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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Ashen Lilies's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Assembling the Crew]

    As the glasses get passed around, Nocturne lifts a hand to his mask, pressing a hidden latch somewhere which detaches the bottom half of it, leaving the top half of his face covered, but revealing a grey-skinned lower half of his face, with a delicate jaw. He smiles wanly, taking a drink of the wine.

    "My name is Nocturne," he says. "I do freelance mercenary work in Skyside, mostly, but I do like to... collect items of magical power. Trinkets, artifacts, rare scrolls and tomes of unusual origin... I'm not much of a practitioner of the arcane arts myself, but it's somewhat of a special interest of mine."


    When the conversation gets to Jazirian, he'll merely introduce himself with a simple "Um. Jazirian. I like burglary. um."

    He doesn't take a drink of his own, merely passing the bottle onward without pouring any for himself.
    Last edited by Ashen Lilies; 2020-08-26 at 05:55 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok
    She’s graduated from child soldier to unstable teen sorceress, way to go.

  2. - Top - End - #92
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    The Mad Hatter's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Assembling the Crew]

    Good, introductions had gone simply swimmingly!

    Larza is quite pleased, especially so once she gets a better look at the face beneath the gunman's mask.

    She loved a good bit of mystery around a man. Now was not the time to fixate on pretty mud people, though - there was business to do! With a confident smirk, she starts to speak up. "It's guid tae catch up wi` ye a'! Th'gither, we'll be able tae pull aff operations none o' us cuid dae alone!" The goblin will accentuate her boastful statement by guzzling down the contents of her glass of champagne. She's a messy drinker, sure to spill plenty of it down her front. In the process of making a mess of herself, she'll wink towards Nocturne.

    A photograph is produced and then set upon the table. It depicts the VIGIL skybase.

    "Ah trust ye a' ken whit ye'r keekin at?"
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  3. - Top - End - #93
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Assembling the Crew]

    Jaahlyn nods to Larza's question. "Indeed, I've already had some plans of breaking into the base involving their supply transports actually. If we could hijack one of them and pretend to be workers we could infiltrate the base. Perhaps with others acting as a distraction while the rest of the group gets into their security vaults. Getting through them safely in such a limited span of time might prove quite a task though. They keep things in there that could cause apocalypses if left unchecked and I don't believe we want that either." She gestures to the photograph. "Thus, is anyone here good at breaking through high-security vaults?" Now she turns to the rest of the gathering.

  4. - Top - End - #94
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    A drow-like elf in full uniform pushes the door open, peers inside the tavern, and enters.

    She sits down at a table near the entrance for a moment and to anyone that's still observing her it seems like she's studying her surroundings. She takes out a notebook and quickly notes something down in it before putting it away and getting up again. She seems to be looking for someone...

  5. - Top - End - #95
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Assembling the Crew]

    Dr Grosvenor Lovelace listens to the goblin's words in silence. Though he doesn't say anything, he already has a low opinion on Larza, what with her uncouth behaviour and messy drinking. He has no problem taking a sip out of his drink, confident that years of experimenting on himself has boosted his poison resistance to the point any 'spice' to the drink would have a reduced effect.

    It's only after taking a look at the photograph that he speaks. "Well, saddle mah back and call me a horse, if it ain't the VIGIL sky-base!" He expresses his mild surprise. A big dreamer, this one, aiming to break into an organization that would sooner kill them all. Looking up, he studies Larza with slightly more interest. Perhaps this foul creature can be of some use, after all.

    Think of the possibilities! Testing out his substances on the residents of VIGIL is sure to yield some useful data.

    At Jaahlyn's question, Dr Lovelace raises up one of his hands. "I might could whip somethin' up to ease the process by gettin' rid of security." He drawls.
    Last edited by Purple Eagle; 2020-08-26 at 11:19 AM. Reason: formattin'
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  6. - Top - End - #96
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    There's an energy coursing through the Black Dragon's Den.

    Excited taverngoers gossip at the bar or within private booths, discussing gambling strategies with regards to what they're describing as 'the fight of the century'.

