Silent Scream-IC

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
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Alone...the silence stretched from minutes to hours...a tiny scratching caused the hooded figure to gaze quickly in the direction it came from...a mouse skittered across the floor. Beneath her mask a smile tickled her lips as she realized the mouse could not detect her presence. Outside the darkened room she heard a voice, then footsteps drew near.

Without a bit of hesitation a tall elderly gentleman strode into his bedroom. It was his house, what did he have to fear? As a member of the Stormwind Military, he had priviledges. A big house, servants to wait on him. He lit the oil lamp that hung on the wall next to the bed. A bit on the vain side, he had a mirror on his wall above the dresser. He paused to run a gnarled hand through his gray hair. It was cut short and neat, he liked it that way. As he fingered his moustache and combed through his beard he thought he heard something.

A tingle shot down his spine as he reached over to turn the wick of the lamp so it would light the area better. His eyes scanned the room and he just caught sight of the mouse as it fled in terror. Shaking his head and smiling he started to walk to the door to call for the butler. For once he thought maybe he should have listened to his cook and gotten a cat to patrol the house.

As he walked to the door the floor boards creaked with his steps. The closet was on the far side of the room and he did not see the long slender black tube slide out from the clothing hanging there. A tiny dart, loaded with a poison lethal enough to bring down an elekk with a single drop, flew out of the tube and hit the back of his neck. The effect was instantaneous. His breath stopped, and he sunk to the floor. Whirling motes of flashing light danced in his vision for but a few moments and then went black.

The mouse squeaked as the man fell to the floor. The carpet absorbed much of the noise, but the timing was crucial. A figure moved quickly to the man and removed the dart. The tiny hole on the back of his neck sported a single drop of blood. A slender hand with long fingers deftly dabbed at it with a bit of cloth. There was no trace of any trauma to the body, but the man was very much dead. Using her gloved fingers to good advantage she searched his pockets for the trinket she knew she would find there. The small fetish buried deep in his pocket branded him a Cultist. It also made her work easy. It identified her mark and was the evidence she needed to collect her reward.

The figure stood quickly and moved to the window. Sliding out of it and using the trellis of vines to climb down the side of the house. There was not much time to waste and she needed to be out of the city before the alarm was raised. The shadows hid her movements well. The darkened city was not as patroled as it should be. Most of the military district seemed to be empty.

Making her way to the outskirts of the city was easy in the silence of the night. Her reward would be used to further her indoctrination into the secret society she knew only as a whispered word among thieves and cutthroats. Taipan, the very name used to denote a very poisonous snake.

They were very selective, using a series of challenges and tests to insure only the best were recruited. Once were there for life. There was no turning back, the only retirement being death. Her goal was simple and elegant. She lived for the hunt, the thrill of a job well done and leaving no trace behind. Her motives were long buried in the twisted recesses of her mind.

As she slid into the canal to make her way underwater to the edge of the city, the alarm went up and guards scrambled out of the checkpoints. The blare of trumpets heralded the running feet and the bark of dogs as they started their search. A frown crossed her face under her mask as she moved along the canals towards the open sea. Did she miss something? She had trained for many years for this. A slip up could cost her the entrance into the one place she wanted to be.

Nervously she swam underwater to the harbor and found a section of dock where the space under it allowed her to listen to those above speak. Voices came to her as the guards spoke to themselves. "The Captain is being paranoid, old man Jenkins dropped of a heart attack. Searching for spies in the city is a waste of time."

With her long dark hair tied in a tail and stuffed into her hood, Amarlei downed another underwater breathing potion and dived down again. There were sharks in the water and she did her best to avoid them. Though at the time they seemed to be occupied chasing humans who were checking on lobster traps. They of course were looking at the sharks, and therefore did not see her form as it slipped along the wall.

She could not be seen in Stormwind at the moment, her disguises were all in her bags, hidden on the beach beyond the main traffic area. She swam with a lazy motion staying out of sight of the fishermen and the sharks. Freezing when any looked her way. Eventually she went around the corner of the harbor to the hidden cache and climbed out of the water. The rocks hid the small cave she found and she crawled inside to strip off her wet cloth armor and used a towel to dry her self. Rolling up in the blankets she had there, she fell asleep.

It was several hours later that she was ready to venture into Stormwind. Her disguise as a human mage was accomplished by aid of a magical hat. Invoking the magic and strolling into town from the woods nearby, she carried a basket of herbs and berries as she moved into the city. Her head was covered in a brightly colored peaked hat and she hummed a soft tune as she strolled past the guards who had no idea of her true identity.

She smiled and greeted those who were politely speaking to her as she made her way to the little pond and sat down to do some fishing. It was now ten hours past her latest kill and she was comfortably sitting on the bank of the pond fishing. She noticed a few children playing around the pond and the nearby Pandaren area. Her keen eyes took in all the details she needed to remain inconspicuous in the Alliance city.

She took time to make a small campfire and cook some fish she caught. Supplementing it with the berries she had picked on the way through the forest. A few guardsmen passed her and nodded politely. They stopped and talked to the lady in the cabin, asking if she had seen any strangers lurking about. Amarlei smirked as she snacked on her lunch. She was not lurking, she was in plain sight!

The guards gave her a cursory glance and stood talking for a few moments. "I don't think we will find anyone, Charlie. We have searched all day. I still think old man Jenkins just passed of a heart attack. He was old and he lived alone, all them servants we talked to say they heard nothing, except when he hit the floor. And even then they did not go check because he was in a cranky mood. They figured he just hit the floor or stomped on it out of frustration." he was clearly irritated at having to search for a non existant killer.

