Through the Streets of Atanlia (Started)

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"Well,"Clarissa said, while fluttering her eyelashes,"If you can point me to any little Officer of the Destroyers, I'm sure I can find some way of convincing him to tell me anything I want to know."

She hugged herself then, the cold wind had started to get to her and she felt goosebumps as well as other...things, popping up around her body. She grabbed the pillow she was sitting on and hugged it close to herself when she realized that it didn't hide everything.

"I could also persuade the beggar's guild to begin looking for any information on the man, they owe me at least this one favor."

"So Clarissa can work alone then until she can get within the Destroyers. I suppose then she could either work with Draven and group or keep solo, just don't get too distracted. I do understand if those in here do not trust the guards, or simply don't have any desire to work with me. Happens a bit, so I am willing to pursue the guard route alone if need be, some company would be nice though."

Davarious looked at the looming palace, always visible that damned thing, maybe we can blow it up after this is over, that would be fun for us.

Tom could hear the group talking when he reached the top of the stairs, and opted to silently re-enter the meeting. As he sat back down, he put his bag back on his lap, and the poster upon his bag.

As he listened to their plan to infiltrate the Destroyers, and the parts each of them would be playing, he spoke up. "Well, as per usual, I and my warped spine will be staying well away from the fighting. But I'll be sure to supply you all with any potions or chemicals you might need," he said with a smile on his face. Probably need to bring the portable kit, he thought to himself, Just in case.

"Oh, and here's that poster, by the way," he added, holding up the sheet of paper for all to see.

Jin laughed. "Yes, you are an artist of admirable passion and talent, my boy!" He clapped Gerik's shoulder then moved past him to speak to the rest of the group. "It may not be a good idea for Draven to return to the Destroyers. Familiarity breeds contempt in those types of company. You may be better off without that history."

"Tomorrow morning I am receiving a few crates of opiate in my regular supply shipment. They're going to a customer in the rich district. He and his friends employ the services of the Destroyers often. If a few of you take the delivery and pose as potential mercenaries for hire, you may be able to get some information from him." Jin eyed Davarious quizzically for a moment. The man was very paranoid and antisocial, even for a wanted criminal. The old man didn't know anything about Davarious' past; none of them did; and he had never asked. Maybe the time had come to find out what made him so mistrusting.

"As for you," Jin said, turning back to Gerik, "I have a job for you tonight. Come."

~

The shop was empty now, darkly lit and looking a bit forlorn. The sharp scent of soap was a reminder of what had happened right there in the middle of the floor that evening. Elli was cleaning off the tables and making sure all the windows were latched. They were closing early tonight. Jin stood behind the counter among cups and pitchers, mixing a drink. There were ingredients under the counter for which he occasionally reached, and the water boiler bubbled happily behind him.

"You abuse those herbs. They are meant to be consumed in moderation. They are also expensive! Not much money is needed to keep some of that cheap swill on hand for Cadius and Dirge, but your habits tend to be a bit more costly." The double meaning merited an accusatory look at his friend, then he turned his attention back to his concoction. Steam hissed off of the surface of the liquid as he sprinkled a handful of blueish powder into the small cup.

"Drink this, it will clear your mind." Jin said as he handed the drink to Gerik. He disappeared into his room and emerged a moment later with an envelope and some small objects.

"This must go to Arthur Festige, in the rich district. His address is on this paper here." Jin laid out the delivery's contents on the counter. There was a written letter, the slip of paper with the man's address, and a small wooden square with a willow tree carved on to it. "He has connections with the Royal Guard, and might be able to get protection for the Blessing. He won't let you in, so simply give this to the doorman and say that I sent you. The letter looks like a normal correspondence between friends; it's only there for appearance's sake." He placed the letter and the tile into the envelope and sealed it, then handed it to Gerik with a smile.

"If he ever got rough we me no one would like the outcome of the resulting actions. The consequences would be rather dreadful. I don't believe I'll ever do something to bring them about, as I try to avoid conflicts to my interests". Fleur stood up, sitting for so long caused her legs to stiffen up. She also wanted to get out of the cold. "Davarious, I shall join you with the guards. The closer I am to my enemy, the farther I am from harm. Not to forget the valuable information I could collect. I'll meet you tomorrow here, for now I'm off".

