Monday, July 16, 2007

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part Fifteen: Hive Dweller to Commodity

There are places amongst the stench and the half lives of the underworld where small lights illuminate safe places. A light hangs from a low ceiling. Several other light sources illuminate this safe place, but the majority of the workspace light comes from the hanging light in the middle of the room. Its light spreads over a workshop. The workshop is broad enough to hold three work tables, a buggy vehicle with over sized wheels is on a joist, and an large door that once swung open on its one side would enable the buggy to pass through. Each workstation table is covered in what appears to be all description of tools, implements, half machines, broken weapons, and forgotten mechanical projects. Around the room also were cabinets and drawers loaded with all type of bolt, screw and spring, of every size and shape. Some parts were new some were old most seemed to have been pulled from other machines.

Sylvie sat on a stool at one of the lesser used work stations looking around the workshop that she had been brought to. She thought it looked as though she had been eaten by and was was experiencing the innards of some machine eating monster. The beast, whose gullet was this room, had feasted so mightily that his mechanical indigestion would last for decades. She observed the work station before her. Some type of gun lay in several pieces on the counter. A greasy rag sat to one side. She could see that someone was in the middle of a repair. She straightened her gutter shirt, the coarse material still wore hard against her skin even after months living in the under hive. She looked at herself in a reflective piece of metal hanging. It had been polished to a shine for some purpose. She saw her face and now long hair. Her sisters had tended her appearance so finely and now she seemed ragged. Her loose pants torn in places. She had become as the pilgrims that had once sought out her former home.

Her captor returned. He was massive. He moved slowly as one might expect a massive object to move through the cosmos. He called himself Boomer but she had overhead someone say Boomsticks. He had come in through the large door and it had groaned as he secured it. He had locked her in. She had not justified his caution by investigating beyond what her eyes could view. She now viewed the form before her as a massive male. He only wore canvas black pants, a chain held his pats around his hips. Massive iron toed boots explained his weight with a sudden footfall. His drug fueled muscles were colored with a tan from exposure to fuel rods that lit this part of the under hive. The cavities between his pecs or biceps seemed large enough for her to climb into and hide. His massive hands, that had carried her from harm and placed her gently on the stool where she now sat, were nimble and able. He was the mechanic here.

"You're worth more than your gutter trash appearance" Boomer said as he approached. "Chopsui said he could smell it on you", he said referring to a comment one of the others in the gang had said.

"Smell what?" she said, her under hive slang still stunted by her out hive accent.
"Rich stink. You come from up there" he nodded his massive dome toward the ceiling "up hive. And people want to pay for you." She gritted her teeth beneath her closed lips.
She recalled her quick transition from resident of this town to captive. She and Yanaloo had settled two years ago in the Goliath hovel known as Stink Town. The ore smelters provided the source of the name for the town. They had paid the tariffs to the gilders and the clan and found a hole that they could stay in. Away from searching eyes they learn each others ways. Sylvie had been the face of the duo in relations with the underhive while Yanaloo disguised her true fiendish nature. Soon they had become just another couple of odd faces among a sea of strangers in the under hive. They had become lovers. Yanaloo tough Sylvie about her old city that had once been her home and the arts that they had practiced there. Sylvie had grown to love the ways of her partner. First they were painful and soon she came to love the pain. She also came to learn the Dark one's language. Yanaloo would never yearn the Imperial speach. For money they had taken to luring gangers in the watering holes back to their den. They would rob them and then Yanloo would have her way with them. After the first year it became clear that the murder and pain was more important to Yanaloo than the money or food that it brought.
They had spoken about the chance of people coming for Sylvie. Sylvie had suspected that Nurse might come. The dedication of the Sisters of Battle was unrelenting. It didn't matter how long they spent in Stink Town or how well they blended in Sylvie and her pale skinned companion were outsiders. Once the word was out that people were looking for Sylvie and had money to pay for her capture she moved from a hive dweller to commodity. When Ozymandias's' crew had snatched her Sylvie and her eldar companion she wasn't really surprised.

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