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Fighting Destiny

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1 Fighting Destiny on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:33 pm

It was long past curfew and Cora could hear the voice from one of the loudspeakers that were on every street corner informing people that anyone caught outside without a permit would be taken to one of many detention centres that filled the city. Despite this, the young woman didn’t budge from her perch by the river front. The smell of the toxic water below burned her nose, but even that wouldn't keep her from staring longingly at the twinkling lights on the opposite side. That was her home, the place she had loved and belonged in until she was sixteen and torn from everyone and everything she loved to start her life here as little more than cattle. No, scratch that, cattle had more freedom. This city was ran by the men. It held war and perfect order in higher regard than absolutely anything else. There was no art, no real music. Nothing beautiful or thought provoking. It was everything her true home hadn’t been. The city she   currently stared at was a matriarchy. It didn’t consider men second rate citizens, it simply meant equality came much easier. While they did indeed have their own army and soldiers, they also devoted time to creating beautiful architecture and maintining lush parks for the citizens to take long walks in whenever they chose. That was why it hurt so much that all girls born in a year that ended in an odd number were sent across the water once they reached sixteen. They were raised in paradise, then turned out into a hell of men’s making. It was an agreement both cities had with each other, that the girls would be exchanged in order to keep the gene pool fresh, and to avoid conflict that neither side would win without great loss.

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2 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Cora was not alone in staring across the river. Not far below her a soldier was standing guard over a shipment that was arriving in mere moments. The lonely hum of a ship's horn sounded and he raised a gloved hand to let them know he was there. 
Jack often wished to see what was on the other side. Except for the whimpering females he had no idea what was over there. Not that he hadn't heard stories. All of them were terrible, not something he wanted to experience. 
The boat docked close to him and he held up his gun. "How was the trip, Amos?"
The old man gave the soldier an angry snort and threw him a rope, "Those giggly women get dumber every day. All they do is play. We are doing this one a favor by sending her to auction. The king is going to have a fit. I found a red." 
"Keep her on the boat. I'll call for back up." Jack said gruffly, grabbing for his com. 
Neither man noticed the tiny woman hidden in the trees above them.

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3 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:28 pm

Cora heard the voices and shifted her position further along the branch she was perched on. Her interest had been piqued when she heard talk of the city across the water. She had heard the man assume that the women of her home were useless airheads, and smiled slightly. If only he knew. Cora was moving again, wanting to see the girl they had brought with them. It had been so many years since she had been forced from her home that any reminder of it was blessing enough.

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4 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:27 pm

The old man brought out a heavily cloaked figure just as the other guards arrived. The tiny waif was chained and practically dragged after a brief greating from the man who had been waiting for the boat.
Jack lifted back the hood ever so slightly and turned to the elder man. "This one goes straight to auction. No one tells the king." He hissed. "You are only supposed to bring those of appropriate age! She is of birthing age. What were you thinking?!" He snarled. "He will have our heads for this. Get on your goddamn boat and don't come back for a fortnight! You two take her and go! Don't be seen!"

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5 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:47 pm

Cora had never seen the king. In fact, she knew very few who actually had. All she knew was that his face, or more appropriately his mask, were on posters that covered walls in the city. What use did he have for underage girls, or more importantly, who was allowing slavery to happen so freely?
One of the men on the dock nodded when Jack barked orders, grabbing the trembling girl and practically dragging her from sight.
Cora just didn’t understand, girls were sent here all the time, so why was this one treated this way just because of her hair?

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6 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:02 pm

Jack gave a heavy sigh when the group departed in different ways and he was finally alone again. There was no way he was going to die for a red that had been stolen from the female's land. It was better that the king not know of it either. His desire for a red aside...

Charline was shoved into the auction house and further into a back room. She heard men whispering that this was a forbidden place, that not even the king came this far back. The men believed themselves safe. And that all would be over soon.

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7 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:10 pm

Cora had always had a hard time adjusting to the male city. She was outspoken and hotheaded, everything they didn’t like their females to be. Needless to say, no one had wanted to take her as their wife with so many marks on her permanent record. She didn’t even bother to count the times she was hauled to the detention centres anymore, as she knew her time there would change nothing. 
Quietly the young woman was climbing from her vantage point in the tree, intent upon discovering where they had taken the poor girl dragged off the boat.

The men in the auction house would no doubt feel safe, as their king and his mask were indeed nowhere in sight. This didn’t stop even the auctioneer from glancing around nervously. He knew the moment the good was pulled back to reveal those flame tresses, the bidding would be little short of a war.

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8 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:28 pm

Jack himself was thinking of marriage in that moment. He'd sworn off it in order to better protect his king. He didn't trust women. He had no reason to. His own mother had sold him at auction for a more powerful husband and higher status within their world. If that's all he was worth to a woman there was no need of one. 
He turned a d headed for the auction house, ready to shut it down as the sun rose. It was law after all.

