B-J liked the days where she could just lie in bed, no duties for her and no stupid going out to hurt people. She didn't like hurting people. Sometimes she asked herself if that were true, and if it was, why did she devote her magic to throwing fire at people? Heaving an exhausted sigh, she finally dragged herself out of bed. She had had a nice lie in now, but she decided she was hungry. She avoided people on her way down to the kitchens and on her way back took a detour to the cells to see if her little brother wanted anything. On her way down, she heard a snatch of conversation and managed to hold back a groan. Death Rose. Her sister was here, or maybe she had just been sent away, B-J wasn't sure. She hadn't exactly stayed around to listen, she just heard the name and carried on. Finally, she reached the cells, pushing the door open with her shoulder. "Hey, Es, you'll never guess who's here." She looked up, trying a smile for her crazy little brother, but he wasn't there. She went back and checked the router, but she was right, he was meant to be on duty right now. Growling furiously, she turned to go and search for him and almost walked into the young woman coming the other way. The young woman shrieked and B-J fought the urge to drop her food and plug her ears. They both mumbled their apologies at once and the young woman laughed. She was one of those girls who towered above most men, with long blonde hair held back by a black bandanna headband. She was thin and pale and had these thin grey-blue eyes that gave a judgemental feel to her face. The girl said nothing, just stood in B-J's way for what seemed like an age. Her eyes travelled down. Despite already being well over 6 feet tall, the girl was wearing heeled shoes, the kind that clunked as she walked. "Uh...hi...you're kind of in my way..." B-J mumbled. The blonde's eyes widened.
"I'm sorry...it's just that you look like that guy..."
"Serpine?" B-J looked a lot like her father. Same dark hair cut into a short bob, same glittering emerald eyes, same thin lips struggling to find a reason to curl into a smile...she didn't think these features looked good on a girl. The blonde nodded. "It's kinda creepy, actually. I'm Cadence. I'm new here."
"That's okay...you're not the only one. I can show you around a bit if you'd like." She thought for a moment, the name sounding a little familiar. "Cadence Nightwish?"
Cadence nodded. "You've heard of me?"
"My brother's spoken of you." The girl looked a little blank. "Esra Sunshine? He said he had a crush on you."
Cadence nodded and giggled. "I remember him. When we met he was like a hundred and I was just turning nineteen. That was funny. Actually, I'd like to see him. It's been far too long. How is he these days?"
"Insane. You can help me look for him. I think I know one place he might be.
When he saw the two people striding purposefully towards him, he was not happy. As they came closer, he tried to slam the door in their faces, but it wouldn't close. They were using their magic to keep it from closing. Almost howling in frustration, Esra let the door swing open and covered up his project with a large patchwork cloth. "I made that for you as a blanket," B-J scolded almost instantly, "don't use it to cover up your gross experiments!" She wanted to twitch the cloth across and see beneath it, but after the warning about whatever was hidden in the covered cage that hung in the corner she was scared that something in here might tear her arm off. She smiled slightly as her brother turned his attention to the tall necromancer instead. "She isn't allowed in here, B-J. You know she isn't."
"Yeah, but we were told to look for you." B-J lied. She managed not to grin as her brother paled considerably.
"Please don't tell. I hate guard duty! I wanted to do something worth my time."
She offered him a bun which he gratefully accepted. "I'll keep zipped up if Cadence and I don't have to leave."
"Cadence, huh?" He looked the girl up and down and Nightwish saw recognition in his eyes. He shrugged and sat heavily in his chair. "Whatever."
"So...long time no see, huh?" The necromancer sat opposite on a large wooden casket. Esra eyed it nervously.
"Yeah...still as pretty as ever." He was acting awkward and unsure. This was how he had acted when he had first met the girl he now dated...B-J winced, hoping Cadence didn't start to flirt.
"Thank you! You're still a fox yourself. Could do with a haircut though."
"I, uh, I get that a lot." They laughed.
"Which bit, the foxy bit or the haircut bit?"
B-J shook her head. She would have to tell her Esra was spoken for. They continued to flirt and Serpine's daughter bent down and picked up her brother's research. There was a lot there about mixing necromancy with his science-magic, something about a successful trial, but it was all too vague for her to understand. She looked back to check Esra was still occupied and put the papers back how she had found them, suddenly feeling guilty for reading them without permission. She didn't want to snoop. Still the curiosity of what was beneath the cloth was killing her. She moved to the table as Cadence picked up the research. "What's this about?"
It was snatched away from her. "I was hired for something. Me and my crew. This was my contribution. Some of the rest of them are around somewhere..."
"He killed one of them to use for his trial, I know that much, but I don't know what the trial was about." B-J added darkly, shooting a glare to the back of his head.
"He was already dead." B-J sighed and twitched aside the coverings of the thing, eyes flickering up to see Cadence moving so close she was practically on his lap. The eyes flickered back down and she jerked away, almost crying out.
...It was the Grotesquery...she had no idea how he had gotten hold of it but it was there, and he was repairing it...
Austin and Gale sneaked out with the files, scurrying back to Austin's room with the files and hiding them beneath his mattress until they could get them to Arachne to hand over to the Irish Sanctuary to be shared with the rest of them. Gale began to copy some of the most important information about those working for Mevolent, making sure to mark out those known to him as spies for his side. Austin waited uneasily by the door. If someone caught them, they were dead, and someone was bound to notice the missing files. "When's Arachne s'posed to be free to talk to us?"
Gale gave an irritated grunt. "How'm I s'posed to know?"
"You're closer to her than I am."
"Yeah, and you're pretty bloody close to that Cadence chick!"
Austin looked over to him with a quizzical expression. "Uh...I'm not sure, but I think I'm allowed to be close to my sister..."
Gale snorted. "Close to your family?"
"That's normal, isn't it?"
"Is it?" There was an awkward silence. "All my family hate each other...I haven't seen my sisters in years."
"So Arachne was supposed to make those arrangements with you." The necromancer tried to change the topic fast. "When are we supposed to see her?"
"She wants to pretend not to know us. Next month. Till then, we're supposed to try and get as much information to the sanctuary via your sister. We can't send original copies of anything. It will be too suspicious."
"We just stole half a filing cabinet. I'm sure their suspicions are aroused."
There was another awkward silence before Gale began to swear.