The Great Game: A Fallen London RP (Started, closed)

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"What do you think of T.E?" Elisa asked as she crossed her legs, in an attempt of having a conversation with someone who was different to her in several ways. "I doubt we should trust him, only fools trust those embroiled in the great game, too eager to back stab each other. I suppose we might be able to garner some more information on him when we talk to Viola, depending on her state of mind that is, some come back from the boat not quite right." It was at this moment when Elisa blushed. "And now I have started waffling, I apologise." Kristina gave a reassuring smile.

"It's quite alright Elisa, I don't mind a conversation every now and then, helps to foster and bolster the relationship within the bosom of one's own heart. My thoughts on T.E. are that I neither trust him nor I distrust him; it is too early to tell on what side of the coin we should be standing on, if we should even be standing on it." Kristina remarked, her words sounding a little cryptic. She then pulled back the curtains on the cab, providing the ladies within some privacy from the world outside.

"You know Elisa, you are welcome to ask some me questions about myself; help us get to know one another."

"My family all died and I inherited everything, I traveled for a long time after feeling uneasy at my homeland and now I am here... Not much to say really... No idea why I was invited or how they found out who I was though..." the girl, Melissa, said. Ptolemy clucked sympathetically.
"Well, let's hope nothing like that happens to you down here." he said, somewhat at a loss for words. In Fallen London, people died all of the time, but never stayed that way for long. On the surface...

"Anyways, my apologies. Here's hoping you have a happier stay in the Neath. Now. I ought to elucidate on the nature of the place we're heading. We have scant minutes." Ptolemy said, then took a deep breath. "Mrs. Plenty's carnival is not like the surface carnivals I've read about. There is, on the surface, many similarities. A big top, a midway, a few rides. But it's like most everything else in Fallen London. Dangerous. Dark. Dirty. Mrs. Plenty herself I do not know, but she employs several fortune peddlers and charlatans in her business. One of these is whom we are seeking, a woman I've never met before, but heard people speak of. Apparently, she's privy to many things in the city through a network of cats, and uses this knowledge to make predictions. Our dear employer wants this network of cats for himself, through her. Who knows what she'll want for it. Which is why we're being sent. And that's about all your need to know, I think. Any questions?"

Ptolemy really liked the sound of his own voice sometimes. Rubbery only say and watched Melissa with his beady black eyes, tracking every movement. He pitied her, sure. But he trusted surfacers not a whit.

They seemed to be nearing the carnival. Traffic was getting heavier, and the hansom was forced to slow down. Melissa would have to be the first one out, due to their seating arrangement, and Ptolemy was looking forward to seeing her reaction. A carnival under the ground! Topsiders always found the idea strange, even stranger than the city itself.

"Who knows what she'll want for it. Which is why we're being sent. And that's about all your need to know, I think. Any questions?"
Melissa noticed their transportation slowing down and readied her hands on her two bags, as she would need to disembark before the other two. "I'm not exactly sure what good I'll be... I apologize in advance. However what are we going to do if she outright refuses? If our objective is to claim the familiar spy system or whatever the cats function as, we are limited as to what we can try to apply." Melissa sighed as they stopped "I guess over thinking such a foreign situation is little silly on my part. Sorry."

She reached a petite hand out and opened the door, stepping out with a bag and case in either hand. She didn't seem to take in the surroundings at all, instead focusing on Rubbery and the rat. "Lead the way, if you please." Melissa was slightly blushed, evidently embarrassed over her lack of helpfulness, or so it seemed. She turned away from them and looked around expressionlessly.

The sooner she completed this filthy ****s goose chase the sooner she would be secure again. She still had no idea how someone found her out, it was infuriating. It's not what the letter said, it's what it implied. Someone knows who she is, which means if they so pleased, they could tell anyone they wanted. So until her mission was complete or her 'boss' was mulched into giblets, she had to remain on a tight leash.

"I'm not exactly sure what good I'll be... I apologize in advance. However what are we going to do if she outright refuses? If our objective is to claim the familiar spy system or whatever the cats function as, we are limited as to what we can try to apply. I guess over thinking such a foreign situation is little silly on my part. Sorry." Melissa asked.

