Tag Archives: Razorback Cliffwalker

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-demaria: Whiptail

Razorback Cliffwalker, still in his “disguise,” finds his way to a small hut, far off the beaten path, on the edge of the desert. He takes a swig from a water skin, his tail lashing with anticipation. His ears swiveling about cautiously, he moves up to the doorway and gives it a quick, staccato knock.

The door doesn’t open, but instead, a small door at the top at eye level opens, and a pair of Demarian eyes shine from within. “Yeah. Whadda ya want?”

“Someone to help round up wild bumblers,” the Cliffwalker rumbles back, his ears canted cautiously forward, “I have been led to believe that you are the best to be had.”

The door opens a bit, the sunlight shining upon an elderly orange tabby Demarian. Elderly, but still in good, well-maintained physical shape from the look of it. “Izzat right? Well, you heard right. Whiptail’s the name. You know who I am, so hows about tellin’ me who you are?”

“My friends call me Razor,” the dark-furred felinoid replies a faint smile showing a glint of his fangs, “And I have some work that may interest you.”

“You got my attention when ya mentioned bumbler herdin’.” Whiptail says. “’bout how many are we talkin’?” he says, opening the door fully and stepping out a bit into the full sunlight.  “Course the most important question is, how much ya payin?’

“We will need something on the order of forty heads,” Razorback says with a nod, “As to pay … I am doing this to help preserve the life of the farmer in need of them. What would you consider fair recompense for your time and effort?”

Whiptail widens an eye at this. “Now, what is this about savin’ a farmer’s life?”

“I do not know if the Coldstar clan is known to you,” the Cliffwalker says, his brow furrowed grimly, “Lady Coldstar has imposed, and consistently raised quotas on the underclassers who work her lands. A Mr. Greenwater is being threatened with death for not being able to pay his tax. Without an increase in his herd, he will face execution.”

Whiptail narrows his eyes. “Ya better believe she’s known to me. Heart of stone, and greedier than fire in dry grass.” he snarls. “Ferget the money, son.” he says, then disappears into his hut. After a few moments, he returns, a hat perched on his head, a coil of heavy rope thrown over his shoulder like a bandolier, and on his hip, an old, but serviceable, pulse pistol. It’d be recognizable as Demarian guard issue, 50 years ago. As he hoists a rucksack over his other shoulder, he steps out, and locks the hut door behind him. “This one’s on tha house.”

The Cliffwalker smiles toothily at his and nods his agreement. “Well met,” he replies, “Now, I have tracked and hunted desert bumblers for years, but as a herdsman, I confess my skills are limited. Tell me what we need, and it shall be done.”

“Patience is the top item.” Whiptail says. “But we’ll need mounts to corral ’em.”

“Mounts can be done,” the Cliffwalker says with a nod, “Will the two of us suffice?”

“The more we can get wranglin’, the better our chances.” Whiptail says. “Tricky critters, them bumblers.”

“To town it is, then,” says Razorback, “And I shall do what I can to let it be known that additional riders are needed.”

“Sounds good ta me. Anything to cut that sand snake down to size.” Whiptail snarls.
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[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-demaria: Crap Job

Razorback Cliffwalker comes walking into the little town, his typical clothing replaced with cheaper canvas work-clothes. Also missing are his body armor, his signet ring, and most of his weapons. On his back, he carries a large, long bag, its strap slung across his chest. His only obvious armaments are a pair of short swords.

It’s about this time that Razorback might see a farmer on his knees in the town square, staring up at the scarred muzzle of an armored Demarian who bellows: “You’re behind on your quota, Greenwater!” He kicks the farmer in the chest, causing Greenwater to fall over backward with an OOF!

The Cliffwalker stops in his tracks, his claws slipping out for just a moment. Deciding that not knowing the lay of the land, violence might make this worse, he moves swiftly to the side of the farmer. He helps him to at least a sitting position, but does not say anything to the kicker.

The scar-faced Demarian glowers at Razorback as he helps the fallen farmer into a sitting position. “You assume responsibility for this sludger?” He jabs a clawed finger toward Greenwater, who flinches despite the lack of actual contact this time.

