CLOSED SIGNUPS Requiem for a Changing World

Discussion in 'GROUP RP IN CHARACTER' started by Redshift, Oct 6, 2016.

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    Aka Magical Banana Bread
    A small group RP between @Fox of Spades, @Warden and @Redshift
    We're not dead we're just chill AF.


    The grand double doors were thrown open with a screech just as the church bells cried three o'clock in the afternoon, a man hurrying in with his share of rosy cheeked apologies. The chilled gust carried many an autumnal leaf in with him, disturbing the myriad of wind chimes, dream catchers, herbs and flowers which hung from the old wooden joists. A couple of candles closest to the door were blown out. He hurriedly closed the doors behind him, clicked his fingers to ignite the candles once more, before disappearing into the modest gathering of people within this building.

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    Zaniah watched as he went, hunched and tucked into a corner as she was, pulling her scarf further up her face til it covered her nose. She was unnoticed, a shadow in a way, averting her striking starred eyes from anybody who came near. It wasn't exactly a talent of hers to blend in like this, but a learned trait. Her corner was the closest to the meeting room, and if she placed her ear to the wall just right she could hear all but whispers from their consultations. She was well practiced at this too, by now. Many a time she had squirreled herself into this very spot, unseen by others, to learn what they discussed. It was, after all, what her employer asked of her.

    Right now, the noises from the meeting room were raised enough for everybody to hear regardless of if they pressed their ear to the wall or not. A noble looking man had entered earlier, looking quite out of place, insisting on speaking to the Magemother. It didn't sound like it was going well.

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    Hidden down the side of the building outside, a slimmer man lifted a bottle to his lips and took a long sip from it's contents. This building was in the old quarter of the city, all wood and stone and thatch. But in the distance, monolithic buildings of brass, steel and concrete towered over the city, steam billowing from factories ensuring that even on a fairly unclouded day like this the skies was never truly clear. Not that they were anyway, thanks to a pair of blimps slowly making their way to and from the horizon. It was a bit of a peaceful scene in a way, with the steady hum of the city as the pigeon-drawn carts passed by on the cobbled streets. At least, it wouldn't have been, if it wasn't for the shouts coming from inside. They couldn't make out the words from out here, but they certainly could hear the voices.

    "Not sure if we really needed to send Zan in today Boss," Fletcher shrugged once he had finished with his sip, wiping at his mouth with the back of his wrist. He too was dressed warmly in a rather average hand sewn linen jacket, making his appearance seem quite ordinary. "I think everyone in that damned place can hear what's going on in there."



    The Magemother was a formidable woman - although such a thing should be no surprise considering her position as the leader of the Magic Circle. Tall and curvaceous and swathed in rich coloured fabrics and jewelry, her thickly applied makeup distorted in thinly veiled anger. She was silhouetted a little against the large glass window behind her - once stunning views across the city of Aesyth now blocked by a factory built just a little too close. A few men and women sat beside her on both sides, her left and right hands. She herself was behind a desk although no longer sat down, her hands - calloused from such constant use of a quill rather than the weaving of magic - were pressed flat against the myriad of papers and forms which cluttered the surface.

    "I am sorry, sir, but I'll say it again. We do not have the resources!"
     
    #1 Redshift, Oct 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
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    The voices coming from inside rang sharply and Dominique laughed heartily at the burning passion that resounded within each word. He'd heard quite a lot about this noble. Zaniah had kept him informed, yet to hear the argument with his own ears brought a bright smile to the man's face. Dominique was stripped of his top hat and brightly-colored suits, dressed in a long black coat and breeches, yet the smile on his face was luminescent. If anyone caught sight of the ecstatic man, they would have thought he'd won the lottery or that the love of his life had finally said yes after ten long years of courtship.

    "Perhaps not, Fletch, but it is always best to be prepared. And if for some reason they start whispering, I want to hear everything." Dominique reached for his head, forgetting about how he'd left his top hat back at the circus. It was a habit of his, tipping it whenever he thought he'd imparted some sort of wisdom to his performers. He laughed at himself, the smile never leaving his face. "So what do you think of our noble? I for one, like him a lot. He's got backbone, passion, a sharp tongue... why just listen to this fellow!"

