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What do you think of Sharky's latest Commission Competition idea? 

61%
14 deviants said Sounds great fun! Count me in!
22%
5 deviants said Er... can you explain it to me again...?
17%
4 deviants said Hmm... seems a bit complicated for me. No thanks.

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Ros was back at the hotel where the Victims of Violence programme girls were staying.  She was tired, in pain, and thoroughly fed up with casts, drugs, villains, villains’ henchmen (or women), thugs and the whole business.

Recovering quickly with the aid of the fortifying gin, she had escaped from Chez’s hotel room before anyone came to investigate what all the noise was about and why someone had just plummeted eight stories onto the ground below.  Battered and bruised as she was and with a likely broken wrist, Ros had no option but to go to the local hospital.  She claimed she had been attacked and was unable to remember any of the details.  She realised she probably smelled of gin a bit and was happy for the doctors to believe she’d had too much to drink.  Her story was believed without any fuss and her wrist x-rayed.  

As she had suspected, it was confirmed to be broken, and she also had another break in her hand from where she had punched Lusa’s solid head.  Ros’s foot was also x-rayed as it was throbbing painfully after the various kicks she had dealt out.

The doctors re-casted  Ros’s small foot in a new short leg cast but refused, despite her clamours, to fit a walking heel.  They also put her wrist in a soft splint and told her to come back the next day for a hard cast.

Once back at her hotel, all the girls fussed over Ros, commiserating with her for being the victim of further violence when she had joined the programme to get away from it.  Ros told Ramoncita that she needed to go back to the hospital to get her hard cast applied on her arm, but Ramoncita said there was no need.  Ramoncita, of course, had a team of plaster technicians in the hotel, and she was more than happy for them to apply a cast to Ros’s arm.

Ros was now the owner of a heavy plaster short arm thumb spica cast, which was particularly inconvenient as she couldn’t bend the thumb of her only hand.  She also managed to acquire a cast shoe for her short leg cast, which wasn’t as attractive or as good as having a rubber walking heel on it but at least meant she could limp about.

After her casting procedure Ros sat at the hotel bar with a drink, which she had to drink through a straw.  She was wondering what she could do now; she was practically helpless with her only arm in plaster and the task of dismantling a drugs empire seemed even more daunting now than it was before.

There were, however, a few positives.  The girls that Ramoncita had recruited to be her mules were almost exclusively young, pretty and impressionable.  They had no idea this was a drugs racket and Ros suspected she could use this to her advantage.  Also Ramoncita herself was young and inexperienced and Ros was convinced she would make a mistake soon.  Quincy’s promised arrival was also of interest; if Ros could get something on her then it might be possible to bring the whole organisation crashing down.

Finally there was Chez DeLong.  Ros had ascertained from Ramoncita that Chez had no business being in Ibiza and, as far as Ramoncita was aware, Chez was still in London.  Chez was therefore up to something on her own against Ramoncita, and Ros was beginning to wonder if her enemy’s enemy was her friend.  A lot would depend on whether Lusa has survived that huge fall (Ros didn’t see how she could have) and who Chez thought might be responsible for chucking her loyal underling over a balcony.  As long as Ros herself wasn’t suspected, she might have a chance of turning Chez.

Ros sighed, grimaced, and decided to get on with things.  One of the programme’s girls helped Ros to put on her false arm, the ‘hand’ of which she tucked into the pocket of the casual trousers she was wearing.  She gingerly stood on her aching right foot, lowered her newly-plastered arm into a colourful sling that one of the Victims of Violence girl had made for her out of a scarf, and hobbled out of the door.


“I’m sorry Madam; Miss DeLong checked out earlier today – I believe she is returning home this afternoon” the pretty receptionist said to Ros in answer to her inquiry.

“Dammit!” Ros swore and hurried to the hotel’s taxi rank as fast as a woman with short legs and a short leg cast on one of them can hurry.

“Hospital?” the taxi driver asked, eyeing Ros’s casts.

“Airport” Ros snapped.  Luckily, it seemed the taxi driver was being paid by the mile not the minute and Ros quickly arrived at the airport. As she alighted from the taxi, Ros cast a quick glas around her to see if she was being followed.  As Ros hurried towards the main entrance, a figure who had been sitting quietly in another taxi got out and followed.

