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Dockside Caper: Second Time Around [closed]

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(post Caper and Black and Blue, because we're just crazy like that)


One more day. It had to count.


Zhi rubbed the back of her neck, yawning as she waited for her partners in crime to show their ugly mugs. Stealing something from a gang was never a good idea, but Zhi's ideas hadn't been limited by something so virtuous or self-preserving, of late. Had to risk some if you expected to walk away with the pot.


The sun hadn't yet risen. The docks were empty. The warehouses were guarded by skeleton crews, and those crews were tired, bored, and likely cranky. Their movements were predictable and regular, and that was the best kind for someone looking to break and enter.


They would be moving soon. Her blood was up, and hot, as anticipatory shivers started to steal down her back. She'd be in danger soon. She shifted from foot to foot.


Fog was rising off the waters. The air was, for once, relatively cool, though everything was damp and sticky. Not ideal, but Zhavi would take whatever she could get.


"Come on," she muttered. Yeah, so she'd been early. Didn't mean she couldn't be impatient.

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As he approached, adorned his guard attire, preparing for his shift, he saw Kink and stepped quietly. He didn't see Miza nor did he see anyone else. He knew there would be another one but didn't yet know who. It had been a crazy few days and emotional as well.


Between being soundly beaten in the fight with Miza (bruises still fresh on his face) and the news that his brother was alive and well and under a new name, hunting for him, he was emotionally and physically tired. The news of his brother had shaken him and made him afraid for the first time in a long while. Ruru needed to protect Alulu from him and he in turn was being protected by Miza.


He envisioned the arrow striking Nono in the chest and then he fell off the cliffs. Gods why hadn't he gone to make sure he was dead? Why'd he run off in fear afterward? That was a failure of his making.


And now that failure was looming over him and his friends and loved ones like a dark cloud that one knew was going to rain eventually, without fail. Sooner or later, that rain would fall and he prayed it ended with only death. Even it was for a second time.


But for now he needed to focus and as he approached Kink, he raised a hand slightly in a minimal wave, not wanting to attract unwanted attention.

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Miza had woken up later than she meant to. Her eyes still baggy, she sluggishly made her way through the docks. At Zhi's request, she had been getting less sleep between scouting the Arcanist's Guild and protecting Flit from his enemies. Even though she was awake, part of I'mimiza felt like she was still dreaming. Just a few days ago, she was on her way to Aldenard and now here she was slowly slipping back in to her old life with a few new twists.


In the past, she had only heard about The Heavy Handers from stories Zhi would tell her. Miza didn't know what to expect with this job. As long as Zhi was there though, she had a feeling the two of them would make it out of this alright like they always had in their "glory days."


The fog had caused her to take a couple of wrong turns at the docks. After a couple of self-inflicted smacks to the face, Miza was able to locate Zhi and Flit. She walked up to them and gave them a slight nod.


"Sorry, long night." She said in a low, hushed voice to Zhi.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A young man slowly made his way through the back areas of the warehouses.  He knew how to stay out of sight enough to not be seen by some random patrol, though he didn't exactly scream "stealthy!"  Nor did he seem as if he was looking for anyone or anything in particular.


"Man...  This sucks."  He said quietly to himself, as he slipped past the last patrol in the back, and made his way up toward the front from between two buildings.  "Got no food.  Got no gil.  An' those pricks think they're too good for me.  Heavy Handers my ASS!"  He turned back and raised his voice as he said the last two words, as if to taunt the patrols back there.  But none came.  "Tff...Whatever..."  He said, and continued walking.  "More like -Lame Handers.-"


And then he popped out from the buildings, and spied the small gathering.  He just made his way over without a care or thought, andstopped, raising one hand in a low wave, almost as if he belonged there.  "Sup."



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One. . .two. . .three. Zhi nodded to them each, giving Miza a quick flash of a grin before settling back into something more businesslike. For Zhi, that meant a smug little leer. "A'right, first thing's first. Flit, ye'll be on lookout -- did ye manage t'pull patrol where th' paperwork is hidden? Miza'll be second on lookout -- jes like th'old days, eh? -- an' ye --" she pointed to the last arrived. "Cap'n promised me someone what knows his way 'round liftin' things. Ye better be what he promised'r I'll be givin' him me best regards. What's yer name, then?"

