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 Kisses Sweeter Than Poison

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Kisses Sweeter Than Poison   Tue Jul 24 2012, 17:02

Greetings,

This is a short story I did up as a 'break' from writing Trueborn (basically when the ideas there felt dry I'd drift over and put this piece together for a while). It stars a character who will appear in Trueborn, albeit probably just tangentially, and there is no need to read one to appreciate the other (besides the chance to point and go 'look, I know that character').

I mostly wrote it because Lhamaeans are such a neat concept and I really wanted to test my hand at them in some manner. So, I asked myself, considering what they are in DE society (courtesans [or high priced hookers, if you will] plus assassins, plus members of the Archon's Court, ect. ect.) I mean, there is a lot there. Almost any of those professions in our world would take years of study or experience, or special talents, to be part of. So, it made sense to me that there would be some sort of training school...and where there's a school there has to be a final exam, because not just anyone can be allowed to graduate...


Kisses Sweeter Than Poison

Yalta paused before the holo-mirror to admire herself critically. Her long black hair had been highlighted with a couple subtle shades of color so that the light would catch at it and make it shimmer with rainbows like the scales of a serpent. It had all been collected atop her head in an intricate series of braids and coils, a small collection of strands being allowed to escape to hang down across her left eye. Multiple clasps and small gleaming needles held the hair in place, most normal, a few laced with an assortment of deadly poisons and potent antidotes. Her makeup had been perfectly applied by her slaves, a delicate white sheen covering her skin that served as an excellent base for the sharp points of color on her lips, cheeks, and around her eyes, as well as the mixture serving as a sort of shield for almost all known contact poisons to prevent their entry to her bloodstream. Her lipstick was similarly laced with a deadly contact poison, though it needed an activator serum that was triggered in her 4th fake tooth.

Her dress was long and flowing, a masterwork of black and scarlet. Long sleeves still left her shoulders bare, and the golden bracers on her forearms were both artistic in their coiled snake motifs, and also handy for all the hidden needles, syringes, and ampules of various chemicals hidden in them. It was the same for the broad gold and fire ruby necklace that draped across her expansive chest. Many of the young men who ogled her would fail to realize the secret caches in the necklace, able to release small puffs of aerosol prepared toxins and anti-venoms, all triggered by sub-vocal voice command as well as physical controls in case her breathing or voice were hampered somehow.

Her trim figure and lush breasts were amplified by her corset, pulled tight around her waist. The lacy black corset was both fashionable and practical, as it hid a series of special body monitors and emergency medical devices, all attuned to her body chemistry and just now calibrated so that upon any changes they would alert her and begin injecting the needed countermeasures.

Each of her fingernails had a hidden micro-needle that could easily inject a deadly dose of poison, each finger had its own concoction, a few of them could be combined in certain orders to create different results depending on her need. Her rings served as reservoirs of additional toxins, as well as hiding other delivery methods ranging from a small micro-dart injector to, her favorite, a cybernetic insect that was controlled by retinal movement and a few sub-dermal controls inside her mouth. It had cost her almost everything she owned to have the surgeries and to commission the device, but she was certain it would win the day for her.

On her sash belt was a dagger. She had poisoned it, but it really was just for ornamentation, she wasn’t even sure if she had sharpened it…she’d have to make a slave do that at some point, just on principal.

But it wouldn’t come to that, not tonight. No, tonight was going to be an elegant dance, a series of move and counter move between two masterful players, and it was going to end with one of them dead, and the other finally achieving the honor that Yalta had been training for the last twenty years to achieve. The honor of being one of the Sisterhood of Lhilitu, the honor of being known as Lhamaean, the sisterhood of courtesans and poisoners that would assure her continued rise in power.

Yalta allowed herself a tight-lipped smile in the holo mirror, one last scan for any flaws, or perhaps weapons looking too out of place. Another quick mental rundown of all the gear on herself. Another sharp consideration of her plan for the evening. She nodded, she was ready. It was time.

