#1 Posted by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

The warm beams of a summer sun shone down on the illustrious enigmatic assassin. Known to many as Mercy Sheridan and to a select few as the Sanguine. She was the leader of the Sicarii and for this instance, her position as the partner of Quintus Knightfall was perhaps more important. The two had come into contact when she was undercover as Mary Sullivan, an Internet reporter uncovering events having to do with the corrupt US President and his dealings in Venezuela.

That had been what felt like a lifetime ago. Having trained with Quintus and entered into a relationship with him, Mercy had formed an attachment to his daughter, who had assisted in her Arashikage training. A telepathic summons from her had lead back to the island where she was distraught to find the daughter of her lover chained, shackled and referred to simply as Slave.

The supremacist Charlemagne LeBeau had eradicated the Arashikage and annihilated the island. She had engaged him in combat for the life of Quintus and Ziccarra Liafador's daughter and for the first time in her life, had found herself evenly matched in something more than a spar.

In the end, she had traded a year of her services for the life and freedom of the Knightfall-Liafador heir. It was the only emotionally fueled decision she had allowed herself to make during her duties as a Sanguine. And it was one that she hasn't regretted for a second.

It was now that she finally sought out the mother of the child and former wife of the man she had come to care for more than she would admit to herself or to anybody else. One of the Sicarii agents, Melody Sanchez, had tracked down the elusive and illustrious Ziccarra Liafador to a small town on the coast of Belize. The Hernandez Cartel had claimed the border town as their own, their foothold into Belize. It had begun to ravage the town, the effects of the drugs that they were pushing and the people who were consigning themselves over to be drug mules to give their families a leg up. According to the intelligence of Ms. Sanchez, the Liafador matriarch was attempting to protect the borders and holding steadfast in her efforts to do so, pissing the cartel off at every turn.

There was a small diner in the center of a town, a refuge from the oppressive heat and according to Melody, who had positioned herself as a waitress there and was thus privy to local gossip, a recurring information gathering spot for Ziccarra, the woman who didn't seem able to stop. It was where Mercy planned to make contact.

Clad in oversize sunglasses, a white scarf wrapped artfully around her head to protect from the sun and sand, white jean shorts and a loose draping tank that showed off slender arms, Mercy entered the small establishment and took a seat at the table in the corner of the room, facing the door and waiting.

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#2 Edited by Shanana (53529 posts) - - Show Bio
Ziccarra Liafador, former Queen of the Red Cardinals.

Previously

In an effort to track down the origins of the "Man-Eater" virus, La Malaguena finds herself in a town bordering Belize, thwarting the plans of the Cartel has become a pastime for the former, Leader of the Cardinal ruled Venezuela.

Now

There was a slow saunter from the Spanisha Marquesta as, she made her daily rounds throughout the town. Her mission to track the “Man-Eater” virus stalled when met with heavy cartel influence; the people of the border town attached themselves to her presence like a small child does its mother. She left the cartel reeling to find answers, Z was always a pace ahead of them. Children could go to school without fear, wives could go to the market without looking over their shoulders. In her solo defense of the small town, she was prepping the police force to take their town back.

This self-imposed exile produced more questions than answers, Isabella’s insurrection with the Red Cardinals; finding out Magneto was her birth father, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; and on top of all that feeling of being isolated.

On top of all her problems was the problem of her advanced aging; her body as it appeared now was 27, while she herself was 40 years old; however her bones at times progressed to that of a 65 year old woman. This was something that just recently began to affect her, shortly after she gave birth to Isadora.

She entered her favorite bodega, she was so punctual with her daily arrivals she usually caught Crespo in the middle of his mid-day illuminati talk. However today the feel was different, she felt eyes on her from the farthest part of the room, but that was just small time.

Crespo was behind the counter as usual, but he did not give her his usual boisterous greeting. There were five people she had never seen in the town before, not including the foreign eyes in the corner. This was something her mind was pretty adept at doing, breaking down the situation and analyzing it to her advantage; she was able to do with within parsecs, thanks to her increased reaction time.

Because of her leopard print heels and black leggings, complimenting her white tank top; she didn’t appear to be a threat, at least not to people who didn’t know her. Given the proximity to the border, and how no one seemingly batted an eye at her, as she entered the room, she knew something was wrong.

