Part I "The Acolyte" "Hello, my name is Garrett. Welcome to my humble little home, here you will find various Art that I have collected over the years." I always told them that, careful not t... Read more
amievil? (Mike Ryder)
Part I "The Acolyte"
"Hello, my name is Garrett. Welcome to my humble little home, here you will find various Art that I have collected over the years." I always told them that, careful not to ever mention where and how, exactly I had "collected" these various artifacts. And through the years, funny that not once had the visitors ever bothered to ask where I had acquired them.
Ah, but I am an old man now. Rich, yes, but my own wealth came not without a price. I lost an eye, and through all the rough places and rooftops I’ve traveled, the consequence has been a limp. In the end though, I can look back and say that I did indeed have fun, and of course my retirement has been a wealthy one. Oh, where was I? Ah yes, the Acolyte.
He came to me nearly two years ago. It was on a night, much like tonight. I had some guests to entertain, mostly giving them the tour. We were passing through the art gallery, and I showed them the mystical dragon of Zimbard, one of my own favorites. I knew he was there, even before I saw him. I might be aging, but I’ve still got that sense about me. I guess the Keepers’ training I received really does last a lifetime.
I continued to speak, but moved my right hand to the underside of my house coat. Yes, it was still there. I’ve been retired now for 12 years, but after carrying it around for so long, I just didn’t feel comfortable without it. My Blackjack, the item in question. I then turned to the guests, and asked to be excused. I told Henry, my "guest escort", to keep an eye out on the guests. He kindly smiled at my inside joke.
I slipped down the hallway, Not moving slow, but not moving too fast. Just like that I was a thief again, sticking to the shadows, moving softly across the tiled floor. I reached the ballroom, turned left, and turned out the light. This darkened the hallway. I softly opened the door, and there was Jack, standing as he had probably been all night. Watching the shadows as I’d taught him. I decided to test him. I moved into the ballroom, crouched and started moving along the left wall. I think back and believe now that OLE Jack was fast asleep standing upright! He never had the slightest clue I was there, until I whispered his name. He turned, I stepped out from the shadow.
"Boss," he began, and I quickly put a finger to my lips, and he stopped. I walked up to him.
"There is a thief in the building Jack," I whispered. He looked alarmed, and turned as if to go for the alarm. I grabbed his arm quickly.
"No, don’t sound the alarm yet. This guy is good. I haven’t seen him yet, and he hasn’t made any messes. Tell ya Jack, this guy reminds me of someone."
"Who’s that Boss?" Jack looked at me curiously, left eyebrow raised.
"Me." I grabbed his shoulder. "Go quietly and alert the other guards of the thief’s presence, but do not sound the alarm. I don’t want to spook this guy."
"Sure thing Boss, " Jack said. He turned and left the ballroom, moving quietly as I had also taught him to do.
I retreated back into the shadow, crouched, and looked around the room. Scanned like I did in the old days, as if I were looking for traps. And then I looked up to the Balcony. That’s when I saw him for the first time. He kept to the shadows, and creeped slowly. but he was no master thief. I watched with great curiosity as he paused, then darted out through the lit upper balcony and back into a shadow. and then the upper floor hallway door swung open. there was Pete, doing his nightly patrol. I watched, ready to make a move if he took a shot at Pete. but the kid just stood motionless, much like I had done in many of my own jobs. Pete walked right past him and continued down the hall. I made my move then, slowly, towards the stairs in the ballroom. I was to the bottom of the stairs when I first heard his footsteps.
I moved slowly up the steps and was near the top when I heard him at the top of the stairs. I froze, and slowly looked up. he hadn’t heard or seen me, not at that point. instead he was looking back the way he had come, watching nervously for Pete. I then whispered to him softly.
He jumped back, startled, and then I was almost too late as I saw the edge of the very shiny, very sharp blade come into full view.
"Take it easy kid. just take it easy."
"How did you know I was here, so quickly you must have known." He had a young mans voice, probably the age of 23 or 24.