Moments later she stood at the top of a wide stairway that led down into the ballroom. Below her were all the other Lhamaean hopefuls, each bedecked in their chosen battle garb. Long gowns, skintight and stylish clothing, elaborate hairpieces, a few glittering masks and even a couple of, rather gauche, openly displayed weapons or poison implements that were not just for décor but rather some awkward distraction concept.

“Yalta Bel’chyntorn, the Sweet Serpent, ranked second in her class, noted for excellence in ingested poisons. She claims that the finest poisoner is the one who can think a step ahead of her prey. She has chosen the serpent as her symbol of the ultimate poisoner.”

The slave-chamberlain read off her scores and a few notable accomplishments as well as he announced her to the graduating class. They had all spent an awful lot of time together, training and learning the trade, and now it was their chance to prove they had what it took to join The Sisterhood. Yalta glided down the steps, enjoying the eyes upon her. She had been masterful in her progression into the Sisterhood thus far, and it was appropriate for the others to be in awe of her.

After all, there was only one other student who had possibly been her equal.

“Sharess Fenlynion, the Ice Courtesan, ranked first in her class, noted for excellence in developing highly unusual viral toxins. She claims the finest poisoner is the one who remembers that no poison is superior to the antidote. She has chosen a flower as her symbol of the ultimate poisoner.”

Yalta quirked a finely manicured eyebrow as she listened to the introduction. Each participant in the graduation was obligated to answer a questionnaire about various preferences and thoughts, it was always considered to be of proper etiquette to tie your answers in to your planned method of settling your target’s account.

Sharess was, as usual, a bit of a bore. She was a thin girl, Yalta would describe her as ‘boney’, but had noticed others generally referred to her as ‘elegant’ or ‘statuesque’ . She had straight white hair that hung down past her slender hips in a straight cascade, held in place by a slim onyx and gold circlet on her brow, the allusion to a crown not lost on, nor appreciated by, Yalta. Sharess wore a simple gown of shimmering blue-white material that was half translucent and light enough to almost float around her in the gentlest of breezes. Her sharp blue eyes were unnaturally bright, Yalta suspected through some extensive and expensive work from a Haemonculous, and looked disdainfully down her sharp nose at the other students as she seemed to almost float down the stairs to the floor.

Appearing on the entryway then was Deio’nagra, Arch-Mistress of Poison, and the chief judge of the graduation. She was lushly beautiful, and had undoubtedly just consumed vast amounts of pain energy to appear so youthful and attractive. Yalta well approved, she was a good millennia and a half younger than Deio’nagra and had also taken a few slaves’ lives prior to arriving. Not only did it help her appearance, but the lingering flush of life energy tended to make one a little more resistant to a number of poisons and other injuries.

“Welcome, applicants.” Deio’nagra’s voice carried over the chamber effortlessly as everyone fell silent. “You know why you are here, this is your final test for entry to the Sisterhood. We are here to have a party, there will be dancing, small talk, food, wine, entertainment, even a chance to slip away discretely for…other pleasures, if that is your wish. You have also been provided information about your target, and are expected to settle them before the gathering ends.”

Yalta paused to glance over at Sharess. The stoic woman met her gaze and offered a slight salute of her glass and a tip of her head, Yalta smirked at her and bowed her head slightly in acknowledgement.

“The rules are quite simple.” The Arch-Mistress motioned to herself and a number of other full Lhamaeans who were amongst the guests. “We are judging your performance, so do not make any mistakes. You are only to settle your target, no other collateral damage to any other guests, instructors, or even slave menials will be acceptable. You are Lhamaean, and you are elegant and focused. Second, the only acceptable weapon is poison, don’t try to tell me that the dagger you just gutted your target with is poisoned, any fool can plant six inches of steel into a foe’s neck, Lhamaean are expected to be as delicate and beautiful in our methods as we are in our appearance.” Deio’nagra paused as she considered them all. “Any failed settling will result in both applicants failing and needing to try again in the next graduation cycle. There are no other rules. Let the party commence!”

