[Slags Deep - The Beneath] You Think Darkness is Your Ally?

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[Slags Deep - The Beneath] You Think Darkness is Your Ally?

83 Ymiden 718

A wielder of flames had been left dead in her wake, and still her paranoia was not satisfied. The underground world had grown crowded with time even as the number of Level Seven prisoners was wont to dwindle. She was suffocating in this darkness, driven to her wits end at the thought of those plotting against her in the shadows. They were waiting, she'd convinced herself. They were watching and waiting for the perfect time to strike; the first moment in which Maxine could be caught completely unaware. The notion had finally overwhelmed her into this mad stalking through the tunnels filled with her enemies.

One-by-one she'd pick them off before they could execute their traitorous plot against her. Taking the perilous initiative to find and kill them first was a nearly suicidal plan by all calculations. Ran'dar had been right though. She was going to die in this place before she ever made it to her release date. Forgotten. Alone. They all were. There was no sense in preserving the soundness of her mind. With each kill, humanity and sanity together were slipping further from her view. The marked woman would happily wave to them as they vanished. Fortune favored the bold after all, and who was bolder than an irrational convict with absolutely nothing left to lose?

Max was always a creature of the night. Hangovers and injuries from the day before left her asleep for majority of the daylight breaks. Midday or sunset was usually when she roused herself from her bed to rejoin the rest of the social world. Sometimes it was to go to work. Other times it was straight for a tavern. Wherever she went when she arose, it was almost always to be up to no good. Now she had embraced the shadows for a whole reasons other than a lifestyle change. Light was rare in this world, blinding even now that she'd grown so accustomed to darkness. Torchlight left her uncomfortable by comparison. There was just something about the black blanket looming heavily upon her figure, masking her features and movements, that brought any feeling of safety anymore. She'd worn the shadows when she evaded the eyes of the Al'deurn until she was close enough to kill him. There would be no willing casting of them until this crazed vendetta was seen to its end. If it ever had an end.

The sound of something snapping brought the traveling killer to an abrupt pause. Her pupils dilated and her heart began to hammer in her chest. She held her breath as she froze completely in place, listening intently until that snapping came again a few trills later. Her hands clenched into tight fists. Bones. Someone nearby was snapping bones. She'd heard Ran'dar break apart enough when he was preparing their immoral meals to survive. The fruits of his work, her throwing daggers, rested against her hip beneath a makeshift belt to prove it. Her head oriented to the continued, subtle sound. Just around the corner laid her next target. Just around the corner, and with her imperfect sword raised, she could bring another threat to its end.

Slowly, Maxine's feet began to move in the direction of her next victim. As she neared the corner, however, an inexplicable frustration began to bubble in her mind relentlessly. The easy rush and driving of the sword had become such a bland method of death she'd rout. It had grown predictable, and thus disappointingly unsatisfying. No. The prisoner didn't want to just take this person's life. She wanted a fight; a chance to prove her meddle against those that doubted the strength of the one who claimed the water. She would gain the attention of this robust, unknown enemy. Maxine would make them remember what it was life to be truly afraid, just as she was when she was first condemned to die at the hands of her peers. Then, and only then, would she work to take their life for needless sport.

Max quietly turned the corner as one of her hands acquired the gladius from her hip. Another snap echoed in the tunnel. Maxine focused on toggling her sense of hearing to the forefront, letting the auditory stimuli of various echoes cue her in on her target's exact position. It took only a moment before she had enough information to form a general idea. Whoever they were, they were crouched against a wall across from her. The scent of raw flesh wafted into her nostrils. It wasn't putrid as uncooked as it was, which made her conclude it must've been a recent kill.

That makes two of us...but I'm about to score the second.

Maxine started to walk past her mark, gladius carelessly dragging against the gravel-ridden floor behind her to elicit a subtle, eerie noise. As predicted, the sound brought the other prisoner to an immediate startle. They stood, whipping around with a woman's hiss as the dragging came to an end. That's all they offered, that warning sound. There was no rushing into the dark to engage the disturbance. A smirk crossed Maxine's face. Whoever this woman was, she seemed to have less of a handle on lightless world than she did. This was Level Seven though. There was a reason this other woman had remained here so long. One question was yet to be answered: was this new enemy marked or endowed with magic?

