ZincAboutIt

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ZincAboutIt last won the day on April 12

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2,273 Steel Inquisitor

About ZincAboutIt

  • Rank
    Spymistress
  • Birthday 01/25/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Writing, skipping, salt and vinegar chips, wordplay, maintaining my severe tea addiction
  1. "Where do we start?" Lita looked over her shoulder at Laurelai, who stood gaping at the endless shelves with awed avarice. She had the stunned, starving look of a street dog that had suddenly found itself in a butcher shop. Lita knew she had better throw her a bone soon, or she’d bolt for the nearest shelf and start gnawing on the scrolls. ”This way,” Lita said with a small smirk. Interesting enough indeed. If someone looked at Lita the way Laurelai was looking at the nearest filing cabinet, she’d already have her dress halfway off. She led them past the forest of desks and their scribbling occupants towards a slightly broader, more elevated desk. A slender Singer man in Scholarform looked up as she tapped two fingers on the desktop. He wore a pair of silvery spectacles and had his hair strands braided into a complex tail that fell down the back of his grey robes. Azim had always dressed as an Ardent, which Lita found odd - though she was not sure why. He also had enough spikes in his chest to open a hardware store. Surely that was odder. “Ms. Attar,” he said softly, his voice slightly rhythmic. Lita had not learned much about the Singer Rhythms, but she was fairly certain this was one of the formal ones. Respect, perhaps? “How may I help you?” ”Azim,” Lita responded, inclining her head slightly. Azim was not technically the Head of the Department of Records, but he was absolutely it’s ruler in all but official title. She hadn’t expected him to be working today, but she appreciated the stroke of luck. Azim had a memory like a Coppermind, which she guessed was technically true, as he was a copper compounder. He basically was the library catalog. ”This,” Lita gestured to her side, “is Laurelai Esserethel, my newest acolyte. Laurelai, this is Azim, Herald of Records.” Lita winked at Azim, who sighed slightly. “How you don’t cut yourself with that tongue of yours I’ll never know.” His voice had changed slightly, and Lita was sure he was secretly pleased. “Well met, Laurelai Esserethel.” He nodded to Laurelai. “Now, what is this flattery for, Ms. Attar? You only ever compliment me when you need a favor.” Lita placed a hand on her heart in mock offense, then slipped a single sheet of paper from a pocket and slid it to Azim. “I need to know if there’s anything in the Department on this person. Go back as far as you can. All the way, if possible.” Azim gave her a long look, then he read the paper. “All… the way. All the way?” Lita leaned on the desk. “Yes. All the way back.” @Voidus
  2. The Professor was going quite mad; Bennington was rather pleased with himself. At least as much as one such as he could feel pleasure. He was pretty sure it was different than how mortal, corporeal beings felt the sensation, but he had never been able to ask properly. Speaking directly into the mind of a human tended to immediately render them insensate. The mind just…liquified. Delicious, yes. But not particularly illuminating. Bennington took another pull from the bonding thread, cautioning himself to remain patient. He did not have the same attachment to the Professor as he had had to Vivica; she was a meal to be savored over the course of a lifetime. But this man was mortal veneer over a vast well of deific Void. Bennington could drink forever and never run to the bottom. He could pull and pull and pull on the tether until the violet light ran through it like lightning over wire, glutting himself on madness until the light spun out of every star and even the gaping maws of black holes had collapsed into Nothing. But that was a careless mistake, and Bennington was not careless. He had waited for an eternity in the Endless Determinance. He could wait a matter of weeks to avoid cracking the veneer before it was time. But perhaps just one more sip… The Professor had been walking down a busy main street, his pace relaxed, but his eyes were flicking across the passerby with a slightly predatory air. Bennington knew that look - Vivica had worn it when she went “shopping” as well. The Professor was beginning to feel it now, that crimson lure, the itch to know warmth between his fingers, slick and coppery. Bennington decided to help him, and darted down a smaller street, where people who were not likely to be missed gathered in pairs or, even more convenient, huddled alone against stone walls and under eaves. @Voidus
  3. It’s been a very slow relaxed pace here, no worries
  4. Bennington spun through the room as the Professor baked his cake. He was beginning to change his opinion of the man; the copper spike had much improved him. He was actually rather decent company now. Bennington drew on the thread, tasting another sip of madness. It was growing more concentrated, sweeter. Good. Soon he would begin to remember. But for now, it was nice to bake again. “Bennington you can taste it after I make the first batch. Or actually I guess I will. How does that work exactly, do hallucinations know what I taste?" Bennington swam a loop around the Professor, pausing over his shoulder to observe the ingredients. Vivica would have altered the recipe - this was not her preferred method for making frosting. But then, Vivica did not actually make frosting, such as it was. If the Professor was actually interested in frosting a cake, this was precisely how to go about it. If what he really wanted was to eviscerate a wanderer against the lonely brick of an Alleyway, then he was definitely off the mark. But how to telegraph that message? Bennington drifted over to the still-open cupboard and hovered over a small bottle of food coloring. Printed on the label we’re three letters that had formed the bedrock of Vivica’s gospel. Red. @Voidus
