She held the delicate glass tube over the flame, watching as the dark liquid slowly cleared into a murky grey, then, just as it was about to turn clear: thump.

The vibration knocked the flame off balance, the wax from the candle splashing over her workbench, and the liquid went dark again. Seven looked at the wall as another thump vibrated the room, her eyes flat and unimpressed.

Sliding the vial into her wooden rack, she got up, skirt swishing around the door as she stepped into the residence, and followed the intermittent vibrations. Standing in the doorway she cast an eye over the room, and then crossed her arms.

Six slammed into the side of the room, quickly followed by Three’s foot, only just skimming the side of his face as he rolled out of the way. Shrugging her off, he bull-rushed Ten, who had been attempting to sneak up on him, another thud running through room.

Three landed lightly by the door, “Seven, come to join in?”

“No, I came to see what’s causing the building to shake itself apart.”

Another shudder ran through the room as Six landed an enormous fist into the floor.

“You might want to think about a different venue, this room appears to be some sort of reverberation point.”

“This was more of a spontaneous event.”

Seven cast an eye into the room where five of the twelve were currently engaging each other, “That I could have guessed. Six?”

“Six. Don’t worry, I’ll end it,” and she leapt back into the fray.

Seven moved to a different part of the building, and came back with a tray of cups and a steaming pot of tea. Six was still trying to beat Ten and Eight off, but Three had him in a headlock as Seven fixed him with a gaze.

“Fine, I yield,” he gasped in air as they let him out, “still could of won.”

“Sure you could have done,” Three accepted a cup of steaming tea as Seven poured them out, eyeing it suspiciously, “There’s nothing in this, right?”

“There’s hot water and a nice selection of dried tea leaves that have infused it.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Am I really likely to drug something that I myself am going to drink?” Seven handed out cups to the others, before taking one herself, “Yung sing.”

“Yung sing,” the other chorused, before they all drunk as one.

Seven drained her cup, but didn’t swallow, counting down from ten. At zero, there were a number of thunks and china smashes, as her fellows slumped to the floor. Spitting out her tea back into her cup, she turned on her heel, leaving them where they were.

Finally, some peace and solitude.

 

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