pyre

Port of Portland 
#1
@Nicodemus


Portland's docks seemed to be where most of Coria's clients preferred to conduct business- warehouses, and now shipping containers. The ease of their accessibility pulled an additional tether of caution through the thickness of her metal, and while she was not afraid, she was mindful. Over the years, she had identified complacency as one of the reaper's whetstones, but through time's gift of collective acumens, she had thus far been able to avoid the scythe.

War was won by strength, but almost always through strategy. Caesar had taught her people that bitter lesson, and now history's pitfalls would serve as stepping stones through the turbulence of her chosen business model. In truth, Coria did not know who to expect- research had provided no blaring clues. However, man or woman, there were cues she could follow. The order's bulk was enough to pinpoint considerable resources, and the cadence of their conversations dictated a certain taste of authority.

We'll see.

She'd unloaded the van already, black cases flanking the sides of the shipping container, padded tops open to reveal the requested military-grade weapons. Ammunition containers were stacked neatly against the back wall, and while her client had not asked for them, it was an implication professionalism demanded.

She swallowed a mouthful of water as headlights blinded, leather-clad arm lifting to shield herself from the light until it dimmed, eyes blinking themselves back into focus. Her hand inconspicuously shifted to her hip, fingers pressing against the hilt of her concealed revolver as she tossed the empty plastic into he open door of her van.

"Do you care for introductions, or should we get right into it?"
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#2
 The air stank of bird shit and bilge. This was no beachside retreat that encouraged a stroll down to the water but an industrial puzzle of schedules and systems, fueled by oil and greed.

 Cranes of worn metal bowed to the workers’ bidding, a great hand plucking each colored rectangle and placing it so that its contents could be cast open and plundered. It was a tetris of fortune, the rusted steel of red and blue and green a jackpot when aligned.

 He’d lived so much of his life in ports like this one, making sure his cargo arrived on time and untouched. Now he came without liberty, a buyer with a staunchly silent patron at his back.

 The other half of this equation was right where he’d specified, though his marrow-deep sexism made him falter when he realized the seller was not a ‘he’ but a ‘she’.

 "This is business, not a tea party. Tell me, do you just move stock or do you make weapons as well?"
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#3
Longevity granted her the ability to see the trip, fall, and recomposition of his gaze, disappointment mocking with a straightening of his spine- a spindle weaving thread that was clearly laden with skepticism. His response sharpened the needlepoint with a well placed poignancy that caused her jaw to inconspicuously work.

Generals were easy to spot.

They moved and spoke as if an army perpetually existed behind them.

"Fabrication makes up a decent percentage of my business," she answered, opting out of playing host to let the nameless inspect his trove. "As long as you've got the money, I have the means."
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