    Voices continued to ring loudly from within the building and Dominique spun around in place. "Yes, I'm liking him more and more already."

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    "Who cares about his determination," Vivian grumbled. "What matters is his money. Have you seen the man's clothes? I bet he's sitting on a pile of gold or something." The woman was seated on a stack of boxes, bored beyond belief. When Dominique said they were going out to spy on the magic circle, she'd expected something... well, magical.

    But the truth was, they were out here and they couldn't even see a thing. Zan was the only one getting in on the action. Whatever, the guy looked rich and the circle didn't seem to like whatever it was he was proposing. If that was the case, then swooping in would be easy, right? He seemed like he was desperate enough, he was starting up a riot inside after all.

    Ignoring the loud yells, the woman's eyes flitted to Silas and Lazarus.

    The former had turned into an orange tabby cat and was napping on one of the boxes, while the latter was being good ol' Lazarus.

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    "Noisy," he'd mumbled beneath his breath as he sat motionless in one of the alleyways, his back pressed against the cement walls and his eyes squeezed shut. Unlike Dominique and Vivian, he was in his usual loose tunic, but the bandages he often wore on his face during performance nights were absent. Dominique might have liked the noble's sharp tongue, but with each passing minute Lazarus grew to dislike him more and more. As the voices grew louder, he began to envy Silas and his ability to fall asleep almost anywhere. The man let out a sigh, he had a feeling it was going to be a very, very long day... the things they did for gold, sometimes it amazed even him.
     
    #2 Fox of Spades, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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    His first impression of the place was, well… It was quaint. Adequate, he supposed, for persons used to getting shoved to the side in discussions of importance. Not everywhere could be as eyecatching as the Upper District, with its spacious lanes and swaying feather banners, fragments of multicolored light scattering from delicate glass awnings on buildings nearby. Wood and stone were constant. Constantly ugly.

    Although the first thing that happened soon as he stepped off the carriage was his new boot meeting animal shit, so that may have affected his judgment. And- surprisingly- none of the mages here knew how to separate fecal matter from expensive leather. He asked.

    “Really? With the amount of droppings stationed in front of the entrance, it would have been a necessary spell,” Essien replied, deadpan, to the- crumpled shirt, tea stains on the sleeve, are those two-toned zyle frames those went out of style decades ago- receptionist who looked very much dazzled. He would have relaxed at the obvious infatuation forming on her face, except that he had a meeting to pioneer and he couldn’t attend it like this. First impressions mattered, after all. He let his eyes rake over the crowded hallway once more, taking in the sight of one surface after another smothered with various trinkets and files, before turning back to the woman. Essien closed his eyes and exhaled slowly before forcing a smile in place of the scowl he sported, his earring glowing softly in the sunlight when he shifted closer. Her discomfort waned soon as his did. “I’m sorry. I’ve had a bad day. I have to speak with the Magemother because of this vital, pressing issue and you have to understand, I can’t go to a meeting smelling like a pigeon handler… Can I?” Oh, she was nodding along and shaking her head at a hundred beats per second. First step, paper napkins. It was no difficult matter to get sent along to the meeting room soon after.

    He was sure everything would go as planned. He had prepared for this; the well-thumbed personal profiles of everyone worth knowing in the Magic Circle scattered on his office was proof of that.

    Except the meeting spiraled out of control, fast. He couldn’t remember exactly how it devolved- probably when the topic of “unchecked levels of aggression” came up- but soon it was him against the entire Circle, with the Magemother staring down at him from her raised desk. “Madam,” Essien replied slowly, holding his hands out as if confronted with a strange prey. His voice was anything but comforting; it was cold, sharp, and unabashedly loud. As confrontational as that of the ringleader’s. “If the Circle refuses to cooperate on the resolution of these cases, to our mutual benefaction, then that is your every right no matter how backwards and dimwitted the decision may be. And I hope that, if this matter ever worsens in the future, the Circle will maintain its stance of neutrality when hell comes pounding on its doors.”