"I can hear you," the other woman whispered. "I can hear your breathing, bitch." The inmate's feet adjusted audibly upon the floor and her head slowly swiveled back and forth. It was strange. The more the woman spoke, the more drawn to her Maxine inexplicably was. "Only a matter of time before I figure out just where you are. Then you're finished..." She took a couple tentative steps into the dark. Maxine's brow furrowed. Despite lacking the enhanced senses the Chrienborn had acquired, the other inmate had indeed started to figure out her exact position. Fast. She felt eyes settle on her shadow, and in surprised panic, Maxine traded her sword to throw one of the daggers from her hip toward her target. An intended miss led the bone dagger to rattle against the stone wall to her mark's right. The other inmate startled and rotated toward the sound, hands defensively raised. After a couple trills, she seemed to figure out that the ghost haunting her had vanished. Once again Maxine had the upper hand. "Show yourself, coward!"

With her enemy's back turned, Max knew it was the time to attack. She rushed the other inmate, slamming into her to knock them both to the ground. Seated over her in a top mount, Max wasted no time grasping the woman by the throat with one hand while the other procured another dagger. Wild, mindless; Maxine rose her weapon high with a hiss so bring the short dance to a violent end. That's when she felt the woman rise up beneath her to assault her attacker with something Max never saw coming. Lips pressed to hers with an emotion Maxine couldn't even begin to unpack. She couldn't see her in the dark, but some force told her the woman kissing her was undeniably attractive. Something in her subconscious was wrenched suddenly to the surface of her mind to possess her. Although women were anything but her cup of tea, Max found herself lost in the strange twist of events, kissing the stranger back.


Her fingers squeezed upon the stranger's throat, shoving her back down onto the ground. The other woman gasped at the vice. The dagger rushed down in search of a chest. Just before she could find desired purchase, a hand caught Maxine's at the wrist. The next thing the killer knew, the stranger was turning the tables to throw Max on her back with the dagger pinned to the ground. Max grunted her frustration, listening intently for the sound of a weapon finally making its entrance into the battle. It never came. Instead she felt lips again, this time on her neck. The tension in her arm as she battle to bring her dagger up from the ground loosen along with her resistance to this touch. Hungry, aggressive kisses planted along her throat until the stranger was breathing a teasing breath against her ear.

"So violent," the other woman purred mockingly. "Stop fighting this. Give yourself to me." She shifted her face to hang just above Maxine's while one of her legs rubbed suggestively against her quarry's thigh. "It would be so hot, you and me. Can't you feel the tension between us?" Maxine's brow furrowed but her body seemed to relax despite herself beneath the power of this stranger. The other woman dared to release one of her hands from the dagger to trace her quarry's thin figure. A sigh exited the hunter. The other woman drew her attention from her attacker's body run a thumb along Max's bottom lip. "That's it. Relax, love. You're mine now." She lowered herself to secure the victory of created lust, and she was so close to doing just that when the dagger slipped from her grasp into her side. "Ah! Bitch!" The stranger reared up in agony before she was thrown off Maxine entirely. When she rose and went to rush the place the dagger-wielder had just been, she found nothing but emptiness. Once again, Audnev's Favored had moved back into the only embrace besides Mercedes' that she authentically craved: the shadows.

"You bitch!" the insult echoed about in search of the hunter.
"Whore," Maxine's growling, airy whisper admonished from the darkness.
"I'm going to make you pay for that!" The Sesser shrieked and rushed toward the voice, but once more, found nothing but darkness. "You're fucking dead!" The Chrienborn's brow raised at the sound of some sort of transformation. The next noise to strike her focused ears was that of something rapidly and randomly cutting through the air. She blinked.

What in the fuck is that?

The Sesser's arms-turned-talons ripped wildly through the tunnel space in search of Maxine. The unrelenting swings put the doubly marked woman squarely on the defensive, backing up and pivoting out of the way of the blind strikes seeking to tear her to tatters. She threw the second dagger in her hand across the tunnel to rattle off another section of stone. The Sesser jumped at it, tearing off in a new direction that temporarily gave Max a moment to breathe and think. In a trill she had her plan. It was time to execute.