Yalta walked up to Sharess, smiling sweetly. The Ice Courtesan lived up to her name, her face a mask of distant indifference, her glittering blue eyes, however, seemed to spark with inner fires as she regarded her target. Yalta dipped a slight bow.

“I trust the evening will find you quite dead. “

“And I, you.” Sharess blinked slowly as she considered Yalta. The high born tramp probably thought of herself as better than Yalta.

“The flower? That’s a little stupid, isn’t it?” Yalta almost laughed in Sharess’ face as her icy countenance drew darker at the insult.

“I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”

“Gak!”

Yalta glanced over her shoulder in time to see that snotty young trueborn with the vivid green hair doubling over as she clutched her belly. She retched with painful paroxysms of muscle as blood and mucus both poured out of her throat. In front of her stood that odd short haired girl from one of the satellite realms who’d cried on her first night in the rectory. Now she sat with an odd smile on her face as her target was settled.

“Extract of Yyeldreth Root would be my supposition,” offered Sharess dispassionately. “A somewhat inelegant choice, I feel.”

“Obviously delivered internally, probably through food,” noted Yalta with a small shrug. “A decent enough opener to the night, though I imagine most will manage something more interesting.”

“Drink?” Sharess offered her a goblet, and Yalta darkly realized it must have been poured while her back was turned. She had almost a dozen different counter agents flowing through her at this moment, as well as the monitoring system, but considering Sharess’ reputation for building unique toxins it would be rather foolish to intentionally risk imbibing something of hers.

“No, thank you,” Yalta smirked, “but I desire to dance a bit first. If you will excuse me.”

“Of course, I look forward to being killed by you later in the evening.”

“I only hope it is elegant enough for you.”

Yalta moved away to the dance floor to join the couples there. A number of attractive male slaves had been provided for their entertainment, and Yalta chose one whose form and face was pleasing enough to be seen alongside her. As she did she always kept one sharp eye on Sharess. The snotty elitist seemed almost too at ease, she’d gone up and offered the goblet of wine to the short haired girl who had settled first. The young brat gulped it happily, clearly heady with the excitement of her kill and successful graduation.

The wine had been unpoisoned, apparently. A test? Or perhaps it was part of a multiple step poison, each portion totally harmless until the final ingredient was added?

Yalta had been quite pleased when she saw that she’d been matched up versus Sharess. Many of the young applicants preferred to be pitted against a lesser opponent, someone they were confident they could over-match. But, those who wanted to play life safely were hardly suited for the art of the Lhamaean. A Lhamaean was supposed to be so many things; perfectly desirable, impeccably mannered and cultured, and as deadly as a poison viper. They were meant to be the companions, advisers, and gratifiers of Archons, the lords of the Dark Eldar.

One did not become desirable to the masters of the galaxy by playing it safe.

So, being matched up against Sharess was excellent, for it would allow Yalta to showcase her skills, slay a very prestigious foe, and be noticed by all the best. Let the others be amused they had managed to settle some fop of an opponent who was foolish enough to drink the first goblet handed to her, those winners would end up with satellite lords, or minor dignitaries in the Ports. But Yalta had higher ambition indeed, ambitions that stretched deep into the towering crystal and steel towers of high Commoragh. She intended to see those ambitions to fruition.

The dancers moved about each other in perfect form. Yalta knew the instructors would judge ones skill at dance as well as anything else. It was an old dance, The March of The Autumn Court. The dancers swayed amongst one another, trading partners as they circled about, the palms of their hands lightly touching as they spiraled about the room. One of the dancers suddenly excused herself, stumbling out of the dance circle as though drunk. Yalta smirked as she spotted one of the other girls delicately retracting a razor thin needle that was protruding from one of her rings.