"Yeah and it was his girlfriend who found him dead, how old was he to be having the likes of Sylvia Grayson? She was screaming loud enough to wake the dead! You would think she had lost her sanity. She carried on for over an hour to the Watch Captain about spies. I think they finally had to have a priest sedate her." he was thoughtful as they resumed walking.

Amarlei packed her things and leisurely strolled past the cabin and went towards the main gate. She had to at least appear to be heading home. Her steps took her past the many children and wandering citizens until she found the front gate. Strolling past it she headed towards the Falls and waited until she was out of sight of all people before she took out a silent whistle only a wyvern would hear.

The wyvern flew down off the upper cliffs where he had been sunning himself and she climbed on his back. Heading to Booty Bay to collect her reward from her Master. She thought he would be pleased to hear of her success. One more step closer to her final goal.
Just another wyvern soaring above Booty Bay, the Sindorei eased into a slow spiral while she scouted with a spyglass. She was looking for a certain sign, an inconspicuous alignment of rocks and trash. From the air it was difficult but not impossible to spot. A few bits of metal set at a certain angle. A few white stones and one black one, the signal she was looking for to denote her hit had been recorded in the red tome.

A thrill shot through her as she guided the wyvern to the rooftop of the Salty Sailor. On the tiles of the roof a strange symbol was etched into the rock. No one seemed to know what it meant. It had been there since the day the Salty Sailor had opened it's doors to the cutthroats and pirates that plagued the seas. Goblins were crafty and sly, they were masters of the deal and working both sides of the war. They ignored the scratched symbol and a legend built up about it over the years. To some it looked like a snake, to others it was the Troll symbol of death. To Amarlei it was the first thing she had uncovered in her search for the secret society known in whispers as Taipan.

How many times had adventurers walked over this seemingly random scratching and ignored its significance? Amarlei herself had walked over it countless times as she flew into and out of Booty Bay. Today she was searching for her destiny. A place to spend the last of her days in perfecting. And if she was lucky she would die in her sleep. She lived for the Hunt. The thrill of the chase, surprise and secrecy. The subtlety of ambush and the leaving no trace behind. Her motives were not clear, even to her.

Sometimes she killed those who needed killing. Very rarely had she taken an innocent's life. Though sometimes it had been necessary to cover her trail.She stood next to the wyvern as the stablemaster came to collect him. "He has been a good wyvern, a special treat is in order." she patted the beast and smiled.

Walking off to the downstairs to see if there had been any messages for her. The mailbox was her only contact at the moment. She had met the second in command, but never the Master. He was as secretive as a ghost. Even the goblin who acted as his go between said he had never been face to face with him. Only hearing a whispered message from behind a screen of cloth or rickety building.

Messages were passed and she was invited to participate in a hunt. The target was chosen and she made a clean kill, no witnesses. A one word message had come accompanied with a sack of gold coins, "Impressive".

She walked to the mailbox and peered inside. This time there was no message. Perhaps she was too early. There had not been much time elapsed since her last kill. She went to the general storekeeper and bought a wrapping paper and ribbon. In the privacy of a cubby hole in the alley, she placed the fetish inside and wrapped it securely. Addressing it to the manager of the Ventures, Unlimited, she dropped it off at the postal service. If they needed proof, she had sent it. All she could do now is wait. Strolling to the bar she sat in a corner where the light was dim and sipped tea. She had patience, she would wait
The silent steps of the Master as he wound his way down the passage to his inner Sanctuary were not done out of worry that someone would over hear him. It was his force of habit, long years of ingrained training. It was his way of remaining at the top of his chosen profession.

The passage was clear of spiders and other foul creatures by means of the floating guardians that swept it constantly. They were there courtesy of his lover, the Lady Lillideth Blacktalon. He tolerated her for many reasons. The physical did not mean as much to him as the sheer terror she could invoke in her enemies. He respected her and acknowledged her power, feeding off the souls he personally dispatched with a relish he found oddly exciting and compelling at the same time. It was like feeding flies to a praying mantis.

He had no doubts that to her he was expendable, he worked at staying in her good graces. Giving her room to be what she was, and staying true to his own life was a balancing act that gave him much satisfaction. He was treading on water at times and in danger of falling into the depths of lava in other times. But the sheer thrill of giving her pleasure and living another day was his only weakness. They did not see each other often, she preferred to pursue her own goals and left him to his. But when they did get together, it was well worth it.

His followers called themselves the Taipan, a name he thought fit them quite well. The deadly snake could kill with but a single drop of its powerful venom. He had a secure set up for keeping several of the reptiles for his own use. The laboratory in the depths of his Sanctum bred special mice to feed them. The keepers of his little animal operation were quite good at their craft.

As he wound his way to the bottom of his Sanctum he paused to utter the password to enter the final door. It was magically sealed and only admitted those who had the password. The purple flashing line ran around the doorway and opened to reveal the sumptuous and comfortable common room. As he stepped inside it closed again with a hiss behind him.The common room held only a few who were recuperating from missions. They were of course at the moment prostrated on the floor in utter respect as he entered. He looked at them with an air of stern and unrelenting command.

A human rogue who simply called himself Sam, was closest to him. His injuries made it difficult for him to move around, yet he had been the first one to hit the floor and lay there in homage to the Master.The air seemed charged as the Master walked slowly into the room. Sam remained on the floor, waiting for permission to rise. There was a troll lying on the floor as well, his dark green hair tightly braided and snaking down his back. The troll was a long standing member of the Taipan, his duty was to the snakes, with the Loa of his people important to the upkeep and health of the program. His toothy grin implied insolence, but the Master knew where his loyalty lay.

"Rise, Tai'Jin. And come with me to give your report."The slow laconic drawl of Tai'Jin seemed soft in comparison to his size. "Da Masta speak, and Tai'Jin obeh." as he rose to his full height of seven feet. He followed the Master as the human continued to lay on the floor.

