Rachael Acks - The Best of Penumbra. PDF

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The Jade Tigerby Rachael Acks, Penumbra, Volume 1 Issue 6: "You do realize, I’m not a hired gun,” Captain Marta Ramos said, staring overthe rim of her pint glass. “I don’t…take jobs.” She was a brown, handsome womanwho wore trousers and boots by preference, since both were easier to fight in.“We really don’t,” Meriwether Octavian Simms—known by preferenceas “Simms”—agreed. He was a lanky man with a face made overly seriousby muttonchops, his vest and coat of buttery buckskin.“It is not a job.” The woman shook her head. She looked old, though to Marta’skeen eye it was old before her time, worry lines creasing her face and her blackhair gone stringy and shocked with gray. She was dressed like the other womenof Silver Cliff, work boots and a canvas apron singed from the furnaces, but herhigh cheek bones and almond-shaped eyes were unusual in this part of the duchy.Marta set down her glass delicately. “Well then, please speak your mind.”There was a certain level of infamy that Captain Ramos possessed, andSimms was fairly convinced that she reveled in it. While she never went intothe large cities of the Grand Duchy of Denver without some sort of horrifyingdisguise, in the smaller mining towns (where infamy transformed to fame)she insisted on wearing her scarlet frock coat. It meant that they wereconstantly approached by those hoping to hire them (always unsuccessful),sell them information (occasionally useful), or pick a fight with CaptainRamos over the fact that she happened to be female (often good for a laugh).“May I…?” The woman tilted her head toward the empty chair at the table.“As if it’s been waiting for your arrival.” Simms gave it a push withthe toe of one boot.The woman sat with a sigh that spoke of long hours on her feet. “Myname is Jun Xing. I was formerly employed in the house of Lord Pike.”“I take it that your parting was not on good terms,” Marta said.“I was blacklisted.”

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