[Closed] The Order Of The Pendulum

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A large forest in Central Anaxas, the once-thriving mostly human town of Dorhaven is recovering from a bombing in 2719 at its edge.

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Raksha
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Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:52 am

Hamis 18th, 2719
SEVENTEN OFFICES| EARLY EVENING
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It was a quiet evening in the office tonight, thanks to the strategic lack of staffing that particular night. Damen had spent a good few days rearranging rosters and replotting patrols, freeing up the east quadrant of Vienda, leaving the streets around the theatre open for the movements of the Kings Crop. There had been orders to step up the flow of the powerful opiate, to saturate the galdori city with the pleasant warm calm that the drug provided. To force any other product off the market.

And so, step up they had.

Diaxio had been busy, sending her web as far as Brunnhold to acquire fresh new victims to fall into the cycle of supply and demand, loathe to admit that now he was gone Benjamin Tolsby’s absence was noticed. For the sheer stupidity he bore, the ersehole had been good at his job. He lured fluttering young girls with his music and seduced them with tidbits of the Crop. A tiny bit to tempt their eager innocent souls into the darkness. For all the mess he caused, Ben had been part of the circle.

Part of the Order.

Of course, no one knew what happened to him. No one had seen him leave the theatre and no one saw him come back. The papers had speculated so much, and got nothing right.

Damen speculated too, but he had nothing that could support his speculations, and he knew how unsupported speculations could pan out. Well, he knew how supported ones could pan out too, depending on who was lining the judges pockets.

It was good, having the peace and quiet tonight.

It was good not to have Rhys clocking Valentin in his sight. The Bastian sat back from his paperwork and stroked a hand through his cropped beard. The bastard towhead had managed to get himself assigned to Damen’s own patrol, Gods knew how, but no matter how hard he made a case for the disgraced Sergent to be removed from his sight Haines wouldn’t budge. There were reasons of course. Redemption, water under the bridge, all that nonsense. His field flared and his fist curled tightly around the quill in his hand.

There was no water under the bridge. Not for the farmers boy that had corrupted his Charity. His daughter.

Hadn’t the moony fool learned his lesson? Hadn’t he felt the blows across his ribs, across his face? It was almost a surprise to Damen to know he’d survived his encounter with them, and the blue eyed man had to give him a little nod. He’d taken the beating like a good dog, and surely Charity knew then. She knew that she’d made a grave mistake. She’d come home to him after that, tail between her legs, begging for her husbands life.

Gah, the word made him want to vomit.

But she hadn’t, and Rhys had recovered. Ben had gone missing. And then, like the ever persistant thorn in his side the Valentin had appeared in his office like nothing had happened.

They both knew it had though, and as much as the Captain smirked at the memories, he also quickly frowned at the way the chroveshite smiled at him. The way he mocked him.

At least tonight, he wouldn’t be around. Tonight, he would be somewhere in the city, somewhere with his Charity. Somewhere Damen was yet to find, but he would. Oh, yes he would.

Sucking on his teeth, the D’Arthe returned to his paperwork, avoiding thoughts of his daughter and that filth. It was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

Snap!

The quill broke, spraying ink across the paper work. Damen hissed in frustration, throwing the broken thing down and reaching for his kerchief to wipe his hand.

"Officer Duxel? I require you a moment. Officer?" He called out, not bothering to glance up from his wiping, field brimming with annoyance and his temple throbbing with anger.

Where was that bloody--

"OFFICER DUXEL!?!" He roared, finally looking up with the crackling weight of Static mona threaded through his field. Standing, he began to storm around the desk.

"Officer when your superior calls you, you bloody well answer do you hear me?!"

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Rhys Valentin
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Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:33 pm

710 headquarters
Evening of the 18th of Hamis, 2719
Rhys both loved and hated working late. He despised being away from Charity any longer than he had to, despised being so close to all these galdori in uniforms like his own, but he also loved being in the middle of the action, loved knowing that unlike so many of his peers, he was doing some damn good work out there on the streets. Someone had to because, gods, if there weren't far more corrupt officers than he'd ever bothered to take note of before his transfer. The half of the Patrol Division under Damen D'Arthes command was a fucking mess, but thankfully, his Constable didn't disagree. She saw it, too. He wasn't going clocking insane.

His wits hadn't been beaten out of him all those months ago.