Before the Master entered his private quarters he turned and glanced at the human. "I will expect a full report when I am finished with Tai'Jin. Be sure you are ready to give a full accounting of your actions, Sam. Your life depends on it. Rise and prepare yourself." his voice the cold unemotional tone of one who will not tolerate failure.
Alabron Stargaze was in Stormwind's Old Town, shooting the target dummies without effort, hitting the bullseye one after the other. "Hmmm this is starting to get boring." He thought to himself as he remembered the first time he ever picked up a bow. "Hey, I hit the target!" He remembered crying out to his teacher. He smiled as he remembered his past well. He came back into the present from overhearing a guard speaking to another. "Hey did you hear about Jenkins? Poor guy died of a heart attack..and I thought he was a stressless man." The other guard shook his head. "Doesn't matter, he was an old guy, people die everyday.." The guard thought for a moment and spoke to his fellow guardsman. "Do you think....that someone possibly murdered him?" The other guard laughed at the younger man. "Boy, don't be silly, how could someone have murdered him? There are no wound marks on the body, and no one could've sufficated him with anything, Jenkins may have been old, but he was a fighter..a strong one at that." The younger guard spoke. "But-" The older one cut him off. "But nothing, get back on duty and lookout for anything odd. Captain's orders."

Alabron made a facial gesture, finding it rather odd that Guard Jenkins died of a so-called heart attack. He may have been old, but he wasn't that old, was he? He thought for a moment, he also remembered hearing about some organization that was being formed. Maybe Jenkins death and the group are connected somehow. Alabron sat down and took out a book. He opened it up to an empty page and began writing on it.
The streets of Stormwind were quiet in the early morning hours. An elderly woman pushed a hand cart through the streets. She was dressed mostly in rags, her head covered with a scarf. Her features were wizened and dark from many years in the weather. Her steps were slow and deliberate.

In her cart was a load of apples, which it seemed she was collecting as she walked along the canal. Each tree got a thorough inspection from her as she peered up into the branches. She had a long staff she used to knock down apples she deemed ripe from their color. She was careful to only tip them lightly so they would not bruise, standing beneath the tree she would catch them neatly in a net she held.

A couple of rowdy boys ran past her and bumped her cart in their mad dash to get past her. The old cart wobbled and threatened to tip over. But Maggie caught it and yelled at the boys, "Slow down! Before ya hurt yerselves! Crazy kids!"

Mumbling to herself she pushed the cart further down the cobblestoned walkway, the rumbling of the cart accompanying her rant. She was about to turn and enter the section of the city called Old Town when a pair of guards walked out of the tunnel towards her. She stopped and smiled, her few remaining teeth crooked in her mouth. "Well if it ain't Stormwinds finest. Care for an apple today? What news in this sleepy city?"

Her tone was cheerful and just a little sarcastic. She picked up an apple in each hand and rubbed them a bit on her worn shawl to shine them, holding them out to the guards as they strolled towards her. She thought to herself, {Wonder if they looked at the outside of Jenkins house this morning?}. Out loud she cackled, "Only a silver each, I got to make some coin somehow. I am too old to be on the front lines. And SI:7 is just too sneaky for me."

In her day, Maggie had been an archer, but her hands were too gnarled with age now to even pull back a bowstring. She could still see quite well however and her keen eyesight might have spotted things others would miss.
"Something doesn't seem right."

A gut feeling. Every copper worth a grain of salt can honestly say they've gotten them. That feeling when walking the beat, a sixth sense that perhaps all truly was not well.

Malakai stared at the stack of reports at the center of his desk. It was his job to sort through the reports of his office, checking that everything was correct and that no procedures had been skipped or violated. Tedious would be the word to describe it, but he took pride in making sure his men did their jobs without incident. Many of the reports were small crimes, not enough to warrant his involvement any more than just looking them over before turning them over to command.

Jenkins. His eyes narrowed as he picked up the last report to be inspected on his desk. A high profile case, as is any Stormwind official who dies under curious circumstances. The medical report had said natural causes, a heart attack. It was a viable answer, afer all, there was no evidence of foul play, no broken locks, nothing out of place, no struggles. The man was just found by his girlfriend the next day.

Still, something about the case irked him. While he did not personally know Jenkins, he knew of him and his exploits in the military. He was a strong man, a very capable fighter who had survived throughout the wars of history. It just seemed so...out of place that a heart attack could take someone of his nature. Not to mention the fact that his girlfriend was spouting off conspiracy theorist nonsense about spies and the like. What would even turn her on to that idea? Did Jenkins tell her something in confidence? People die but rarely do grieving family members or spouses attribute them to spies or anything of that nature, unless there was proof..or they were crazy.

The Watch Commander sighed, flicking the paper from his grasp to let it settle back down to the desk. Something was telling him to look further into this. Where to start? The girlfriend was unstable, it'd be a long while before she gave any sort of useful information. The military would probably beat around the bush about jurisdiction and not release any of their files on Jenkins. It seemed that the only place he had left was Jenkins' house.

So be it. He rose from his chair, tucking it neatly back beneath his desk before exiting his office. "Sergeant, get some of those Gnomes over to the Jenkins' house. I want to comb over that place once more, full sweep. If there's anything out of place, if there's a sign of entry, some hidden detail, I want to know about it. Also, get someone down to the coroner's office, I want that body looked at again. Check for poisons, check for any unknown substance in the blood stream."

His sergeant snapped a quick salute, zipping out from behind the desk and heading for the barracks located on the other side of the building. They had received a small bit of funding for their commitment to the city, so they were able to tack on a few extra departments within the Watch. Forensics was new, leave it Gnomes to come up with some technology that can find blood, fingerprints, even so much as time of death.

