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Running With The Devil [Closed Story - Syldra's Revenge plotline]

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Dogberry sat at a table outside of The Bismarck, happily munching away on a salad across from a stern individual whose casual clothing couldn't hide the fact that he was most definitely a Maelstrom officer.


"Do you know how suspicious not eating meat makes y'look, Dog?" The officer asked, cutting into his own marmot steak.


"I eat fish," Dogberry said, shrugging. "You go ahead, eat all the red meat you want. It'll sit in your stomach like a rock. I'll pass on that."


"Sure, more for me," the officer said. "But that ain't the only thing suspicious about you?"


"Oh?" Dogberry looked up from his salad, and leaned back in his chair. "Go on, then."


"You wash out of the Maelstrom after the calamity," The officer began. "Sure, I don't blame you. Then you wander around for five years doing... nothing really of consequence. You start fighting in bareknuckle boxing matches, and acting as muscle for the pugilist guild and petty loansharks in Ul'dah. Spend your free time drunk and stoned, chasing skirts and basically just being a text book low-life."


"Guilty, yeah," Dogberry said and nodded in agreement.


"Then something lights a fire under your ass," the officer continued. "You take out a loan with a known crime boss known as 'Meat', and form a crew. 'Meat' conveniently disappears, so your debt goes free."


"You have no evidence for that claim," Dogberry interrupted.


"I never made any claims, I just said it's convenient," the officer said. "You come back to The Maelstrom last year during our big recruitment boom. You pick up a letter of marque, which, by the way I'm a little insulted you didn't come to me for. You start attacking Garleans and doing some hunting work. Something about a ghost whale or something. You start dealing in magitek pretty heavily. You know some pretty heavy hitters in the magitek game. Some of them are even close to the Garlond Ironworks. But you refuse to sell to any Maelstrom interests. Furthermore, you begin openly criticizing The Admiral, claiming not to trust her."


"I never said I don't trust her," Dogberry said. "I said I don't trust who comes after her. She's got so much power, an' even if she doesn't abuse it, her successor--"


"I don't give half a rat's ass," the officer said calmly. "It's not illegal to criticize The Admiral, just suspicious when selling weapons tech to others. Then you fall in with this... Stormwind fellow. We've got so few records on the guy. The only thing we have on him is through you. He gets you to start fighting primals. You lose your legs to Leviathan, but he builds 'em back. He sends you after Ifrit, and you lose a man. Get drunk. Get in a bar fight, then lose an honor duel when you piss off the man's regiment. Not long after, you start a pattern of raiding and hunting at sea, and small vacations in Ul'dah. You fight some moogles in the woods. I heard one of them knocked you out."


"It was a sucker punch," Dogberry said defensively.


"I'm sure. But now, you want a favor from me," the officer said. "Why? Like I even owe you one after all that BS."


"I'm surprised my file is that extensive," Dogberry said. "Maybe even a little flattered."


"Boy, you're just a small fish in a big ocean. But we do like to check up on you every now and again." The officer smirked.


"By 'we' you mean you," Dogberry said, sitting forward. "And you do owe me. You sent me on that damn mission."


"That mission saved you from dying at Carteneau," the officer said flatly.


"Or I could have saved Laughing Bird. And Greimoen." Dogberry said the name Greimoen and the officer flinched.


"You don't know that," the officer said. "There's no way you could know that."


"And don't think I'm an idiot," Dogberry leaned in over the table, putting his face closer to the officer's. "I know you knew a lot more about Syldra's purpose than you let on. You had to know. I felt the swell in the ocean. I was there.. I saw... things. If that moon hadn't exploded, who knows what--"


"Alright!" The officer said, and Dogberry sat back down. "So you owe me for that. Even if we weren't blood, we were kin, and you did me wrong. Because of you, I almost died. Hells, because of you, my woman and my sister died, too."


"Your sister was my woman," the officer said, contempt in his voice.


"But she was my sister first," Dogberry said, almost yelling. "So you owe me."


"Fine," the officer said. "What do you need?"


"I need an airship," Dogberry said, crossing his arms over his chest. He just played his hand.


"To where?" The officer asked.


"The Howling Eye." Dogberry smirked.


"No. We are NOT throwing away a twelve damned AIRSHIP by landing it on The Howling Eye!" The officer was yelling now, spitting mad.


"No need to land it," Dogberry said. "Just get us there."

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