grimly. "The walls are too high to scale without the proper gear. And even if we could, we look to be outnumbered 7 to 1 by just the perimeter guards, not to speak of whoever is inside. Given the shift changes, seems like 20-to-1 odds for a frontal assault." She paused. "Maybe reasonable for a Raider captain, of course, but not for the likes of me and my mate here." She figured it best to maintain as much secrecy about her capabilities as possible; no doubt the Dark One's contempt for "inferior" beings could be used against him when it came time for their partnership to end.

"Seems like the general populace is allowed in to pay tribute to the Keisari, however. Having a look at the interior could give us better information in planning our prison-break." She grimaced, and addressed the Dark Eldar. "I know time is of the essence, Captain, but freeing fewer of your crew is preferable to dying ourselves, I'd assume." She had almost stumbled over addressing the xenos as "captain"; it had been many years since she had spoken the title rather than having it spoken to her, and it felt vile as it left her lips, almost making her nauseous.

"Trouble is... I don't see any of us managing to pay such tribute without coming under scrutiny and ending up imprisoned ourselves. Unless..." she exhaled in exasperation. She had not been looking forward to this; it was, of course, the best strategy but one that disgusted her sensibilities and wounded her pride. "Unless I adopt the appearance of a local and blend in with the masses of solicitors."

She grinned to the Dark Eldar. "On the plus side, it means we'll have to acquire some "gifts" for the Keisari. I take it that extracting the brain is something your kind has some experience with, given your kind's legendary predilection for torture and surgery. We can take their brains and attire and figure out how I can best disguise myself in preparation for tomorrow's ceremony. Does that sound reasonable?"
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Dec 22, 2018 10:11 pm

"Reasonable enough." The Dark Eldar responds. "I know where we can gather what is needed."

++++

The Dark Eldar has returned Christina back to the watering hole she was once going to visit. It's much later in the day and the crowd is thinning out. However, the last few patrons are truly the easy prey. Those that wouldn't put up a fight and would be easy to collect from.

The plan was out of Christina's hands here. The Dark Eldar captain took the lead. He had positioned Zigg and Christina near the rear of the cantina. That was the last of the plan that the Dark Eldar divulged to them before he disappeared.

The place was still operating and surely the Dark Eldar would be waiting for the last stragglers.

"Could of just gone in and collected ourselves, boz. No need to be waitin'." Zigg grumbles. "I don't trust this pointy earz as far as I can throw him. Which would be pretty far but still."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Dec 23, 2018 11:48 am

Christina smirked at Zigg's comment. While she wanted to chide him yet again for his lack of foresight, she relented. He was an ork, after all, and couldn't help being dumb as a Grox. She'd been harsh enough on him as it was and one occasionally needed to switch from the iron fist to the velvet glove when in dire straits. Besides, times like these reminded her why she had made the ork her first mate in the first place; apart from his imposing statue and bloodlust, he had a crude sense of humor that she often could not help but appreciate despite it's simplicity.

"Very true, Zigg. But in this case, we can work smarter, not harder. If the Dark One wishes to do the leg work, why not let him? Besides, the more it does the more control it feels that it has, the better. Makes it all the more likely that you'll get a chance to see just how far you can throw it when the time comes. What was your current record again? 4 meters? I expect a new one by the time this little trip is over."

Her smirk blossomed into a genuine grin.

"A month's ration of grog if you manage it."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Dec 30, 2018 9:38 pm

"5 meters, boz. I'll take that bet of yourz." Zigg says with a toothy grin.

Just then a commotion erupts from within the cantina. Then the unmistakable sound of a splinter pistol going off.

Some inebriated patrons (4 to be exact) come spilling out from the back door. Sickly wretches that were no different then those at the village Christina first came across.

This seems to be the plan. To heard them to Christina and Zigg. Leaving the hard work up to them of course...

[No need to roll for this as this fight isn't much of a fight. Feel free to roleplay it out.]


Zigg doesn't even draw his chain axe. When the first patron gets into view he drives his fist right into their face. Teeth scatter and bones break and fold inward. The patron drops to the ground twitching for a few seconds and then stops. He's dead.