Navinia Greymoore and Rhys Valentin had fallen into a comfortable rhythm, learning each other's strengths while she tauntingly called him a recruit. On the day his four snaps were begrudgingly returned to him, he was just Val again, and the pair had successfully begun making headway into a smuggling ring in the Soot District, following some of Rhys' old Inspector leads from before Vortas. Little did his Constable know, however, that she was also helping him follow up on his drug ring leads, too, also helping him to keep track of the movements of King's Crop and his very specific next targets.

He'd also come to make a nuisance of himself now that he worked under his father-in-law's shadow. He'd transferred on purpose. He'd moved to make sure he was always in the man's sight whenever possible: those scars on his face and ring on his finger sticks and stones, challenges, sharp edges. He smiled. He was almost polite. He said good morning, sir. He said good night, sir. He left snacks on the man's desk when he wasn't looking.

He was a total asshole.

It was the least he could do—the man had beat him to mere breaths of his own life, the man had condoned a rapist to be near Charity, and the man was just a monster in too many ways to count.

Rhys wasn't ready to go after him yet. He'd learned that the hard way. But he would be. Oh, gods, he would be.

Tonight, however, he'd stayed late for a big arrest. When everyone else had tried to drag him out drinking, he'd chosen to muck the stables—it wasn't even his night!—instead of end up drunk in Uptown without his lovely wife. Just a little late, stinking of chrove, was far more forgivable than ridiculously late and totally guttered. Sweaty work, even in Hamis, the young Valentin was just about ready to pack it up and head home when he realized he'd left all of his signed papers for the arrest on his desk instead of in Nia's inbox.

Godsdamnit.

Not even bothering to change, if only to get a rise out of whoever was working HQ for the evening, if only to laugh at their reactions, he breezed in and toward his desk, nodding and chuckling—

Oh gods.

Damen's voice rang out and he would have cringed, but Rhys rolled his eyes instead, glancing at the messy, empty desk of Officer Duxel, the poor older Patrol Constable at least an hour or two gone. Blue eyes snapped up in time to catch the angry form of his beast of a father-in-law, of the Co-Captain, shuffle around his desk, making his way for his door. Tracing a thumb along his lower lip, pressing against that knot of flesh that scarred it, the Sergeant was already grinning by the time he met Damen's gaze, the not-galdor's Perceptive glamour a bastioned wall of calm,

"He's clocked out already, Captain. If I remember the schedule correctly—and I do because I made it—he's been off duty for a whole hour. Did I not leave a memo of everyone's time cards on your desk for signing, sir? I'm sorry. I can go get them now if you'd like—" It was hard not to bear his teeth a little, not to grin sarcastically, not to taunt the beast any more than he needed to. Rhys was sweaty. He smelled of chrove. His uniform coat was off, shirt untucked and half unbuttoned, totally out of regulation. His boots were scuffed. He'd been in the stables for a long time. There might have been a bit of hay in his strawberry blond hair, long as it was in a little tail at the base of his skull. Rhys' expression was full of bravado with the decent number of witnesses working the first half of night shift. He waggled a hand toward his desk, emphasizing his wedding ring with the motion,

"—perhaps someone else can help you, sir." It was fucking hard to be civil. A daily challenge to be the better man. But he was. But he didn't do it with a smile.
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Raksha
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Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:20 am

Hamis 18th, 2719
SEVENTEN OFFICES| EARLY EVENING
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"Sergeant.”

The word came out more like a curse than a title, Damen slowing as he exited his office, frown darkening as he met the gaze of the younger man. There was deep contempt in his field, and disgust on his face as the waft of chroveshit permeated the office. There was a taunt in that tone, the smug son-of-a-kenser clearly enjoying his current position. As the silvery ring flashed in the low light, the older man fought to push back the violent rage that throbbed at his temple. Co-Captain D’Arthe was not kind, nor was he forgiving, but there was a dangerous game at play having his son-in-law working beneath him.

Damen knew this game. He knew what Rhys played at.

And he wouldn’t let the bastard win.

Taking a deep breath, the Bastian let a thin smile weave its way across his lips, moving closer to the blonde galdor and tossing the kerchief on Duxel’s desk.

“Unnecessary Valentin, though I expect those memo’s on my desk first thing in the morning. Given you’re not sure you had me sign them, you can come in early and check each and every one and provide an update on how those roster changes have improved our efficiency and productivity.” The dark haired man looked over Rhys slowly, taking in all the scars and the scuffs, the stench and the untucked shirt, the unkempt hair and the loose piece of hay caught within.