Fleur left the company of the band, heading down to the first floor. It seemed things had closed down early, she had wanted some food and drink. Jin and Gerik we're there though. "And my apologies for not returning this book the day I had retrieved it". Fleur liked to craft her speech to never say a hello to often. "I'm sure you understand I'd never let this fountain of knowledge just slip away before I crafted notes. Shall I give it to you now, or leave it in your room"? Her tone was unchanged, eyes hidden in the shadows. She'd never seen his room at the back of the tea house. It was probably unremarkable, but it was something that had always aroused her curiosity since she learned of it.

Serena glanced at Tom. "Could you get me a long-lasting sedative? I have a way of getting myself in without Draven using his influence. And my way, it would be temporary. No long obligations." she asked.
She stood up to stop her legs cramping, and stretched. "It would only work with one, maybe two, people. And I'll need some help picking the mark."

Tom grinned a little as he put down the poster. "A sedative, eh?," Tom repeated. "Shouldn't be too hard." Tom thought back to his little laboratory. Yes, I've got just the recipe for that, he thought. This'll be fun. "I'll have it ready for you by tomorrow," he said to Serena. He looked around as he stood up, assuming that the meeting was winding down. "Well, if that's everything, I'll be on my merry way," he declared with a huge smile.

The sensation of a thousand, microscopic daggers danced throughout Gerik's head as he sat atop one of the stool adjacent to the counter, watching Jin prepare a remedial tonic with bloodshot eyes. Jin went off on a tangent about his frequent and excessive drug use, which he paid little attention to, aware that the elderly fellow would no doubt forget about the issue after a nap. He listened to the ranting of his employer too often and, through practice and experience, had taught himself how to tune Jin out without appearing as if was ignoring him. Gerik nodded while Jin spoke, smiled when he had to and refrained from responding with snide comments, doing his best to be respectful of Jin although cared little for what the old coot had to complain about.

"Drink this, it will clear your mind."

Gerik glanced inside the cup he had been handed, a dumbstruck look plastered across his face. The bluish color was most unusual and, as such, made him suspicious of its contents. Jin had no reason to dispose of Gerik, however, and chugged the drink down in a swift gulp. It tasted like rancid milk and left an aftertaste not unlike strong liquor, burning his tongue and throat, and stained the roof of his mouth, although within mere seconds of consuming the foul beverage he found his headache relieved and the world returned to normalcy. It had been many, many months since the last time he had been completely sober, and Gerik appeared to take pleasure in the sudden sense of total control he had recently been gifted.

"This must go to Arthur Festige, in the rich district. His address is on this paper here." Jin ordered, placing an assortment of miscellaneous objects on the counter in front of him. "He has connections with the Royal Guard, and might be able to get protection for the Blessing. He won't let you in, so simply give this to the doorman and say that I sent you. The letter looks like a normal correspondence between friends; it's only there for appearance's sake."

"I say killin' and you have me deliverin', kinda makes me think your hearing is goin'." Gerik chuckled to himself as he rose from his seat and collected the papers, then headed towards the door. He turned towards his employer before leaving and smiled. "You know, Jin, if I didn't like you so much, chances are I'd never put up with your shit. But, luckily for you, I happen to like you quite a bit, so I'll oblige."

He took a step out of the door and, before going any further, glared back at Jin. "You better have me hurtin' someone soon, though, I need some practice!"

Draven watched as several of the group left the rooftop. He nodded to Jin as he passed, indifferent to the fact that he had offered a different plan to Draven's own. In either case, it seemed as if he would be appearing as a mercenary to gain access.

As the meeting appeared to be winding down, he said "I suppose we can figure out which plan to use tomorrow. I'll be in my usual hangout if anyone needs to find me before then." With that, he left the roof and wandered back to his room in one of the inns in the poor section.

Once inside, he set to work honing his blades, as he suspected that he would need them, regardless of which plan they ended up using to gain access to the Destroyers.

Davarious stood up and began walking out. He told everyone that if they felt like joining him and Fleur, that they would meet him at the tea shop tomorrow. There a plan would be hatched, most likely taking some crap job for a bit of coin.

As he headed home he saw the city, a bit of a rat-hole, a setting he was used to. The town square had a series of wanted posters, people for petty crimes, thievery and assault. Then, one of the posters caught his eye. Wanted for murder... small time gang member... seen around the streets on occasion... 500 gold coin reward. Davarious snatched it and ran off, best to make good time. It did not take Davarious long to reach the house he had rented out, though house is a loose term. It was a small room with little in it aside from his weapons, gear and what little coin he managed to bring with him here. Won't be long now old friend, I will be visiting you real soon. Keep under protection while you can, it is all you have until I get to you.

