Fairy Tail RP

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    Protecting Commercial Interests

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 18th November 2019, 11:58 am

    Job Details:

    Job Sign-Up: Page 10, Post Number 233
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 18th November 2019, 1:05 pm

    -Desierto, Tri-Council City, Mid-afternoon-

    Walking through the massive gate to the Tri-Council City in her ring-made disguise of tan head wrap that covered her face except for a pair of sand goggles, tan long-sleeved shirt, tan cargo pants, and tan boots, Diana entered the urban oasis to meet with a client who needed the services of a freelance troubleshooter for a problem involving some rather persistent bandits. The meeting place was in the headquarters of a merchant's guild called Tri-City Caravan Company, which managed caravans that traveled and sold their wares all over Desierto. From what little she had been told, the company had run into some trouble in central Desierto; it had lost three caravans in as many weeks and had nearly lost another last week, but the leader of the fourth had experienced mechanical trouble with three of the wagons and turned back just in time to avoid the ambush.

    To gain access to the client, she had to recite to a receptionist the pass phrase "I am a traveler in an antique land." Once the pass phrase was confirmed she would be ushered into the client's presence, where she would learn more details about the job. Diana thought that the words to the phrase sounded familiar... they sounded like the opening lines to a poem she had read in school, but her school days had been many lifetimes ago and she could have been mistaken. However, to learn more about the job she had to get to the merchant headquarters first.

    Diana walked through the city's open-air bazaar on her way to the merchant guild's headquarters, which was a three-story building located in the periphery of the city's market district. To be more specific, it was in a corner of the market district that was removed from the hustle and bustle of the bazaar. Speaking of the bazaar, it was in full swing with merchants occupying booths that stretched as far as the eye could see. They made sales pitches to receptive customers and offered a variety of wares that was dazzling. Jewelry, clothing, hand-woven carpets, handmade furniture, incense, and more were for sale to any and all customers.

    Diana thought she had spotted the building in the upper left corner of the market district, but first she had to run the gauntlet of food and perfume merchants that had occupied the corridor leading to the building. She took a breath and merged with the crowd heading the same way she was. Almost instantly her ears were overwhelmed by the loud cries of merchants eagerly hawking their wares. Her nose simultaneously came under attack from the strong scents of exotic spices that some of the booths advertised in bundles set on their counters. To make matters worse the foot traffic was moving rather slowly; people were packed together and were shuffling forward due to a traffic jam of sorts.

    The disguised mage drew on the patience developed by years of working in the shadows and endured the unpleasant conditions the best she could. Foot traffic inched forward step by step, permitting her to see the reason for the slowdown. People were lining up to buy treats made of shaved ice with added flavoring in the form of various syrups that could be poured on top. Diana could not blame them for wanting relief from the relentless heat and shuffled by without further complaint. She looked forward and saw the destination out of the corner of her eye; it was a three-story building with a wooden sign hanging above the entrance featuring the company's name painted in bold black letters and to the bottom left was a hand holding a triangular stack of three bars of gold.

    Rejuvenated by the sight of her destination being close at hand, Diana instantly forgot the annoyance of the glacial pace the pedestrians were moving at and patiently inched forward with everyone else until there was enough space to get free of the crowd. Once there was enough room to pass by she squeezed past a couple browsing at chili peppers, then calmly walked away from the bustling bazaar and made a beeline for the Tri-City Caravan Company headquarters. A minute later and she was standing outside the door to her destination.

    Diana took a breath and stretched her arms to regain feeling in them. The people were so tightly packed that her arms were pinned to her sides for the entire walk through the alley. Once she did that she opened the wooden door to the building and entered, shutting it softly behind her.

    [Post Word Count: 780]
    [Total Word Count: 780/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 18th November 2019, 4:09 pm

    -Inside the Tri-City Caravan Company headquarters-

    Diana stepped into the first floor of the building, which had the layout of modern offices back in Fiore. There were leather chairs off to the sides for clients to sit on, glass coffee tables with stacks of magazines and newspapers for waiting clients to read, and a large map of Desierto framed behind the receptionist's desk, which was positioned almost against the wall. The desk had the company name spelled out in black letters on the front. To the left and right were hallways that led to individual offices with nameplates fastened to the right of each door.

    The dominant feature of the room was the semicircular wooden desk for the busy receptionist, who was busy at her computer monitor typing furiously and balancing a phone between her left shoulder and the left side of her face as she spoke into it. The receptionist was a young woman with shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes behind black-rimmed glasses wearing a black jacket and black skirt with black dress shoes. Diana could hear parts of the receptionist's conversation as she slowly approached the desk.

    "...So Mr. Raberba wants the shipment of hand-woven carpets sent to Berreb?" The receptionist asked the person on the other end of the phone. Diana did her best not to eavesdrop on the conversation, but she could tell that the young woman was frazzled.

    "Of course. I'll tell Mr. Adua right away- hang on, one moment please..." She said before tapping a button and taking another call. She listened intently to the person on the other ens and a look of dismay crossed her face.

    "...So you're saying that the caravan to Nebdoui didn't make it? Are you sure?" She asked incredulously. Diana could hear shouting on the other end as the hapless receptionist recoiled and held the phone away from her left ear. Whatever she was being told, it was not good news for the company. Diana took a seat at the coffee table on the left and removed her sand goggles and face wrap, allowing the world to see magically altered blue eyes and brown hair. She picked up a newspaper that covered news in the Tri-Council City and read an old headline that declared "LOCAL MOGUL WITH LINKS TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING OPERATION FOUND DEAD!"

    Diana looked at the large picture situated below the headline and learned that the "local mogul" was none other than "Mr. Abdul", the man she had sighted at The Desert Runner's racetrack and had killed at his home with a long-distance shot to the head. She read the story and learned that while the case was still considered active, the authorities had no leads to go on due to the killer leaving no evidence to trace them. One quick-thinking officer had thought to check with the local poor for leads, but upon questioning the poor claimed that they did not notice anything out of the ordinary about the timeframe up to and after the murder. Diana was pleased to know that she had spent part of her racetrack winnings wisely because the beneficiaries of her largesse did not give her up.

    The mage read the newspaper while the hapless receptionist continued to field phone calls. Aside from the article about "Mr. Abdul" there was also a headline on the second page describing the sultan looking for people to help with some archaeological expeditions he had been sending out to find artifacts from Desierto's past. Further reading disclosed that the sultan preferred applicants with knowledge of Desierto's past and archaeological training, but he also needed mages to protect the archaeological sites once they had been established. Perhaps Diana would tap into that source of work once her business with The Shadow Collective had been concluded.

    Diana flipped to the Local Interest section and read a brief article detailing the variety of visitors the open-air bazaar was attracting from far and wide. An unofficial census taken a month ago showed that visitors came from locations as far away as Iceberg, Bosco, and Joya to peruse the wares. She was looking over a poll about Leona Jarnefeldt's approval rating in Desierto when the receptionist called to her. Diana neatly put the paper back in order and neatly folded it, then put it back into place and stood up.

    "Sorry to keep you waiting for so long. Things have been busy around here. What can I do for you?" The young woman asked, clearly grateful to get a brief respite from the flurry of phone calls. Diana remembered the phrase she was supposed to recite to be able to meet with the client and spoke it.

