A Hideaway For Joe - RPLOG
The late summer light glints off the window panes of the front office of Burkes & Burkes furniture and home suppliers. The business appears well maintained and well it should, considering its affluent clientelle. Out front stands a grizzled looking old tomcat in the dark coat of the Spyguard. He looks over the approaching freeswords with a descerning eye. One, discerning eye. The other is clouded with a milky film. "We all here then?" he rasps before spitting on the ground.
Having noticed the request regarding the creator thief posted on the freeswords job board, Sara quickly makes her way to the office spoken of in the posting. Eventually the lizard woman arrives and looks around and notices the Spyguard tomcat. Figuring him to be the one that had made the listing she walks over to him and asks, "Are you the one that called? What do you need?"
Cassidy had been walking towards the manor with her love, when it turned out something exciting had happened after all! Or might happen! Either way, the fennec adjusts her mask and decides to take the pair on a little detour to investigate! "Amos? My, my. I'm surprised to see you here out of the shanties."
Jera makes his way into the shop, bearing a glittering, polished noble soul gem this time! Displaying it proudly too, in an ornate amulet on public display. "Good evening, my friends." The kit fox bows politely.
Thelergramor yawns, stepping up behind the rest with his full assortment of weapons and gear. Still hell-bent on finding the fugitive. Was advised against killing him, because those pansy Creators will execute any being for killing a Creator. For any reason, apparently. He caughs within his mask, adjusts his hat. "Right, hello."
Natska arrives on the arm of her dear Cassidy, tail swishing as she thinks through her prior encounters with Joe's trail. "Burke's. Where lady Blackback got that projector..." she murmurs to Cass. She gives Amos a polite, if slightly wary, nod, and Jera and Sara get small waves. "Yes, it looks like we are all here," she replies to the spyguard. "What is going on?"
The ragged tomcat gives Cassidy a lopsided grin that shows off one disproportionately long fang. "Old Amos goes where he's told, Lady Solacious," he rasps, "And tonight it's this glittery heap." The old veteran spits again.
"Now listen up," the spyguard says, "Cause I'm only sayin' all this once an' I don't repeat myself." The tomcat pulls a key from an inner pocket of his coat and carefully unlocks the door to the warehouse before stowing it away again. "We're lookin' fer a bolt hole here in the warehouse where a certain fugitive might be holin' up. We don't touch nothin' in here that don't need touchin. You find anything, you holler. You find a bolt hole, you don't open it, you don't go in it, you don't say nothin' til you say it ta me. Got it?" He turns his milky eye on the gathered beings. "We're lookin' fer a hidin' place, not trying to catch the fugitive!" he says, "So do not engage, and fer the love of Good, don't go breakin' nothin!"
Sara glances to both Natska and Cassidy as the two show up and gives both a wave, "Hello, you two." she calls to the two. Afterwards she opens her mouth as if attempting to continue to speak, though closes it as Amos offers his warning, and the briefing, "Right. No breaking the stuff, or opening the creators hiding spot." she repeats the tomcat's instructions before continuing, "Now, a question if I may. Is there a reason why we're not to open the bolt hole?" the lizard asks, her tone neither aggressive, or annoyed, simply one of curiosity.
Cassidy tips her hat towards Sara before nodding at Natska. "Mmh. Yes, I remember it now." She looks back towards Amos and tilts her head. "Well! That doesn't sound very exciting at all, but I suppose I could have a little tea party or something. I'll try to adhere to those guidelines, yes."
"Sounds like a plan." Jera wastes no time entering the warehouse, starting his search and staying close to the walls first.
Thelergramor mock salutes the cat, stands at attention. "Pfft." Thel drops the gesture. He shakes his head, chuckles. "Lighten up. I won't break anything. Unless it needs breaking, of course." He teases Amos, coughs again. "I'm joking. Probably. Still, don't sound so serious." His hands go to his pockets, follows in after Jera, grinning like an idiot behind his mask.
Natska's ear flicks, and she gives Amos a nod of assent. "Noted. Thank you. And I am sure if it were boring, Cass, they wouldn't have needed Freeswords."