Clarissa stood up from her spot on the cold roof, the night seeping into her bones.

"Well, I guess I'll be leaving now, you guys know where you can find me."

She went down the stairs and dropped the pillow on the counter,"Here ya go Jin, I'll be back in the morning, red hair, I think."

She left the Tea House and wandered the streets, making sure no one followed her, all she had let the people of the gang she worked with was that she lived near the beggar's guild gathering spot, nothing more. Funny that she only lived right down the street in a three room apartment that she rented from the widower that owned the block. At a severe discount of course, she had worked him the same as any mark, except she'd robbed him legally.

She heard a noise as she walked towards her home, but nothing came forth from the shadows. She walked into a mess, as it should be. There were clothes strewn across the floor, peasant clothes mind you, nothing she'd wear for a job or a mark. That was her first two rooms, her bedroom was slightly different, a small bed with linen sheets and a silken pillow filled with down and lavender, it had been very expensive, but worth every copper. behind her pine wardrobe, there was a small tunnel in the wall, filled with her wigs and clothes she did wear on jobs. She fished the blonde wig out of her trousers and set it on it's special mannequin after smoothing out the rogue hairs that had cropped up. It wouldn't do to have a bad wig in her line of work. Kala's Arms had taught her plenty of things she was proud to know today.

Serena decided it would be best to leave as well. "I will be back tomorrow for the sedatives. I advise anyone who wishes to use my plan to meet here as well." she said, picking up her bag.
Serena left the tea house and made her way to an inn, which she had a room in to stay the night. She rubbed her hands along her arms to warm them up as she walked.
Serena notices Clarissa leave as well, but thought nothing of the direction she took.

Slowly, as the night drew on and became older and older, the members of this misfit gang, be they mages, seductresses, thieves, thugs, or just an old man that smuggles some of what he smokes, soon fell to bed. All except one, that is. He was a massive man, Gerik, and more than likely was still shaking a hangover "cure", but he could take it like he had many times before. And he was told to deliver a package to the rich district. The district that made is a sport among the more eccentric to blind those who entered during the day. The district guarded not only by City Guards, but by Royal Guards and even Crystal Clan members. The district that housed Arthur Festige.

The streets were, luckily, black from rain and the light only revealed the path ahead. That is, of course, until Gerik reached the gates to the rich district, which had at least twenty torches around it, some of which were lighting up cannons or rifle positions. A man dressed in red plate armor approached Gerik as he came around a corner and yelled something indecipherable at him. He nearly body-slammed him, but noticed a tile on the package and instead turned around, yelled another indecipherable sentence, and walked back to the gate, the iron bars swinging open as he did. None of the soldiers shot or made any attempt to attack as Gerik came through the gates and into the district.

It did not take long for Gerik to find the home of Arthur Festige (partly due to the sign out front advertising that he lived there and that he was the owner of several building projects), and the knock on the door in the night caused a slight stir in the building, and a second pounding on the door caused a light to come on on the second floor, another brief stirring, and finally the door to come open, a slightly angry looking man in pajamas standing at the door.

He looked Gerik over, then sighed. "One of Jin's boys, I see. Jin always did like to keep up with old friends, always thought he was foolish. Old friends become new enemies fast..." He looked into the distance briefly, then studied Gerik some more. "You're... Daniel, right? Oh, doesn't matter, a thug's a thug..." He looked around briefly at the cold surroundings and nodded. "Oh, come in, come in. I know that you criminals aren't ones for the cold, all of the leather and fabric. I'm surprised you don't have one of Patrionone's little 'gifts' already..." He stepped back into the house, leaving the door open for Gerik.

"The name's Gerik, actually." Gerik said, mildly irritated, as he stepped foot within the enormous, luxurious home. He was unaware of the man's reasoning for inviting him inside, although he had no reason to reject his offer, not like he had anything else planned for the night. He observed his surroundings, keeping an eye out for anything worth stealing, then turned towards his host. "Nice place you have here..."

