Her brother's brief embrace was over before she'd noticed it, and she watched him go with some surprise. She was often confused by her older brother. The analytical voice in a corner of her mind told her that her perceptions and judgements were deeply colored by her own biases, her own loves and betrayals and old wounds. Shakti, the great observer, the trained anthropologist and ethnographer, the scholar indifferent even to her own fate, couldn't look past their history to see him honestly, and despite her efforts, it occurred to her in that moment that she likely never would.
Her hand still against her side, she looked down to see warm blood still trickling down to cover her fingers. "I think... ow. I think I should catch up with a healer before I go to bed. No use dying in my sleep before I can fix myself." She sighed.
She shoved off from the door and started making her way back home, figuring she could simply stop on the way. "That reminds me of something that's in no way related. I think...I owe you an explanation."
Without waiting for a reply, Shakti decided to forgo her usual vaguery and speak plainly. For once.
"About a week ago a friend of mine showed up at the Villa Pascha. An informant who's been helping me with my research. Her name is Sandy. Not long ago she learned she was pregnant and decided that she didn't want to be involved in that life anymore. A lot of people weren't happy with that decision. Those guys," she noted with a sweeping gesture to the warehouse behind them. "Were associates of hers. I'm pretty sure the first guy I killed was her pimp." Her lip curled in distaste. "A real dirtbag from what I'd heard. I supported her decision completely, and told her that if anybody gave her problems, I'd find a way to get her out of town."
She ran a hand through her hair, the purple strands becoming dark and sticky with dried blood.
"She showed up two days ago at Jeri's house. When I got her calmed down, she told me that she'd killed one of her clients. Gilleyin. I told her I would go check, see if there was anything I could do. I left her with Jeri and the girls, and when I got to Gilleyin's place... he wasn't dead."
She shook her head. "She was wrong. She hadn't killed him. He would need medical attention to recover, but he wasn't beyond saving. Fuck, I could have saved him myself if I'd wanted. I know enough healing magic for that at least. I didn't. I stood and I watched him die on his floor. I started to leave and realized that if I left him like that, if anyone found out that Sandy was involved, she'd been in serious shit. It wasn't that she'd be convicted. A pregnant woman defending herself? Yeah, that's
a tough decision."
"She couldn't go on trial, though. Being around in public like that was asking for trouble. Those guys... they told me she knows where a few bodies are buried. She found out about the activities of a few people who would kill her without hesitation if they realized somebody knew about them."
"I'm not an altruist, Silvar," she said. "This isn't Shakti sticking her neck out for the poor victimized whores. But she trusted me and I told her I'd find a way to keep them from finding her. I wasn't going to be responsible for letting her fall into their hands."
I've been failed by people I trusted,
she noted privately. I've been turned over to self-serving bastards like that. There would be nothing left of her when they were done.
She shook her head, unwilling to be distracted by her own thoughts. "So, when I realized that, I turned around, walked back in there, and blasted it. I made sure that no one would bother looking too hard at what had happened so that there'd be no chance of anyone finding her. I'd go through all the legal procedures, and Jeri would have her sent off somewhere. We had a few ideas."
"Then my brother started to interfere. I knew he would, but I had no idea how I was going to stop him. I thought I'd placed things beyond his control." She laughed. "I thought my plans were so perfect."
"But they knew. I don't know how they knew I was connected to her, but they did. She wasn't supposed to talk to anyone, or even leave the house yet. I'm hoping that Jeri will have some answers for me when we get there." She tried to remember the location of a minor, run-down temple whose healers got most of their business from victims of gangfights.
"I don't know what else to tell you."
Edited by: [url=http://p068.ezboard.com/brpgww60462.showUserPublicProfile?gid=kai@rpgww60462>Kai</A] at: 9/5/06 22:14