Amos nods at Sara. "Y'ever see one o' these?" he asks, producing what is unmistakably a Creator Scorcher. "This beastie ken set a being alight at a hunnert paces," he rasps, "An' I'm told it is a broken toy." He looks seriously at the beings around him as he starts to move cautiously into the warehouse on silent feet. "We just ain't ready to catch a fella as might burn through us with a thought," he says, "So this is just reconnaissance." The tomcat stows his frightful weapon and fixes his good eye on Thelergramor. "I've got an eye on you Thelergramor Alverriss," he says, "Don't doubt that."
The warehouse is quiet and empty. Rows of shelves are filled with everything from penny nails to fine crystal baubles. The place is impeccably clean, which means that searching the floors is no problem, but there are not likely to be any traces to follow.
Looking the scorcher over, Sara mumbles a soft, "Huh.." before shaking her head, "No, never seen it.. had a chance, but.. well, I'd rather not talk about it." she ends with an embarassed cough and shakes her head, dispelling the thought, "Anyways, I'll keep that in mind. Fine." Making her way into the warehouse Sara's eyes immediately go wide as she's sidetracked by the amount of shiny things, "Wow.. wonder how much this stuff is worth.." Sara asks aloud as she makes her way further into the building, her eyes occasionally going to the property.
Cassidy clicks her tongue and nods. "Scorchers aren't so bad. I think they're kind of crummy, honestly. Nothing I couldn't do worse with a bit of fire magic. And I suppose you're right, Natska." She withdraws her tea flask from a cape pocket as she wanders into the building, casually glancing around the place and lifting the chin of her mask just enough to take a sip.
Jera peers, noticing some things out of place. He points towards the suspicious areas. "Some of the wares have been moved. Hastily, too. They weren't lifted about. Start your search there, maybe." He heads to one area first, pulling out a few crown from his pouch and tossing the coins to mark the other areas that he found.
Thelergramor shrugs, his laugh interrupted by a cough. Doesn't ask how Amos knows his last name... Must have got it from Flora, or overheard it the one time it was used. Spyguards. Makes note of the shiny things; assumes they are valuable, but with Amos watching him... "...Probably a lot, Sara." His hands remain in his pockets. Then, he follows Jeras instructions; searches a different spot, considers picking up the dropped coins...
Natska follows the rest of her allies into the warehouse, although when Jera points out an area of interest she begins her search by closing her eyes. She mentally runs through some of the most basic air maths she had picked up, and then opens her eyes and raises a hand. A faint trail of neigh imperceptible mist drifts from her fingers, tendrils reacting to the faintest currents in the air as she searches for signs of the hidden bolthole.
"Hands off the merchandise, kiddies," Amos growls, "Yer pay will be generous enough." He prowls through the aisles, good eye flicking to and fro at the shelves and walls and floor. The old Tom nods at Jera and strides over with a bit of a limp to examine the area. "Looks like there're a few spots," he says, following Jera with his gaze.
It's true, Jera's search has marked out six different large shelves and bins of various products. There is a bin filled with decorative iron railings, a pair of cases holding fine crystal bits, a rack of many different patterned wall papers, two more bins hold long coils of wicker for weaving.
While Natska's whispy tendrils of air magic do not seem to have any great effect on the room, they do manage to set a collection of crystal chandeliers swaying on their hooks, sending a gently tinkling noise through the room.
"Y-yeah.. yeah.." Sara calls over her shoulder as she overhears Amos, following it with a brief dismissive wave, her attention apparently neither on him, or the mission, her crimson gaze now falling upon a golden doorknob upon the shelves. Looking over her shoulder to see if anyone had been looking, Sara reaches a trembling hand out of the cloak and reaches for it, imagining how many crowns it would be worth all the while. "I'll.. uh.. I'll be there.. shortly." The hand does however drop back to her side, followed quickly by a disgruntled curse, and the words, "You ain't a thief.." before walking away from the golden treasure.
Cassidy strokes her chin and tucks the flask away before lowering her mask again. "Hmm." She glances over at the wall for a moment, before Natska's air magic draws her attention to the chandelier. She makes her way over to investigate! And curses her stature. Normally it might not be an issue, but she has to kick up a bit of air magic of her own. Nothing significant, just enough to hoist her gently off the ground so that she may better examine the object.