Arthur smiled. "Indeed it is, Gerik. Worked all my life to get here. Even worked with your boss, or at least friend, Jin. He was smart and all, but he just wanted to help people, never actually make much money." The man walked into a living room and turned on an oil lamp, filling the room with light. He took a seat on a chair and motion for Gerik to sit in the chair adjacent to him. "So, Gerik, you have a package for me. Let me see it..." He grabbed the letter from Gerik's hands and opened it, tearing the paper off. He examined the paper inside briefly, then looked in the envelope for a second before pulling out a small package. The light sent of flowers were given off by the letter and bag.

"Thank you for delivering this, Gerik. I look forward to doing more business with you... oh, and tell Jin I shall meet with him tomorrow at his restaurant, say, noonish? Good..." He examined the white fabric bag and nearly pushed Gerik out the door, then closed it behind him. He returned to the upstairs room, Gerik left for whatever room he was staying at in the city, and the light soon rose again over Atanlia, giving the rise to a new day.

Davarious awoke with his usual slowness. Awake again, at least the nightmares are gone now... He had not had a good night's sleep since the incident and to an extent, refused to allow himself one. He quickly pushed the thoughts of remorse to the side and focused on getting ready. He brought his pocket change, his guns and his pack. This time, he was coming fully armed and ready. His crossbow was in pieces, designed to be transportable and durable, he really lucked out with those bounty hunters so many years ago. Davarious took a look at his helmet. It had telescopic goggles with sights on it, used with the bow it was a deadly tool, it was obviously made to be paired as it had a notch on the left eye that matched with the groove inside the bow. The lenses were gradually more zoomed in, he could probably see the other side of the city if he had a decent enough view, though that was only for scouting purposes.

He looked closer at the flyer he had taken the day earlier. The man's name was Maltath, his last name unknown. A small looking man, the drawing made him seem threatening but Davarious could not shake the feeling the man was harmless. It mattered little, the man was to die and that was it. He put his secondary set of boots on and closed the door behind him as he left. The city was abuzz as it normally was. People walking quickly as to avoid pickpockets and thieves, he passed the same bounty stand and a new flyer had been placed where the one he stole used to lie.

The tea shop laid in front of him, he arrived early as to sit down with a tea, most likely Fleur would be late, which was fine. He welcomed the idea of at least a little company, and if he had to choose, Fleur would probably not be at the bottom of the list. Stealth would be the name of the game, as neither were proficient with a blade, though Davarious kept a dagger on the back of his boot. He would need to sit down with her and discuss her real abilities, they would be imperative.

As Davarious entered the tea shop yet again, he could hear Jin stirring in the back, he quietly waited and eventually requested whatever tea Jin could recommend, a curious fellow that Jin. He was almost certain that Jin did not trust him; but it mattered little, as long as he has a spot to sit and drinks to drink, everything was good between them.

A slight draft crept through Jin's tea house. Probably the door as it's hinges we're surely bent. Not that it was a true bother, though it was rather brisk this morning. The sun hadn't even been up an hour but Fleur had beaten the roosters when she'd awoken to prepare for the day. The mage let out a large yawn. She was the only one here, well save for Jin who was as she assumed, sleeping. Something she had wished to continue doing. It was free time though, notes she'd copied out of the book she gave to the old man last night we're on the table in front of Fleur. All just jots and such except for a highly detailed spell diagram. Everything tied into this diagram for casting. Without a real teacher though there was no way Fleur was going to be just attempting these highly advanced spells. "Maybe I should just steal the book back and sell it to the Elves. Could live the rest of my life in luxury...... nah, no fun in that". Fleur leaned back against a wall a wide grin returning to her face. She really had a kings ransom in her hands the past week. But simply handed it over for far less gold. Must be all the idiots she worked with that kept her around, they'd probably walk into the Royal barracks with sacks full of stolen gold if she wasn't there to offer the suggestion of not doing so. Well an exaggeration or a liberty of her imagination, she was an asset to the band that would be felt if gone though. Fleur rubbed her cheeks. She really was an idiot like them, or crazy..... like them.

Davarious entered the shop, evidently not noticing her hidden in the left hand corner closest to the door. Super early or not you always need to be observant. Another yawn from her took away the rooms silence. "For a man of stealth you certainly missed me Davarious".

Davarious blinked at the prospect of missing her, the irony of it made him crack a smile. "Looks like it might just be the two of us doing the old corner the rat routine. This could work, we just have to make them think there are more than two of us when we make our strike. For now, I have this."