    He was out after that little speech, no question. One didn’t just threaten the Magemother in her own territory. The receptionist didn’t even lift her head to glance at him as he thundered out, chimes and bells crashing together in a discordant symphony as the door slammed shut.

    Essien stood in the street and took a deep breath to calm himself, hands tucked into his pockets as a chilly breeze unsettled the leaf pile beside him. Passersby knew better than to approach the man with a look screaming bloody murder and walked clear, leaving the nobleman to stew in his problems. He glared at the distance, wondering exactly how he was going to solve this dilemma by himself. He was many things, but the problem couldn't be solved alone. And he just alienated his one possible ally. Essien suddenly kicked the mound in a fit of passion. This is what happens when you don’t prepare a plan B, E. What would Instructor Sovias say?
     
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    With that, it was over. Zan started every so slightly as the doors to the meeting room were thrown open - the man clad all in lace and jewels and rage as he stormed towards the exit. Zan quickly shifted from her position, finding herself hurried by his movements. She had hoped to tell Dominique about this before the man left. Perhaps she had taken too long. She darted towards the exit herself, her long pale locks flowing behind her, managing to slip out of the building just before the door closed. The fresh air surrounded her like an old friend, overpowering scents of herbs and incense washed away by the wind.

    She hoped the man wouldn't make a move with his carriage soon. She had to be quick.

    Quickly she dodged the few passers by and darted around the side of the Magic Circle until she met with her companions, her scarf having slipped down her face until it simply hung around her neck. She drew her arms in front of herself and linked the fingers of her hands together. "They've declined him," she said, her voice a little stiff but not as soft as you might expect. "Apparently they don't have the resources for," she attempted to emulate the voice of the Magemother, "investigating unfounded claims from a pompous, self entitled man with delusions of grandeur." It was a horrendous attempt for an impression. "And um... he's leaving now."

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    "Oh, no wonder he's furious," Fletcher chuckled as he fastened the cap back onto his now drained flask, before tucking it into a pocket inside his coat and getting back to his feet. Stood upright he was a little shorter than their leader, but taller than most of their group. He took a small stack of cards out of one pocket and began to shuffle them in his somewhat prolific need to fidget. "Well you two seem fond of the man," he said, sidestepping Dom's question. "If you like him so much we'd best make haste before he kicks those expensive, well heeled boots of his." Well, perhaps this would alleviate Vivian's boredom?

    Zan pulled a face. Having been in the unique position to have heard everything, she thought this man seemed... problematic. She didn't say anything more, but she looked up to Dominique for affirmation.
     
    #4 Redshift, Oct 10, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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    Dominique let out a soft chuckle. Zan was good at many things, but impressions were obviously not the woman's forte. Still, it was a commendable attempt at imitating the Magemother's sharp tongue and biting remarks. "The woman never disappoints." He'd save his amusement for another day though, because as Zan said, the noble was leaving and time was of the essence.

    Fletch's comment didn't go unnoticed, and nodding, Dom began to take slow, unhurried steps towards the fuming man. "Thank you for all your hard work, Zan. You can give me the details later, for now, let's go meet our new friend." He paused for a fraction of a second and eyed the Sandman and the sleeping Silas. The former gave him a halfhearted nod, as if to say he was perfectly happy with lingering in the shadows. Dom didn't complain, but instead, flashed the Sandman a small smile. It was just like the man to shy away from matters that involved talking. Lazarus had never been one for words after all, and Dom doubted having the quiet man glare daggers at the noble would make for a good first impression.

    And Silas... well, Dom didn't want to wake him up from his cat nap either, so he walked on without them.

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    Vivian didn't need a signal. Happily, she leaped off the crate and began following after her friends. She had about a hundred questions for Zan, but kept the excitement and curiosity buried beneath. Later, when they were back at the circus, she would ask for every detail. "Hey, Zan, Fletch," she whispered. "Wanna make a bet? I bet in a minute or two, he'll be yelling his head off at poor ol' Dommy." The noble looked like he was at the end of his rope, and there was Dominique, traipsing towards the man like they were good friends going out for a Sunday brunch. Really, by the way Dom was acting, it looked as if the noble wasn't out for the blood of the first person who dared approach him. Did Dom not see the way the man was kicking at the dirt? Ah well, their ringleader had always been... eccentric. It had to be a requirement for all ringleaders everywhere, Viv thought, or else circuses would be mighty boring.