Ros limped as quick as she could as through the airport's doors.  She dashed in, and let out a sigh when she immediately spotted Chez who appeared to have just checked in.

“Miss DeLong” Ros said, coming alongside her.

Chez jumped, then eyed Ros coldly.  “Ramoncita sent you to do her dirty work?” Chez asked.  “Anyway, you’d never get away with killing me here – there are too many people about.  Not that you look up to the task in any event!”

“I’m not here to kill you.  Shall we?” Ros said, steering Chez towards an empty table in the quieter section of one of the bars.  Chez silently complied.  Ros sat opposite her, with the hand of her false arm still tucked into her pocket.

“Where are you going?” Ros asked.  

“What business of yours is it?” Chez snapped back.

Ros decided take the risk and try to ‘turn’ Chez.  In truth, Ros didn’t have much option, casted and disabled as she was.  She opted to take a hard line at first.  

“It’s my business if you want to get back into the country” Ros said.  She decided to confide in Chez.  “I’m MI6” she said simply.  “I’m here in Ibiza regarding the Crystal Corazon ring.  Ramoncita Rojas.  Quincy Nashfar.  All of them.  And you.  Especially you.  We know all about you and the goings on behind the scenes at Happy ‘Amper”.

Chez said nothing but began to look a bit uncomfortable.

“Still, you’re young” Ros said, sounding casual now.  “I’m sure you’ll have some of your good looks left when you come out of prison in thirty or forty years time…”

Chez squirmed but still said nothing.

“Of course there is another way…” Ros said, as if she had only just thought of it.  “You could help us…”

“What’s in it for me?” Chez asked.  Chez had bitten; Ros knew all she had to do now was land her.

“We might be able to overlook some of your past indiscretions…” Ros said airily.  She had no authority to say this of course.  “…if the information is worth it” Ros added.

“I want full immunity from prosecution, and some perks to keep me in the lifestyle to which I am accustomed!” Chez demanded.

“Of course” Ros agreed.  Ros did not have any compunction about making promises she had no intention of honouring if it got the job done.

“Good – contact me when I’m back in London and…”

“Oh no!” Ros cut in, putting out a casted arm to stop Chez, who was in the process of getting up from the table.  “We’re doing this here, in Ibiza.  Now.”

“Now?!” Chez spluttered.

“Now” Ros said flatly.  “Unless you want them to arrest you now and take you straight to an MI6 holding cell…”  Ros jerked her plastered thumb, which was held firmly in a ‘thumbs up’ position by her cast, over her shoulder.  There was, of course, no-one who could arrest Chez, but all Chez would see was an airport terminal full of people and would have no idea if there were other agents lurking there just waiting to pounce.

Chez slumped back in her chair in defeat.  “Very well” she mumbled.

“I’m already enrolled in Ramoncita’s Victims of Violence Programme…” Ros began.

“Ha!  Don’t be so stupid!” Chez threw her head back and laughed.  “Just wearing a few casts to fake some broken bones won’t fool them.  That Mexican airhead might be taken in, but not Quincy; she’ll find you out… she’ll…”

“These aren’t fake injuries” Ros said, with a touch of irritation in her voice.

“Oh” Chez said, blinking.

“This is what you’re going to do” Ros said, scrabbling in her bag with her four uncasted fingers and trying to retrieve her mobile ‘phone.

“Er… it might be easier if you use your other hand?” Chez suggested.

Ros gave her a cold look.  “Trust me; it won’t”.
Ros looking back
An out-of-timeline (as far as Crystal Corazon is concerned) picture of Ros showing us one of her more... interesting scars.

Also, I think this picture shows better than most just how tall (or not!) Ros is.  She's only 5'3 (160cm) you know!

As always, please leave any comments!  Ask her how she got it... I dare you!
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Ros landed in brilliant sunshine at the Aeroport d'Eivissa in Ibiza.  Her passport showed her as ‘Raine Collingwood’, British citizen.  It was not every day that small, slim, attractive redheads with only one arm passed through Ibiza Airport, but on this particular day security staff would have noticed that Ros (or ‘Raine’) was not the only injured lady arrival.