Davarious walked over to Fleur's table and placed the flyer down gently turning it to her. "This man is our first target and our way in to the guard's favor. Before we go forward however, I need to know what your abilities are. All I know is that you are a mage of some sort, if we are to plan this together, we need to be aware of each other's abilities and trust each other enough with this information not to fear a back stab. So, what spells are you capable of?"

"A mage of considerable skill". Fleur grabbed the flyer, taking a quick look see before folding it to pocket size. "I'm capable of a myriad of spells from basic to more advanced types. But if you want to go off magical community classification types. I'd be known as a Lightning Mage. As I said though I can preform more than just what the classification would lead on". It didn't seem they'd be here much longer so Fleur began to gather up her notes. "I also gunfight and if you didn't know I gather information for the band". It seemed a bit strange he didn't know to much of her from at least Jin. Than again she did work alone most of the time. So her actual skill set would be uncommon knowledge even after the few years she's been here. "I already know about you. It's rather my job to, else I wouldn't be doing a very good one would I". Fleur finished cleaning up her things and packed everything away into a bag. "So did anyone else say they we're coming along, i did leave before most of the others"?

Sunrise was not the traditional time for a funeral. Nevertheless, as the first light of a new day spread over the city, Jin stood over a fresh grave and quietly uttered blessings for the deceased. The small, unmarked tombstone sat nestled tightly a midst dozens of others like it, obscured by the long shadows cast by the graveyard's more prominent monuments. Droplets of morning dew sparkled on grass and a cool wind rustled the leaves of a nearby oak. The world was quiet and peaceful, for now. Nearby, the burial man was gathering up his tools and brushing off his gloomy leather jacket.

His ritual finished, Jin opened his eyes and gazed solemnly at the tiny square of stone. He could match no name or story to the man who now lay there. One moment of chance, one decision, and now he was here in the ground instead of alive, somewhere in the world. Jin could not guess how the man's life would have proceeded had he not rushed an Inquisitor with a knife; perhaps he would have died tomorrow in an alleyway, or perhaps he would have lived long and prospered with a family to love and stories to tell. Now there would be nothing but this minuscule plot of dirt barely large enough to contain a coffin, and a blank tombstone that nobody would see.

Jin made his payment to the gravedigger and left, beginning the long walk back to his shop. Though it was chilly now, the sun was out and the wind was in the west. It would be a warm day, finally. He breathed deeply of the fresh sea air and smiled, turning his mind towards the day ahead. There was much to do.

~

Half an hour later Jin returned to the Broken Blessing and went about getting ready for the day. He said his prayer to Kala, watered the shop's various plants and put out food for the alley cats. Though it was still a bit too early for regular customers, the gang members started showing up soon enough. Fluer was there remarkably early with the notes that always accompanied her, followed presently by Davarious. They quickly got down to business discussing their plan.

Jin brought hot tea to their table, then returned to the cooking area and began preparing a hearty breakfast. The others would arrive soon, no doubt, and would need strength for the day's work. It wouldn't do for them to skip breakfast or just down a few mugs of ale like so many young people were so apt to do.

Clarissa woke before the sun, as she had learned she must to keep her identities as secret as possible. She felt it was best to hide in plain sight today, and chose her outfit accordingly. Red wig, a burgandy satin dress, simple in all but material, a small bit of lace at the hands, the bust cut high, but tight enough to accentuate her figure.

She left her home, dropped a few silvers in the beggar's gathering box, an old ritual, and told a few of the beggar's sleeping there that she was looking for the man in the wanted posters all around the city. She promised whoever could find the best information leading to his capture would receive a week's worth of meals, a day at Kala's Arms, and a change of good clothes, all paid for beforehand. They were old friends and knew they could trust her word, but she knew that the rumor would spread, whether she wanted it too or not. A woman in red, with red hair had offered the beggars a sizable reward for information on a simple man.

She left with her cloak covering her dress, her pants on underneath and a shirt held inside the cloak, her daggers in their traditional places.She took side streets and abandoned alleys to get back to Jin's Tea House. She saw Jin almost immediately, always in the same place in the morning, making a breakfast before his cooks arrived, as was his routine. A pot of water was already boiling in the front room behind the counter, with a dozen teapots already out, some chipped, others in perfect condition. She chose one that appeared to be covered in small hummingbirds and flowers, filled it with the hot water, and spooned in a basic tea to steep.

