Title: A New Business
Kalliope D'aher - May 9, 2012 06:15 PM (GMT)
A girl needed three things: food, shelter, and water.
Kalli could do without other 'necessities' that other people concerned themselves with. Those three things couldn't be guaranteed to her in this place, though, and that she recognized as a terrible problem. She had spent too much time as a scavenger on the streets of Kyha and Maristheum. She had become so sick that she could hardly move, and then when that illness and some luck brought her food, shelter, and water, she realized what she had to do.
Find a job-- any job.
Unfortunately, that was difficult for a refugee, especially a female without a trade. She could speak Escovan quite well, and other languages too, but not without an accent that marked her as a foreigner. Soon she was back to sleeping in alleys with tattered clothes, nearly freezing each night as winter came.
In fact, it wasn't until there was a night of snow that someone encountered Kalli walking about, shaking from some combination of the temperature and starvation. This someone was a woman, dressed well, escorted by a man who walked several paces behind. . .
At first Kalli had just thought of the woman as Luck, but now she called her Alyssa.
It was with Alyssa that Kalli now roamed the market district. They were joined by another woman, a curvaceous, red-haired woman, and a tall man with dark skin and a kind face. Kalli had come to dislike that woman some, but the man she liked quite a lot. He was nice to her-- distant in many ways, but still nice. As Alyssa and the "fire-hair" woman led the way through the district, their hair pinned back to expose their slender necks, Kalli walked a few steps behind, closer to her preferred companion.
She wasn't here to work, after all. She was here to observe and to mingle. Because of this, she had been allowed to keep her waves of dark hair down around her shoulders and cascading down her back. She had been allowed to wear a rather plain dress, one she found comfortable. She was allowed to go without the jewelry that sometimes made her skin red or annoyed her with all its jingling.
Eventually Kalli found herself walking into the middle of the actual market. Alyssa turned and offered a wink and subtle gesture of her hand before walking off with the other woman, leaving Kalli standing beside the tall man. She glanced around, feeling awkward and out of place. She knew what she was supposed to do while Alyssa was busy, but--
"Go on," the tall man said, looking toward the other women. "I'll watch you."
She took that as her cue to walk away. . .
Small flakes of snow were falling from the sky by the time someone actually approached her-- a young man. Her narrowed gaze was made into more of a glare than she intended by the dark makeup around her eyes. As a result, the man seemed to be taken aback by the look, but he still smiled at her.
"What is a woman like you doing alone in the market?" he asked.
She tilted her head at him, curious. What sort of question was that? It seemed a bit stupid, especially since she didn't know him. Why tell him what she was doing?
"You're too beautiful to be wandering alone," he clarified, bowing his head a bit.
Oh. She turned away a little, looking to her friend. He was watching the red-haired woman.
The young man leaned toward her somewhat, trying to get a look at her face. She could smell a hint of alcohol on his breath-- unsurprising, given that the hour was around the time that normal people ate their last meal of the day and men started drinking. "If you'd like, I will escort you, miss- . . ."
"You should try her," Kalli said plainly, pointing toward Alyssa. Pointing toward the other woman, she added, "Or her. They are alone."
They would be willing to go somewhere with him, for a price. She, however, was not willing. Unfortunately, that seemed to upset him, judging by his narrowing glare. He reached out and grabbed her shoulder, causing her to lean back and face him squarely again as her own eyes went wide.
"I asked for your name," he said lowly. . . even though he hadn't actually done that.
"I told you to try those women," Kalli responded before glancing at her tall friend again.
He was ignoring her.
As the young man before her gave her a slight push, causing her to stumble back a step and bump into some other person, she had to wonder why. She had to think for the millionth time that she had been foolish in accepting Alyssa's help-- that maybe it would be best for her to leave now, go back to Kyha. . .
Zephyr O'resta - May 9, 2012 10:39 PM (GMT)
So many flying pigs out tonight.
All loitering around looking for next whore they can get lucky with, which was another thing. There seemed to be quite a few girls working this corner of the marketplace tonight including one who seemed like she was not cut out for it. He watched the girl with the long brown hair carefully, she stuck out badly. It was no wander the man had picked her, probably thought he could have his way without paying. Humans like that he detested because they were far too predictable and completely boring.
Should he pretend to be prince charming today? Maybe he would and see what this encounter turns into.
By now it was quite obvious the sweet young thing needed assistance because her eyes were wandering to her companions but they seemed to doing other things. Zephyr walked across the marketplace over to where the girl and the flying pig was. Of course he had been far away, he couldn't be seen watching people because informants needed to keep a low profile when they were watching the millions of lambs.