Charline was humiliated as her long red curls tumbled out for all to see. The men in the crowd gasped, loud murmurs echoing around the room. She'd meant to cut it. She'd even stolen the captains knife but had only succeeded in taking of a single lock. She held it tightly in her shaking hands, as if it would do her good. 
Shouts were going up now, the price for her reaching unbelievable heights.

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9 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:00 pm

Cora was trailing Jack, able to tell almost right away where he was heading. Her eyes were narrowed as she glared at his back, already deciding he was the worst kind of scum to sell women like this. There was another, more official reason that Cora had no marriage offers, despite her pleasing appearance. On the young woman’s left palm there was a a mark made of scarred and puckered skin where she had been branded with something rather hot. It was the mark given to women deemed to have nothing to offer society, and so not legally allowed to marry. It was rarely used, however her troublesome nature meant it had been inevitable she would end up with it eventually.

There was a man in the crowd who simply stood there, allowing those around him to bid, though he himself never spoke or made any kind of gesture. His dark green eyes were watching Charline, never leaving her once. The bidding was finally slowing down, and it was only at this point that the green eyed man made an offer that was triple what had already been bid so far.

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10 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:02 pm

Jack took up his position by the doors, making a show of looking over his gun. A few hours would be over shortly. He really needed to get back to guarding the king.

The crowd went silent, all of them staring at the man who'd bid a king's ransom. The auctioneer didn't even bother asking he simply slammed down the gavel and instructed the victor to come and collect his prize.

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11 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:09 pm

Cora would find she hadn’t been as careful as she thought. While her attention, and possibly hatred, had been fixed on Jack, another guard had spotted her, and was now tossing her at the other man’s feet. “They need another one in there?” She sneered at Cora hit the ground roughly.

The green eyed man crossed the room and reached a hand out, gently tilting Charline’s delicate chin up so he could see her face. “Why did you find this one?” He asked, his voice deep like a building rumble of thunder.

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12 Re: Fighting Destiny on Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:54 pm

Jack looked down at the young woman frowning deeply. "What are you doing out here, girl? You know you are well past curfew." He put the edge of his gun in her face as he knelt beside her. "Whats your name, girl?"

"She was taken from the Matriach's land, just tonight." The auctioneer said with a wide smile. "She comes from good stock and is ready to breed. And the hair...rare and beautiful. Now yours, sir. All that is required is a signature and of course the money."

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13 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:05 am

The gun didn’t seem to frighten Cora as it would most, proof of how many times she had been in similar situations. Deep purple eyes looked up at Jack, and they were filled with defiance, and a fire that most women in this city lost not long after arriving here, or once they were old enough to know things could never change. “My name is irrelevant.” She told him coolly. “You people don’t need a name to abuse someone.”

“You would assume I am not good for payment?” The man asked, making it quite clear how much offence the auctioneer had just caused. “I should have your h...” he cut himself off and seemed to take a deep breath. “I will transfer the money now, until then no one is to touch her, or so much as even look at her. Understood?”

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14 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:48 pm

Jack's eyes were nothing like the other soliders. There was no cruelty there. He pulled the gun away and held a hand out for her. "Do you do something to deserve being punished that way? Where is your man? He will have to answer for you being out past curfew."

The auctioneer didn't take kindly to being ordered around. "We are closing. You can pick up your new slave tomorrow. The king's soldiers will begin patrolling any minute."

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15 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:00 pm

Cora got to her feet, though she didn’t accept Jack’s hand. “I have no need for one of your brutes.” She informed him, purple eyes unwilling to trust any man of this city. 

“If you wish me to retract my bid, I am more than willing...” the green eyed man remarked, knowing no one was fool enough to turn down that kind of cash.

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16 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:48 pm

"It would seem you have little choice in the matter." Jack said, suddenly snatching her off her feet by the collar of her jacket. "We'll see what the king has to say about the matter."  He turned and headed into the building, past the men who didn't seem to think it strange that he was dragging a woman with him. "Dawn is here. I got word that the king is awake. You need to shut down." Jack said to the auctioneer. Like the man he was speaking to, he had no idea he was already in the presence of the dreaded man.

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17 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:39 pm

Cora was watching everything around her closely. Women were not allowed inside the auction house, back room auctions aside, so she had no idea what to expect. “I don’t give a damn about your stupid king!” She was soon shouting, which earned her the swift strike from the back of a hand across her face from one of the other men. “Hold your tongue, girl, before I cut it out!”
The green eyed man finally tore his gaze away from his ‘prize’ to see what all the commotion was. “Why is there a woman in here?” He asked, sounding as though the entire thing bored him.

