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Author Topic: Steel Birds of Paradise Game Thread: Episode 1 (The Mysterious Prototype)  (Read 20043 times)
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« Reply #225 on: January 31, 2013, 02:51:17 am »

Amir shrugged as the proud Lady Saber stepped into the hangars for a chat with Donna. Amir shrugged and decided he'd go to the clinic. He would need frequent check-ups, now that he was in a bad way. He didn't like being grounded, but he knew when his body needed special care. He did make a rather speedy recovery, and he was beginning to feel it. Everything was sore. Not very comfortable.

"I'm goin' 'a get a check up, see if enough o' my stitches held while I was on the carrier," he said, giving a swift acknowledgement to Donna.

Who knows. Maybe he'd see this mysterious Chinese girl on the way. It would certainly be an interesting meeting.

Amir then thought for a moment, and realized he had never fired a shot on the last run, neither by gun nor cannon. "Bollocks," he whispered to himself as he took off towards the clinic.
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« Reply #226 on: February 01, 2013, 07:19:48 pm »

A swirl of cherry blossoms, of all things, wheeled about the top of the hangar as Amir exited. A musical laugh as of a Japanese maiden rang lightly against the outbuildings next to the runway, half-drowned by the roar of an arriving airliner.  A cast of blackbirds, somehow appearing overhead, wheeled about and then were gone as a shadow darted unnoticed between two shadowed doorways;. another spray of of cherry blossom petals scattered in front of Amir as he approached the hospital entrance. Two nurses exclaimed in surprise at the sight of the petals, and remarked on their scent. High above, in a shadowed alcove on the third floor facade, a figure that was no more than a darker shade within a shadow watched as the young aviator's back disappeared out of sight below the ledge above the entrance door.

What are you doing here, fool? a voice in the mind of the watching shadow chided sternly. You are not for him, and he is not for you; his blood runs valiant, for all that he appears to be a womanizer.

I train to keep my edge, came the answer. I am the sword that may decide the battle, after all. But since you mention feeding, it grows dark and I smelled the the blood of a betrayer not ten minutes ago.

With that, the shadow that was Merovingia was on the hunt, gone without a trace, to appear shortly later in the dark back alleys of the archipelago of small floats called Sampan Village, following the scent of a man whose lusts led him to betray the trust of many. A short while later, a shadow moved languorously, as it sated by lamplight, while beneath the dim glow of a backally porchlight lay the betrayer, who would betray no m,ore, two marks upon his neck and no blood in his body.

Merovingia made her way unnoticed back to Little Peking, and bettered her appearance before entering the Forbidden Palace club by the employees' entrance.

"Ah! There you are Meri dear!" Kan Yi Nyan, the Floor Manager said. "The boys are ready for your first number, and boy are they hot tonight!"

"They're not the only ones," Meri replied throatily, a lovely blush to her alabaster skin and a fire in her eyes. Kan Yi followed her into the dressing room, Where Meri changed from the dress she had worn on the street, to a red silk Chinese "sheath" number that showed a bit of leg and buttoned at the throat, with nylons and stiletto shoes.

"OOOh, Miss Meri, you're a caution, you are! No one would guess this is your first time here - but we'll announce it that way anyway. Be ready for the men to demand you at their tables, dear, you'll be popular tonight, I guarantee it...""

t that moment, Al came out of the hangar office across the base, and said, "whaddaya say, Ladyduck? Shall we hit the Forbidden Palace tonight?"

"Oh, yes! Let's!"

Sabre turned back to Donna and said, "Done and done." She took out a pencil from a sleeve pocket on her flightsuit and the reckoning pad from a leg pocket, and jotted down the particulars. "I'll go call the office and have them send the truck right over. The driver'll have the receipt and all." Sabre stopped and looked back. "Got somebody to go with, Donna dear? If not, there's this dish of a guy in our receiving office. We could make it a double date tonight, if you want. I hear Miss Lin's got herself a hot new swing band."
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 06:59:05 am by MWBailey » Logged

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« Reply #227 on: February 01, 2013, 08:37:45 pm »

