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-Lilium-

Things we give up. [artifact]

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It takes a while for the smoke to dissipate, even with the door to the building hanging wide open. The desired effect on the little-young-Hydraxean had been positive. Though it does leave a few red veins to stain the whites of her eyes. The watery sensation having yet to die down. Despite her greatest efforts to become accustomed to her own munitions, smoke still burns when in close contact. The innate healing qualities of her frame restrained for the time being. At least until she can properly grasp and package the little creature as neatly and comfortably as possible for the authorities. Not wanting them to panic at the sight of it, and it to awaken in a panic at the sight of them. Fear and misunderstanding, only breed further fear and misunderstanding.

Were it not for her warning, the young Caim might have endured a much worse fate. His depth of sleep possibly stronger than that of the beguiled beast snoring in the box before her. Then again, she now little, almost nothing, about the child. Other than that having him around seems more dangerous than she originally bargained for. His curiosity and blatant disregard for the unknown….deadly. Capria would rather prefer not to be on the receiving end of his haphazard mistakes.

Or maybe she is being too hard on him. It is a fleeting thought to be sure. Formed from the fact that her time spent around children since being one herself, has been severely diminished by her career.

Once things are settled and she signs away the creature. Her signature of transference and release as much an agreement as it is an order. This creature would be returned to its place of origin, without question. Should anyone wish to face her wrath, that is.

“Yes, it should be taken to Alterion. I have a contact at Daius Industries that you can hand it over to. Just make sure you don’t shake the crate more than the necessary amount it takes to move it. You don’t want it to wake up early.”

“I understand, Ma’am.” The uniformed man takes the paperwork and signals for the others to load up the crate, as well as the man she’d captured upon entering.

“Leave him with me for a moment, I have a few questions for him.” Capria’s voice is equivalent to shards of ice as they penetrate the air. Building upon the frigid air that suddenly breezes past them.

If the officer had deigned to hesitate, he quickly thought otherwise. Choosing to fight another day, with someone less than the like of her. “Aye, leave him. Let’s go. We’ll catalog everything and mark down the territory once you’ve finished. Annd...we'll take him after your interrogation.”

“Alright.”

 


 

Edited by -Lilium-

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UZ7K9Bh.jpg?1Capria waits patiently for the squad to remove the crate and exit the building. Leaving her and the black market salesman alone in the cluttered entry room. It takes a great deal of perseverance for her not to dispense a form of justice that would lead to him becoming a pile of ash on an already dirty rug. Anger is usually not an issue she condones or deals in, but this man's shop struck a chord in her. One that vibrated upon notice of the creature, up to now. The strength of it causes her nostrils to flare.

If there is one thing for Capria to covet above all else, it is life. In every form. Those that were stolen without necessity or permission, drain her last nerve. Fraying it and grinding it down to a nub. Were she not in a hurry, she would take some precious time with the worthless being until he wished to repent for his mistakes against all the children of Gaia he ever dared touch in his pathetic lifetime. Unfortunately, there’s the matter of her current mission.

“Please….please don’t kill me!.” The teary plea pulls her out of a trance. And after a few blinks, she comes to realize that she’d somehow managed to walk up on him. Just enough so that he is now cowering in a ball on the floor while she towers over him, fists balled in the momentary fury she was forced to take control of.

“That’s not a worry you need to consider at the moment.” Capria steps back slowly, dropping her frame into what she assumes is his desk chair. Being that he looks more comfortable on the floor. “I need some information from you. And depending on what you decide to tell me, I may let you stay in one piece instead of tearing you into three.” The man has no idea on how to take it aside from whining at her feet and muttering his compliance.

What he doesn’t know is that she isn’t planning on killing him. Prison would take care of that just fine.

 


 

Edited by -Lilium-

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UZ7K9Bh.jpg?1The conversation is brief. His information a mere reflection of the nothing she is already working with. Sad really. It’s too bad he didn’t have more to tell her. Yet Capria is of the understanding that things are never that easy. Work has to be done, dirt overturned, and seeds planted. They’d been in there talking for maybe thirty minutes or so when she hears a sharp knock on the door. More than likely the Captain wanting to know if she is done.

“Come on in.” And it was exactly as she had expected.

