There were guards in this building, at frequent intervals, but fortunately the area she wanted to get into was close by and should only have three guards between her and the new girls. At this point, to her knowledge, Dave did not have a random patrol in the building. It was much harder, of course, to hide in shadows inside a building that had the lights on, thus providing far fewer shadows, and so it was time for her to use different means of stealth. Pulling a certain vial from her Belt of Many Pouches, she drank down the contents of a very short-lived, extremely and prohibitively expensive Invisibility potion. She had five minutes to do this part. She made quick progress down the corridors, her feet moving with silent skill, and the first guard was being sprayed before even a minute had passed. She waited for him to fall, and then moved beyond him. Another went down, and then the last. Magic really did make things easier for a girl. This way there were no dead bodies, but just sleeping men. It was better for everyone.
She could hear the sound of faint crying as she neared the entrance to the new girls quarters, where they were placed to have their particular skills and talents assessed, and to be fitted for special collars. One guard blocked the doorway, a bored look on his face. As she watched him, he turned to look over his shoulder within the chamber, leering for long seconds at what he could see within. She used his distraction to spray him. He went down with a heavy thud that seemed to her heightened senses to be overly loud. A cold shudder rippled down her spine as she moved inside the room and looked over the four girls. It seems the sound of the guard?s falling did not wake the three girls asleep on their pallets. Those three were fairly comfortably ensconced on their sleeping mats, their bodies nude, clean, oiled, perfumed, and gleaming in good health. They were fastened to the floor by sturdy chains running from eyebolts that attached to their collars. Their hands were not bound. They were stunningly lovely. The fourth girl was a different matter. She had no pallet, for she was inside a small cage. It was too short to allow her to stand, and too small around to allow her to sit, kneel, or lay down. The girl was left crouching in a backbreaking pose of feminine misery, crying softly in her despair. She was collared, nude, and filthy. It looked as if icky things had been flung at her through the bars of the cage. The smell coming off her was horrible. Her own excrement lay at her feet, for the slave had nowhere to relieve herself but where she stood. Her eyes narrowed at the sight. Dave was not a very nice man. In fact, Dave was a Monster. It was her crying, though, that really got to the thief. It was something the elfess could not do. Didn?t want to do. Refused to do. She shook her head, wanting to tell her to stop, before someone heard her. Before someone came to make her cry even more. Because, of course, they would. They always did.
The slave?s crying seemed to pull at her, to pry open a dark place that she did not want opened. And then, it was not the girl?s crying she heard, anymore, it was not the slave?s snifflings, it was not her sobs that rang and echoed in the thief?s ears. No, it was other voices, other breathy sobs sounded in the thief?s skull, many of them, dragging her back to a time and place decades distant. To a place of blackness lit by beauteous colors, faerie fire-limned structures soaring tall, like cold iridescent stone lace in the limitless, echoing caverns of the Underdark. The woman?s whimpers took her to a place where the Free practiced matricide and patricide, where one was encouraged, trained, to slay one's siblings in carefully contrived master plans to gain power. Those sobs took her to a place where tears were a clarion call to those who loved to see suffering, a beacon to call down more torture and torment, a signal that something hurt, especially for a slave. To a slave in that world, it meant extreme loss, extreme pain, and approaching death. In such a place, tears could not be allowed. Memory stung, memory of a cold stone shard, carefully jabbed, sliced, into the inner corners of her eyes by her own desperate hand, meant to ruin the tear ducts. She had forgotten that she had done that?forgotten her own act of desperate survivalism. The smell of her own coppery blood and the awful pain, they circled in her mind, holding her there in that other time for too long, too long. She stared at the lovely, caged woman, little shocks running through her as memories flooded over her. She did not realize that the invisibility potion had now faded from her, revealing her form.
Only the slight change of air pressure at her back warned her that someone was behind her, the only thing that saved her. It would seem that Dave had indeed added a random patrol. Yanking out her daggers, she spun around, feeling a blade slice into her side, rather than pierce her spine, as the man had intended, the pain of it making her gasp in shock. In sheer instinct, she attacked in return, both her daggers moving, one driving straight inwards, sinking into the guard?s belly and making him grunt in surprise, the other aimed high, a vicious arcing slice that slit the man?s throat and made him unable to call for help. Arterial spray hit her across the face, her snug hood the only thing keeping it from nose and mouth. Luckily it missed her eyes. Pain stabbing at her, bending her over, one arm moving to press hard to her side, the dagger it held dripping blood onto the floor, she watched as the man clawed at his throat, and then slowly crumpled to the floor, his blue eyes widening, dulling, and finally aimed up at the ceiling in empty gaze as he fell onto his back. Ragged, uneven breathing came from her as she stared at the corpse she had just made. She had not meant to kill anyone here?this was not supposed to happen. It was her fault for getting lost in the past. It was now a new guilt to lay upon herself, another sin for her to atone for. There were so very many. Yes, it was self-defense. But that did not excuse her foolish maundering around in old memories.
The thief muttered a Drowish curse and then staggered over towards the woman in the cage, shoving her daggers into their sheaths. The woman, while beautiful, was not especially intelligent, as evidenced by her decision to begin screaming. The elfess could feel herself losing blood at too fast a rate, but she really did not have time to drink a healing potion, which would at least slow the flow. Muttering yet more curses, Gem yanked the spray back out of her belt, using it on the screaming woman first, and then arcing the spray out over the other three, who were now stirring. The thief groaned as it caused her intense pain to move that way. Within seconds, all four of them slumped into unconsciousness. No need for the exit to be witnessed, no, none at all. The spray tucked away, the elfess could hear the sound of running footsteps, clanging weapons, and shouting voices. Plucking her special mithril dagger from its sheath at her thigh, she stuck her hand into the cage and grasped the girl firmly by the wrist. Calming herself by dint of sheer will, she whispered the trigger phrase. ?B?varress?. The Drow word for return. In the time it took to blink, they were both gone, the girl neatly teleported right out of the cage, and out of the slaver's stronghold, along with the thief, to a destination unknown to those left behind.