Letting out a subtle sigh, she walked to the counter, “Que Problema?” she asked, in that moment a man popped from behind the counter with a gun pointed at Ziccarra’s head.

"Found the 5th person"

“This is going to hurt” She said, bracing herself while releasing a psi-shield that blew both him and Crespo off their feet.Turning to the four behind her, she extended her hands and halted them before they moved. Not wasting her time with them, she lunged over the counter and gripped the would-be gun men by his collar.

“Shhhhhh” Ziccarra teased trying to reassure the gun-men. “I want you to go back and tell your boss…This town is protect by Ziccarra” She said, tossing him back over the counter and releasing his friends.

“Yes, let Catalina know, It is her La Malaguena stopping her shipments” her voice enough to get them out of the diner, however Crespo pointed Z in the direction of the woman in the farthest point of the room.

Z’s half shaved hair swung towards the woman, she was not a novice; but given her attire she didn’t appear to be the slightest bit hostile. Knocking the lint from her leggings she walked towards the table cautiously before gazing at the woman.

It was in that moment that all her anxiety built up and then crashed, this wasn’t Ellie; she kind of hoped it was. Next to Isabella, Ellie was the only other person she called friend, she hadn’t seen her since Quintus was killed by Impero.

“Who are you and how did you locate me?” Z asked, hesitant to take a seat. This woman was completely knew, however she had an aura about her that was strikingly familiar.

#3 Edited by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

@ziccarra_liafador:

The action-packed scene unfolded in front of the eyes of the Sanguine. Her sunglasses were propped atop her head and she made no move to interfere as she observed none other than Ziccarra Liafador herself in action. The way she moved was lethal coiled grace, not entirely dissimilar from how Mercy moved.

She was judicious and unforgiving all while maintaining an air of lethality and style, something that Mercy could appreciate in anybody and perhaps even moreso in this women. She surpassed rumor and word of mouth by considerable measure. Through her travels, Mercy had begun compiling a list of the worlds most formidable combatants aside from herself. It was no ego, simple acceptance of her gift. Ziccarra had just climbed several spots up that list through this alone. Body language spoke leaps and bounds and she had the killer instinct that so many lacked.

Every fiber of her muscle was poised to spring into action as Ziccarra strode towards her, anger and retribution reflected in her irises. It was a humbling sight to behold. Mercy placed both hands on the table, palms down in what appeared to any looking on to be a casual gesture, but was her indication that she had no weapon in hand. That meant nothing in this day and age, but was the overarching gesture of her reasons for being here. No harm.

When she spoke, her voice was quiet. She had an American accent with hints of the East Coast in it, although she had perfected a natural French accent, as well. "My name is Mercy Sheridan." Melody had stepped out from the back room to cover the doors from outside during the previous scuffle, something she was sure that Ziccarra had not missed. "I located you out of interest, with the intent to have a discussion with you...a discussion about your daughter and Quintus Knightfall."

The words left her slowly, tentatively. She wasn't intimidated by this woman, but she was undoubtedly in something resembling awe of her. This finely crafted legacy at her hands, an untenable will, an unsuppressable morality and the unerring volition that guided her actions. Anybody would be admirable of such sheer will and focus. She was the mother of the girl that Mercy had traded a year of her life for, a meeting was the least that she owed Ziccarra to explain the circumstances and any affects it may have on the child.

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#4 Edited by Shanana (53529 posts) - - Show Bio

Z’s eyes darted towards Mercy’s palms, she could relax; her palms face down showed certainty, assurance and truth. Z uncomfortably slid into the booth not fully looking at Mercy; she wasn’t sure if it were the topics the woman inquired about or, if it was the fact she was developing a habit of not trusting people. Z developed a bad habit, of taking very long dramatic pauses, which was probably a direct result of that lack of trust she had developed.

“H-How is she?” her voice broke again, her pause filled with very faint memories of holding a young and lively Isadora in her arms. Being the product of her ‘brother’s’ heinous monarch programming, she was almost sure whatever Isadora had endured mentally could be attributed to the intense psychological damage Z endured.

She almost wish she took Isadora with her, but given her problems at the time; she wouldn’t have been able to take care of her the way she needed. She entrusted her child with Ellie, whom she figured returned her to Quintus upon his resurrection; but she couldn’t be for sure.