Maybe it’s her suit, or her demeanor, or the emptiness that is the file beneath the iID she had to show when they’d first arrive. Protocol and all. He seemed agitated, nervous even. Possibly thinking she’d gutted the man while they were busy with the baby hydraxean. Damn the darkness, she has no clue. Nor does she have the aspiration to wonder what his pale and tightly fitted expression is saying. Instead, she stands from the chair and waves her arms in a singular motion. Leading the tips of her fingers to indicate the man on the floor. Undamaged, in one piece, without so much as a drop of blood spilled.

The sudden flood of relief washing over the Captains features causes her to raise a brow. If his nose weren’t so pinched, she might think him attractive in a short stout man kind of way. But that isn’t what crosses her mind. Rather she just shakes her head at him in her own conveyance of ‘you’re impossible for thinking that way’. And heads outside. “He’s all yours. You may want to call in specialty cleaning, there are quite a bit of magical resources in there. And not of the friendly kind. And I doubt that little beast was the only other living thing in there beside him. Find them, package ‘em and get them home where they belong. This place is closed and on the list.” She is in no mood to set up a watch or a spy to case the place for further business. Especially since it’s taped off and there are military police surrounding it. She has no doubt that whomever actually owns the joint, has already been notified. Meaning the man inside is on borrowed time, and this building will be a condemned shell after the squad is done with it. So why waste the paper?

And with that, she continues walking. They can handle it while she takes care of her own business...finding a better lead.


 

Edited by -Lilium-

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UZ7K9Bh.jpg?1Before she is able to relieve the area of her presence an audible crackle connects her to the familiar and excited tones of Maggie’s voice. “Whatcha got?” If anything. It isn’t unusual for the tech geek to contact her to talk about men or annoying friends or anything not pertaining to work. Where some may find this annoying and a waste of time-Capria totally does-she allows the girl to say whatever her heart desires. Potentially due to the quiet she experiences otherwise.

“You are never going to believe this!!!” You’ve dumped your boyfriend again? “I was able to break down a few layers of the coding over the top of the tarot card….and I found this!” Her giddiness snaps Capria back to full attention. Inwardly chiding herself for making fun of the girl at that moment.

See, even you can still be surprised. An inner comment that causes her brows to furrow in irritation.

“It’ a little blurry, but like I said, trying to scrub the surface takes a while and I have a feeling there may not be anything more than this. When I tried to scrub this layer the entire image began to fade. Eventually just disintegrated into code. But I was able to snapshot it just beforehand.”

If not for Maggie’s impeccable need to autosave all her work, they might have lost it. But the image of the mask is no longer present. And what lies before her is the shadowy and slightly blurred face of...a child? A young girl of maybe no more than 15? The best assumption she can make based on the structure of her face. For all Capria knows it could be a dummy or a man with feminine features. “I am ashamed of myself for not thinking of this before...send it to my tablet. I want to try something.” With renewed motivation, she spins on the heels of her boots and marches right back towards the antique shop. Hoping they haven’t taken the man away yet.


 

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UZ7K9Bh.jpg?1She’s at a near sprint in an attempt to backtrack. It had only been a few moments so doing anything outside of exerting her physical capabilities would be a waste of energy. Not a droplet of sweat breaks against the smooth curve of her forehead, no rise in the respirations she uses to breathe. Too much exercise perhaps.

Either way, she nearly misses the vehicle as it pulls away from the front of the building. The truck with their animal package already gone. “HEY!” Startled the Captain sees her jump out in front of the vehicle and starts yelling from the front of the building himself. “Inquisitor! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!” Palms slap the hood of the abruptly stopped vehicle. Citrine eyes watching both the driver and passengers lurching forward in their seats against the belts strapped across their chests. Better still, the prisoner in the back slides enough due to the lurch to smack his face against the glass separating him from the two men in the front seat. Now that’s what I call Karma!

Definitely. She agrees wholeheartedly on that fact and has to tilt her chin downward in order to hide the smile freshly plaguing her lips. Eyes hidden behind the sheen of the sun as it reflects of her spectacles.

The little moments make the day, you know…Small victories, smallllll victories.

Capria doesn’t ignite further conversation and slides her hands from the suv’s hood. “What is it?! Is something wrong?!” The Captain is huffing, cheeks red with annoyance at her too quick of a return to the scene.

