Prompt: June 6, 2012 - Confessions. Your character is brought somewhere by or against their will to confess something they are guilty of, carrying in their heart and/or withholding from the enemy. Is the confession simple or did the secrets have to be ripped from your flesh? Explain what happens and whether your character breaks.. . . . . One of the worst parts of being immersed in life on the streets was being subject to the vagaries of life on the streets. You go and do everything you can to set up your reputation in the proper circles and let it be known that you run with the rest of the gutter-scum, and then some new bucks come into town not knowing the rules and think they'll be Billy Badass and nab themselves a merchant's wife for ransom gold.
. . . . . Ilva blinked several times at the wan torchlight in the dusty cellar. It wasn't so much that it was bright, but that after several hours with her hood over her head down to her nose and her runecloth bandages wrapped over her eyes, the return to vision was eye-watering. The goose egg throbbing on the back of her skull didn't help either.
. . . . . "Oy," grumped one of the looming shadows, "who's yer man? Bet he's gonna pay a pretty peck f'r you, ain't he?"
. . . . . "You can't ransom me, you twit," she groused, still too busy blinking away tears to focus on any of the four shadows in the room.
. . . . . "Cow patties, I cain't!" Her peripheral vision had recovered enough to show her a thick-fingered hand reaching out and plucking up the fabric of her robe over her knee. "I been watchin' you make trade deals all afternoon down dockside. You'll fetch us a right fine sack o' coin. So who's yer man?"
. . . . . "You ent gettin' squat off me, ninny-noggin, 'cause I ent worth it!" Ilva shot back, wriggling her arms behind her as she tested the amount of play in the ropes tying her to the rickety chair. Two of the four shadows around her moved off, clearly taken aback by her street-savvy response.
. . . . . But Thicky here just wasn't all that bright. He set his fingers on either side of her chin and lifted her head. "Mebbe we take our piece outta yer hide first, then we get yer fella payin' f'r his pretty wife back." Although she was taking pains to keep up her blind ruse and not focus on his face, the leer was fairly unmistakable.
. . . . . With a tone usually reserved for talking to the hard-of-hearing, the elderly, or the very young, Ilva gritted her teeth and asked, "Which group you runnin' with?"
. . . . . "Wot?"
. . . . . "Which. Group. Are. You. Running. With?"
. . . . . Thicky - who was less an indistinct shadow now and more a broadly over-fed, slobbery-lipped roller with limbs - dropped his hand from her face and stuck his chest out like the lumps on his chest were muscles; she was very good and did not giggle at his cleavage. "Ain't nobody we answer to in this town! We of the Grey Goose follow our own code!" 'Grey Goose' had to be the stupidest gang name she'd ever heard. What sort of moron named their gang that? "An' as its Upright Man, I say I'm ransomin' you - to yer man or a flesh trader." That answered that question. "Just as soon as you squawk out who."
. . . . . "That ent how it works in a big city like this," Ilva tried to patiently explain. "There's alliances 'twixt parties, affiliates and alliances to be maintained. You don't go nabbin' on another's turf an' expect not to be answerin' for it." Her head rocked to the side as Thicky laid a meaty palm to her cheek with the force of a Tram car. Pausing speech for a moment, she darted her tongue to the left side of her mouth and checked that none of her teeth wiggled. All solid. "Ow," she whined, then went on, "Like here. This is Canal Rats territory. They ent as violent as, say, Sanguines get, but they ent gonna be too pleased at poachin'."
. . . . . "Oy, boss," one of the two who'd stepped back dared to venture, "I don't think she's some merchantman's skirt."
. . . . . "Shut up, Galdir," snapped Thicky. He grabbed her robe again and gave it a good tug, trying to rip the skirt free.
. . . . . "Hey! Woah! Ho there! Ent none o' that!" Ilva protested, twisting in the chair she was tied to. "Look, I'll squawk, alright?" A breeze made one of the torches gutter and she got a whiff of cigar smoke, mint canes, and the faintest hint of fur; in order to cover the inevitable faint clanking, she made more of a show of wiggling in her chair so it creaked and groaned. "I ent wantin' to divulge this, see, and I ent a fan of sellin' out those wot keep me safe, so I'm only tellin' you who my man is...'cause I expect you're 'bout to meet 'im."
. . . . . A heavily-armed and armored brawler leaned a plate-covered shoulder on the doorjamb and tipped an invisible hat at the thief tied up in the chair in the cellar. "Oy, Rabbit, wot'd you get into?"
. . . . . "Just tryin' to get home, Badge." (Eredis's entry #32 immediately follows this incident from Badge's point of view.)