"That's what you're here for. It's traditional to offer a blood sacrifice when making this kind of deal in the Neath." Ptolemy said. A beat passed, then he started to laugh. "No, my dear. That is what my associate is for. He is most adept at procuring people's cooperation, so to speak. However, it shouldn't come to that. These people may be a bit strange, but they are businesspeople. We're offering them reattachment to an up-and-comer in the Great Game. I doubt we'll be turned down. As for your particular use, I am fairly certain our employer wouldn't hire someone without a purpose in mind. You must have some useful talents." he shrugged, and Melissa stepped out of the cab.
She seemed to not take in the carnival. Ptolemy sighed inwardly. He climbed onto Rubbery, who stepped out of the cab after her, still careful not to touch her.

"Ho hum. I do believe we should attempt to find this Miss Moonlight ourselves. The fewer people we tell of our objective, the better. I presume her tent will be somewhere near Madame Shoshana's. Perhaps we should begin our search there?" Ptolemy said, and directed Rubbery into the Carnival.
"Follow along, if you would. Not a whole lot of criminals brave enough to strike in Mrs. Plenty's, but it's easy enough to get lost." Ptolemy called back to Melissa.

"Follow along, if you would. Not a whole lot of criminals brave enough to strike in Mrs. Plenty's, but it's easy enough to get lost."
Melissa kept a firm grip on her things and followed closely behind the odd pair, she had no fear of being lost but really wasn't in the mood to waste time exploring. "I'll gladly follow your lead." Melissa kept her eyes on the rat and his odd mount/companion, occasionally looking around just to take in her surroundings.

She hadn't been to a carnival before. She felt a little twang in her chest, but ignored it quickly "No point, nobody comes alone to these things anyway..." she muttered under her breath. She wasn't sure what was bugging her, but she was getting slightly more upset as time went on.
"How far in is it?" She asked politely from behind Rubbery as they continued walking.

"It's quite alright Elisa, I don't mind a conversation every now and then, helps to foster and bolster the relationship within the bosom of one's own heart. My thoughts on T.E. are that I neither trust him nor I distrust him; it is too early to tell on what side of the coin we should be standing on, if we should even be standing on it." Kristina remarked cryptically and pulled the curtains to before continuing.

"You know Elisa, you are welcome to ask some me questions about myself; help us get to know one another."

What Kristina had said was true, but Elisa would rather not have to worry bout precariously balancing on the edge of the coin, having to find equilibrium with what information could be given in faith and what could not. If it all went wrong the coin that had been spinning unsteadily to begin with would topple and she would find herself crushed under either side unable to escape. However she was worried that she had already been trapped.

"Well then, you already know I'm a doctor, I guess we can start with what you do," She replied, half knowing what the answer would be.

Carnival Group

All around the unusual trio there were sounds and sights to behold. Large tents, merry music, and colors everywhere, giving the area the feeling of enjoyment and excitement. The carnival was filled with people of all sorts, children, gentlemen and ladies, rubbery men and devils, as the people in the fallen city have a taste for the entertaining and bizarre. Those who notice the small group didn't react much, as there certainly have been stranger things than a rubbery man, a rat, and a young woman there. However, a man in a red suit and top-hat approached them, the items in his hand those of someone who worked there. If described in one word, "Odd" would be a good one.

"Excuse me, miss," he said politely, ignoring the rat and the rubbery man, if only because he would rather talk to the human of the group. Those are usually easier to converse with. "Do you want to buy any tickets? I saw you, and I thought to myself; Walter, this lady looks like she needs a ticket, indeed she does." The man lifted the tickets to show what he was talking about. He then looked at the rubbery man and the rat, and added; "Good day, gentlemen."

"Well then, you already know I'm a doctor, I guess we can start with what you do." Elisa asked, sounding like she knew what the answer was; but wanted to hear it from Kristina all the same.

"A sensible question Elisa, I like that. Guess one way to describe it is that I am a hunter of sorts, though animals are not my bounty, people are, but specifically a special kind of person. Those who are corrupt, those who abuse their power and force a less fortunate person to do their dirty work instead. My job is to protect people who can't defend themselves, and make sure the bad people can't harm anyone again, permanently." Kristina said at first, taking a breath to catch up and think over her words.