“Nothing is wrong per se. I just need to ask him one more question. I’ve...received some information and I need to see what he knows about it. I promise, I’ll make it quick and then I will be out of your hair.”

 


 

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With a roll of his eyes, the captain decides to oblige her rather than argue. Possibly in the hopes of ensuring her second abrupt exit from the scene so they can get things done before dark. "Sure, go ahead." Capria doesn't climb in but waves the cuffed man forward, beckoning to come in close so that she can share what Maggie happened to find with him. "Take a look and tell me if you've ever seen anything like it before." First is the original image without the removed layer, "It's a trot card. I see them all the time. People think they're worth something, but they really aren't. It all depends on the ability of the person using them, really. They're mostly for show and fake palm readings...you know...like what Gypsies do?"

Now for the second image. The vibration of the small tablet in her hand during her showing him the first image alerts her to the fact Maggie has sent her the requested image. With a few swipes and taps she's pulled it onto the forward screen and expanding it so that he can see it more clearly. Or as cleary as the layer of blur will allow. The woman nods, accepting his information silently. Judging his words as sincere due to the calm relaxed nature in which he says them. "Now this one, same card dif--" To her surprise, his reaction is instantaneous, and not at all positive. Fear, sheer terror, strikes his face. The recoil of his entire body, as it shrinks into the corner of the door and his seat causes her eyes to widen and blink repeatedly. 

"GET IT AWAY FROM ME!!! SHE CAN'T KNOW!! GET AWAY!!"

The captain immediately places his hand on Capria's shoulder a warning to keep the prisoner calm. But she doesn't budge. Rather than retreat at his immediate distress, she merely turns the device off and retracts it, depositing it into the pocket of her coat. "Explain yourself." He's going to wet his pants... Enough. "She's not here, and can't hurt you. It was just a picture." Gentle in the caress of a soothing breeze, her voice emits across space between them. Like the coax of a friendly hand. "That kid...she's pure evil." Although he speaks, its no more than a stuttering squeak of a whisper. "Her and her little band of child monsters. I've seen them....in Doughton before. Evil. EVILLLL."

"Let him go, he's probably just losing his mind. We found quite a bit of herb on his desk. And not the kind you'd want to smoke on a regular basis. I'll have to send them to H.E.R.B. for better analysis, but I have a feeling his mind is on it's way out. Capria doesn't allow this subjective point of view to deter what her gut tells her. His fear, his anxiety, they are real. And something about the girl in the image obviously haunts his nightmares. And she'd managed just managed to remind him of them. For what's left of the coky black market salesman is a curled up ball of infancy. The unceremonious rocking back and forth and confused whispering to himself, evidence for her to gather. "Why don't you let me judge what is or isn't useful in my investigation." The objectiveness in which she reads the situation is incredibly telling, and she plans to use that to her advantage.

"Have fun with your side of things, Captain."

Even though she is the one walking away, again, it is clear as to whom has truly been dismissed. 

 

 

 

Edited by -Lilium-

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“I can get you an airship ticket from Hell's Gate to Doughton for tomorrow morning. That's the earliest I can find.” She means the cheapest.

“That's fine Maggie,” Capria regards her watch, listening to the tick of the second hand as it moves along its face. Only a few hours left in the day anyway. “What time?”

“0700, I'll have the ticket delivered to you. Same address as last time?” Maggie asks this from time to time due to the constant shifting of Capria and other under the radar personnel having to constantly travel. Never living in the same place for longer than necessary.

“Yes, the same as last time.” To the woman's credit, she sounds surprised by this. Capria having kept a residence in Hell's Gate for longer than most. Years, in fact. Even if the walls remain bare, and the face of the place appears cold and empty...she does view it as home. A personal space in which to be herself away from everything else.

“Nice...well that makes it easier.” Capria hears the woman's fingers tapping against the keys of her computer as she inputs whatever it is she's currently working on. “Delivery will be sometime before last light.”

“Thank you, Maggie. Enjoy your evening.” She disconnects without waiting for a response and opens the door to her apartment. Shortly after leaving the Antique shop, and witnessing the terror induced by the photo of a mere girl, she’d chosen to return home. But not after contacting Maggie and having her dive into some of Doughton's recent and past histories regarding evil young children. For lack of a better defining word. The man’s information enough, but very little in the way of imaginative. Despite his reaction and the image, she knows better than to take the image and his reaction to it for granted. Things are never what they seem, especially in the matters she finds herself dealing in. 