    If the dark elf is particularly perceptive, she'll be able to pick out snippets of dialogue from the people around her. It seems that the Black Dragon's Den will be hosting a multi-round boxing tournament in the basement. There's quite a bit of buzz surrounding a matchup between the reigning champion, a six armed Skysider known for his brutality in the ring, and a woman boxer called Billie.

    It's a name that the dark elf might recognize, and according to a vocal minority, she's just the right person to unseat the reigning champion.

    The first match starts in ten minutes.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    As the elf gets up from her seat she simply stands there a moment as the crowd starts filing down into the basement. Only as the line starts to thin out does she start heading down too.

    "No, I'm not with Intersection." She have to explain to a curious patron as she's pressed into crowded basement with the rest of the patrons. Having to empathize nearly every other word to be heard over through the clamor. "I'm from outside the city. And even if I was, there is nothing illegal going on here. The challenger is a detective, isn't she?" She turns to look at the ring, or at least what little she could see from this position.

    Hopefully the event would start out soon...
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2020-08-26 at 01:59 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #98
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Entry isn't cheap, but it's not overly expensive either.

    The establishment made its real money through the gambling network housed within.

    As the dark elf files into the basement, the first thing she'll sense is the stench of sweat and blood. Patrons surround a circular ring outlined with a three foot barrier of sharp, wooden planks. The arena is filled with bloody straw, water barrels, and sacks of sand. Illumination comes in the form of chandeliers which hang from above, upon which candles burn. A bar has been set up in one corner, manned by an aggressive looking minotaur.

    Several ticket masters busy themselves with chalkboards upon which mathematical information is transcribed.

    Already the crowd is unruly, with patrons shouting numbers towards the board.

    The first fight is about to begin!
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  9. - Top - End - #99
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    As there are no more patrons curious about her, the elf is eyeing the bar owner and the ticket masters though refrains from taking any notes.
    While this environment doesn't seem to completely agree with her judging by her expression she wouldn't have to wait long by the looks of it.
    She will head to the bar if the crowding is less severe there once the fight started and order whatever appeared to have the least amount of alcohol in it as she was on the job. It appears like she's intending to watch the fight from there.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The dark elf will be able to order a mug of swill.

    It tastes terrible, but its not too strong. Just enough to provide a buzz.

    The first match starts in earnest. It's a fair fight, well balanced - a contest of martial skill between a brawny ganger and a slender, humanoid lizard woman. It will soon become evident that these fights are overly violent and disorganized, with contestants encouraged to mutilate one another through any means available to them. Although its all hand to hand, objects within the arena are often utilized. After several moments, the ganger falls to his knees, defeated. The second, third, and fourth matches are even longer, featuring exotic inhabitants from all corners of the nexus.

    The fifth match introduces the reigning champion, a six armed, super intelligent gorilla straight out of Skyside.

    He goes by Bruiser, and wears his name well. His match is violent and short.

    The sixth and final match was next.
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  11. - Top - End - #101
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    She seems to intend to make this swill last most of the tournament the way she's sipping from it once per fight. The matches didn't seem to do much for her considering how silent she was during every fight. Though maybe it was the atmosphere down here rather than the fights themselves that made her almost look ill.
    "So what can you tell me about this challenger? What makes so many think they can beat the the champion?" She asks the bartender in-between the fights.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The minotaur at the bar scoffs as he cleans a dirty glass.

    It's clear that his opinion of the challenger is quite low, perhaps unsurprisingly so. "So many? Ha, where'd you get that, huh?

    He sneers before finishing his work and slamming the clean glass down upon the grimy table. His expression sours the longer he speaks. "Beats me. She's just some tuskfaced detective." With an evil look, he goes on to explain his position. "Bruiser's gonna tear her apart. To the victor go the spoils, he says." It's fairly evident by his choice of words that he's mostly objecting to the challenger's gender, a commonly shared sentiment within these environments.

    A heavily tattooed dwarven woman to the right cuts in at this point, interjecting with her own opinion as she guzzles down an enormous mug of ale. "Ha! Don't listen to this moron! He's just pissed that she's got bigger balls than him!" The dwarf cackles madly, much to the displeasure of the bartender. She continues on this topic. "Great, fat green balls!" An inquisitive expression forms on her face. "At least... probably green."

