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 Egg Thief (keystroke for 10 characters)

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Posts : 15
Join date : 2012-04-30

PostSubject: Egg Thief (keystroke for 10 characters)   Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:54 pm

(Just a working title, but it works good enough now. some of you may have already seen this, or the first part of it, but i added a lot to it. This is about 8 pages)

There are few things more valuable then a dragon egg. They’re hard to fake, they are very pretty to look at, and dragons can only be safely trained from birth, so the noble and warriors class alike couldn’t have enough of the things. Of course, before you can get an egg, you’ve got to find a nest, climb the mountain(they are always on god damn mountains), get past the mother. Out of every job in the land, none was so lacking employees then this field.
John was an egg thief. This told a lot about his personality. One, he was slightly suicidal. The survival rate of egg thieves were lower the solders, more widows were produced then eggs in this profession. Which leads to an interesting point, John was not married. He was about twenty, and was forced into this profession because of a previous debt.
He was poor, but you did not really need money for this. A suit of armor, even leather, would impede movement too much. Stealth was valued more then any other defense. The gods had not yet placed a single item on earth that could both be carried by man and stop a dragons fiery breath, so armor was near useless, though many a poor egg thief had not gotten this memo, and they served as reminders up the mountain side.
No, what one really needed was time, effort, brains, and knowledge. John had spent a week finding the mountain, another week preparing, and was currently in the later half of week three, and near the top of the mountain now. He had memorized this dragons cycle, and moved only when it was not in flight. He had at least another day till the top.
The only sound this morning was his sandals treading meer whispers into the hard earth. He wore cotton padding under his tunic, had a short sword at his belt, and a pack of utilitarian items. It was all he had, he had to take this egg and sell it by the end of the month before the Bounty hunters got the green light to end his life. His brown hair was short, his green eyes were wide, powerful, cunning, but not in a brutish force, more of a human, cynical, knowing power. His angular face was clear, all except a single scar under his chin, a reminder of what would happen if he came back empty handed again.
He moved quickly, like a feather on the wind, and quickly made it to the opening of a cave just in time. When the sun rose, the dragon would wake and fly, he needed cover… As he turned a corner he gasped and backed away quickly.
He remembered at this moment that Dragons USUALY choose to make their nests at the top of mountains. This one had chosen this hole. The hole went from one side of the mountain to the other, with a football fields worth of rock removed from the interior. He saw the dragon very well, its green scaly skin, the broken, bony spears jutting from it’s joints, and it’s beak like mouth, which he knew encased rows upon rows of fearsome, and flammable teeth. This put a damper on his plans. There was nowhere to hide except a few sparse boulders. Thankfully, the Beast was still asleep. It’s wings covered it’s prize, the eggs John knew to be there. John licked his lips and sat down behind the corner, quickly eating the rest of the moldy bread he had been saving in his pack. He needed his strength now, he would find more food once he escaped. Hell, he could feast with whatever money he had left, but first, he had to hide.
He quickly found a pile of ashes, bones, and blackened armor that used to be human. Though it did not protect it’s last wearer, John put it on, covered his body with the soot, and waited for the dragon to fly out.
He heard the growl and held his breath, playing dead like his life depended on it.
He closed his eyes, heard the flap of wings, and felt the wind blow by his face as the beast exited it’s hole in the wall. John waited another minute before opening his eyes, stripping the armor off, dusting himself off, and sneaking into the open Cavern without a sound.
Light came in from both sides, he had to quickly move in and out before the mother found it’s prey. He rushed over to the eggs and cursed when he saw them.
Nearly all of them were already hatched. The half blind mongrels littered the nest, useless baby dragons, already bonded with their mother. Not worth the trouble of stealing. He searched and found only one egg still unscathed. He crept; making sure that not even the chicks would notice him, and brought the egg into his pack. It was as heavy as bucket of water, but he maneuvered the cotton in his pack to protect it. The chicks were still asleep when he had stolen their brother. Once the egg was loosely packed, he made his way towards the exit. He was much heavier when he got up to his feet, but it was a happy weight. He had succeeded, though he still had half the job to do yet. He had to get off this mountain.