Razorback glances up at the other for a moment before he nods. “What do you require?” he asks, his dialect betraying him as a stranger at the very least, “And whom do you represent?”

“Coldstar expects farmers in her service to produce the agreed-to quantities,” the scarred Demarian answers. Another finger jab in the air toward Greenwater. “Lackards suffer.”

“How much time is Lady Coldstar willing to allow for Mr. Greenwater here to make amends?” Razorback asks, “There is still a month left of this growing season, no? And Mr. Greenwater would likely be far less productive if he were say, missing an arm.”

“Time?” The scarred Demarian starts cackling. “He’s been short on his deliverables for three months running. His time’s up.” He draws a knife from a sheath dangling from his hip. “Lady Coldstar’s exhausted her patience for Greenwater here.”

“I understand,” Razorback says with a nod, a paw held out, claws still hidden. “But surely if we can make it up in the next month, it would be worth it, no?”

The overseer frowns, clearly disappointed by rational intervention. However, he doesn’t reject it out of hand. “Two weeks. If he fails, he suffers. *You*  suffer too.” This time, he’s jabbing air in front of Razorback. “You really want to make him your problem?”

“Do you have any unharvested crops?” Razorback asks Greenwater quickly.

The downtrodden Greenwater looks up at Razorback, jaw dropping. “Crops?” He shakes his head. “I don’t grow…”

The scarred Demarian guffaws, clutching his belly. “Crops! Ha! That’s right, Greenwater! Where you hiding all those unharvested *crops*?!”

“Fertilizer,” the farmer mumbles from below.

“That sounds too elegant,” the overseer snarls. “He shovels bumbler shit!”

The Cliffwalker nods without blinking. “Very well,” he says, rising to his full height now and making eye contact with the scarred overseer. “You may tell Lady Coldstar to consider it done,” he says.

“See you both in two weeks,” the overseer growls. He pats the knife in its sheath. “Best not disappoint the lady again.” With that, he turns and strides toward a waiting hovercar.

Razorback doesn’t move until the hovercar is out of sight. Once it is, he reaches down to bring Greenwater to his feet. “Are you hurt?” he rumbles in query.

“No, and for that I owe you thanks,” the farmer replies. “Why did you intervene? Who *are*  you?”

“No one,” Razorback says, shaking his head, “Though my friends call me Razor. It would seem that there is work to be done. Tell me, is it just you that has fallen behind, or does the entire village also suffer from this?”

Greenwater stares at the dusty ground. “I used to be the town’s top producer. Coldstar keeps raising her protection rates *and*  upping the quotas. I had to sell some of my herd to other farmers to keep my ranch under protection. I asked for them back, but…everyone else faces the same rates and quotas. All so Coldstar can build new villages and get more farmers under her claws.”

“So you have a supply problem rather than a labor problem,” Razorback says with a nod, “If I were to acquire wild bumblers for you, what else would you need?”

“Feed,” the farmer replies. “And…laxatives. Lots of laxatives.”

The Cliffwalker rubs his brow at this, but nods. “Very well,” he says, “I shall return with the bumblers in three days.” He pauses a moment, then retrieves something from within his tunic. “If I do not return by then. I want you to leave town by night and find Cliffwalker Manor in the Stubtooth Mountains. Ask to speak to Lady Goldeye Cliffwalker and give her this. Tell her what has happened.” He hands the farmer a green-jeweled ring. He pauses a moment before adding, “If I find that either it or you is missing when I return, you may consider Lady Coldstar the very least of your fears.”

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-demaria: Uprising

A stunned audience watches as an underclasser warrior in the Alhira arena howls and leaps into an observation balcony, clawing at the throat of noble patriarch Thornpaw Whitestar.

The gladiator is quickly cut down by Whitestar’s bodyguards. But it turns out that was just a diversion for the handful of underclassers who pour out of the lower corridor, pulse weapons in hand – they open fire, rather indiscriminately – blasting away at the onlookers.

