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 Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum)

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PostSubject: Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum)   Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum) Icon_minitimeMon Aug 31, 2009 8:10 pm

Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum)

In the brief period of downtime following the retrieval of the Eldar-conspirator Jirot...

Coppertop has been leading Kaylin through another run on the course - bare-faced, he insists upon it, and for whatever reason she hasn't said no. It's not like she's incompetent, or unable; she's as fast as he is, as strong as he is, and shares many of the skills they each picked up at the temple... not to mention their lives before that. On the other hand, they're still different muscles, and just as Coppertop isn't used to waving an eviscerator around over his head she isn't used to throwing herself up and over these obstacles. The end result: a grueling, wearying, exhilarating experience across the bars and walls of the course. And sweaty. Don't forget sweaty.

Kaylin forces her way across yet another set of bars. In the entire course of her career, which admittedly was not long, she had never had to dangle from a set of bars. Never once. And yet it seemed a staple on courses like this, and she never understood why. Sure, the muscles it used were good to tone, yes dexterity is important, but it was more difficult than she thought not to growl as she forced herself across yet another set of them, gloved hands gripping the bars tightly as she swung, sweat beading along her brow and inside the body suit. She threw herself past the last two to land a bit ungainly on the platform ahead of her, panting to catch her breath.

Not long on the platform himself, Coppertop sprawls shamelessly with an arm dangling over the edge. "Whew... good work, Kaylin. Good workout at that!"

She nods, gulping down a breath before letting him know her lips did, in fact, curve with a slight smile. "I'll beat you over something one of these days."

He grins. "I'm not taking that bait. You'll have me black and blue before I reach the door."

"I'm not sure I've got the spare energy to throw a punch, at the moment..." she notes dryly, shifting to the side slightly to unzip the body suit a bit at the collar out of view to cool down.

"A stay of execution. Awesome." He pushes himself over, getting his legs under him and settling down in a less ungainly position. "It's not about beating me anyway, it's about beating yourself - and you're doing that. Well done. Of course," he adds slyly, "beating Coppertop Coltrane is something you can aspire to..."

Kaylin laughs slightly, shaking her head. "Maybe I'd have the chance, if you didn't run off on your own every mission."

Laughing himself, "That's not fair! Every mission?"

"Most, and you know it."

"It happens," he allows with dignity, "as the mission requires it, in the Emperor's service." He shakes his head. "My training focused on quiet infiltration - can you imagine bringing Vlad along on that? Or Modesty?"

"Of course not, but there are reasons people work in pairs." She points out. "Especially when going many of the places you do."

"Your concern is touching," he assures her. "I'll bring you along next time, I promise. We'll make a day of it." Stretching, he looks over at her. "Does it bother you that much? We are assassins, it's our stock in trade."

"Since when has either of us been commissioned to do an assassination recently? It seems as though we're supposed to do everything but assassinate people."

"We're inquisiting, remember? The assassinations usually come after the inquisitions." He shrugs. "I trained with the adeptus - no surprise there - to quietly enter places considered unassailable. And, between you and me, because they wanted someone who wasn't Adeptus Mechanicus who spoke the lingo. I'm certainly getting my share of that, even if I'm not stabbing anyone at the end."

She nods slightly, having successfully dodged the question before shrugging slightly. "The point of infiltration in my training was to get to the proper location to start the demonstration of the Emperor's justice. Remain hidden until you are in a proper location, and then make a statement." she points out, looking back over the course, her breath returning. "Working with a team is very different, I'll admit."

He chuckles. "I can see that happening. I wasn't being graded on presentation - just results." He follows her gaze, looking out over the course himself. "It's different, yes. It's almost a responsibility..."

Kaylin snorts, amused as she leans her head back against one of the posts. "You're growing into it, you know."

With a sigh, "It was bound to happen. Slagging linearity of time, getting in the way... Kaylin, have you ever learned something that changed you?"

"Yes. Why?"

