3rd of Zi'da 718
Conspiracies. Murder. None of that was anything new to the ex-convict. In one season she'd backstabbed friends, double-crossed factions of great power, and ran a slew of brutal assaults across Scalvoris, Rharne, and Rynmere in that order. She'd killed enough men and women that her hands should've been stained red with the blood she spilled. It had been about a full arc since the trial she committed her first murder. Ned had been his name. She could see his face in her head when she thought about him, even to this trial. He'd been one of her best childhood friends. Kind, gentle, and forgiving when she didn't deserve it. And for all of his merits she took his sword and buried it up to the hilt in his gut. Maxine had always been trouble from the start. A quick conversation with any of the orphanage staff or caretakers she'd come in contact with, and they'd all agree without hesitation. That trial out at sea with Ned had been her undoing though. It had been a violent downward slide out of the light from then onward. Far too late to look back now even if she wanted to. Far too late.
Seated in a Yaralon tavern, the ex-convict seemed determined to take yet another step down the dark road she walked. From her corner seat she'd taken her time getting a lay of the land. Well, everything within these four walls. By the third time she'd turned the barmaid away, Maxine had a good grip on the environment she'd nestled into. Break one she realized she was out of place. This was a tavern of regulars. Edgy, scarred, don't-fuck-with-me regulars. Had she not been from elsewhere she might've fit in. Alas she did not, and the occasional, distrusting glances shot her way made that clear. Break two she discovered the cattiness of the employees. Felicity, it turned out, was more than a pretty face. She was smart and conniving. Based on the way Felicity looked toward the elusive cook when backs were turned, poor Gretchen had no idea her husband was ruining the sheets with someone she poured ale with. By break three, well, she realized she'd been sitting there too long. But that was the point.
Maxine would see the person she was waiting for long before they spotted her. Her caramel eyes were focused on the door. Each ring of the bell elicited the raising of her head. Truth be told, she didn't know what to expect. She hadn't the slightest clue. When it came to rendering death, it was she who played the executioner with utmost exuberance. This one was different. Just this one time, it couldn't be her. It could. It could...but this way was better. She knew that. Decided that. Yes. This was the move. This was right. No turning back now. It had to be done. Better this way.
The door rang open and Maxine eased back in her seat. Her gaze appreciated the newcomer with an innate sense of knowing. Oddly enough, she relaxed upon the arrived despite the doubting suspicion in her stare. She gestured to the seat across from her. Silence. That was how she greeted the guest she'd invited to share her table. Silence and judgement, eyes glancing over them for the second or third time. At some point she knew she'd have to give it up. It hardly mattered. What mattered was whether they were capable of doing this job and doing it right. That's all.
"I heard you're good," Maxine allowed finally with an even tone. "Real good." A pause. She pursed her lips, brow furrowed like she was trying to drag herself out of that judgement play again. She shook her head. "But I don't trust what I hear. I trust what I know. I don't even know your name. So you tell me why the fuck your company sent you for me to hire?" Expression hard and mind going to her daggers should this stranger take her icy personality hard, Max would level on her with an expression that was anything but apologetic. This job was important. One shot. It had to be perfect. It had to be done right. She'd be damned if it was botched by an assassin who didn't live up to her hype.