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Backslide and New Associates

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11 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:11 am

I raise an eyebrow at that before glancing around her room curiously. The size is the first thing that I notice - the best she could afford, if I had to guess. Despite the clutter packed into the small space, I also notice how very hollow it feels. The lingering magic is more like a haunting than a living, breathing presence. I can't help the sad frown that flickers across my lips before I look back at her.

"Add it to your street cart, then," I offer as I reach over to drop the gift onto her alter, still taking care not to contaminate it with my touch. "It fetches some good coin in the right crowd."

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12 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:19 am

The first thought that flickers to mind is one of derision and pride, but I swallow it as I offer a weak smile. 

"I don't have anything to offer you, as the custom calls for-" I say as I look around the small apartment before shrugging, "but your gift is appreciated. 

"I don't believe I've caught your name, though?"

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13 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:24 am

"Lavellan," I offer, my hand failing to stretch out to offer her my fingertips in the customary touch that is so often employed by witches. Instead, I simply glance at hers, noting the markings there with interest before I return my gaze to her face.

"And you..?" I ask despite already knowing the answer.

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14 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:37 am

"My vox can't pronounce it," I smirk slightly, "Nomad tech - albeit amazing, is still lacking.

"Lou works, though." I say more firmly, my weight shifting. My gaze never leaves Lavellan as I shift, my hands tucking behind my back as I notice his gaze roaming towards them. I don't like the curious way he seems to inspect me, or the familiarity in his greeting. Though, whether it's simply a bad taste in my mouth from home or Lavellan himself, I can't pinpoint. 

"So should we go..? I can't imagine Richard enjoys being kept waiting."

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15 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:39 am

"Mmm, yes, I suppose," I nod as I step back toward the door, my hand never coming in contact with anything she might touch as I wave a hand to open it with my magic instead. "After you," I offer, gesturing toward the open door.

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16 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:58 am

I pull my gaze from him momentarily so I can gather shoes and a proper coat, my attention never leaving him, though. I gather my things quickly, stopping at my altar to adjust some of the items absently before palming a slender obsidian athame. I make no show of hiding it, the blade sticking plainly from my hand as I head for the door. 

"So, did Richard send you to show off, or something?" I ask absently once we're in the hall, "Was I not properly impressed with him on his last visit?"

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17 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:11 am

"No, he actually sent his personal assistant," I respond with an amused smirk as I follow her into the hall, not remotely bothered by her arming herself. Still, I gesture ahead, keeping her either at my side or ahead of me, never at my back. "A tedious woman named Anthea who never looks up from her phone. She was busy, though, and passed the job along to me."

I raise an eyebrow as I glance over at her with a crooked smile. "So I'm 'impressive', am I? Or is that the Pahgish for unnerving?"

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18 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:19 am

"You?" I respond, cocking an eyebrow up at him as I shake my head. "You are unnerving, honestly, but no, I meant impressed... You know, with Richard, and all of his pull."

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19 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:27 am

"Ah," I nod as she clarifies her meaning further. "Apologies, I'm still learning the subtleties of this language."

When we get to the door leading outside, I step ahead of her, turning as though to face her so I can speak as I use my back to push the door open without touching the handle. "Were you impressed, though?" I ask with interest. "Does he need to show off? More than he already is, I should say... sending Anthea to fetch you."

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20 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:32 am

"He's just another person in this city to me," I say simply, not yet walking through the door as I look up at Lavellan. "One who I owe a debt to..."

Sighing, I lean closer, speaking more quietly. "Should I be impressed?"

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21 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:40 am

"He's a clever manipulator," I respond, shrugging one shoulder thoughtfully as I linger inside the doorway. "And, at times, a vicious and imaginative sadist... if that's the sort of thing that impresses you, then I would say the praise is well earned.

"But perhaps you should come to know him for yourself," I add as I step further out the door, my elbow catching the handle to keep it from closing as I wait for her to follow. "Ignoring all of his ridiculous peacocking, I believe you'll find your own reasons to respect him."

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22 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:45 am

"I suppose we'll see, won't we." I sigh, finally making my way out the door as I fall into step beside him again. 

"So are you one of his..." I ask, trailing off as my hand waves in circles out in front of me, "What does he call them...? Deadmen?"

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23 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:52 am

"I am a Deadman," I respond a little coolly as I tuck my hands safely back into my pockets. "I work with him, not for him. But he's certainly tried to find ways of claiming ownership over me.