The 3 others stop and look at their predicament. They try to turn back but come face to face with the Dark Eldar who's dragging two bodies out. They are trapped.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Jan 01, 2019 6:58 am

Christina sighed. Really? This was the sly xenos' master plan? Make a commotion herding sickly lambs to a slaughter? Oh well, too late to do otherwise now. She'd have to set herself another goal if she wanted any satisfaction from slaying them. Watching Zigg's first blow crumple the face of the sickly drunk gave her an idea; that one's attire wouldn't need any special care to make it appear undamaged - well, less so than it already was - so the remaining wretches were only needed for their brains. The trick, then, would be to kill them without damaging their brains. And, as a personal challenge, to do so as quickly as possible. Without her sword.

Christina took a deep breath...

...then lunged for the first patron.  She struck out with her boot, planting it firmly into the man's knee, crushing the wretches kneecap. As he fell towards the ground, she whipped her bootknife upward from it's sheath, eviscerating the man's throat. She spun away to avoid the arterial spray, flipping her knife in her hand before driving it downward into the second patron's chest, expertly avoiding the sternum and plunging the knife into his heart. As he slumped, she stared into the terrified eyes of the final drunkard. She grinned evilly as he turned to flee in terror. He made it only two steps before shuddering and falling face-first into the muck, a knife lodged between his shoulder blades.

She exhaled.

While she preferred the thrill and challenge of a duel with competent warriors, there was something cathartic about being able to engage in unnecessary flourish, unimpeded by the abilities of her victims. As she retrieved and re-sheathed her boot-knife, wiping the blood on the soiled attire of the face-down corpse, she released an exaggerated sigh.

"I'd have left you another, Zigg, but this hardly seemed worth dragging out. If I'd have known this was it's plan I'd have just let you go into the bar and crush the locals until it bored you."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 06, 2019 9:10 pm

The Dark Eldar drops his prey in front of Christina, "So short sighted you are. Notice how we don't have any city guard here to interrupt our fun? Something that would surly happen if you let your brute loose. Thinking one step ahead instead of three."

Christina then starts to note the smell of smoke and looks to see various spots of red flaring around other places in the same area as the cantina.

"Collect these mongrel's brains. Bring the bodies inside and set it on fire. Let the guards of this place chase an arson instead of some killers." The Dark Eldar says with a slight smirk.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyFri Jan 11, 2019 9:02 am

Christina forced a smile, recalling an old adage she had heard during her imprisonment upon her first pirate vessel: Too many steps ahead leads to a long walk off a short dock. The xenos' "logic" perplexed her, however: raising too much ire from the local constabulary would make their ploy more suspect... why would she want to increase the chance that her infiltration into the palace would be discovered? The xenos was clearly projecting its own desires; of course it would want her infiltration to fail, it clearly had intentions to use her as a distraction while making its own move. She would have to modify her plan...

She curtsied ever so slightly, "I am not well versed in the workings of brains, Captain. Any advice on how to proceed without damaging them?"

Realizing time was of the essence, she figured her feigned servility may need to continue elsewhere. "I'll remove their outer garments to disguise myself. Afterwards, Zigg, remove the heads at the neck and help me return these wretches to the tavern; we can at least burn the bodies while we figure out how best to remove the brains. "
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 13, 2019 9:42 pm

The Dark Eldar looked on emotionless at Christina's thinly veiled servility. It was waiting to see its orders carried out.

Which was done with brutal efficiency by Zigg and his chain axe. The heads were collected, bodies dumped off, and the place set ablaze.

The Dark Eldar led them to some dark and solemn hut. The previous occupants painted across the walls. Certainly at the hands of the Dark Eldar. This seemed to be its quarters for the time being.

Zigg seemed to pass out with him cuddling his chain axe like it was an infant. His snoring almost shaking the hut free of its foundation.

On the other side of the hut the Dark Eldar captain just stares at him and Christina.


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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Jan 17, 2019 8:27 am

While Chrstina knew that some rest would be warranted before their mission tomorrow, she found it impossible to relax under the soulless gaze of the xenos. She knew it would not attempt to kill her - not yet at least - because she was still an important part of its plans. Since sleep would not come to her, she had taken to preparing some of the collected attire of the deceased brain-donors, scraping the most vile bits of excrement from their robes with her boot knife and attempting to rinse some of the blood from them in the constant rains of Mire. They were foul, no doubt, but she could at least minimize the chance that any of the vile infections of the populace would take hold of her. Having finally completed her task, she hung the robes to dry, and returned to her seat opposite the xenos in the hut.