  5. "Why Lita you do know how to spoil a girl." Laurelai matched Lita’s smile, and Lita saw in her eyes a flicker of something familiar. A hungry gleam, the keen gaze of a hunter sensing its prey. She reveled in the shared sensation; it was like sharpening one’s teeth in a mirror. “A practiced spy needs plenty of skills.” Lita felt the whisper of something as she said it, like breath on the back of her neck, like teeth toying at her ear. She drained the last of her tea, the heat lingering in her mouth. It felt as though something hovered in the air, sharp as broken glass and heady as wine. It waited, an unseen tendril of smoke and shadow curling around the two of them, feeding their hunger, drawing upon it. Lita stood, sliding the gold coin off the table and letting it dance between her fingers. “Come,” she said to Laurelai, “let us be about our work. Work before play. We must be well prepared for Mister Darsen. After all, preparation is everything. We just need to find the right thread to pull.” The coin almost seemed to pulse in her hand, phantom heat simmering through the narrow red scar on her palm. Lita bared her teeth against the slight pain; even still, her lips curled upwards. “I do so enjoy watching a handsome man unravel, don’t you?” @Voidus
  6. “Has something interesting happened there?" She asked with a wry smile. "Or are we on another fact-finding mission?" Lita raised an eyebrow at that. “I didn’t realize you were so eager for ‘interesting’ work. I do apologize if spycraft isn’t shaping up to be everything the cinema promised.” She took another sip of tea, then gave Laurelai a sharp smile. “But don’t worry, R&D are always looking for assistants. I’m sure I could put in a good word if you’d like a transfer.” She winked, then flipped open the file. “It appears,” Lita ran her finger down the dossier before stopping at a picture of a shapely dressed man in his middle years, “that we are looking for one Ronald Darsen. Forger - mundane of course - embezzler, con artist, tax evader, and purchaser of radically expensive suits. As one would be, with all that dirty money. One has to look clean, after all, and doesn’t he just.” Lita tapped her tongue against the back of her teeth once, then took another sip of tea. “But perhaps the most interesting thing about dear Mister Darsen is that he works for us, that is to say, the DA.” Lita stopped to allow that to sink in, then continued. “Occasionally one department will find itself at cross purposes to another, almost always by accident. I initially thought this the case. So imagine my surprise when I could find no record whatsoever of his Department - or any Department - that authorized his foray into Einladung Hospital.” She paused again, this time to unlock a tiny drawer in the desk and pull out a single sheet of paper. “Mail just seems to appear around here - so convenient. So quick. You never see the messengers, or if you do, you forget almost immediately. Most people don’t even think they can talk. But I assure you, a Stranger will talk if you apply the right leverage - that leverage being a Senior R&D member with pliers wrapped around your linchpin spike.” Her smile sharpened. “It is convenient to have friends in high places. Even here, it largely comes down to who you know. Which brings me to our ‘interesting’ fact. The Stranger who delivered a missive to Ronald Darsen cannot actually remember where he got it, or why. He could only tell us that he was sent by Department Head Allie of DASU. A Department which I have never heard of, and neither has the oldest person I could find - who happens to be a tidy 2,500 years old. So, either someone is playing silly buggers with all of us, including a nigh-invisible hemalurgic servant - or something else is happening. And the only place that has older records than I do is the Records Department. So if this ‘Allie’ exists, that will be the place to find them. And if they do not, then I believe Ronald Darsen will have a rather interesting afternoon.” Lita grinned mirthlessly. “And I do mean interesting.” @Voidus
  7. Lita felt a little shiver run down her neck and smiled as she poured tea first for Laurelai, then for herself. “Something like that, yes,” she said, turning around to fetch a small pot of sugar and a tiny pitcher of cream. She set these before Laurelai, feeling a small twinge of guilt at the woman’s obvious headache. Perhaps the kettle had been the wrong choice. “I take it you haven’t?” Lita set the kettle on a little stand near the fireplace and returned the poker to the flames, then slid into her chair. ”Please do begin.” She nodded at Laurelai to begin drinking, then opened a drawer in her desk to remove a file. “I’ve received nearly the entire picture of our well-dressed gentleman,” Lita went on, stopping to pour a splash of cream into her tea. It swirled in the cup, mixing lazily, until Lita gave it a whirl with a spoon. “There’s one final piece to set in place, and I thought you might wish to accompany me. Tell me,” she sipped the tea, still piping hot, “have you visited the Department of Records yet?”