Ros went through passport control without a hitch, made her way to the arrivals lounge, had her casted foot run into by a luggage trolley (no further damage, just a lot of pain) and finally plonked herself down on a stool at one of the many bars to treat herself to a gin.  The barman seemed surprised that Ros didn’t want any mixer with it, but Ros waved him away with her single hand.  It was all part of her character, Ros told herself.  ‘Raine’ was supposed to be an embittered woman, and accordingly Ros felt that Raine should drink a bit.  Not that Ros minded a drink herself, although she did admit that, while in the character of Raine she had been drinking maybe a bit too often recently.

Ros turned on her barstool and watched other arrivals drift in.  It wasn’t hard to spot women who were here for the Victims of Violence programme.  A US flight yielded two women in their early twenties, both with a long leg cast on their right leg, the taller brunette with two long arm casts as well, the chubbier blonde sporting a large fibre shoulder spica.

A later UK flight disgorged Lucy-Lou, although Ros didn’t know her name.  As when she had met with Chez, Lucy-Lou had both legs in long white plaster casts; toeplate on one, big toe spica on the other.  Her right arm was in a sling which had an additional strap around her body to prevent her from moving that arm at all.  The one eye that wasn’t covered by an eyepatch looked worried and nervous.

Lucy-Lou stumbled with her long leg casts and nearly fell.  She didn’t, but dropped the handle of her wheeled luggage case.  She wasn’t far from Ros and Ros could have got off her bar stool and helped.  She didn’t – Raine was a bitch, Ros had decided, and she was determined to live up to the part.

Ros was wondering when she should check into the luxury hotel that Ramoncita (styling herself “Dr. Rojas”!) had arranged, when a curious sight caught her attention.  From yet another UK flight, two people had landed, one of whom Ros recognised.

Walking with a breezy confidence was Chez DeLong.  There was no mistaking her despite the dark glasses she had on.  Her skin-coloured prosthetic leg protruded from the bottom of the off-white cotton three-quarter-length slacks she was wearing.  Her luggage was carried slung over the shoulders of her companion, who was wearing a hideous Hawaiian shirt and eating a very disappointing yet expensive panini of the kind that is only sold at airports.

“What the hell is she doing here?!” Ros said to herself, sliding off her chair and picking up her bag.  Slipping on her own dark glasses, she joined the line of former passengers just behind Chez and Lusa as they headed for the exit.

“Is close, yes?” Lusa was saying.

“I’ve told you – it’s opposite…”

“Opp…o…sit…”

“On the other side.  We staying on the other side of the road to where that upstart puppy…” (Ros assumed this referred to Ramoncita) “…has her bimbos staying” (Ros assumed that referred to her!).

“Thanks for that bit of information” Ros said silently in her head.  Was Chez here of her own designs?  Had Quincy sent her to spy on Ramoncita?  Ros decided she needed to find out.  Things had potentially got a bit more complicated.

As Ros, Chez and Lusa left the main terminal building another figure, who had been quietly watching from behind some large and leafy pot plants, picked up her bag and followed.

............................................................................

Ros had used charm, guile, bribes and her wits to ascertain that Chez and Lusa were staying on the eighth floor of the hotel opposite where Ros and the rest of Ramoncita’s girls were booked into.  Ramoncita was, it seemed, taking things easy until Quincy herself arrived in a few days’ time.  The girls had the run of the hotel and all its facilities and were free to come and go as they pleased – for the time being at least.  Ros therefore decided to find out what Chez was up to.  She had seen Chez leave in a taxi, so knew she would be away for some while, but Lusa was harder to pin down.  She was often in and out on various errands for Chez.  Ros saw her depart and when she didn’t return, decided that she’d take her chances.

Ros reached the door of Chez and Lusa’s shared suite and knocked.  “Room service?” she said.  Silence.  She knocked again.  “Room service!” Nothing.  Satisfied that the coast was clear, Ros fiddled briefly with the door lock and quickly gained entry.