"More often or not, this is done through a simple and clean kill, but I do occasionally find ways to accomplish a job in a more non-lethal manner. Some would say I am a killer with noble intentions, others say I am just another assassin; can't say I can blame them. Sometimes a good man must do bad things in order to make the world right, or at least to make it have some kind of sense. Though there is a reason for why I am here, or rather two depending on how you look at it." Kristina then let the words hang in the air for a few moments.

"Apologies if this all sounds depressing to you."

Sam hurried home. Though the weather wasn't too cold, she wished he had brought some gloves. Sam hated having cold hands, numb fingers made picking locks and pockets that much harder. He pulled her sleeves over her hands to keep them warm and hurried on, managing to grab a cab when he was around half way home.

Some time later a young woman stepped out of Sam's apartment, wearing a skirt and jacket and brown leather gloves, and hailed a cab. "To the Shuttered Palace," Sam said as she got on. She stared absent-mindedly out of the window as the driver cracked his whip and the cab rattled into motion.

Sam tried to think of ways to persuade Wolfgang in case he refused and wondered about her companion, Travian. He seemed like a nice enough gentleman. How far would he be willing to go to get the job done? Lost in thought, Sam didn't notice when the cab arrived at the palace. "We're there," the driver called and Sam snapped out of her thoughts. She got out and paid the man, then watched as the cab drove away.

It looked like Travian hadn't arrived yet and there was still some time left so Sam decided to trade some secrets with the palace cats. She snuck up on a silver tabby that was stalking a small sorrow-spider and grabbed it just as the cat was about to pounce on the spider.

"U-unhand me human!" the cat demanded, glaring at Sam.

"Shush puss, I only want to chat a bit," Sam smiled and scratched the tabby behind the ear.

"Well...I guess I don't mind a little chat," the cat said, "but know that you never would have been able to catch me if I hadn't been stalking that spider."

"Of course," Sam agreed.

"Alright," Collin said, "Where did your expedition take you? Most of mine were the jungles of Africa. So many fascinating creatures, plants, animals, and peoples. Did a large amount of botany myself."

The hansom drove onwards towards the University, the horse's hooves clip-clopping across the twisted cobbled street. The cab shook with a steady rhythm, though to Forsythia it might as well have been the sea rocking a boat or the steady step of a steam train as memories of the expeditions flooded into her. Shame they never got to Africa, it started with her father and ended with him. Though there was no use burdening strange gentlemen with that news.

"I'm glad to hear that." She replied with a forced chuckle, "Well, we went across Europe, mainly. Nothing like Africa!"

The hansom then shook with a sudden stop and the driver opened the door after all that recovered. As she was helped out, she slipped the driver his due for such a quick journey in one of the busiest cites in the world. A quiet, but gruff voice said, "T'ank you, ma'am." in response and the man quickly set about helping the other gentlemen out to a view of the gates of the University where Benthic and Summerset scowled at each other through large windows.

"Good day, gentlemen." a tall man said, after attempting to sell Melissa tickets.
Rubbery glared suspiciously and patted his coat pocket to make sure his gun was there. Ptolemy eyed him, but bowed graciously, adding, "How do you do."

They stood stiffly and waited for Melissa to react. It was her decision, even if she had nothing Neathy to pay for it with. Surface goods were valuable enough, most like. They didn't need tickets, probably, but going into a fortune-teller's tent without any might look strange. He thought for a moment. Either decision was reasonable. So he sat quietly on Rubbery's shoulder, and watched.

"Do you want to buy any tickets? I saw you, and I thought to myself; Walter, this lady looks like she needs a ticket, indeed she does."
Melissa looked at the man, she seemed fairly sullen. "I don't have any of the local currency... So I'm afraid I'm probably the wrong person to ask... Sorry..." she took a step away from the man and motioned to her two companions "If either of you want tickets, feel three though." Melissa smiled as she stewed inside. I look like I need tickets? You look like you need some sticking out of your eyes you goofy c**t. She managed to keep her brooding under the surface, the interruption was annoying her.

The Shuttered Palace in all its glory. It was no brass embassy but Travian got the feeling that devils worked with blank checks. This was certainly one of the classier districts in London, he made sure to refold his bandages into a cravat in order to seem more gentlemanly.