Across the room she could see her first foray against Sharess coming to a head. Yalta had arranged for one of the servers at the ball to be her own creature. The young slave girl had been conditioned quite thoroughly with methods ranging from painful pleasure to blissful agony, and everything inbetween. At some point in the past she had been something of laughable note amongst her own people, a Soryi-tas? Some sort of warrior sisterhood or other, that much Yalta was sure. It helped to make a nice connection to allow one sisterhood to be debased in helping to lift Yalta to her own, there was poetry in the act.

The slave girl kept her eyes averted, as was proper, but rotated her dish ever so to make sure Sharess picked up the correct wine flute. Sharess toyed with the glass a moment, seeing as she was locked in conversation with one of the visiting Archons. It really was quite pitiable, some Archons liked to visit these affairs to gauge and watch and make their own decisions for a lady who would appropriately serve their court. But they were almost invariably new to their positions, young, untried, probably doomed to laughably short careers. Wasting time…flirting with them, should be beneath a Lhamaean, it was their job to be desired, not to desire. Yalta smirked, she was doing the universe a marked favor in removing Sharess now.

Sharess lifted the goblet towards her lips, sniffing at it slightly. Yalta smirked, there would be no chance of that working, perhaps if your palette was honed to a razor’s edge you could taste the rare venom extract paired with the poison, but by then it would probably be far too late. Then Sharess lifted it higher, placing the goblet to her lips, starting to tilt back her head, the faintest touch of liquid to lips and…

And then that damn, fool, Archon said something amusing and she paused, covering her mouth with her free hand as she hid her smile as she, doubtless, inelegantly laughed at his joke. Then she lifted the glass again, but this time her head turned, and she caught Yalta’s eyes, raising the glass in a toast, the ghost of a smirk on her lips as she took a sip.

Yalta frowned. She did allow herself to wait five minutes and twenty-two seconds before she became certain the poison had been countered in some way. It was the laugh…she had tasted just a bit and then laughed to allow her to apply an antidote to her system. Yalta’s opinion of Sharess’ skills begrudgingly went up a notch.

Four hours later and the ballroom had become less crowded. They had worked through the dances, a few illicit trysts, and the main dinner. At the moment the guests were enjoying a light bit of wine and conversation prior to the final dessert course and the end of the night. They had also worked through quite a bit of the class. Some of the graduates had been elegant and wondrous in their performance, others had been sloppy cows that practically plunged a knife into their opponent’s gut while trying to claim it as art.

The worst had, undoubtedly, been the tubeborn guttertrash who had released a small load of weaponized airborne Myca spores from the rather deadly fungus of the same name. Yalta had been unfortunate enough to be in the blast radius, though her finely attenuated medical emergency rig had purified her lungs quickly enough to leave her with only a slightly raspy cough. No less than eight slaves and two other Lhamaean hopefuls had died in the exposure. The applicants who had been assigned to settle the two accidental deaths had been outraged, but apparently some sort of settlement was reached where they were being given a chance to concoct the most appropriate death for the grievous breach of conduct, the winner would graduate and the other would have to repeat. In either case, the foolish girl who had released the spores was in for a quite unpleasant evening.

The funniest part was that her target had been prepared enough to survive the attack as well, and was now sitting with the instructors, enjoying the rest of the evening secure in her own graduation.

Sharess was still hanging off that insipid little Archon. It was slightly odd to see the so-called Ice Courtesan so beguiled by a man. Perhaps Sharess was just doing it to prove she had mastered the art of seduction? It was distracting to say the least.
On the other hand, Sharess’ attempts to administer poison to Yalta had been easy enough to deal with. They were all quite sloppy, in Yalta’s opinion. An attempt to rest a hand on her shoulder, an offered candy sweetmeat, more glasses of wine. As clever as she had become was using the same slave girl Yalta had used, to try and hand off a glass ever so slightly smudged with some type of contact poison. Yalta had smirked and sent the girl away, complaining of the glass being dirty. She’d given Sharess a quite wicked smile at that amusing barb, but the imperturbable Ice Courtesan hadn’t shown any emotion.

