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"And then—ha ha—right over the bar. He just sat there covered in gin and broken glass and the chorus girls just. kept. dancing. More wine?" "It is good this year. You can smell the sun from California." "You must be a real hit with the ladies. Fancy hat. Fancy suit. Wine." "Niño prefers it." "That why he's in the dress?" "..." "I'm not judging. He's not either, I think Sonnia distracted him." "Como sabias—" "Even your footsteps aren't that light. In dancing shoes? Couldn't be you. More wine?" "..." "..." "... Gracias." "..." "Santiago tried to teach me, but I always lead." "Tell. me. about it. Niño sounds good." "He's prettier than all of us. I think Dashel is smitten." "I can hear him blushing from here. It's cute, in a florid, chunky short of way." "Hello. Hey. Have you been talking to Dashel? I need another request form for guardsmen." "Can't your handlers handle it? He sheems busy." "I've been tracking a new lead. Everything's gone to hell since that bookseller visited. Sam got me extra funding for a new Brownie and we can enter photo evidence now. Look." "Jesús!" "Sharper picture than even the papers!" "I'm lucky I'm blind, aren't I?" "Excuse me. I believe my brothers need my attention." "..." "I think if we focus on the northeast wing of the Quarantine Zone—thank you; it's delicious—we can sweep it within the week. With extra guardsmen on patrol—" "Shonnia?" "Yes?" "You are a good Guildsman. You. Are a good person. But Shonnia?" "Yes?" "Shonnia?" "What?" "You need to relax."
(Courtesy of Danny Elfman and Jeremy for the idea.) Gents and ladies tired and poor Don't you long for something more? Come you wretches weak and low To our town of Malifaux This is Malifaux, this is Malifaux Grown men scream in delicious fright This is Malifaux, see the people come and go The Quarantine Zone gets bigger every single night It's our town, everybody moan in the town of Malifaux I am the child who laughs like your son See my sharp knives and the fun's just begun I am the child who cries like your daughter Luring you down and forever to the water This is Malifaux, this is Malifaux Malifaux! Malifaux! Malifaux! Malifaux! In this town we call home Everyone hail to the empty throne In this town, don't we love it now Everything runs smoothly if you hide your eyes Round that corner, man Smiling near the trash can Someone's waiting now to Pounce and how you'll SCREAM! This is Malifaux, thunder rolls long and low Out of scrip? Go to the mines! Kill her once, kill him twice Play your hand or roll the dice Deep in the dark in the dead of night Everybody, heave! Everybody, ho! Build our town of Malifaux I am the toy with the gaping maw Spiders in my heart and razors in my jaw I am the "what" in the walls at home I am the might hidden in that tome I cloak the moon in shadow at night Routing your army and blocking your sight This is Malifaux, this is Malifaux Malifaux! Malifaux! Malifaux! Malifaux! (Malifaux! Malifaux!) Ghosts of children everywhere Seek a hope that isn't there Saviours rise among the low In our town of Malifaux In this town, we can't leave it now Guild propaganda's naught but lies Governor's Hand might Find you on your own land Earthside where you once Thought you were safe! This is Malifaux! Never come, you'll never go Never go, never go, never go, never go (Never go, never go)
Sidir is hilarious in Arabic. He's funny in Farsi, ribald in Russian, and witty in a half-dozen other tongues. English is not among them. Sidir never wastes his time learning the wastrels' names. They're interchangeable, or will be soon enough, and he's in charge of code names. They think it's for the Oyabun. He thinks it's hilarious. Sidir stands by the stairs in the back of the pub the Black Sheep call their own (The Ram's Head, how droll) and reads from a small notebook. McCabe, draped in two of the Honeypot girls from the scuffle last night, pours himself over the banister to mumble something at Sidir before clapping him on the shoulder with an over-loud "Old chum!" Sidir rolls his eyes. He motions to the One in the Bowler and the One With the Hat—no, the Other One With the Hat—then a couple of the less reputable Guild officials and the Oiran in the torn stockings who doesn't speak a word of English but smokes like a chimney and robs them blind at poker. He respects her. They stretch and ready their weapons. As they assemble by the back Sidir ticks them in his book and names them. "Jacket Racoon. Potato Strumpet. Ice House. Chestnut Squirrel." "I say, is this really necessary?" Money changes hands before the speaker can be identified. Chestnut Squirrel's friend whips an abacus and notebook from her purse. Sidir gazes across the room. "Drunk Mule. Tansy Goldethorpe." A chair scrapes loudly across the floor. The surreptitious betting intensifies. "I SAY, is this really necessary?" the man is tall and large, well-bred in that little neck and too much jowl sort of way. His pants are still tailored in the Earthside cut and Earth colours cling to him without the warp and shift of Malifaux. Sidir turns to the man, all bristling hair and indignation, and stares. He looks him over from toe to top with a steady, penetrating gaze. He judges him the way lesser men judge dog- or horse-flesh and the man wavers and steps back. Sidir turns away, "Frolicking Unicorn." "I SAY." Sidir pauses and the Ram's Head holds its breath. He turns and the remaining dissolutes erupt into a flurry of bidding, all pretence gone. The brutish Englishman cocks his hat and raises two fists like the miner's sledgehammers (the miner who is vanishing out the door with his rail worker buddy because they just wanted to have a few drinks and they are not doing this not in Malifaux not today). Sidir looks at the man. "Frolicking Unicorn." The man charges. His head explodes. Twice. Three times. The fourth time is overkill by anyone's admission, but shots were fired and his body hasn't hit the floor and they did pass through where his body technically was, so someone must keep track. Salty Dragonfly's abacus clicks. Five. The whump of wet meat signals the end. Sidir points twice more. "Suspended Titmouse. Laughing Cow." Sidir turns away. The men stagger to the back, faces flushed and eyes bright with fear. Salty Dragonfly relieves them of their scrip (a lady never gambles on an Englishman's ability to repay debts). Sidir is fucking hilarious.