"So," she ventured, in as colloquial of a tone as she could muster, "what brings the legendary Dark Eldar to such a wretched place as Mire? I can only assume something went terribly wrong; I can't imagine any of the local forces being the reason that you've ended up marooned here. Surely there is a tale worth telling; might be worth keeping in mind when we get off this fetid, pathetic excuse for a planet."

She doubted the xenos was much for conversation, but it couldn't hurt; given the chance to vent it's frustrations, it may let slip something of interest. What's more, it might serve to quell Christina's own curiosity; her visit to Mire had thus far been full of unanswered questions and coarse-minded brutes that refused to engage her in even the most simple of banter. Frankly, she was a bit miffed; she was nothing if not generous in providing such opportunities and the least her inferiors could do was sate that simple desire before she disposed of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 21, 2019 10:22 pm

The Dark Eldar seemed to be in a trance as it blinks a few times as Christina addresses it.

"My crew and I were stalking our quarry. Some corvette of human make. They ran, we gave chase, and they decided to make planet fall here on Mire. Tired of our endless pursuit it seemed. Surprisingly, they did not try to land. Instead they ejected in their escape pods scattering themselves far and wide as their ship continued its crash course." The Dark Eldar says begrudgingly impressed, "We would of easily plucked them up if the locals didn't get to them first. Which they did and they don't take slaves. However, one of the pods crashed near here, Virolous. The crew survived and seemed to be hiding in the city. So we came will ill intentions and lies for our true meaning of being here and set out on our hunt. Like all our quarry that landed though they were finally caught but not by us. The Keisari found them and learned about what we were truly here for. He felt slighted. Impounded my ship and imprisoned my crew who helped me escape capture."

The lankly xenos pauses for a moment, "Now I'm here with you. What is your story for ending up on this wet dirt ball?"
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 6:09 am

Christina was taken aback; she hadn't expected the Xenos to tell her anything, much less admitting that it had been defeated in some way. She mulled over her next decision carefully: should she be as honest with the Xenos? She paused, then decided that lies, while serviceable, were of little use at the moment. Only the duplicitous followers of Tzeentch insisted upon weaving untruths at all times.

"As you have no doubt been able tell, I am hardly a mere deckhand. My first mate and I were marooned on this fetid, stinking sphere after a mutiny staged by my traitorous boarding captain. I admit I did not expect him capable of such an endeavor; I had assumed that worshipers of the Taker of Skulls would be satisfied with the banal pleasures of spilling blood. Apparently, he'd grown tired of living at the whims of one who follows the Dark Prince. So my first mate and I fought our way free and made for an escape pod and,"
she gestured about the stinking hovel, "here we are. My only goal, now, is to take back rightful ownership of my ship and take vengeance upon the mutinous scum, along with those foolish enough to support him."

She exhaled sharply with a curse. She knew she had taken a risk here, vulnerability was unwise to show to one who may yet become an erstwhile ally. Yet she felt a certain kinship to the raider; a fellow captain, estranged from their ship. And she knew that, regardless the myriad differences between the Dark Eldar and Humans, there was one thing thatall professional raiders and plunderers reviled above all else: mutineers.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 27, 2019 10:10 pm

The Dark Eldar listened intently to Christina's story. The first time the being has really paid any real attention to her.

"Mutinous scum indeed. First thing I learned in dealing with followers of Khorne was you send their skulls where they belong... to the skull throne. There is no reasoning with them. They only know martial prowess but they also seek power if it can let them spill more blood for the Taker of Skulls. So I don't blame you for keeping one of his followers for his skills but it was naive not to believe he would be content with what he had. Any true follower wants more. However, this mutineers mistake was missing his shot at the captain. I don't think they'll get a second chance."

The Dark Eldar smirks for a second, "I don't think we have properly introduced ourselves. I'm Captain El'Ru of the Splintering Arrow.

When Christina finally introduces herself, "Well, captain, I suggest you get some rest. Our day tomorrow will most definitely be long."

With that the Dark Eldar closes his eyes... with a hand on his splinter pistol of course.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Jan 31, 2019 12:20 pm

Christina returned the Dark Eldar's introduction in kind: "Captain Halfex of the Endless Pain."

Christina also settled herself down, hand resting on her sword. Despite the enormous racket that Zigg's snores were making, the brief moment of parlay with the Dark Eldar had finally released some of the tension that had been her constant companion on Mire. The weight of the last few days weighed heavily upon her, and she allowed herself to sink into slumber.

