Rented Farmhouse • Anaxas/Brayde County
On the 10th of Intas, 2719 • Night
Next time, he had to hire a better class of driver. To be sure, the hired carriageman had been practical about the job. Howeer, as Adam watched the pair approach, lantern held up to see what he could, his keen eye could pick out some level of anxiety from the galdori woman who approached the farmhouse on the dirt path, her shoulders drawn up in unease. Her field was smaller than he would have expected. A wick, maybe? But no, that couldn't be the case. Khymarah Theraldon's field felt too clinical for that. Probably on the defensive. Hopefully that would only be a temporary measure.
Still, it had been a bit of a hassle to get the woman out here. Finding a driver with a modicum of tact and discretion -- clearly not eough of the latter, however. Getting that message to the woman's house in the Uppers. Convincing the homesteaders whose farm this was to take the night off and go into Old Rose Harbor for a good drink, paid for -- unknowingly -- by the Resistance. Getting the woman all the way out here into the middle of the country. An expensive and costly venture like this one had better be profitable in the ethical sense, if not the financial.
He pushed open the door, the creaking one of a very few sounds outside of the wilderness nightlife that the galdor would be able to make out.
He dropped his voice about half an octave, intending to keep it deeper than his usual cadence for the first part of his discussion with the galdor. "Straight through. Mind the step. There's a sofa about a meter to your left. Careful; it's low. Feel free to have a seat." He expected her to respond affirmatively to the direction, but still felt a modicum of relief when she did.
He turned to the driver, giving the man a shill, telling him in Riverword with a little disapproval in his voice, "Wait here about an hour, don't say another gods-damned word, and you'll get a second for your trouble. And be kinder to her on the way back. We don't want to lose her because she didn't like the journey, and you never know with the toffins. They're particular about things like that." He'd made sure to hire a driver who spoke the language, in case he had to share a message he didn't want the Theraldon woman to hear. He had hoped it wouldn't be as disappointing a message as it had been, however.
Turning back, he stepped in through the low-hanging door. The place was supposedly a human farmhouse, but the owners had to be as short as galdori; he had to duck to see himself in or avoid banging his head on the lintel. Setting the lantern on the fireplace mantel, wishing it did anything at all to warm this borrowed farmhouse, he rubbed his hands together from the cold before he spoke.
"Sorry I can't remove that sack over your head yet, Ms. Theraldon. You understand why -- a hazard of the trade. You don't know me, and you don't need to know me. I already know that you were at one Resistance meeting, but it's been a while. You should count yourself lucky that it's me here and not one of Serro's direct people -- he'd have cut you out long before now. However, I'd like to believe you're a valuable enough resource to have around for the time being. It's your job to make me believe that. Go ahead. Demonstrations welcomed."
He folded his arms, leaning against the mantel, studying the redheaded woman, brows raised and focus intent on her to see what she'd reply to him with. "Oh, by the way," he added, mock-casually, "I'm sorry we don't have any Rodriguez Fireball Whiskey handy in a place like this." No offer of an alternative drink followed; it was offhanded proof that he'd done his research on the woman's connections.