Donna brightened up and broke in to a grin.  "You know I never turn down an invitation to go dancing. I could use some arm candy and anything is better than Jericho.  He scuffed the toes of my favourite red pumps something horrible last time."  She turned to Al looking thoughtful.  "Listen I have been thinking about that attack today and those blasted ninjas.  Do you think maybe we should round up our client and put him in the detentions cells?  I know it wouldn't be the most comforable stay but if he keeps attracting trouble like a magnet it might be best to keep an eye on him.  Poor Silvia couldn't stand another attack and with Willa mooning over Amir she is pretty alone and even tho she drives me up a wall I don't want her hurt."  If there was one thing the entire Arie clan did when threatened was defend their home and their people with all the stubbornness of a mule and normally a hell of a lot of fire power.
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« Reply #228 on: February 01, 2013, 10:50:05 pm »

"Might not be a bad idea," Al said, "Provided we can get him to go without a fuss."

The crew chief and two of teh longer-term mechanics came up out of the gloom of teh back of teh hanagr, where they had been overhauling the salvaged brownings; they now gleamed with oil and new parts and looked as if they were as good as new. "We'll arm up and help you get the fellow to the lockups," The chief said. "If you folks don't mind, we'll get our better halves together afterward and join the crowd at the palace too..."

"Not me, Boss," the auburn-haired girl mechanic said from the back of the group. "Somebody's gotta mind th' store while youse folks paint the town."
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« Reply #229 on: February 01, 2013, 11:59:53 pm »

Amir burst through the doors of the clinic and laid his knuckle on the desk, giving the nurse the eye. "Hey, Doc, I needja 'a check my stitches. Combat's not very good for 'em, I hear." The nurse smiled and the doctor slammed his hands on the counter frustratedly at Amir. His tie was a bit dilapidated. "If you didn't feel anything, nothing broke." Amir smirked, understanding his anger. "Got a little office romance goin' on, aye?" he whispered. "Well, if you've ever been in combat before, you'd know that ya can't feel shit when you're high on adrenaline." The doctor's face got red and he chuckled. "Woulda know you'd figure that out. Saw you eyeing the nurse. Come back here and I'll take a look at you."

The doctor was perhaps one of the funnest people for Amir to talk to. They'd often talk about women and battles they've had. "How's that Great War expertise helpin' you in your profession, Doc? I see age hasn't kept ya from the girls. You're older 'n 'a Pearl, and you're still gettin' busy, I see." "Yeah, and I've got a lady in the room waiting for me to come back. Hoping to get this over with quickly." Amir winced as a broken stitch was pulled out from his arm. "Enough stitches held, so there's no need to get all fussy about them, but I wouldn't recommend getting back into combat until I can change your stitches. Which, being that you know my situation, you know I can't do that right now." "Not a problem, Doc. Just as long as I can run and dance and sleep." "Speaking of dancing, there's some kind of shindig going on. Might be a chance for you to woo that Donna girl." "Aye?" Amir stretched his back and cracked his neck. "Now?" "Soon enough to say now, yeah." Amir pulled on his keffiyeh and left the clinic to dress for the occasion. He was still wearing his aba and had to get together a fancier outfit to get the girl.
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« Reply #230 on: February 02, 2013, 02:41:03 am »

"Let me have a quick freshen up and we can get a move on.  I doubt Silvia will even let me in the parlor like this."  Her hair was half out of her braids and her face hand hands were streaked with grease and dirt.  "Give me a half hour to be presentable then we can get our client squirreled away have dinner and then paint the town red."
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« Reply #231 on: February 02, 2013, 03:59:36 am »

Fine by me, Al said. That'll give me time to get zooted up. Do you need to go home, Ladyduck?"

"I still have an outfit in the Ladies lockers here,"  Sabre answered. She had gotten into the habit of keeping some business and other outfits on hand just in case she flew a mission with Al and needed to do a meeting or something when they returned. Al went in to the Men's lockers and pulled out one of his Zoot suits, complete with wide-brimmed fedora and watch-and-chain. He also made sure to slip the khukri into a shoulder rig opposite his gov't model Colt; it paid to be prepared, he'd found, and he knew that Sabre would be similarly armed, except in, ahem, different places. It was a good thing to match one's partner...