It was a clean job. He was getting better. Not a single pup woken up…
Then he heard it. That sound that curdles the blood of all egg thieves. The Mother was coming back with food. John quickly moved to a nearby boulder and slid behind the rock just as he began to hear the call a second time. The dragon chicks were all awake, all roaring for their meal. He felt the wind, and the ground shook as the dragon landed. John gulped. He would have to escape soon. He looked out from behind his shelter.
He saw a small, half bloody body inside the dragons jaws. It was an armored solder, poor soul was probably a scout. John didn’t owe allegiance to any nation, so he was not quite sure whose side this person was on, but he was quite the petite fella… not that John could brag, being skin and bones himself.
His heart went cold when the dragon shook the body and one of the eyes opened, and the bodies lips opened to let out a small groan. It was still alive. And it sounded like a woman. A girl. What the hell kind of army puts girls into the front lines? Well, it could have just been a small boy… but figure was defiantly effeminate.
Not that it mattered of course. It simply made John a little less comfortable doing nothing. Not that he was comfortable in any way. The body still hung limp, there was blood on the solders face, arms, legs, armor… but he could not discern from where.
The dragon slowly lowered the body over the pit of death, the babes began to nibble at the tips of the solders limp fingers… must have hurt like hell.
“Help.” He heard the woman utter in his direction with a gasp of pain.
He immediately twisted back behind cover as he saw the dragon move towards the echo of the prisoner words. That bitch. Her job was to die for her country, his was to live and steal eggs. One of them was not doing their job properly. Why couldn’t she just die like she was supposed too?
His internal rant was interrupted by a massive footstep… the dragon was going to check the rock he was hiding behind. John unhooked his backpack and silently drew his short sword from it’s scabbard. He tried to control his breathing and close his eyes… he concentrated on the vibrations in the rock… he felt the beast shift it’s weight, take another step…
He jumped, vaulted over the rock, and faced the fearsome beast for single short moment, feigning an actual, fair challenge, before jumping, landing on the shocked Dragons snout and stabbing his cold steel into the green monsters eye socket.
The Beast flew back in pain and shock, dropping John and the solder to the ground. The girl could not move, but John quickly took his pack back up over his shoulder and made a run for the exit. The Dragon, with the sword still half stuck it it’s skull, tore about and locked its other eye on John as he sprinted.
It roared, charged, spread it’s wings, opened it’s jaws, and just as John prepared for a horrible death by fire, he saw the bloody, half alive corpse of the solder slice her side arm, a jagged knife, into the thin leathery wing of the beast. The dragon shuddered in pain and redirected it’s jaws as it’s wing ripped away from the girl and her body was flung back against the rock wall.
She could have run. Left him to die, but she had used up her strength to wound the creature…
John was not a kind man. Hell, he had broken his share of promises. But he always paid back a debt. He cursed at his perverse honor code, dropped his bags again, and charged at the dragons blind side.
He saw the spark, the white teeth spread, the dragon had just inhaled, but John adeptly jumped to a rock, then vaulted right at the dragons tall face and slammed his palm into the hilt of the long dagger in it’s eye, piercing the thick skull of the beast and stabbing into the brain. The Dragon stopped instantly after a single moment of pain, and fell to the ground, slain, and bloodied. John rolled as the body fell, and with the exception of a nasty bruise from the fall, he was clean of any damage.
He could have gotten himself killed. Note to self, repair honor code. He didn’t need to pull this shit anymore. Not when he was so close to being a free man again. He wondered what would happen to the baby dragons for a moment…
After not hearing their chatter, he realized the mother had landed on them… well, at least they wouldn’t starve. Hungry little buggers got a quick death. But what about the would be food…
He turned to the wall and saw the woman… he knew it was a woman now. She was coughing blood, and one of her eyes was caked shut, but her shoulder to hip ratio, as well as the subtle curves on her face, gave her a very feminine look. She grinned for a moment, realizing she was alive, and then, her other eye closed, and her breathing became irregular.