"lad, I knew you were hear 5 minutes ago. I didn’t hear you or see you, I just knew something was up. do you know of my name, lad? do you know of my past?" I waited for his response.
"Who are you?" he asked, the blade in his hands now moving a little, as if he were shaking his hands. hell, the kid must have been nervous, as I learned later this was only his third job he had ever pulled. Ah, but he had potential!
"I am Garrett, owner of this home. I also, too, was once a thief much like yourself."
I heard him draw in a quick breath, and suddenly he dropped his sword.
"You...you mean you’re Garrett, the legend. the mas....the master thief?"
"Ah, so you do know of my past endeavors."
"Garrett, they whisper of you around town. the stories they tell of how you stole from a god, how you helped out the Hammerites. and how you destroyed the mechanists leader’s plans......are those tales all true?"
"Yes, although what you might hear from the guilds are usually a little farfetched."
"Everyone said you died, some said we shouldn’t talk of the dead, lest the dead come back to haunt us."
"This one could be very well be true," I told him. and through all this, I still held in my hand the blackjack, poised and ready.
"Garrett, if I would have know it were you, then I would have surely not have ever broken into your home. please forgive my ignorance." he went to his knees, and hung his head towards me.
"On your feet lad, have some pride in yourself! you are only the second thief to ever traverse my home. the first was killed by one of my guards. you on the other hand, managed to get in unscathed. that is something to be proud of."
"and now you shall kill me, right?" he glanced at his sword, lying on the top stair.
"If I wanted to kill you, you would be dead already," I replied. "in my old age, I do however grow lonely. I feel as if I need someone to guide, someone who is in the "business". a young man, such like yourself. I was trained by the keepers, that much is true. the thief skill I learned on my own."
"are you proposing to me that you would wish to teach me the way of the master thief?" he looked at me anxiously.
"It would be an honor, to an old man with nothing better to do with his latter days. I can show you ways to improve of you skills, all I ask of you in return in friendship. someone who I can tell the true tales of what happened to me in my, how did you say it? legendary experiences as a younger man. I have more space here in my home than ill ever need, I would offer to you a space of your own here. do you accept this great offer I have bestowed upon you?"
"With all my heart, yes! I was living in the streets, master Garrett."
"do not call of me master, for I am not who I once stole from."
"sorry Garrett, wont happen again. " He picked up his sword, and put it back in its place. "is there a story you would like to tell me of your younger days, its been so long since I’ve heard truth from a man, and I heard once that you were not one to twist truth into lies."
"ah yes, come to my chamber. ha! we shall sit by the fire, I will have Pete bring us some coffees and ill tell you a story! and I have just the right one in mind."
"and what’s that, Garrett?"
"the story of hells motel," I smiled. and he must have seen the twinkle in my eyes, and smiled.
"must be a good one. did you rob a motel once or something?"
"come lad, and I shall speak of the days when nobles were plenty, windows were left open, and lights were left off. the days of my youth indeed."
Part 2- "Hell’s Motel"
Darrey brought us our coffee, I sitting now comfortably in my chair, Talon in his across from me. That was the acolytes name, Talon. I took a sip of my coffee, then sat it on the table beside my chair. Then I began the story. The story of how I came to be in a town called South Hampton, and how I ended up....well let me start from the beginning.......
"It was a warm night. A little too warm actually. I broke into the city vault...the one that holds the records for various things throughout the city. I was looking for certain information as pertains to Lord Jones. I planned to rob him, but the guy was sealed up like a fortress. So I planned to find at least some sort of blueprints for the manor.
"During my search through the warehouse, I didn’t have much luck until I reached the upper portion of the building. there was what I was looking for, at least I thought. as I began to read through the pages, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. I vanished into the nearest shadow immediately. But it was too late. three guards came up the steps. apparently, they had some sort of hidden security camera in the building, and I hadn’t spotted it. and there they were, coming for me full force and each with a bow." I took a sip of the coffee and looked at talon. he was wide eyed and staring at me with great curiosity. seems the lad must have been in a situation like this before himself. maybe his first job? I continued then.