“I expect a certain level of cleanliness in my workplace, Sergeant, regardless of what duties you’ve been assigned to.” He said, tucking his hands behind his back and lifting his chin to look down his nose at the other man, narrowing his blue eyes slightly.

“Once a farm boy, always a farm boy I suppose. Don’t expect that the stink of chroveshit will woo Charity forever.” Damen said quietly, as though he were musing on the strangeness of life. Moving to draw a pewter pocket watch from his rich green jacket, the Co-Captain glanced at it casually, completely juxtaposed to the roiling writhing hatred that seethed just below his false exterior. Gods, he wanted to lash that smarmy look off the erseholes face, but he had to breathe. He had to remember his place. Azmus had told him he needed to reign in his temper. After everything that had occurred since last Yaris, the High Judge couldn’t risk more investigations or interruptions to his delicate operations. He couldn’t risk liabilities.

Damen was nearly a liability.

“It’s late Sergeant, though I’m sure you don’t mind staying for a bit of overtime correct? There’s a stack of writ checks that need to be organised and scheduled for tomorrow. I expect that you can—” The sound of the bell that hung over the front door of the Seventen office interrupted the man, and he glanced past Rhys to a young galdor woman who had meekly entered the premises.

“May we help you, madame?” Damen asked briskly, hands back behind his back as he moved towards the woman. She was a slight thing, with bright ginger hair and a jittery Quantitative field. Her green eyes darted to the Bastian Seventen, before looking behind her, and back again to Rhys.

“Actually possibly yes. I don’t mean to be a bother, but I wasn’t able to find an officer on duty outside, and there’s a rather shady fellow down by the Arova. I thought for sure he was a wick at first, but then perhaps he’s human. Or passive! Alioe no that couldn’t be possible, but you never know nowdays with how those couple got out of Brunnhold that one time. Circle save us, imagine it!” The Co-Captain clenched his jaw, pressed his fingers into the palm of his hand and kept his thin smile firmly plastered on his face.

“I’m sure it’s just some human Miss, guttered off his face and fancying his own reflection in the water. No need for concern.” The young woman fiddled with her coin purse, shaking her head and looking between the two men.

“Well, he seems to be sober sir, and is…well..he is…” She leaned in and whispered hoarsely.

“He is…unsavory. He tried to proposition me with….D. R. U. G. S.” The ginger haired creature mouthed the letters, her cheeks brightening as though just mentioning the word suddenly incriminated her somehow. Damen sighed, lifting a hand to his brow and rubbing a thumb and a forefinger over his temples.

Idiots.

Inhaling a sharp, deep breath, he nodded to the woman with a curt smile.

“I appreciate you bringing this to the attention of the Seventen. I assure you, I will scry the nearest patrol and send them around.” Damen said shortly, trying not to get frustrated with the citizen, refusing to make eye contact with Rhys. The woman nodded, thanking them both before moving away from the office reception, only to hesitate. She glanced at Damen again, moving close once more.

“Sorry sir, but I imagine he won’t stay around long enough for the patrols. You know these type, skulking in the shadows and preying on the young and old. What if he…attacks someone? What if he’s plotting a riot like those other folk! What if—” The dark haired galdor held his hand up, vein throbbing madly in his temple and field heavy with irritation. The woman pressed her lips together, thought it was painfully obvious that she wasn’t going to leave without a scene.

“Of course Miss. We would never let anything like the riots occur again. The Seventen have worked with the Vydag to ensure that we are fully prepared for any such events. However,” He smiled again, a wane thing that barely moved past being a grimace.

“Given your concerns, Sergeant Valentin here will take your statement whilst I attend to this human.” Damen waved to usher her in, unable to hide the annoyance that flared in his aura. The red haired galdor looked at Rhys, stopping dead in her tracks when she caught scent of him.

“Is there uh…is it at all possible that your subordinate could go instead? I would much rather speak with someone who is in charge not a stable hand.” She said with a wrinkle of her nose, fetching a kerchief from her sleeve and holding it against her nose and mouth.

Damen resisted the urge to growl at the young lady, turning his steely glare on the Sergeant instead.

“Valentin. You’d best go and…chase off this rabble.” He said carefully, hardly containing the fury that bubbled under the surface. Moving closer to the blonde, the D’Arthe man pointed at him.

“Keep your wits about you, Sergeant. Wouldn’t want anymore…accidents to happen to you.” Damen said quietly, his voice holding promises of chrove-shit-shovelling for weeks and weeks to come.

