Djarina: Stranger

Djarina was hunting, but she was also hunted. 

She was looking for new shoes,  and to find them she was going to have to get to the Moving Market. Her plan was to swap two of the MindLines for real money, and then purchase some necessities. She would save the other two for a time when they had absolutely no money.

The trouble with the Moving Market was... It moved. It dealt with a large variety of products and services, many of which were illegal, so changed location all the time. Word of mouth was how it was arranged. This time, it was beyond a Noble area. 

For some reason, tonight there was an endless stream of Enforcers parading around the place, and this worried Djarina. They couldn't all be looking for her, could they? Word could have gotten out about her, and she was an easy target to spot. Bright pink hair was still note worthy, even though a larger and larger number of youngsters had started trying to take charge of something, which was their looks. They couldn't control much else. 

She was crouching behind a building, it was a tall, fancy thing. There were other big buildings around her, and she didn't know what they were, just that she was forbidden access to them. 

"Greetings, child."

Djarina spun around in terror. Who was it? How had they gotten so close to her, without her noticing? Her hands were held defensively in front of her, as she looked up at the speaker.

He was tall, cloaked, and almost seemed to merge into the darkness. She could not catch even a glimpse of his face, but his voice was deep and authoritative.  His stance was relaxed.

Seeing that he posed no immediate danger, she dropped her hands a bit, allowing one to brush against her side and touch her knife, checking it was still there. 

"Who are you? What do you want?" She whispered, glaring into the darkness. She managed to inject a defiantly brazen tone into her hushed voice.

"Calm yourself. I am not here to harm you. I merely wished to investigate your presence." He raised his hands, palm upwards, to show her that he was not armed. Little did she know that that would not mean anything to him, in a fight, nor did she think of what he concealed under his cloak.

"Who are you?" Djarina was not the trusting type. 

"I go by the name of Scathe. What is your name, may I ask?"

"No, you mayen't. Leave me alone. I'm busy." Abrupt, and rude maybe, but she had other things on her mind than strangers and midnight conversations. She had to find the market, make a deal, find shoes and something to eat. There wasn't time for interviews, not with all the strange activity happening around her. 

Scathe was intrigued. Most people were more interested in him than this, egotistical to acknowledge perhaps, but it was the truth. She was so young, and yet had such a determined air about her. He got the feeling she really wasn't thinking about him, she was focused completely on leaving the distraction he provided and getting to her destination. When he approached her, he had thought perhaps of one lost, one unsure, but she was neither. 

"Where are you going?" He queried. 

"Back off, s'not your business." She turned now, convinced of his apparent harmlessness. She peaked around the corner, watching for the moment that would provide her escape from this man, and her gateway to the market. It was in a big, abandoned warehouse, a few blocks past this cluster of opulence.  That is what she was told anyway,  and she was relying on the accuracy of Old Benki, an ancient man who saw and heard everything. 

"Wait-" He called after her as she dashed out, but quietly. He knew how to behave in situations like this. "Gah." He grunted, as her shadow slipped silently away. How strange she was. She looked so vulnerable, despite her vicious apparel, but when she spoke, it was with a sharp and pointed certainty. 

Djarina was just glad to get away from him, he made her feel slightly uncomfortable. She had felt as if she was being examined and she didn't like it. She would be at the Moving Market soon, and as she considered the best route to take, she let him out of her mind.

She didn't notice him fading into the night, nor hear the rustling of his cloak as he followed her.

The End

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