She sat with Fleur and Davarious as they discussed a man on a wanted poster. She set the teapot down, and arranged the seat and her dress.

"I have told the beggars to begin looking for this Destroyer we are after, they will be most forthcoming I believe. Most of them have their own network of informants themselves, so it shouldn't be longer than a week or two before we get something worthwhile."

Believing that the tea was done steeping a few minutes later, she took three cups and set them on the table. She poured herself a cup and added in a small bit of honey, nothing else.

"Who is this man on the poster you tucked into your pocket as I came in?"

Tom wasted no time in getting home, a two-room building, considerably smaller than the tea-shop where he did his business. He stood in front of the 'pharmacy', staring at the sign that decorated the top of the building. Belford Brews, he thought, was I high when I thought of that? Drunkards wandering over in the middle of the night, thinking it's a bar...
He shook his head, remembering he had work to do. As he entered, he heard the familiar 'ting' of the bell that hung over the door. He flipped the sign at the window from 'Closed' to 'Open' before walking past the counter into the back room. After dropping his bag on his cot, he sat down at his rather large and very full desk, put on his goggles, flipped up and closed his collar, and immediately began working.

Early next morning, Tom awoke at his desk. He'd long since finished Serena's order, and had been working on various other projects until he passed out, as he normally did. He wondered why he even had a cot as he walked over to it and picked up his bag. Tom quickly emptied out its contents, and filled it with a few things he might need: scrolls, empty flasks, spare bullets, chalk, a telescope, and various other things he though would come in handy. With that done, he grabbed his acid bandolier from the coat tree in the corner, as well as the vial containing Serena's sedative from the desk, and hurried out the door.

Tom burst into the tea shop with a huge smile on his face, though with the massive collar in the way, one couldn't tell from looking. "Good morning, everyone!" As he walked toward the table the others were seated at, he lifted up his goggles and looked around. "Is Serena here yet?"

Drevan woke up well before the dawn, as he usually did. He jogged around the town for 2 hours to loosen up, before practicing with his blades behind the inn. Keeping in shape had started to take more effort for him, and so he put more effort into it.

Finished with his morning exercize, Draven headed to the Broken Blessing to see if anyone had made a decision on which plan they were going to be using.

Draven walked through the door, nodded to everyone there, and poured himself a cup of tea from the pot, and sat at the corner table, where he could watch the comings and goings without having to turn.

Davarious responded to Fleur, "Nobody else volunteered but I think it might work better this way, if all we do is make them afraid, their jobs will be that much easier and it won't take too many of us. How much prep time do you need between spells?"

He then noticed Clarissa, of all the people in here, he trusted her the least. She was the only one who he had problems understanding. Still, no reason to leave her out cold yet. "It is our first job, something small to get us in with the guards, with his head we can prove to them that we are worth taking in."

The sun, ginger and vibrant, had just begun to shine across the expansive metropolis that was Atanlia, illuminating even the darkest corners of the massive urban sprawl with a dull, orange light. It was within in this magnificent dawn that Gerik stumbled into the Broken Blessing, a loud, obnoxious yawn marking his entrance. He was incredibly tired, having gotten lost in the prosperous distracts, and had undoubtedly spent the previous night in a ditch due to the amount of mud smeared across his face, although, regardless of his fatigue, appeared to be rather sober, a sight that would shock most familiar with the brute. He scanned across the room, spotting a handful of his comrades, though paid little attention or care towards any particular individual.

"Mornin', fuckers." He muttered, stretching. "I'm glad to see no one else got shot."

It almost seemed as though his statement had some truth to it. Almost.

"Mornin', fuckers." He muttered, stretching. "I'm glad to see no one else got shot."

Clarissa was used to Gerik's stumblings, but had never quite gotten used to him coming in filthy, didn't he know that she lived because of the clothes on her back, the hair on her head, and the damn powders, greases, and slimes on her face?

"Good morning Gerik. care for some tea?" She took one of the unused cups in the middle of the table and set it in front of him, and filled it from the teapot, though didn't add anything else, knowing him, he'd simply add his own little concoction this early in the morning anyways.

