43 – Loose Ends

You now know understand why you weren’t allowed to spend much time with Haythem.   The man was so stupid, it’s a wonder that Jupiter bothered exalting him.   How was this man Wanahton’s Sifu?  You sigh as you realize that if Haythem’s mission was to figure out who kidnapped you, then it would help you if he succeeded.

“Are they trying to kill each other?”    Your life might be easier if they did kill each other.

“No,” Aiko stops concentrating on the coin and says, “You are going to follow the mercenaries?”

“I’m thinking about it.”

“Go.  You are the only one that can follow them without being tracked.  We can handle things here.”

You look towards the bar were Chiyoko was sitting alone.  You said that you’d be right back.  You didn’t really like the idea of leaving Chiyoko in the bar with two idiots and the second mercenary.

Aiko grabs your shoulder.   “I’m not going to let anything happen to Chiyoko.  Now go!”  She shoves you in the direction the mercenaries were walking.  “If you wait any longer you will lose them.”

“Okay. Okay!”   You quickly walk away from Aiko and step outside of Fate.   You run to catch up with the mercenaries and just avoid running into one of the mercenaries as you turn a corner.    You consider following that mercenary back to the bar, but decide to move forward.   The possessed mercenary was the one that you needed to follow.  You have to trust Chiyoko and the others to take care of themselves.

You follow the possessed mercenary as she walks further and further into the more dangerous parts of town.  As she walks along the docks that line the harbor, the possessed mercenary will occasionally stumble and fall.   Once she even whimpered as she picked herself back up after scraping up her arm.  Eventually, she turns down a dark alley.    You stop at the mouth of the alley for a moment.   The alley is unlit and smells like rotting cabbage.   A rat scurries towards the streets, disturbed by whatever the mercenary is doing.   You cautiously enter the ally.

You find the possessed mercenary prying out a loose stone on one of the buildings.   She pulls out a heavy canvas tarp.   The mercenary lays the tarp down on the dirty alley street.   The lack of light forces you to move closer, as you are confused as to what exactly the possessed mercenary is doing.   She kneels down on the tarp and removes her belt knife.

You watch in horror as the possessed mercenary suddenly guts herself with the knife.   You back into the wall of the building behind you and place a hand over your mouth to stifle your scream.    The mercenary falls to her side and you can smell blood and shit as she bleeds out onto the tarp.   You taste blood and almost freak out until you realize that you bit your own hand.   Still in shock, you watch as a god rises from the body of the mercenary.   He is dressed in the fine rich robes of a clerk of the Celestial Bureaucracy.  He steps daintily around the pools of blood to avoid getting his shoes dirty.

As soon as he leaves her body, the woman starts to sob.  The god shushes the woman, as if he is her father, not her murderer.   “It won’t be much longer. “  The god picks up the bloody knife from where the woman dropped it.   A purple glowing hearthstone pendant falls out of his robes as he bends over.

“No more pain.”   The clerk says, as he slits the woman’s throat.  “No more loose ends.”    He drops the knife on the tarp and wipes his hands clean on one corner.   Starting with the bloody corner, the god rolls up the corpse of the woman.   With a groan, the godly clerk heaves the tarp on to his back.   “This was so much easier when Trailing Sorrows was around to do the dirty work.”   He carries the corpse away in the direction of the harbor.

You hide in the shadows of the dark alley, shivering despite the warm night air.   You have sat in on a few conversations with Sasha and other Chosen of Endings when they talk about death.   After hearing their discussions, you walk away knowing that death is part of the natural order of life.   That death is not a scary thing and it is possible to die with dignity.

There was no dignity in this woman’s death.  No dignity in bleeding out in a dark alley, betrayed by the god you worship.

As you calm yourself down, you realize that you have seen that god before.   When you were searching for Nanny when she was kidnapped, he was the god that stuck his head out of his apartment.    You thought he was some random god that lived there.   Instead he was working with Trailing Sorrows.

And you bet he works for the Bureau of Destiny, too.

What do you do?

  • Try to follow the god and see where he drops the body
  • Head back to the bar and see what the others are doing. Tell Haythem you know who the spy is
  • Head back to the bar and see what the others are doing. Don’t tell Haythem you know who the spy is.  You’ll report that yourself
  • Make a beeline for the Yu-Shan gate. This is too important to wait.
  • Other