Author Topic: Snitch!  (Read 34 times)

Offline Ben

  • Knight of Brass
  • Battaglia Militancy
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Snitch!
« on: January 03, 2020, 02:41:34 AM »
Posted by Bass
Bass was in the same place he almost always was, when he was overseeing drills or inspections - in his office dealing with various paperwork and plans. He had a perpetually tired sort of look at a first glance, but looking at his expression and his posture suggested a more driven, focused person, whether or not fatigue was thrown in to the equation.
He had a lot of things to consider, a lot of things that needed doing, and countless complications to take in to account, with more that he wasn't aware of lurking nearby, he was sure.  He lifted his gaze from the papers he had been looking at, grimacing and rubbing his temples before exhaling a sigh.
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Posted by Ben
Well, there he was again, on a Marathon-like sprint from Uhr to the Choir. Sans getting tired enough to inadvertently drink horse spit. No, he took better care of himself this time despite the urgency. To the point where his meeting with Bass was delayed by a stop at the bath house to make sure he didn't smell like wet dog.

His request for audience was certainly less request and more demand this time. He knocked harder, three times again, calling out in a voice that was a far cry from his last visit to Bass' door.

"Conductor! I need a minute."
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Posted by Bass
His brow raised at the hammering on the door, leaning back in his chair as he pondered what the fuss was, and what made them presume this kind of thing would be acceptable. He indulged it for now though, his voice cutting the air like a whip crack as he spoke and prepared himself for whatever this was about.

"Come in."

He waited for the noise against his door to make its way from outside, to inside, regarding Ben with his brow raising further up his head - well this was interesting just based on who it was. He rested an arm on the arm of the chair and gestured to the seat on the other side of his desk.

"Sit down. What is this about?"
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Posted by Ben
"Aye, Conductor."

He wasted no time in sliding into the chair before Bass, giving him a cursory nod before glancing away, still willing to loosely follow some sort of formality.

"I don't mean to be rude, Sir, but I imagine we can't waste anymore time." He hadn't finished his sentence before he was fishing the bundle of parchment out of his front pocket, flipping through the pages until he came across the symbol on Sam's box.

"I'll start with the less important one only so it isn't forgotten. The demon that attacked the Manor? Hardly worthwhile, now. I hear- maybe not accurately- that you've asked for his head. I gained his trust instead. He's gone to further isolate himself, however-"

He was speaking so fast, all without looking at the Conductor aside from a second to place the scribbled serpent around the bundle of grapes before him. "He's looking for Aleksandr, and he's our next problem..."
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Posted by Bass
For now he was giving the man the benefit of the doubt as to how urgent this was, waiting to see how the information unfolded, his arms idle on the arms of the chair but for the occasional drum of his fingers as the report was given. The beast that had run amok a few times now - that was something he wasn't really expecting, but he made a note of the fact that Ben had documented some of this information down, and nodded his head sedately. It was not the top of his list right now, but he would certainly look in to it at an opportune time - he hadn't forgotten about it, not at all.

"I see."

And then Ben continued, and his brow rose as this continued, and the mention of Aleksandr came up, and that the mad beast was looking for him. Marietta favoured Aleksandr in some way (he suspected he might know that better than she did, or she was playing really badly at denial) and he was willing to lend the man some credence, given what he had been through since he had arrived in the Tapestry. He leaned forwards in his chair a little, as it was known to him that Shen and maybe others were looking for Aleksandr too, and he felt it would be best served if Marietta knew this new information first.

"Go on... Be comprehensive, please."
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Posted by Ben
"Right, I'll get to the point now." He dragged the picture back to himself, keeping it there, flipping to the next page so he could decipher the doodled notes he left for himself. There wasn't a word in the entire book, having not learned how to write yet.

"I found Aleksandr in Uhrwerkstadt's forest about four nights ago. Speaking to Azalie of Handel...Hadelsglide? Anyway, I'd say we got along on our trip bringing Gawain back, but when he saw me..." He shook his head. "Azalie was able to block him, somehow. Apparently a second Virtuoso's given her a task. And killed Alek... He's moving, but he isn't right anymore...as she put it, he's the 'Hounding that can cross thresholds.'"
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Posted by Bass
He inclined his head as Ben assented to getting to his point, listening as the information was imparted, some sort of malady having stricken Aleksandr, which by itself was regrettable but not really news-worthy, at least, not to him - the prima would have a very different view on this, no doubt. But the parts that didn't add up made him uneasy - why was this girl blocking him, and how? And more than that, the allegation that the man had been killed, and somehow raised in to service again as some sort of... Addition to the hounding? Did he still have the sword? That was enough to make him very anxious, his brow furrowing deeply, trenches carved in to his face as he leaned forwards now.

"You are telling me... The man is some sort of... Revenant now? Could it be anything else? Are you sure?"

The prima would be devastated, he thought. He would have to tell her, he couldn't avoid it... But maybe it would be better to hedge his bets for now, tell her that he had been sighted and that something was seriously wrong. It was not the whole truth, but there was no lie in it either. She was suffering as it was with lack of sleep and lack of... Something else he couldn't put his finger on. Telling her that this man, whoever he was to her, was dead and raised as some sort of ghoulish monster would be too much.
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Posted by Ben
"I don't know, I'm telling you as she told me. They were talking just fine before I made myself known..." He paused a "Reminded me a bit of when he first fought that demon. A lot of ashes and anger... I don't expect a close-quarters fight to go well with his fire. So!"

