Kicking the Hornets Nest

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Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:52 am

Dec 3, Morning

Aella stood out in the grey slush of trampled snow and mud in front of the Guerrilla HQ, shivering in her new armour. She tightened the scrap of burlap serving as a scarf around her neck, trying to keep the cold air away from the featherless stripe where her collar had sat. She hoped the feathers would grow back.

The hen leaned upon her polearm, toying with the green strip of ribbon around the top. She was eager to get moving and do her job. Getting rid of a gang leader sounded like a good challenge.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:24 pm

Sten was feeling rather... conflicted. Sure, he was in the middle of a shitty deal, but it was a shitty deal that meant he got to go on patrol with Aella Eversor. He adjusted the quilted jacket he had for armour (plate and chainmail chafed him too much) and sidled up to her.

"So, you're Aella Eversor, right?" he said, as nonchalant as he could.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:56 pm

Aella looked over at the grey griffon and nodded slowly.

"yes, I think I am" she said hesitantly
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:07 am

Sten nodded, walking on.

"Just curious," he said, laughing maybe a little too nervously. "I mean, I never got to see you in the ring, but whenever we got the newspaper, I got to read the sports section, and you were always in it."

Never for very long though, since newspaper was a valuable commodity in a family of eight. The porcelain throne demanded sacrifices day and night.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:26 am

Aella raised an eyebrow at Sten.

"I... was in a newspaper?"

She ran a talon through her crestfeathers nervously.

"I thought that arena fighters were only known within Aquilla"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:27 pm

"Oh no!" Sten went on, quite caught up in the moment. He broke into a proud stride. "We heard all about it, even in the Courts. Mum picked up the Lord's newspapers for... fuel, and our Snider can read so we heard all about it. Even our Lord Broadwings sponsored a team. You took down their best soloist the other year in the Haephestus tournament."

He grinned and chuckled. "Sir was pissed for a week after that."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:34 pm

"That would have been... Romulus" Aella said after a moments contemplation. "He put up a fine fight from memory... did the papers tell the story well?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:47 pm

Sten scratched his head in mid-step. It had been a while ago, but if memory served correctly...

"Well, the whole match took up a two-page spread. I only got a glimpse, 'cause the Lord took serious offence, but it sounded awesome," he grinned at the memory. "All the week before they'd been going on about how you didn't have a chance because Romulus was built like a brick shithouse, was funded by Broadwings and had impeccable breeding, while you were seven stone nothing and armed with sweet bugger all, and then you went and tore his head off!"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:55 pm

Aella smiled nervously. She hated to admit that she had actually enjoyed the death of another griffon, but the echo of that adrenaline filled moment was almost enjoyable.

"He had been fighting a whole mess of big earth ponies, got himself tired out before the main course. He was slow and had that silly mace of his... and a surprisingly fragile neck for such a big tercel" She recounted, smiling wistfully at the memory.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:41 pm

"That right, huh?" said Sten, grinning maybe a little stupidly. "You made it look easy, whatever it was. I'da given my wings to be able to fight like that."

Sten left the implication of under different circumstances unsaid. After all, Aella was a bright enough chick. Bright enough to take down more ponies and griffons than a small plague at least.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:49 pm

Aella leaned back against the wall, shivering. Sten seemed to be enjoying himself despite the cold. She smiled at the tercel.

"So... what is your weapon of choice?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:42 am

"Choice?" said Sten, his grin writhing into a rueful smile. "We were light infantry in the war, we didn't get to choose. You got your wings and your claws and you got to be thankful for 'em."

He sighed. "But practice makes permanent, so I guess I'm stuck with claw and nail now."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:11 am

Aella grinned at Sten.

"I guess that makes it hard to leave you... dis-armed"

She giggled at her awful double entendre.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:59 am

Sten groaned and held his head in his hands. If that was the game, then she'd picked the wrong opponent.

"Yes," he said. "I'd be free to cause grievous bodily 'arm."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:12 pm

Aella smirked.

"That must be useful, keeping your weapons so close at hand"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:24 am

"Enough! Enough! No more!" Sten said, or at least tried to through his cackling laughter. "Time is money, and this distraction will cost us an arm and a leg."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:06 am

Aella laughed.

