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Backslide and New Associates

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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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36 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:44 pm

"Is that really all it takes..?" I scoff, "Fuck, I can do that still." I shake my head, laughing quietly. At this point, I've lost track of the roads we've traveled and find myself a little curious as to where we're going. The thickly populated avenues of the city have spread out to more winding roads, and I sit up a touch to look towards the horizon.

"Unless I'm mistaken, the city ends soon, does it not?" I ask.

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37 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:10 pm

"It does," I nod as I slow to turn into an obscure driveway entrance that will take us out to a large castle-like Manor built atop a precarious outcropping of land that stretches out jaggedly from the edge of the earth. It's a long drive to the Manor, but it's an impressive view that only grows more stunning as we get closer. I can see the moment of confusion when we drive around the wealthy estate, going instead to a large lift built into the estate's airship dock.

"Master Lavellan?" the guard asks in confusion as he steps forward to peer into the car through the window. I don't usually come this way - particularly in my own vehicle. And certainly not with one of Richard's raw recruits in my passenger seat... alive.

"I believe Miss Petrovic is expected?" I say in response to the guards confusion.

"Yes, sir," he says quickly, apologetically. "It's just that we were expecting Anthea, as usual. I would imagine you would have better things to do than this, Sir."

"Better than introducing myself to a new witch?" I ask with an arched eyebrow.

"Anthea bailed, didn't she?" he asks knowingly, an unsurprised nod giving us clearance as I smile silently in response. He knows as well as I do that she'll be punished for my trouble today.

"I hope you're not afraid of heights," I say as I glance over at her before the lift cranks into life, the bottom of the housing dock opening up with slow elegance to let the sunlight in through the thick glass floor of the car lift.

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38 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:52 pm

My eyebrows pinch as I look out the car window curiously, gripping the center console and the door a bit nervously as the lift slowly descends. 

"You lot really own the whole villain thing, huh..?" I ask softly, inhaling deeply to quell the butterflies filling my stomach. My gaze roams to the roof of the car as I exhale slowly.

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39 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:10 pm

"I live in the grey quarter," I respond, my tone making it clear that I find little use in Richard'so extravagant setup. Glancing at Ljuba, I frown suddenly as I notice the white pallor of her skin.

"Give me your wrist," I say firmly as I remove my glove, the red markings on my fingers deepening until they become black, the inky lines returning up my arm as I absorb the poison coating my skin. I don't wait for her permission as she cuts me a suspicious look, nor do I offer any promises that my touch won't hurt her as I take her wrists firmly.

"Relax your fingers," I instruct as I measure down the inside of her wrist with my fingers, the black already fading back to red as I find the spot I'm looking for. Her skin indents heavily as I dig my thumb in firmly, my pressure increasing until I get a wince in response. Easing up just slightly, I move my thumb in a tiny clockwise motion as I take care not to dig my long nail into her skin.

"Feel better?" I ask as I glance up at her.

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40 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:31 pm

My entire body remains tense as I watch him, my arm reluctantly in his grip as the car continues to descend slowly. It's a long and almost awkward moment before he speaks, my gaze catching his as I nod vaguely. 

"Somewhat." I respond softly, the lift slowing further as sunlight re-engulfs the car once we're free of the ground now above us.

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41 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:38 pm

"It would work better if you relaxed," I scold before gesturing for her other hand with a gloved finger. "Press here, and use circular motions. If you can still tap into your magic, it helps if you try to channel that, too.

"Or not," I shrug as I remove my glove to dig in my pocket for a small tin of harmless looking salve. "Just as long as you wait until we're out of the car to vomit."

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42 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:54 pm

"I'm not going to vomit," I frown sharply, my thumb doing a lame imitation of his prior motions as I sit back in my seat and watch him open the salve and work a tiny amount into his own wrist. 

"What is the point of this meeting, anyway?" I frown after a long moment, "I can't imagine he's much use for showing off right now."

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43 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:05 pm

"I didn't even see this meeting in your file," I shrug as I seal the tin and tuck it back into my pocket before replacing my gloves as the lift grinds and cranks into place on the landing dock. "So I honestly don't know. I haven't even finished the inventory list of all the items I picked up for your stocks. I'm still a good week away from setting a date for our first meeting, and Richard knows this. I will be interested to learn his reasoning for this meeting."

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44 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:07 pm

"Wait, inventory..? I'm sorry, but what?" I frown, looking over at Lavellan with a hint of concern, "What do you mean, inventory list for my stocks..? What meeting will we have?"

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45 Re: Backslide and New Associates on Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:24 pm

"The inventory of what I bought for your apartment last week," I respond as I shift the car back into drive before carefully steering it off of the lift onto the narrow road hugging the cliff face.

"And all of the introductions, protocols, responsibilities and expectations, just general introduction information is what we would go over," I frown a bit as a glance at her. "For instance, Richard would introduce us appropriately, and tell you that I'm the Grandmaster in this and two other guilds within the city; the Apothecarium and the Alquimico. He would also tell you that I'm in charge of your training and your wellbeing as a fellow witch, that I'm the one you'll contact when you need a job, resources, legal aid, or, spirits forbid, medical attention.

"All of these things are topics we would have gone over at your orientation," I frown as I glance at her. "But I get the feeling Richard hasn't even told you that there is an orientation?"

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