    "Haven't seen her myself. Just know that she's an orc, and buff as hell!"
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  13. - Top - End - #103
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The elf have taken off her cap by this point, letting it rest in her lap as she carefully listens to the two. While otherwise keeping a neutral expression, she seems unable to keep herself from smiling at the dwarven woman's "green balls" comment. "A detective, huh? Guess you have to be pretty strong to arrest criminals in Inside. Never expected to see one fighting in the area though. Though this place was guard-free." Her own uniform didn't look like any of the guard uniforms in Inside thankfully.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The minotaur sneers and busies himself with his work once more.

    Judging by his expression, it was unlikely the elf would be hearing from him again. Likely for the best.

    Ava will recall that arrests are rarely made by police detectives. However, the dwarven woman doesn't know this, so she simply nods enthusiastically. "Och, I hope she kills the guy, I wanna some some blood! With a cackle, she finishes the rest of her mug and slams it down noisily upon the table. "Th' place is guard free, lass! Ain't nothing illegal here, the Den's got papers and all that." That was probably true, else things would probably get pretty complicated. She adopts an almost conspiratorial tone before leaning forward. "Folks 'round here weren't too pleased when she showed up anyhow. Got jumped, I heard. She beat them into the pavement."

    With a grin, she continues. "Some far east type stuff, looks like martial arts to me!" This dwarf was likely not an expert.

    But then, this challenger seemed quite unusual.

    --

    Meanwhile, Bruiser enters the ring. The crowd goes wild, with drunken patrons chanting and clamoring for blood!

    The challenger would be arriving momentarily.
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  15. - Top - End - #105
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Ava also already knew a lot of other things she had asked about Billie, but the goal was to make people talk. Eventually they would tell her something she didn't know.
    She takes one of those legendary tiny sips of alcohol as the dwarven woman finishes hers. "Sounds impressive, but let's see how she deals with the champion. Haven't seen anyone beat him so far." Since she's never been here before.

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    Assembling the Crew

    "I can get down from there without being hurt. My power protects me from hitting the ground too hard. Spewer might have trouble, though." She leans forward, and so does Spewer.
    "Robbing Vigil... it'll be hard, but they gotta have some goodies up there. We're in." Spewer hadn't yet spoken, and his voice is deeper than one might expect.
    Terrowin Avatar by HappyTurtle. Much thanks!

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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    At this point, the six armed gorilla man has started to beat his chest.

    The crowd loves it, growing rowdier as the stakes are raised. There was a lot of money involved, now.

    A moment later, a woman walks through a side door. She's wearing a pair of textured athletic leggings paired with a matching gray tanktop. What little of her chest is visible is bound in bandages, as are her scarred hands and feet, which are otherwise bare. Geometric tattoos wind down her body in perfectly symmetrical bands of black ink. She's tall, and clearly quite fit - but she's far less imposing than her formidably built opponent. Despite the extreme difference in size between the two, the challenger strides forward unflinchingly, a steely expression upon her face.

    She's not wearing anything in the way of makeup, but black warpaint has been painted around her eyes and cheeks.

    Bruiser, the reigning champion, curses and hollers as he lumbers forward.

    The woman is silent, her gaze unwavering. They meet at the middle.

    A pistol is fired up into the air! It was beginning!
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    For the first time during the entire evening, Ava actually seems to pay close attention to what was happening in the ring.
    She puts away her nearly empty glass on the counter and leans forward as she catches sight of Billie. The orc briefly reflected in her red eyes.

    This was going to be interesting.

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The six armed gorilla man is the first to act, tossing a brutal punch towards the woman's head.

    Powerful muscles ripple beneath matted fur, and his fist flies through the air with incredible force. One solid shot would crush a lesser man.

    The woman reacts quickly, bending at the knee before lunging inwards at the last moment. It's an aggressive move, one which the crowd was not expecting. Once up close, she pivots hard, her bare feet grinding into the bloody straw beneath her. She exhales sharply as she jabs forward, one fist connecting with her opponent's muscular front. He's not particularly hurt, but the woman wasn't done yet. Several blows follow, she's pummeling one specific spot on his body! Finally, the gorilla man manages to swat her away with an outstretched arm. Rather than resist, she moves with its momentum.