And so they did match, although Sabre did not use a shoulder rig, but a garter holster and rather more diminutive semiauto, but still in .45 caliber. A Fairbairn dagger slid up longside the othe rleg in a position whjere it would not make a bulge in the electric blue, form-fitting, satin shoulder-padded gown she donned.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 05:57:47 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #232 on: February 02, 2013, 04:54:31 am »

There was one thing Donna absolutely loved after a hard day at work and that was a shower.  She scrubbed from head to toe and then braided her hair in to a golden confection of tendrils and swirls. Dancing was hot when everyone crowded the floor and her hair tended to get in the way.  She would love to let her hair down in all its near calf length glory but it got in the way a lot. Donna stood in front of her closet debating what to wear and picked a lovely green dress with a high slit for dancing and a built in holster for a fancy little pistol.  Topped off with a pair of green pumps and a emerald necklace from an old flame and she was ready to go.  "Sabre do you want to catch a quick bite after we get the german settled?  There is a little dim sum place not too far from the Forbidden Palace."
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« Reply #233 on: February 02, 2013, 06:30:38 am »

"That sounds divine!" Sabre exclaimed, clapping her hands togethe rand clasping them to he breastbone, a kind of trademark mannerism of hers whenshe was allowing herself to be a little bit girlish.Her blonde tresses were coiffed back, but not in a bun; she pinned a pillbox hat with a slightly military style , in a color that closely approached that of the dress, to her hair. The overall effect was stunning.

OOGAH! OOGAH!
Chief Rogers drove the Guest Van, yet another tricked-out scooter engine powered minitruck putter, this one provide dwith a real Ford-style chrome grill and whirligig radiator cap, form teh back of the hangar out to the front and honked the rudely-hilarious klaxon horn. "All aboard who's goin' to escort our industrial fella to safety!" he called.

"Sounds like they're ready for us, Donna Darling,"Sabre said. "I called the office and Kendall will be waiting for us at the Palace. Al? you coming yet?"

"On my way, milady," Al called as he strode out, resplendent in his blue zoot suit and fedora.

---
Across the Runway, and on the adjacent float, The Forbidden Palace already pulsed with the persistent beat of the band's drums. The sound spilled out into the street, as the lorries and rickshaws of the station's denizens began to arrive there were several putter vans tricked out to look like Buick's and Cadillacs, but only one or two actual full-size automobiles; such were rare on all but the airport  and one or two of its adjacent (administrative and residential) floats, and while improvements were constantly being made, there was nowhere, really, for such conveyances to go, so most people simply chose to do without them.

"You're on, Miss Meri!" Kan Yi called out from the Showroom doorway as the band began striking up the lead-in to a rousing rendition of Anything Goes, complete with the plaster-and-papier mache dragon's head that was almost a trademark of the Palace's floor shows; the chorus line began to file out as the band wound down to the first verse and Meri got in line, the plan being for her to be the last one out and begin to sing at that point. Steamed smoke and read and yellow silks flared out of the nose and mouth of the dragon, blown by strategically- placed fans installed in just the right places.,. and Meri came and started the number, her hair's color somehow changed from jet-black to yellowish-white as she sang the words in a mixture of English and Mandarin...


When the number finished, the crowd burst into thunderous applause, and Then Meri took a few discreet bows, and then made herself scarce. The band burst into a hot dance tune then, and the couples enthusiastically took to the floor, as the waitstaff served the first drinks and meals of the evening...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 05:58:43 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #234 on: February 02, 2013, 07:07:03 am »

Donna gave Hen her dinner and and petted her head.  "You be good miss Hen and stay in your yard."  Donna paused for a moment to touch up her lipstick and pin back a lock of hair.  She joined Al And Sabre smiling brightly. "Lets go get the German settled then the night is ours. I can almost hear the music now."
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« Reply #235 on: February 02, 2013, 05:45:06 pm »

"Fancy meetin' you ladies here. You, too, Al. I suppose ya goin' 'a the dance," Amir said as he passed by, stopping for a better look. "Ya look stunnin', and I'll be proud to have your hand today, if you'll have me. Goin' the barracks to get my suit as we speak. I just heard about it." Amir gave a wink and a salute, clicking his tongue, and then dashed off again back from whence they came.