    "I am a traveler in an antique land." Diana recited the phrase in a magically altered voice that was half an octave higher than her normal voice. The receptionist recognized the significance of the phrase and stood up.

    "You're here to see Mr. Ahmad. I'll take you directly to his office. Please follow me." The receptionist bade Diana.

    [Post Word Count: 874]
    [Total Word Count: 1,654/12,500]









    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 20th November 2019, 12:57 pm

    -Tri-City Caravan Company headquarters, First Floor-

    Diana followed the receptionist down the hallway to the left and walked past wooden doors with windows allowing her to peer into individual offices. Those offices occupied by employees of the company answering phone calls and reviewing paperwork for clients. The receptionist took Diana to the door of an office larger than those before it. Off to the right was the nameplate Mr. Ahmad.

    The receptionist rapped on the door three times and received verbal confirmation. She opened the door and stepped inside, shutting it behind her so that the two could speak in semi-private. Diana waited outside while the two exchanged words and a few seconds later the blonde saw the door open briefly and the receptionist step through.

    "Mr. Ahmad will see you now." The receptionist informed the waiting blonde. She opened the door wide and Diana stepped through to meet with Mr. Ahmad, who was presumably the person who had contacted her about the job. He was a man of average height and build with a bushy black mustache and short black hair who wore a black business suit with a black tie, but he had an air of authority that was hard to ignore.

    "Thank you." Diana thanked the young woman before entering the office. The receptionist shut the door behind them and Diana and Mr. Ahmad could talk in peace.

    -Mr. Ahmad's Office-

    Diana stood in the middle of the office and was surprised by how austere it was. There was very little to indicate that the man before her was a high-ranking member of the Tri-City Caravan Company other than a framed diploma hanging in a frame behind him and three business awards arranged beside it. The wallpaper was bone white and the only furnishings were the desk he sat behind, a wooden bookcase, and the chairs that he and Diana were to sit in. Diana noticed that the desk, bookcase, and chairs were all made out of high-quality materials; the craftsmanship was such that all four articles looked like they were all hand-crafted. The blonde did not have much time to examine the office because Mr. Ahmad soon spoke to her.

    "I see that you got my message concerning an opportunity for employment." The man said to her without wasting much time on niceties like small talk.

    "Yes, Mr. Ahmad." Diana answered with an economy of words. She could tell that flattery would be wasted on him, so she did not bother with verbal bowing and scraping. He nodded and proceeded to go on about the job offer.

    "Excellent. Perhaps we can make use of you, provided that you have no problem with killing. Should this job not be for you, you may leave now and I will find someone else." He said to her plainly. Diana did not have to think about whether she had a problem with killing on the job. The blonde did not take long to give her answer.

    "I have no problem with killing." Diana answered truthfully. Mr. Ahmad gave a slight nod to indicate that the response was to his liking and started giving details about the job he wanted her to perform.

    "A persistent group of outlaws has set up shop in central Desierto and has taken to attacking our caravans and killing everyone before looting the valuables from the caravan's remains. The sultan's army, while a formidable force, is stretched thin policing Desierto and cannot respond fast enough to catch the outlaws before they disappear into the lawless wastes with their ill-gotten loot. We have lost three caravans in as many weeks. This situation is unacceptable." The man informed her of the circumstances that warranted hiring her to handle the problem.

    "What do you need me to do?" Diana asked him. He frowned as if he had just been insulted.

    "The ideal solution is to kill every last one of them, but we will settle for you killing as many of them as you can." He answered candidly. The client was straightforward about what he wanted. Diana liked that.

    "You will have no reason to fear legal repercussions for taking this job. The outlaws have no legal rights. Besides, you will be doing the country a favor by eliminating those criminal vermin. Not only do they raid our caravans, but they also attack religious pilgrims and tourists. Such lawless behavior gives our country a bad name." Mr. Ahmad assured her that she would have nothing to fear from the Desierto authorities if she took the job. He also assured her that her culling of the outlaws would benefit people besides the company. Diana had no problem with that.

    "Very well then. I will take the job." Diana said to him.

    [Post Word Count: 834]
    [Total Word Count: 2,488/12,500]

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 22nd November 2019, 1:25 pm

    "Excellent. You will ride with the next caravan scheduled to pass through central Desierto, which will leave here in approximately twenty minutes. We are certain that the bandits will attack this caravan just like all the others, so you will have an opportunity to get a head start on eliminating the problem." Mr. Ahmad informed her about how she was to get to the site before she even had a chance to ask the question.

    "Once you have repelled the attack, you are to track them down and kill as many as you can. Unfortunately, you will have to do this part alone because we cannot afford to spare any caravan guards to assist you. The cargo we are sending must get through." He informed her that once she helped fend off the anticipated attack on the caravan she would have to undertake the rest of the mission alone. Diana was not particularly upset about hearing that because she tended to work best when by herself. All she had to worry about was her own job performance and staying alive to get paid.

    "Very well then." Diana voiced her consent. Mr. Ahmad gave a slight smile.

    "I wish you the best of luck. Now you must get going. The caravan will leave soon and you must be on it if you are to succeed." He said to her. He pressed a button on his desk and the receptionist from earlier soon entered the room.

    "Yes, Mr. Ahmad?" She asked the man.

    "I would like for you to escort our helper to the caravan staging area. Our helper is riding with the one scheduled to leave for Nebdoui in about twenty minutes." He requested.

    "Yes, sir." She answered. Diana stood up and followed the receptionist out of Mr. Ahmad's office and to the caravan staging area, which was a short distance outside the headquarters building and just behind it.

    -Caravan Staging Area-

    After a brief walk and a brief side trip to retrieve her face wrap and sand goggles from the lobby, Diana found herself standing with the receptionist in front of an area that looked a lot like a loading bay for cargo trucks. Upon further inspection it looked more like a giant auto garage with eight metal bay doors, wagons on hydraulic jacks being worked on by mechanics, and other employees loading cargo onto the back of waiting wagons. The receptionist looked around and soon located the caravan that Diana was going to hitch a ride with. Diana was guided to the fifth bay door where a fully loaded four-wagon caravan was waiting. An older man wearing white robes approached the receptionist and spoke to her.

    "I understand that we are to take our helper with us through central Desierto?" He asked the young woman, gesturing towards Diana.

    "Yes. Mr. Ahmad has hired them to deal with the bandit problem. She will help repel the anticipated attack on the caravan, then she will pursue them and deal with them once and for all." The receptionist answered. The older man nodded in acceptance and looked towards Diana, who was observing the proceedings from a short distance away.

    "We are leaving soon! You are to ride on the lead wagon!" The man informed her, helpfully pointing towards the wagon in question. Diana nodded and briskly walked to the first wagon, where she climbed on board and sat in the front of the wagon. She redid her head wrap and put on her sand goggles before the wagons got moving.

    "Good luck!" The receptionist called to Diana before turning around and heading back for the comfort of the headquarters office. Diana waved back and waited for the wagons to get going. The older man climbed on board beside her and took the reins into his hands.

