• Sunsette

Scene 15: Bandit



Polly hummed to herself as she leapt from branch to branch, keeping off the jungle floor. She knew well enough from descending the mountain that she was the fastest climber; even if the flyboy got out of his fainting spell, he'd have trouble flying his stupid little wings around in the forest. Thus, she was relatively safe.


And feeling good about herself. Played the game until she had an opportunity, then when she got a chance, she seized it. Perfectly played. Perfect. She grinned as wide as was humanly possible. And since she was in the neighborhood, she knew exactly where she needed to go from here. Sometimes it was good to be back home.

Fuck that witch, fuck that little creep, and most of all, fuck that rabbit.


Crunch.


Also, fuck that armorskite. She smeared her hand clean across her pantleg.


If that weirdly abandoned place was — as she was pretty sure it was — the old McGregor plantation, she knew how to figure out where she was at least. It was a bit of a trip, but it also wasn't a new one for her, even if it'd been a while. Now that she was up high enough to see the sun, for example, she was pretty sure she was traveling west-by-northwest. If she headed in that direction long enough, she'd cross one of the few major roads out here, and that would have a sign helping her coordinate her location.


The only problem — and yet also a benefit — was the time. She didn't have a pocket watch, but she had a pretty good feeling it was getting to be late afternoon. The farmers would be coming back from any mid-day travel now — well, most of them anyway. Maybe more of them were doing that creepy magic 'planning' like the McGregors apparently were now. The problem being that she'd have to avoid them, avoid any awkward questions. The bright side of that, however, was that in a few hours it'd be dark enough to do anything she wanted safely.


Stopping for a moment on a long, sturdy branch that didn't wiggle too much, the lithe woman allowed herself a long yawn. She could feel the burn of fatigue in her muscles; lots of strenuous movement, long period of time, to say nothing of how long she'd been up. And there'd been shit-all to eat at that plantation for whatever reason. But she couldn't allow herself to take a nap. Being blind to the world was too dangerous here. Better to do that when she had more distance.


Even so... she could still get a little bit of rest, right? A little midday siesta wasn't a terrible idea. Maybe even some food. But where to get it from? Hunting was obviously right out; she didn't see any fruits that she knew were edible here; and there wasn't anyone to rob. She tugged her chin for a moment, thinking on the answer to her troubles when it hit her: she'd find good places to rob someone soon if she kept on a little longer!


Pleased with herself, Polly went back on the move, with an eye towards a controlled descent. She kept an eye out for branches with long vines hanging from them, preferentially choosing branches that were sturdy and at least a little lower than the canopy adjacent-branches she was on. Wouldn't let her drop more than an ock or two, but every little bit helped, especially when she needed a closer eye on the ground to pick a good ambush point. She knew her fortunes were looking up when she started to see dirt paths. While the jungle floor was all dirt and leaves, the areas with heavier traffic were more dirt and less leaf; it mattered, though it wasn't always immediately obvious to a local.


She was a choosy bandit and a practiced one, but not too methodical; if you asked her to identify what a good spot was, she'd say something along the lines of 'it's obvious'. And it was. To her. There was a reason she'd been good at it since she was little. Spying a ditch that met her criteria, Polly leapt for the vine nearby with enough speed to swing in an arc, slowly reverse direction, and repeat a few times back and forth before finally letting go of the vine and tumbling onto the soil. Got her a little dirty, but nothing she couldn't handle. Now came the fun part. She piled dead leaves around herself and dropped prone into the ditch.

Time to wait for a sucker. And hey, if one never came? She was at least letting her muscles relax a little.


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