The doctor forgot to redress his wounds when he let him off. "Smutty bastard. I shoulda noticed." He'd have to dress his chest and arms to prevent his suit from getting bloody if he stressed his wounds open. Well, anybody with a brain keeps a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand. Which means plenty of gauze. He might be a bit stiff. Hopefully Amir won't sod up the dancing too much.

And so he found his suit. A nice, black, silk shadbelly over a tan waistcoat, worn over a dark brown cotton dress shirt. He wore proper silk European slacks, and black wingtip oxfords. He looked dapper indeed, but his head was uncovered. He had to either do something with it, or put on a hat. He was thinking a stetson. Maybe a bowler. No, stetson, definitely. He'd be stopping by the haberdashery...

"Where'd those ladies say they were headed? Some place or another. By the Palace. I think it was Oriental. MY GOD EVERYTHING IS ORIENTAL!" They've got Chinese infiltrators, Japanese bombers, it was surprising they didn't have a Korean mafia or something. He didn't know about the Chinese infiltrator, though, just the Chinese transportation. Oh well. He'd find party. He did pretty much everything quickly. He left them rather abruptly, though. Not to mention, it was a bit odd that he knew some idea of where they were, since he wasn't there. He was eavesdropping as he passed.

And so he was now at the Haberdashery, picking up his new hat. The young man was quick as a whip when he needed to be, and could take it slow when he wanted. But now was cause for swiftness. Nothing much eventful happened as he got his hat. He just had to take a moment to remember where the Palace was. Oh, right, it was over there.

And he was on the move again, looking for his party, two women and Al. Wherever they were. Maybe he'd run into them by accident.
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« Reply #236 on: February 02, 2013, 05:54:20 pm »

"Actually, We're going to pick up our German client and take him to the Station Security lockup so we can prevent anymore sword-slingin' plug-uglies from doin' any more wholesale cuttin' up." Al answered Amir.

"Then we're going to the Forbidden Palace. It's not a dance, just a popular club. Ms. Li's got a new band, supposed to be a good one," Sabre

They pulled up in the guest van in front of the boarding house, adn the group piled out, the best-dressed group of personal guards that one might be likely to see. The mechanics sprted two shotguns and a pair of Thompson SMGs, while Al made sure the butt of his Colt poked out form under his arm and made a bulge in his suit jacket.

Al stopped at the front desk and asked for Sylvia. When she came to the desk, Al said,"Top o' the evening to you, Ms. Silvia. Hopefully we can keep this nice and discreet without too much fuss, begging your pardon, ma'am.  We have reason to believe the german fellow's the one those swordsmen were after, and likely the unintentional root of the late troubles we've been seeing. Please pardon our hardware," he said, his eyes sweeping the well-dressed but obviously heavily-armed group, "In light of recent events, we felt it necessary to arm up for this just in case anymore cutlery-equipped heavies decide to show up, so we can take to a more secure location for his own safety. Can you show us to his room, please Ma'am?"
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 07:29:32 pm by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #237 on: February 02, 2013, 08:03:40 pm »

Silvia flustered.  "Those thugs with swords are after that poor man?  He is up in the master suite.  Do tell dear Paulo that we are grateful for his defence.  Willa is quite taken with him and I think she want to ask him out after he is patched up."

Donna tried to hide her grimice in a smile.  Poor Amir may have bitten off more than he could chew. "Let's go get him to safety."

"Oh yes that poor man, to be hounded like that." Silvia posed dramticly and Donna wondered if she was enjoing this.  "I never would have thought such a thing could haappen at my humble inn.`  Yup Donna thought she was enjoying evey moment.
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« Reply #238 on: February 02, 2013, 08:25:27 pm »

The Palace seemed to be packed this evening. No sign of his comrades. Well, he did leave impatiently. Mayhaps he should head back and hang about the barracks for a bit. Not to mention, last time he was caught unarmed, he needed stitches. He could grab his Webley. He preferred to holster his weaponry in plain sight, as it showed not only that he was a man not to be trifled with, but also because he was only disallowed to do so at the Aviation Academy in Turkey. The only concealment would be his coat, but you'd be able to see the belt of his holster if you looked at his waist.