"Then well be left on the street, begging for alms"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:51 am

Sten had to stop and put a claw against the wall to steady himself.

"That's it! No more!" he said, wheezing. "Bloody hell, if you'd tried that in the ring you'd get disqualified for unreasonable cruelty. Where'd you learn to pun like that anyway?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:29 am

Aella wiped a tear from her eye and sighed.

"One of the cleaners in the HQ, he could keep up a nonstop string of them for ages"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:38 pm

"Huh, figures," said Sten, shaking his head. "I shouldn't have thought there'd be much wit like that in the ring."

He rolled his eyes. "Better keep making tracks."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:56 am

"A fine idea, Mr. Softclaw!" said a voice that cut in from behind the two chatty griffons. Kroll, who seems to have been standing there for quite some time walked in between Aella and Sten carrying a large rucksack slung behind him, loaded with gear and supplies. "Its going to be the early evening by the time we get to where we want to set up our observation point, so I suggest we start moving now, ladies." 

He chuckles mirthlessly as he starts walking off towards the Eastern Residential District, annoyed that the paperwork took longer than he had anticipated to complete.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:36 am

Aella trotted after her handler, staying a couple of paces behind him as he moved.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:57 am

"Right you are," Sten muttered, straightening his armour and following behind.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Kroll looked over at Aella as he made his way down the street. "So...how do you think of Mr. Softclaw? You two seem to be getting along rather well..."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:36 am

Aella nodded and smiled.

"Getting along famously sir"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:58 am

Kroll nodded slowly at Aella's reply as they rounded a corner, taking a quick moment to scan the street level for any signs of suspicious activity. Seeing none, he continued walking. "Good, good. Cooperation is the key to success, especially when it comes to things of this nature; you could have a platoon of the finest soldiers around, but they won't be worth a damn if they can't work together."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:02 am

Sten wondered about adding his own 'I'm right here you know', but suspected the cap would take it the wrong way. Besides, he seemed in a good mood, so no reason to upset the order of things.

Honestly, he had more interesting things to consider. The bizarrely good-humoured soloist, for one thing. You'd have thought being enslaved might've dented her sense of fun, but she seemed perfectly fine. Funny old world.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:56 am

Aella was glad to be moving, the fresh snow beneath her talons and paws crunching as she walked. She looked up along the street and saw ponies averting their gaze from the group of griffons. Only one held her gaze for an unnervingly long moment before disappearing into an alleyway. She shrugged and continued moving.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:05 pm

Kroll sighed as they neared their destination. It seemed that this job has had him spend a lot of time in the Eastern Residential District as of late, and it was probably only a matter of time before something would come as a result of that. Whether it was good or bad was something only time would tell, and the best, if not only option, was to keep moving forward.

The captain stopped as he rounded a corner, leading the others to an multi-story building that had a large chunk blasted out of one of the middle levels, probably from some kind of shell from the war. The building was far from abandoned, however, as the lower levels still seemed to be in use by the locale. Kroll stopped for a  moment, adjusting the bags on his back as he looked over at Aella and Sten. "Alright, here we are. See that blasted-out section? We'll be using that as our observation point for this mission. I'm going to go and get everything set up, I need you two to keep watch down here. Any questions?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:28 pm

Aella shook her head.

"No questions sir"

She spread her wings and propelled herself onto a nearby rooftop and crouched down for a more stealthy approach to the building. Hopefully her "new" stained and battered armour would offer some camouflage.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:42 pm

Sten nodded. He stayed down on the street and moved closer to the building, but pulled up just short next to a pile of debris and garbage. He loitered, doing his best to look like the kind of paramilitary malingerer that were just as common as muck in this town. Speaking personally, as a paramilitary malingerer.