Malakai watched for a moment making sure that everything was being done as he ordered and then headed for the door. He was met by the cool breeze of a Stormwind night, the sound of singing from a bar nearby, the last of the children out on the streets before their parents called them in. He could almost smile, if he was capable of doing such. Instead, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and trudged along up the street towards the Jenkins' house.

The Gnomes would be along shortly, so he waited outside, not wanting to disturb any more of the crime scene than had already been done in the initial investigation. Once they arrived, lugging all their equipment with them, they entered the house and began the sweep. If there was something there, they'd get it. If not, he'd find another direction to pursue this. A good copper never ignores a gut feeling.
The Salty Sailor was a neutral tavern, and Booty Bay goblins knew how to milk both sides of as much gold as possible. Amarlei was sipping mead as she watched patrons come and go. It was not the most exciting of passtimes, unless of course there was a bar fight.

The waitress came for the umpteenth time and smiled, she was trying to make a bit of gold. That was obvious, but this time she was smiling in a conspiratorial way. "A secret admirer has bought you a drink. I am not allowed to divulge the source, I hope you don't get me in trouble...but I think it was a human." she whispered as she set down the frothy mug of mead.

Amarlei grinned and tossed her a gold piece. "You are safe, just be careful and do not give yourself away." She waited until the little goblin bounced away. The mug of mead was cold, and the foam overflowed the mug and dripped onto the table. The beverage of choice for most patrons of the Salty Sailor was rum. The fact someone cared enough to give her what she was drinking, and not something stronger, made her wonder if it was a sign of good favor or simply a kind stranger.

Her eyes drifted around the tavern trying to spot who might have sent her the drink. Near the front door a shrouded figure wreathed in pipe smoke seemed to be looking her way. He appeared to be a human, though he was covered from head to toe in nondescript clothing. A plain brown cloak with a hood and the slight hint of white at his neck indicated a shirt. His boots, from what she could see were plain and worn. His pants, what she could see of them were also brown.

As she paused in her perusal, he gave a very slight nod as he seemed to have noticed her gaze. He then got up from the table, and walked out the door. Amarlei felt her blood race. This was not a usual thing for someone to do if they were trying to get her attention. She sat for a few more moments, thinking about her instructions from the gruff troll who had sent her to Stormwind.

"Go to Stormwind and complete your contract. When you are certain he is dead, leave the city and go to Booty Bay. Look for the black rock among white. That is your sign that the completion of the contract has been noted. Sit in the Salty Sailor until you are acknowledged by a stranger. Leave the Tavern and go to the Auction House. Someone will give you a note. Follow instructions."

Her hand went to the mug of mead and she took a tentative sip. She was in no hurry, following the stranger could get her killed. Security was very tight for the Taipan, and if instructions were not followed to the letter, she would find herself hunted. She knew too much to be released untouched.

Her head was not as affected by the alcohol as some might think. She had eaten enough food to counteract the effects. She took one last swallow and left the half filled mug on the table, along with a few silver for the waitress. As she made her way to the back door, she heard a scrap of conversation.

"Old man Jenkins? He was tough as nails! Never thought a heart attack would bring him down, always figured he would die in battle."

She hurried to the Auction House and slipped inside. There were several others there, including a tall Night Elf male who looked at her and scowled. He turned away before she could give him anything more than a glare. A dwarf with a braided red beard glanced at her and leered. He reeked of ale and barbequed boar. She ignored him and picked up the catalog of items for sale.

As she glanced through it she was bumped from behind, but when she turned, whoever had been there was gone out the door, a fleeting shadow. Setting the book down she felt her pocket and pulled out a small folded paper. It read simply, "Good job. Locker #47, Booty Bay bank." enclosed in the paper was a key.

She smiled and headed to the bank. The key fit the locker and she opened it to reveal a package. It was heavy, and she wondered what her reward would be. Redoing the lock, she strolled out of the bank with package in hand. Returning to the Salty Sailor, she booked a room and went upstairs.

Inside the box was a plain dagger, the hilt wrapped in leather. The fifty gold coins in a pouch made her smile. Accepted!! She had to be patient. They would contact her in time.
Rogi Koruzak, also known as Murderbeard, walked down the streets in the Dwarven District in Stormwind City. He wore simply robes, making others who saw him think he was a scholor. A mage, priest, or even a shaman. He did wear a mask to cover up his face though. He didn't really want anyone to know his face, not even of his public being.

He was about to walk around the corner to leave the Dwarven District to go to Cathedral Square, but he heard someone talking to a friend or perhaps a stranger even. He stayed quiet to hear their conversation. "Old man Jenkins dies of a heart attack? Yeah right! The man may have been old, but I know there were probably over 300 people who Jenkins arrested. Any of 'em could've killed him when they got out, or even payed someone who visited them in their jail cell. Either way, Jenkins didn't die of natural causes!" Rogi heard laughing, "Yeah sure, think whatever you want. You know as well as I do, Stormwind's Stockades don't even allow visitors. Not to meantion if they did, how was there no scratch on Jenkins' body? Not one."

The voice wasn't heard for awhile of thinking but then the man spoke. "That may be so, but the killer could've sufficated the poor man with a pillow or something." The other voice quickly spoke afterwards. "Nope, not where his body was found, not way he got sufficated with a pillow near the exit of his house. He didn't get choked either. No bruises or handprints were on his throat." The first man sighed and began walking away, "Whatever think what you want."

Rogi thought to himself and laughed, "I almost can assure a rogue killed the old man with an odd poison. Poison-coated darts perhaps, the killer then probably was able to clean the wound before the others knew Jenkins had even been murdered." Rogi then spoke to himself in a muffled voice. "Clever..very clever. I like 'em, whoever they are."