Panic ensues as wounded flee if they can as the dead slump or tumble aside.

Razorback happens to be passing near the site of the carnage. “Sands,” he curses, his ears folding into his mane. Hearing screams and gunfire, he moves to the shelter of an alcove, flicking his energy shield on as he assesses the situation.

Another underclasser clambers onto the overhang above the spot where Razorback is sheltered. He flings a tangler grenade into the crowd as people stampede toward the exits.

Finding himself caught up in the situation, Razorback chooses to do what he can to minimize casualties. He crouches for an instant before springing up to the overhang, hoping to catch the insurgent unawares.

The overhang insurgent is focused on the explosion of tangler goo when he’s suddenly confronted by Razorback springing into his field of view. Startled, he stumbles back, off balance.

The Cliffwalker surges forward without a word, presenting an elbow to the head of the Demarian in an attempt to knock him out quickly. His ears are pulled back tightly, but his claws remain sheathed.

Meanwhile, armed underclassers are taking aim at goo-tangled victims in the arena. They start opening fire.

Grabbing the (presumably) unconscious Demarian’s grenade belt with a snarl of frustration, Razorback lobs one into the group of gunmen, hoping to even the odds a bit before launching himself as well.

The tangler grenade hurled by Razorback explodes, ensnaring the six gunmen – but not before they’re able to kill several people and injure others.

Razorback arrives to find the six insurgents “tangled” already. He works quickly to extricate their weapons.

“You are dead!” one of the underclassers growls at Razorback.

“Well, I know it,” the Cliffwalker replies dryly, “Next time, shoot at something which can shoot back.” Tossing the guns aside, he begins to move off.

Once the underclassers are neutralized, some arena attendees regain their composure – sort of. They see the guns Razorback flung aside. They see attackers trapped in goo. They take up those guns and turn them on the underclassers, ready to fire.

“Enough!” Razorback roars out, as he turns back, “You would have this happen again? Because that shall be the result! If these men were not aware of what their deaths would accomplish, they would not be here! To cut them down while they are helpless is a dishonor undeserving of our people, regardless of the lack of honor they have also shown. Do not justify it!”

A female Demarian noble, clutching one of the recovered pulse rifles, hears Razorback’s decree. She bobs her snout, steps forward, kneels, and uses her claws to slash through the goop tangling one of the attackers. Then she hisses at him: “Run.” The underclasser scrambles to his feet, turns, runs away. She stands, takes aim, and says, “He’s not helpless now.” She sights down the rifle, finger on the trigger.

This will not be pleasant. Trusting in the energy shield surrounding him, and the light armor beneath, Razorback leaps between the noblewoman and the fleeing rebel, intending to take the bolt of energy himself.

She never pulls the trigger. Instead, she just glares indignantly at Razorback, flings the rifle to the ground, and starts kicking one of the still-tangled underclassers in the stomach.

Meanwhile, two Demarian males down toward the far end of the arena tackle the fleeing underclasser that Razorback saved. They set upon him with fists and claws.

The Cliffwalker hits the ground, miraculously unshot. With a growl of frustration, he scrambles towards the still tangled insurgents, raking the tangler nets with his claws. “Go!” he roars at them.

Glowering down from a nearby balcony, Stumppaw Sandwalker watches as Razorback liberates the attackers and orders them to flee. As they scurry to escape, Sandwalker bellows: “What are you doing, Cliffwalker?!”

“What you will not!” Razorback calls back in reply, “You will stand by and watch as one slaughter takes place, and then another? Is this who our people are, my Lord? Is this what passes for justice amongst us? The claws of an angry mob?”

The elder noble shakes his snout. “I disagree with the slaughter, but those terrorists deserve justice – not freedom!” Members of the Demarian Militia stride into the arena, cutting off the escape of the underclassers who were running from the female. The soldiers aim their rifles at the underclassers. They raise their paws to signify no further intent to fight. The male tackled on the opposite side has been bashed into unconsciousness – soldiers enter from that side as well, and they pull the nobles off the helpless underclasser. Stumppaw glares at Razorback: “Will you face it with them, as an accessory to their murderous actions?”