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18 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:15 pm

At the sound of his voice Jack knew he'd made a grave mistake. He also knew better than to let anyone know who the man was. 
"She is a delinquent out past curfew. Once I finish my job here, I am taking her to the king for judgement." Jack said woodenly. 
"The funds have cleared." The other man said quickly, grabbing the young woman in the cloaked and shoving her and her chains toward the door. "Goodbye. Good day. Nice doing business with you." 
Charline looked back, seeing that she'd dropped her handful of hair on the floor when she'd been shoved. For some reason she was heartbroken by that loss. It was all she had left. Everything she knew was gone.

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19 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:44 pm

“You think this something you should be bothering your king with?” The green eyed man sneered. “Take her for processing and be done with it!” He barked, grabbing hold of the chain connected to Charline and giving it a sharp tug that would have her trailing after him like an obedient pet.

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20 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:04 pm

Jack frowned after the long haired man, knowing his punishment would be severe when he returned. He marched outside with Cora and sat her on her feet. "Get out of here, girl. Don't let me catch you out past curfew again."

Charline followed behind the man, exhausted and scared. She couldn't remember hearing any of them saying his name. Not to mention she had no idea what she was in for.

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21 Re: Fighting Destiny on Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:10 pm

Cora simply stood there for a moment, amethyst eyes looking up at Jack in confusion. “What does this attempt at kindness cost me?” She asked, clearly not accustomed to kindness of any kind.

When Charline was not walking quick enough, the man simply scooped her up into his arms. He said little until they were indoors. Charline would quickly see why he had spoken with such authority; she was inside the castle. More precisely, she was currently inside the king’s private residence.

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22 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:30 am

"Look, kid. I'm about to have a very bad day. Don't make it worse and don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Jack grumbled, shoving his fingers through his shock of brown hair. "Just go...please?"

Charline didn't know what to make of the place. Other than to guess that she'd been bought as a slave to the queen or something of the sort. But she couldn't quiet remember if the king was married of not.

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23 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:56 am

“No such thing as a free gift or an act of kindness in this city.” Cora replied rather bitterly, though she was already beginning to back away inmperperation to flee.

“There are clothes in the closet, and I’ve had someone draw you a bath. Rest if you must, someone will bring you food when you wake.” The king told Charline gruffly, like he wasn’t accustomed to speaking with woman for anything other than the obvious carnal reasons.

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24 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:59 pm

"All right...maybe you'll owe me a favor if we see each other again." Jack said gently. Then he took a step forward, knowing it would be enough to send her careening away from him. 
He didn't believe for a second he would see her again. 

Charline gave the chains a tug, giving the man a gentle reminder that she still wore them. "I can't be a good servant if I wear these." She said softly.

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25 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:13 pm

“You all look the same to me.” Cora lied, taking one last look at Jack before she turned and ran into the night.

“Who said you were a servant?” The king asked, rather amused it seemed. “You think I would pay such an obscene amount for a scullery maid?”

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26 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:56 pm

Jack returned to the castle and his own quarters, not ready to face the king. He couldn't get the young obstinate woman out of his thoughts. Why had he let her go? It had been so easy to get rid of all the others through the auction house but not her. Why?

"I don't know..." Charline said quietly. She stared at his back as he paused at the door, wondering who her captor was. "My mother always said men do many unexplainable things..."

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27 Re: Fighting Destiny on Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:26 pm

Cora had made it back to her tiny home without incident, not that it meant she would be sleeping. It was near dawn, and soon she would have to return to her job in one of the cities diners. It was a place where the lower class of men frequented. They had no respect for women whatsoever, and it was the third diner Cora had worked at, after retaliating when one of the men dared to touch her.

“A man never has to explain himself to a woman.” Charline’s ‘owner’ informed her. “You are there to breed, clean and cook. Anything else is a waste of oxygen and energy.” He had made it rather clear already that she wasn’t there to clean or cook.

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28 Re: Fighting Destiny on Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:25 pm

Jack decided coffee far away from the castle would do him good. He suspected he would have time, given the king would be far too interested in the new red slave to bother with him. 
He slid into the booth and put his head down, confident no one he knew would show up this far out.

"What a disgusting way of thinking." Charline muttered, again rattling her chains. She shook her head at him, her long shock of red hair tumbling further out of the cloak.

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29 Re: Fighting Destiny on Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:36 pm

Cora had been exhausted when she got to work that morning, and already several customers and her boss had chewed her out for her less than perky attitude. “What do you want?” She asked rather curtly as she approached Jack’s table, though she hadn’t yet looked at him as she fished in her apron pocket for her order pad.

“So like that city to raise a child thinking she is equal to those who are better than her.” Green eyes snorted, turning back to unlock her chains. “Women aren’t called the weaker sex for no reason, girl.”

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30 Re: Fighting Destiny on Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:25 pm

"Coffee. Black." Jack's own voice was hoarse and almost unable to be heard. He didn't look up, despite the weird tinge in his stomach. 

Charline rolled her eyes and shook her head. "It's no wonder your king wears a skull on his head. If his ideas are as stupid as yours, I'd be embarrassed to show my face as well." She snapped, before she had a chance to stop herself.

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