Regardless of her thoughts on the matter, she cannot stop looking at the images. Flipping back and forth from one to the other as if in doing so it might reveal the answers she seeks. They don’t. They do not tell her single thing she wants to know more than what she already knows. However, she does know that the embedded card is a tarot card more than likely implanted by another hidden-by-the-shadows-of-the-system-being not too dissimilar from herself. In order to communicate their findings, they had to find new and unique ways to circumvent the system in order for the information to fall into the right hands. But this card...was just left out in the open.

It troubles her mind to think of how long it must have been sitting hidden before Maggie dug it up. After a few moments of standing in her entryway, she shuts the door behind her and makes her way to the kitchen in order to put the kettle on. It would be a long night of planning and thinking.  

 


 

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As promised the package had arrived sometime between the failing light of the sun where the moon has begun to brighten in the evening sky. Slid beneath the frame of the door just as everything else delivered to her usually is.

Although she'd been awake, sitting by the window and staring up at the sky counting the light of the stars as they began to slowly twinkle into existence, she didn't bother to get up and retrieve it. Better left for the morning when it would prove more useful. Her thoughts were carrying her far away up into the blanketed night. The fascination is childlike in its simplicity, though not a single wish breaks from her lips as she watches one of those stars shoot an arching line across the contrasting backdrop.

When morning came she'd followed her normal routine in preparation to leave and never return. By taking all her possessions and wiping her existence from the apartment as her personal rules mandate she does. Habits hard in dying. Capria knows the importance of believing that life is short and that Gaia can call each and every one of her children home at any time. So should she fall like the star form the night before, her possession would be as misplaced as her body. A trick of the trade. Cleansing by fire and brimstone.

After a short ride from her housing area to the air-port in her district, ticket in hand, she engages the counter and exchanges her ticket with her identification to match and secured further instruction on the terminal her gate is in. "It will be Terminal E Gate 2, Miss Belvardi. Please enjoy your trip."  All of the actions performed are automatic. From the polite conversation to the perfect smile, to whomever wherever. "Thank you. May the day find you well." 

Capria arrives at her specified gate just before departure, not wanting to be too early as to have to sit and wait among a crowd. Another ticket drop, and she boards taking her assigned seat in silence. Eyes closing to shut out the option of neighborly conversation. Preferring to keep to herself for the time being while she mentally goes through the information she already has against another file Maggie sent her sometime before she awoke. For the hundredth time.

 


 

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Several hours take them across the land covering the expanse between Hell's Gate and Doughton. Her knowledge of the ground below limited to Langley Keep and a few small villages. Despite the many years she's lived in Terrenus, she's has yet to see as much of it as she would like. Usually keeping to the larger cities for work, sometimes traveling out of the country when requested or absolutely necessary as of late.

Even on leave, she hadn't managed much travel,  although the short adventures had been quite worthwhile to her. In engaging people, she might never have met otherwise. Capria's thoughts drift back in time before an announcement regarding their short in coming landing disrupts them. Pulling her back to the present and forcing her to think on the future moments of the day.

Not at any moment during the flight had she taken so much as a moment to look out of the window before now. Possibly due to having a seat near the aisle. Amid the other two heads craning to look, she can understand why some might enjoy this part more than the actual flight. Something about the tiny dots on the ground growing and expanding into large buildings, and ants becoming people, quite enthralling. The thought of falling from the sky rather than drifting down in an airship isn’t something she feels too many average people think on. But in the moment, she is transfixed by this idea. The force of the wind as it whips through her hair and skin...Intriguing.

The trip was uneventful, a good thing. Although she did from time to time find herself having to engage in conversation with the neighbors to her right in the center and window seats. A middle aged couple traveling to see their daughter at the culinary academy in Doughton. Rather than give anything away, she pretended to be someone else. Any one other than herself. To protect them from any knowledge she might have inadvertently shared if she had chosen to tell the truth. As far as Emile and Carmen knew, she was nothing more than a sales representative of a restaurant in Hell’s Gate, Jamie’s Pretzels, coming to look for new recipes in order to better the batches of dough their stands tend to sell.