An old man was being mugged by a trio of street urchins further down the street. It was clearly too late to do anything for him so Travian simply strolled up to the scene and kicked one of the children in the back of the knee. The child yelped and fell to the floor. His friends turned to face his attacker but Tavian had already whipped out his switch knife.

"Ah Ah!" He warned them off, menacing them with the blade. They didn't seem to think it worth the risk and scooped up their friend and left. Travian was left to look over the victim. It looked like they managed to club him round the back of the head, judging by the pool of blood leaking from it. Seemed the man had died and wasn't quiet done with being dead yet... which meant that Trav could help himself to the poor blighter's walking stick. Now he looked like a proper gent about town.

He made his way to the palace itself, his new cane tapping against the cobbled street. The courtyard was quiet except for a young woman talking to an indignant cat. She was a pretty young thing from what he could see. Alabaster skin and excellent cheek bones, if he was a younger man Travian might have made an attempt to court her. In fact part of him was tempted to walk over and work out some of the old Childe charm, the kind that won him....wait.

"Sam?"

"How do you do."
"Well, just very well, thank you very much." He bowed, and turned to Melissa, who did not seem very pleased.

"I don't have any of the local currency... So I'm afraid I'm probably the wrong person to ask... Sorry..." she took a step away from the man and motioned to her two companions. "If either of you want tickets, feel free though."

"Oh, but miss, I do not think you understand. Without tickets, you cannot have fun here. Everything costs a ticket, two or five, from a trip further down to see the horrible wonders of the neath to the very accurate fortune tellers, to the mirror hall, to the tents where you can enjoy yourself in others company. It is truly wonderful, you should not restrict yourself. Not someone as young and beautiful as you, if you do not mind me saying so." He spun around once, just for the sake of letting them have a break from his chatter.

"As for currency, you are fresh from the surface, then? Yes, only a fresh surfacer would mistake that. You see, everything here has its own worth, if you have currency from the surface then it is more valuable down here, and items often have a lot of value as well. Seems like a fair deal, does it not? I will even show you around, should you decide to buy some tickets."

Collin stepped out of the cab.

"Never did much like going around in Europe. Not enough blank spaces, nothing that no one has seen before. In Africa, you couldn't go three feet before seeing what no civilized man has ever seen before!"

Collin started to walk to the University.

"It's been years since I went here. First trip was supposed to be a summer trip with the proffesor and some of his studnets to the Cape of Good hope, somehow we ended up in the CONGO a year later. Ohohoho, the ones who lived seemed so glad to get on the boat, they had to drag me on just to make me leave! I wonder if all Hickery still teaches here, I swear that man will never die."

Melissa drowned out most of what the man said with thoughts of jamming a knife in his head and asking how many tickets it was worth. When he finally stopped talking she placed her suitcase down and reached into her bag, pulling out a small purse and flicking 3 silver 1 yen coins at the man. "What does that get me then?" She asked as she took hold of her suitcase again, although to be fair, letting someone try and steal it would be a good excuse to let out some pent up anger...

"What does that get me then?"

He picked up the coins, and smirked. "A kimono and yen, you are from Japan, young miss, rare to see one of like you down here. For these, I will give you 15 tickets." He started counting loudly, every other number in Japanese. After having fifteen, he ripped those off and handed her them, bowing and taking off his hat as he did, revealing messy brown hair for a short second.

"Domo arigato. I trust you have something you want to try out? I will show you whatever it is you want to find, no matter how far. Well, as long as it is inside the carnival." He chuckled and stood straight up again. "So, where to, miss?"

Cyrpus grunted, and led the two down the alleys, a refreshing lack of Urchins made him smile even. He didn't care whether or not the two had a conversation, he drowned out every noise aside from his own footsteps. He retreated into his own mind, thinking of what he would do when he got there. Dueling would happen, that much was certain, but he wasn't sure guns and swords were convincing. A man operating under fear was an unreliable worker indeed. Still, perhaps the false Tomb-Colonist could help.
He noticed he sped up somewhat, and made it to the place first. It looked terrible even on the outside, the barest lighting through a cracked window and the cheers of the uncouth were the only tells that the place was even open. He sighed, and waited, looking through the window trying to see anything. Hopefully his cohorts weren't too far behind....