“I stand not in the way justice,” the Cliffwalker replies, “They have slaughtered unarmed people, and should be held accountable. Would you have me allow an angry mob to make martyrs of them? And will you try me as an accessory to a slaughter I ended?”

Stumppaw gnashes his fangs. He points a finger at Razorback. “You did well stopping them.” He lowers his hand, making a tsk-tsk noise. “Freeing them? A treacherous mistake.”

One of the underclassers with his arms raised shouts: “You’ve no idea how right the old mongrel is!” He wiggles one of his fingers, which is capped with an electronic “thimble” that transmits a signal to a bomb planted beneath Sandwalker’s balcony. As the explosion erupts, guards hurl themselves at Stumppaw to protect him from the blast as much as possible – and then they vanish into a belch of smoke and debris. Moments later, any survivors are under shattered stone.

That doesn’t sit well with the militia. They open fire on the bomber, riddling him with pulse blasts. He’s twitching on the ground, dying, soon after.

With an angry growl, Razorback moves forward to see if he can help extricate any survivors from under the stone, despite the consequences of having done this in the recent past.

He’ll find Stumppaw, alive but unconscious, his good arm and both legs broken by the rubble. One of the bodyguards also survived. The other’s skull is crushed. The soldiers round up the remaining underclasser attackers, searching them for weapons and explosives, hoping to avoid further chaos.

The Cliffwalker pulls both Stumppaw and the bodyguard gingerly free of the rubble. Before he makes a speedy exit over the outside of the stadium, not desiring to risk arrest, he pauses over the broken body of the Sandwalker. He removes one of his scabbarded swords from his belt, the crest of his House emblazoned on its hilt, and clips it to the belt of the Senator. Then seeing that the Militia seem to have things in hand, he departs, alone. 

Militia soldiers force the attackers to their knees, paws behind their backs, and start cuffing them. Emergency personnel arrive to triage the wounded. And from the archway Razorback is approaching emerges a bulky Demarian with silver epaulets on his navy blue uniform. He wears a glowing blue holomonocle over his right eye. A slugthrower is holstered at his side. The badge on his chest identifies him as an inspector in Municipal Justice, the Alhiran law enforcement agency. He peers suspiciously: “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“The same place everyone else is,” Razorback says, pointing to the still fleeing crowd with a raised eyebrow, “Or do I look like an underclasser insurgent to you?” It is a good thing he did not decide to leave his ring on the Senator to make his point.

The inspector lifts one glove-covered hand and turns the palm to face upward. Blinks once behind the holomonocle. A holographic image materializes above his hand, showing Razorback knocking the grenade-hurler backward and then subduing the assault. “You look like a material witness to the murders of several nobles and the attempted assassination of Senator Stumppaw Sandwalker. Obviously, I am looking forward to discussing this situation with you.”

“One of many, yes,” Razorback says with a nod, “I do not envy your task of having to interview so many.”

“Yes, well,” the inspector purrs. “We all have our burdens to carry.” He tilts his head and inquires: “What is your name and contact information? I see no need to detain you further, but I would like to meet with you soon.”

“I am called Cliffwalker, and I am currently registered at the White Moons Hotel,” Razorback answers, truthfully, “May you bring those involved in this dishonorable act to justice, and quickly.”

The other Demarian arches his eyebrows as he hears the name of the hotel. “The White Moons? I seem to recall an arms dealer leaping to his death there recently. Does such excitement tend to follow you?”

“More often than I should like, it would seem,” Razorback says with a tired half-smile, “At any rate, I will allow you to get on with your investigation. And do give my best wishes to the Senator when he awakens.” He bows, the begins to move past the officer.

The inspector bobs his snout, turning briefly to watch Razorback depart, and then he moves on toward the cluster of prisoners, shouting at the soldiers: “Hovertrucks are parked outside the arena! Load them up and deliver them to the detention center for processing!”