Now was the time for Yalta’s coup de grace. She settled into a comfy seat, begging the forgiveness of some of the admirers who were flitting around her, complaining that the wine must have gone to her head. She had attempted to settle Sharess in a dozen minor ways, mostly just simple tests of her adversary’s defenses. But, now, with a light tap of her hand, she released her true graduation worthy attempt. The tiny mechanical insect took flight , soaring high into the air.

In its venomed barb it contained a concentrated dose of synthetic snake venom, a mixture of Yalta’s own devising. Potent and quick, it began to rot and kill cells within moments of its entry to the bloodstream. She would get to watch Sharess literally dissolve from the inside out, eaten alive and reduced to a pile of waste, just like she was in real life.

Controlling the insect’s flight with delicate eye movements and a few presses of her tongue on the inside of her mouth to the sub-dermal controls hidden there, Yalta guided it in quickly and surely. This was her crowning moment, the insect would strike at Sharess’ neck, sending the venom on its way.

She would get to see the icy expression of Sharess break then, she suspected, and she would get to hear her scream…or perhaps just gasp in shock.

And then…then all the controls fluttered out. Yalta blinked in surprise, her small readout monitor on her left bracelet no longer had a video feed, only static. She attempted all the recall commands she could think of, but there was nothing.

She looked up in shock, Sharess was still leaning up on the Archon, as she had been all night. Though now she seemed to notice something on the floor. With a slight scowl she whispered something to the Archon. He sneered at the dark spot on the floor, one armored foot reaching out before it ground down. He smirked and offered some witticism. Sharess smiled softly, but her eyes flicked across the room to Yalta, and she offered a very tiny nod of her head.

Yalta was numb in shock and confusion. All that planning, all that money, and all for naught. But how had Sharess done it, it didn’t make any sense!

The next hour passed in a slight blur for Yalta, she was on guard, but was having trouble figuring out how best to strike at Sharess. As they settled in for the final dessert before the close of the ball, mere minutes until the official time expired, she began to glumly realize that she had failed. All that was left now was seeing things through till the end of the evening when it would be declared that neither of them had settled their chosen target. The setback would cost her another cycle in the school, but…that wasn’t so bad, she supposed, it would be more time spent training, and she could always manage the next graduation with ease, maybe even be lucky enough to get matched with Sharess again, that would be good.

She was idly toying already with alternate plots for how to best poison Sharess next year as she took a seat at one of the small circles of chairs that surrounded a glittering platter of sweets. Even as she sat she realized she was being joined…by Sharess. Almost immediately the other two seats were filled, this time by Deio’nagra and one of the other mistresses of the school, the two instructors both there to grade the two, and probably intrigued that two such promising students had failed to settle the other.

“So,” offered Sharess with a small shrug.

“So,” returned Yalta glumly.

“I had expected to be dead by now.” Sharess wasn’t smiling, but Yalta could hear the slight mockery in her tone. Sharess reached out to delicately select one of the pastries in front of her, tasting it with a small bite and considering the flavor thoughtfully.

“Not for want of trying,” Yalta assured her, “I appear to be equally upright, it seems.”

“Thus far,” offered Sharess. She took up another pastry, the edge of her nail grazing along the icing ever so slightly, she held it up to Yalta. “Peace offering?”

“No, thank you,” Yalta could barely believe her cockiness at such an obvious application of poison in front of her, “I’m afraid if I ate another bite I’d become ill.”

“Possibly,” agreed Sharess as she turned to Deio’nagra, “Arch-Mistress?”