"That's...odd. You seeing this, Natska?" Jera notices the feline look up at the same time. "The way the chandelier is arranged with the scratch marks..." He scratches his ear, unable to make much sense of it.
Thelergramor blinks, clearly noting something is off about the east wall. "Amos, east wall. Break it down?" Doesn't like having to ask, but he does, patting his axe. "Something is wrong with it...Shelves moved around and shit." He scratches his neck, walks over to the wall; knocks on it, checking if it's hollow.
Natska frowns faintly to herself, shaking her head. "I don't think there's anything behind there," she answers quietly; instead she points at the scratch marks, then over where they had come from. "And yes, Jera, Cass... it's arranged together. Chandeliers over the other bin of crystal goods, except for the bin that isn't normally there." She smiles, and nods towards one of the two bins. "I would start by looking underneath that one, Amos." She begins walking towards that area as well. "Hmmm... think there may be another projector in here?"
"What did I say 'bout breakin' things, wolf?" Amos snarls quietly, "An' a solid wall ain't a bolt hole." The tomcat stalks over to the wall and the bins that Jera and Natska are examining, looking back and forth between the two collections of crystal. "Whaddya mean, projector, kid?" he asks Natska.
The chandelier seems to be perfectly normal, though it is rather difficult to reach it where it hangs. Usually, the space under these would be kept empty for easy construction. Perhaps they had halted production on the chandeliers?
Moving her brief attempt at thievery aside, and quickly forgetting about it, Sara makes her way to the others and glances over to the things each had been looking at. Most notably the bins of crystals, "Huh.." she mumbles to herself as she reaches out and prods the left-most bin with the barrel of her musket as if she had been some untrusting hick farmer. "Hrm.. somethin' seems odd about yah." she mumbles to herself as her crimson gaze carefully looks it over, "Hey.. anyone wanna peek at this here bunch've crystals?" she calls over her shoulder, "I can't quite put my finger on it.. but it looks.. odd.."
Cassidy peers over at the barrel of odd crystals and hums before poking haphazardly at the chandelier in various places. She doesn't find it too suspicious, but she doesn't trust it. Maybe poking about will make something happen. She takes care not to break it, though. "Certainly does look kind of odd, yes."
Thelergramor shakes his head again. "Why do you think I asked, cat? Bolthole refers to any hidden compartment; could be one behind this wall. Or, not. Not hollow." Mumbles to himself; 'Probably not even a cat; damn kitsunes...and their...things...' He coughs again, heads over to Sara; "Right. I've got nothing. So, crystals. Right." The wolf, peers at them, pokes one.
Natska frowns, watching as her friends begin examining the area. "Lady Blackback had purchased a chandelier from here," she explains to Amos. "It came with a creator device. It put pictures in the air; poor lady Lucretia thought her manor had been haunted." Seeing Cass at work with one bin, she wrinkles her nose and approaches the other, kneeling next to it with a hand out on the bin to steady herself as she looks at the marks in the floor.
Amos does not bother giving Thelergramor an answer except a snort of contempt. "Everyone knows Kitsunes are foxes, wolf," he rasps, "Quit showin' off yer stupid." The feline looks between the two bins of chandelier crystals with a frown as he listens to Natska's explanation. After a moment he nods and hold out a hand to the leftmost bin. "You may be right, girlie," he says and begins to mumble something incoherent. For a moment, nothing happens, but then the bin winks out of existence, revealing some sort of device topped with a clear crystal orb! A vague, purpley haze seems to surround the device, and the vague sense of discomfort that some of the party felt before suddenly intensifies and the urge to leave this strange thing alone is almost painful to resist!
After standing back momentarily to let Amos pass by Sara looks to the tomcat as he begins to speak, "What're you talkin', then?" the lizard asks bluntly as she looks from the cat to the chandelier. Her answer coming quickly as she looks to the odd purple device, "Well I'll be damn--.." her sentence briefly cut off as the wave of discomfort washes over her. It does however pass with a brief shake of the head, and as she had done before, the purple crystal is prodded at, "So.. what is this?" she asks Natska, "You sound like you've got experience in.. this.. right?" she asks with a wave to the odd orb, gesturing to the creator artifact.