One hour later...

Rogi slowly walked closer and closer to his victims, hiding in the shadows of the dark room. A man and woman, the Johnson family, ready to go to sleep for the night. Rogi grinned at the situation. He stopped walking closer and closer to the two, he waited for them to fall asleep. He eyed the man and then the woman. The man was Marcus Johnson, and his wife was Annabelle Johnson. Married couple, they matched the description perfectly in his journal. He muttered quietly to himself so the two wouldn't hear him, "Yep these are my contacts."

As soon as they went into their slumbers, Rogi unsheathed little needles, each the size of a pin. He grinned as he took two and put the rest in a secret compartment of his bags. He then looked to see the woman wasn't sleeping yet, so he quickly dipped the edge of the needles in an odd red liquid. He quickly threw one at the woman, who shook once and stopped moving, he then jumped, throwing the other needle at the man, hitting him in the thigh, shaking him once, but nothing else. He then took the needles out of their bodies and and wiped them off, placing them in his bag. He examined their bodies, no blood, hardly even a scratch. He didn't need to clean off any wounds. "Hmm this seems familiar to what I imagined earlier." He laughed at the moment and left quickly yet quietly. He snuck out of the house, hiding from anyone who'd be nearby. "I should search for this killer, maybe we can run a business. More gold and ale..mmm ale." He laughed again.
The room in the Salty Sailor was at the top of the odd shaped building. Amarlei set the box to the side and examined the dagger. It was plain and simply made, but it fit in her hand like it was meant to. The grip wrapped in soft leather, the blade long and razor sharp. Looking close she held it to the candlelight and turned it slowly. As the light played across the shiny surface she noted grooves very faintly down the length of the blade. It was a rogues dagger for sure. Meant to be coated with poison.

All of her supplies were in her Silvermoon home. All she carried with her was basic essentials. SHe traveled light when she had to go anywhere, to avoid alot of baggage. Noting the box also contained a sheath for the dagger, she attached it to her belt and slid the new dagget into it. There was not a whisper of sound as she drew it quickly and tested it. The inside of the sheath was oiled it seemed, or it was poison...perhaps a handy place to put a few drops of poison?

She lay back in her bed and prepared to sleep a few hours. Time was something she had plenty of she thought.
Sylvia Graystone was a liability, she knew too much. Though she would have been the first to say she knew next to nothing. If anyone would ever listen to her. She struggled out of the bed in the infirmary. "I am not sick! I demand to see the Watch Commander! Captain Jenkins was murdered! I know it!" she wavered on her feet and the nurses tried to calm her down.

The doctor came into the room and spoke to her softly, "It's all right Sylvia, we will make sure he knows you want to see him. But it is best for you to relax. You don't want another shot do you?" he held out his hand to the nurse who was preparing a syringe.

"No!! Don't do that! I must see him!! Please, I will just sit here and wait...he can come and talk to me when he has time." she took a deep breath and sat down on the bed. Eyeing the nurse with the syringe she shook her head and held up her hands.

The doctor watched her for a few moments and then nodded. Hewalked out of the room and went to the desk. Taking a sheet of paper and quill he wrote a short note. He sealed it in an envelope and called for a courier. "Deliver this to the Watch Commander, do not waste time."

The young boy took the envelope and ran all the way to the Watch Office. He went inside and asked at the desk for the Commander. "I have an important message, I have to give him."

The gnome at the desk was stern, "He is on a case, leave the message. I will make sure he gets it." feeling in his pocket he found a few silver and tossed it at the kid. The youngsters eyes lit up and he left the sealed letter on the desk. Grabbing the silvers he took off running back to the infirmary.


To: Malakai

The woman Sylvia Graystone is asking for you. She claims to know something about Jenkins death. You should talk to her, I can only keep her sedated for so long. She seems to be all right, but insists you come and speak with her.

If she knows anything, and someone finds out she does, her life may be in danger. Should we have a guard assigned to keep her safe?

Doc Wilson
So, this is where Jenkins was found. Malakai peered down at the fading chalk outline, noting the direction and the position the body would have been in. The Gnomes had said he had died sometime in the night, so either the man was out of his bed to confront someting or someone, or perhaps relieve himself. There were no signs of struggle though, no one heard anything. If he had suspected an intruder, would he not have shouted a challenge to then? He tapped a finger against his chini n thought as he stared out he doorway into the hall.

The attack had to have been short and sweet, a single strike to put him down. His food was already tested for toxins, it all cleared. There were no wounds on the body save for old battle scars he carried. It was something small then, small but effective to put down a grown man in seconds time. Now then, where would the attack have come from? Gazing out into the hallway, Malakai noted the darkness that shrouded most of it. It couldn't possibly have come from there, the attacker would have had to have a clear shot, one guaranteed not to miss otherwise the alarm would be sounded.

He turned and glanced back into the room, searching for a point. The window? No. Holding oneself up and making such an accurate shot without detection would be next to impossible. The closet! Perhaps the attacker was already here? Lying in wait for Jenkins to retire to his bedroom and then take him out. "Fizzle! Up here, I want this closet picked apart!" He called down to one of the Gnomes.

The forensic squad was up there in a flash, lugging all their equipment behind them. The closet was pulled open and they discovered amongst the clothes hanging neatly on hangars, a single piece that had been disturbed. They also collected hair samples from the clothing in that area, black hair. Neither Jenkins nor his girlfriend matched to that. "Good work, boys. Seems we've got ourselves a murder after all..or a witness."

Malakai turned, facing towards the window. This was likely the route used to gain access to the house. The downstairs area was guarded day and night, no one came in or out without permission. Tugging on the latch, he pulled the window open and peered down the side of the building. Vines, perfect for clmbing, and it appeared some had been disturbed. This was no witness, this was the killer.