The Arch-Mistress lifted one eyebrow in consideration. Next to her, her assistant instructor perked up as well, things becoming a bit more interesting now. Even Yalta felt her breath quicken. It was immediate grounds for failure if you poisoned anyone else, but of course someone as as highly ranked as Deio’nagra always had to pay attention for ambitious fools.

“Thank you.” Deio’nagra took the offered sweet, taking a small bite with thoughtful consideration. “It does happen sometimes,” Deio’nagra said as she set aside the pastry, apparently finding nothing wrong, but unwilling to risk eating more of it. “Two students are so perfectly matched they counter each other perfectly.”

“I was impressed by how you dealt with the cyberinsect,” allowed Yalta as she eyed her opponent carefully. They were mere minutes now from the end of the party, it was clear neither of them was going to manage to settle the other. “How did you manage that?”

“You couldn’t tell?” Sharess seemed almost dismissive. “It was quite simple.” She aved her hand in the air, beckoning over the Archon she’d been hanging off of all evening. “Tyyrick, Tyyrick my dear, I was just telling my dear friend Yalta here all about you.”

The young Archon, by the look of him a minor lord with probably delusions of grandeur about his own importance, stalked over to them, a confident grin on his face as he bowed.

“It is an honor to be spoken of by such fine ladies.”

“I was just telling Yalta about your marvelous armor, so many wonders to it.” Sharess’ whole demeanor had shifted, her face was more alight, her voice more syrupy sweet, her tone more indulgent. “You’re so clever with how you handled that one Dracon, I was telling her.”

“Of course,” Tyyrick smirked as he patted the chest plate of his gleaming gold and green armor. “The fool plotted against me with cybernetically designed assassins from some alien species. Part machine, part…um, I suppose you’d call them bloodhounds, or very like them.” Tyrrick’s voice grew prouder as he saw his audience was all watching him intently. “But, I noticed the shifts in his accounts prior to the hiring, and arranged a little surprise for his killers. A low level haywire generator built into my armor,” he laughed, “you should have seen his face when all his little cybernetic soldiers collapsed in heaps and he was left alone versus my personal bodyguard.”

“Isn’t that clever,”Sharess clapped her hands together, “he’s so clever, isn’t he, Yalta, imagine, tracking your opponent’s finances to understand what weapons they may bring to bear on you.” Tyrrick came over to stand by Sharess, reaching out to cup her chin as she grinned at him and he at her.

“Hmph,” Yalta slumped back into her chair, frowning darkly, “that was at least more clever than your poisoning attempts.”

“Oh?” Sharess’ face went icy cold and unreadable again as she turned back to look at Yalta. “You disapprove?”

“I do, it was laughably easy to be ready for all of your attempts, they were quite stupid, it felt like I was facing a girl barely finished with her first class of poison application.”

“You see,” Sharess glanced at Deio’nagra, “this is why I told you I found the graduation methods somewhat…bothersome. The act of knowing who is trying to poison you and the specific time of it makes the exercise different than most real world applications we will face.”

“Still, noted Deio’nagra, there will come times when that will be important.”

“I suppose,” allowed Sharess with a small shrug.

“Speaking of time, seeing as you and I are about to have a whole graduation cycle to wait through again, there is one thing I still haven’t figured out.” Yalta leaned forward and took up her own pastry as she spoke. “What was with that whole
‘flower’ thing? Your attempts were inelegant, and your preferred poisons are self made, what does that have to do with a flower, much less suggesting a flower is the best poisoner?”

“And she calls me stupid,” Sharess lightly pressed Archon Tyrrick away from her. “The flower, dear Yalta, is the most deadly and effective poisoner because it is beautiful, and it is overlooked, and it takes an act of the creature to be poisoned to allow itself to be poisoned by a sessile and innocent flower. That is the finest poisoner of all, the poisoner who draws in the victim.”

“Pretty words,” sneered Yalta, “maybe next time you’ll figure out how to apply them?”

