Playing the straightman or woman can be an amazing comedy experience. Knight Captain Haylie Dannis, who is playing the lone “straight” cop in Old Town is a darker, vaguely comedic, experience. Usually, the joke is on her. Since SI:7′s recent decision to focus on The Riders, she gets to deliver the message TO the riders. Dannis’ player recently wrote a bit of fic that shines a light on the Old Town’s finest officer.
Haylie Dannis calmly strolled from the front entrance of the Pig and Whistle, jaw set and cheeks flushed. Bright, metallic armor glinted as the sun reflected from the polished steel, glowing an eerie blue as large, Stormwind officer’s cloak upon her shoulders gave brief rise to the passing, end of winter breeze.
“Wail nae,” the moment of clarity she enjoyed as she stepped from the pub was suddenly interrupted by a voice that grated on her mind possibly as much as that of ‘Shakes’ Everett, the stuttering pickpocket from across Old Town.
“Looks t’be as if ye wair enjoyin’ ‘at lunch a’fore Battertongue reckoned t’be a sore-arse at ye.”
Haylie’s jaw set tighter as she slowly glances aside into the shadows. “Erskine…”
Haylie’s armored back slammed into the wall as she gasped, eyes wide in a mix of excitement and fright – and quickly squinted shut as the mouth of her assailant pushed daringly against hers. Plated hands slapped at the leathered shoulders of the slender, short black-haired man upon her, who eventually released her from the kiss, dark eyes set upon hers as he kept the paladin trapped against her office wall.
“Wahaha! T’were a gid wan, Dannis,” he whispered in an amused, but quiet voice. “Th’ way they all shat ‘ere breeches when ya stormed in after ‘ap Danwyrith an’ took o’er th’ place.”
Haylie struggled a bit, teeth gritted as she spoke in her belle-ish Westfall accent. “Those charges were bogus, Erskine!”
“An ye doled out justice like th’ verreh right hand o’ th’ Light anywis! T’was a ting o’ beauty, lass, jus’ like yeh are.”
The shady man went to kiss Haylie again, hands making a reflexive jump towards the straps of her armor. *Thunk* was the response of the paladin, as a plated knee dropped the SI:7 Agent to his knees – and soon after his side as he clutched dearly at his precious parts.
“I’m still on duty, skulker.” she reminded him, stepping away from the wall and towards the exit, pausing to continue. “And if you ever kiss me again – I’m gonna stomp your jaw til it’s paste.”
“Boss wants t’see ye.”
“Shaw?” she asked, blinking and staring at the man in the shadows.
“Albrecht, an I do kin he means t’see ya righ’ nae.” A smiles, visible even in the shadows, rolled across the lips of the agent, white teeth sucking in what light they could to become visible.
“Fine.” She turned away and began her stroll towards the SI:7 building.
Erskine blinked and slipped from the shadows, following behind her. “Jes fine aye? No ‘allo Erskine – lookin’ sharp t’day Erskine – sorry ’bout yair balls, Erskine?!”
“I rarely find need to be apologetic about comedy. Good day, Agent.”
“Wah? ‘Ow’s abouts I buy ye a drink later?”
Haylie continued to walk, expression unphased. “I don’t date anyone I’m potentially going to arrest one day. Good day, Agent.”
Erskine grinned and tilted his head, watching the armored guard stroll away. “Ye’ll be changin’ ‘at tune soon enough, Dannis.”
“Commander Albrecht, it’s good to see you, sir.”
“Quite a charm to see you too, Knight-Captain Dannis. Do have a seat.”
Haylie obliged the aging man, who’s once coal-black hair and goatee was now lined with traces of grey. Luckily for him, they came in stylishly at the center of the beard and side of the head, making the Commander appear rather striking in his fifties.
“A little bird tells me you just had a run in with the Riders on your lunch break?”
Haylie blinked, eyes going wide as she stammered. “B..but, that was not more than ten minutes ago… How did you..?”
“We’re the government – we know everything, Haylie. May i call you Haylie?”
“I err…” She blinked again, caught off guard. “Well, we’re both on duty…”
“Ah yes, duty. Duty calls, and the brave Knight-Captain Dannis always answers the call! It’s a trait we all enjoy about you, very much.”
Haylie squirmed a bit and just stared, already knowing the coming moments weren’t goingto be too preety for her.
“What a coincidence it is that tempers had to get heated in your presence, Dannis. I am rather sure you’re going to enjoy the ‘duty’ I have set for you tonight.”