"I did the best I could against the three guards, but my sword wasn’t as quick as the arrows that shot past my head. I had no choice. I saw the nearest exit, which happened to be a window. I did not hesitate, I just jumped right through the window."
"Whoa Garrett, that’s intense!" talon exclaimed. his eyes were bright, a shine to them then that I will never forget.
"you don’t have to tell me, I was there" I smiled at him.
"so what did you do....were you hurt?"
"well, when I jumped through the window, the glass broke and cut me on the side of my leg. I fell from a two story building and landed, oddly enough, on the back of a burrick. a tame burrick luckily."
"hahaha." talon was grinning.
"heh, I swear it didn’t even hurt the darn thing. the yelp came from surprise I believe. I, on the other hand, nearly broke my leg when I landed. I fell off onto a stack of crates. and all the while I could hear them coming for me...the shouts of guards and lights going on all over the place. even in the next buildings surrounding the warehouse." I chuckled, then stood up and walked to the wood pile beside the fireplace. I stuck two pieces in, then returned to my seat.
"anyway, needless to say those guards were pissed when they found out that I was still alive after the fall. I was off and running down the street, arrows where flying past my head in twos. it was not fun. what saved me was a river that runs on near that street. I dove into it and the current swept me up so fast I could do nothing but relax and let it take me where it would."
"so where did it carry you to,?" talon asked.
"well I got sucked into a drainage system of the city. the sewers, basically my second home at the time."
"I know that feeling," talon said. his eyes lowered to the floor, as if he was remembering the life he had chosen to leave behind by joining me.
"so I wondered through the all too familiar sewers, and that is when I decided to get out of town for a while. I guess when you have robbed just about every lord in the city, and some not so rich, you start to get recognized pretty easily by folks on the street. so I snuck down to the ship yard. went in an office building and saw which boats were going where and at what time. I hid out until it was time, then stowed away on a ship that was headed for a town named south Hampton."
"why did you want to go to that particular town, Garrett?" talon asked.
"well, a year or two before this incident, I had met a man one night who was doing a job that was the same place as mine. I found his tracks and followed him. I was about to take him out but he offered me friendship. he told me he was part of the thieves guild, but not of this city. he was from south Hampton, and ironically he was in the same boat that I was in a year or so later. he had gotten out of town for awhile and had come to our city, there they were looking for him. so I helped him out and let him stay at my place. he told me if I ever needed anything to come to south Hampton and he would take care of me. him and his thieves guild. and so that’s where I was headed, hopefully to get away long enough to let things cool down around this city."
"and did you make it to south Hampton?"
"yes, it isn’t really very far from here to begin with. he told me his guild was located inside a fish market building, and the code word was raw. and so when I arrived in south Hampton, I found the place quite easily, as it was right near the docks. how convenient."
"did you still remember the password to get into the guild after a year?" talon questioned, and as he asked he finished the rest of his coffee.
"actually, it didn’t come down to me having to tell a password. it was day when I went into the fish building, and john, the guy who I helped out, was inside. I called out his name and he recognized me immediately. after I told him what happened he took me right away upstairs to the guild, and gave me a room. there where probably 5 of them plus me, and john was kinda like their leader. he showed me my room and told me to clean up, and that night we would take me to a local pub. he said we could get food there, and catch up on everything." I called for Darrey to bring us more coffee, and perhaps a bowl of his finest soup. he brought the coffee, and retreated to the kitchen. I knew it wouldn’t take him long, since his finest soup was already made, it just needed to be heated again.
"so how does all of this figure into a motel,?" talon asked, still curious as ever.
"IM getting to that part lad," I said. "but I think we should eat some of this fine soup first, its some of Darrey’s best. "
"OK Garrett, I am actually a little hungry myself," talon said.