    As she's pushed away, she shifts her weight and maneuvers herself behind his arm. Both of her hands wrap around a pair of her attacker's fingers. The woman will bend them backwards, her strength exacerbated by the momentum harnessed from his blow. Bones crack and splinter, blood spurts everywhere, and the crowd goes wild; but she's not done. Once she's finished with her little trick, she skids backwards several feet. Her opponent howls in pain before rushing towards her. There's no strategy in mind, he doesn't fight that way. He's seeing red now, and all he wants is to smear her against the barricade.

    She's prepared, though. As he comes closer, she rushes at him and slides in between his legs. Once she's reached his other side, she settles onto her back before pressing her feet against his legs and pushing hard. She's using his own momentum against him once again! The gorilla man smashes his face into the barricade, wailing as several nails puncture his face and eyes. Now effectively blind, he turns around and starts swiping in her general direction. All he needed was one good jab at her, and there'd be nothing left. The woman rises to her feet as he approaches before stepping away and preparing herself.

    He was hurt, and he wasn't thinking straight. This was as vulnerable as he was ever going to be. She knows this, and takes advantage of it. It was a risky move, but this was a risky game. She rushes back to the farthest end of the arena before running forward at full speed towards her opponent. As she draws closer, she leaps - legs first, one heel pointed forward. It connects directly with the gorilla man's jaw, instantly dislocating it. Her fist falls like a hammer upon his head shortly afterwards. He falls back, slamming his head against a barrel of water and shattering it in the process.

    At this, the basement bursts into a cacophony of noise. Blood mixes with the water, but the woman doesn't stop. Half a dozen punches are delivered to the gorilla man, each blow bashing his head further into the stone.

    Finally, he goes limp. The noise is overwhelming now. The woman is drenched in blood, but her opponent lives.

    A ticketmaster rushes into the arena before rushing her back through a side door.

    Chaos breaks loose afterwards.
    Last edited by The Mad Hatter; 2020-08-27 at 03:06 AM.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    As the fight plays out, Ava suddenly starts fumbling with her pockets and grabs her notebook, all without taking her eyes off the ring. She doesn't write anything in it until the fight is suddenly over. Just like that Billie beat the champion. Experience had beaten brute force this time.

    Now she made a note before putting it all back in her pocket, dropping a coin at the counter, and started to head out of the basement in the middle of the chaos.
    She's planning to head for the other exit which she assumed existed. She hadn't spotted one but if Billie was as by the book as she had heard, then surely she wouldn't take part in an event without at least one fire exit or something similar.

    Either way though, Ava was not going to be able to get to Billie in all that chaos and the constant roar of the crowd made her ears hurt. She would prefer waiting outside rather than inside for Billie to show.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Fortunately for Ava, the crowd hasn't quite started to disperse.

    This means that she's able to head out of the basement through a secondary exit out back.

    Outside, it has started to rain. It's coming down cold and hard, forming a stream of murky water which rushes towards a flood drain. All manner of street refuse is carried with it, everything from cigarette butts, to plastic bags, to ruined newspapers. It's dark outside, the way illuminated only by a flickering streetlamp as well as by the lights which pour out from within the nudie theater across the way.

    In short, the place was a dump - and it was only getting more miserable the longer Ava waited around.

    After several moments, a hidden side door about twenty feet away opens.

    --

    A man steps out. He's wearing a ratty vest and a pair of trousers.

    Ava will recognize him from his mustache; that was one of the ticketmasters at the Den.

    He calls back over his shoulder as he steps out into the rain, sending his voice down the hall behind him. "Alright, I'll be back with more ice in a minute. Just stay put, Bee." The door shuts behind him, but becomes stuck on a bit of detritus. There's a way to slink inside, if Ava is careful.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Also fortunately for Ava, she seems to have had the foresight to bring an umbrella.
    She doesn't even give the nudie theater a second glance as she stands there in the rain. Just as she impatiently glances down at her pocket watch, the door opens.

    But rather than sneaking inside, she knocks on the door. Hopefully someone would let her inside...

  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Ava's knock goes unanswered.

    However, she can hear someone grunting in pain from around a corner down the hall ahead.