Melissa raised a hand to her chin in thought, making her handbag slide down to her elbow. "Hmmm..." After a short while of looking down she seemed to have thought of something. "I simply would love to see a psychic first I think, any suggestions?" she gave the carnival man a sweet smile as she stewed inside. She's lucky she even got a glimpse at the letter after the misfits she was with scooped it up so fast. "I heard someone mention a Ms. Moonlight or something similar... Is she a psychic? They sounded pretty happy..." Melissa figured this would probably work faster, the sooner she was done with this chore the sooner she could do something interesting.

"I simply would love to see a psychic first I think, any suggestions? I heard someone mention a Ms. Moonlight or something similar... Is she a psychic? They sounded pretty happy..."

"Ah, Miss Moonlight, she is absolutely delightful. Wonderful, beautiful, and with a mysterious smile. Albeit," he looked at Ptolemy. "She is very fond of cats. However, we have never got a customer complaint about those, so it should be fine." He smiled, and motioned for them to follow, leading them through the crowds. Every time they passed a tent, he told them what kind of exhibit that was inside, and how amazing each one of them were. It lasted until he reached a purple tent, which he stopped in front of. He opened it slightly, to check if she was busy, and then closed it, without allowing any of them to look inside. "She is ready. That will be six tickets, two for each..." He hesitated, but shrugged.

"Person. Just give her them before you talk to her, and you should be fine. Do you want me to wait for you here, or can you manage to find other places yourself? If so, go ahead."

"Do you want me to wait for you here, or can you manage to find other places yourself? If so, go ahead." the man said, acting quite strange about allowing them to see into the tent. Rubbery found it alarming. It was ambush behavior. He reached into his inside breast pocket, and simultaneously retrieved a handkerchief and his derringer. He wiped his tentacles for no real reason anyone could see, and allowed the gun to slide a small ways down his coat sleeve, where it stayed. Perhaps he was just paranoid. But paranoia had saved him before.

Ptolemy saw his friend's strange- from an outside perspective- actions, and understood what he was up to. He answered the man during this operation, hopefully covering any faint noises Rubbery made.
"No, I believe we can find anything else we need. Thank you very much for your aid, good sir, and good day." he said, with a half-bow.
"Now, dearest Melissa. I do believe you ought to go in first, seeing as you do have the tickets. Rubbery and I will follow, posthaste." the rat said, turning to Melissa.

Melissa reached back, handing tickets to Rubbery and the rat, making sure to lightly touch them with her hand while doing it. Avoid that you filthy shits. Melissa smirked and turned around "Excuse me... Are we allowed to come in now?" Melissa asked through the still closed entrance. Might as well put on a polite act, Melissa was fairly sure any of her other useful abilities would result in them failing. The fact that the man sealed it up before she could catch a look in was also bugging her. "I think it would be better to be let in personally, intrusion is rather rude, don't you think?" Melissa smiled warmly at her two comrades and took a step away from the entrance in case someone would come through or open it.

"A week or so ago one of the cooks went insane. I heard it was because he was searching for...the name!" the cat gossiped, pausing for dramatic effect near the end.

"The name?" Sam asked, feigning interest. She had hoped to hear something about Wolfgang, not a cook going bonkers.

"Of Mr. Eaten," the cat said quietly, "Anyone who has ever looked for it has suffered terribly."

Sam frowned. She didn't have time for this but she had to admit, it was somewhat intriguing.

"Sam?"

Looks like her companion had arrived. She knelt down quickly whispered a secret to the cat, one about a player having returned to the great game, but didn't tell the cat the who it was or might be.

"Were you expecting someone else?" Sam stood up and asked with a charming smile.

"Excuse me... Are we allowed to come in now? I think it would be better to be let in personally, intrusion is rather rude, don't you think?"