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Rhys Valentin
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:32 pm

710 headquarters
Evening of the 18th of Hamis, 2719
There was something strangely satisfying in the level of hatred that simmered in the undertones of Damen D'Arthe's voice when he spoke Rhys Valentin's title, and the tall blond savored every syllable as if it was some top shelf imported wine. His hands were moving to tuck in his shirt, to straighten the pastel green-dyed fabric as he shoved it into his darker green trousers beneath the weight of his belt, making a show of brushing over his baton with the flicker of a smirk as the man who'd beaten him so close to death berated him there in the office in front of his fellow officers working the third shift,

"Oh, no, sir. I'm very sure I left them on your desk." He purred, not cowering in the face of being ordered to come in early, not even batting a pretty blue eye at the vehement request of writing extra reports. He ruffled hay from his hair as he reached up to tie it back, towering over the scowling Bastian with a crack of his shoulders and the stretching of lanky limbs. Fingers smoothed over his collar before rubbing beneath his nose, thumb tweaking it just so before he gave his Captain, his father-in-law, his enemy the most well-practiced of curt nods.

As if the ersehole before him could make any comments about excrement, swimming in it as he was.

As if the ersehole before him could make any comments about dirtiness, the metaphorical stench the man carried in his corruption stinging Rhys' lungs and making him want to vomit.

"My apologies, sir. I suppose I assumed you were immune to the smell of it all by now." His words were a blatant jab, deadpan in their delivery under the thinnest veils of a joke, but Damen wasn't a dumberse, not really. He would know exactly what the young Valentin was digging at, sharp and direct, adding in a quiet voice only the other man could surely hear, meeting the other man's equally blue gaze with all the rebellion he was known for, glamour as hard as his words, "I don't need to woo what's mine."

He sniffed, arching a blond eyebrow in what could have been interpreted as a challenge, bowing and stepping back a little in a mockery of deference when his so-called Captain requested he stay later, when he began to devise ways of keeping him from the daughter Rhys had made his wife, from the daughter he'd broken with King's Crop and tried to ruin with cruelty, from the daughter the not-galdor loved with tempestuous intensity, with all the hot breath of life in his lungs.

He opened his mouth to agree with false placidity, only for his attention to slide toward the woman who received the last flicker of Damen's wrath.

"Drugs? Outside the Seventen Headquarters? Oh, ma'am, I assure you that's probably not at all the case—" He began, emphasis on certain words for the older galdor near him more than for any assurances to the ginger woman, sarcasm so thick it could have snuffed out candles had any been lit nearby. He was pulling back up his suspenders, returning himself to uniform other than his coat, which was slung over his desk chair—

Rhys began to inch his way out of the conversation, nodding with a bit of encouragement, slipping toward his desk with the slowest of purposeful steps, attempting to get to those writs while trying not to laugh at how Damen was making a fucking joke of himself, considering all that the tall blond knew to be the truth. His fingers brushed over the snaps of his coat—all four of them, all lies—and began to lift the thing slowly—

Only to hear his name.

The Sergeant frowned, back turned, beginning to shrug on the dark green of his coat while he looked up and over his shoulder, waving a hand at his desk once it was through the coat sleeve, "Well, I'm sure Constable Ios or a couple of Ensigns could do the job just as well, Captain. These writs aren't going to sort themselves, but—yes, sir." He turned toward the woman again, straightening the collar of his outer layer and smoothing the sash, making sure his four snaps were visible to counter the accusation of being a godsbedamned stable hand,

"I suppose if you want something done right, you'd better make the best choice of officer. It's not the accidents I have to worry about, to be fair, Captain, but those with a misguided purpose." He didn't look back at Damen, didn't meet his withering gaze again, choosing instead to focus his attention on the woman and reaching for the notebook in his pocket as if he was going to go outside and write Quantitative equations to scare off this so-called drug-dealing rabble,

"Well, ma'am, let's start with your name while we make our way outside and you can describe what sort of trouble you think we're going to find out there, shall we?"
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Raksha
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Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:07 pm

