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Ponce El Gadis
"Sanity and Control" is carved on the blade, though I can't imagine why; my reward shows I evidentially showed very little of one, the other, or both. Perhaps it served as a reminder of what not to show. Perhaps it is just the blade's name and means little beyond that. Maybe I had stolen it off someone who had lived by the credo. Possibly I just had a good mind for irony. There is even the possibility I am some sort of crusader against a corrupt system, but I doubt this; the cities I have been to have been quite well-maintained and the people seemed happy.
I place Sanity and Control back in its sheath. I brush my hair out of my face, briefly wondering if my particular hair tint is unusual, and continue down the street toward the crimson setting sun.
I quickly check my pockets, hoping that I was forgetful and had written the password down on a napkin. Suddenly, I have a brainstorm, and am just about to say, "Sanity and Control" when something comes over me and I glare at the eyes in the door.
Fear suddenly enters the small eyes, the slot slides shut, and the door quickly opens. "El Gadis! Sorry, sir. We was just bein' careful. We hadn't seen yas in a while." I give a polite nod to the bouncer and enter The Stolen Ruby. It is easily the loudest and dirtiest-looking bar I have been in to my knowledge.
Knowing I have enough cred here to get in without a password, I assert myself and take the closest stool to the door. Where the bar was full, the stool was empty. Reserved, perhaps.
Although I have not ordered, the bustiest waitress in the room soon delivers me a blood-red drink. I must be a constant drinker of this concoction. I take it and sip from the glass. It tastes like poison and burns all the way down my throat. I find it hard to believe this is my 'regular'.
I become aware of how many whispers in the bar suddenly involve the words 'El Gadis' and soon, most conversation has ceased, the bar's attention focused on me. They seem to be waiting for something, and I supply them by saying, "As you were." This satisfies them enough for most to go back to their business.
However, one person keeps staring at me, a beautiful young woman at a table across the room. I find myself hoping she's my wife, but then realize that neither she nor I wear any rings. The second I meet her gaze, she shifts to an expression of indignation and motions me to her table with a sharp jerk of her head.
I pick up my caustic drink and walk over.
As I sit down, she wears an expression of contempt. "'Bout time you got back," she growls.
I attempt to give a friendly smile. "It's a good feeling to be back," I say, though I can't remember being here before, "And I must say you are looking quite nice, Miss..." I trail off.
She whistles. "Huh, I had heard the rumors but didn't think they were true. You don't remember a damn thing, do you?" I shake my head. "Damn. I'm Mitsuko Trendleria, your right-hand chick. I assume you know your own name?" As I nod, it occurs to me Mitsuko could tell me anything and I'd be forced to believe it. Mitsuko continues. "You're the leader of the local faction of this big, country-wide gang, got it? Or at least you were until you decided to take a brain damaged holiday. You used to basically own everyone in this bar." She huffed. "Without you, everyone just started doing whatever they damn well pleased and found they liked it better. You could try gaining power again, but that ain't gonna happen with that amnesia."
"What do you propose I do then, Miss Mitsuko?" I ask.
"When'd you get so stuffy, Ponce?" Mitsuko asks. I note she called me by my first name. "Just...keep doing what you're doing. You're giving a good name to the El Gadis title even without remembering how to put on your shoes. You can find a new group or start one."
"What about you?"
She gives me a wicked grin. "I'll be around. Remember, I'm your right-hand girl. I've always got to help out." With that, she gets up and leaves the table.
At that point, something unnerves me about Mitsuko Trendleria. It wasn't that she had knockout looks and a brain; it wasn't that she was able to be dominant and submissive at the same time; it wasn't the magical energy I knew she had inside her; it wasn't even the fact she looked more likely to stab you in the neck with the sickle at her hip than talk to you. It was the question: If she was such a loyal right-hand girl, where was she when whatever happened that made me lose my memory?
I breathe a silent prayer and silently remove Sanity and Control from its leather womb. Before I even have time to plan my next move I go on the attack, thrusting my sword backwards to stab a mercenary coming from behind. I then perform a quick spin, slicing off the extremities of any man who came too close. No one but the first man is down yet, so I spring into attack, thrusting the blade into one of my assailents' neck. I remove Sanity and Control from his throat with startling ease, slicing into the ribcage of the next attacker.
From there, I am nothing but a blur of mauve, puce, and silver, Sanity and Control finding flesh whenever I strike. Crimson mist flies through the air as my sword avoids the crude weapons and shields my foes wield and ends their lives.
At once, there remain only four men, and suddenly that number is brought down to two as streaks of arcane energy bolt down and punch through the men's chests. I turn just in time to see a flash of red hair disappear onto the roof of a building.
Scared but hardly hapless, the two remaining hunters growl as they wave their swords like carpet beaters. I dash towards them and run between their bodies. I flex my arm and sickening noises are heard. Only when I stop running seven steps later do I turn around and see my two now nearly bisected foes.
I am beginning to get an idea why I am worth so much. I wipe the blood off Sanity and Control and walk off to wherever I shall go next.
The answer is not simple, but it is all that I know.
I need meaning, and for now, only Mitsuko and any other associates I can find to assist me can supply meaning. (Mitsuko did mention joining another group.) Second, in a way, it's literally all I know. Living by fighting with the blade is all I have done in the scant parts of my life I can remember.
And...If my memories do come back...I do not wish to be out of practice.