Inside, the room was tidy but clearly lived in.  Ros crossed straight over to the large full-length glass window and opened the sliding door.  It led out into a balcony with a light metal rail around the edge.  Curiously, a stargazing-style telescope was set up on the balcony and it was not hard to guess that Chez was using this to peer across at Ramoncita’s girls.

Ros left the sliding glass door open.  “Always good to have an escape route!” she told herself, not that she fancied having to make an escape over the balcony.  Looking around the room, she saw the room she was in was a bedroom and living room combined, with a door off to the right leading to maybe another bedroom or perhaps a bathroom.  

Ros crossed to the large bed and opened the door of the bedside cabinet.  There were three passports inside; two in Chez’s name – one British and one French – and a third with Chez’s photograph but a different name.

Ros hadn’t got further than that when a footfall from the door on the other side of the bed made her look up.  Lusa, looking like an angry bear that had been stuffed into a Hawaiian shirt, was glaring at her.  Ros realised that Lusa must have come back to the hotel via a back entrance and had been in the adjoining room all the time.

“Does Room Service include looking through our stuff?!” Lusa bawled, making what to her must have seemed a very funny joke.

Ros quickly realised there was no way she was going to bluff her way out of this – she didn’t even look like a chamber maid.  Ros pulled her tried and tested trick:

“Alright girls – get her!” she said to the thin air over Lusa’s right shoulder.  Sure enough, Lusa fell for it and turned.  By the time she had realised she’d been tricked and turned back, Ros had seized the heavy glass bottle of mineral water that had been on the bedside cabinet and hurled it at Lusa’s head.  It connected with a loud CLUCK against Lusa’s forehead, before bouncing off and shattering on the ground.  What would have knocked most other people out only seemed to enrage Lusa further.  She growled a vicious “GRRR!” and charged round the bed to get at Ros.

Despite the cast on her right foot, Ros was nimble and agile, and leapt onto the bed to give her a bit of extra height against the female colossus that she now had to fight.  She evaded Lusa, grasp and swung her small fist at Lusa’s head.

“Ow!” Ros yelled involuntarily as the blow connected.  It felt like she’d just punched a wall.  Lusa blinked but seemed unaffected.

Ros scrambled away from her titanic opponent but Lusa got herself between Ros and the door.  Ros swung another punch with her only arm but this time Lusa was quick enough to grab Ros’s slender wrist with her massive paw-like hand.  She squeezed and Ros felt something crack in her wrist as a wave of pain hit her.  Lusa was laughing and clearly enjoying herself.

Even with two fully functioning arms, fighting Lusa would have been a difficult challenge; in Ros’s current state it was near impossible and had just got a whole lot worse.  Ros, her face screwed up with pain as she writhed in Lusa’s vice-like grip, remembered that she wasn’t without weapons, however.  Lusa was only wearing flip flips, one of which had come off during her wild charges anyway.  Ros’s hard plaster foot had an even harder rubber walking heel on the bottom, and Ros wasted no time in sending then stomping down on Lusa’s unprotected foot.

Lusa clamped her eyes shut and howled, and her grip on Ros’s wrist slackened.  When Lusa opened her eyes, it was just in time to see Ros’s forehead approaching at speed, which smashed into the bridge of Lusa’s nose.  With a twist and a jerk, Ros got her arm free and scuttled away as fast as she could.  She brought her injured arm up to her breast and the stump of her left arm involuntarily crossed her body as she tried to cradle her right wrist with the left hand she no longer had.

Things were now decidedly desperate.  Lusa had recovered although seemed groggier.  Ros took full advantage of this by jumping up on the bed again and launching a swinging karate-style kick with her plastered right foot at Lusa’s head.  It landed where Ros had planned; the blow from the heavy cast actually making Lusa stagger, although pain lanced up Ros’s leg as her healing foot bones were jolted

Being hit like that seemed to make Lusa angrier than ever and she roared with rage.  “That’s it!” Ros thought suddenly.  “Make her angrier!”  Ros darted about, feigning kicks and punches (as if she was really going to hit anything again with her newly broken wrist!).  Her reddening and swelling wrist throbbed mercilessly as she jabbed the air near Lusa, making her grab first one way and then the other.