Coppertop shrugs. "I'm learning things. I'm doing things, being a person that... Caiten is gone, and it sucks, but it doesn't end there. Someone has to do what he was doing - be the person he was."

"Big shoes to step into." she notes, sighing a bit before shrugging and pulling her knees to her chest to wrap her arms around them. "From what we know of him, at least. I don't think I could do it."

"You have no idea." He hauls himself up, bouncing on the balls of his feet a few times before settling down, restless. "I don't know if I can do it. Does that surprise you? I do know that if it isn't me, then who else?"

"It doesn't really surprise me. I kind of knew that nobody could actually be that confident; just act it." She notes quietly, watching him bounce and shift with a raised eyebrow. "It's fair, though. If something has to be done, you do it; it's not a question of if you can or not, you just do, and if you die then you know you were wrong to try."

He laughs. "Oh, I am this confident. Someone has to be that, too..." He gestures across the course. "It's something else I've learned. If you tell yourself you can't do it, you're right. Forward momentum - that's the key. You keep going, always forward, always faster, don't look back and don't slow down to watch your feet because you might see something you'll fear... so I keep going." He raises up on his toes, stretching as if he can reach the ceiling - which, even up on the platform, is a rather unrealistic notion. "And I climb the walls, and I leap the chasms, and I become Inquisitor Caiten Reath... and if you tell anyone I said that, I'll put itching powder in your body suit."

Kaylin smiles and laughs, cocking her head to the side slightly. "So Caiten Reath is your mask, huh?" she asks idly. "If Coppertop can't do it, Reath could, so you be him instead. Only you're being him more often now.

Coppertop chuckles. "That would be too confusing. I'd lose track of which pants I was wearing. No, I have to go about this the slow way... Coppertop Coltrane has to take the same road he did." He sobers, focusing on his fingers a moment before dropping them. "I thought it would be fun. I thought... confidence, right? Confidence and momentum and the knowledge that Coppertop Coltrane can do anything."

"I don't know how different that is from what I said." she noted before shrugging. "So maybe you're wearing the Coppertop Coltrane mask instead. This is why you might actually be an inquisitor, you're good at looking through layers."

"Maybe I am." He spreads his hands, flexing and playing his fingers nimbly, twisting his wrist in a familiar swirling motion that completely fails to produce a knife this time. "Like you said, I might be growing into it. I didn't expect it to be like this..." He shakes his head, looking over at her. "How about you? How's that mask of yours, bare-faced Kaylin?"

Kaylin shrugs a bit and looks down. "Different, I guess. Just...different. I feel off without it, but it's not... It's not quite my face anymore."

"We're going to have to do something with it," he decides. "Something you can remember that Kaylin did, and be proud of." He studies her. "I should teach you how to cook."

"I never cooked." she points out. "All Kaylin did was kill people and stay high, there wasn't... you know. Time for that sort of thing."

"That's all right," he laughs, "I don't know how to cook either. I'd be making it up as I go along. It should be interesting, right?"

"Cook until golden, brown and delicious." She comments as she gets to her feet and looks further down the course, breathing out. "How close are we to the door?"

"Mm? Sixty paces, I suppose. Are you eager to get it done?"

"I'd rather do it and have done with it than keep it looming. I really just wanted my breath back." She explains before getting to her feet and looking to the rest of the course before pushing off of the platform and catching the web of netting across the gap between them and the rest of the way, starting to haul herself up.

Coppertop laughs, clapping his hands. "Well enough!" He breaks into a sprint and leaps happily after her for the netting.

"And a shower at the end!" she grunts, pulling herself up and over the top of the wall before throwing herself at the rest of the course proper, pushing to go quickly and perfectly over the surfaces, though she caught herself once or twice and took a bit longer than necesary to recover after each falter; momentum is easy to build, but also easy to displace. But Coppertop is above such petty concerns. Physics are no concern of Coppertop Coltrane's!
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PostSubject: Re: Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum)   Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum) Icon_minitimeMon Aug 31, 2009 8:11 pm

Throwing herself over the last hurdle to one of the exits of the course, Kaylin finds herself not as bad off as she had been previously, stepping from the sprawling training area. Looking instead to the lockers where their items were stored, she rather hopes to gather her cloak and manage a short shower before continuing on; while some of the nicer body gloves breathed, this one didn't seem to give much air.