Each point was emphasized by him counting his fingers. "Azalie's gone to tame a beast that impresses the Virtuoso by the end of the month, this Virtuoso's after 'revenge and restoration', I believe. Not much else on that. And..."

He drew out the note, scowling before he looked back up at the Conductor. "Apparently the Hounds aren't really stopped by the painted doors. It's up to the Virtuoso."

He dreaded the massacre that could be should the Hounds be left to their own devices. As far as he knew, they weren't corporeal.
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Posted by Bass
"I see..."

His expression made it seem like it was hewn from gravel, rather than flesh and bone as he considered what he had heard - it sounded like a messy resolution was likely to be the only way. He had better get this information to Marietta first then, lest this weird interaction she had with the man cause her to slip off in to madness if he was killed.

"Revenge."

His expression became even more serious with that revelation, his marred eye seeming the perfect likeness of a stone statue as his emotive range and gesturing seemed to all fade away. Was this what Marietta was concerned about? Had they struck the first blow? The implications were staggering. For now there was no way to know, but a motive for this virtuoso that hid beyond their reach and bled them a day at a time was significantly more dangerous than the previous one, in potential scope of destruction.

"They aren't what?"

His tone had an acid bite to it that he hadn't intended, disrupted from his thoughts about the virtuoso by this clarification on the hounding. Could they really just walk in if they wanted? He had trouble believing all the different old wives tales that kept people safe in the hounding, but that one at least seemed to hold true. If all that was stopping them, was someone simply instructing them to raid houses... He felt his chest tighten in grim anticipation.

"How much do you trust this information? If it's true, I don't need to tell you... We could all be killed in a single night. They don't seem to tire, or even get injured. It would be the end of everything if all that stops them, is that they haven't been told to ransack homes..."
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Posted by Ben
"I'm aware. As far as trusting her, I don't know. We're near strangers, and I'm afraid I already made her uncomfortable enough to hide any signs of dishonesty."

He leaned back in his chair in a near-casual way he would never dream of allowing, had he been entirely 'there'. After returning the half-book to his pocket, his hand found its way to his jaw, resting there as he chewed his lip for a moment.

"Azalie doesn't seem too fond of her involvement in all this. But I doubt the Virtuoso is raising a foil for himself. I'm sure he has some use for her that we won't like...The reason I insisted our time might be ticking-- four days isn't too late to track, disregarding of course the restraints of the night, and then even if I did find her, then what?"

He was silent for a beat, yet still appeared on the verge of continuing.

"Sir, it's far-fetched, I know. But do we know of any true witches? Azalie has my tooth. And it's not unheard of for my kind to find such things, with a little human help..."
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Posted by Bass
"I appreciate your honesty, but I might have liked it more if you had lied a little, in this instance."

He probably would have known if Ben had lied, but hearing the woman was not a vetted person was not encouraging. Ben was though, and if he believed all this had merit, then he had to trust that it was, and that it would lead them to something meaningful.
He was silent, almost intensely so as Ben continued to rattle off information and speculation, none of it concrete in its use except one thing, but he would come back to that when the man was finished talking. Speaking of witches and the like made his expression twist slightly - he did not like trusting to magic and whimsical powers to get his job done, even if it was necessary sometimes.

"I do not know any such person, but I have a greater priority in mind right now. We know you have seen Aleksandr, and we know he is being looked for right now. He has a connection to this virtuoso that bleeds us dry a day at a time, and Azalie has some sort of connection too. We should secure her, before our foe decides to do whatever it is that is planned. If she knows something useful, she will be vital. If she does not, we hamper the virtuoso by taking a piece off the board, which is in itself valuable to us... The chance to strike back rather than just sitting here, waiting for the hounds..."
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Posted by Ben
He nodded, still as the Conductor spoke, half-hearing all he said until the end, the vaguest an command could get, perhaps.

"I'll find her, if that's your order."

He almost continued, visibly hesitating before settling back, looking to him for a confirmation.

He had his doubts on dragging her back. Surely it would hamper the Virtuoso...but would it be the best choice? Perhaps it would only enrage him to the point of letting the hounds out sooner rather than later, before they could come up with anything. If they had any more time, that was.

There was also the question, one he dared not voice, why? In this case, the houndsman did seem to be antagonizing the Tapestry, but had he always? What drove him to do it? Could the situation be mediated? An agreement made? Thoughts that led him to his secret sympathy for the first virtuoso despite witnessing her massacre first hand.

Had Battaglia made any truly good decisions, lately? Their cold Prima had sent the cursed man to die. For all he knew, she sent one man after the artifacts. One man that could easily die and not be discovered until some brigand made off with their prize. Had nobody been sent to scour the battleground for survivors?

Doubt soured the only small speck of pride he had for the guild. He didn't like to think himself disloyal, but he had never truly swore himself to them...

Perhaps the Virtuoso had a better plan. If he found her, he hoped Azalie would know.