Hopefully this thread isn't too old, since it really is a new one. Really!

Men of L33t, Part XXIII - Motivations
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Rain. It always seemd to be setting the mood here, whether cheerful or silent or urgent. He set down his quill and leaned back, staring at the water sliding down his window panes in a hypnotic fashion. He supposed he could... alter the weather, but that would probably lead to some disaster elsewhere and come back to haunt him. Murphy always did hate him. He stretched and capped his ink-well. Ah, well. The day's work was done. Time for some relaxation. He stood.

Ed had gone off somewhere with a tipsy maid, no doubt to have his fun in a more cheerful setting. Dom hoped the lass came back alive. It would be a pity to lose good help, and the family would be none too happy, either. He shook his head. Ed never seemed to understand that you had to remember both sides of a coin. He stretched again, and started walking. The sound of his boots echoed down the stone corridors as they clacked against the cold hard floors. It really was a dreary place to stay alone in. He frowned as he felt the strands of his weave stretch again. That automaton really was being a bit of a pain. Perhaps if he separated the two girls... yes, that would probably work. His pace quickened. And perhaps alleviate the boredom of this dreary day.

***

The door to their cell clicked and then grated open. It was probably the only coarse thing about their room, for the room itself was like lady's private chamber. Who knows? It might have been. WoK and Ping stopped singing as their captor walked in, clad in a heavy leather rain-coat. He held up its twin.

"M'lady Ping. Would you care to join me for a walk?"

Ping straigtened. "I am sure that I would not, Sir. You hold us prisoner, and I have no reason to trust your motives. Not only that but because of that I do not believe it safe to leave my young charge alone in your care."

The man, surprisingly, nodded in agreement. "I had thought as much. Perhaps you would trust an oath to her safety if I made it in Delim weaves you held?"

She betrayed her surprise by naught but a sharp look. "I might, sir, but one wonders why you would make such an oath. You wield ancient evil."

The man smiled. "I am not an evil man, good lady. I simply believe that you cannot play the game unless you know both sides."

"A true knight of the Game" Ping breathed. Had she human blood, she might have turned slightly pale.

"Indeed." He held out his hand. "The weave, milady?" She reached out and held it with her own, weaving a delicate lace of power over their joined hands. He nodded. "I will not allow any harm to come to the young child by my hand or any under my command. So swear I by the spirit of the law, Dom, Saga knight of the Game."

The lace tightened, and then disappeared. Dom looked up at the automaton for a moment, before letting go and wringing his hand, as if to stop the tingling there. "You weave well, milady." he said, laughing weakly.

"I would not be here if I did." she said sharply, gathering her things.

"Oh, you won't be needing that!" Dom said, taking the load off her arms. "Here." He held out the raincoat. "It's just a walk. We'll be returning shortly."

Ping looked at him for a second, and then nodded. She turned back to WoK, who had been silent this entire time. "WoK, you heard what he said, right? I've got to go, but I'll be back as soon as I can. You'll be all right?"

The young girl nodded, and Ping pulled the raincoat up tight. She took one glance back, and then grasped Dom's hand. WoK watched them go.

She talks a lot of different ways.

***

"He did what?!" Cups rattled and papers shook as Asimov's hand slammed down onto his desk.

"A-arrested then, sir. He caught Miss Kimiko talking to a nurse's boyfriend about informing Largo. Charges have not yet been leveled against her, and they still may not be with Lady Erika's leverage-"

"But the fact remains that those two are out of the game for now. Damn." Az's fist hit the desk again. "I had hoped to stay out of this one, but now, the way things are..." He looked up. "No word from the Lady Erika?"

"No, sir."

"Right, right... hm." He fished through some papers and stopped at one. "Has there beem any word on Durden?"

"No, sir. The last contact we had was that message that you see there, sir, that he was moving in on the Guild carriage."

"Hm... I see. Right, then. Contact McFinnigan and make him aware of the situation. Tell him that we're trying to get more accurate intel, but Church movement is hampering us at the moment. And Snow? Why are you calling me 'sir'?"

"I, er-"

"You've been getting into the kitchen, haven't you?"

"Y'know, I should be getting those reports in about now, so I'll be-"

"SNOW! Get back here!!"

***

Shadow stepped out of Draegos' office with a slight hum.

SLAM!

"I don't know what your agenda is, or what you mean by this, but it has gone too far and it. will. stop."

Erika's eyes flashed, and she slowly let Shadow down from the door, eyes burning with a coldness that chilled the short woman's bones. Erika's hand let go as her feet touched the ground, and Shadow's heart remembered to beat again. She stared, breathless. Erika paused, and then nodded curtly before walking into Dreagos' room. Shadow felt her throat and gulped. She hadn't even remembered to use magic...

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^^;; Normally, I would wait till the main page is free of fic's, so's not to steal attention, but WoK's been threatening me with sharp objects and Shoka seems to be updating on a much more frequent basis than I, so I figured it can't hurt.

Lukkai: If you look to the first post, there's a link to the original thread besides the Erikanka link.

Well, here it is, folks. Comments? Criticisms? Hate? Praise? Jelly Doughnuts?

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