Having wreaked enough havoc for one day, Razorback heads back to the hotel and the room he is not registered to. To pack.
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[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-demaria: Shark

It’s a day or so before the special commlink chimes in Razorback’s hotel room.

Razorback is immediately awake, if he was truly asleep to begin with. He does take a second to answer the call as if not certain he truly wants to. “Good morning,” he rumbles into it after tapping the answer button.

“Is now a good time?” the voice of Robert Colclough inquires.

“Now is a fine time, Mr. Colclough,” the Demarian replies, “How can I help you?”

“The individual I mentioned to you the other day is a Timonae arms dealer named Vinti Xayr,” the Consortium intelligence director replies. “He’s in the room we assigned to him. Rooms on either side contain surveillance equipment and agents. I’m actually in 324.” A pause, then: “He’s expecting a Demarian contact to arrive and discuss the sale of highly illegal plasma weapons to an Underclasser insurgency group. I’d like you to use the opportunity to learn more about the man and what other interests he might have. Ideally, we need to draw out any connections to Agent Wilkes and others who wanted to kill the president.”

“How far are you willing for this questioning to go?” Razorback asks, “I am not good with subtle in these situations. A hardened criminal will likely realize I am not what I seem rather quickly.”

Colclough answers: “Play it by ear. The man’s not a spy. He’s not about subtlety, either. However, you may need to apply some art if you’re going to get him to confess links to Wilkes and the assassination plot. At present, he just thinks he’s here to sell guns to angry peasants.”

“Very well,” the Cliffwalker says with a faint growl, “Just understand that it could get messy. My methods of extracting information, while typically effective, rarely rely on subterfuge.”

The intelligence chief replies: “Let’s just be clear that if you kill him too quickly, there’s no justice for Bluefang Rockstepper.”

“Killing quickly rarely brings justice, Mr. Colclough,” Razorback says with just a hint of a predatory grin, “Have no fear on that count.”

“All right, then,” Colclough says. “Good luck.”

The Cliffwalker clicks off the comm and steps out into the hall, looking around for cameras as he strides towards the stairwell.

The obvious cameras are tucked in corners where walls meet. But careful study will reveal not so obvious cameras monitoring from floor level, poking out of the carpet, and at eye level – fiber optic cameras embedded in paintings of Demarian opera scenes.

Razorback nods faintly to himself as he walks to a vending machine, buys a drink, and heads back into his room to consider his options. He walks out onto the balcony, sipping at the drink while looking around the side of the building for evidence of cameras above street-level.

No obvious wall-mounted cameras, although numerous drones – probably equipped with cameras and sensors – sweep around the hotel.

The Demarian curses his luck at happening upon such a heavily guarded hotel, but studies the drones, looking for patrol patterns, hoping to find a gap between the passes.

Every five minutes and twenty-six seconds, there’s no obvious drone coverage at this altitude for roughly 36 seconds. However, other drones are seen above and below at all times.

Razorback sighs as he discovers that there is no way to climb up the side of the building without detection. Plausible deniability seems to be why he has been asked to complete this task. He heads inside to the room and pulls a cloak from his bag. The garment takes on the colors around it, even as Razorback draws the garment about him. He watches out the window, waiting for the next drone to pass before slipping out and beginning his climb down the hotel wall. When he arrives at the next tier, he clings to the bottom of the nearest balcony and waits for the next drone to pass. It takes him a little time to make the climb, and if someone knew what to look for, they might spot him while reviewing the footage, but they’d have to be keen-eyed and lucky to boot.

When he arrives at the correct balcony, he stands outside the door and taps on the glass, his hood open enough for his muzzle to peek out.

Inside room 326, arms dealer Vinti Xayr hears the tapping on the balcony door. He’s sitting on the toilet, reading a message on his PDA. His brow furrows. Probably not housekeeping. Possibly his contact. No surprise the fellow wouldn’t use the corridor. Still. He stands, tugs his trousers back up, then pulls the vibroblade from inside his right boot. He looks out the open bathroom door toward the mirror on the opposing wall, which offers a glimpse of the stranger on the balcony through a gauzy veil of curtain.