---

As the sun rose on Mire, bringing but a mild change to the gloom, Christina set to work on her disguise. While she was hardly an expert at this particular form of subterfuge, she was confident that her disguise need not be iron-clad to allow her entry into the palace. Sorting through the garb they'd stolen from their sacrificial lambs, she put the thickest and least bloody portions aside. While a little blood was understandable - what with all the weeping sores and other ailments bestowed upon Nurgle's followers - too much would raise a literal "red flag" on their little operation. Fortunately, given her relatively slight build, the clothing would be overlarge and drape well enough to hide her boots and fit over her armor. She then packed what remained into the backpack Zigg had been carrying, ensuring that it was uneven. That, in conjunction with the hooded robes, gave the distinct impression of a hump, the perfect touch to hide her normally graceful form.

Though she sought an authentic appearance, Christina would not stand for the sheer amount of filth and vile, crusty patches of gods-knew-what that covered the attire. She set about the most disgusting patches with her boot knife, scraping away at any patch of filth that would come in contact with her skin. She wanted to look like a patron of the Plague God, not become an unwilling victim of His blessings. Her work took her most of the morning, but she felt satisfied with the result as it came near time for the gates to open and the tribute to begin.

[Once the Dark Eldar is awake, Christina asks, ingratiatingly, that he set about lobotomizing the heads of their victims in preparation for paying tribute. After all of the preparatory work is done, they'll review the relevant details and rehash the plan one last time (which I'll get to formulating shortly).]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Feb 02, 2019 10:19 pm

El'Ru took the heads and set about extracting the brains. Zigg watched him in slight amazement at his speed and efficiency. Like watching a chef prepare a grand dinner but the Dark Eldar's craft was more lethal and bloody.

They all then assembled at the huts main table. Between them lied six freshly extracted brains all wrapped and ready for presentation to the Keisari.

[Can go over the plan if wanted or we can skip straight to enacting the plan.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Feb 10, 2019 9:33 pm

El'Ru brings up a map of the "palace" exterior, "All we know is the exterior of this place. The inside is a mystery. However, all forts are constructed with the same ideas. Any prison, brig, or the like is bound to be housed towards the interior but not to close to the center. Don't want any prisoners or traitors to easily take the hardest to reach areas."

The Dark Eldar captain looks at Christina, "You'll be flying blind and without immediate support as your first mate and I are too recognizable."

"I don't knows about you pointy earz but I can blind in quite well." Zigg says as he picks at something in his teeth.

"Is your version of blending in killing everyone?" El'Ru asks.

"Damn right." Zigg responds.

"That would also be my preferred method but we are stuck with what we have. That means Christina here will have to lead the way. Once she gets to my remaining crew though our odds of getting off the this planet are all but guaranteed. With you leading the charge how would you like to do this?" El'Ru asks Christina.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Feb 17, 2019 5:50 am

Christina listened impassively as the Dark Eldar began going over what he knew of the palace. She was irked by his intentional use of her first name as opposed to her title, yet could appreciate it as a calculated, subtle expression - she would have done the same to a fellow captain in the presence of subordinates.

"...how would you like to do this?"

Christina squinted slightly at the map of the palace. While she had rarely engaged in much strategizing prior to her raids, the lack of data on the stronghold still vexed her; the all-too-recent encounter with the tree-daemon had made her more cautious than usual.

"How would I like to do this? From a drop pod, preferably, following my boarding party, and after a broadside volley from my ship."
She let a smile creep onto her face. "But, from what I've experienced of Mire thus far, what anyone likes is off the table."

She paced as she began elaborating:
"The difficulty lies in escaping the queue without notice. I doubt the guards' scrutiny will out me as long as I remain in queue, in disguise, bearing the gift of brains... but finding a way to break from the diseased ranks of the petitioners will be challenging. Given the general construction of such compounds, there will likely be chambers between the 'throne room' and the palatial grounds, likely some sort of main hall or staging area with attached cloisters. The orderliness of that chamber will be key; if the queue is rigorously maintained from the gates to the seat of the Keisari, it will be difficult to create a sufficient distraction to escape notice without being seen as the source of said distraction. If there are other forms of worship that occur en route, whether at small shrines or gifts to lesser dignitaries, the mob will serve as far better cover. But that leaves the nature of the distraction itself..."

