Born to Kill



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Detorqueo waited a moment for Fei to deal with the music, but when it was apparent she wasn't going to, he dug her cell phone out of her pocket. After staring at it for a brief moment in bafflement, he flipped it open and hit the button labelled 'TALK.' He almost dropped it when a voice came out of it.

"Fei ... Hello ...?"

After a brief pause, he answered. "Fei's drunk. Can I help you?"

"Hello? Uh ... Are you a friend of Fei's?" The voice - presumably Fei's father - sounded about as perplexed as Detorquio was.

"That...would be a reasonably accurate description, I suppose."

"You're not her boyfriend, are you?"

"I'm going to assume that's a more loaded question than it sounds like."

"I'm Fei's father. And you are ...?"

"I had gathered that you were her father, yes. I go by -" He cut himself off with a fake cough, remembering that Fei spoke latin. So it was probably a fair bet that her father did as well. "Escher, these days," he finished, as though that was what he'd been about to say anyway.

"Alright then ... Escher. And where is Fei now?"

"Holding a pillow over her head," he replied frankly as Fei did just that, "presumably so she can pretend we aren't talking right now."

"... You're in her apartment?"

"That would be the logical conclusion, yes."

"... And you're in her bedroom?"

"Well, I could hardly carry her to her bed without being in her bedroom, now could I?"

"... How old are you?'

"That's a matter of some debate."

"It's actually a rather simple question. For example, Fei is 21 years old."

"Yes, well, good for her. I can say, quite definitely, that I am older than 21 and younger than Rome."

"Younger than Rome ... THE Rome? The historic city?"

"I was thinking of the empire, personally, but yes. Do you know of any other Romes?"

"Mm ... And you've known Fei for how long?"

"Long enough for her to finish a quarter-bottle of pomegranite rum. Undoubtedly not one of her better ideas, but who am I to judge?"

"So you've only known her for ... ten minutes?"

"Closer to forty, I think. I had the bottle most of the time."

"Dun tell 'im I'm drinking!" Fei's muffled voice slurred from under the pillow, and Detorqueo snorted.

"You're not 'drinking,' you're drunk. And it's too late for that in any case. Would you rather I told him I was your newly-acquired slave?" he bit out sarcastically. And somewhat bitterly, if truth be told. For all his sarcasm, it was, essentially, accurate.


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Nadia looked up at Marius' face, uncertain of what to do or say that would make the situation any better. He seemed ... tangled up in something, like she often felt. But she didn't dare bring up anything that might be taken as pity or contempt or risk having him abandon her.

"Maybe ... we go? You rest somewhere and I watch," she suggested. As soon as she said those words, she covered her mouth. "My best ... apologies. I don't mean to ... um ... um ... affend."


Fei was reaching for the phone or something to strangle Detorqueo when she lost her balance and fell to the floor. "Ooof!" She got on her hands and knees somehow and lifted her head. Her eyes narrowed on Detorqueo but whether she meant to glare, was merely trying to focus on him or trying to fight through her liquor-induced haze was anyone's guess. "I could do without the sarcasm, buddy."

The room began to spin again. She closed her eyes and sat back on her ankles, legs tucked under her. "Look, I don't need a slave. I don't need any of this ... I need ..." She yawned and leaned against the bed. "I just need to relax a bit. Then I can figure this out and ... you know ..." In no time at all, she was fast asleep.

... Her dad apparently forgotten.

"Hello? Escher, hello? Is Fei there?" Fei could have forgotten about him but the same could not be said about Mr. Talbot.


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Marius tilted his head to the side. "You don't offend me. It might seem strange after so many years of rest, but I think I would like to sleep. One cannot truly sleep in weapon form, it is like the voices of our gods speak to our ears, they whisper to us of the times and how they change, they murmur with the seasons while we watch and wait but never come to ease."

Marius stood, watching the girl. She wasn't... incredibly irritating. He could tolerate her. "Where would I go to rest? Is there an inn in this town?"


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Nadia pressed her lips together and looked around slowly. An inn. An inn. She hadn't been here long and, quite frankly, this was her first day of exploring she had gotten to do since arriving. Hence, she didn't know of any inns available--not without consulting someone first. She had basically stayed at her father's home, lying around and just working up the courage to take a step outside of the door. It was a bit embarassing to think of that now.

"You may ... come home with me ... and rest? There is ... not many people," she said, a bit sadly, although she didn't mean for it to come out that way. She suddenly smiled brightly. "It will be fine. Here." And she began pulling him in the direction she had come.

It took them a bit longer than she had anticipated but they finally reached the iron gate, the only opening through the tall, foreboding stone wall and beyond that the mansion and its grounds. She pulled out a card with a magnetic strip from around her neck. There were usually security guards present but she had no idea where they were. She slipped the card into a reader next to the gate's entrance.

"We go yes?" she asked as the iron gates swung open.

Nadia didn't spot the security guards' bodies lying in the bushes just a few feet away, or notice the malevolent stare of a creature not quite human crouching next to them, watching and waiting.