"He's very persistent in his efforts," I warn her as I stop at the car, carefully pulling a pair of gloves from my pocket to put them on without touching the outside of them before I open her door for her. "If you accept his gifts - which I see he's already forced some of them on you - make a point to do something significant for him in her return. It will frustrate him, but you mustn't give him anything to hold over you if you can help it. I'd even try to tip the scales in your favor, if you're able."

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24 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:57 am

Lingering at the edge of the car, I look up at Lavellan earnestly, a touch of anxiety pooling in my gut as I force a lopsided smile. 

"I feel like it might be a bit more complicated than that." I say, looking into the car absently as I work the athame in my hand nervously. "But thank you for the advice, nonetheless." I add, sinking into the passenger seat as the door is shut behind me.

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25 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:06 am

I'm quiet for a moment as I go around to the other side of the car to climb in. The silence lingers for a few minutes as I turn the car on and get us out onto the road, my hand wandering over to the radio to turn it on so it plays quietly in the background.

"If you've become one of us, a Deadman," I start slowly, my eyes never leaving the road as I think carefully on my words. "Then I feel it's safe to assume that there's a certain... pragmatism in your nature.

"Richard will be good to you," I say with absolute certainty in my voice. "If you're amicable to his wishes - which he rarely asks anything of you that you wouldn't be amicable to. But, if you do find yourself in his debt, and someday those requests start to toe the line... it might not hurt to prepare yourself to do what you must to rectify whatever power he may find over you."

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26 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:14 am

"I think there are more moving parts in this machine than you're aware of," I response sharply, looking pointedly out the window as I drag my nails over the athame in my lap. "I'm not sitting so pretty that I have an ace up my sleeve, but... I've got a good hand. 

"In the grand scheme, anyway."

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27 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:19 am

"You'll find one to keep up there in time, I'm sure," I respond as I make the turn to take us out toward the very edge of the city. "I'll be interested to observe your progress within the guild in the meantime. We've lost several of our witches in recent months, and now we're outnumbered by the techs and the craftless."

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28 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:21 am

"I think you're going to get bored watching me." I respond, "I won't be involved in the way you're thinking, I'm almost certain."

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29 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:25 am

"I will be tremendously disappointed if that turns out to be the case," I say seriously as I glance over at her. "But, if you'll forgive my presumptuousness, I don't think even you yet know what plans are in store for you. Richard does not employ witches to peddle useless baubles in the street. That's the job he gives to the craftless and the children - neither of which you are."

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30 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:27 pm

"Well, wish as he might," I frown, "I can't do whatever it is he'd want. My own voice is so garbled and ruined, I couldn't manage the most basic of charms, and there's no magic in this voice."

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31 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:38 pm

"I'm sorry," I respond, the first shred of emotion making it into my voice as I glance at her with sympathy. But it's the kind of sympathy that is lacking in any kind of pity, instead clearly speaking of an empathy for her loss. "But even with your loss, you still possess a unique skill set and knowledge that could prove invaluable.

"Whatever niche you find for yourself," I carry on, not wanting to force the subject or make her uncomfortable. "I hope you enjoy it, and find what it is you seek."

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32 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:47 pm

I glance back at him, smiling just slightly before turning to look out the window again. 

"Do I need to wash my door..?" I ask, a bit of tired resignation in my tone as I look back at him. "Did you touch it..? You know, there are kids in my hall."

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33 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:50 pm

"I neutralized it while I was checking for warding," I respond openly, my gaze shifting over her momentarily. "And it was at my eye level, for that reason."

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34 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:07 pm

"Teenagers can be tall," I argue a bit emptily, sitting back as I look out the window as the houses grow more grandiose in both scale and design. 

"So, what do you know about Richard..?" I ask after a moment, glancing over at Lavellan. "He doesn't seem too interested in tech, and I don't recall sensing much magic. Yet, craftless seems like the wrong word for whatever it is he is... 

"Is he really a boogeyman?"

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35 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:20 pm

"He's a businessman," I say after an extended moment of silence as I try to think of an appropriate way to explain it. "A boogeyman for hire. What the sorcery guilds and mecha guilds do for their crafts, Richard does for crime in all its flavors.

"As far as his skills go, he's sufficient in tech," I shrug, making a little bit of a face as I try to find a polite way to express my next thought. "And he's... adequate with magic. Self-taught, doesn't really have the gift. But he's creative and effective with what he can do.

"Personally, I think he only learned to add to his enigma," I admit with a quiet scoff. "Nothing scares a fat, old techie who wants you to murder her husband quite like watching you magically stir your tea in boredom."

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