    "Careful," she called out playfully before finally deciding to take things more professionally. She reminded herself this was another job opportunity and cocked her head to the side when Dom finally reached the man.

    Without skipping a beat, Dominique stopped before Essien and extended a hand in greeting. "Hello there, I couldn't help but overhear you've been having some problems." He allowed his sentence to sink in then put on his most disarming smile. "I'll admit, I'm not too fond of the Magemother myself. Good sir, I'd like to think my friends and I can help you with these problems of yours."
     
    #5 Fox of Spades, Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
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    -and he would have to investigate about that phenomenon and, knowing how difficult it is to review a document from the Bureau of Internal Affairs or whatever they called themselves nowadays, that meant he would have to call in a few favors as if he didn’t need every bit of leverage he could get to keep his office afloat-

    “Hello there.”

    Essien straightened his back on instinct and plastered on a smile soon as he heard the voice; his rage managed to quell itself enough for him to look less of an outwardly pissed man and more of an inwardly pissed one. Though it was but a year or so since he ran for a public position, having to entertain all sorts of folks no matter what type of mood he was in grew stale fast. You had to let them know one way or another- except telling them outright because boy would the media get on that like bloodhounds on the scent- that Mr. Nice Politician was done fielding your Very Important Questions. His way of expressing so was mentally dubbed the ‘Withering Parent Glare’: a perfect replication of that exact expression on your parent’s face when you interrupted them in the midst their favorite hobby then stood there in silence while they waited for you to explain why. And it was, frankly, a great indicator of the frayed patience he possessed towards this intruder.

    … Oh, lord. It was like first year in University all over again. Essien narrowed his eyes and stared back at the unfamiliar man. That hair could be the reason why he would experience a waking nightmare tonight. A metaphorical stamp came down and imprinted in bold, angry letters: Judged. His eyes flicked to the side, keen and suspicious, as more people came into view. Oh, he heard about this modus operandi. Gangs- for lack of a better word- ganging up on poor innocent tourists out for a stroll. Ha! They’re in for a ride if they think they could pull a hood over this one. Essien squared his shoulders and raised his head in defiance.

    “You must have an impressive set of ears, then.” He reached out and grasped Dominique’s hand, giving it a very brief shake. And maintained eye contact throughout. Taking over would be deceptively easy at this range; he doubted anyone from the Circle would be watching this encounter to even sense what he was planning to do, and if he timed it right he could just hop on a waiting carriage and speed away. “You have me at a disadvantage. We could begin by names, for example, and what it is exactly you meant. I doubt a fruit bowl would appease Her Wiseness,” Essien cast a quick, furtive glance at the road before turning his attention back to the small group. Blast, no coach yet.
     
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    "I'll take that bet," Fletcher gave a small smile, his Tarot cards constantly shifting in his hands. "In fact, I'll raise it." He suddenly stopped shuffling, his fingers deftly picking a card from the pack and flicking it over so it faced him. He glanced at it for a second, before turning it back over and shuffling it back into the deck. Other than this momentary distraction, Fletcher kept his gaze fixed on Essien's eyes the whole time - willing that the man will make eye contact if only for a second. "I bet the Boss will not only keep matters civil between them both, but also convince the man."

    He smiled, holding his hand out to Vivian without actually looking at her. "Ten silver on it. Shake?"

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    Zaniah on the other hand seemed a little on the awkward side as she shrunk back. Much like Essien, she was glancing up and down the street for a cart. The man looked like the sort to have the noble stag steeds of the upper classes, but it wasn't a necessity. Perhaps he had the typical cart-pigeons of the masses. Being inside when he arrived, she had no idea.

    But she supposed, if the carriage were to be delayed...