"She is judging me I know it, She thinks I'm a horrible person; then again I left my child's future unsecure...I am a bad mother

Her body involuntarily quivered, waiting patiently for the news of her child, and even the well-being of Quintus. “Queentus…is a live yes?” she asked, inhaling deeply.

Upon his initial death, Ziccarra vowed revenge on the man that killed him; their master Impero. As a matter of fact Quintus and Ziccarra had a falling out, because she didn’t support his decision to kill Impero in the first place.

“I love them both you know.” She said, staring idly out the window still not making eye contact. “At this point in my life, I cannot allow either of them to see me like this.” She admitted before turning to Mercy finally. Looking deeply into the eyes of her inquirer; she could tell she was more than meets the eye.

It was like Quintus to make someone he considered his equal to do his work, but then again; she wasn’t his equal. Her calmness, the intrigue in her eyes; she came on her own will? It was apparent from looking at her that, beneath the glasses and hats rest a warrior. Her body began shaking again, she didn’t want to relive this life; her emotions began to conflict with her judgment.

She looks as if she's been through a lot, or maybe she's still going through it, but it's not very noticeable; one with untrained eyes wouldn't see it.

“A-are you his wife?” she asked, not entirely sure she wanted the answer.

#5 Edited by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

Sympathy shimmered in Mercy's eyes as the body language of this formidable woman was noted. Unsure, self conscious and out on a limb. It struck chords in Mercy, chords that she had attempted to shut down so long ago and with a renewed fervor in recent weeks, ever since she had allowed herself to grow too attached. The last question that she asked had taken Mercy by surprise. She was sure to let the uncertainty and shock show in her eyes. No...she was not his wife, but that explanation would come later.

"I haven't seen her in about a month, but your daughter....she has the best of her parents." Mercy's eyes shined as she talked about this little girl who had stood in the face of certain death and called for help. She had done so unsure of whether or not her captor would be able to intercept it and dole out a harsh punishment and she had done it during untenable circumstances.

Mercy was careful with her words and her tone. She didn't want to appear as if she were trying to take Ziccarra's spot in her daughters life or heart. There was a spot in girls that nobody other than their mother could fill and that was something she would never try to infringe upon, it wasn't her place nor her intent.

But that didn't lessen her love and adoration of this small child who held so much within her. The words of what appeared to be a heartbroken but steadfast woman fell on Mercy's ears and her measure of respect simply rose. "Quintus is alive, yes. He keeps to himself in the Sanctum these days, his daughter and family close at hand." Mercy nodded at the proclamation of love, sympathy and understanding in her eyes and a pain in her heart.

Their eyes met in that brief moment and in that second, Mercy understood her motives. This was a selfless woman. A woman who would put the needs and well being of others before her own happiness and state of mind. It was a mentality that Mercy had adopted once and once only, a mentality that had lead her to symbolically signing away a year of her life.

Nervously tucking a piece of hair behind her ear, Mercy bit the inside of her lip, weighing her words. This was never a conversation that she had envisioned herself having with anybody. She wasn't the other woman, nor was she a replacement, but it was an unusual situation nonetheless.

"I'm not his wife...it's...complicated." She crossed her arms over her chest, rubbing one hand against her arm. This was the most open and stripped of facade that she had allowed herself to be in a very long time. Z deserved nothing less. "I came to him for training and shelter at the recommendation of his sister and then it turned into something more. And then the Island happened..." Her tone drifted off for a moment as flashbacks of the eradication of the Arashikage played before her eyes. She would answer any and all questions that came after this, knowing that there would be plenty of them.

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#6 Edited by Shanana (53529 posts) - - Show Bio

Z’s hands instinctively rubbed her 18-carat flawless diamond by Lorraine Schwartz worth more than $5 million; Quintus purchased it when they were ready to get married. The emerald cut center stone is set in platinum; there was a small Z and Q engraved on the side. She never bothered to take it off; she couldn’t it was a beacon that guided her through everything she was going through.

Even know as she sat with her legs folded, and her hands coupled in front of her; she was aging so much that, even turning her head hurt. When she gave birth to Isadora, her body gained the power to control motion; the integration into Z’s body didn’t go over so well causing her to rapidly de-age. In an effort to reverse the process, her body began to age rapidly; overshooting her actual age.

