"They're real." Ara stood with her legs strongly shoulder length apart, arms folded and blond hair braided into two with her goggles neatly sitting on her head as the scraggly stubbled man in front of her turned the diamond over in grey gloved hands with dark spotted fingers that probably hadn't been washed in a year or two. Dominique stood patiently behind her.

"Where'd you hook it?" He asked.

"A ship that had just lifted away from a cutter's outside the mines." She answered truthfully, remembering How Dario had to cut off the captain's hand to figure out the code to the airship's vaults.

"What else to you have?" He asked. Ara held back an irritable sigh as she turned to Dominique.

"Show him the rest." She ordered. The woman opened her coat to show him the rest of the diamonds in the inside pocket of her olive green coat. They glistened subtly while the customer's eyes glistened like a dog gazing after a fat, juicy steak. "The one your holding is our best though. Our biggest too." She said, lazily pointing to it.

"How much?" He said, his words drooling with awe.

"900 quid." She replied quickly.

"Nah, sweetheart, 500 at most." He stepped back slightly.

"You take me for a cheapie?" Ara cocked her head to the side, feigning hurt. "895. That's it, that's all." She set.

"Right, I new to get home to England as well, duck." He furrowed his eyebrows and then pointed at the diamond with his dirty gloved hand. "590 quid."

"I won't pretend that I'm selling a fake here." Argued The young woman. "This is a genuine diamond here. I saw a man chop another man's hand off for this. You think an expirienced sky captain would lose his hand for a fake? I should be chargin you more than a thousand but no, I'm being right generous here and offering a modest 890 quid, that's my final price. " she gestured. The man tilted his head back on his neck, getting a read on Arabella's thoughts. She gazed back, unafraid. "This is how I eat most nights." She added, "and I haven't eaten properly in a good week." Little white lies don't matter on the black market. The man scratched his ruffled, uncombed hair.

"875." He said with a resentful look washin over his face. Ara smiled and nodded.

"Good enough." She handed the diamond out for him to take as he ruffled through for his money. They swapped and Ara waved as the man walked away. The Sahara sands burning her bare feet outside Cairo. Around them, tents buzzed with business as the traveling market projected the sounds of grumpy camels and haggling. The two pirates marched around selling the diamonds the had looted. When the police came, everyone shut down their kiosks, most of which were designed to quickly be collapsed into trunks without breaking merchandise. Ara and Dominique rushed into a random tent to lay down and pretend to sleep like the rest of the black market vendors. The police stuck around for awhile to observe until there were shouts from outside and the sound of thunder.

"Thunder in the desert?" Questioned Ara in a whisper that earned a hush from the rest of the tent.

"Fuck," hissed the vendor next to her. More thunder boomed and then came the sound, distant at first but grew under the widening eyes of Egyptian vendors who realized what was going on. The wind was like a howling beast that beat against the tent walls, demanding entrance when suddenly, there was a blast of light an sharp flying sand when the tent was heard flapping away. It come so fast that no one could run. Everyone ducked their eyes into their sleeves and stood, running.

"Dominique!" Ara shouted, "Ou êtes vous???" There was no reply, only the fuzzy tingling in her head when something cold and hard smacked into it. Sand storm.

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Comment by Marshal Sir Jon Marshall on June 12, 2014 at 3:25am

a maffiking good installment my dear. 

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