    "Now we leave for Nebdoui." He told her. He got the horses in motion and the caravan pulled out of the bay and onto a side path that led to the city walls. A few seconds later a group of caravan guards mounted on horses and armed with semi-automatic rifles formed up on both sides of the wagon train. Just a few steps from the gates the guards opened the gates to let the caravan through. The wagon Diana was on rumbled out of the city and onto the sand, where the driver immediately set a course for central Desierto.

    -Desierto, one hour later-

    "We have a ways to go, young one. Nebdoui is a long way from here. I estimate a trip of at least seven more hours, and that is without any delays. Central Desierto is about another two hours away." The driver told Diana about what she was in for. Diana was busy watching for trouble from outlaws other than the ones she was sent to wipe out. Aside from the desert wind blowing in her ears, the sound of hooves on sand from the horses in front of her and those of the caravan guards beside her, and the sound of the wagons rolling through soft sand, the trip had been quiet so far. Diana was not going to complain. She would get all the action she could handle once the caravan reached central Desierto.

    [Post Word Count: 912]
    [Total Word Count: 3,400/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 22nd November 2019, 2:20 pm

    -Desierto, one hour later-

    It had been two hours since the caravan had set out from the Tri-Council City and there were no signs of trouble... yet. All of the wagons were still rolling and the caravan was still on track to arrive at Nebdoui in approximately six more hours. Diana wondered if the lead driver or the company had accounted for the delay that would be brought on by the attack in their timetable, but that was not her concern. Her sole concern was to defend the wagon train and follow any survivors to their camp, then wipe out the bandit threat. Diana would leave the number-crunching to the Tri-City Caravan Company.

    The blonde looked behind her and saw that the wagons had six armed men apiece in them plus a man riding beside the driver. There were at least twenty riders on horseback escorting the wagons. In between the two it looked like a substantial security presence, but Diana did not know how many attackers there would be once they reached central Desierto. She also did not know if the attackers would use firearms, magic, or other weapons once the battle had begun. Again, she would just have to focus on doing her job when the time came.

    "Is this your first caravan ride?" The driver asked Diana. The mage turned around and faced him so that he could hear her response.

    "Yes." Diana answered.

    "I have been a driver for the Tri-City Caravan Company for over twenty years and have traveled this route so many times that I have lost count. I am but forty-three, but I look much older than I really am." He informed her of how many years he had been on the job. Diana could tell that he was not lying. The man's face looked weathered due to constant exposure to the elements and no small amount of peril. She wondered how many times he had been attacked and how many times he had cheated death.

    "Driving a wagon for the company is a job with long hours and quite a bit of danger. Outlaws are always looking to attack us and seize the wares we are transporting. Some outlaw groups are merely interested in our cargo and will let us live if we surrender it. Others want to kill us, then take the cargo. We never know which kind of outlaw we are dealing with until they approach." He continued a summary of the life of a caravan company employee. Diana was glad that she was not a regular employee of a company that carried cargo through the desert. She did not care for the constant, unrelenting heat or the sand trying to force itself through her head wrap and into her mouth and nose.

    "Do you know anything about the outlaws we may encounter once we reach central Desierto?" Diana asked him, trying to get a faint idea of the opposition she would be going up against. He simply laughed.

    "Not at all, young one. There are so many gangs roaming that area that it is impossible to categorize them all. Some are simple robbers while others are slavers looking for more people to capture and take to their infernal markets. Still others only seek to kill anyone they come across. I wish that I could give you a better answer." He answered with an apologetic tone. Diana kept quiet and let him speak without comment.

    "I have heard rumors that the group responsible for attacking our caravan is a new outfit that no one has ever heard of before. The company is keeping news of the lost caravans under wraps because it would unnerve our workers and possibly frighten away our investors." He told what little he knew about the culprits. Diana's eyes narrowed when she heard that the culprits were a new group. She wondered if Mr. Gorman was using The Shadow Collective to ruin the reputation of companies he was interested in so that he could buy them on the cheap once their investors bailed out. If the bandits kept interfering with Tri-City Caravan Company commerce, Mr. Gorman could play the hero and buy them cheaply once their investors pulled out and the company turned to anyone who promised to stave off bankruptcy. She did not know if he was behind the company's woes or not, but using his hired assassins to weaken companies for a buyout sounded like something the ruthless businessman would do.

    "We are about one hour away from central Desierto, but that does not mean that we are not in danger. I suggest that you stay focused because our mystery bandits are not the only ones who prowl the lawless wastes. We may have to fight our way through more than one opportunistic bandit gang." He suggested to her. Diana turned away from the driver and faced forward while the guards on horseback renewed their vigilance now that they were an hour away from the danger zone of the desert country. The mystery bandits might not be the only ones who wanted a piece of the caravan.

    [Post Word Count: 886]
    [Total Word Count: 4,286/12,500]

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 23rd November 2019, 1:59 pm

    -Central Desierto, one hour later-

    After passing through a sandstorm and almost choking on the incessant swirling sand the four-wagon caravan had finally reached central Desierto, the hotbed for the country's outlaw activity. Bandits, slavers, and other malcontents called the area home and were constantly on the prowl for people to prey upon. It was flat, sandy country whose monotony was only broken up by the occasional sand dune, which made it perfect outlaw country because there was nowhere for victims to run or hide. By the same token there was nowhere for the bandits to hide; a well-prepared party stood a chance of fending off attackers if they had adequate weapons and worked together.

    So far the party had not encountered any trouble except for the sandstorm, but now they were in the danger zone and had to be alert. Trouble could come thundering over the horizon at any moment now. The wagons kept moving at a good pace as the tan-uniformed guards sitting in them readied their weapons for action and prepared to fend off attacks from the right side, which was where the gently sloping dunes were. Diana brought out her Suppressed Assault Rifle so that she would be able to fight back the instant trouble started instead of having to waste precious time bringing it in.

    The caravan continued to move, but it slowed down as the lead wagon approached an obstacle set on the side of the path. The obstacle in question looked like the burned-out remains of another wagon, but that was not the only thing off about the situation. Diana looked closer and saw pikes a short distance away from the wagon with a decapitated body lying at the foot of each pike. On each pike was a severed human head, most likely belonging to the person lying at the foot of it. The driver saw the scene too.

    "The bandits have struck some hapless souls before us. I hope their deaths were quick." He commented grimly. Diana intended to make sure that this caravan did not meet the same fate as the last three that had traveled through this perilous region. Once the caravan was safe she was going to leave it behind and track the outlaws to their camp, then wipe them off the face of Desierto. That would be easier said than done, but Diana had taken the job and she would keep to the contract.

    Diana could feel the tension building as the wagon approached the burned-out wagon and the pikes. A sweating guard on horseback wiped his forehead with the back of his left hand and paused in place to survey the area. A moment later a sharp CRACK sounded and the man's forehead suddenly had a quarter-sized hole in it. The tense atmosphere reached a boiling point as the dead guard fell wordlessly to the left and off of his horse, his rifle falling to the sand butt-first.

    "BANDIT ATTACK! BANDIT ATTACK COMING FROM THE RIGHT!" The driver of the wagon behind Diana's shouted a warning and pointed just before being shot through the temple and pitching forward. Diana spun right and saw a unit of white-clad horsemen armed with semi-automatic rifles charge from the dunes towards the second wagon and the one behind it while firing their weapons. The caravan guards gave a volley of return fire, then began to hurriedly disembark from the wagons as the horse-mounted guards covered them with more gunfire.