He was a bit of an ass, especially to her, but she'd spent years getting on the good side of men, and more than a few women, exactly like him. She preferred to think of him as no more than a long-term mark, it was the only way she could keep herself from puncturing his lung or doing something she knew she wouldn't regret later. At least until the guard started banging on her door.

"Either of you know,"She directed the question to Gerik and Devarious,"Approximately what a day over at Kala's Arms costs these days? I haven't been able to get to that side of town lately, last I knew it was six silver a man, eight if a woman."

She was referencing one of the more well-kept brothels and luxury company towards the higher-class part of the city. The place she had been born and raised until she was 16 and was asked to leave after she'd found much more fun and infinitely more coin from robbing the nobles and rich men who were too tight with their purse strings. She still had friends there, and an enemy or two, if those two were still there.

Davarious's eyebrow twitched, he had never been to a brothel and refused to go anywhere near one. He almost wanted to blow up at her but he calmed himself down and said a bit uneasily "No, never been to "that side of town", nor do I ever intend to." He was visibly irritated and while he knew why, he figured it would be best to stay friendly and took a deep breath.

He leaned back in his chair a bit and stared at the ceiling "If that is how you intend to get within the Destroyers, you can really keep me out of it. Gerick might know though." Davarious stood up and motioned at Fleur. "Come on, it is time to go, we need a bit more information and I know where to get it."

"Of course you've never been to that side of town, excuse me Sir Dulleyes. And to answer your question, it's just a way to get information, not how I'm getting in. I've got something much more special lined up for that."She smiled,brought the tea to her lips and a mischievous glint appeared in her eye.

Sure he's never been to that side of town before. What prickles his skin more, I wonder? The fact that I'm open to what I do for a living, unlike him? Or that I'm much better than him in getting into places?Maybe he just doesn't like women who are stronger than he is.

"I'm sure you do Clarissa, I'm sure you do."

It was not that Clarissa worked in the oldest profession, or at least used to that bothered him the most, though it did not help at all, it was that she was so openly arrogant and assuming that got to him most, as far as he had known he has always been asexual and her attempts at acting seductive did little but annoy him. He thought for a moment about killing that damned leader and it got him back to reality for a moment. A smirk came to his face somehow.

"When you get in to the Destroyers I might consider apologizing, until then I am free to criticize you all I want."

Gerik's morning greetings we're always a crudely colorful construct. "Go jump in a lake Gerik. The water can clean the filth off you, the leeches sap the poison within and maybe flood out that demon garden in your head". Fleur picked up her bag and strung it over her shoulder. "Than maybe you'll get to a position I won't feel the need to insult you for everything you are". She pulled away from the group, stopping at the door "Well, take it only as a suggestion". Fleur left the tea shop with a laugh that was near villain level. Why so many times the need to insult that man surfaced, she couldn't really answer. It was just her nature of superiority that drove it, or so she theorized.

"So where are we headed Davarious. Somewhere I hope Gerik won't find me for awhile. I'm sure he's steaming like a factory". Another small laugh was let out.

Outside Davarious looked in to the air again, This is where it begins Davarious, step one. The city was still moving at the rate in which it normally does, but a few people were gone now which gave Davarious the perfect leeway.

Davarious smiled back, "I would hope he does not follow us, could prove problematic."

THE MISSION, FOCUS ON THE MISSION

Davarious's smile dissipated and his usual dullness came back.

"Now, don't get offended but we need to capture a gang member and I know how. I want you to have a few spells cooked up and ready to go, I will disable the last one giving us the opportunity to ask a few questions about the gang our friend is in. Such as when they run and how they behave, answers the guards could never give us. You will act as bait, looking nervous and afraid until they jump you. Use some crowd control to kill off most of them and I will shoot the furthest one in the shoulder with my crossbow from long range. After that we take him to my place for a bit of interrogation. I scoped out an ally way when I first came here for this sort of business and I know a quick way back to my place."

This would be Davarious's test of Fleur's abilities as a mage, if she can't handle three or so idiots then perhaps working alone would be better, though he had confidence in her.

As they headed towards the ally way Davarious climbed up the rooftop and perched himself there. The ally was dark and damp, a casual gang hideout, too obvious for anyone distinguished but a good place to start for information. Even with the sun out it was still pretty dark, scum sure do love the dark. He pulled his goggles out of his backpack and began focusing in on the place where he figured at least one would show. He assembled his bow in his usual time, less than fifteen seconds and dipped his bolt in a toxin derived from a dangerous spider. His cloak began to flow a bit in the wind, a bit of the art was showing now. Davarious was back home. Just need a good leg or shoulder shot and this will all be worth it.