Razorback dips head towards the blade-wielder, showing empty paws through the front of his cloak.

The Timonae keeps the blade’s hilt gripped in one hand as he uses the other to open the balcony door. “You’re early,” he complains.

“I am fast,” Razorback replies, striding through the door, though his ears track the faint buzzing of the vibroblade whenever it is behind him. “The question I have is whether or not you can deliver as promptly,” he adds, moving to the center of the room before he turns to face the Timonae.

Xayr shrugs. “Depends on what you’re ordering. Most inventory is easily accessible. Some items are hard to get. What’s your pleasure?”

“Plasma weapons, military grade,” Razorback says, his ears leaning back, “But I thought you knew that. Perhaps the communications were unclear?”

“The catalog is varied,” Xayr goes on. “Pistols. Rifles. Grenades. Even an experimental rocket launcher or two.”

“Really,” Razorback says, his ears quirking forward with interest, “And your supplier is trustworthy? The product is quality?”

The Timonae chuckles. “Well, they came from Vanguard armories. I hope so!”

“Interesting…” the Cliffwalker says, considering this, “So… if I were say… interested in infiltrating a local Vanguard installation, could your Vanguard contact assist with that?”

That gets an arched eyebrow from Xayr. “They deal with me. I’m not interested in eliminating myself as the middle man, as it were.”

“I don’t imagine you would,” the Cliffwalker replies with a deep chuckle, “Have no fear, I have no desire to cut you out of your fair share.”

“Good,” Xayr replies with a dark smile. He holds up his PDA, taps in a sequence on the HUD to bring up an image of his stockpile spreadsheet. “Here’s the available inventory. The first shipment can be here in three days. I’ll have to work with a few friends to get past local customs inspectors.”

“Cash on delivery?” Razorback asks, raising an eyeridge, “or did you expect to get paid up front?”

The arms dealer switches off the display on the PDA. “Half today,” he replies. “Two hundred and fifty thousand. The rest on delivery.”

“That is a large sum with little assurance of delivery,” the Cliffwalker rumbles quietly, “I need the name of your supplier. I’ll check out your story, then you’ll get your money.”

Xayr shakes his head. “No. You take the deal or you don’t. Your Underclassers are the ones trying to stir up trouble on Demaria. It’s not on *me*  to prove my bonafides. Give me the cash and you’ll get the guns. Otherwise, they’ll go to one of my other customers. Up to you.” He tucks the PDA into a sheath on his hip and then bends over to slide the vibroblade back into his boot.

As the Timonae leans forward, Razorback springs into action, claws outstretched for grip, fanged jaws agape for the singular purpose of enveloping the gun runner’s face, cutting off the air supply and eliminating the ability to scream.

This, Xayr thinks to himself through the horror, is the worst first date ever. He can’t scream, and he can’t move his face much – lest the fangs rip his flesh. But he does try driving his knee into the Demarian’s crotch.

Thank Demar for unexposed genitalia. Razorback’s light armor catches the worst of it, though a grunt does escape his nostrils. A clawed foot rakes the offending leg in response. His jaws maintain their hold.

The claws tear through Xayr’s trousers, ripping bloody furrows but missing vital arteries. The Timonae screams up Razorback’s gullet.

The Cliffwalker maintains his hold, waiting patiently, adjusting to Xayr’s movements until unconsciousness takes the Timonae.

Soon enough, Xayr passes out.

Razorback lets go, spitting out some blood as he crinkles his muzzle in disgust. He drags the “middle man” to a chair, checks him for weapons, binds and gags him. Once his captive awakens, the Demarian smiles toothily at him. “Well, welcome back, Mr. Xayr,” he growls.

“Mmmff!” is all the arms dealer can manage, eyes bulging.

“Now,” the Cliffwalker says, “I propose a new line of negotiation, beginning with this deal: You keep quiet, and I do not start tearing.” A single clawed digit taps on the chair arm.

Xayr seems content to remain silent for now.