Long story short she was dying, by next week she’d be anywhere from 65 to 70 years old; in all likeliness she’d probably forget she even had this conversation.

Knowing Isadora was alright allowed her to relax a bit, the slight tension that built up between her chests; slowly began to fade out allowing her to think rationally.

She didn’t need Mercy to really say anything, for her suspicions about the status of her and Quintus; whatever they had going on Z could tell. She once bore that same uncomfortable look when his name came up over casual talk. She killed a man to escape his allure; tried to frame his entire family and still managed to reel in by his charismatic magnetism.

I know the feeling all to well, his embrace; his smile. The way he makes you believe everyone else in the room are insignificant. He is the only person to make me smile, and that's saying something.

“The Island?” Z questioned perking up at the sound of hesitation in Mercy’s voice. “Ellie I swear-“she tried to stop herself before she said it, but it was too late. She wondered what became of Ellie, it was as if she vanished from the face of the Earth.

I knew I should have just told her where I was going, things now would be easier if I had someone to talk to

Ziccarra tried to contact her once, but failed in her effort to do so; thoughts of her “sister” strayed her away from her initial inquiry.“What happened on this island?” she said, turning towards Crespo who brought the two women a tall glass of water.

“I do not suggest you drink that” Z said, realizing her stomach hadn’t been accustomed to the lack of filters the Mexican waters had.

#7 Edited by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

Mercy's eyes darted to the ring, the sun filtering in through the window and glinting through the facets of the flawless stone made it impossible not to notice. There was a small wistful tugging at her, knowing that a life of happily ever after was never in the cards for her. There was no contest with this woman, no jealousy, just a sense of wanting to do right by her.

And the longer that Mercy sat there, the more that her respect and worry built. This was a woman at war with herself, all of the body language indicated that. Uncertainty mixed with a steely resolve. Openness colored by caginess. She didn't know this woman, but fought back the urge to physically comfort her. If she knew anything of her, if her intuition told her anything, she would shirk off the gesture, just as Mercy herself would have.

A chill crept over her skin despite the stifling heat as she thought of him, her eyes zoning out for a moment. It was a thought that she drove quickly from her head, it had no place there at this time. The small utterance that passed Z's lips didn't fail to make it to Mercy's ears. She peered up from the fringe of her hair, subtly watching Ziccarra's facial expression. She wasn't entirely sure the other woman had even realized she'd spoken aloud.

Ellie Knightfall and Mercy Sheridan had had very little contact. After arriving at the Knightfall Sanctum, Ellie had revealed herself as the one who had left hints for her to come there in the first place, manipulating the events into place to a degree. They had spent time together after that, but nothing more than a cordial friendship had developed due to time constraints. It was clear that there was a much deeper bond between these two.

"The Island..." Her voice grew quiet as she sent the water back with a polite refusal. "Agiad'Coda Island...the home of the Arashikage. We spent about a month there, training under the ways of the Arashikage. The Khaleesi taught me herself, and your daughter bestowed me with some tricks. It was...it was a good time." Her voice drifted for a moment, it was where she had first fallen for Quintus, but it was also where she had fallen in love with his daughter.

"We returned to the Sanctum and I left for a short trip to Italy. I was gone for nine days before returning. Nobody was at the Sanctum when I arrived, save for Mortimer. I was told to make myself at home and I did until I received a frantic telepathic summons from your daughter." Not his, hers. "It wasn't even words, just images. She painted a picture in my mind of chains and the island."

Mercy drew the draping white sweater closer around her, as if she had a chill despite the oppressive humidity that hung in the air. "They were all dead when I got there, their bodies strewn about like the forgotten carcasses of forgotten animals. And in the center of the island, in a spot that we had enjoyed so many tines before was your daughter." Mercy's eyes met Ziccarra's and stayed there for a moment, silently indicating that she should brace herself. No child should ever have to go through what Isadora did and no mother should ever have to hear of it.

"She was bound and shackled, referred to only as Slave. Because of how time passes on the island, I had no idea how long she'd been in captivity. I engaged the masked man who was holding her and we fought. He....he gave me the fight of my life." There were a limited amount of people who knew that Mercy was the Sanguine, or even that the Sanguine was fact and not myth. Neither LeBeau nor Ziccarra were privy to the information, although she had a feeling that Z soon would be.