Oz shoved the man making it seem like an accident before a friendly smile appeared on his face. It was a smile full of warm NOT like the usual creepy one he wore when stocking his prey at night. "There you are, sorry I'm late I hope you haven't been waiting too long" He winked at her hoping she would be smart enough to just play along.
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 12:30 AM (GMT)
Kalli looked at the newcomer with a strangely doe-eyed expression. She had expected him to do something a little more hostile when he pushed that other man, but his words suggested much more compassionate intentions. While she wasn't one to trust a stranger very quickly at this point, she did have a very basic idea of what he was doing.
If he could make this other man go away, she supposed the chances that she'd be better off were rather good. So, she said, "No, not too long." It was just a bonus that the statement was true and that she happened to be able to smile as she spoke. "Glad you're here now."
That may or may not have been true. She wasn't all that sure yet. After all, he might have wanted the same thing that the other man wanted. Even as that other man started to back away slowly, his brow furrowed deeply, she wasn't convinced that her problems were over.
Another somewhat nervous, sideways glance to her new friend nearby-- He was still looking elsewhere, toward Alyssa, it seemed.
Her arms crossed then and her fingers pressed tightly against the fabric of the pink-ish dress over her sides. Alyssa had told her not to stand that way, but Kalli wasn't thinking about that at this point.
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 01:01 AM (GMT)
It was not often he went out of his way so the woman should be grateful because if she didn’t he might have changed his mind and helped the guy drag the frail woman off to be raped.
Changing his mind was under his right as an evil mastermind.
The man backed off like Oz knew he would because he had already planned it out and luck was always on his side. Enough of the boring piglet, it was time to focus on the sheep in wolfs skin. ”There’s no need to be freighted, I have no need for such services especially from a woman who doesn’t appear to be in that kind of business” He was great at reading people it’s what he did and he was damn proud of his talent. ”Judging by your lack of weight and slightly dirty clothes your obviously standing out here out of desperation”
Was he telling her the truth to strongly? Oh well if she ran than he would have no use for her. ”You posses such a strong will to live, I could use someone like you in my work if your interested”
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 01:06 AM (GMT)
Kalli looked at him, her eyes narrowing with a hint of skepticism. He was strange, she thought. His words, while their basic meaning made sense, confused her. It was the motivation she didn't understand. The implied meanings, if there were any to be hunted, escaped her.
"I have a job, sir," she said slowly.
And she did. She was a thief, and now Alyssa had gotten her another, more legitimate occupation. Sure, she wasn't really working yet. She was being trained. However, she had a rather fancy roof over her head, good food in her belly, and assurance that she would be employed soon and paid well for it.
Of course, she wasn't exactly fond of the work Alyssa had found for her. She didn't want to admit that, especially knowing that it could guarantee her some sort of stability or even power in some small way, but it was true. As soon as she allowed herself to consider that, the thought reminded her that she wasn't as content as she was trying to be.
Feeling the need to explore her curiosity, she asked, "What work do you do?"
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 01:18 AM (GMT)
Ha, well she just failed miserably at her so called job. Giving a potential client the cold shoulder was already setting her up for failure because by the time she really started working that one man might have told all his friends to not come to her.
She couldn’t even imagine the whores of her so called job, Oz knew, because he knew everything. He had talked to many whores, seen many woman raped, and witnessed even more woman give it up only to not be paid. He would give it time, she hadn’t walked away which meant a part of her was interested.
Oz returned his eyes to her with a smile, ”I’m an Informant” He gave her a few seconds to soak in his job title. ”My profession is all about listening, to the rumors, gossips, or simply eaves dropping on other peoples conversation” Who wouldn’t love to have his job! ”What kind of information I’m listening for depends on my client; it could be dirt on a rival or proof that a wife is cheating on her husband”
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 01:25 AM (GMT)
"What do you want from me?" was the next question, offered cautiously before she glanced to her friend yet again.
Her eyes met his this time. There were no gestures, no signals. She had already been taught most of the ones the other women used, but she wasn't going to use any now-- not even one to tell him she was alright.
Of course, she was somewhat worried. What sort of informant went about informing strangers that he was an informant? What sort of man just marched up to a woman making his every assumption about her known? It was suspicious, to say the least.
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 01:34 AM (GMT)
What did she take him for? Some fool who couldn’t tell she was gesturing to her only male friend. Even if she had only flickered her eyes Oz had seen it because he saw everything.