She halted her pacing, wracking her brain for a solution. Then it struck her.

"Zigg, I'll need that promethium from our last raid. I have an idea. Suffice to say, once I've created my diversion and steal away into the palace proper, then the real fun begins."


She inspected the rough schematic of the palace again.

"The palace butts up against the deck plating of a ruined voidship. From what I've seen, it looks as if the ruin has some depth to it... that is, it is not just a solid sheet of metal. If so, there is likely a 'back door' into the palace. And any savvy head of security would create their own if one didn't already exist so  they could easily patrol that area, given that it is the most well-sheltered point of entry for an infiltration. That back door will be your point of entry. You two should find a vantage point to observe that section of the ruin; I'll signal you from there when I've neutralized the guards."
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Feb 17, 2019 10:59 pm

"A sound plan. However, keep on your toes. No plan ever survives contact with the enemy." El'Ru says standing up.

"No plan of these gas bags is going to survive us." Zigg says in retort.

The plan was in place and now was the time to enact it

++++

Christina stood in the queue outside of the palace in her disguise. She had already been here for hours and the line kept getting longer and longer. It was miserable, the rain was back, and the smell of the infected and sickly was pungent. Finally though the doors to the palace opened and line started moving.

Then there was some hubbub coming from behind Christina. She turns to see what all the talking and ruckus was all about. She then sees them.

Five heavily armed and armored men. One was a bearer with a standard. Upon it a black tree with inky tendrils coming off of its branches. As they got closer she then knew who they were. Men from the fort she raided.

At the front was their leader she barely saw before he went off into the swamp in look of her. One of the guards was the one she burnt with her hand flamer. She could see burn marks on him but they seemed to be quickly healing.

They pass by her with no incident but they are heading towards the palace.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySat Mar 02, 2019 9:34 am

Christina huddled under her over-sized garments, a grimace of misery deeply etched onto her face. She could think of few times she had been more distraught - except, of course, during the recent mutiny. She was cold, damp, and the stench of the mob of petitioners in the queue was overwhelming. She had lost count of the times she had cursed Nat Bloodborne for his disloyalty, but she added another one to the pile nonetheless; this was all his fault, and he would rue the day he had decided to betray her.

Her ruminations were interrupted, however, by an unpleasantly familiar site. A contingent from the fortress she had raided were marching into the palace. Her blood ran cold; she hadn't considered the fortress' connection to Virolous. This could greatly complicate matters, depending on the nature of their visit. At best, they were simply reporting the news of the raid and business would continue as usual. At worst? Security would be tightened. The canister of promethium shifted ever so slightly in her pack as she shuffled forward in the queue. She added yet another curse to the pile; there was no way for her to gracefully exit the situation now. She would simply have to hope that the news did not concern the Keisari enough to warrant increased security. After all, why should it? A random raid for supplies  was hardly evidence of a greater threat, especially given the fact that the Keisari had detained an entire crew of Dark Eldar recently. If he were truly concerned, security would already have been heightened. At least, she hoped so. Elsewise, her second attempt at infiltration was likely to end up going as ploin-shaped as the first.

Just my luck, isn't it, she grumbled to herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptySun Mar 03, 2019 10:27 pm

Christina sticks with the procession and enters through the palace doors without issue.

However, it seems the palace guard were just getting the whole mob into one place. The petitioners had to stand in an atrium before being allowed into the central chamber of the palace.

The place was packed and even with the watchful guards it looks like slipping away wouldn't be an issue.

Christina does catch the fortress contingent. Their leader is arguing with one of the guards near the throne room door. Something about them not being peasants and demanding an audience with the Keisari. Seems the fortress group wasn't in to deep with the Keisari as Christina thought.

Her old foe from the fortress though is scanning the crowd. What he's looking for she doesn't know but he is looking for something.

[Give me a +20 Stealth roll.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 06, 2019 9:09 am

Christina allowed herself a sigh of relief as she entered the atrium of the palace without issue. The sight of the fortress contingent arguing finally removed the grimace from her face. Seems they were either not in the Kesari's good graces... or not worthy of consideration in the first place. Either was good for her. Despite the horrid burns, she could tell that the victim of her hand flamer was, for Gods knew what reason, scanning the room. While her face was mostly shrouded, she forced herself to slouch slightly, hopefully covering enough of her face that she'd go unnoticed, and shuffled innocuously behind a large, grotesque petitioner in an effort to break line of sight.
Stealth Check:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 12, 2019 9:40 pm

Christina is able to break line of sight from the curious onlooker. Peeking around the petitioner she can see the fort commander producing a jar full of black liquid. It looks similar to the goo that dripped off that tree she saw in the fort. Something is said and it gives the guard pause before he sends a messenger into the throne room.