    Diana spotted a reckless bandit charge the lead wagon while firing wildly. She "stood" her ground and carefully aimed for his head as he leveled his rifle at her chest. She fired a Three-Round Burst that hit him in the forehead and dumped him from the saddle just in front of the very wagon he was going to victimize.

    "Good shot!" The driver commented as he reached for a weapon and produced a semiautomatic pistol out from under the seat. Diana aimed and fired, bringing down another horsemen with a shot to the chest. She jumped down from the wagon and stayed by its side, focusing on defending the wagon from a position that allowed her more freedom of movement. A caravan guard in front of her fired twice, dumping an enemy horseman from the saddle as he charged the wagon and his shots dug into the wooden wagon to the left and right of the guard. The brave man crouched and fired another two shots at a distant horseman; the enemy screamed and pitched forward with a bloody hole where the left eye once sat.

    The wagons behind them were under attack but holding their own. Most of the guards had taken cover on the left side of the wagon and were returning fire, causing some enemy horsemen to wheel their mounts around and retreat as others galloped into position and gave cover fire. Diana fired at one of the rear guard and shot him in the left temple as he turned to join his fellows in retreat. His foot got caught in the stirrup and his corpse was dragged behind the galloping horse.

    "This attack is not over. That was only the first wave. There are more to come." Diana's driver advised her. The blonde stayed where she was and waited for the next attack to begin. Being on the defensive was difficult for the huntress, but the caravan needed to survive the ambush for the job to be considered a success.

    [Post Word Count: 939]
    [Total Word Count: 5,225/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 24th November 2019, 3:34 pm

    Diana waited by the lead wagon while the caravan guards tallied their dead, took ammunition from the dead and distributed it to the survivors, and did everything they could to get ready for the next bandit attack. Her weapon did not require ammunition... besides, the rifle ammunition was of a different caliber than what her weapon would have used were it a "real" rifle. She listened to the blowing wind and the shifting of the sand and watched the guards respectfully pile their dead in the fourth wagon as the caravan waited for the next attack. Diana saw that the caravan respected its workers and would not leave them to feed the vultures if they could help it.

    "You shoot well, young one. I take it you have been in battle before?" The driver asked Diana. The former produced a pair of pistol magazines and placed them beside him in the seat for easier reach.

    "Yes, I have been in battle before" Diana answered with a minimum of words. Neither he nor the Tri-City Caravan Company had to know about her shady past or her extensive practice in marksmanship. All they needed to know was that Diana was a freelance troubleshooter and that she was good at what she did.

    "I am glad the company hired you for this run." He said while fishing out still more pistol magazines from beneath his seat in preparation for the next attack. Diana heard a sharp CRACK and heard a bullet burrow into the wagon side just to her left. The driver hurriedly scooped up the magazines and quickly took cover behind the wagon while Diana saw another swarm of mounted riflemen descend on the wagons in a hail of rifle fire. She was caught out in the open and did not want to get shot in the back, so she crouched and fired back the best she could. She aimed and fired at one horsemen, riddling his chest with rounds as another one charged with his rifle leveled at her head in a one-handed grip. A shot rang out and the enemy horsemen rolled left off of the saddle with a hole in the middle of his chest, landing right beside Diana.

    "Get behind the wagon!" The driver commanded. Diana lipped the fire selector switch to fully automatic, shifted the grip on her weapon into a one-handed grip, and began to run around the wagon, pointing the weapon in the general direction of an oncoming enemy and firing for suppressing fire instead of shooting to kill. The charging enemy took the hint and backed off without pressing the attack; as a result he got away unscathed and sped off to rejoin his fellows without so much as a grazing shot hitting him. Once Diana was behind the wagon she took a moment to catch her breath while the caravan guards fought with the raiders.

    After pausing for a few seconds to think over a course of action she popped up and aimed at the first target she could find, which was an audacious enemy who had jumped off of his horse and was sneaking around the wagon's own horses. The driver noticed this attempt at a sneak attack and held his pistol in a two-handed grip, then waited for the enemy to go around the horses and face him before firing three quick shots to the chest that ended the threat. Diana was impressed with the driver's courage in the face of danger... clearly he had survived more than a few bandit attacks and knew how to defend himself.

    Diana stood up to shoot and was immediately sent back down by a fusillade of bullets whizzing over and by her head. A caravan guard to her immediate right was not so lucky. He hesitated to duck just a little too long and caught a bullet to the forehead for his trouble. He fell backwards and his rifle fell beside the driver, who took it as a backup weapon for his pistol. Diana stood up and sprayed a bandit horseman in the chest with seven rounds before he fell from his mount onto the sand.

    Diana looked right and saw that wagons three and four were getting hit hard... they were nearly encircled by hostile horsemen and only the desperate resistance by the two wagons kept them from being overrun. Diana looked towards the man at her side, who had reloaded his pistol and was currently checking the magazine of the rifle he had just acquired. The five men of the first wagon who were still able to fight were checking their weapons and reloading them if they needed reloading. It was safe to say that it was raining bullets beyond the "safety" of the wagons.

    "We cannot stay here much longer. What do we do?" Diana asked the driver. He did not answer because another raider had tried to sneak up on them by using the wagon's horses as cover. He took careful aim with his pistol and waited for the enemy to stick his head around the corner. When the white-turbaned man did the driver fired a single shot through the right temple that dropped him to the sand.

    "There is not much we can do, young one. If we try to flee we will be run down and killed. If we stay we might die, but it beats the certain death of making a break for it. All we can do is hang on and hope they run out of men before we run out of bullets." The driver answered. It was not what she wanted to hear, but it was true. They were in a bad place and all they could do was fight for their lives.

    [Post Word Count: 984]
    [Total Word Count: 6,209/12,500]







    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 26th November 2019, 1:46 pm

    -Thirty minutes later-

    The wagons were full of holes but were still standing, but the same could not be said for the caravan guards doing their best to stay alive. The cavalry component of the caravan had been reduced to eight men still able to fight... the rest had died defending the third and fourth wagons or had taken wounds that left them unable to ride. The guards who had taken cover behind the wagon were in mixed shape. One man had three bullets lodged in his left shoulder while another had a graze wound to his right temple that coated the right side of his face in blood. Still others were unhurt but were feeling the effects of fatigue exacerbated by dehydration.

    Men who were still able to fight struggled to stay focused on what they were doing despite the constant CRACK of rifle fire and the occasional push by enemy horsemen. A few men passed out for a short time only to be roused by their desperate companions, who needed every man who was still alive to fight. Diana was not used to being on the defensive, but this was one of the worst defensive situations that she could have found herself in. There was no cover from the burning sun and there was precious little cover from the bandits, who kept firing their weapons just to keep the defenders in place.

    Diana herself was feeling the effects of nearly an hour of fighting in the relentless desert heat. Her throat was as dry as the sand beneath her feet and she was sweating profusely beneath garments meant to keep away the worst of the sun's effects. To make matters worse she had left her hydration pack back at Ground Zero, which was a big mistake on her part. She had not anticipated a situation this grave. If she survived this battle she would never forget her hydration pack again.