“Oh come on.” John said, making his way to the solder. He took her from the wall and stretched her out on the ground, trying not to open any of the clotting wounds. He couldn’t let her die after all that could he? He risked his life, she risked hers, hell, he never had that kind of interaction with anyone before.
He observed the body… it looked like the armor was bent in on it’s self. It was segmented plates over chainmail. He quickly undid the leather straps in the armor and removed it, eliciting a much more normal breathing pattern… but she was still bleeding. He frowned, as he looked over the body again. There was no head trauma, nothing more then small to moderate cuts and bruises of her arms and legs and face… most of the blood was coming from her core. He wormed the chainmail off of her half awake body, and then hesitated with her tunic underneath…
Hell, this was not the time to be prudish. Her life was on the line. He ripped off the cloth from her body, and stripped her of every garment she had. He felt her goose bumps form from the cold air on her bare skin, and John did not waste time ogling her long legs, curved waist, toned midriff, rounded breasts, cute face, or short red hair, … well, he did not waste much time. Just a second. Or maybe two. She was very beautiful, despite the blood… which he still could not find the source of. He turned her body over gently and found it… one of the dragons teeth had ripped through the mail and into her back, not to the spine, but almost.
He took strips of cloth from his bag(he had prepared for the worst) And wrapped her midriff, covering her ribs and bloody side in the cloth. As he looked for more wounds he washed as much of the blood off of the body as possible. He caught himself spending a bit too much time on her womanly parts, but not for an instant did he consider taking advantage of her. Well, no more then he already was. It was not that he was above such temptation, but that he felt a strange loyalty to this solder.
He produced another tunic from his bag, a little too big, but still, he was able to put it over her shoulders and cover up her body with it.
Then came another decision. Should he carry her down? He was a nice guy, but he had to carry the egg too. He sighed. He had very little water, and no food. He would not survive long like that…
Wait… He eyed the slain beast behind him…
…He wondered what dragon meat tasted like…

Michael kept close to Sarah as they entered the dark tavern. It was mid day but the light failed to penetrate the darkness of the building. It was a nest of rats, snakes, and vermin of a human shape. He led Sarah through the dark with his good eye and put her up upon a barstool.
“You got ah funny looking face.” Michael turned to face the wretch who spoke to him. The man, if you could call it a man, was a wrinkled and had a face that conveyed perversion, grime, and sin. “What’s with the eye patch? You some kind a pirate?” he spoke in a vulgar dialect. But although he could understand, Michael did not respond.
“I would like some bread and milk.” He asked the man at the other side of the bar.
“So would I.” the tender spoke with a withered grin and an unclean smile.
“We got cleared out by warlords last week, got nothing to go on but trade and bounty…”
Michael locked his eye on the wretch beside him once more as the customers began to encircle him and his ward.
“Girly got some pretty violet eyes under her hood. We all sees them when she walked in. Ain’t natural.” The wretch licked his lips. “She’s one o them demons, I knows it. Law man pay a bushel of apples or that kind of meat.” The exits were blocked, and Michael inched closer to the girl. “Now you seem like one of them itchy finger types, but dun you even think bout it. Don’t care if’n you got yer bastard sword strait from the demon, taint faster then my dagger. So how bout we split it. Apple each. You keep the extra…”
“Michael.” The girl spoke in sigh. “If there’s no food here we will have to go to the next. I don’t feel like listening to the Beggars anymore.”