"I managed to slice his throat, severing his vocal chords and nearly hitting the carotid." Her nails dug into her fists as she attempted to quell the fury that was rising in her chest and showing in her voice. "I would have delivered the killing blow, but he retreated and held a knife to Isadora. He would have killed her then and there, no looking back."

She ducked her head down, sleek tawny hair falling in front of her face to hide her emotions. It was in and of itself a vulnerable gesture, something that she had long been working to eradicate from her repertoire. It was emotions and vulnerabilities that had gotten them into this in the first place.

"His intent was clear, so I made the trade. Her life and freedom for a year of my...services." This would no doubt cal forth the next series of questions as to her identity, something she had steeled herself to answer before setting up this encounter. "It's been one month of my term."

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#8 Edited by Shanana (53529 posts) - - Show Bio

Ziccarra’s deep breath sputtered as it left her lungs; the thought of her child being held in slavery, sparked an incensed nature in the Malagan Marquesta. Her face instantly burned with a deep ornate red. Placing the palm of her hand on her forehead, she began to take deep but slow breaths. Her eye’s shot back to Mercy; before looking down at her trembling hands. Pressing her back against the chair, she felt her body trembling all over; digging her jittery hand deep within her bra. She pulled out a small syringe and slowly injected herself with her insulin.

It only took a few moments for the natural coloring on her face to return; what she had gone through was something completely new. She knew Isadora was safe; that was only a testament to Mercy’s selfless sacrifice.

Her frail hand stretched the length of the table and placed it atop Mercy’s. “Since I first sat down; I have had numerous opinions about you…” Z took the time to do something she rarely ever did; reaching behind her head, she pulled the mask of Cortez from her face.

There was virtually no change, but Z respected Mercy enough to at least speak to her face to face. “You saved my daughter; and sacrificed your freedom in the process”. She took a moment to collect her thoughts; her chest was so full of emotion, she had to make sure her words didn’t come out in Spanish.

“You are a better woman than I Mercy; you heard the plight of a child that is not even yours.” She started, before gently rubbing her hand. “You made a decision that will forever bind the two of you; Isadora does not know her mother, but she will always know what her “mommy” did for her.” She said exhaling deeply.

“I cannot face her; to do so now would fill her heart with turbulent questions, Questions I am not ready to answer. Promise me Mercy, you will continue to take care of my Nina, she must never know of me and my location”

She didn’t think of herself as a better combatant than Mercy; truth of the matter was she honestly couldn’t gauge the skill of the woman, or than man that defeated her. What she did know, was how to channel the powers of the speed force, what she did know was it’d only take her a few days to locate the man responsible for Mercy’s involtenary servitude; What she did know was, when she found him; she was going to beat the nucleus from his atoms.

“Mercy, how do I find this man?” she said, with a vein pulsating in the top of her head. Her body was deteriorating, thick strands of Grey hair could be seen in her head; but she truly believed her last fight; should be to kill the man responsible for her daughter and Mercy’s servitude.

#9 Posted by Mercy_ (91937 posts) - - Show Bio

She lightly clutched Ziccarra's hand, knowing that it wasn't necessarily easy for either of them to give or receive a gesture of trust and comfort like this one. Her respect for Z grew by the minute as this woman bared herself as Mercy had done just moments before.

Shaking her head slightly at the proclamation that she was a better woman. Mercy wouldn't have given her own time to save a town of people she had never met. The Sanguine wasn't in the business of saving, with the exception of Isadora. She was in the business of killing and did a damn fine job of it on most occasions.

"I never...Isa isn't mine, I never wanted to be that for her, never intended to be. She's truly something else." Mercy hadn't set out to form the bond with the girl that she had, yet there it was. But it would be selfish to continue down that path in the front of all this incredible emotional bravery. "I give you my word on my honor that I will do everything I can for her." Her brow furrowed in thought. She believed that Isa would benefit from knowing her mother, but she would not second guess, not in this instance.

Mercy gripped Ziccarra's hand, mentally wishing some of her own fortitude into the other woman. "He frequents a locale known as The Yard."

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