He checked through the windows (which against all probability were glazed) in case the inhabitants saw fit to ruin their day.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:01 am

Once he reached the abandoned level of the city Kroll began to set up the observation point. He started at the old entrance to the room, placing a set of modified bear-traps near the door. From there, the captain worked his way forward to the missing wall overlooking the street. Once the room was fully prepared, there were three bedrolls, a small bin of field rations, weapon supplies, a small fire pit, and some kind of mounted pair of binoculars with multiple lenses and dials, facing out into the streets below. After looking out at his handiwork, Kroll looked down at Aella and Sten to get their attention, signaling for them to come on up.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:28 am

Aella glided down to the street and slipped through the door, avoiding the murderous teeth of the bear traps. She looked around the setup and frowned.

"How long do we expect to be here sir?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:26 am

Sten flitted up in a hop, skip and a jump to the missing wall in time to see Aella coming the other way. He had to agree with her, this did look like a pretty elaborate set-up.

"And what are we looking for in particular?" he said, silently praying that hadn't already been mentioned.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:41 pm

"Well, I have enough rations for the three of us to last us two days..." Kroll said as he adjusted the lenses on the binocular-like device. "As for what we're doing here, we'll be observing the bakery across the street in shifts. We'll have someone working the lenses up here, some eyes on the ground, and a bird's eye view if we need it. Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity, we don't know how big the opposing force is, or have any means to identify them. We'll take 15 minute shifts at each position before regrouping and consolidating our notes. Be wise, be safe, be aware." The captain looked between Sten and Aella. "Any questions?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:40 am

Aella bowed.

"where do you want me sir?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:48 pm

"I think you would benefit best from doing the first street level patrol...hrm, maybe you should take Sten with you. Now that I think about it, an aerial view may not be the best of ideas; the sight of a griffon flying in a circle over a block may not garner the best of attention...I'll keep watch from up here while you two go out, and we can regroup in fifteen minutes. After that, we'll switch it up a bit. How's that sound?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:51 pm

Sten nodded. Walking he could do. Flight would just be a bloody nuisance.

"Sure."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:57 pm

Kroll nodded as he walked over to the mounted pair of binoculars. "Alright, hop to it. Dismissed."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:11 pm

Aella walked over to the door and waited for Sten to join her. After a moments thought, she stripped off her armour and kept the padded undersuit on. Hopefully she would look like a... massively muscled scarred civilian.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:43 am

Sten followed after her through the door (over the bear trap. Why was there a bear trap?).

"Alright then, ma'am, guess you're in charge," he said. "Lead the way."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Kroll on Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:50 pm

(To keep nosy folks out, of course!.)

Kroll watched the two leave, quietly wondering why they didn't just jump out of the missing section the wall that led outside, though he supposed taking the conventional way out had some merit in this case. Turning back to the mounted binoculars, the captain calibrated the device before he put his face up to the lenses, and adjusting them to focus on the bakery across the street.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:26 am

Aella walked out the door and ambled down the street with Sten at her side. She watched the passers by out of the corners of her eyes, not wanting to arouse too much suspicion. She turned to Sten, deciding that small-talk would help them blend in a bit.

"Do you come to this end of town often?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:29 am

Sten cast a few glares to likely-looking ponies as they passed, just to keep up appearances.

"Not so much," he said, idly. "Don't find myself falling in with ponies very often.
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:00 pm

Aella nodded as they passed a piece of graffiti depicting a disemboweled Griffon.

"They don't seem to be the friendliest types"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:21 pm

Sten chuckled at the drawing, and shrugged as he picked his way over the litter in the street.

"Well, they wouldn't be," he said. "Things haven't gotten any better. It's been who knows how many years and things are still as they were when we first marched in here. Hell, in some places it's gotten worse..."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:10 am

Aella looked over to Sten, dodging a small pile of refuse in the middle of the street.

"Have you been here from the start?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:07 pm

Sten scrunched his face in reluctant admission.

"Not since the beginning, but you get a feel for it after a while," he said, gesturing around. "Trottingham wasn't this bad when we arrived, but by the time I left it was definitely worse."

He sighed. "You hear about it spreading back home, too. Border towns full of old soldiers making trouble and whatnot."
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Aella on Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:44 am

Aella frowned.

"Do you think it will get better?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

Post by Sten Softclaw on Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:11 am

Sten nodded to the buildings all around them.

"How could it?" he said, simply. "After all this, what'll send it on an upward trajectory?"
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Re: Kicking the Hornets Nest

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