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Ruru looked at the new face and grimaced. This was already risky enough and this one....he seemed too casual. Too relaxed for this job. His eyes snapped to Kink and went wide asking though the expression, "Him? Really?"


He heard Kink's question and nodded. "Aye. It's close enough, though Miza may have a bit more ground to watch."


His eyes went back to the new man and he couldn't help himself as he moved closer and hissed in a whisper, "Are you ready? I mean for this. We can't afford any screw-ups on this job."

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The new guy looked from one to the other as they talked about him.  He couldn't help but think they were pretty rude, being he was just stopping to say hello.  What was this stuff about a job, though?  A job sounded good.  He needed a job.  He dediced he'd play along.  Yeah.  That would work.  Probably.  He raises his right hand and scratched his cheek, then put both hands in his pockets, and he just sort of stood there casually.


"The hells?  What's -your- problem..."  He looked her over more carefully, and happened to catch a glimps of something around her. Her tail.  He was fishing for a word to call her, so he dediced to point out the first thing he saw other than her scrawny figure.  "Kink."


He then turned to Ruru.  "And what's -your- deal?  I can lift stuff just fine.  Jeez.  You guys are...Whatever."


Then he looked off to the side casually, and then back to Zhi. "Just call me Axel."

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Her first real job since she had made it back to Vylbrand. Of course Miza had done a few "errands" here and there around La Noscea as a sellsword, but this was definitely her first mission since her time as a 'Cuda. Perhaps that's why she felt butterflies fluttering about in her stomach. Or maybe that was excitement. Despite her rough past with Zhi and the little resentment she still held for her choice to join up with a gang, Miza didn't want to let Zhi down or appear like a complete waste of aether to Flit.


The arrival of the new guy caused her ears to twitch. She had never seen him before and she wasn't quick to trust new faces.  Still, he had to have shown up to this early gathering for some reason, right? Miza gave the man a simple nod and then looked back to Zhi. Clearly more concerned with the job than pleasantries, she uttered out "Just tell me where I need to be."

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Given Zhi's proclivities, this wasn't the best team ever. She'd more confidence in hirelings she hadn't worked with before, and while there was a certain reliability in Flit and Miza, this was about as much of an ass grab as she'd ever made.


She looked between them. She held up a hand. "Can it. Here on out, ye listen t'me. Ye listen for me." The hardest stare she had to offer was -- ding ding ding! -- given to Axel. Not that it was much of a surprise. She could understand rebelling against authority, but when it came to jobs, certain rules had to be given precedence.


"Flit, yer on patrol. Jes be like normal. But ye'll need t'give warning if patrol shifts'r somethin' changes. Miza, yer on close watch. Ye'll be outside th'buildin' we're liftin' from. Ye'll catch anythin' Flit doesn't. Stay as out o' sight as ye can. If yer seen, alarm'll be raised -- 'less ye silence 'em first. Either yer out o' sight, or they're down." She gave Miza a long look.


"Axel, yer wi' me. We're lookin' fer certain papers marked wi' a Sciavonesca seal, an' another mark. I'll know what it looks like. We know which room, but we'll have t'do some diggin'. In an' out, fast as we can."


They were so going to fail.


"If ye understand don't go gawpin' at me like landed fish. Move."

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Ruru listened to Kink's words and nodded at her instructions.


"Aye....I'll let you know if crap goes south on my end. You be careful too...watch yourselves in there." He flashed a hard glare at Axel and still a slight shake of his head.


He just knew this one was trouble. He then walked to check in for his guard shift, feeling in his gut that this was not going to go well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Axel gave a faux salute, flourishing his hand at the end, though he meant to follow through with whatever he was told to do.  "Aye aye, Boss."  He he answered.


He looked at the others, and wodnered just what the hell he was gettin ginto, exactly.  But it really didn't matter.  He had nothing to lose.  Then he looked back to his "boss", his expression changing from a careless, oblivious one to a more determined, expectant one.  Almost as if he was looking forward to it.

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