"Fizzle, get back to HQ and start analyzing that data, see if we can't get anything from the hair and get me that report on Jenkins' blood. This has to be the work of a powerful poison. We're done here for now, pack it up."

He lingered around for a bit after the rest of them left, standing at the window and gazing down. It was likely late, no one would have seen the attacker scaling the fence and climbing up. He sighed and was just turning to leave when a noise downstairs alerted him, the sound of heavy footsteps. His eyes narrowed and his hand went to his pistol, slowly easing it from the holster on his side. The footsteps were louder, coming up the stiars now. In moments, he would be face-to-face with whoever decided to return to the crime scene.

"Halt!" He shouted just as the figure ascended the last step and turned in his direction. The click of the hammer being pulled back on the pistol was enough to freeze the unknown person in it's tracks.

"Commander, it's Sergeant Blackstone! Don't shoot!"

Malakai sighed and returned the pistol to it's holster, "Blackstone, I've told you countless times about identifying yourself -before- you sneak up on someone." He shook his head slowly and approached the Sergeant, noting that he was out of breath as if he had ran all the way from the Watch House. "What is it, Blackstone?"

"Sir, ..let me just.." The Sergeant wheezed for a moment, catching his breath before he began to speak. "Fizzle came back almost an hour ago and told us that you suspected murder! I was just coming to inform you that there's been another, a double! We've barely combed over the scene but it appears the circumstances are similiar. Quiet, no sounds, no wounds, just dead. It's rare for two people to die in their sleep at the same time, isn't it sir?" An hour? Had he been standing in the window that long?

The Watch Commander's eyes narrowed as he listened to the details of this next killing. Was the murderer still in town? Was this some sort of hit list being carried out? "Find me the connection, were these people military or government officials at all?" Even as he questioned, he was walking past Blackstone and down the stairs to get to the next scene.

"Sir wait! One more thing, this letter came for you! Doc Wilson's place, they said it was urgent!" He handed it down to Malakai.

Malakai paused for a moment before tearing it open and reading the contents. Sylvia..."Let's go, we'll leave the other crime scene to Fizzle and his team for now. We need to get the girlfriend. into protective custody before it's too late. If she does know something, she'll be a target soon enough." He tore off into a run heading for the Doc Wilson's. He would burst in without knocking, quickly finding the nurse and asking to be directed to Sylvia.

He opened the door to her room and peered inside. She was alive! Good! "Sylvia, I"m Watch Commander're coming with me, now."

The young blonde looked up in surprise to see the Watch Commander. "Oh! I am so glad to see you...where are you taking me? Please don't let them give me another shot!" her words all run together as she looks at the nurse who is watching her carefully.

Without even giving it another thought, the buxum blonde hopped out of the bed and straightened her clothing. She was still dressed in the skimpy outfit that old man Jenkins liked. Short blue skirt, netted stockings and a low cut white blouse. She grabbed her bag and looked at him expectantly.

She had no idea that her life was in danger, only that she wanted to see justice done. Not like she had any notions of love for the Captain, he was a guy who liked pretty girls and he gave her presents and made her feel good, most of the time. He had used her, she supposed. But she was waiting for the right guy to come along and offer her the things she desired.

Too many years had she been trying to make a living as a seamstress, she wanted more...she wanted adventure and excitement. Men like Jenkins offered her a way to experience that. With a smile of dazzling brightness she waited for the Watch Commander to escort her to wherever he was taking her. She could not help letting her eyes wander a bit and take in his clean cut and rugged good looks.
The sea breeze wafted in through the open window, sending the smell of fish and iodine. Underlying that was the distinct smell of food cooking. Amarlei yawned and sat up in the bed. She had only slept a few hours, afteroon naps were common for her. Most of the work she did was at night.

The smell of food let her know how hungry she was, and she swiftly gathered her things and headed downstairs. The barmaid gave her a wink and wandered over to take her order. "So...did you meet your secret admirer?" her beady goblin eyes eager for gossip.

Amarlei chuckled and nodded, giving out information to the goblins was a sure way to get it spread around quickly. "Yes I did, though he seemed to be rather shy. And he was not with me long. I am afraid we do not have anything in common. Bring me some of that food that I can smell cooking, I adore a good seafood chowder. And a mug of mead, please." she finished her order with a jingle of coin. It felt good to have enough coin in her pockets to enjoy life.

The waitress sighed in disappointment as nothing interesting had happened. "Sure thing, doll, maybe your prince Charming will come along and sweep you off your feet some other time." she scurried off to get the order.

Amarlei looked around the tavern for familiar faces. She was not afraid of being herself in Booty Bay, where pirates from every walk of life gathered. When she was on a contract it was a different matter. Then her identity would be hidden in layers of secrecy. She used potions and orbs mostly for quick disguise, and the faded wizards hat for her more substancial undercover assignments.

The lack of interest in her at the moment was disappointing, she could use some entertainment. The loud laughter of a dwarf intruded on her senses as she looked over the room. She had not known many dwarven rogues, she supposed that was a good indicator of how good they were.
A cool wind wound its way up from the bay outside of Stormwind Harbor. A pair of shadows moved across the cobblestone path winding its way up from the docks to the city proper, one walking on two legs, the other following along on four. Morning had passed and as a relative hush fell over the city as citizens moved indoors for their mid-day meal. In a few hours, the daytime noises would be replaced by those of night as people started moving about for the evening’s entertainment, heading out to taverns and houses of friends.