    The driver beside her had run out of pistol ammunition and had set the empty handgun aside, taking up the rifle the caravan guard had dropped earlier in the fight and counting the three magazines he was able to scavenge. He was sweating profusely and his face did not look hopeful at all. He may have figured that after defying death for so long his time had finally come.

    "This may be it for me, young one. It was only a matter of time before the odds caught up to me. No one lives forever." The driver said grimly, replacing the empty magazine with a full one for what might very well be his last fight. He seemed determined to go out on his own terms. Instead of dying of dehydration or being unceremoniously executed by a bullet to the back of the head, he was going to fight it out. Diana could not blame him. He was exercising the last bit of control left to him in a situation that looked hopeless.

    One could argue that there was always hope, but Diana wondered how many people who believed that would actually be able to hang onto that attitude when things were at their bleakest. Diana's profession did not leave much room for hope, only skill and luck. Those who lived in the shadows did not have such a luxury. They had to live or die by their own merits and skills.

    Diana heard shouting coming from her right and turned to face the wagons. She was apprehensive that she was going to witness the deaths of brave men who were finally being overrun after fighting so hard for so long, but instead they were shouting and pointing at something coming in from the right. Diana spotted a large body of horsemen armed with rifles and was certain that the new arrivals were still more outlaws who were looking to scavenge what was left of the caravan after the defenders had been overwhelmed. Then she looked closer and saw that they were wearing tan uniforms. Had the Tri-City Caravan Company sent reinforcements?

    The white-clad raiders took notice of the new arrivals and fled, but not before firing some parting shots at the defenders. Five more men behind the wagons fell, but the new arrivals soon exacted revenge with a fusillade that dumped seven of the raiders from their saddles. The remaining twenty-seven wheeled their mounts around and fled towards the dunes. The new arrivals surrounded the caravan in a defensive formation and stood watch for the return of the raiders. Diana was apprehensive... what if they were just another band of raiders looking to finish what the first group had started after chasing them away?

    "They are company men, young one! We are safe!" The driver finally dared to express hope. Maybe today was not his day to die. Maybe he would live for many more years until he could finally retire. Diana envied him... her "retirement" would likely be a bullet to the back of the head and being shoved into an unmarked grave.

    A wagon full of jerry cans of water and three crates of rifle ammunition rolled up to resupply the defenders. Diana joined them in getting some much-needed water... she would need it before setting out in search of the white-clad raiders and finishing them once and for all. This battle had been won. Diana hoped that she would never again have to go through something as grueling as this battle had been.

    [Post Word Count: 922]
    [Total Word Count: 7,131/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 27th November 2019, 2:09 pm

    -Central Desierto, one hour and thirty minutes later-

    While the surviving caravan members tended to the wounded and tallied their dead Diana grabbed six canteens of water and an empty backpack loaned to her by the Tri-City Caravan Company. The skirmish for the caravan had been won, but Diana's real work was just about to begin. She now had to leave the safety of the caravan to track down and wipe out the bandits responsible for the attack. It would be a lengthy trip in hostile terrain, but traveling alone into hostile territory was nothing new for her. This was what Diana did for a living.

    Diana heard the commotion as the last of the dead were loaded onto the wagon that had brought supplies and replacements to the hard-hit caravan and the living prepared to get the caravan underway again. They still had to get to Nebdoui and the timetable set by the caravan office had been thrown out the window by the outlaw attack. However, that would be their concern, not Diana's. Her concern lay out in the vast desert beyond the dunes. The driver of the first wagon walked up to Diana to talk to her one last time before they went their separate ways.

    "You will have a rough path ahead of you. The desert is a harsh place where only the strong survive. I wish you well in your journey, young one." The driver who had carried Diana this far bade her farewell. Would they meet again? Probably not. The world was a big place with a lot of people in it, people who came and went with the seasons. In Diana's world it was a good thing for one not to get attached to anyone because they might die before one could meet them again.

    "Thanks. Good luck to you as well." Diana bade him before looking towards the endless desert wasteland for any signs of her quarry. Behind her was the commotion of wagons getting started again and their mounted escort spurring their horses into motion. Ahead of her was some of the most unforgiving terrain in Earthland. It was time to earn her pay.

    Taking one last look back at the departing caravan, Diana saw it slowly disappear into the distance before turning around and beginning her search for the outlaw camp.

    -In Central Desierto, twenty minutes later-

    The sun that had been beating down on Diana all day was beginning to set, but it was still uncomfortable. Thankfully she had water to drink to alleviate the worst of the heat. She was currently following a trail of hoofprints she had picked up just beyond the dunes, but there was no guarantee that the trail belonged to the outlaws that had attacked the caravan. It could belong to a different gang or it could belong to innocent travelers who had gotten lost in the vast sandy expanse. The only way to find out was to follow the trail to its end.

    Diana followed just to the side of the trail to avoid ruining it and kept a watch out for trouble in the form of any number of bandit or slaver gangs looking for new victims. So far she had not run into any more local gangs, but the deeper she strode into the center of Desierto the higher the possibility of running into them became. That risk was part of the job for Diana the mage masquerading as a freelance troubleshooter. She went into territory that most other people feared to tread in and completed the contract, then returned to the client for the payday and possibly offers of future work. It was a dangerous but lucrative cycle that paid well and built her reputation as a freelance troubleshooter, a cycle which led to more work and more paydays.

    Diana stopped walking for a moment to take off the loaned backpack and get a canteen for a drink of much-needed water. As soon as she had uncapped the olive green plastic canteen emblazoned with the outstretched hand holding a triangular stack of gold bars a gust of wind kicked up and blew sand into her face. The mildly annoyed blonde shrugged it off and continued to drink water while listening for anyone approaching her. So far she was alone with the sand and the wind, which suited her just fine. That meant that she only had herself to worry about.

    After draining half the canteen Diana closed it back up and stashed it inside her backpack, then put the backpack on and kept walking. She had plenty of ground to cover and not much time to do so because she did not know whether her quarry had set up a camp as a base of operations or if they were nomadic raiders who were always on the move. The company assumed that they had a base for her to track them to, but that information could prove to be inaccurate. She had no way of knowing until she made contact with them.

    Diana continued to follow the trail, which was getting harder to follow due to the wind partially covering the tracks with sand. She followed the trail the best she could but as she progressed deeper into the desert the tracks became less distinct until they vanished entirely. Stuck in bandit country with no trail to go on, Diana had a decision to make.

    Did she continue traveling in the direction the trail ended at or did she wait for nightfall and the remote possibility of following a raider home?

    [Post Word Count: 942]
    [Total Word Count: 8,073/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 27th November 2019, 7:02 pm

    -Central Desierto, nightfall-

    When it came time to make a decision between pressing on in the direction the tracks left off at or waiting around on the off chance she could follow one of the raiders home, she opted to press forward and try to find the raider camp herself. It was a gamble, but so was waiting around for one of the outlaws to ride by and hopefully not notice her. Besides, it was safer to stay on the move in case she had acquired some unsavory followers of her own. So far her search had come up with nothing, but with the advent of nightfall the unrelenting heat had finally gone away, allowing her to travel in cooler temperatures with little fear of dehydration. It also gave her an advantage; she partially blended with the shadows and was harder to spot than she was during the daytime, allowing her to spot trouble first and either evade detection or fire the first shot in what tended to be a one-sided engagement that was in her favor.