Haylie groaned and rubbed at her eyes, murmuring. “Commander Albrecht, can’t you have someone else deliver them? I can’t even go into my favorite bar without arresting six people anymore because of all this.”
“On the contrary, Knight-Captain, that’s why we do send you.”
The Commander opened a folder on his desk before Haylie, who watched on with a flat gaze, obviously a good bit more upset by now. Lifting several sheets of paper, he began flashing them briefly before her, all loaded with a list of names and numbers.
“Your peers, Dannis. Exactly four-thousand six hundred and thirty-eight of your peers. A growling list of employees in the Stormwind who have accepted bribes of some sort or the other.”
Haylie’s gaze grew wider in a mix of shock and anger. “You’re spyin’ on…”
“What do you think Stormwind is,” he interrupted. “A magical kingdom where every citizen is of free will to do as he wishes, live as she wishes, deciding who and what goes?”
Albrecht laughed. “This is a monarchy, Dannis. The only true ‘right’ any citizen of Stormwind has, is the right to pay their taxes and not question the uthority of the government. Speaking of, you truly should quit being so kind to these people running you over.”
“Drag Bittertongue out into the street and have his teeth kicked out of his mouth in public one day, you’ll find a lot more respect the next time you go for a drink.”
“No, thank you, Commander.” Her gaze fell to the desktop and the older man smirked.
“Sense of justice, and humanity. Amazing woman, just like her father. Regardless of whether you wish to be bullied around or not though, Knight-Captain, when Shaw informed me to choose someone we could rely on in this matter, I went straight to you. Why? Because your name is not on that list, nor will it ever be. What’s that name they’re calling you now?”
“Yes, yes, the one they call you in the alleys. Haylie No-Purse?” He laughed. “Not too creative, but quite true. Listen to me, Dannis. The Riders are infamous for their bribes, as well as they are for their charming attitudes, bullying, and their sly, serpentine, mountan-breasted snake-tongued sorceress who keeps weaseling her way higher on the positional charts.”
He tapped the bribery sheets on the desk, and then pointed to Haylie. “None of those things are problems with you. Duty is your ally, your driving force, and you’d rather die then not perform your duties. We need you for this.”
“With all due respect, you’re using an honest officer to serve an investigation into bogus crimes, Commander. ” Haylie frowned deeply as she spoke.
“Oh, Dannis.” he waved his hand absently. “Don’t go assuming we’ve led a witch hunt against ap Danwyrith. These are simply charges, and if so bogus as you say, he wouldn’t have needed to flee, and he would have stood before the magistrate to be cleared. I’m quite sure there’s a lot more things he’s actually guilty of if we were just out to get him. Aren’t you?”
“Exactly,” interrupted again! “So I want you to deliver these summons back to the Pig and Whistle. Afterwards, have a drink on me and the rest of the night off.”
Haylie swallowed, cheeks reddening as she gathered the scrolls from the desktop and slipped to her feet, saluting. “I’ll get right on it, Commander Albrecht.”
“I knew you would, Knight-Captain… Oh, and…. Haylie?”
“Sir?” She blinked, caught off-guard by the casual shift of his voice.
“Just Nathan. Expect a nice little bonus with your pay this weekend.”
The commander’s lips tugged upwards in a smile, as did Haylie’s. She watched him for a brief moment, only for the smile to face before responding.
“No thank you, Commander Nathan, I won’t be bribed, by anyone.”
Albrecht’s smile dropped as the Knight-Captain turned and exited his office.
“She’s a wild wan, Commander.” a chuckling voice of familiarity drifts from the shadows as Erskine slips into view. “I’m wailin’ t’bet she’s a fookin’ tiger in th’ sack too.”
“So we dream, Agent.” The Commander shakes his head and sighs.
“Aye, dream, aheh.” The rogue stopped beside the desk, drumming his fingers on the wood. “Anythin’ goes bad at th’ interrogations, an’ ye know they’re ganan kill ‘er, aye?”
“Without Tarquin in town, and those other idiots running his show – the thought had crossed my mind, Agent Erskine.” Another folder is brandished from the desk, and handed to the rogue.
“That’s why you’re going to send her north again. It’s time she logs her field training and the necessary combat time required for her Marshal studies. That should give things time to blow over.”
“I’ll get righ’ onnit, sir.” Erskine responded, snatching up the folder and slinking back into the shadow. An audible pop and a puff of smoke left the Commander to silence.