OOC - New Arcadia - Chapter 1 : Part 2

OOC : Sorry about the reposts just making sure I get my chronology right :)

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Jared was aching from head to toe by the time he reached the old warehouse that served as the Chimera barracks. The dockyards were quiet this time of night, but there were still a few souls loading and unloading barges as well as a handful of his fellow Chimera collecting due tariffs.

The docks were a lucrative territory and the Chimera held onto it with an iron first. As he approached the warehouse a slight shadow broke away from a stack of crates to the right and another to the left. Jared held up his hands in peaceful greeting.

"Well if it isn't the young whelp returning from a good drubbing." Came a male voice from the right and as the lamplight caught the man's face Jared groaned.

"Uncle Solam." Jared replied, and the man stepped closer. Solam looked him up and down with an appraising eye.

"I hear you jumped into old Sengars yard and almost ended up dog food." Solam was grinning down at him, his one good eye twinkling with mirth, the other covered by a scarlet red patch.

"Tolam said you outran a Satyr." Came an excited voice from his left. At twelve Gavan was the youngest initiate of the Chimera and treated Jared like something of a hero.

He simply shrugged not wanting to dispel the lads high opinion of him and was treated to nudge in his damaged ribs from his uncle. His grunt of pain gave away the true extent of his injuries and the humour on Solams face softened into concern.
"You did well enough lad, now go see old Cutter and get those bruises tended."

Jared gave a nod and made to enter the double doors of the warehouses only to be restrained as his uncle placed a firm hand on his shoulder.

"Once you are patched up and fed she wants to see you in her rooms."

"Oh ye God's." Jared hissed and shook his head. His uncle gave a fierce grin in return and a tight squeeze on his shoulder.

The inside of the warehouse was set out like a small village, with sleeping quarters along the upper galleries to left and right, a large canteen area near the entrance and a series of purpose made rooms set up towards the rear. It was to one of these that he made for.

Exchanging quiet greetings with those who were still awake he made his way to a dimly lit room on the lower left hand side of the warehouse. There was no door, just a bead curtain which he pushed aside as he entered.

The light of the room came from several candles and a low fire burning merrily in the corner. Cutter sat on the side of his low bed reading. He looked up as Jared entered and carefully placed his book to one side, saving the page with a black ribbon. He wore silver rimmed spectacles with thick round lenses that had the effect of enlarging his eyes and making him look a little crazy.

"What is broken this time?" Cutter asked.

"My pride and perhaps a couple of ribs." Jared said with a weak smile. Cutter gave an amused grunt and gestured for the younger man to remove his jacket and shirt.

Jared endured the pain of being prodded and poked by the old man for several minutes before they spoke again.

"I hear you tangled with a Satyr." Cutter said as he pulled a jar from under his bed.

"Not much of a tangle, he chased me down and picked me up like a ragdoll."

"Time was, being chased by a Satyr was fatal." Cutter opened the jar and began to smother a strong smelling paste of Jareds side and back. "This may sting some."

Jared cursed. It felt like his skin had been set afire. "This Satyr was in the watch." He managed through gritted teeth.

"So I hear." Cutter replied as he began to wrap a clean white bandage around Jareds torso. "Interesting times." He muttered, "I wonder how he managed that."

"Who cares." Jared said as the warmth of the paste settled into his flesh and the pain receded.

Cutter rummaged around in the small cupboard next to the door and threw a small glass vial up to Jared. He caught it and gave the thick blue liquid a dubious glance.

"When do I drink this?"

"You don't." Cutter barked a laugh, "Slip it into her wine and get some sleep or you'll have three more broken ribs by morning and I am low on Pepperpaste."

Jared gave the old man a grateful smile and fished around in his pocket for his silver. Cutter raised a hand and shook his head.

"She already paid your dues."

Jared made his way through the Warren of rooms to a staircase leading beneath the warehouse. The Chimera had a network of travel tubes built beneath the city. Large pressurised cylinders designed to carry passengers at speed with purpose built capsule. One of the stations for these tubes was beneath the warehouse and he would need to use then to reach his destination.

"Destination?" Inquired the operator as Jared climbed into a passenger capsule.

"Farrells place." He answered as he strapped himself in and pulled the glass cockpit down over his head. The operator pulled a few levers and pipe cover shifted in place over his head, effectively sealing his capsule within the tube.

There was a high pitched whistling sound as pressure began to build within the travel tube and then with a sudden bust of acceleration Jared was propelled at speed towards his destination.

It was pitch black within the tubes and Jareds only source of light was a small luminesant panned near his knees where a comm system had been installed. At last the capsule began to slow and then finally came to a halt. The pipe hatch opened above him and he levered open the capsule cockpit in turn before climbing out.

He stepped out into a familiar basement area wincing at the pain in his side. There was no controller here just an automated panel and a wooden staircase leading up to the main building. He started to climb.

The lower floor of the house was in darkness and nobody challenged him as he made his way towards the wide staircase that led to Farrells rooms. He was not however stupid enough to think that he had not been seen. Farrell protected herself in discrete and deadly ways that he could only guess at. In years gone by before he became her "favourite" he had often been called in to help remove the corpses of those that underestimated the effectiveness of her protection.

As he neared her rooms he heard low voices ahead. It seemed she already had company. He slowed his pace as he approached and was surprised to find her door ajar. He crept in quietly and stood in a small entrance chamber with doors leading off in three directions besides the one from which he had entered. His skin tingled as he paused through the door, the feeling had used to unnerve him but he had grown used to it over time.