A third and final dagger had been procured and raced along the back of her enemy. The Sesser wailed and turned with talons swinging for purchase. The sound of running feet drew the seductive woman to her left in a dash only to be met with another back slash. Something struck another wall. The last dagger discarded? The enraged woman went defensively swinging as she searched from whence the projectile must've come. Another farce. That third dagger cut a gash in her cheek as the elusive hunter raced by. A trill later it was back, jabbing a hole in the side of the Sesser's scrawny bicep. Panic began to set in. Like Maxine, sound was how she had come to understand the dark world around her. If she couldn't trust her ears, she was blind. Blind and dead. The Sesser knew that as she bled, twisting and turning in place with chest heaving. In the darkness, Maxine's heart was racing for a whole different reason. She was feeding off the fear, relishing in the hopeless confusion her deception wreaked upon her enemy. This was a new sadism she was just learning to understand and enjoy, but all good things had to come to an end. Everything stopped when the gladius finally shot through the Sesser's middle.

The talons slowly faded back into hands with the mortally wounded woman's frightened gasp. Teeth grit, Maxine twisted the blade brutally in her kill's center before yanking it free. Blood slung against the tunnel walls. The Sesser peered down blindly at the injury before her eyes stared into the darkness at her murderer. The gladius slipped back into the makeshift belt, and as the Sesser stumbled backward, Maxine found herself compelled to lunge forth to ease the fall. Slowly, she lowered the dying woman down toward the ground. Holding her there was the only kindness to be offered to the Sesser while Maxine watched her bleed.

"What's the name of the one who killed me?" the dying woman demanded softly.
"Maxine," Max answered simply after a couple trills of silent deliberation.
"Max?" the Sesser questioned rhetorically before attempting a dark laugh that devolved into agonized sucking for air. "Don't you care to know who you managed to kill?"
"No," the doubly marked woman replied sternly, honestly.
"I'll tell you anyway. It's Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn Brentworth." A pause came as she took a moment, trying to find more air to fill her lungs. "Someone should know."

Staring down at the shadow, Maxine realized rather clearly that she had nothing to say to Gwendolyn Brentworth. Nothing at all to say to this woman she'd slain because she could; because she needed to. Not an "I'm sorry" or a prayer to send her into whatever, if any, afterlife came next. She just listened and pressed her lips together as she felt the Sesser's body convulse painfully in her arms. Too far gone were they both in this existence to remember that they'd been someone on the surface. Gwendolyn Brentworth had been someone once. A daughter. A friend. A lover. It was a long forgotten truth recalled only when it was too late. Only when one had reached their end and one had been the method of it. Another convulsion. Max strangled the quiet voice of humanity that threatened to surface with the sensation. All the while Gwendolyn worked until she could weather the anguish of words.
"I know...for just a trill even...you felt it. They all do. And you felt it, too? Didn't you...Max."

Then she was gone. She felt the Sesser leave the shell of her body as it softened in her grasp. The very trill life faded from the woman's eyes, Maxine felt the artificial attraction rendered from the blessing release its hold upon her. She lowered the corpse's head upon the gravel and rose to her feet, collecting her scattered weapons. Fresh blood on her face and a newfound taste for sadism rushing in her bloodstream, Maxine moved further into the tunnel to forget Gwendolyn Brentworth. No blemish would appear upon her sanity for it had wholly slipped. More would die this trial, and no magic or Immortal had a hope to save them.

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Re: [Slags Deep - The Beneath] You Think Darkness is Your Ally?

Thread Review
I do love me a good Maxine thread, and I particularly loved the finish. Having to hear the name was just a special treat on this thread. Well done!
  • Skill Points - +10
  • Renown - +0
  • Skill Knowledges
    1. Deception: Dragging a Gladius Upon the Ground
    2. Deception: Throwing Something to Create Confusion
    3. Deception: Using Sound to Hide Your Location
    4. Deception: Attack From an Unexpected Angle
    5. Deception: Switching from Affection to Murder
    6. Discipline: Resisting a Sesser's Lust
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Player 2
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  • Non-Skill Knowledges
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