And so he made his way back.
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« Reply #239 on: February 03, 2013, 07:19:57 am »

Meri changed  for her reentrance to the floor and a few numbers, supposedly to be followed by an interlude of exercising the "dance card" thing that Kan Yi had explained to her earlier; apparently it was customary for men to reserve a dance with a woman who was the object of their attraction. Sh e supposed it was like the betrothal meetings she'd had to endure as a young girl at home in Manchuria, since she was the daughter of a locally-important dignitary. She had missed that kind of activity, once she began her training as an assassin and bodyguard. The swing dancing she had picked up years later after her turning, and transport to this foreign dimension by forces beyond her ken.

Finally adopted after  a series of cataclysmic events by the Lord and Sensei of a village of youkai ninja,  she had been enrolled, even as mature as she was, in the village's schooling program. She had flourished there; applied herself, yes, but also had fallen in love with the village and it's people, and gladly accepted her role as a student, (helped undoubtedly by the fact that there were several schoolmates there who were even older in actual years than she, who was in her own right over eighty in terms of actual elapsed years since her human birth). She had picked up swing dancing with the rest of those 'young oni' in that Village of Onihama after the daughter of an elder had gone abroad to school in the guise of a human, and picked up the fad (in itself an intriguing, exciting nonasian word) and returned with a record player and whole crates of El Pi's. That was how they had pronounced it, at least; it had taken Meri five years and a trip of her own to Tokyo to realize that the name and the western acronym 'LP' went with one another).

Long story short, She and the 'kids' in the village - some forever young like Meri, some naturally youthful, many as realtime-old as she herself, and a few even older - all friends and acquaintances, counted as teens despite their actual years, learning about the world both inside and outside of Japan to complete their ninja traditional training - had like young people the world over become influenced and inspired by both the music and the phenomenal fun of swing dancing. Meri had herself become quite accomplished; they had to tone it down when outsiders visited, but when they were alone with their own kind, the youkai 'children' had been quite the wildly athletic bunch; the usual acrobatics of the jitterbug and similar steps became magnified a hundredfold by the participation of beings who were mostly impervious to injury and capable of humanly-impossible athleticism. Tunes such as Sing, Sing, Sing, and older 'jungle' jazz or 'Zoot' standards tended to engender displays that made the movie-borne mayhem seen as incredible by the outside world pale in comparison.

In any case, the beguiling young ninja girl's dance-floor antics, even carefully-calmed down as they were, made her a popular partner, and she was soon sought after by every man on the dance floor. By the time that Amir arrived, She had already performed three solo singing performances with the band of several dance tunes and two torchy sit-down-and-watch numbers. She was taking abreathe rat the bar with too-talkative admirer when she felt a presence she had sensed earlier. She tasted his scent s it wafted on the air of the room, a distinctive tang of sweat and past anger, medical stinks, and  --dried blood (!) She fought to control her bloodlust. You just fed, you glutton, she scolded herself.

Smells, such lovely smells to one of her kind. Wounds, patched and resplendent with the scents of pain coupled with newly-healed, yet newly-torn as well, flesh. Ahh, soldier, she thought, should you be here? The scents of desire and piquant, disappointed longing - and yes, raw lust. Ha, a bit of a rake, are we? I wonder if you could be prey... Ah. So, she is not here? Come, soldier, rest yoursel--! but he was gone as suddenly as he had appeared. No matter. He would return. They always did...

By the time that the Steel Birds party arrived, she was back on stage, belting out the words to a dance number as the couples went wild on the dance floor, and a bevy of young male admirers stood by, thralls to her beauty and wiles...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 07:39:05 am by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #240 on: February 03, 2013, 07:54:45 am »

Donna looked around the room and relaxed as if she was stepping in to a warm bath.  Any place with good music was like going home.  "Thank you Sabre for getting us out of there without having to sit through tea."  She paused for a moment letting the music wash over her.  Donna was at home in the air, she had been born aboard a plane over Africa but this this was were all her grace and fire came pouring out. She moved her shoulders tasting the rhythm like a humming bird in a flower. "Hey Lady duck how about we snag a table and then show these boys how to cut a rug?"
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« Reply #241 on: February 03, 2013, 08:14:57 am »

"Leaev it to me," Sabre said, and sidled up to the Maitre D. "Say, San Yuu -- how about my usual table, hey?"