Meanwhile, the petitioners still stand about waiting to get in. Some are growing restless from the looks of it. The chance to slip away was still there especially now with one of the guards moving from his post to deliver a message. He was posted near an entry that leads... somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Mar 14, 2019 5:12 am

Christina breathed a sigh of relief. It had been touch and go for a moment, but she had managed to evade detection... for now. As the crowd began to grow restless, grumbles of impatience filling the room with a low hum of discontent, she decided to make her move. She following the shifting tides of the petitioners towards the now unguarded entry way. Lowering her profile slightly, she growled and gestured towards the front of the chamber, shifting the attention of the petitioners around her. As they turned to look, she slipped through the entry and out of site.

Oldest trick in the Vortex, she thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 19, 2019 9:47 pm

Christina slips through the entry way and finds herself in a hall. Off to her right was a stair well going upward. On each side of the hall were 2 doors. The hall itself terminated at a t-junction.

On the next story of the stair well Christina can hear something heavy being moved about. There's a loud crash, lots of objects hitting the ground, and then some cursing from two unseen figures.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 am

Christina paused for a moment, weighing her options. It was unlikely that the various mundane doors on the ground floor led to anything of interest. Adding to that the imprudence of wandering about empty hallways in areas one should not be seen, she figured the stairs would be her best option. As she began to quietly slink up the stairwell, she nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of the small disaster that had occurred a floor above her. It seemed, for the briefest instant, that fate was on her side and had provided her with a minor distraction to aid her espionage.

Moving on...:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Mar 26, 2019 9:46 pm

Christina slinks up the stair case. Just enough where she can see what the commotion was all about. She sees two serf like figures quickly scooping up precious stones (gems, rubies, you name it) and putting them back into a large chest. They were littered all over the floor and even a few made it to the top steps near the landing.

[Christina is hidden from the serfs by the stairs and them being distracted. If she wants to sneak by it's a +20 to Stealth and if she wants to do something else she has the surprise round.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyWed Mar 27, 2019 8:32 am

Christina's eyes went wide at the sight of the precious stones. They were so...beautiful. The dim lighting accentuated every facet of the scatted stones; their shimmering beckoned to her...

HHHHNNNNGGGG:
 

Christina's penchant for piracy overwhelmed what little common sense she had; she could not resist the allure of such treasures so ripe for the taking.

While her disguise was ill-fitting, she had made sure that it would not impair her movement in the event that an expeditious retreat, or assault, were necessary. She complimented herself on her foresight before leaping into action. She wanted to take advantage of the opportunity as quickly as possible; if all went well she could slay the wretches before they even had time to react and stash their bodies in a side-chamber without alerting any other of the palace's inhabitants.

SURPRISE, MOTHERFUCKER:
 

---
Christina thumbed off the power sword and slid it back into the sheath. The two serfs had died before they'd even had time to register awe at her deft swordsmanship. No matter, she grumbled to herself, they were just a distraction from the real prize. She took a moment to sweep up some of the gems - the slightest measure of common sense convincing her that she could hardly steal off with all of them - and stash them in her backpack. Satisfied with her haul, she swiveled her head about, searching for the nearest possible place to stash the little mess she'd made of the serfs. Fortunately, active power weapons left far less in the way of viscera - a feature she had lamented in the past - and would make her little act of violence less apparent. While an abandoned reliquary of treasures would raise suspicion, it would be far less urgent of a suspicion than would be caused by the corpses.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 02, 2019 10:09 pm

[Add Precious Gems (Medium Amount) to gear.]

Christina finds a nice and dark room to stash the bodies. They would be hidden from direct view but if anyone looked hard enough they could find them.

Back in the hall Christina hears the creak of large doors opening and the murmur of excited voices. Seems the rabble were filtering their way to the Keisari. She was now on the clock.