Coppertop tosses her a towel, mopping his own face. There are showers, of course - not that they're segregated, not in this Emperor's army. He's generally a gentleman about it, though, being tactful either about her presence or her avoidance tactics as the case may be. "What do you do with your pay, Kaylin?"

Kaylin grasps the towl and mops herself with it, shifting out of view a bit to remove the sticky bodysuit from her body only to wrap the towel over the painting of scars that covered her form from the tip of her toes to the base of her neck before blinking slightly. "Well...nothing, really. I have what I need provided by the Inquisition and previously the temple. I guess it's in an account somewhere... why?"

"I'm pretty hard on my equipment, so I have high turnover, but you might want to start thinking about investment."

"In what?" she asked, cocking her head to the side and cinching the towel up around her tightly as she moved quickly for one of the stalls along the wall, avoiding the group baths and nominally avoiding looking at Coppertop. "I have most of what I can think of needing as far as my equipment goes."

"I'm not sure," he admits, peeling off his own clothes and hanging them up by his bag before walking over to a stall of his own, scars of his own briefly caught by light and sweat - focused mostly along his spine, feathering out like some strange lizard's skin. "I haven't looked into it. You should talk to Modesty about it - she's from that walk of life, she must know what best to do with large piles of thrones."

"Modesty." she snorts, shaking her head. "What is this nonsense between her and the Commisar? It almost makes me neauseous." She added almost in an undertone, scrubbing furiously at herself, though she couldn't help but notice the scars at his spine.

Coppertop laughs. "I never expected her to return his interest. It takes all kinds..."

"She shouldn't have. The way he fawns over her is infuriating. What are those from?"

He shrugs, before glancing over his shoulder. "Those?"

"Yes, they're rather localized; what sort of weapon did that?"

"I suppose it's the most honesty she's ever been shown by a suitor. In a way, it makes sense." Gleaning her direction, he twists the other way, fingers sliding around to splay along the small of his back. "Ah... those." Smiling a little humorlessly, he reaches for the dispenser and works up a lather. "I hid, I begged, I ran... I told you I'd show you my scars someday. They were very precise. They didn't want to damage the muscles, you see, or the tendons; not when they intended to use them later."

Kaylin nods slightly, beginning to understand before she shrugged a bit and gave a slight laugh. "The Redemption isn't really as much about efficiency as they really should be; the display is part of the purpose of it all. Efficacy is important, but the display is just as important."

He quirks a grin at that. "I'd gathered that. My... mentors, were not overly concerned with efficiency as a whole, but slag it, did they love their blades. Anything to do with that had their attention. You know, I'll bet you could learn to dance with a vengeance, put all that 'display' in the light."

"I'm not womanly enough to dance." she said, shaking her head as she turned the water as hot as it went and shifted herself under it, stifling a sharp yelp as it hit the three long red rents along her back, though she breathed out and steadied herself. "Unless you count with a sword, but I've heard that metaphor too often."

"You don't need to be womanly to dance," he points out, "or I'd have nothing to do on my nights out."

"You're a man. Men dance so they can sleep with the girls they dance with. Girls dance because they like to show off. And get the men to sleep with them, I'd imagine."

Coppertop laughs. "Guilty as charged. So why not show off? Don't worry about if you're womanly, be Kaylin-y." He mouths that last word again, then shrugs.

"It's remarkably hard to imagine having nights out." She shook her head before dousing it under the water and stepping back, wrapping the towl around her as she started to dry herself off. "You'd best be careful, or I'll start thinking you want to watch me dance, and that will end badly." She half-teased.