    She hung back meekly, not responding to Vivian's bet, and instead slinked off back to where Silas and Lazarus had remained. Well, when the carriage did return, if negotiations weren't completed she supposed it couldn't be helped if the carriage damaged a wheel on these somewhat unkept cobbles. If she was lucky they might not even notice.
     
    #7 Redshift, Nov 1, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
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    Ten silvers, it was a good amount and it had been awhile since she'd bought any sweets. She wanted one of those fancy-looking apple tarts from Mrs. Earnshaw's bakery, they always managed to tear a hole through her pockets, but they were always so worth it. Vivian puffed up her cheeks before reaching out to give Fletch's hand a firm shake. "You've got yourself a deal."

    It was too bad Zan wasn't joining in on the action, but then again, she hadn't really expected the woman to. With a bright smile, she turned her attention to Dom and the noble. Judging by the latter's withering gaze, it looked like the odds were in her favor. Victory was going to be oh so sweet. Literally.

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    Ignoring Essien's glare, Dom opted for another one of his disarming smiles. "Why, yes, I've got a perfectly good set of ears. I've got 50-50 vision as well. Thank you for noticing. Anyways, I guess you can say I'm always up-to-date when it comes to the talk going on around town." Not wishing to sound shady or as if he were up to no good, Dom continued on in a casual manner, as if he were catching up with an old friend he hadn't seen in years. "Oh, names, yes! Where are my manners? The name is Domique Duran, though most people call me Monsiur Magic, perhaps you know me as the ringleader of the Wandering Circus?"

    They never stayed in one place for too long, but they'd been in Aesyth for awhile now and were starting to gain a bit of popularity. The crowds were growing larger and the shows more extravagant, and in a few months or so, they'd be able to pull off one of their bigger scams before they hit the road in search of another unsuspecting town. That was how the whole thing worked after all, but in the meanwhile, they took up odd jobs here and there to keep the money flowing and their spirits high.

    "You should catch one of our shows sometime, we're starting to cause a stir, if I say so myself. But anyways, I'm not talking about a simple fruit bowl," he laughed. "We both know it'd take a lot more than that to appease the Magemother. Hmp, to be honest, I don't think even diamonds would work on that woman." He waved a dismissive hand. "What I'm trying to say is, I've happened to hear you need resources and help. Is that right? Well, my friends and I, we take up odd jobs here and there for a bit of coin. We've got numbers and resources, and I think we can help you." Dominique beamed. "It's really quite simple."
     
    #8 Fox of Spades, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
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    20-20, you mean.” Essien drew back- ever the correcting instructor- and coolly inspected the funnyman’s companions, running the figures through his head one more time. Dominique managed to answer his questions without really divulging anything of worth, so he had to rely on his observational skills to place what the proper course of action would be. That in itself ticked off a little warning bell in his mind. He didn’t like having to deal with tricky opponents, although the challenge was usually refreshing. A small crease appeared on the nobleman’s brow, and his eyelashes fluttered.

    There were too many factors in the unknown, here. He had never heard of a wandering circus- at least one that was noteworthy enough- as taking an interest in such matters never fell into his concept of a practical purview. In addition, the trustworthiness of this troupe left much to be desired. Surely a gathering that had to rely on eavesdropping as a source of livelihood would be less than sought after? He needed discreet people for the task. Discretion almost always meant professionals, and he couldn’t afford to have his name linked to a licensed entity for fear of speculation. But an advantage was that if he found that Duran’s lackeys were less than ideal, he could always prepare a remedy in advance…

    So far, this left Essien feeling a mix of apprehension and interest, not to mention a healthy dose of inspiration that had his brain gears churning slowly. This… might work. Provided he prepared well enough, he might resolve this entire matter without showing his cards to anyone. That and a politician would be more believable than a circus master, should the worst come to pass.

    “I would like to continue this discussion elsewhere,” Essien finally said. As luck would have it, his hired coach rounded the corner, trotting across the street with unlikeable ease. The look on his face as well as his general stance must have urged the driver to pick up the pace, because it approached with greater speed after a moment. “Preparations are vital, after all, and I must go make mine. And if you and your friends are less than truly serious, Dominique, it might interest you that I’ll be paying a substantial amount of coin for this task.