Daniel stretched as he sat up on his bed. The morning sky was already leaking through the half open inn window and a cool breeze wafted through the room chilling his naked form. Beside him, the whore he had taken to bed, shivered and pulled the covers higher to cover her exposed form. A jar that had once contained a warm mulled wine was scattered in pieces across the floor and Daniel could feel the effects of his night's activities.

Washing his face in the basin provided, he almost began to feel human again, the buzzing in his head, a hangover, was beginning to subside. The whore left the bed and began to get dressed; the left side of her face was turned away from him and when he let out a low moan and a yawn, she flinched at the sudden sounds.

Daniel looked at her and laughed with a little contempt mixed in. Taking some coins off of his dresser, he threw a couple to her. She caught the first one, but the second rolled under the bed. As she crawled under to retrieve it, he walked past her giving her a hard slap on her ass. She squeaked slightly and Daniel laughed as he walked out of the room. It was time for a breakfast and a pint of beer to wash away the headache that remained dulled as it was, in his head.

Fleur walked down the alleyway, dark even in the daytime. Now it was still as dangerouse in any of them if your in any of the 'worse' neighborhoods in this city. Dav was pearched above, ready to down the target. Still the whole plan was flawed and maybe it was because she was just testing the archer or that Fleur knew that if things went south one spell would be enough.... if a bullet didn't lodge itself in her head. "I'm going to have to teach that man that diplomacy can often be used in place of violence in these situations. Or coin, as they say money makes anyone talk given enough.

Fleur was in the 'innocent lost girl, unaided pose'. One hand clenching her cloak and the other on a pistols grip.

"Either of you know," She directed the question to Gerik and Davarious, "Approximately what a day over at Kala's Arms costs these days? I haven't been able to get to that side of town lately, last I knew it was six silver a man, eight if a woman."

"Too fucking much if you ask me, I've always been one for the cheaper girls myself. More scars on the discount broads, o' course, but I'd rather have the girls bleed as opposed to my wallet." Gerik said, bluntly.

The Professional had visited Kala's Arms quite a few times before, though rarely went there for pleasure, more often than he was there to act as muscle when the security found itself short a man or two. He had nevertheless taken time to indulge in the fine women and, while he enjoyed the experience immensely, his coffers were depleted soon after every excursion.

"Still, if you reckon that goin' there is the only way to get in with the Destroyers, I'm sure a pretty girl like yourself wouldn't have a problem gettin' in. I personally think we should just blow up the Destroyers' hideout along with several adjacent blocks, though, chances are we'd kill the bloody fellow we're after if we did. A lot of collateral damage, o' course, but that's part of the job, I figure. Occupational hazard and whatnot."

Gerik, in the middle of giving his input on the issue, paid little attention to Fleur as she insulted his poor appearance, aware that lashing out at the girl would inevitably lead to Jin scolding him on his poor manners once again. He sat in silence until she and Davarious departed and then turned to Clarrisa, sighing heavily.

"She's kind of a cunt, ain't she?" He inquired. "Davarium or whatever the fuck he's called ain't no fun, either, he's takin' all of this far too seriously. He needs a few drinks if you ask me."

As Fleur walked down the ally he saw a bit of rustling around. An ambush? Clever if so, the leader will be in the back most likely as any early retaliation would go straight to the grunts instead of him. Take him out of the fight and Fleur's job should be easy.

Within seconds five or so large looking thugs popped out of various trash heaps and windows. Most of them brandishing a club or some makeshift knife. One however; was a bit more averagely built and seemed to have a gun. Found you, newbie Davarious steadied his aim and locked in his goggles with his crossbow. The sights were aligned perfectly and he could hear some noise coming from the man who looked like a leader. "Look what we have here, not very smart coming in to my ally like this. No not at all. How much money do you have? Maybe you could buy your way out of being killed, would be a shame to mess up such a pretty face."

The five were all in front of Fleur until Davarious made his shot. A bolt flew through the air, though all the apparent leader saw was a new limb sticking out of his leg. He screamed in agony for a second until he fell to the ground, seemingly dead. The others gathered around the body for a second and Davarious yelled "Now Fleur!"

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