    Diana switched to her night vision mode to both stalk her quarry more easily and to see trouble before it saw her. She stopped in place and looked all around her. She did not see any signs of being followed nor did she see her quarry; she did not see anything around her except for the occasional stone and sand dunes to break up the monotonous flat and sandy terrain. Diana kept going forward while staying vigilant. The search for the outlaws was not one that would be finished quickly. The huntress had to be patient and diligent before she would be rewarded.

    -Central Desierto, one hour later-

    Diana continued her search in the northern part of central Desierto and had found nothing to go on, not even a new set of tracks. The desert wind had done a good job of wiping out the tracks she had been following up to a little over an hour ago. The blonde frowned and paused in place because the constant travel with few breaks was taking its toll on her legs. She once again looked around her before taking off the backpack and fishing out a canteen that still had water in it. When the coast was clear she uncapped the canteen and put it to her lips.

    The desert was quiet for what was touted as outlaw country. She figured that it would be particularly active at night, when it was cooler and the risk of dehydration much lower than during the day. However, she did not complain too much because the less scrutiny she was under the better she worked. Diana recapped the canteen, put it back in the backpack, and slung the backpack on once she was certain that she had not been spotted by anyone. It was time to keep moving while she still had the cover of night on her side.

    Diana put one foot in front of the other and got a move on. She thought that she had seen a flicker of something bright in the distance, but she was not certain. She needed to get closer to it and confirm or disprove that the source of the light was her target before bringing out a weapon and picking them off. Unlike some who lived and worked in the shadows, Diana was no indiscriminate killer. Even though it took more time and put her at risk of detection by both authorities and the intended target, she made certain that she was targeting the right people before taking lives. That was how professionals worked.

    The discretion and professionalism required by those who worked for Hidden Blades was exactly what had attracted Diana to the guild to start with. She found that the emphasis on stealth and discretion fit well with her own beliefs on what it took to work in the shadows. Anyone could go and kill a particular target, but it took a different caliber of mage to get to the scene undetected, make the kill, and leave the scene without being noticed and without leaving a trail of evidence behind. However, it was not like Diana could claim the moral high ground in her profession. No matter how stealthy and precise she was about it she still killed people for money.

    After the brief period of introspection Diana began to move forward again, making a slow approach to the source of light she had briefly glimpsed earlier. She was still not sure if she was approaching the campsite of innocent travelers or the campsite of an outlaw gang, perhaps even the one she was looking for. She continued moving towards it until at 300 meters she could make out seven humanoid shapes sitting in a circle around a fire and clutching rifles. That was not enough evidence for her to act on, so she slowed down even more and began to sneak towards the campfire while listening out for any loose talk that could provide her with vital clues to their identity. Other than comments about the nighttime cold being a welcome relief from the daytime heat they were not saying much of anything; Diana would have to get closer and be patient before her surveillance would bear fruit.

    Once she got to within 150 meters of the campfire she got down on her stomach and began to slowly crawl towards the men while listening to their conversation float towards her on the wind. They were still chatting amicably about nothing in particular. Maybe it was a case of mistaken identity and she was eavesdropping on the wrong people.

    [Post Word Count: 945]
    [Total Word Count: 9,018/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 28th November 2019, 4:40 pm

    Diana stopped crawling once she was within 100 meters of the men and stayed absolutely still while listening to them talk. So far everything they had said was innocent conversation. All they had talked about were things like the weather, how their bets at The Desert Runner had went, and how they wanted to get back to their home village, which turned out to be a place named Berreb. She listened further and learned that they were travelers who had visited the Tri-Council City to look for weapons to purchase for their village ever since Nebdoui had lost access to an iron ore mine it had used to produce weapons for both itself and Berreb as part of some alliance. Diana was tempted to get up and join them, but she did not know how they would react to a stranger materializing out of the shadows and opted to stay hidden a little longer. Diana observed them and listened as they chattered and drank coffee to fortify themselves before they resumed their journey home.

    Diana slowly turned around and crawled away from them so that her arrival would not be so sudden. Moments later she heard the sound of hooves on sand and saw a large group of men thundering towards the seated travelers, who also heard the noise and readied their weapons for action. Diana turned around, brought out Silent Hunter, and awaited the attack from what she and the men believed to be bandits.

    "BANDITS!" One of the tan-robed men declared. The seven men spun towards the northeast and crouched as a group of fifteen men with rifles rode towards them. Diana did not wait for the shooting to start. She aimed her rifle at the first of the white-robed men and kept her crosshairs on his head before squeezing the trigger. The man was dropped from the saddle with a single suppressed shot to the head, causing both his fellows and the travelers alarm as neither party could locate the source of the shot.

    Diana took advantage of the confusion to sight another target and held her aim before making another headshot on a bandit. He fell from the saddle and the outlaws finally started aiming at the travelers, who took advantage of the delay to return fire. One of the bandits fell from the saddle with three wounds to the chest and the others fired back, killing one of the men from Berreb with a shot through the heart. Diana aimed and fired again, dealing a headshot to a third outlaw that caused him to pitch left and fall to the sand. The outlaws were starting to falter due to the unexpectedly tough resistance from the men of Berreb and the mysterious marksman who was aiding them.

    After the travelers fired another volley that killed a raider with a shot to the throat and two to the chest, the surviving outlaws wheeled their mounts around for a retreat. Diana aimed at one of the retreating men and shot him through the back of the head for a quick kill. Diana aimed and fired at another one to "encourage" them to keep fleeing. The outlaw was shot through the back of the head and he fell off backwards while his horse kept running.

    Diana took a breath and used Silent Hunter's scope to look for other outlaw gangs who might have been drawn to the commotion of the nighttime firefight and were looking for easy loot. She looked around for a full minute before lowering her weapon and turning her attention to the men of Berreb, who were busy putting out their campfire, gathering up their utensils, and wrangling the horses of the dead raiders to use for themselves. They hoisted their dead colleague onto the back of a horse and another man climbed onto the horse, standing watch while the rest of the men hurriedly broke down the camp. It took them eight minutes to finish cleaning up and unbeknownst to them Diana was watching over them the whole time.

    "Who was it who helped us fight off those raiders?" One of the men asked his colleagues while mounting a horse.

    "I don't know, but whoever it was, I'm grateful for their help." Another one replied shortly before mounting a horse. Once most of the men were on horseback they set out to the west and passed within 60 meters of Diana, who remained still and let them pass without revealing herself. They were understandably jumpy and might shoot her by accident, which would make her mission a lot harder than it had to be. And so it was that they passed by their unknown rescuer without spotting her.

    Diana waited until the men from Berreb were long gone before standing up and continuing her pursuit of the outlaws responsible for disrupting the caravans. She walked past the dying embers of the campfire and walked past the dead outlaws who were silent witnesses to the brief but intense firefight that had happened less than fifteen minutes ago. Diana proceeded northeast in search of a bandit camp so that she could finish what she had started hours earlier.