He grins. "Oh, but I do. I think it will be a revelation for you to realize you can." He turns to rinse off soap, slicking lather off with the edge of his hand. "And that I will enjoy, very much. Not to mention how embarassed you'll be up to that point..."

"I know I can dance. It's just kata; repetition of motion again and again, like combat without the force behind it or the intent." she muttered, shaking her head and blushing slightly as she moved to get one of the bodysuits for herself once more, moving quickly over the tiled floor. "It's just movement. Nothing hard."

"Then we're agreed - bare-faced Kaylin will learn to dance." He ducks his head for a moment, silenced as he rakes soap out of his hair, the coppery spikes uncharacteristically coiled and matted by the water. "-after all, you know you can do it."

"And in return, you stop racing off on your own for missions all the time, unless it's actually necessary."

"You wound me." He turns off the water, snagging the towel from the rail and rubbing briskly. "It has always been necessary, except maybe that one time in the fake city, and then it was just practical."

"No, it hasn't. It's been a convenient excuse for you to go about your business without oversight, I think." She pointed out.

"Mm." Draping the towel about his shoulders, he regards her for a moment. "You trusted Caiten to do what he thought best, for the mission and for the Imperium. Will you trust me with that?"

"I haven't killed you yet." She points out.

"You haven't killed Mina yet either," he responds drolly, "so that proves nothing. I ask you again - will you trust me?"

Kaylin blushes and looks away before breathing out. "I'm working on it."

"Thank you." He pads over, slinging the towel around his hips, crouching by his bag to pull out fresh clothes. Quietly, "Sometimes, it is convenient. Sometimes that is necessary. I am on your side, and I am loyal to the Imperium. Let that be enough for now, please."

"I'm working on it. Like I said, I haven't killed you yet. But I've thought about it. And I hate thinking that I should." she points out casually, albeit forcedly so.

"Thank you for that as well." He straightens up, smoothing the fabled boxers around his waist. "It's not easy for me either. I swear to you that I'll bring you along in the future unless the mission has incompatible elements - needing your strength elsewhere, or entering a place where you can't follow. Will that do?"

"As best as anything will." she shrugs lightly. "And as for not killing Mina yet... Coppertop, what do I do about her?" She adds almost exasperatedly, groaning slightly and putting a hand to her forehead.

He laughs, the mood broken somewhat as he regards her sympathetically. "That bad, huh?"

"I don't even know! There are times when it's not, and there are times when I...I don't know... but she brought it into the mission, and I almost hit her!"

"What do you want to do about her?" He tugs on a shirt, before going for the trousers, more or less decent now.

"She loves me, and it's scaring me! I don't know, I don't want to just tell her to go away, not really, but I don't... I'm sorry, I'm acting like some stupid girl." She mutters, shaking her head and moving for her cloak and blades. "There's no real answer one way or another, I just thought for a moment that Mr. Goes-out-Dancing had some magic trick up his sleeves." she adds, reaching for the mask but hesitating slightly before putting it on.

Coppertop reaches out and touches her arm, forestalling the mask for a moment. "Not for this," he sighs. "You now know one of the reasons why Mr. Goes-out-Dancing doesn't do things like this. Kaylin- tell her how you feel. Being subtle and tricky isn't your way, so just tell her. Slag it, hit her if you need to! Get it out of your system and show her you mean business. The best advice I can give you is that you aren't wrong to feel this way." He sits down, pulling on boots. "It's scaring you because it's scary. Don't walk away from this thinking that you're weak."

Kaylin shifts, her arm almost snapping to his, though it halted shortly after something of a slight jerk before she sighs and shakes her head. "She'll start crying again." she notes dryly with a sigh, leaving the mask off. "I never cared when they cried before."

"Yeah. On the other hand..." He slings his jacket on and wriggles comfortably. "...ah, warm. They keep these ships so damn cold. It's not that you shouldn't care, but... is it your responsibility? Are you hurting her, or is she choosing to be hurt? Did you choose her, or did she choose you?"