Rhian Bardsley was feeling less out of place in city than she had been in previous months. Born and raised in Lakeshire, she had been ill prepared for the hustle of life in Stormwind. Redridge was mostly quiet in terms of population. There was a tavern that was frequented by the people who lived there but unlike Stormwind, it mostly shut down when darkness fell. This was partly because the population was small and partly because the darkness brought with it danger in the form of Blackrock orcs and gnolls.

Her four legged companion was a large gray wolf named Longshore. He quietly padded along, slightly behind Rhian, making little noise as his large feet hit the cobblestone.

She had come to Stormwind looking for work. Her prospects in the large city were better than what they had been in Redridge and after two years of touring Azeroth, she was ready to set down roots for a while and needed a steady income. It had come in the form of odd jobs at first but had evolved to serving as a guard and escort to people traveling outside of Stormwind and tracking missing persons or escaped criminals.

The wind blew again, tossing the shoulder length strawberry blonde hair over Rhian’s face. She inhaled, sorting through the various smells that came with the city: smoke, cooking food, the water from the canal and the general stench of a large population in an enclosed space. Tucking her hair back behind her ear, she turned and walked up the steps to a tavern in the Dwarven District, one of the few that allowed animals. The owner, a retired dwarven hunter, waved at her as she took a table before turning and pouring a mug of ale for a customer sitting at the bar. Upon entering the tavern, Longshore made for the hearth where a fire cheerfully blazed. He flopped down without preamble, letting out a contented sigh and closed his eyes.

The hunter’s wife clomped forward with a plate of lamb stew and a hunk of bread and set the plate in front of Rhian with a clatter. Rhian had eaten here once a week for several months and the dwarven woman had never once asked what Rhian wanted to eat, she just brought a plate. Sometimes the huntress wondered if they only fixed one thing a day, but a survey of the various patrons in the common room showed that there were at least two other things on the menu.

“Ye need more meat on yer bones!” one chubby finger pointed in accusation at the human before a mug of ale followed. “Eat up, eat up!”

Rhian picked up the spoon and complied, thankful that the cook in the kitchen seemed to know what he was doing.

The dwarf turned and snapped her fingers at Longshore, “Come on ye bag of bones! To the back with ye! Cook’s got something for ye ta eat!”

The wolf opened one green eye and studied the loud, stout woman. After a long moment of contemplation, he hauled himself up from the floor and padded towards the back.

Rhian watched the wolf go before turning back to her own food. As she ate, she entertained herself by eavesdropping on the other patrons. Most times, the topics of conversation were mundane, but on a few nights there were some interesting tidbits. Today promised to be mundane as the chief topic of the three men sitting a table near her were speaking of a local official dropping dead from a heart attack. As the other conversation in earshot was of someone’s wife wanting a new fancy dress, she tuned into the three men.

“Odd, it is, that he’d just fall over like that.”

“That is what heart attacks do. Kill people,” the man took a sip of his ale, his tone of voice a bit world weary.

“He was fit though, wonder what happened.”

“A heart attack happened.”

There was a snort and a chortle.

“They can happen to people who look fit,” the world weary man set his mug on the table and waved to the barmaid. “One more!”

“Where was he found?”

“In his house.” This was followed by the name of the street.

“Ain’t no evidence of foul play. Makes me a bit nervous though, wondering if I could just drop over.”

“If some fancy official was sick, I doubt he’d tell anyone. Might lose his post to someone healthier.”

“Crooked, every one of ‘em,” this was followed by a long gulp of ale. “Heard some rumors out there about shady deals.”

“Rumors is all they are,” the world weary man picked up the fresh mug of ale and took a sip. His tone sounded as if he were used to dealing with what he considered asinine comments. “Not saying that there isn’t corruption out there, but apparently this man was well respected and liked. It is just an unfortunate event. The investigation will show that nothing untoward happened, you’ll see.”

The conversation trailed off to other things as Rhian finished eating. She paid for her meal and gave a command to Longshore who had returned to the fire and was now snoring softly. The wolf looked up, hauled himself to a sitting position and yawned before trailing after his mistress out the door.

“Ye’d think tha’ the lass be getting’ herself a pet tha’ twasn’ quite s’ beardless,” the old dwarven hunter said as Rhian closed the door.

His wife gave a shocked gasp at the grave dwarven insult and planted her plump hands on her equally plump hips. “Anthorn MacLeary Stonemantle, ye shouldn’ be insultin’ our payin’ customers like that! Yer lucky she did'na take that gun o' hers to yer head!”

"No, no one will be giving you any more shots. " Malakai threw a glare in the direction of the nurse before returning his gaze to Sylvia. He couldn't help but notice that she was quite a good looking woman, though her attire was questionable. It was most likely for Jenkins so that he could show off some sort of trophy girl. He mentally shook his head and let his gaze wander away as not to appear as if he were oogling.

"I'm going to be blunt. I believe you. I don't know exactly the truth behind it but I think you know something about Jenkins that can help me solve his murder. Yes, murder, you heard me. We have evidence to support the fact now. Now, I need to know what you know. These spies, what Jenkins did, who he talked with, everything. As far as where I"m taking you, you'll be safe. "

Malakai turned to talk to the man behind him, Blackstone, and found him standing mouth agape as he very openly oogled Sylvia. "Blackstone! Have some manners, you're on duty! Get this woman back to HQ, confine her to my quarters at once. No one in or out except me." He turned back to Sylvia offering her what..might've resembled a smile though his lips barely moved. "You'll accompany my assistant here and you will set up in my quarters at the Watch House. Do not worry, I hardly use them so your privacy will be guaranteed. It's safe there and you'll be protected by my entire division."

Blackstone eagerly stepped forward, reaching out with his arm to hook Sylvia's like some of those nobles he had seen doing. "M'lady, we should go now. It's near dark and it's best to have you there before we lose the light."