Entertaining as it was, she is glad for their politely hurried manner to part ways. Their excitement at seeing their daughter radiating across her skin as their auras pass by her own. With a quick straightening of her coat, she makes her way off the airship and out into the docking area. Reading the overhead signs in order to find the exit to the Doughton air-port. The next objective being to locate the newly renovated orphanage Maggie’s file briefed her on.


 

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Perhaps an older Connor shot?

Despite the Order of Force Majeure’s increased prominence in recent days (or perhaps because of it), they were not able to deploy their usual operatives, the Knights to accomplish the various tasks and needs required for the burgeoning organization’s continued growth. With his record of service, and breadth of experience, the elite soldier was promoted to the task, and he now found himself in Doughton on a quest, two quests really. The first was to acquire a prototype weather manipulating device, last rumored to be somewhere in the city. The second was to acquire an experimental psionic amplifier, an arcane technology that existed somewhere in the orphanage that he was now about to enter.

While Predator’s Keep was filled with psychics and psionic technology that greatly benefited the current research being performed at the Dawn Komturie, the leading scientists and engineers needed something else, an additional piece. A rumored peace of archeotech that was likely forbidden due to its prior use on children. to study and bring forth their psychic potential. Eshara was no fool, he was a soldier, and he knew the eventual applications of the devices he would be bringing back would be terrible. But he firmly believed in the mission of the Force Majeure. Besides, would be better for them to have the artifact then for it to be loose out in the world.

Today Eshara dressed himself as a simple mercenary adventurer. It was a common cover, easily explaining his fighting skills, and arsenal of weapons, even if not many mercenaries tended to use a poleaxe like the one he slung over his back. 

Of course, there was the problem that he actually didn't think that cover would suffice. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he thought he needed a better story. The Force Majeure gave him a lot of leeway on how to accomplish his mission. 

So there Eshara stood, contemplating a good tale to tell the orphanage staff. He was a travelling warrior who sought to uplift children who were strong of spirit. No, that probably wouldn't work. He was a mercenary interested in charitable deeds and wished to donate to the orphanage in exchange for some technology. Maybe that'd work? Maybe he should just reveal himself as an agent of the Order outright and see if that got him any leverage. 

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It takes little time for her to maneuver her way through Doughton. Maggies’s intuitive nature kindly feeding the knowledge base Capria needs to do so. Those darkly framed glasses much more than the outside eye can perceive; technology is a magnificent thing. Although, there are vain moments when the woman wonders how bad her eyesight could get from always staring at the HUD rather than actually looking through the small glass panes settled across the bridge of her nose. A vast contrast to the serious nature that appears permanently chiseled onto her stony face. As internal arguments sometimes are.

When she arrives there is already a man standing outside of the recently renovated orphanage. His lack of commitment to actually entering it, an intriguing sight to watch. Being that her habits are out of excessively ingrained self-preservation, she highlights the silence of her movements. The shadows beneath her heels stifling whatever sound may have been produced by the connection of her boots to the concrete below. Her body lost among others as they pass him by. Fortunately for Eshara, intuition plays a large role in Capria’s ability to discern his intentions based on the movements of his frame. The hesitation displayed while his face makes subtle hints of his thought process. The only issue with having intuition and gut instincts is the fact there are beings capable of being the ultimate deceivers.UZ7K9Bh.jpg?1

Beings she’s known to hide their true intentions behind those much more innocent and inviting than they should be. So, she’s incredibly precautionary and paranoid, or potentially a little bored and in need of some sort of entertainment to make this mission a tad more worthwhile. In either case, whether he catches it or not a weapon is drawn, the click of a hammer clearly discernible from the city sounds to either side of them.

“Are you some sort of child-pervert?” Asked in as cold a manner as it should be, she continues on, “It’s never a good idea to just stand out in the open and stare at something as if you're about to infiltrate it.”

You clearly need practice. At work, you seem to do alright but out here in the free world...you’re terrible at this game.

I’m sorry you’re so disappointed right now. I’ll play better later. Deadpan notations ringing clearly to the entity in her head.

You’re absolutely humorless...

