Snapshot #2: Stiletto

Fran's stiletto clips a sharp staccato rhythm against ancient stone, the muscles in her long dark legs bunching, tense and ready for combat. She draws her favorite bow, black and simple, fitting an arrow with a poison tip. The air in the tomb is stagnant, filled with old death and monster sweat. The mist smells sweet in contrast. "Easy does it," Balthier whispers, his voice carrying to her sensitive ears. Her face remains passive, eyes narrowing at her prey. The poor bounty hunter never hears the whistle of her arrow, but he feels the bit of the arrowhead. He clasps his suddenly bleeding neck, feeling the paralysis of poison, collapsing to his knees. Balthier strolls to the man, crouching down as the man spasms. "Pity. Fran seems to have missed. I told her to make it painless." Inside the man's breast pocket is a silver key, encrusted with emeralds. "I do believe I stole this first," Balthier notes, standing and walking away. Fran nocks another arrow, debating mercy. But Balthier is walking by. Perhaps the bounty hunter will live, she thinks. Perhaps he'll die. No matter to her. He hears the sharp sound of her stilettos long after she's gone.