    It sounds like a woman's voice.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Ava seems to hesitate, turning to look back as if she's about to simply turn around and leave.
    But ultimately, she decided otherwise as she gleans the door open and calls out. "Billie Banford?"

  25. - Top - End - #115
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    The door creaks open with some effort. It's heavy, and quite old.

    There's a corridor just beyond. It's quite short, and rounds a corner. That's where those sounds had come from.

    Graffiti has been painted upon the walls of the corridor, though numerous posters have been put up in an attempt to cover up the worst of it. An trash bin has toppled over inside, spilling its contents upon the tiled flooring. It's filthy, but it's not fresh. The garbage has been there for some time, it's just that no one has bothered to clean it up. Why should anyone? It's not like this part of the inn was open to the public.

    Several seconds pass before Ava recieves an answer. "Who's asking?" There's a slight pause.

    Her tone softens. "You can come in."
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  26. - Top - End - #116
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    She has to use both hands, but the door does indeed open up.

    Now for the introduction. "I'm detective Ava Farstride from Brendar. I'm here as an observer for the EXP program? You got recommended to me and I believe I left you a message..." She closes the door behind her and looks around as she starts pulling down her umbrella.
    She appears a tad sheepish, this likely not the way she had wanted their meeting to be like.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    This rather nondescript dressing room is quite small.

    A few grimy tables have been slammed up against the walls, one of which boasts of a mirror.

    Ava will recognize the woman from the fight reclining upon a ratty couch at one end of the room. She's leaning back, clearly in pain. One leg is elevated atop a wooden stool, and her knee has been bandaged. Two separate ice packs have been strapped there as well. Her scarred hands are submerged within two buckets of ice water. Billie hasn't had an opportunity to change out of her brawling uniform, though she has removed her tanktop in order to bandage up her muscular abdomen. Of course, it might be somewhat awkward to see her there in nothing else.

    She doesn't seem particularly concerned, though. When the EXP program is brought up, she raises a brow.

    Billie didn't know what that was. Still, first impressions were important.

    She winces. "Good to meet you, Farstride."
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  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Ava's expression is neutral as she spots Billie but the detective still politely turns to look away once she seems to realize the undressed state the orc is in. "Likewise."

    She gives the wall she's facing a curt nod and puts her wet umbrella under her arm. "I had been planning to simply meet you in the inn but I got delayed by-" She glances at the other detective. "Doesn't matter. I did catch your match though. Can't say I was expecting something that impressive." She pauses as she turns herself to fully face Billie rather than talking to the wall.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Billie doesn't seem to mind Ava's presence, not now at least.

    She wasn't particularly attracted to women, nor did she feel uncomfortable as she was.

    The detective attempts to respond, but breathes in too deep. Pain shoots up her side, enough to take the words out of her mouth. She groans in discomfort, sneering all the while. The sharpness of her pain fades after several seconds, replaced by a dull throbbing. In truth, this was the worst part. It lasted longer than the sharpness, each beat threatening to bring tears to her eyes. Still, she wouldn't succumb. This was not her first fight, nor her first injury. Soon, her healing ointment would kick in properly. Perhaps a shot or two would help, though.

    Billie gestures with her head towards a bottle of gin resting upon her desk. There's a small, chipped glass beside it.

    Her intentions are clear, and her tone is soft. "Would you pour me a drink, Farstride?"

    She just nods in response to Ava's kind words.

    A smile. "Mm. Thanks."
    Last edited by The Mad Hatter; 2020-08-28 at 04:25 PM.
    don't click this

  30. - Top - End - #120
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Nexus] The Black Dragon's Den XV

    [Fight Night]

    Ava seems to share Billie's disinterest though also still seems unsure how to approach the other detective in this sort of situation.

    "Do you need-" Ava starts when Billie gestures towards the glass.
    This time she doesn't hesitate when she takes the bottle and pours the orc a glass. Careful not to spill any of the precious liquid.
    As Billie takes a sip Ava takes the opportunity to comment further on what she had seen. "Hell of a way to blow off steam, Banford. I have colleagues that dabble but haven't met anyone who can claim the title of champion. Been doing this for a long time?"

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