Back in the hall it goes left and right. To her left the hall terminates at a left turn going towards the back of the palace. Down the right the hall stretches on further. It looks like there's two right turns going towards the back of the palace. There was also the stairwell. There were definitely more floors above her.

She remembers what El'Ru told her. Any holding area was bound to be more centralized but not to close to the central atrium or the Keisari's own quarters.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 03, 2019 8:19 am

Christina immediately set off down the stretch of hallway to her left, figuring that the sooner she could make it to the back of the palace, the better. As she crept along, trying her best to balance speed and silence, she tried to visualize the limited map of the palace exterior that El'Ru had provided. If she had it right, this would be the quickest way towards the rear of the palace. The Dark Eldar's statement about fortress construction was something that had often irked Christina in the past; architects had no creative spark when it came to constructing their defenses and, quite frankly, it made quite a number of raids a boring, tedious exercise of the same tried-and-tested strategies. At the moment, however, she was thankful for that lack of creativity; it made "flying blind" a far less hazardous state of affairs than it would normally be.

As she reached the corner, she pressed herself flat against the wall, listening intently for the sound of footsteps in the upcoming stretch of hall. As she listened, she outlined her next moves:

The Keisari, like most nobility, is likely a lazy sod. His quarters can't be far from the main chamber; the less distance to travel the better. Holding cells definitely are at ground level or subterranean... if sub-levels are even possible in this squalid place. Gives the guards the advantage of the high ground in case anyone escapes. Holding cells, then... they must be at one of the rear, ground-level corners of the palace. The deck-plating of the voidship provides a significant barrier to escape and limits the prisoners' options.

She grimaced.

Of course, this is all a crap-shoot if the warden has the same amount of brain-power as every other denizen of this fething planet. Oh well...

Listening intently:
 

She couldn't hear anything over the sound of the petitioners below; she'd have to risk a peek around the corner and hope it went unnoticed by any yet-unseen patrols.

[She's taking a peek; anyone home? If not, she's probably going to head to the end of that hallway and seek a stairway leading back down to the ground level.]
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyTue Apr 09, 2019 10:04 pm

The hall is clear. The palace seems to be very light on patrols today. Probably focusing on the ground floors do to the petitioners.

Finding another stairwell she transitions back to the ground floor near the rear of the palace. Her assumption was right about where the holding cells would be. She's looking at a heavily secured door with five guards posted near it. She's out of eyesight but not earshot. The guards are talking about a guard rotation coming up and the prisoners should be getting their meals along with that change. Rumor is the kitchen has cooked up something quite "special" for the pointy eared freaks.
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyWed Apr 10, 2019 11:04 am

Christina, lurking in the shadow of the stairwell, considered her next move in light of the upcoming guard rotation. She doubted there would be a gap in shift change; the current contingent would likely mull about until they were relieved, giving her no room to slip inside the holding cells. While the bulk of the incoming guard would likely enter with the "special" rations for the prisoners, it was likely at least one would remain at the door. While she doubted that any single guard would pose a threat to her, the risk that slaying the straggler would alert the others was significant.

On the other hand, it might be possible for her to slip in with the prisoner's meals; even if a substantial portion of the crew had already perished, the amount of food that even a fraction of a crew would require was substantial, even if those rations were meager; void travel required a sizable complement of crew on even the smallest of vessels. There was risk to this course of action as well; she had no knowledge of the means by which the prisoners were fed and it might well be the case that there would be no means by which she could conceal herself.

Still, she had time, it seemed; she could check-in on the kitchens and, if all else failed, take the less subtle approach. She did her best to ignore the foul smell of her disguise and, inhaling deeply, tried to catch the scent of the kitchens. At the very least, she was curious to see the nature of the "special" meal the prisoners would be receiving.

Awareness (Smell):
 
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PostSubject: Re: Mire   Mire - Page 2 EmptyThu Apr 18, 2019 10:14 pm

Christina caught a great whiff of the air in the palace. If she hadn't already been subjected to this planets forms of decay she would of vomited. One smell cuts through the slug of decay though... one that she smelled the day she found the village. The smell of cooked flesh.

Following her nose she comes to the palace's kitchen. She hardly stands out here in her rags. She looks like exactly like the serfs preparing food.

A serf near at least ten large pots yells out, "The prisoner special is ready! Comk, Kmoc, Tel, Burland, Gebuin, Asgur, Nibb, Vey, Ryp, Utality, you're up! Come and grab a pot."
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