“You got no choice girl…” The wretch drew his dagger and the full force of over 10 men rushed in at the couple at once with greedy hands like a swarm of insects. The blade glinted, Michael stood, shifted, grabbed, twisted, and threw the first assailant over his head at the other attackers. As they stumbled the rusty blade of the knife flashed in Michaels hands from brief contact with the suns weak rays and a man screamed for an instant before being forever silenced.
A hand reached for the girl but was severed before it reached it’s target. An artery was slit in the darkness and blood splattered across the large room. A shadow charged at Micheal with fury, but was quickly disemboweled and kicked back wince it came. A flurry of hands feet and blades danced in the black light until a strange calm settled, leaving the girl untouched, her guardian unscathed, and one other form left standing, holding a stump that used to hold his hand.
“Wha… What are you?” the man murmured in anguish and fear. Michael tossed the rusty blade to the bloody floor in disgust and stretched his neck in boredom. His sword was still in it’s scabbard.
“I am Sir. Michael, Guardian of Rezun’s one and true bloodline.” He looked at the traumatized man and then continued. “She is Lady Sarah. Sister to the tyrant Maria, And heir to the demon Lord Zokra.”
The mans eyes widened. “D…. demon….”
“As her guardian I provide her with my blood and body. But I cannot protect her if I die in the process… I’m afraid you will have to do.” The shocked mans eyes never wavered from Michael until the girl moved once more, removing her hood to show black hair, pale skin, and violet eyes. She smiled a devilish grin with teeth that gleaned like knifes.
“She feeds off of the living.” He said. “And a full life, is a full meal…”

It tasted like snake meat, but tougher. But who was he to complain. He had a new dragon skin hide in his bag and his belly was halfway full.
From the smell, he supposed, the solder began to wake. Her groggy eyes began to open.
“Who are you.” She said, becoming much more lucid in a moment of panic. She winced and clutched her side.
“John. And you?” He responded.
“Gabriel, of the 2nd battalion of the Rozen faction. Where are my clothes?” She asked suspiciously.
“Here, there, everywhere. Mostly in that bloody pile though.” He pointed at said pile. Gabriel covered her chest quickly.
“What did you see?” She asked.
“A gash that I could fit my arm through.” John avoided the obvious accusation and pointed at her side. “I’d calm down if I were you. Those things wont hold if you move around too much.”
The solder blushed. “You didn’t need to do that.”
“Yea, I could have let you die.” John said. He then motioned to a charred piece of meat over the fire “Dragon Steak?”
She slowly picked up the food with a contemplative look. Then her eyes widened in realization and she looked him dead in the eyes, then to the semi-stripped carcass behind him.
“You killed it.” She said in surprise.
“Er, yea.” He said. “The pups too. Well, I didn’t aim for that, but I guess I should take my credit where it’s due.”
“Are… are you a slayer?”
A Slayer. He wished. Slayers were heroes who killed dragons for a living. With runes, demons, angels, and magic of all forms to help them carry their legendary weapons into battle, they fought off the evil spawn from hell, for a price. Slayers were seen as heroes to the common man, as greedy parasites by nobility, and as scum by royalty, who customarily had to pay with their own daughters hand in marriage to the half men half monsters. Not to say there weren’t good-hearted Slayers, just that power got to their heads a lot. However, by the look of this girl, she was a common person…
“…Who else would I be?” He smiled deceptively.
“Egg thief?” She insinuated. His lie didn’t seam to hold for more then a second.
“What gave me away?” He asked.
“That number you pulled, running behind that boulder when the dragon came at you.”
“You saw that.” He laughed awkwardly. Gabriel was not amused.
“… But how did you kill it?” She asked.
“Hmm?” John took a bite from his kill. “What do you mean?”
“Those things… generals ride them, only heroes slay them…”
“Believe me, hundreds of years of training, and millions of years of evolution,” He started, then he snapped his fingers. “can be ended by and instant of mischief. In a fair fight, I wouldn’t stand a chance. But you would be surprised what surprise can do.”
“You sound like a general yourself” She said with a smile.