In reality, she is being cautious with the stranger while feeling less threatened by him than she does by a rabid dog. That is the thought that calms and curbs the cruelty in the darkness of her eyes. Something often mistook for the flicker of life most beings are capable of displaying. When or if he turns to regard her, she stands ready to knock on the door with curled knuckles, the other tapping the freshly lit cigarette into the open air to free it from the ash created in lighting it.

What eventually occurs is a serious case of mistaken identity that leads the corner of her left eye and the edges of her mouth. The disruption is done so quickly, before being replaced by a genuine but so very false expression, that it’s capable of going completely unnoticed.

“OH MY! What a lovely couple! Please, please, come in. The children are expecting you!!” Capria’s knuckles hadn’t even grazed the door when it suddenly swings open to emit the lush greens of the woman speaking. “Come come! We have many children that you may be interested in.”

Although her smile is polite, the words slipping out of her mouth are strangled by nuances of correction. “I am not with this man. I believe my secretary called and spoke with you earlier about my needing to look through some old paperwork.” And yet, she goes completely ignored by the woman, just as Eshara would if he uttered something similar. The dryad continuing to prattle on as if Capria hadn’t spoken with such finality as she had.  This must have been what Maggie meant by 'aloof and flighty of mind'.

Ahahahahaha, she thinks you...YOU are with that guy! Of all the things. YOU with someone...I've never.

“Now, you have to be careful, my little darlings are quite special….and may react in such a manner as to be...unappealing to the two of you. But I can assure you, they’re very loving and would adore you as parents. Let me grab some cinnamon rolls! I was baking when you arrived and I wouldn’t want them to burn. They make the children smile!”

Having to deal with the inner demons and those trying to press her from the outside only make her expression falter. Curves lower as the smile fades into oblivion and is replaced by an emptiness that slowly attempts to recognize some form of irritation without truly allowing it to shine. Rather than allow it to overtake her, on the exhale of a deep breath, she does as trained to do. And rolls with the situation. "Well yes, of course. We wouldn't want such delicious things to be ruined and have the children made sad by it. Where are they right now? So we can interact with them a little?" Every new expression and chosen word set is saturated with eerie realism as if she's suddenly a completely different person. Her entire demeanor having switched flipped from business-like to calm and commital without so much as an ounce of effort. 

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"W-what?" The impromptu comment caught Eshara off guard. Who was this woman to so brazenly insult him so? What was it that his tutors taught him to do in an unfavorable social situation? Oh right.

The next moment saw the man's confusion wipe itself off and be replaced with the most outraged sneer he could manage. Some of the more independent and capable Custodes received etiquette training so they could better blend in wherever they went. Eshara used his training to put on a sneer worthy of being on local noble at minimal, and at least he had the countenance for it too. "How dare you!", he snapped, to catch her attention.

Except now she was also walking away. Eshara followed after her, intent on extracting an apology when another misunderstanding piled on. 

"I am not with this woman", he stated loudly, almost in unison with the blonde's strangled response. Their replies in concert likely didn't help matters, instead giving the impression of a bickering couple. Of course, the orphanage staff knew such a couple could be brought closer together through the love of a child. Which was why she seemed to ignore their protestations. As she went on, Eshata would only be seen tilting his head up and holding the bridge of his nose in frustration. 

There was nothing to do but follow for now. He noted his accuser's shift in demeanor carefully, she didn't seem to be here for any noble reasons either, certainly not for the children's sake, as she claimed. A professional agent, like him, but for who?

Eshara had only one real card to play, but the timing of which was essential.

Edited by Fierach

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Eshara's underwhelming sense of irritation with Capria goes ignored by the blonde and potentially unnoticed by the amiable creature doting over a pan of fresh hot baked rolls. A scent that permeates the kitchen as well as the hallways. Something Capria noticed as soon as she stepped foot through the doorway.

If they somehow had a conversation covering the number of reasons she chose to engage with the Orphanage, Eshara would find his assumption to be founded in facts. Regardless, Capria has no intention of extending such information to him. Stranger danger and all.

Again, Capria asks her question, “Where are the children at?”

As if she'd completely forgotten them the dread looks up from the counter. Her hands still working not only to ice the cinnamon rolls but also to place them on a serving place after she does so. The automatic nature in which she moves, telling of the woman's consistent baking habits.