”Nothing” He actually told the truth for once, this day should be written in the history books. ”I was looking for an assistant, someone with a strong will.” His work could get dangerous especially when it involved spying; he couldn’t hire a person who would just runaway. ”Someone who depends on others is weak, only the strong can survive in this world now a days”
Especially the world Oz wanted to create, weak people like his twin needed to just perish.
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 01:42 AM (GMT)
"But I would assist you. I would have to depend on you," Kalli said more quickly, her brow furrowing with some irritation. "What would you give me in return?"
She had come from a tribe of merchants, in a sense. They survived on bartering, on wise business. Even if she wanted to deny her heritage, her culture-- that much was still true. She hadn't suddenly become an idiot about working and making money. Bad choices had landed her on the street, not simple stupidity.
She was being smarter now. She was relying upon people who had proven to be very helpful thus far. This man would have to prove himself to be better than them if he was going to get her assistance, or so her shifting and the tight crossing of her arms seemed to suggest.
Luckily for him, she was having difficulties ignoring the problems she had with the job she was currently being trained for. . . Minor though they may have been to a woman like Alyssa, even those small issues were terribly significant to Kalli, especially when she really bothered to think about them.
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 01:50 AM (GMT)
Clever, finally she was proving she had more of a backbone.
”You would assist my work not me, you would ultimately work alone and report whatever you find to me” Depend on him? Pleassse! He said assistant not extra baggage, whatever trouble she got into on the job she would have to get herself out of. He was no white clad hero, if she couldn’t handle herself than he would let her die in a gutter and find a new assistant.
”A place of your own and payment for all useful information you bring me” Which wasn’t hard, almost all information was useful. It just depended where a person was looking or which client would pay handsomely for it.
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 02:01 AM (GMT)
Her lips pressed together firmly. Her gaze hardened.
"What place? How much payment, average? For what sort of information?" she asked, her questions as blunt as ever.
Any place might do. Perhaps she could just do this job. Maybe it would be enough so that she wouldn't need Alyssa's help. She could just thank Alyssa, thank the lady of the house, and thank her new friend and then be on her way. Maybe she didn't have to do this- this business Alyssa and the red-haired woman were working on, at all. . . but then maybe she did have to do that. . . and maybe she could do work for this man, too.
More money. More stability . . . She was a thief now, anyway. She could find information.
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 02:15 AM (GMT)
Oh, fierce. She was serious now!
This was too much fun; she was getting so willing to accept his offer. A part of him wanted to reject after she confessed she wanted but alas he did need an assistant. Murdering people and working on his criminal schemes did take a lot of his focus so having someone else gathering information besides him would be convenient.
”A permanent room at an inn, the location would be based on your preference” Obviously high town was out of the question not that they really had any inns in that part of town. ”Your payment will depend on the type of information you bring me, the more valuable it is the more money you will receive. As for information, all kinds;, most about secrets, corruption, or betrayal. It’s rare when someone comes requesting something not of that nature.” He had maybe been asked by one person who was looking for their lost sister but the child couldn’t pay enough so Oz turned him away.
He was not a charity service.
Kalliope D'aher - May 10, 2012 06:22 AM (GMT)
"What are the other conditions?" Kalli asked then, calming considerably, though her arms remained firmly crossed. "How often must I bring information?" She bowed her head and gave it a slight shake, frustrated by the feeling that she wasn't expressing herself clearly. ". . . Other requirements?"
This seemed too simple thus far, and the more he told her, the less patient she became. She wanted to know precisely what this job would require, especially if he couldn't guarantee her lodging for long or wouldn't unless she met some unreasonable minimum of information. She wanted to be able to accept his offer. . .
Zephyr O'resta - May 10, 2012 10:41 PM (GMT)
Hook, line, and sinker.
All the questions meant she wanted to take his job offer but like a true human she believed that there was some kind of catch a hidden motive. Quite smart on the frail sheep’s part but there was no hidden secret or at least not yet. Who knows if he may need her for something different at a later time and yes, she would have no choice in the matter.
Of course, if she proved to be a useful lamb at gathering information than he would leave her out of his plans because all evil geniuses needed talented minions.
"There is no time limit for information, as long as you are working at it than thats all I require." If she tried to skate off and not work for him than he would know, this job he offered her wasn't hard so there was no reason for her to complain because there were no set hours. Her schedule was her own; she could work as many hours as she wanted. "If you show talent than I may start assigning you to find specific information that a client requests" That was probably still far off in the future.
"My only requirement is that you make your work with me priority, keep this job if you want and your free to do whatever you want. Your personal life is of no concern to me" What did he care, that’s right he really didn't! She could whore herself all around Escova and he wouldn't give a damn because this was not a bond...it was business.