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Forum Challenge - Wretch

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Stepping out from the shadows, Wretch squinted as she looked out over the pitch. It'd been months since she'd been brought up from the steps into the guild house and today was the first time she'd seen the sunlight. Her blinded eye stared pointlessly off to the side where the patrons were watching, hidden in the cool shade away from the blinding light in the Mortician's training pitch. Dressed in rags little better than the ones she had been found in, she filed into place behind the 'captain' of the match for her side, 9 other rookies around her, all looking for their big break. Black feathers fell out from the layers of dark rags as Wretch took up her position amongst the other nameless trainees. That had been the first thing that had been stripped from them.

Names. Ideals. Goals. They meant nothing.Obedience to the guild was everything.

Wretch turned her good eye to regard her opponents. Worm, Rat and Crow up front. Maggot and Slug behind. It wasn't an unusual line up considering things. They hadn't known each other well before they had joined, but all of the rookies had been told to keep an eye on their rivals. They had to – learning to spy and root out those disloyal to the guild was as much part of their training as anything. Wretch, however, had an advantage over all the others.

With a shrill whistle the game started and wordlessly Wretch dashed forwards. Unlike the others she had little interest in the ball, instead she had targets. They hadn't been allowed to bring any equipment onto the pitch, but what her opponents didn't know was Wretch didn't need a thing. Rat was her target. He was her rival, even though he hadn't known it. The tall Valentian was slated as a replacement to Ghast, a position Wretch coveted for herself when the time came. But without the heavy club the man had become reliant on, Wretch knew this was her best chance.

Around her, the game had gotten underway. Worm and Crow had begun chasing Creep after he'd retrieved the ball, beginning to weave through the brightly lit debris. The pitch was likely some old gravesite by Wretch's guess, some now unmarked grave where debris from a shattered mausoleum made for a tricky ground to pass or dribble the ball, a challenge intentionally imposed on the young Rookies. After all, if they could play in blinding light and poor footing they'd be in good stead for dealing with any of the lower league pitches. The ground was clearest towards the centre, funnelling all the new players towards one another... But Wretch skirted the edges, clearly looking for something.

As she rounded the base of one of the former foundations, she caught a glimpse of sunlight reflecting off the floor. A crooked grin slipped across her lips as she picked up the shard of glass, wrapping one of her rags around what would serve as a grip. For a moment, she caught a glimpse of her own reflection and was reminded once again of why the crows in the Rookery had been her main companions for the last few months. Jagged scars covered the right side of her face, down past her jaw and across her throat. She'd been lucky to survive the attack, but even today the memory made her flinch. Slashing claws and snapping teeth that stole her voice so she couldn't even scream when the nightmares woke her... But Wretch shook her head, then tightened her grip and began dashing towards her target.

Even without his weapon of choice, Rat had begun physically dominating the match. Tall and burly, with enough bulk to palm off most of the other underfed recruits. Each of the ten had been mentored at least in passing by a member of the team and Silence had put his all into making sure he would have the brawn when he needed it in the future. Rat had been fed well and treated far in excess of what the other recruits had received, making him the envy of the others. Wretch, on the other hand, had only the briefest of contact with her mentor – after all, someone as petty as Cosset saw little use in the savage, scrawny thing to the point where she'd almost forgotten about the Wretch entirely. It'd been on nothing but a whim that she'd even let the waif into the building, something about that one good eye appealing to some meaningless thought. Instead, Wretch had made it her business to know everything about her mentor she could.

She listened. She watched. She learnt.

And as she dashed up behind the oblivious Valentian and jumped onto his back, she put her learning into practice. The glass shiv buried itself into Rat's throat, a spray of arterial blood gushing out in a crimson arc. In the patrons box, an array of commotion took place, Silence shrieking in rage to Obulus as Cosset jumped out of her chair, a wide smile across her lips as she dashed to the edge of the box, captivated as Wretch shoved the basic shiv in and out over and over in a flurry of frenzied hatred.

She would take everything from the hypocrites who had the world handed to them.

And one day, those at the bottom of the pile would rise to the top, drowning the rest in blood.

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