The person/people inside did not answer at first, but the sound of someone approaching them swiftly could be heard, before the tent was opened by a woman with long, curly black hair, wearing colorful clothing and jewelry. She smiled when she saw them. "I have been waiting for you. Come in," she said. "I am the one you are searching for. My name is Rosemary Jones. So please, enter." She opened it completely, revealing not much except for a small table with some chairs around, a few decorative items that might be something more, and a box. However, all around, there were cats of all sizes and colors, them entering from a small hole in the side of the tent.

"The tickets goes into the box, by the way. And do not mind the cats, Ptolemy, they have promised to stay away from you."

"Apologies if this all sounds depressing to you."

A noble killer? It sounded like an oxymoron, but she could see how it made sense from Kristina's point of view. There were certainly undesirables in the Neath, most of which would do more good dead than alive. But it was still just on person's point of view, heavily steeped in bias at that.

"I'm mean no offence, nor do I disagree with your argument. However, the kill only removes the person in question. But what happens to the 'less fortunate' person? He loses his job, his income and any means to support himself or his family. While he may have been employed by a corrupt scoundrel, it still gave him a living; if he truly despised it he would have found work somewhere else. Fallen London is not lacking in that respect.

If that person was being blackmailed then it solves nought as well. Cutting of the head does not always kill the body. It creates a vacuum of power where someone crueller and more corrupt, someone kept in check by the last leader, may step into the fray. Causing more conflict and strife then the last. I'm sure you know the saying "better the evil we know, than the one we do not?" Unless you do something to better the lives of the victims, then you yourself are the cause for their suffering.

But, those are all what ifs and what may bes, it would better if my argument was based on something other conjecture, no? And I'd rather not play the devil's advocate"

Allen was a bit insulted the tomb colonist didn't respond to what he had said. Then again neither of them looked like the talkative kind, not that he really minded. Allen slowed down a bit walking in between the tomb colonist and the clay man. He began wondering about Forsythia, he hoped she was alright. He would check on her later, she was one of the nicest students he had ever had.

Allen caught a glimpse of a woman wearing a white dress, she smiled at him and then ran around the corner. He just shrugged and kept following the tomb colonist. The place looked terrible to say the least. There were cheers coming from inside, and a bit of light too. "What are we going to do now Cyrpus?" Allen asked softly as he joined him.

Kristina was a little taken aback, but could somewhat understand where Elisa was coming from with her counter point. Her job always meant that there was the opportunity for some fallout to occur when taking the life of another; damage that she had caused, albeit unintentionally. She always saw herself as a good person, even if her methods were morally questionable. Perhaps this is how her father felt back when he was doing this job.

As the carriage pulled them through the tight city streets, the snow had stopped falling, but the nature of it would mean that it was going to stay for a while, a couple of days, maybe a week or two, who knew. Whilst at the moment Kristina had nothing else to say on the subject, she was curious about one thing regarding Elisa.

"So, how have you fared as a doctor Elisa?"

"So, how have you fared as a doctor Elisa?"

The abrupt change in conversation topic did not surprise her, she realised she may have been a bit harsh in what she had said, but there was no point sugar-coating it. What Kristina did, no matter how noble her ideals, had consequences; unforeseen ones for sure, but they were still there. If she continued to act like they weren't there, things would only get worse, not better.

"Swings and roundabouts I'm afraid. Disease is the biggest killer on the Neath, true death that is and those who can't afford the medicine are the biggest victims. I know it's a terrible thing, especially when I could help, but I am not a charity.

Most people already have their own physicians and others employ the help of F.F. Gebrandt's Tincture of Vigour.

So I tend to spend my time around those new to Fallen London, who have yet to master travelling by rooftop, or the ruffians who unprepared try to traverse The Flit. On occasion I get the odd Black Ribboner who needs some stitches done or a broken bone looked to. In fact, thanks to this bizarre snow business has picked up."

The cab came to a stuttering halt, skidding over some of the frozen snow until it came to a complete stop outside the Fallen Angel.

"I believe we have arrived"

Forsythia nodded, letting the gentlemen go off about blank spaces in maps or something like that. She followed him while he walked to the University but at a faster pace and arrived at the reception. She rang the bell and awaited the arrival of the formidable receptionist. Not to mention waiting for Collin to catch up. This was not the time for prattle about past adventures. There was one in progress after all! She sat down on the chairs provided and watched the students walk in and out, the wealthier Summerset students stood out with their polished shoes and suits, while the horns of those form the Benthic students awoke memories of that Devil she had encountered before she knew anything about Fallen London...