Hamis 18th, 2719
SEVENTEN OFFICES| EARLY EVENING
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The woman stared at Rhys with wide eyes, looking at the door, at the Captain then back at Rhys. Her nose curled slightly and her hand clutched lightly at the pearls around her neck.
​​
​​ “I suppose you need to be shown where he is. Alright. I shall walk with you for a spell, but I am not going all the way. Most inappropriate of you gentleman, I expected more of the Seventen.” Damen winced, before offering another thin smile.
​​
​​ “My apologies Miss, you’re correct. There is no need for you to accompany the Sergeant, he is quite capibile of finding the Arova on his own.” Putting an arm around the frustrating woman, the older D’Arthe smiled onwards, even if the prominent vein in his temple throbbed.
​​
​​ “Off with you Valentin. Report back here when you’re done. I expect a full brief.” With that he waved the blonde off, guiding the auburn woman into his office as she looked once more at Rhys with wide eyes before disappearing with the Bastian.
​​
​​It would be obvious to Rhys his mission was a solo affair, one that Damen would prefer he himself was attending, but caught in his own web the Captain had no choice but to send the other man. Once the not-galdor finally found his feet, if he did in fact wander to the river there would be a man there. He held no field, rust coloured hair swept neatly back and outfit quite well to do for his caste. Younger than Rhys by the looks, with hands in pockets and inviting smile on face. His green eyes would glance at the Seventen as he approached without a shred of concern, in fact pushing away from the sycamore he leaned against to move towards Rhys a little.
​​
​​ “Evening officer, didn’t expect to see your lot for another half house.” He said with a familiar ease, as though he’d been expecting a green clad patrol, like they were old friends with much to discuss.
​​
​​ “Didn’t happen to have a cig did you sir? It’s been quiet tonight, only one lady and she was a right hingle. You’d think I was going to stab her!” The man chuckled, speaking with Rhys like a peer instead of his better.
​​
​​ “Sorry sir, I don’t think I’ve met you yet. Jobe Jackson, was only put out on the rounds tonight. I’m usually in the Stacks, but they said you needed extra bodies thanks to a few…uh what did she say…unplanned issues that's the one.” He winked, like they were sharing an inside joke, standing there before the man with hands in pockets and grin on face.

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Rhys Valentin
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Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:24 pm

710 headquarters
Evening of the 18th of Hamis, 2719
The woman balked at leading the young Valentin outside and something tingled at the back of his skull, settling at the base of it like blood had once pooled in punctured lungs. For a moment, his eyes narrowed, but then any expression of suspicion was gone, wiped from his face once his Captain began to make excuses for him, once the ersehole made attempts to drag the woman away—

To what? Question her?

What was this, the Investigative Division?

Rhys bristled, his glamour dampening as it drew closer to his sweaty body beneath the green shades of his uniform. The touching was an inappropriate sign of familiarity and a wave of fear settled in the tall blond's gut. He hardly trusted anyone, anything, anymore, and Damen D'Arthe was certainly on the top of his list. Still, he managed to hide it all from his face, which was as deadpan and dutiful as possible, and he excused himself with a completely obedient, if not a little curt, bow.

Turning his back on his enemy, restless fingers buttoned his coat in proper fashion and strayed over the equipment at his belt, checking everything, making sure his baton was not fastened—just in case. He didn't make eye contact with anyone else as he made his way through familiar halls of the Seventen Headquarters, down the stairs, and out into the wet Hamis evening. It was almost as though he was immediately wet, though it was more because the rain had become a light mist instead of thick, heavy drops.

Tongue against the scar that split his lower lip in thought, the Patrol Sergeant let his blue eyes sweep the lamplit streets, looking for signs of anyone watching him, looking for signs of anything out of the ordinary. He heard his pulse pick up in his ears and with it the low hum of the tinnitus that still haunted him, the acceleration of his heartbeat threatening him with vertigo but Rhys was just too stubborn to allow his own weaknesses to get in his way now, not when he was either walking into some sort of real crime or some sort of trap.

Making his way toward the Arova carefully, the former Inspector didn't miss a body or a shadow, attention watchful and mind alert to all the possible scenarios. There, alone, was just a young man.

He hardly looked dangerous, but that meant very little. Human, perhaps, the other man had the balls to smile—

What the fuck?

The young Valentin straightened, shoving his hands in his uniform coat pocket and huffing stray, wet strands of hair from his face. He flexed his glamour once he knew he was close enough for the stranger to feel it, heavy and powerful for a not-galdor, burdened by Perceptive mona and so much ambition. He did not smile back, not right away, not until he was in the other man's personal space because he'd stood away from the tree and stepped closer.

Rhys smirked, taking in the first sentence and filtering it through the biter lens of suspicion and the hot fires of previous experience. This was—something else—this was ... perhaps not meant for him.

It wasn't a trap but it wasn't safe, either.

Godsdamnit.