Seeing that everything was in order, Malakai started for the door but turned back to give one last detail to Blackstone. "Blackstone, I mean..-no one- goes in or out, not even you." His eyes narrowed for a moment and then he was gone, leaving the man trembling while trying to smile at Sylvia.

Second Crime Scene:

"Fizzle, what have you got for me?" Malakai asked as he entered through the door, pulling on a set of leather gloves so he didn't contaminate the scene. His eyes searched through the bedroom even as he waited for the Gnome to speak, looking for any signs of struggle, or evidence.

The Gnome glanced up and nodded, "Well, from what I've seen so far, it's the exact same nature as the Jenkins' murder. No wounds, no signs of struggle, it seems they were caught in their sleep." He motioned to the two bodies still laying in bed as he spoke. "One male, one female..I'd guess they were husband and wife, or perhaps adultery was at hand and someone got mad? Still, that's why I leave all the detectoring to you, I just collect samples."

"Oh, speaking of samples..that hair from the Jenkins' house. No matter to any dna of Alliance origin, but I can tell you it's elven in nature. So if it ain't a Night Elf, I'd wager a guess as to was one of them others."

The Watch Commander nodded, a blood elf. It probably wasn't too hard for her to get into the city, it's not like the guards did full on inspections of people at the gates. Still, those green eyes, wouldn't someone have noticed that at least? "Good work, do we have names for these people yet?"

"Negative, sir. We're still trying to get the pictures up through the government to see if they were political officials or not. You know how slow they are. I'm sure we'll find out in a week or two." The Gnome smirked at the sad reality of his joke and went back to work, using a set of tweezers to pluck a hair sample from each. "Going to run a tox screen on this, see if I can't match the poison here to Jenkins, if there is any."

Once he was sure the Gnome was finished talking, Malakai went about his business, sweeping the rest of the house searching for anything. He doubted the killer was just some lowly burglar, there would've been no reason to kill the two if he had been. They were sleeping, they presented no threat. No, this was a hit. He tapped his chin as he moved through the building, testing the locks, checking the windows. Whoever they were, they were good.

"Alright, let's pack it up. I'm sure we're all pretty exhausted, two crime scenes in one day..We'll head back to HQ, compile the evidence and take a fresh crack at it tomorrow." Hopefully there would be no more murders to wake up to.

Watch House:

The commander said Blackstone couldn't enter his quarters on any circumstance, but that didn't stop him from standing next to the door. He had his ear pressed against the hard wood, listening intently as he spoke, trying to converse with the woman on the other side.

"So, Miss Sylvia..I uhh, how was your day? I mean..well, aside from..nevermind..Is the room to your liking? I doubt the commander has much taste in furniture or anything of that nature, I'm sure the rock he sleeps on will be comforting." He chuckled at his own joke, continuing to ramble on not even aware if she was on the other side listening.

Malakai was rounding the corner, heading to the back of the Watch House when he heard a voice. He slowed his movement, pressing up against the wall as he peered around the corner to see a figure pressed against the door of his quarters. His hand descended to grasp his pistol, clicking back the hammer and drawing it in one fluid motion. He rounded the corner and fixed his aim. "Get away from that...Blackstone?! Dammit man! You're supposed to be guarding her, not talking to her through the door! If anyone saw you, they'd know someone was on the other side you idiot!"

Why did he even put up with this man's nonsenese?! Oh right, he was a relative, a cousin. Malakai sighed and holstered his pistol again walking towards the man. "Get away from that door, go back to the front and help the others with the reports. Get with Fizzle, get those hair samples we recovered from the crime scenes and find me a tracker! A good one, we'll need someone to catch the scent of whoever was in that house, perhaps they're still stupid enough to be in the city. If not, we can at least trace their path and see where they went before the killings."

With that, he waved Blackstone off, who was stumbling over his own feet as he scurried away trying to snap a salute at the same time. Once he was gone, Malakai knocked softly on the door, announcing who he was before pulling it open and stepping inside.

"Ma'am, it's time to tell me what you know." He spoke, walking over to his desk and grabbing a stack of papers and a quill to write with. He sat down and looked in her direction, hoping that she had enough time to make herself decent.

The blonde glanced up at Malakai as he entered. She had been hustled off to his quarters with no time to go home and change. Her hair was combed and she had freshened up a bit, but was still in her skimpy outfit. "Am I a prisoner now? I mean yes I have information, but I am not sure how important it is..." she bit her lip and worried she would not have enough information to help him.

Sylvia sat in the only comfortable chair and calmly folded her hands in her lap, after unconciously trying to tug the short skirt to cover her knees. It was to no avail however, as the fabric simply would not stay where she wanted it to and slowly crept upwards as she fidgetted around.

Her low cut blouse was not much more than a loosely wrapped garment that hardly hid her charms. The simple innocense in her eyes and her nervousness made it clear why Jenkins favored her. She was no more dangerous than a little bunny.

"I went with him to places, meetings he called them, and he would have me standing outside the door to warn them of anyone approaching. I do not know what they were talking about, I could not hear them behind the closed doors." her fingers nervously clenched as she tried to think of what Malakai wanted to hear.

"The meetings were at various places, mostly homes or sometimes a suite in one of the fancy Inns. You know, the ones that are only open to certain people..the ones with power and money." she said the last with some amount of pride. She felt priviledged to be accompanying Jenkins to these fancy places.

"He usually went in after others were there, so I did not know who he was meeting with. There was only a couple of times when someone was late. I was sure to warn them of course if someone came! All I did was knock on the door, however, I was not allowed inside. I think I heard some kind of strange language once. I am not sure if it was cussing or what, but I did not recognise the language at all." she frowned, knowing she was missing something, but could not remember what it was.

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