the soot district | midday
18 ROALIS 2718
GLale flexed her fingers, the digits fiddling with her pockets as the Seventen scowled her. She felt the disgust, the pushing urge to the right and just thing while her gaze settled on his feet. It did not move, hands moving now into her pockets, shoulders hunching in as the berating continued. She only moved to take back the cigarette tin and jammed it away out of sight. It was embarrassing. And it took every ounce of self-control to swallow any pride she had. Play small, tip toe around the subjects she knew.
“Apologies, Valentin, Sir,” she tucked the name away, the rest of it quietly purring over the information that was already presented to her.
Same surname. Could be same person. Seventen. Danger. Out of uniform. A cover? He just blew it if he was. Comply for as long as necessary. What does ‘Special’ mean in this instance? Not a natural smoker. Uncomfortable for stooping down to my level of offering? Or nervous?
“He’s not a friend, sir,” voice a mumble, the cigarette finding purchase between her lips, the gaze slid to the Bully before snapping back, “Just you seem to have ‘im already lined up, more so as you asked if I was leaving it to you. Which well…” The metalworker shook her head. Keep the language simple, keep the cards close. It was more than just a game of tit for tat; it was choosing what to sacrifice in order to gain something. Deflect the situation; apply the sympathy card, “I don’t want any trouble, sir. Don’t want to… if he has mates and well… I have certain appearances to keep up.”
The emphasis was deliberate then, eyes only lifting enough to peer at him from beneath her brow. The inclination, in her mind, was clear. Perhaps for Rhys society was kinder to the female sex, in among the humans though it was something scorned. The horror stories laid out of what happened to the women were not beyond her, it was a day to day occurrence here. It was perhaps why she was glad for the shield she wore across herself; the illusion of being male on the surface gave her respect and did not have others question her intelligence. Her father had raised a son, not a daughter – and that was an identity she had to protect.
Humans were cruel to that which they did not understand.
Though she expected the Galdori were no different, simply in their own way and less drawn to violence. Social snubbing and exclusion however was always a possibility. She imagined they ruined reputation and the like, petty things that would send them into a life of ‘destitute’. They would be no doubt still considerably comfortable in comparison to the other races.
For Gale though? She did not dwell too much on that thought. The consequences made her shudder.
Exhaling she watched his hands move to write, eyes flickering around him briefly. She knew the eyes were upon her too, quietly judging and weighing her up. Keep it calm; keep it under control – no funny movements. Others were watching, waiting for any excuse. Dirty fingers withdrew the cigarette in order to address him more clearly, “Mister Gale Saunders. I get why you use ma’am however, pretty face ‘nd all. But no harm, no foul,” a forced snort of laughter escaped, “S-A-under-S. Gale as in wind. Not prison.” Oddly specific, but people struggled with the spelling at the best of times. She continued, “Current residence and employment is Saunders’ Forge – uh, ‘postrophe at the end. Down on Smollett Street, about…” she rubbed her nose and pointed to her left, “That way. Edge of Soot district.”
Impatient. Clock watcher. Does not want to be here. Distracted by something else. What? The people? Or the potential for danger? Of course. Always potential for more trouble.
Gale took a drag of her cigarette, holding the smoke in her mouth before exhaling it through her nose. The hairs on her neck rose, mind suddenly and acutely aware of the position she was in. What was she missing? Around her the crowd was still watching despite the drama having passed. Another ten minutes of potentially being stuck in place however was an issue, holding her up from making a quick escape. She needed to get out. Rocking on her heels, she returned her hands to her pockets fingers fiddling with the thread inside as a distraction, “That all sir? Got a client to see ‘nd all is why.”