Rachel looked up from the mound of reports she had been about to open after being busy with conference calls practically all morning. Frowning, she turned on the microphone on her headset. "This had better be important Louise."
"There's an Agent Rook here to see you. From the Circle of the Shield. Normally I'd tell her to come back when she has an appointment, or to speak with someone else but given our recent conflict with that last agent . . ."
"Just send her in Louise. I'll hear what this Agent Rook has to say. Get some security to come in here with her, will you? And check her with a dowser first. If's she's an epic, or packing any motivators, I'd like to know that before inviting her into my office." Had Margaret sent this one too to clean up the first agent's mess? Or was there something else going on? Rachel didn't like surprises, and today had already had several. This time, if she met anyone, she would be better prepared.
"So, you two were both bureaucrats in Corvallis?" Euphoria nodded, but let Charlene do the talking for both of them. A few feet away, other members of their party were being similarly interrogated by the Albertan Government's border control. Skinsaver looked like he was holding things together, at least, likely boasting about his illustrious, and fantastical, medical career. Peregrine kept glancing over at her, obviously nervous. Calamity, if he gets us caught... Bringing Peregrine along had been a risk, given his lack of allegiance, but it was a calculated one on Euphoria's part. His abilities, though not very strong, would be highly useful.
"All right, that's everything, I guess. I can't promise you jobs, of course, but if you are interested, you should head over to one of the government offices and see if they have any openings. We don't give out their locations to everyone who comes through, but if you ask around you should be able to find one."
"Thanks, Officer Brooks." Charlene smiled, and Euphoria resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Noticing things were getting a little heated over at Peregrine's station, Euphoria gave the officer interrogating him a small dose of happiness, just enough to diffuse the situation without being noticeable. Peregrine narro wed his eyes as a smile spread across the guard's face, and the man who had been glaring at him moments before ushered him through.
"I thought we weren't supposed to use our powers," Peregrine hissed once they were together again.
"We aren't unless it's absolutely necessary. You were going to blow it for all of us. It was absolutely necessary. I. . ." Euphoria trailed off as Brandon, Ian, and Grant rejoined the group. Adding more vanillas to their party had seemed like a good idea to blend in, but it was quickly becoming an annoyance.
"Brandon!" Euphoria did roll her eyes that time. Honestly, couldn't Charlene hear how obvious she was with that tone of voice? It was sad. "You boys get through immigration okay?"
"Yup, no problems." Of course there were not problems for you, pretty boy. Euphoria had known many men like Brandon in her life - overgrown children so used to coasting through life because of their appearance and charm, but utterly lacking in personality or intellect.
"So, I guess you'll be off to visit that friend of yours, right Ian?" Charlene spared a glance for Ian before returning her attention to Brandon "The lorist?"
Euphoria could see the wheels turning behind Ian's eyes as he quickly assessed how much Brandon had exposed, and how little he could get away with saying. "More of a hobbyist than a true lorist, really. I think we'll be heading there now actually. How about you?" Had she still had her vast intelligence network at her disposal, Euphoria would have set a tail to follow Ian, but she was loath to split up her small group so soon after entering a new city. Even still, the fact that Ian was likely a lorist, and that he had been living in Corvallis for a time, made her nervous. How much does he know?
"We'll track down some place to stay, I guess, and then start the job hunt in the morning. One of you guys has a mobile, right? We should exchange numbers, just in case we need to get in touch."
Ian bit his lip, no doubt considering whether he could get out of giving away that he had a mobile, when Grant stepped forward. "Sure, I have one." As Grant and Charlene exchanged numbers, Euphoria caught sight of Ethereaon, and waved him over.
"Leila, darling. How dare you leave me to waste away in that dreadful line. It was positively aweful! Really dear, I don't suppose you know of a functioning 5 star hotel in this region? This needs a little beauty rest to maintain." Ethereaon's glanced over to where Charlene and Grant were using their mobiles, and then shifted to Brandon and gained a slightly hungry expression. Are you kidding me?
"Exchanging numbers are we? How droll! Brandon darling, you wouldn't happen to have a mobile, would you? I'd hate to become strangers since we've grown to know each other so well."
Taylor walked through the southern checkpoint of her choice without being stopped. It was child's play, shifting between forms at opportune moments, and utilizing the face and badge of a guard she passed to get through a staff entrance. Once she was out into Olypmia Polaris proper, she almost shifted back into her true magnificence, but something stopped her.
"Your . . . weakness. We . . . we texted it t-to every Reckoner in range. The Reckoners of . . . of O-Olympia Polaris. They know you are . . . here. They've killed D-Doubletake. And . . . now . . . they . . . will . . . kill . . . y-"
If the Reckoners really were in Olympia Polaris, and knew to watch out for her, Taylor would need to be careful, especially if she wanted to catch her prey unaware. If they had her weakness, she couldn't afford to give them time to prepare for her assault. Though it pained her to dim her natural brilliance, Taylor chose a different form, similar to the epic Emma she met in the Dalles, but with lighter hair and longer eyelashes.
She left her lips cherry red in a moment of indulgence, and began to sing quietly to herself.
I hit you like bangWe tried to forget it, but we just couldn'tAnd I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put 'emReputation precedes me, they told you I'm crazyI swear I don't love the drama, it loves meAnd I can't let you go, your hand print's on my soulIt's like your eyes are liquor, it's like your body is goldYou've been calling my bluff on all my usual tricksSo here's the truth from my red lips