"I think she chose me, but I don't really know. I don't remember putting up much of a fight." she mutters, slipping on the armored cloak with a slight clink of the mesh within it and feeling it's familiar weight sink onto her shoulders and distribute slightly across her body as she reached for her blades. "How can I even plan for anything, Coppertop? I hate this, as soon as the mask is off everything is confused, like I'll think one thing and then ten minutes later I'll lose it, or I'll just feel like someone totally different, and sometimes I'll think different, and then sometimes I listen to myself and I sound so pathetic, but I have to tell someone who actually talks back somtimes, or I'll go crazier than I already am."

"It's good to have an outlet," he agrees. "I wish Caiten was still around." Shaking his head, he balls the sweaty clothes up and stows them in his bag, slinging it under an arm before leaning against the wall and looking over at her. "I never promised this would be... it's easier, more comfortable, behind the mask. Being the weapon makes everything simple when out here is complicated. What you're feeling is part of being Kaylin." He claps his hands. "The good part is it's all worth it, because you're learning how to weep - and you're learning how to laugh. Who knows? Maybe someday you'll even choose on your own."
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PostSubject: Re: Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum)   Coppertop vs Kaylin: Interval 04 (Forward Momentum) Icon_minitimeMon Aug 31, 2009 8:11 pm

She stops for a moment, cocking her head to the side. "You talked to Caiten more than the rest of us, didn't you? I didn't know him well; like you said, being a weapon is less complicated, knowing who pulls the trigger isn't important, just that it's pulled and that you're ready for it when it comes. What did you talk about?"

Coppertop smiles bitterly. "Things to keep myself from going crazy. I wonder how long I'll last, without that."

Kaylin looks down to the monoblade she was about to sheathe behind her, feeling a bit awkward as she looks to some of the pits and clips along the weapon; there hadn't been so many last she looked. "You can talk to me, if you like." She offers. "If it would help, I mean."

He tilts his head. "That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Someday, Kaylin, I hope to take you up on that."

"Maybe you're dancing with the wrong people?" she snorts before shaking her head and whirling the blade along around her wrist, feeling the slight tug on it as the momentum built up in it, a saber more than the heavier swords she was used to wielding. "Sometimes I think you're in the wrong line of work; you shouldn't be an assassin."

Laughing, it takes a moment before he responds. "What do you think I should be?"

"A performer. You like to impress people and make them happy and show off; maybe one of the circus troupes."

Coppertop laughs harder, resting his forehead on his fingertips. "Is that all you think of me? Honestly, Kaylin... I," he manages after he regains a bit of composure, "am not that altruistic. I take pride in what I'm doing, and who I am..." He grins at her. "Yes, in being Coppertop Coltrane. There was a time when I didn't, and I'm glad I do now."

"Of course I don't think that's all, but I think it's something you'd be happy with." she huffs as she whirls the sabre and slid it back into it's sheath with a shake of her head. "Pride," she quotes dryly, "in anything but your offerings to the Emperor is a sin that you should cleanse yourself; you have no need of it, and it will lead you astray."

"Mmm..." He chuckles, shaking his head as he sobers. "You know, someone else thought that once." With a flick of his wrist, he produces the knife, walking the handles dextrously between fingers as the blade appears and disappears, like a trick of the light. "It was the man who had this knife before me."

"Did you kill him?"

"Not soon enough..." He focuses on the blade, turning it to catch the harsh flourescents. "He killed my parents, first. And my brothers, and my sisters, and their uncles, and their aunts. He cleansed my entire family for the heresy of pride."

"And what pride did they have?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. "One rarely just kills someone for a trait without a demonstration of it."

Off-handedly, "Oh, pride in their work. They were well-known. You would have liked it - it was very flashy, very demonstrative, sent a clear message to everyone else, that sort of thing." He chuckles, abruptly. "I wish I could say that he killed them with this knife - it'd be more dramatic that way, but no. He used a longer blade. This is just the one that I managed to hold onto, at the very end."