San Yuu managed to drag his gaze from Sabre's cleavage (especially since Al reached under his jacket on the left side, and fumbled with something hidden there).

Ah! Yes, Lady Grimstock, right away! He snapped his fingers and two kouhai appeared, and ran off to do his bidding. within seconds they returned and The party was shown to their table, right adjacent to the dance floor and a short duistance frm the stage. Al removed his hand from his jacket along the way, and San Yuu was relieved to see that it was holding a cigar, which Al lit from the candle on the table. "Here you are, Milady, is all to your satisfaction?"

"Donna? Al? You like this one?" Sabre asked. "AH! here comes Kendall!" she said, as a buff  young athletic type male approached, all decked out in a gray-and-brown pinstriped three-piece wool suit and tie.

"Kendall, do you know Miss Donna? Donna, This is Kendall Alcott, from Grimstock's financial branch."

"How do you do, Miss ...Arie, is it? I'm Kendall..."
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 08:59:44 am by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #242 on: February 03, 2013, 08:44:57 am »

"Donna will work just fine Kendall.  I think I have seen you around a few times when i have been running things for Al.  Would you care for a dance?  I have been craving one all afternoon." She said with a bright smile.  Already he looked like a hell of a better partner than she had in her arms last night. 
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« Reply #243 on: February 03, 2013, 09:49:34 am »

"Yeah, let's!" Kendall said, offering his hand and helping her to the floor just as the Band struck up a new tune, Merovingia belting out the rather odd words and adding her own sound effects as well.

http://youtu.be/FNdf-M7p7Hk

Al offered Sabre his arm and they and the mechanics and their dates joined teh fray as well; soon the dance floor was awash with a sea of dancers yet again, as the band got heavily into the tune, and then segued into a medley of hot ones...

« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 09:52:27 am by MWBailey » Logged
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« Reply #244 on: February 03, 2013, 10:15:17 pm »

Donna twirled out on to the floor keeping the rhythm in her feet and adding her own pulse. When she had been very young she watched her parents dance her father useing steps from Samba and her mother replying with steps from her folk dances of home.  It had been magical and Donna was hooked ever since. She decided to put her partner through his paces starting with wringing the dish rag. "Show me your best." She said with a playful smile.
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« Reply #245 on: February 03, 2013, 10:18:37 pm »

An auspicious entrance by the Arab, a holster born in plain sight, a new stetson atop his head. He seemed like quite the rider, though he was more of an aviator. His dark hair flowed behind him as he found his party, winking at Donna on the floor. He wore a gleaming smirk, and it was obvious he had just brushed his teeth thoroughly. If you got within six inches of him, you could smell the mint on his breath, mingling with the smell of blood from his scars. His hands were cleaned well, but still rough from his work. A few people showed concern at having an openly armed man in the area, but others were reassured. Some just didn't notice.

He approached her and her candy on the floor, tipping the man, and stopped their dance abruptly to offer Donna his hand. "Sorry for interruptin'. Might I have this dance?"
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« Reply #246 on: February 03, 2013, 10:50:12 pm »

Kendall was not intimidated at all by the gun or the abrupt manner, but looked to Donna for her decision, that being the couteous thing to do; it was always the lady's choice, to accept or not.
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« Reply #247 on: February 03, 2013, 11:21:57 pm »

Amir, again, tipped his hat - a bit nervously - at the man, not wishing to cause him a great discourtesy. He was not in the mood for a tussle, and the two may become good friends later. "Again, lad, sorry for cuttin' in."
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« Reply #248 on: February 03, 2013, 11:37:13 pm »

Donna turned to Amir and looked over him aprovingly. "You clean up nice.  I did promice you one if we made it through didn't I?  Are you sure you can keep up with your stiches? Kendall you han have the one after and then I think drinks all aroud would be a good idea."
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« Reply #249 on: February 03, 2013, 11:57:38 pm »

"No worries about the stitches. The gauze may be a problem, though. It's hard to run in the desert, though, I think I have some pretty fancy feet." He lent another look to Kendall. "And, once more, I'm sorry for cuttin' in. Name of Amir Al-Hassan. People call me The Sultan. Either's fine," he said, stretching out his hand for a shake. He kind of felt bad about stealing a girl from him, but he oh so dearly wanted to dance with Donna.
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