“Very well,” the Demarian says, removing the gag. “So, shall we start with your contact in the Vanguard?” He smiles, baring his teeth. “You may answer,” he says, “Quietly.”

“Levante,” the arms dealer spits out, not at all interested in disembowelment. “Rodrigo Levante. Based on Citadel.”

“And you came into contact with him, how?” Razorback asks, his ears flattening.

The Timonae frowns. “His brother owes Lord Fagin. A lot. Rodrigo’s working off the debt to keep the kid alive.”

“Fagin,” the Cliffwalker growls, shaking his head, “So you are not even the middle-man, but the middle-man’s stooge. Who is your handler?”

Xayr shakes his head. “I gave you Levante. That’s all you get.”

“You see, Mr. Xayr,” Razorback says quietly, pulling up a chair to face the gun-runner, “I believe that is where you are wrong. You are giving me far less than I you. For example. How much would you value each of your fingers?” A paw snaps out and grabs a bound hand.

“Replaceable,” the Timonae notes, although his voice quavers.

“Excellent,” Razorback says, licking his fangs as he takes the gag and ties the wrist off. Not quite a full tourniquet, but enough to keep the man from bleeding out.

Seeing that the Demarian’s not at all kidding, Xayr whimpers and says one word: “Shark.”

“Who is Shark?” the Cliffwalker asks, almost absently as his claw stabs into the base of Xayr’s index finger, while the other paw stands poised to cover the man’s mouth in case of a scream. In that eventuality, he waits until Xayr gets it out of his system, looking on expectantly.

And the man screams into Razorback’s hand for a while before he finally says: “Woman. Blonde. Mean. Tomin…Kora.”

Razorback withdraws the claw into his digit and takes the comm from within his cloak as he takes a few steps away. “Is there anything else you would like?” he asks the device.

“No,” replies Colclough via the link. “That seems like enough for now. Good work.” A pause, then: “Please thank Mister Xayr for his cooperation.”

The Cliffwalker nods quickly before turning back to the captive. “So,” he says, “I know that you feared to give me this information for fear of painful execution.” He begins to unbind the Timonae, gathering up the materials used thus far.

Xayr grips his bleeding finger in a closed hand. He trembles as he nods, but says nothing else.

“Do you have family?” Razorback asks, guiding Xayr toward the balcony door, and pulling his cloak about him a bit more, “Loved ones they might also attempt to punish for this?”

He waits until the nearest drone passes before stepping outside with the gun-runner in tow.

“Yes,” Xayr manages. As he’s guided toward the balcony, panic rises in him once more. “And friends who will find YOU. And KILL YOU!” He struggles to break loose, trying to turn and shove past Razorback to flee through the hotel room.

Almost saddened now, the Cliffwalker’s claws slip out to help maintain their grip. “You are dead either way,” he growls, “Do something worthy of honor for once  in your life and give me the names of those you would desire to protect.”

“Don’t worry about them,” the Timonae snarls, wincing as his flesh is penetrated by those claws. He’s tugged back toward the balcony. “You won’t be able to help anyone when you’re dead.”

“Very well,” Razorback growls, straining with effort as he attempts to introduce the would-be gangster to the art of defenestration before immediately turning to begin his climb back up.

The drones – all owned by the Consortium Intelligence Service – monitor the plummet of the arms dealer from his room to the street below. His body slams into the hood of a hovercab just as it’s pulling in to a stop. The corpse bounces, leaving a bloody smear, and rolls off onto the pavement.

“Sad about his suicide,” Colclough says via the commlink. “We’ll make sure someone finds a note.”

“I would request that if you can find his family, they at least be warned,” Razorback replies as he re-enters his room, “They need not suffer for his sins.”

“He lied,” the intelligence director replies. “He’s got no family. I think he was hoping you’d spare his life if he had relatives. In any event, we have the name of this woman on Tomin Kora – or, at least, a nickname. And the identity of a traitor within the Vanguard. I’d say that’s valuable intelligence.”

“Indeed,” Razorback says with some relief as he sheds his cloak and heads to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

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