"They were assassins too? You'll have to be less cryptic, you can't just stop telling about something like that once you start."

Coppertop laughs. "All good stories are cryptic, Kaylin. How else do you drag it out until the bar closes?" He spreads his free hand. "I'll tell you the dull, mundane version. They were foremen at a refinery. They were proud, and vocal, and boisterous. They were labelled as heretics for not being pious enough and died for that sin. I was a bare child, and saw it all. They took me, and they broke me, and they used me. In the end I had just enough bitterness to kill my mentor, the man who did it, the owner of this knife. And I'll tell you a secret. You call it a sin, and heresy, and they were cleansed. You can call them heretics, I won't argue... it didn't matter. I called them family."

"We each have our own views of heresy." She shrugged before lowering her head slightly. "I'm...sorry, they were cl-killed. I don't know whether it was warranted or not, but I'm sorry that it happened. At least you got revenge, I suppose?"

"You know, I wasn't thinking that at the time? It was... that bitterness. Pain, I suppose. An all-consuming pain. I used it, like you use your rage." He swirls the knife closed, making a magician's pass and plucking it from behind her ear. "Hah! Look at that..." Leaning forward to pocket the knife, all traces of humor gone. "You've heard it. You're confused enough not to do anything about it. When the day comes that you understand it, Kaylin, then I will talk to you about the things that keep me up at night."

Kaylin blinks and watches him pull the knife from behind her ear, cocking her head to the side lightly before shrugging. "Let's hope that day comes before I get an eldar blade through me, or some other such things; the Emperor guides my blade, but I won't say that his clerics are joking when they talk about the frailty of man."

Coppertop quirks a smile, with a deliberate and mercurial shift in mood. "Death will not release you," he intones, "Makrell will see to that."

She snorts. "One can hope there's enough of me to salvage; I won't have myself prostheticized if I can avoid it."

"Relax." He grins. "I'll make your prosthetics personally."

Raising an eyebrow, "I don't know if that's particularly comforting."

"Oh, you'll thank me later. By the way - do you want larger...?" He mimes cupping breasts. "Since I'll be in there and all..."

Kaylin blushes furiously and pulls the cloak tight around herself, a knife appearing in her hand as she waves it at him. "Don't you even think about them!...it! I meant it!"

He laughs, backing away quickly with his hands raised. "Okay, okay! I was just thinking you could keep water rations-" He ducks further away in anticipation.

Sheathing the knife, she starts after him. "Remember that hand to hand training we were going to get around to?" she offered, flexing the body-gloved fingers.

"Oh shit." He unlimbers his bag hastily, dropping it behind the bench as he backs up into the obstacle course proper. "I take it now you're thinking about grappling- ow! Hey! All right, pinning then- dammit, stop it!"

Kaylin smiles slightly before twisting just a bit more and letting go, shifting back slightly. "Well, now we know that all we need to do to stop Coppertop Coltrane is to get a good hold of him." She teased, shifting back from the close proximity to establish relatively normal spacing once more. "That's what you get for thinking about my...chest."

Coppertop rubs his shoulder, giving her a hurt look. "Kaylin, I just want to say one thing in my defense... I'm sorry... that you hit like a girl."

"Don't tempt me to hit you for real, then." She laughs before shrugging. "I'm not as strong as I should be for melee combat; it's why I use such big weaponry. Momentum is half the fight."

He grins. "You're telling me?"

"Fair. Though I'm a bit surprised, I thought you'd be stronger."

"Now you're just being catty."

"What was that about hitting like a girl?"

He dusts his knees off, straightening up. "I am strong, for my size and height. Which, go ahead and say it, I'm sure you've got something lined up..."

"No, that would be falling to your level." she said easily, smiling. "And if you're waiting for it, where's the fun?"

Groaning good-naturedly, "All right, all right." He puts out a hand.

