Monday, 8am. The first day on the job for a group of adventurers, walking from their inn room to an unassuming warehouse near the docks of Vesper Bay in Thanalan. Two weeks' flight cross-galaxy gave them plenty of need to stretch their legs, leaving their home, and everything they knew for a new job, a new opportunity, a new lease on life. The end of a contract that saw them take part in the expeditions into Escha, Dynamis, and beyond. Vana'Diel had nothing left for them. The new client was a fairly small one, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, running security for their hideout, the Waking Sands. About two months before, Minfilia Ward, the Scions' leader, along with her assistant, Tataru Taru met with them in a bar in Jeuno, the Merry Minstrel at the behest of their now former handler.

"Tenth Round Security Consulting" Minfilia read their one page aloud, printed on cheap copy paper courtesy of the Jeuno Public Library. "Proficient in organizing patrol routes, security details, and investigative work, specializing in intelligence gathering and combat. Your handlers speak highly of you, though he used the term 'mercenaries' more than consultants? But, where are my manners, I've not been fully introduced to you?"

The Mithran Ranger looked up from her whiskey, "Vael Roshan, ma'am, I tend to do the majority of the talking for our outfit." She cut a short, irritable figure, all of 5'4" on a good day, a no-nonsense short, dark brown haircut, her eyes peeking from her furrowed brow. "The Humes are Jarik Felhaven and Ariana Smith, and the big Elvaan is Torvan Hillway. Jarik, he's our resident mage, Red, White, Black, he'll cover it. Ariana is one of our bruisers, a Dark Knight, trained in Zeid's style. Torvan is the other half of that two-headed monster, big screaming Warrior type until the fight's over, then he chills out." The Ranger, with a dose of liquid courage laid out what the group was about, and what Minfilia could expect from them regarding her hideout's security detail.

"Fron what you tell me, you need people scanning the alleys, blind spots, any possible entrance to your underground lair. Windows, exit doors, stuff like that. What's your ingress and egress points? Where they get in and out at? We can handle that, probably looking at a few...hundred? Dollars worth of security equipment, hook it up to a cheapie laptop, get a decent camera system in there, and that'd handle a bunch of the worry. Anything gets through we can...probably handle it."

Tataru piped up, "Should we hire you, and I'd wager we do, we'll ensure you have what you need, our benefactors may disagree on the cost though."

"Then we'll find another way, magically, what's your setup like? Something like a Home Point crystal nearby? Easy for your people to get to the office?" Jarik opted to open up his magical knowledge, eager to understand if there was any way to bounce back and forth for his research. "Should anything get past security, can we get people there in a hurry to clear them out?"

"...not easily. Vesper Bay is a port town, any kind of magical transport usually goes through Horizon, though we do have a ferry that runs to Limsa Lominsa. You can 'thank' the Uldahn government's squabbles for that."


"You in there dude!? Where you want this camera strung?"

Torvan stopped daydreaming, too much thinking to do today to start thinking about the past. Ariana snapped him back to reality. "We need one at each end of the hall right? Or are we caddy-cornering them?"

" at each corner...end I mean, opposite corners. We want each camera's blind spot covered by the other one."

Torvan's massive, lanky, 6'9" frame was perfect for stringing cameras along a hallway in the Waking Sands, the Elvaan half-heartedly drilling the screws into the stone walls. He was reeling at the moment, a whirlwind of life happening all at once. Finishing his degree, ending a three year relationship, finishing a contract, leaving his home, all within a matter of months. Ariana had finished her degree as well, all four of them had, a perk of their last contract, finishing their studies at Grauberg Technical University. It didn't matter, ultimately, Mara was all he could think about.

How it all fell apart in an instant, though it had been cracked for a while, he knew he had to push through, Vael got dumped right before they left too, so, shared misery was their biggest point of small talk. Ariana peered over at her 'brother' , her first real friend in the cutthroat realm of adventuring. Even before her and Jarik became an item, Torvan was her best friend, and they helped each other grow as adventurers and people.

"Torv, you good? You seem a little out of whack today."

"Functional Ari, just trying to get this done, still sleepy." He lied, trying to convince himself.

"I'm gonna go find J, see if he can figure this wiring setup. Just...don't hurt yourself. Don't need a repeat of dragging you home from Escha."

She knew she needed to give him some space, and that she wasn't quite able to keep from saying something hurtful about her. Long blonde hair trailing behind her, she was tall, muscular, a farm girl from the desert that became a mercenary after a failed Death Metal career ended in vocal cord surgery that shredded her singing voice. Her 5'10" self still not quite tall enough to get to a high ceiling to string a light to, at least without the ladder. Jarik had it, and she needed it.

"Suh babe, need the ladder. Torv's moping again. Wink wink, nod nod."

Jarik knew she was judging him to go talk to his buddy, and that it wasn't really about wires or lights, she needed backup emotional support. He had spent the morning being Vael's sound board for all of her grievances at her ex-boyfriend, the lies, the skulking around, the blown plans, all of it.

"Hey bro, you in there? Got a light question, I know spells and cooking, not engineering stuff." Jarik went light at first, groan inducing pun intended. "Where we need to drill at? Like, where are we snaking the new wires in? Up there?" He motioned to a corner he knew wasn't right.

"No, that's gonna bounce light at the wall and not spread, up a couple a foot." Jarik stands on the ends of his feet, all 6'1" of him straining to reach after his ladder got jacked from him.

"Plenty of room here you gloomy elf man, you'll find something, someone, somewhere, what about that archivist or whatever she is? She's been eyeballing you all day.

"Whatever dude, we got lights to run first, maybe she'll get a better look then, but you're gonna have to point her out first. Bit blind up here, sells the mystery, but I can't see crap."

"Clips are in my bag, could probably use a shave and a haircut, you kind of look like a mountain man."

"Oh yeah, totally, maybe I make it work? Ari seems to like you trimmed up, short beard, but maybe I like the shaggy look?"

The boys shared a laugh at Torvan's sorrow beard's expense, while Vael entered with the next day's itenery.

"Alright people, looks like we're holding auditions for guards, while we're running a few operations here and there with the main field groups. Gonna have to pound the pavement and scout out some folks to get the roster up." She sighed, "also going to have to do some remedial work on our own skills, since they don't fight the same out here. Almost like I have to relearn to shoot a bow. Great."


About the author


Bio: I’m a wannabe writer that wants to get some of the stories floating in his brain out before it gets too smooth in there. I blog some too, you should check that out. Might be interesting if you enjoy any of this.

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