The tall blond shrugged, chuckling, shifting into some casual familiarity as if he knew exactly what he was doing, as if he knew exactly what was going on, "Well, it's been a slow night so it's about time for something interesting." Small talk was easy. Pretending to be aware was pretty easy, too, and Rhys fell into step with whatever was happening, senses wide open, "Ah—do I? Let's see."

He pat himself down with theatrical flare, feeling the hard rectangle of the silver cigarette case he'd kept in his uniform coat as an Inspector and never got rid of even now on Patrol. Any way to get into a conversation, he'd learned, was still a good way to gather information, even if he didn't make a habit of it and probably had expensive taste compared to the rest of the population in the Dives. He offered the younger man the case first, letting him make his choice,

"Rainy season's got everyone on the fucking edge. What with the Symvoul gathered and all those godsbedamned politicians bringing their drama." He taunted, pausing with a cigarette between his lips with practiced ease to speak the quick Monite to ignite, lighting them both up with a lean of his taller, lankier frame and a few quick puffs of breath, "I'm always surprised there aren't more stabbings in the Vydrag, to be honest."

Keeping up the friendly banter, the not-galdor Sergeant straightened again, exhaling thick smoke into the wet mist, blue eyes shifting to watch the river rumble past, thoughts straying for a moment until the human's name brought him back into focus,

"Oh, Constable Gawyne—" He lied, smooth and easy, "Caius Gawyne. Just call me Caius. Fresh meat, huh? Well, glad to see some new faces, I tell you what." Rhys almost purred the introduction, rolling through the humor like he'd been involved in whatever this was for years, attempting to filter through the conversation and grasping at straws to try and even know what the fuck was going on, "So, uh, there seems to be a bit of miscommunication—are you the extra body or am I? I don't think I was told about these unplanned issues, either—"

The tall blond rolled his eyes and forced a laugh, taking another long drag and exhaling slowly,

"—Gods, don't you fucking hate it when everyone gets their wires crossed?"
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Raksha
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Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:52 pm

Hamis 18th, 2719
SEVENTEN OFFICES| EARLY EVENING
Jobe chuckled as Rhys found the cigarette container, taking the thin rolled stick of tobacco with a nod of thanks. Holding it between two fingers for the Seventen to ignite, the human inhaled deeply and exhaled the thick smoke with another laugh.

“I will never tire of how clocking amazing that is. Lighting cigarettes with a flick of your fingers, bloody cool. I know some folks are all ‘ooh oppression, ooh bad gollies’, but I ain't like that yeah? I had my run in’s as a kid, but your folk gave me food in my belly and a roof over my head. And now? Feel like my lucks turned all up!” Rolling his eyes, Jobe nodded and thumbed his nose, the leafy canopy shielding them somewhat from the drizzle.

“Politicians, fucking breed of their own. You wanna see proper oppression, that's the place to look. Everyone stabbing everyone’s back. Too right! And then this business with that toffin from the theatre? I heard they think he got offed, maybe those…” He looked around conspiratorially, leaning closer to Rhys.

“Those Freedom Fighters.” Sneering, he inhaled on the cigarette again, shaking his head.

“Erseholes. Did you go to Dorhaven? I had a cousin there, and those chroveshite bastards killed her. Tell you, if I knew where that Jon Serro was I’d shiv him good.” As the tall blonde introduced himself, Jobe stuck a hand out to shake his in friendly comfortability.

“Caius Gawyne, ain't that a golly name if I ever heard one! Well met Caius.” He inhaled on the cigarette again, leaning as if to say ‘what?’ in reply to Rhy’s comment. Snorting, he leaned back, looking the officer over.

“You too huh? I thought all you Seventen folks were kept up to date. More than us grunts.” Jobe chuckled, waiting for Rhys to drop the other shoe and admit he was joking, to give some sort of guidance on what he was there for. He nodded to himself, waiting.

And waiting.

Shifting on his feet, one hand in his pocket, Jobe’s smile fell just a fraction as he stood waiting for a punchline that didn’t come. Holding the cigarette between two fingers, he waved his hand.

“You know. About the whole trial? That fellow of yours, D’Arthe, he pissed the Order right off. Then the stuff with these interviews, you know. Not enough folks out here doing the front end work. They got a bunch of us from...from Brunnhold. Even some from uh...from Bastia. Surely you…” The young human blinked, a dawning realization coming over him.

“Fuck.” The word was barely out of his mouth before Jobe was running, cigarette discarded and legs pumping as if hatchers were on his tail, panic and terror written in the lines of his face.

word count: 503
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