[ This post contains Adult (18+) Content ]
They first met at Vayaz.
While Khats was on the run from Jeremy, (but mainly Rufus), she stumbled upon a familiar house in the war-torn town… her childhood friend’s. The detached house was still intact despite looking rather disintegrated. The construction was obsolete, built with mostly stone blocks that look misaligned and covered in moss. The wooden roof looked questionably stable. And the steps to the porch have been severely crumbled, leaving only enough room to fit one foot at a time for each step.
She carefully walks up to the porch and knocks on the door, the only part of the house that looks durable. “Staz? Are you still there? It’s me, Khats.” She hears whispers from the other side of the door, slow steps, then a pause.
Staz opens the door to see her friend looking disheveled and barely recognizable. It has been 2 years since she’s heard from Khats – they were having a conversation about the Onendloch Military’s impending invasion of Vayaz, Kiza and Torenz. That was the day before Khats decided to assassinate Seth Tiyova, a well-known hero in the Republic of Kiza. She couldn’t fathom how her nerdy friend was capable of doing so, nor did it make sense to murder a person who she was supposedly working for. When news of her crime erupted, it was declared treason and she was to be sentenced to death. There’s only one possible reason she was at her doorstep – her friend has escaped captivity.
“How the fuck did you make it here…?”
“Well, to sum it for you, they decided not to kill me at Onendloch and made me their production slave instead… for the last 2 years. Except Arga von Schatz didn’t know this, until yesterday apparently. I was at a party, but… when I was alone outside, Rufus AMBUSHED me and tried to choke me out.” The marks of rope burn on her neck are now more apparent to Staz. “One of the ushers luckily managed to stun him when he saw our scuffle. I ran away FAST… For some reason, I didn’t feel like it was any safer to tell any of the Rossenbachs. This was the closest safe place I could go. Look, I’m sorry for burdening you now. I’m fucked Staz, I have nowhere left to go.”
Staz appears just as worn out as her friend. The last time Khats saw her was actually at this same house. They had dinner with Staz’ family, celebrating Khats’ recent employment with AEGIS Security. Back then Staz was extremely feminine – She only wore dresses, had gorgeous, long and black hair, a vibrant presence and a bright smile. The woman she was facing now had a buzz cut, had bruises all over her face and arms. and wore a torn up pair of green pants and a white tank top. This war turned her inside out. She inhales sharply, with a heavy look of disappointment on her face. “We all are. We barely made it this week… As much as I’d like a reunion babe, but now is a major risk to be seen with you. They will DEMOLISH what I have left here, if by chance associating with you offends the Rossenbachs in any way.”
Khats does not protest. “I understand… I wish we met again under different circumstances.” She looks behind Staz, to see other familiar faces. The parents, her younger siblings, and…
Khats looks at the stranger briefly. What stood out right away was his black hair, crew cut, full beard and his dark olive-green eyes. He carried a hard, distrusting expression. His fighter build, all-black clothing and watchful posture disclosed that he might be a militant.
She returns her gaze back at Staz. “I don’t want to put you at anymore risk. I just need some ideas on where to go…”
Before Staz could respond, a low-toned and resonant voice addresses the concern. It was that mysterious guy at the back.
“My armory is just a few blocks from here. There’s nothing there now, and I barely visit it nowadays. You could possibly stay there for a night, although it’s a high-risk location.”