Elisa began to talk about her work as a doctor whilst the cab continued to trundle its way through the city streets. She was about finished when the cab came to a sudden halt, which almost threw Kristina from her seat, but fortunately she managed to grab a hold of the door at the last moment. Kristina poked her head out of the curtain to see where it was they had stopped, sure enough it was the Fallen Angel Tavern.

"I believe we have arrived." Elisa said in response. Kristina slowly got out of the cab, taking care that she didn't slip on the snow and fall over; and then set about helping Elisa out as well, thinking that it would be a kind thing to do. She then turned to face the driver who was blowing into his clasped hands to help keep them warm.

"Driver, could you wait for us here for about a quarter of an hour please; there a few things that we must get before heading onto our next destination." Kristina asked politely, the driver soon turned his head, his breath forming clouds as he spoke.

"Sure miss, I may have to charge a little extra though on the account of time."

"Not a problem, like I said we shouldn't be too long." Kristina remarked as she pulled out a pair of ornate looking silver keys with a different pattern; one was a key for getting into the building, whilst the other was to the apartment itself.

"Come along then Elisa, lets go get yourself equipped for the journey ahead." Kristina then added as she walked over to a building that was situated next to the Fallen Angel, and with a simple turn of the first key, the door opened and she stepped inside, gesturing Elisa to follow.

As they entered, a orange glow from the candle light above was there to greet them. Kristina put the first key back into her pocket and proceeded to head up the stairs, and patiently waited for Elisa to arrive up on the second floor before using the other key to open her apartment door.

Kristina stepped inside, and hanged up her long coat on a nearby stand.

"What do you think?"

"Were you expecting someone else?" Sam stood up and asked with a charming smile.

"Some one less ravishing maybe." Travian laughed. Took all sorts he supposed. Especially when it came to down here beneath the earth. What was a little cross-dressing between acquaintances? Unless this wasn't cross-dressing, he was still trying to get his head around what Sam might be. Travian could never quite get a good enough look at them to be able to tell what gender Sam belonged to.

"Well here we are." He motioned at the palace around him. "What say we find our man and see what makes him tick?" Travian said offering Sam his arm. "Madam."

Arreck had remained silent throughout the walk, assuming his companions would be far better at planning this venture than he would. Eventually they stopped walking and began to discuss sparring and other things before one them asked what they were going to do, prompting Arreck to finally speak.

"The one known as T.E said our targert would likely be drawn to good fight or perhaps a game of knife and candle. We could make our way to the Medusa's Head and start a brawl or maybe inquire about his whereabouts. Thought I am unsure if they will speak to strangers easily..." Arreck leaned on his walking staff and fell back in silence, as if the speaking had taken a great deal of effort.

Collin turned the corner, coming into the reception office.

"There you are!" Collin said, "You thought you escaped me, didn't you?"

He sat down besides her.

"Nothing has changed, the receptionist never is at the desk, I wonder if..." Collin turned back to the desk, "Mrs. Fanstein, my Heavens it's been years!"

The old receptionist just glared at him, remembering Collin well.

"What say we find our man and see what makes him tick?" Travian said offering Sam his arm. "Madam."

Sam laughed as she accepted Travian's arm. Manners weren't something Sam often encountered in her line of work. Respect perhaps, if you were good, but not manners. It was...refreshing.

"I've never been to the shuttered palace before," Sam remarked casually as they headed towards the front entrance. "At least not during the day..." She smirked, recalling a old job she did years ago.

Inside the palace it was dark and the people moved about quietly. "Where do you think we'd best start our search?" Sam asked looking around for someone to ask for directions.

Mrs. Fanstein glared at Collin then glanced over to Forsythia. "So what nonsense has he gotten himself into now, and how did you get dragged into it, dear?" she said with disdain.

A group of students ran past, and instantly slowed as the receptionist turned her icy gaze on them. However, it was easy to hear their pace quickening again as they rounded the corner. Mrs. Fanstein sighed, sat, then turned back to them.

"Now what can I help you with? I take it you're looking for someone or something?"

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