    The carriage rolled into a stop, and the door was flung open by a frantic attendant. Essien tilted his head and turned his back to climb into the compartment. “And,” he said over his shoulder, “if you please, our next meeting will be in two hours’ time. That ought be enough for me to make my primary instruments acquired.”

    The carriage door was pulled close and the man’s profile was barely visible from behind the thin maroon curtains, but his sharp-toothed smile glinted in the wan light. “Come find me.” And then the coach rustled, the wheels creaked, and they were off towards the street end.
     
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    Oh. Zaniah blinked once, twice, before cocking her head ever so slightly. She was a little to far back to hear their words clearly, although she certainly had noticed how their boss seemed as at ease as ever. One of her hands dropped to one side as she clicked her fingers once, bringing her hand across her body as she clicked a second time, and up above her head-

    She recoiled as a hand snatched her wrist, her eyes immediately flicking up to the culprit as she tightened like a spring. Another cart noisily passed by, wooden wheels grinding on cobblestone.

    Fletch stood over her, his usual neutral expression curiously tense. "Don't," he said simply, releasing his grip. Zaniah wasted no time in pushing him away from herself. He was lucky she didn't instinctively lash out at him; the girl was known to kick quite viciously when cornered, like a jack-rabbit.

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    Fletch instead turned to the others. "This job may be too ambitious even for us, Boss," he warned. "That is a very dangerous man." He stepped back towards the others to fetch his bottle, lifting it up with mildly trembling his hands and draining the contents. Upon finishing, he wiped his mouth once again on the back of his sleeve. That seemed to calm him down somewhat. "He was suspicious, but not overwhelmed. Rage tempered with calm logic and arrogance. I do not believe the man to be unfamiliar with schemes himself." Quite an impressive reaction considering how the man was caught by surprise, were it not that they where the focus of it.

    "He said he was a politician. To the Magemother." Zaniah said quietly, pulling her scarf back over her nose as another chilled gust blew it's way down their alley.

    "Heh. Well that backs up my feeling. Perhaps he's experienced in such matters."

    "No, I mean. Isn't there that building?" She stared at the others, unblinking.
     
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    Come find me. Essien's words continued to buzz in Dom's ears. Well, that went much better than he'd expected. They were on the right track and as soon as the carriage disappeared from view, he spun around to smile brightly at all his friends. None of them looked too pleased and Fletch began voicing out his concerns. "Too ambitious? With that attitude, yes. Have a little more faith, if we work together we can accomplish anything." Perhaps it was cheesy, but it was something Dominique truly believed in.

    He paused briefly to give Zaniah a reassuring then tuned in to the exchange between her and Fletch.

    Ah, yes, that building. "City Hall?" Dom asked.

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    "Sounds about right," Vivian chimed in. She was somewhat happy that the others were focusing on the politician because it meant there was a chance Fletch would forget about their bet. He'd won and she was a little sour about it. At least the politician had mentioned a substantial amount of coin. That, and Dom looked dead set on accepting the offer.

    "Right," Dom replied. "I guess we should hail a carriage then. We don't want to be late."

    "I'll go get Silas and Lazarus," Viv offered before she ducked out of sight and made her way towards the alley.

    Dominique gave the girl a small wave before turning to Zaniah and Fletch once more. "He might be an intimidating man, but we've got our fair share of experience when it comes to schemes. Did you forget what kind of circus we really are?" Dom chuckled. "Don't worry about a thing. We'll be fine, and if things get sticky, we'll be there to help each other out—ah, there they are. Did you have a nice nap, Silas?"

    Following after Vivian was a yawning Silas and a stone-faced Lazarus.

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    "Hm, yeah... did I miss anything?" The boy sniffled a yawn, he didn't notice Viv rolling her eyes at him.

    "Yes, quite a lot actually." Dom raised a hand to flag down a carriage in the distance. "We can explain on the way."

    The man driving the carriage pulled at his reigns, stopping the giant pigeon mid-hop. The carriage came to a halt not too far from them and Dominique began striding towards their ride. "Let's go, our job is done here."
     
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