“Depends, really. They like to be all over the place. Quite free to roam about you know, save for leaving the building or the back yard.” Intuitively, the dread hands a roll to Eshara, “Go on, eat up. You'll need the energy for later.” The smile that follows causes Capria's eye to twitch. Nearly forcing her facade to crumble into that of a sneer, disgusted by whatever it is the woman might be implying only to have it cut off in the middle. “Children may be bundles of joy, but you need the energy to care for them.”

Capria cannot help but clear her throat and regain the smoothness in which her features were settled. Making sure to keep her eyes solely on the woman while having Eshara locked into her periphery.

“Do you mind...if we take a look around. We're both very excited and curious to see the children.” However he may choose to act, it is quite evident Capria intends not only to use him as her excuse to look around but also to give him his ticket in. Gently her hand rises and rests on his arm, fingers curling carefully around the bicep of his gear. Further feeding the woman's smile of adornment towards them.

AHAHAHA...I will remember this...for a very long time!

“OH! Of course! Please go ahead, I'll draw the papers after I set the table. It's nearly snack time. They come and go when they're hungry. Save for supper, we eat that together.”

With her grasp carefully placed, Capria turns and drags Eshara with her out of the kitchen only to hear an afterthought echo out to the both of them. “Watch your backs! They like to play...a lot of games.”

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The food smelled fantastic. Eshara was grateful for that, because it gave him a reason to not maintain that distinct look as if everything around him smelled rank (Mostly the rude woman’s presence) as he looked around, taking in the details. The place seemed ordinary enough, but then again, he never spent much time in orphanages to begin with. He wouldn’t know what was wrong. The proffered treat was accepted gratefully enough, Eshara pausing only long enough to sniff it. No reason to suspect poison here, and the Custode played it off as if he was merely enjoying the scent of the pastry.

Are the children so rambunctious?” he asked, attempting to make himself less of a stone, moments before his… “significant other” grasped him by the arm and started to pull him in one direction. “My apologies dear, my war wound has not yet recovered” he smiled tautly, and firmly removed her hand, making the effort to look polite though he still followed her.

Once they were clear of the kitchen, and out of earshot, or so he hoped as he glanced back to see the room they just left, Eshara would whisper to his new cohort in a low, harsh undertone. “Just so we’re clear, ma’am. I don’t know you, or what your game is. But don’t get in my way, and I won’t get in yours

Live and let live, right?

He glanced back in the matron’s direction once again, though he could not see her. What sort of games might she have been referring to?

Edited by Fierach

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It takes a significant amount of poise not to smash the whole cinnamon roll Eshara's eating into his face. And for some reason, she really wants to indulge in that idea. Instead, Capria eyes him for less than a second before turning to walk away from him. Leaving him to do whatever he wants now that she's escaped the dryad woman's purview.

“Just so we’re clear, ma’am. I don’t know you, or what your game is. But don’t get in my way, and I won’t get in yours.”

Now tell me why you didn't smash his dessert in his face when you had the chance?

He's just a little lost and confused. Even you can sense that much.

All his comment grants him in response is a lazy shrug. Very little tends to get under her skin and that empty threat doesn't even stand a chance of scratching the surface. It doesn't even gain access to her list of priorities. So she keeps walking.

“Fine by me, Soldier.” His comment about the war wound, although false in nature, adds to the slew of information she's gathered through observation. “Just so I make myself clear if you harm any of the children or your new favorite baker,” a morbidly tenacious promise spoken in the normal weight of her tone, “I will hunt you down and execute you.”

With her back angled toward him and her stride carrying her further down the hallway, she adds, “Happy trails, Soldier-man.” Right arm rising, not in that of a 'goodbye', but a sideways wave of dismissal. I should really find somewhere to wash my hand before I catch what he has. Entitlement is contagious.

Darkness lies ahead in unfeeling tendrils that snake from the shadows towards her. Capria feels it right down to her core. Something here just isn’t right. All the information Maggie had given her before now didn’t indicate the orphanage...or had it and they’d somehow missed it. Despite the place's comely appearance due to new ownership, there is ugliness buried beneath it. A quick roll of the shoulders to stretch them, while hands slip into the pockets of her coat. Casual tendencies ensue as thoughts and questions continue to pop up in her mind.

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