“But I did apply them, dear Yalta,” Sharess glanced up at the large timepiece at the center of the room, small crystal beads clinking away as they changed color and hue in specific patterns to mark the passing time. “Goodbye.”

“Goodbye? What does tha-“ Yalta’s voice suddenly cut out. She gasped as suddenly the internal sensors of her medical vest went haywire. Automatic reserves began pumping in medicine as she staggered out of her chair, collapsing to her knees.

The pain, by the Dark Muses, the pain! Every part of her felt on fire, her vision was becoming a red mess and she couldn’t think straight any longer. The vest continued to apply multiple medications as it fought to compensate. Yalta’s last thoughts were filled with agony, and the sweet rush of pleasure as her own death rushed up to wrap her in cool escape.

--------------------------------

Deio’nagra blinked slightly as Yalta stopped twitching. She glanced at her fellow instructor, who shrugged in confusion. Deio’nagra looked at Sharess, who simply stared dispassionately down at the dead Yalta, a slight tinge of color on her cheeks the only sign that she had felt a rush of pleasure from the painstakingly wonderful death spasm.

“Interesting,” offered Deio’nagra thoughtfully, “but how? I watched you two with some interest, I never saw her make a mistake, and she was correct, your efforts to administer poison to her tonight seemed laughable, at best.”

“That returns me to my original point, and one I wish to address now that I am a full Sister.” Sharess reached out to take up a wineglass from Tyrrick’s shaky hand, the young Archon still slightly overwhelmed by the scintillatingly wondrous rush of pain they had enjoyed from Yalta’s death.

“You see, when two highly skilled opponents are ready for each other, in a set environment with a time limit, it is too easy to have the failure of a stalemate. I, indeed, suggest that most of the stalemates happen from closely matched and skilled competitors. Clearly our sisterhood should want more of them to join its ranks, not less, which is why this whole contest is questionable. Once you know the name of your opponent you can go on high alert, and play so strongly defensively that you are almost untouchable.”

“But when did you poison her tonight?”

“Poison her tonight?” Sharess tapped her nails to the glass in her hand, clear liquid seeping from them into it. She then promptly drank the concoction. “I poisoned the entire class with a time delay virus the day before our matchups were announced.”

“Every member, but-“ Deio’nagra’s voice trailed off as Sharess’ ice gold gaze fell on her.

Sharess got up slowly and bowed her head to her instructors as the bells chimed the end of the hour, and a new class of Lhamaeans ready to face the intrigues of the Dark City.

“I spent the whole night administering the antidote to every member of the graduating class, since they weren't paying attention to me it was easy. All Yalta had to do, to save herself, was let me ‘poison’ her.”

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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Kisses Sweeter Than Poison   Wed Jul 25 2012, 01:27

Excellently plotted as always. I loved that the gauche attempts at 'poisoning' were not only distractions from the real thing, they actually served to reinforce Yalta's sense of cosy superiority ... It's the style and subtlety that one has to admire. And if I were her prospective Archon I'd quite possibly be looking at other options about now Very Happy

If Lhamaeans graduate I suspect it would be a lot like this Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Kisses Sweeter Than Poison   Wed Jul 25 2012, 19:54

I've only got half way through as things have interrupted my reading, so I'll expand later, but from what I've seen this is great!

What is it about murderous pale women who could poison you and cause severe organ failure without you noticing that makes them so appealing?

Edit: Finished, and I must say that the ending was awesome. That final method of death, with the mass time delay poison was great.

Good work! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Kisses Sweeter Than Poison   Thu Jul 26 2012, 06:25

@Malys - It also says something about Sharess' mentality that she'd even give her foe a chance. I like that it showcases her mentality - she's just as focused in making a statement as she is in showing her superiority. I will agree, any Archon looking to hire her in had best be quite confident in his/her ability to handle the situations that may arrive.

@Cavash - If we didn't like murderous pale women I suspect we would be playing Sphess Mehreenz! Wink
Thanks for the kind words.

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