Kaylin looks to it for a moment as though it were something akin to being offered a fish before reaching out to shake it tentatively.

Coppertop shakes it solemnly, before taking a step back. "Was that so bad?"

Kaylin allows her hand to remain out for a moment before closing her fingers and pulling it back lightly. "I don't touch people." she pointed out. "Even with a bodyglove it's...awkward."

"You didn't have trouble a moment ago," he grouses, before grinning as he goes to retrieve his bag. "You'll learn, Kaylin."

"Of course not. That's martial; it's the social graces I don't like. And I don't know if that's something they trained out of me, I think that's always been there."

"Then it'll be that much easier to overcome," he notes as he tucks the bag over his shoulder, tilting his head as he looks back at her.

"I think it might be harder." she shrugs. "It just feels off."

"It might be harder for you, but it'll be easier for me, because it won't result in your trying to stab anyone."

"I don't know, I've laid myself open for less." She points out dryly. "And I've been quite good, I haven't stabbed anyone that shouldn't be stabbed."

"And we appreciate it," he assures her solemnly.

"What about you? For an assassin, you don't do much stabbing."

With a laugh, "I did for the tech-priest, didn't I? And Jirot. I don't think the temple intended me for the xenos," he admits, "so it hasn't been a target-rich environment..."

"You didn't stab Jirot, you put a knife to his throat." he pointed out before shrugging. "Xenos aren't the prime target of assassins, especially ones such as us; they tend to be better than we are in melee."

"No, I stabbed him. Why do you think he wasn't putting up a fuss? He was paralyzed - the knife was for the benefit of his henchmen."

"Right, poison. Never been my forte."

He nods. "Subtle infiltration," he reminds her. "Carrying one of your massive slabs on my back isn't subtle."

"They realized quickly that training me for infiltration was a lost cause; pariahs aren't hard to spot."

"Where does someone sign up to become a pariah, anyway?"

"Quirk of birth. It's a genetic thing; I certainly didn't sign up for this."

"Then don't let it bother you."

"Easier said than done. It seems the people on this team are of the odd sort that aren't affected by the gene; most are more than a little disquieted."

Coppertop laughs again. "After staring down an ork horde and a red demon Warp-thing, a little Pariah isn't going to slag us off..." He shakes his head, regarding her. "I won't lie to you. I think I know what you're referring to, and I feel it, yes."

"Most people don't deal with orks and daemons." She shrugs. "Pariah's don't exactly fit elsewhere."

"It sounds like you're in a good place for you, then. If we can stand it, you can stand to stop dwelling on it - true?"

"I'm not concerned with it because it makes me less of a giddy socialite." she points out with a bit of snap in her voice. "Not having a soul has more pressing issues."

Dryly, "Name three."

"Much as I pray otherwise, the Emperor does not guide my blade, nor can he feel me, or perhaps even hear me." She pointed out quietly. "Likewise, when I die there is no Justice of the Emperor, no judgement... nothing. And it means that unless I can prove myself more useful as something else, the Temple Culexus will always seek me out."

"I see." He looks up at the lights for a moment, thoughtfully. "My immediate thought is, 'you'd better make sure you don't die until you work it out', but let me get back to you on this - it deserves time to think about it."

"This isn't something one can work out." she pointed out. "You can't just give someone a soul. Don't let it trouble you; I try not to. You may not notice it, but I am trying."

"I have." He looks back at her, quirking a smile. "You're here."

Kaylin nods, smiling slightly before leaning back once more, rolling her shoulders a bit beneath the cloak. "Fair."

"Now let's get out of here before we get maudlin."

"Are you sure it's not too late? I thought I saw a tear." she teases as she makes her way for the door, shifting to slide the white mask to her face once more, cinching it shut with expert hands.

"It must have been the wind."

"I've never heard of wind on a starship before. Another time then, Coltrane." She voices, bowing her head lightly before turning and making her way down the halls towards her chambers for meditation.
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