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Episode 2

The fighting couple could be heard from outside the rundown hovel they called home.

"I see now why we were summoned to this place so early," Maur'tion remarked.

"Well, let's stop 'em bothering folks, then," Nazeel replied. He walked up and rapped on the door three times. "Um, excuse me! Constable Nazeel here - we've received multiple complaints this morning about the noise coming from this residence! Now open up, please!"

The shouting ceased immediately as hurried, hushed voices could be heard from inside. Clinking, rattling noises resounded pierced the paper-thin walls as the voices continued to hiss at each other.

A look of annoyance crossed Nazeel's face and he pounded on the door again - harder this time, "Don't make us break this door down! Now open up!"

The sound of many locks being moved and slid came from the other side of the door and soon enough a crack had opened just wide enough to reveal a wild-looking eye that was a good two feet below the constables.

"Oy, wussat then? Wotchoo want, eh?" the high-pitched male voice demanded.

"As I said, sir - we've received multiple complaints about the noise coming from this residence," said Nazeel.

"Ooh said sumfin, eh? You jus' gimme da names, gov - not to worry, now!"

"Uhh... it doesn't work like that, sir. I'm going to have to ask you to step outside - the woman with you also needs to step outside."

"Aright, aright, mate. Jus step on back, then, eh? Oy, Cortella - come on out 'ere, love." As the door opened and the man stepped out, the wings on his back revealed he was a member of the fey race. Maur'tion craned his neck to see through the threshold and spotted a small setup for producing skooma.

If Nazeel had a nose, it would have wrinkled at the smell that assaulted his nares, and he was instantly brought back to his time at the Constable Academy. The stench created from the byproduct of skooma production was truly unmistakable. He nodded his head knowingly as his partner nudged him in the back.

Another slightly smaller fey came stomping from the hovel, her eyes blazing as though she'd just been woken from a nap. There was a noticeable callous at her nostril - a common sign among heavy skooma users. Where most who used skooma inhaled the substance through the mouth, true addicts inhaled through the nose to disperse the intoxicant through their sinus system, resulting in a longer, more intense high.

"Wussatchoo want, eh, connies? Why you boverin us?" her high-pitched voice rang out.

"Ma'am, we're responding to a domestic disturbance complaint about this residence," said Nazeel. "I'd like you to step out here," he continued as he reached for her arm.

"Don'tchoo touch me, conny!" the woman screamed. Her wings opened and in the blink of an eye she had flown above their heads and, a previously unseen short bow trained on Nazeel."

"Yeh, tha's right, conny - shouldn't have touched her - I don't reckon she liked that.

"I don't give a damn what she likes!" Nazeel said as he unfurled his own wings and shot into the sky after the small fey. Before she could move, he'd grabbed hold of her ankle, and a satisfied smile started to cross his falconine features. But the moment he grasped her, she loosed the arrow she'd knocked in the short bow and it stuck itself into Nazeel's shoulder.

Nazeel's body plummeted to the ground and landed with a sickening crunch that resounded through the derelict neighborhood as an explosion of feathers engulfed him. Maur'tion winced and hurried over to his partner's body while the feathers floated listlessly to the ground. Nazeel lay crumpled and unnaturally twisted - a line of blood trailed from his beak to the filthy pavement.

The aarakocra wasn't breathing and Maur'tion knew death when he saw it. The great minotaur sighed and closed his eyes as he bent over, hands outstretched toward his partner's prostrate body. Maur'tion's lips moved as he uttered an incantation. His hands started to glow white and tendrils of magic laced themselves into Nazeel's body.

Nazeel suddenly drew in a great breath as his lifeforce was restored and he was pulled from death's still-tender grasp. He picked himself up from the ground and thanked Maur'tion.

The two constables conferred briefly as to what would be done about the woman, but she was nowhere in sight and, as Maur'tion reminded him, Nazeel had been the one to lay his hands on her first - not the other way around. Nazeel nodded at this and they decided to head back to the constabulary to check the couples' records.

Once the rookies reached the constabulary, they made their way to the Hall of Archives, where they learned the couples' names - Demetrius and Cortella - and that they each had prior dealings with the law. Demetrius had been arrested on possession of skooma with intent to sell, and Cortella had been arrested for possession of skooma, public intoxication, assault of a constable, and reckless behavior.

The pair discussed going after Demetrius for the low-level skooma production they'd witnessed inside the home but decided to leave it alone for the time being.

The late afternoon sun hung heavy and low in the air as the two rookies patrolled Sea Street. They passed by an alleyway and could hear yelling from multiple voices and yelps of pain from another. They hurried down the alleyway toward the source of the commotion and saw a circle of small children beating another child.

"Stop!" the rookies yelled as they ran. The group of children suddenly stopped their assault and turned to glare at their interlopers. Even the one being beaten sat up and stared at them. As the pair neared the group, they could see they were in fact not children, but fully grown gnomes and dwarves.

"Ahh, so it's them new connies," one of them said in a baritone rumble. "Just turn around and go back the way you came."

Nazeel and Maur'tion quickly realized their mistake - they'd happened upon the notorious Giants gang jumping in a new member. Nazeel, in his desperation to appear fearless on his new beat, unfurled his wings and flew over them, tapping the top of the head of the one who had spoken.

In the blink of an eye, the gang member whipped a handaxe from his side and tossed it at Nazeel. The throw landed true and for the second time that day, the large birdman fell from the sky, hit the ground, and was sent to death’s open door.

His magic power exhausted, Maur'tion had to run back to the constabulary for backup, but by the time he and the other constables made it to the alley, the Giants had already departed. Nazeel was once again healed and brought back to life, but this time by the constabulary's resident cleric.

The constables Maur'tion brought with him had huddled together in a group and when they dispersed, smiles lined their faces.

"You know what, Nazeel?" one of them said. "We all decided your new nickname would be Nazombie, cause you like to die and come back so much!" And with that, the entire group erupted into laughter as they walked away. It was some time before the sounds of their mirth faded into the dusk.

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