Unlike the rest of the house which was quite drab and ordinary, Farrells apartments were opulent in the extreme. Every fabric an exquisite luxury and every ornament a priceless relic. Jared could hear the voices better now, several of them in a heated argument it seemed. Knowing better than to walk straight ahead into the main chamber he took the door to the right into the servants quarters and then another to the left into a small room with a second door used by Farrells servant to bring in food and drink. The servant was nowhere to be seen and from here Jared had a better vantage point to listen in to the conversation.

"...is unacceptable." One man was saying.

"I am sorry that you feel that way minister." Farrell replied smoothly.

Jared swallowed, she was meeting with the High Parliament? He wondered for a moment if he should be listening, but he had been expected and the door was left ajar.

Everything was deliberate in this place, he had learnt that long ago. If she had not wanted him to enter he would have either found the outer door bolted shut or her servant waiting for him in the outer chamber ready to usher him to a more secluded room to wait the meeting out.

Glancing down he noticed on the table a covered plate and a flagon of ale. He took a seat and remove the cover from the plate to reveal a selection of his favorite cheese and meat. He had been expected. He settled in to eat and listen.

"Without the support of the Chimera the other crews will not fall in line and the new act will then create an unacceptable conflict of interest." A female voice was saying.

"I am well aware of the political ramifications of your proposals councilor, which is exactly why I oppose them." Farrell answered.

"It is necessary." The man hissed.

"It will lead to genocide." Farrell replied in clipped tones.

"You exaggerate," the minister replied, "the human populous will be well protected.

Yes there will be some bloodshed but.."

"I am not talking about humans." Farrell answered. "My answer is no."

Jared listened his food forgotten and his mouth agape. They must be discussing the Safeguard Act. A piece of legislation that if passed would make every Satyr and Nymph in the city little better than a slave, and any that resisted registration...

"You will regret this Tienna Farrell. The Chimera are strong but It is not so strong that is can ignore the High Parliament without consequence." Raged the man.

"Please rethink your stance." Added the woman in softer tones, "You lead the Chimera well and we would see you continue to do so in the new order."

"You would both do well not to threaten me, be that threat veiled or otherwise."

Farrell was angry now and Jared braced himself for action. Should she decide to dispose of these two visitors his help would be required if only just to help tidy up the mess.

"I did not mean to suggest..." The woman simmered.

"You have my answer now I suggest you both leave be for I lose my patience."

"I will not be dismissed like some sort of dog begging for scraps." Growled the Minster.

"Then by all means take your leave of your own accord with all the dignity left to you." Farrells voice was cold now, violence would be her next recourse and her two visitors seemed to sense it.

"Come Jerrald, we will give her time to think." The woman soothed.

"I need no time." The Chimera leader replied.

"Never the less, if you should think better of our offer then it will stand for three more days."

And with that Jared heard hurried feet and a slamming door as the two visitor took their leave. There was silent for a time then and Jared took a long draught on his ale as he waited.

"You can come in." Called Farell after a few minutes and Jared rose from his chair and entered.

Tienna Farrell stood next to an open window, her lithe form framed by the moonlight. She wore an evening dress fit for a princes court and her flaming red hair tumbled in thick locks around her shoulders and breasts. She turned as Jared entered and he green eyes were still bright with anger. He would need to tread carefully this night.

He tried to maintain a casual gait as he walked to the small round table next to her bed and poured himself a glass of wine. She already held a half full glass which she brought to her lips as she watched him in silence. Jared plucked a grape from the silver plate next to the wine and dropped one into his mouth, prolonging the moment before her would be forced to risk speaking. She saved him the effort,

"How much did you hear?" She asked.

"Enough." He replied before taking a sip on his wine, it was dry and strong. Too strong for his tastes.

"And what do you think?" She asked.

"I think you are right." He said the first quickly, "The Act risks civil war within the city and the Godspawn citizens would most likely be slaughtered."

"And perhaps you would think that no bad thing after your encounter with the Satyr this evening?" She probed.

He shrugged and sipped his wine before answering, "He was just doing his job."
"And you yours, how did it go?"

"We destroyed the Cerberus radio tower, and got away with some useful Intel. No casualties."

"Good." She emptied her wine glass and handed it to him, "Cerberus rises too high in the city for my liking and this will silence them for a time."

"There is some concern that we do not push them hard enough." Jared risked the criticism, "We could remove them from the game and..."

"No." She interrupted, "The Cerberus have their place as do all of the ancient orders. The Chimera dominate because we seek to maintain balance, we do not push too hard one way or the other. It has always been so."

He did not argue, but simply walked to the small table to refill their glasses.
"This Satyr on the Watch is an interesting development. We should perhaps make contact, find his price." She mused.

Jared paused in the act of filling the glasses to slip the vial that Cutter had given him out of his pocket.

"I don't know." He answered, "Satyr are prickly about their honour."

"Everyone has their price." She said and he almost jumped out of his skin as she laid a hand upon his shoulder, he had not seen her move, she leaned forward and whispered in his ear, "If you pour that Bluedream into my wine I will make you squeal like a pig."

She nipped his ear with her teeth and he gave a resigned sigh as he slipped the vial back into his pocket.

"I promise to be gentle." She laughed as she took her glass from him.

"Do we need fear the High Parliament?" He asked at last thinking it best to change the subject.

"Of course." She replied, "but then they in turn should fear us. It is what maintains the balance."

"I don't think they care too much about balance."

"Perhaps not, but enough about that. You need rest and I need relaxation. Let us serve one another." And with that her arms were about his neck and she was kissing him deeply. Her body pressed against his own. She removed the wine glass from his hand and placed it next to her own on the table before leading him to the bed.

She was not gentle.

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