    [Post Word Count: 873]
    [Total Word Count: 9,891/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 29th November 2019, 2:08 pm

    -Three hours later-

    After helping the travelers from afar during the firefight with the raiders at the Berreb campsite Diana continued her seemingly interminable trek to find the outlaw camp and wipe it off the face of Desierto. Three hours of travel and dodging large groups which may or may not have been more bandits later and Diana was 300 meters away from a fairly small camp with nine large, rectangular tents that was populated by at least thirty white-robed people armed with rifles. The camp had been set up in the middle of a flat plain, which left them nowhere to hide. At the same time Diana had nowhere to hide herself, so her standard modus operandi of sniping from afar would be less effective since once they got a rough idea of where the shots were coming from she would not have much time to shoot before she had to either relocate or stand and fight. Diana had an idea to ameliorate that problem.

    She turned around and put more distance between her and the camp, then at approximately 400 meters she brought out Silent Hunter. She set the weapon down and brought out her Suppressed Assault Rifle. She then set down the assault rifle and picked up Silent Hunter, which was going to be the weapon she used for the first phase of her plan. Now Diana did not have to waste time bringing in another weapon since it was right beside her and within easy reach. Once she had the weapons out she went prone and observed the camp.

    Diana spotted sentries working in pairs patrolling the outskirts of the camp. Inside the center of the camp were two large cooking fires with black kettles hung over them that were attended by two men with rifles slung on their shoulders. The sentries walked the perimeter of the camp in a standard square patrol route. She would have to take out each pair within seconds of each other or the alarm would be sounded and the entire camp would be on alert. Diana took a deep breath and focused on the first pair of sentries, who were off to the northwest of her current position.

    She sighted the first of the pair and held her crosshairs steady on his forehead. The target was unaware that his life was about to be cut short and walked towards her without knowing it. His partner was busy looking away at something in the distance and Diana took the chance to shoot his partner between the eyes. He wordlessly fell to the sand and seconds later she shifted her aim and held steady until she had the perfect headshot. Once he turned to face her she fired and hit him in between the eyes.

    Diana had just eliminated the first pair of sentries, but she would have to work quickly to eliminate the others before another pair discovered the bodies and put the camp on alert.

    She looked for more targets and spotted a pair to the northeast approximately 200 meters away. They too were unaware that they were going to die soon and were busy talking to each other about something exciting because they were animated. Hands were being used and their voices were almost loud enough to be heard from where Diana was lying. According to what she could hear a raiding party had not come back yet and they were forty-five minutes overdue. Diana did not listen to the rest because the opportunity to take them down while they were unaware was too good to pass up.

    Diana focused on the first one and aimed for the temple. She squeezed the trigger and sent a Full Metal Jacket round through his skull, splattering his partner with blood. She took advantage of the second man's panic to quickly shift her aim and shoot him through the temple before he could sound the alarm. Another pair of sentries had been eliminated.

    The huntress searched for more targets on the perimeter but could not locate any just yet. She found it hard to believe that an outlaw camp would be patrolled only by four sentries. Suddenly she spotted activity to the northeast approximately 600 kilometers away. Diana observed a party of twenty men ride close to the camp and meet with a pair of sentries who were still alive. Diana observed the meeting with interest and thought back to what the dead men had said moments ago.

    Had the overdue raiding party finally returned?

    It seemed that they had because they were allowed to proceed into the camp without a challenge from the sentries. Diana frowned at this unexpected development, but more unanticipated difficulties were to come. The pair abandoned their patrol route and hurried to the center of the camp like they were anticipating trouble while people inside the camp were stirring from their tents. Men poured out of the tents with rifles at the ready and the cooking fires were abandoned when the attendants armed themselves. Diana observed this development with keen interest.

    Who was coming to pay the raiders a visit?

    [Post Word Count: 862]
    [Total Word Count: 10,753/12,500]
    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 29th November 2019, 4:33 pm

    Diana watched the entire armed camp form into ranks to defend against an attack, but from who? Had the raiding party made contact with another outlaw group or had they attracted the attention of the sultan's army? Or had the men of Berreb organized a punitive expedition to get revenge for what had happened earlier? Diana had no idea. All she could do was watch and wait for the attackers to arrive.

    Diana observed the formation the outlaws had formed, which was composed of two ranks. The front rank was kneeling while the second rank was standing. It was an infantry formation from an earlier period of warfare, but it allowed the defenders to focus their firepower forward and possibly fend off a numerically superior foe. The entire camp was on alert and to continue sniping would only draw their attention, so Diana opted to wait until they were fully committed to fighting the attackers before resuming her own attack. She did not have very long to wait.

    From the east came a swarm of enemy cavalry so thick that Diana counted at least eighty horsemen. Half of them were wielding rifles and the other half wielded swords with pistols in side holsters. The riflemen were riding up front while the swordsmen followed close behind. That was a curious detail... they must have anticipated being able to close with their opponent before they lost too many men to make an effective attack. Diana took advantage of the distraction provided by the impending clash to take a breath before settling in to observe the battle.

    The men in the camp held their fire until the enemy was within 150 yards of them, then the first rank discharged all their weapons at once. Ten of the enemy horsemen were felled by the first volley before their fellows could fire, but the attackers gave almost as good as they got. The return volley hit eight of the camp's defenders and killed three, wounding the rest. The second rank of white-robed men fired, downing five more of the attackers. The attackers fired again and hit six men, killing only two. Once the riders closed to within 75 yards of their target the formation split; the riflemen parted to let the horsemen with swords continue the charge while the mounted riflemen hung back and hurriedly reformed to make a follow-up charge.

    The defenders were surprised by this change but stood their ground, continuing to maintain their formation and fire at the charging horsemen, who had drawn their pistols and rode towards the camp with guns blazing. Men on both sides fell dead and wounded in an exchange so fast that Diana could not count how many men each side had lost. Once the pistoliers had closed to 25 yards the defenders who were still standing fired one last coordinated volley before they began to fire at will. Diana was so mesmerized by the spectacle from another era that she found herself content to watch instead of participate.

    The pistoliers who had survived to make contact with the defenders employed their swords in a downward slashing motion, cutting those who had not maintained the defensive formation and herding those who had into a smaller area. The mounted riflemen had reformed and started to charge towards the camp while the defenders were busy fighting off the swordsmen. The defenders engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the swordsmen in an effort to overwhelm them before the charging riflemen could close in to finish the job.

    Diana watched some horsemen being dragged off of their mounts and either shot in the face or beaten to death with rifle butts. The horsemen decapitated more than one white-robed defender who had gotten isolated from his fellows and the riflemen were closing in fast. The defenders in formation quickly reloaded their weapons and began to beat back the mounted swordsmen with coordinated volleys; the survivors fired their pistols and retreated from the fray while their colleagues rode a short distance into the camp, then fired their weapons simultaneously. Once that was done they broke off and joined the retreat of their fellows.

    Diana watched the surviving defenders hurriedly gather up their wounded and reload their weapons before quickly forming into a much thinner two-rank formation than the one they had started the battle with. They clearly anticipated their attackers to return for a second attempt and they waited for the attack for several tense minutes. The minutes bled into the tens of minutes, which in turn bled into an hour. Once the hour had passed the defenders assumed that they had survived the worst of what was going to happen and cheered loudly in a single voice.