Cassidy glances down at the device and narrows her eyes. "What is that? I don't like it. Let's remove it." She gives her gloved hands a little shake before reaching out to see what happens when she touches it!
Thelergramor rubs his mask, purple light making his ears twitch. "More creator shit. Wonderful." Given that every other time Creator stuff has tried to kill him; barring that 'sacred doctor', the wolf scowls at it, keeps a hand on his blunderbuss. Approaches it slowly... Keeps his blunderbuss on it.
Natska freezes in place, completly and utterly motionless as she stares transfixed at the orb, eyes widening. She inches away from it, slowly, very slowly, and as she does so her hand slips behind her back and begins filling with razor-sharp shards of ice.
"No need," Amos rasps, holding out a hand to forestall Cassidy's tactile investigation. He points silently at the ground beneath the device where a large trap door rests. "Don't know how he got all this in place so fast," he says, "But I think we've found his hideaway. The ragged tom waves everyone back and hold his hand out again, chanting quietly. "Initiate previous program, protocol seven gamma theta, end line," he murmurs. Must be some sort of Creator spell! The illusion of the crystal bin snaps back into place and the wave of fear and discomfort lessens to bearable levels. "I think we know a bit more than we did, eh boys and girls?" Amos rasps, turning to look at the rest of the beings. "I recommend you all keep this under yer hats fer a few days," he says, "We may be needin' you again soon." The tattered feline points the way to the exit.
"Uh.. alright." Sara mumbles under her breath as she looks to Amos as the tomcat leaves, "You.. uh.. you can count on me keeping this quiet." looking to Natska next she pads over to the visibly terrified jaguar and gives her shoulder a friendly pat as if attempting to comfort her, "Figure this is.. a success then?" she asks the leaving tomcat before leaving Natska's side and making her way to the doorway, stopping only briefly by the doorway to give the chandelier a glance over her shoulder.
Cassidy narrows her eyes a little as the device is reduced in its effect. She withdraws her hand and glances at Amos. "Just full of surprises, huh?" She looks over at Natska and frowns. She changes her priorities and makes her way over towards Natska. "Hey, you alright? You want to get home?"
Thelergramor grumbles something. Backs away from the creator-thing. Releases his blunderbuss, letting it hang from his shoulder. Walks back out, coughing again, he shrugs as he passes Sara. Waits just outside the door to see where the others go, a little disappointed they aren't checking the bolthole now. He'll get over it.
Natska slowly relaxes as the illusion slips back into place. She gives her head a little shake, and then shakes it again, flexing her fingers and letting her collected ice-daggers drop and shatter on the warehouse floor, to quickly melt. The jaguar rolls her shoulders, and then gives Cassidy a nod. "Yes. Yes, I am fine. It was... it felt... like that day we met P- like the day we met the Lady. Only worse. Unnatural." She gives the bin a narrow-eyed glare, then turns to leave the warehouse, holding out an arm for Cassidy. As she goes, her tail curls up and flicks.
Amos shakes his head at Cassidy. "Not good enough tricks," he grunts, "I could turn off the image, but the thing seemed to make its own malaise." He slips his hands into his pockets and follows the others out, carefully locking the door behind him. "You have my thanks," he rasps, "And the Crown's" The tattered tomcat produces a full pouch for each of the beings present. "Your fee, as promised," he says, then turns and walks off down a darkened alley, his footsteps fading in the sound of the rain.
Cassidy takes Natska's arm and nods, smiling. "Yes, I know what you mean. It was... Pretty awful. But let's not dwell on it. We'll go home, and get some tea and a little nap," she says, making her way out with the jaguar.
Natska glances over her shoulder as Amos slips down the alley way, then leans her head in close to Cassidy as they head back towards the manor. "Next time we can blast the thing," she murmurs, nodding. "But yes. Home!"
Thelergramor nods to Natska and Cassidy. "Yep, home. And, blasting it, yes." He heads out, somewhere else. Likely the freeswords inn.