Ros could tell Lusa was about to try another headlong charge to get Ros in a crushing bear hug, and Ros positioned herself exactly where she wanted to be.  With a roar that a fully-grown lion would have been proud of, Lusa hurtled at Ros.  

Ros forced herself to stay still until Lusa was committed; arms outstretched and coming on with the speed and drive of an express train.  At the last possible split second, she leaped backward through the open sliding door, onto the balcony, and then twisted to one side with the speed of a spooked cat.  

Lusa, unable to stop, rushed passed Ros.  She hit the decorative metal rail like a bull elephant at a speed trial, crashing into it and causing it to buckle severely.  At the same time, her momentum carried her top half forward so that she was precariously leaning right out into thin air.

With a quick duck, Ros used both her arm stump and the upper part of her right arm to hook under Lusa’s legs, and deftly toppled her over the railing.  Ros looked over in time to see Lusa, already halfway through one rotating tumble, looking up at her with a face full of pure hatred.  Ros heard a last “Grrr!” before Lusa crashed to the ground eight stories below.

Light-headed, exhausted, covered in a sheen of sweat, and with her right arm and leg throbbing relentlessly, Ros staggered back into the room.  She slumped down on the floor by the bed, panting hard.  With her healthy left foot – now the only fully working limb she possessed – she hooked the handle of the door to the minibar and tugged it open.  She forced the fingers of her painful right hand to open three miniature bottles of gin and empty them into a tumbler, before gulping gratefully at the contents.
Crystal Corazon - Chapter 26
Things get tough for Ros - will she win through or has she met her match?

Written in a hurry and probably riddled with typos - if you find any, send me a note and I'll change them.

As always, please leave any comments or suggestions (or words of encouragement to Ros - it's lonely being a spy you know!) below.
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sharkycast
Shaun
Ireland
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Hello all,

I have been having thoughts about a new commission competition, but something a bit different from Ros's cats, as from the poll it seemed that was the way people wanted to go.

How about this as an idea:

When the competition starts, I will post a pic or series of pics which will have some sort of puzzle or challenge that needs to be solved.  Those who send me a note with the (correct!) answer will get a link to the next picture puzzle.  Once solved, send me the answer again and get the next one, and so on until the goal has been achieved.  All of those who solve their way to the end will win a commission of their choice!

The puzzle pictures will tell a story in themselves, so there will be an ongoing theme throughout the competition.  The idea might be that we are following (and helping) a character who is trying to solve a mystery or something like that.  

I just hope I can make it all work!  What do people think?  Let me know in a note, e-mail (sharkycast -at- googlemail-dot-com) or in the comments below.  Please also vote on the new poll.  

Are there any characters that you would like the puzzle pictures to focus on / follow, or would you like to see a new character?  What happens if someone sends in a wrong answer?  Do they get a second try, or are they "out"?  What era / scenario should the thing be set in?  I have some ideas already, but please leave any suggestions.

***UPDATE***

Thanks to everyone who voted. For those who said "no thanks"; what sort of thing would you prefer as a Commission Competition? Please leave me a comment, note or e-mail to let me know.

All the best,

Sharky

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:iconamaterasu2142:
amaterasu2142 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Heyyyy thanks for the watch and fav man :happybounce: Just letting ya know that some of the stuff I make is a little bit dark themed, but I try to balance it out with cast drawings.
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:iconthomvinson:
thomvinson Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the faves!
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:iconsentinelgrafx:
Sentinelgrafx Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch. Much appreciated.
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:iconjedi120:
jedi120 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for watching!! Feel free to leave a comment at any time! :)
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:iconjerek-uk:
jerek-uk Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for another :+fav:! :)
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:iconjerek-uk:
jerek-uk Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for watching, and for :+fav:ing again! :)
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:iconjerek-uk:
jerek-uk Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:. :)
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zasz130 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the +fav!
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:icondreamerforever2004:
Dreamerforever2004 Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2016
Happy Birthday, Shaun! :)
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:iconsharkycast:
sharkycast Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2016
Cheers!
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