    Diana was torn about what to do next. Her contract with Mr. Ahmad clearly stated that the outlaws were to be eliminated or driven off. However, she could not bring herself to kill men who had just defied the odds and had beaten back an eighty-man assault on their camp. They reminded her too much of the caravan guards who had held their ground in the sweltering sun for a little over an hour against two waves of enemy horsemen and who had died defending their wagons. As a result Diana held her fire. Diana was getting far too soft for this line of work.

    [Post Word Count: 898]
    [Total Word Count: 11,651/12,500]

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 29th November 2019, 5:11 pm

    -One hour and thirty minutes later-

    Diana continued to watch the camp as the white-robed men hurriedly took it down in preparation for a move. Men poured buckets of water on the cooking fires, then kicked quantities of sand on the sputtering fires for good measure. She kept watch for opportunities to take down individual men to satisfy her contract, but the men were still alert for an ambush out of the darkness and stayed in pairs at all times. An eyeball count of the surviving men tallied a total of twenty-seven men still in fighting shape and fifteen wounded in varying states of health. Aside from the practical concern about drawing down almost fifty men on her position if she resumed her attack, she also found herself unwilling to pull the trigger on them after the mauling they had received at the hands of their attackers.

    Diana continued to watch the men break down camp and load their wounded onto horses in preparation for the move. She was content to let them work in peace until a patrol of three men on horseback approached her position with no intent of stopping. The huntress set Silent Hunter on the sand and reached for the assault rifle she had put into place for such an occasion. She picked up the Suppressed Assault Rifle, flipped the fire selector switch to fully automatic, and aimed the weapon at the man in the center of the triangular grouping. He paused in place and looked in her direction, instinctively hefting the rifle in his left hand and sweeping the sand in front of him. Diana waited in tense silence for him to ride off with his colleagues or for him to open fire and another shootout to begin.

    Seconds passed as the men surveyed their surroundings. Diana halfway expected their horses to smell her and her cover to be blown at the last moment, but she was shrouded in shadow and the men seemed to be in a hurry to rejoin their fellows for the evacuation. After a few more tense minutes the trio wheeled their mounts around and galloped back towards the camp, where the rest of the men were starting to stream west to safer ground. Diana held her breath and waited until the men were long gone before daring to move again.

    She stood up for the first time in hours and stretched her arms and legs before dusting off the front of her outfit with her hands. She also took her backpack off and fished out a canteen to drink from after hours of not drinking anything. Diana was relieved that she had not had to kill any more of the white-robed men. She had technically driven them off with the help of the unknown attackers, so in a sense she had fulfilled her contract with the caravan company.

    Diana heard the sound of hooves on sand and quickly screwed the cap back onto the canteen before kneeling down and shrouding herself in shadow once again. She observed a new group of riders that was sixty strong ride into the campsite and survey the scene before them. The huntress did not know who they were and did not care to find out. Diana was in no shape to take on a fresh group of sixty men and did not want to run the risk of killing innocent people with an ill-planned attack, so she dispelled her weapons, put her backpack back on as quietly as she could, and sneaked away in the opposite direction without anyone in the camp being the wiser. With no evidence left behind no one knew that Diana had ever been there.

    It was time to make her way back to the Tri-Council City and report her success to Mr. Ahmad, who was certain to be pleased with her work in securing the safety of the caravan route, if only for the time being.

    [Post Word Count: 662]
    [Total Word Count: 12,313/12,500]

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Working Together- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Taskmaster- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Richie Rich- Rich- Magic Application Approved!- Character Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- X-Mas Event Participant- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Faction : The Luminous Covenant
    Posts : 1341
    Guild : Guildless
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 5,053,519

    Character Sheet
    First Skill: Silent Reaper
    Second Skill:
    Third Skill:

    Protecting Commercial Interests Empty Re: Protecting Commercial Interests

    Post by Diana Winchester 29th November 2019, 5:44 pm

    -Tri-Council City, Tri-City Caravan Company, ten hours later-

    After a tense and perilous nighttime journey through central Desierto where she had gotten no sleep whatsoever and precious little rest, Diana was finally back inside the Tri-City Caravan Company headquarters and facing Mr. Ahmad, the dark-haired man who had hired her for the job. He was eager to hear her report, but first he humored her with a few verbal platitudes. Perhaps he was humoring her because she had actually survived the job she had been sent on.

    "You look tired. You say that you traveled all the way through central Desierto to and from the bandit camp without pause?" Mr. Ahmad asked about her welfare.

    "Yes, Mr. Ahmad." Diana replied. He gave a small smile before asking about what he was most interested in, which was the outcome of her mission to exterminate the bandits.

    "And the bandits? What about them? Are they all dead? Or have they at least been driven off?" He inquired pointedly, all traces of courtesy gone. He wanted results and he wanted them yesterday. Diana would not lie to him and claim that she drove them off by herself. She would tell her employer the truth of what happened and let the chips fall where they may.

    "I tracked them to their camp and had killed four of their sentries in preparation for an attack when another group eighty men strong raided their camp in a cavalry assault." Diana began her report. Mr. Ahmad sported an expression of curiosity and leaned on his desk. He was interested in what she had to say.

    "I observed the battle and the outlaws responsible for the attack on your caravan fended off the unknown group. I observed their camp waiting for a chance to resume my attack, but it never came. After almost three hours they packed up their camp and headed west. Barely ten minutes after they left a sixty-man group of riders entered their camp and that was when I left to report back to you." Diana truthfully concluded her report. Mr. Ahmad leaned back in his chair and looked at Diana with his dark eyes. He looked to be displeased with what the hired mage had told him about the job she had been sent on. Diana kept silent and let the man reflect on everything she had told him. After a few tense minutes he sat up straight and made eye contact again before handing down his verdict on her work.

    "While we were hoping that you would have exterminated every last bandit in the group, you kept your end of the bargain by driving them out of their camp and away from our caravan routes. Thanks to your actions in defending the wagons, the caravan you rode on made it safely to Nebdoui without further incident. All in all, we at the Tri-City Caravan Company are satisfied with the service you have rendered for us today." Mr. Ahmad informed her. Diana was relieved that despite the unforeseen technicality near the end she was considered to have fulfilled the contract. She was glad to know that her hard work and the hours spent traveling the desert would not go unrewarded.

    Mr. Ahmad opened a desk drawer and presented to Diana a large bag of Jewels. She stood up and took them with both hands, then thanked her client and sat down again. Once the exchange was completed Mr. Ahmad spoke to her again.

    "I understand that you are tired from your travels. It is only natural after spending over twelve hours on the move through inhospitable terrain. Go and relax. Should we require your services in the future, we will contact you again." Mr. Ahmad bade her farewell. Diana stood up with the bag of Jewels and faced him.

    "Thank you, Mr. Ahmad." She thanked him in a simple manner. She then returned the loaned backpack and canteens to him and left the office to set out for home. It would take at least another twelve hours to get back to Ground Zero, so she had better get going now. She had successfully completed another job and had the Jewels to show for it. The pay and prestige for having completed another dangerous solo mission was worth all the effort she had put into the job.

    [Post Word Count: 752]
    [Total Word Count: 13,065/12,500]


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