We ate mostly in silence, and when I called for darrey again he was outside, having a smoke. I wanted him to cut us a piece of his delicious cake, so instead of calling more for him I went to the freezer and brought out the cake myself. let the man have his smoke I told myself, hell IM no Bafford anyway. so I cut two slices of cake, then we took to eating them. Darrey came in shortly, and looked ashamed when he saw the cake we were eating.
"boss, if I would have known you wanted cake I would not have went-"
"oh hush Darrey, no since in making you do everything. just because IM rich doesn’t mean I have to act like lord Bafford or one of his contemporaries." I smiled at him. "go ahead and put the cake back, and you are dismissed for the night. go down to the pub and have a few drinks haha."
"yes sir Garrett," he laughed. he picked up the cake and trotted off.
"so anyway where was I,?" I looked at talon.
"you were supposed to go to a pub with that john guy," he responded and finished his cake.
"Ah yes, lets go back into my study so I can finish the story. then we shall head to our quarters, for tomorrow you will begin your training talon."
"OK Garrett." talon got to his feet, hesitated a second, then picked up the plates and took them into the kitchen. as he went I got up and went back to the study, once again seating myself in my most favorite chair. an import it was, but I couldn’t remember where I had gotten it from.
Talon returned and took his seat again. I folded my hands in my lap and smiled, thinking of the rest of the story, getting the facts all together.
"well, that evening, john as promised took me to the local pub. we got a table upstairs, and were the only ones in that section of the pub. all the others mostly hung around the bar, or out front. all were Scott drunk. meanwhile john and I were eating, and not drunk. he had an interesting thing to tell me. and this is when he explained to me the Overton motel, or as he liked to say, hells motel."
Part 3- "John's briefing"
"ok garrett, the first thing i will tell you is the main layout of the motel. it is situated right in the middle of south hampton. there is only one way in that we know of. there is a set of double doors on the southeast side, basically the front door. it is heavily gaurded day and night. its not really an option. even if you made it past the first few guards, you would most likely be spotted soon."
"well why the motel? why not the bank or something,?" i asked him.
"the overton motel has far greater riches than the bank could ever posess. the richest of the rich come to stay there. and garrett, we have also gotten word through a source that someone from your city is staying at the motel. a one lord bafford, we hear."
"bafford! ha, robbing this guy would be worth the price of admission in itself!"
"he is not the only rich lord. there are a few others... most stay on the third floor of the place. we dont exactly have a map of the place. let me explain. you see garrett, the reason our thieves guild has nicknamed this motel "hells motel" is because no thief has ever gotten inside and lived to tell about it. except one. he was one of our own. but once inside he was caught, but wasnt killed. seems now he is working for them, and we have an idea where. he is good with electrics, so he would most likely be near all the power workings. garrett, once inside-if you get inside, and are able to get close to this guy, we request that you KILL him!"
"but why should i kill someone ive never met?" i looked at john attentively.
"because he is a traitor! he ratted out about half of our thieves guild!"
"i see. no one likes a snitch after all.."
"anyway back to the layout. what i suggest you do garrett before even attempting a break in at the motel, is to find the best possible way in. there are rumors of the sewer system running under neath the motel grounds. basically, we dont know for sure if its possible to get into the sewers, since none of our own guild has ever traversed it. what i suggest is a fairly simple job for this evening. basically, you should scout around the town, pick yourself up a few supplies, and above all see if there is any sort of entrance to the sewer system. just be careful of the city patrol, they arent so tough if you just be careful."
"thats nothing i cant handle, a few weary eyed gaurds patrolling streets."
"good. just remember garrett, you are in unfamiliar territory, and you dont know where guards patrol. i would send out someone with you, but knowing how you like to work alone, its better to let you work your own magic. just remember garrett, if you are caught, we never knew you."
"so my first job in quite a while is very simple. ill just be sure to pick up some spending cash so you can point me in the direction of your weapons shop come tomorrow." i smiled and we got up from the table. we left the tavern and on the way out john stopped for a smoke.
"oh garrett, one more thing. when you get done with your job tonight come back here to the tavern, my friend works the late late shift and lets me stay in his upstairs room. just come upstairs and ill find you.."
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