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Sable meets The Stranger

We here present you with a scene that has gone through several incarnations but is rather important to the series as a whole. It involves our MC, Sable and a figure that has attracted much debate, The Stranger. This scene is one draft of many of their first ‘official’ meeting


The figure remained where it was, in the half-shadow of the corner although the light from dirty windows above was shining directly onto it. Somehow the face, shaded a little by the wide brim of its hat remained completely in shadow despite being right under a window. Sable paced the room in a half circle in front of the figure, inspecting it. It wore a long dark coat made of what looked like patchworked leather panels which looked worn but somehow also new. It also wore a stiff leather hat of a similar hue with a wide brim. Again, the hat was creased and wrinkled in places but looked new. The outfit was completed by what looked like smooth leather trousers and nondescript leather boots of a worn greyish black. Again, all looked used but new. The figure appeared to be male but there was no real way to tell for the clothes were loose, giving no real hint at its gender, he just assumed it to be male for some reason he could not identify. Maybe it was the style or cut of the clothing. No matter what angle he looked at the face under the hat from, it remained in shadow, a formless dark. The figure inclined its head at the inspection.

"You've been following me." He stated simply.

The hat lifted and dropped in a nod, though no more of the face revealed itself. The dark gloved hands appeared to clench and unclench. Its poise was one of relaxed menace, it looked ready to either flee or attack.

Sable simply smiled.

I have always followed you, Sarael. The voice intruded in his mind, toneless and sexless. You are different. You study me. When others see me, their eyes slide off me and do their best to look elsewhere. Even your father will not look me in the eye.

Sable laughed for some reason he could not fathom, something to do with the strange way it had pronounced his name perhaps. "You have no eyes to look at as far as I can tell." He observed.

The figure again shifted position. It crossed its arms and leaned back on the wall. One well-made boot supporting its weight. You laugh but do you feel amused? It seemed genuinely interested despite the colourless voice. Now he thought about it, the thing lacked colour in almost everything, unless that colour was a slightly faded black.

Sable found the room's only chair and sat down on it, crossing his legs and leaning back a little. "Why would you ask me a question like that?"

It intrigues me. You intrigue me. You are different but I do not know how.

"I intrigue you." It was a statement, not a question.

Again, the hat nodded slowly. Uncrossing its arms, it removed a slim, black cigarette case from one of many pockets on its jacket. It extracted a dark cigarette and returned the case to its home. The cigarette disappeared into the shadow of the hat, going between a pair of invisible lips. Out came a regular pack of matches, just like the free ones you'd get from a hotel or restaurant. It tore off a match and struck it to life before moving the burning match to the tip of its cigarette. Sable noticed the dancing flame did nothing to illuminate the void of a face, just made the shadow darker. It tossed the spent match on the floor and inhaled, the tip of the cigarette blazing ruby red for a moment before settling down to a steady orange. The hand came up and removed cigarette from lips, a long stream of smoke puffing out from where the mouth should be. The figure sat down on a chair which Sable could have sworn was not there a second ago. It crossed long legs in a reflection of his posture. It took two more long drags on