“Maybe I’ll keep the egg… get myself a dragon, be my own general.” He smiled.
“Where do you hail from?” She asked.
“Some poor ass village down in the swamps of Wroken.” He said.
“You are from Wroken?” She asked suspiciously.
“Oh, your fighting that place aren’t you… don’t worry, you can have it for all I care.” He waved her off. “I don’t have family there or anything.”
“No family?” she asked. “Parents?”
“Died when I was five. ” He said, drinking a sip from his water sack.
“A Wife?” She asked. He shook his head.
“Husband?” she asked. He choked on his water.
“Er, no.” He said after gaining his breath. “I know I don’t look all that masculine but…”
“No, Just curious. A man your age.” She said looking at him up and down. “Not married yet.”
“Well, whats your story? Woman in the army?” She pursed her lips. “Very progressive. I always said women were more bloodthirsty then men, but I didn’t know Rozen, or any other place did that… “
“They don’t.” she interrupted.
“Oh.” He responded.
“No one saw me without my armor before.” John scratched his back awkwardly. “They needed a man from every family, and my father was far too old. So I took his place in secret.”
“I don’t think he would be happy to know you nearly got eaten by a dragon.” He said.
“No one can know.” She said.
“Yea yea, I pretty much guessed that.” John responded. “We could probably get your armor bent back in shape with a little work. Make it look like you killed the thing yourself and marched right back.”
Gabriel was silent for a few moments. ”So, where are you going to go after your payday?” She asked.
“North probably.” He said. “Warmer up there, get myself a house in the islands.” He paused. “I guess your going to do your army thing right?” she nodded in thought. She started to eye him strangely. John tried to ignore the looks. “You know, now that your up, we should probably get moving. I have a bit of a deadline to keep.”
“Yea, sure.” She agreed. John stomped out the fire, packed, wrapped up the new suit of armor, and helped Gabriel to her feet. The whole of her body was up against his… He shook his head and helped her walk.

He used to be a cavalier, with a suit of armor, a few acres of land and a hundred serfs at his disposal. What was he doing here?
“Aaron, concentrate.” He heard a voice. He sighed.
“I said I’ll keep watch and I’m doing it.” He responded in the trees. He continued to look up at the mountain paths for any sign of the rouge.
“How can you keep watch with you eyes closed?” She asked him again from the base of the tree.
“Lyra, I’ve been doing this for years, trust me.” She grunted and leaned against the tree in boredom once more.
“Why are we even doing this? Can’t a black knight get a better job then being a bounty hunter on a leash?”
She brought up a good point, but Aaron had a better one, “It’s basically the same thing, just more flexibility. But if you want to leave you can…”
“Look, there is a carnival show in Potersville down the road.” She interrupted. “He is most likely headed there anyways, why not drop down and wait for him there…”
“Page.” Aaron interrupted her. “Shut. Up.” For a moment there was silence.
“Can you at least teach me while we’re here…”
“For Gods sake Lyra, I’m on a job. Can’t you entertain yourself for a few minutes?” Aaron continued to scout from his perch with half closed eyes.
“I heard there’s a wizard there who can make a person disappear.” She continued.
“Maybe you should go be his vassal.” Aaron suggested. “In my line of work that trick would make things a lot easier.”
“I would, but he’s a but out my league.” She joked. “You know, they say he is the best this side of…”
“Lyra, I see him, get me my bow and lens.” Aaron interrupted. He outstretched his hand and gripped both items as she quickly handed them up the branches. He put the bow around his body and looked through his lens up the wall of the mountain.
“What do you see?”
“From the looks of his, he has an egg in his bag…”
“Good, mission accomplished…”
“But we also have a newcomer.”
“What? We’ve been here for days, did you miss someone…”
“I don’t know, but this changes things. We will have to watch him some more, Make sure he gets to where he is supposed to with that egg.”
Lyra rolled her eyes and sat with her legs outstretched in boredom. “More watching and waiting…”
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