  8. @Voidus what is the policy on letting boars and badgers loose on the city. Are we for it? I just can’t remember our badger policy
  9. It shouldn’t have felt so good to spin the heavy gold coin between her fingers, but it did. Lita watched the light slide across its face like water, winking at her as she walked it across her knuckles, flipped it once, and caught it in her other hand. Her unoccupied fingers toyed with the end of her braid. The cup of tea sat at the corner of her desk, steam long-since cooled. There was something she was forgetting, she was sure of it, a blank space in her mind. It left a slight shape with its absence, the outline of something sweet and wickedly scalding as molten sugar. Lita wanted to chase it like fire chewing through a line of blasting cord, and if it killed her at the end then Ruin but it was a death she wanted. Lita sighed and set the coin down on the table as she noticed her silver pen twitch slightly. She picked it up, smiling at Laurelai’s prompt response, and then looked over at her now-cold cup of tea. That won’t do, she thought, standing and walking over to the little wet bar in the corner of the office. Laurelai would likely wish for a cup of tea as well, and that called for fresh leaves and more water. Lita took down the copper pot from a shelf and filled it with water and two scoops of tea before she set out two new tea cups on the desk. Then she walked over to the fireplace and reached her hand into the freshly-stoked embers. Her fingers curled around metal, and Lita smiled before drawing out a glowing length of iron bar. She rapidly stored the heat in her brass ear cuffs, but even so she felt the whip sting of a burn whisper on her fingertips. With little ceremony, she plunged the glowing metal into the pot of water. Iron met water with a scalding hiss, and steam instantly began to billow out of the top of the pot. Lita forced the lid on, and with nowhere to go it continued to pour through the spout, emitting a manic, high-pitched scream that seemed to fit perfectly with Lita’s mood. The door opened, and Laurelai stood at the threshold, face pensive and slightly alarmed. ”Ah, Laurelai,” Lita said over the din, still holding the now-dimming poker in one hand. God Beyond but today it felt like she could melt the sun itself. “Good, you’re just in time for tea.” @Voidus
  10. Lita woke slowly, feeling the dream slip away like the last grains of sand in an hourglass. The warmth of rich brown skin beneath her cheek shifted to linen, the rhythmic beating of a heart against her ear melted into the ticking of a clock. The clever fingers running through her hair disappeared, the contented, lazy grin fading into nothing. A black, endless eye, half-lidded in satisfied exhaustion, lingered just long enough to wink. Wake up, Little Lita. And Lita opened her eyes. She gave a tiny groan and stretched languidly, feeling both sore and impossibly relaxed. The bed was in complete disarray, sheets kicked onto the floor in a heap, pillows shoved halfway into the headboard. Lita sat up and ran a hand through her hair, which snagged almost immediately on a snarl of knots. She sighed, rolling her neck, and was pleased to find the knot of tension that had been plaguing her for weeks gone without a trace. Lita stood, and an echo of the dream shimmered across her memory, heat and shadow and a hunger like the void. Fingertips along her spine and her mouth on his neck and the white-lightning lance through her vision when — A shudder ran through her, enough to nearly cause her to fall, and she gripped the bedside table with a whispered curse. Her fingers brushed the cool, smooth edge of the Coin, which sat in a blackened ring on the wood tabletop. It was lucky the whole thing hadn’t caught fire. Lita picked it up; one side bore the Sun, the other the World. Subtle, she thought, then remembered the first part of the dream. It had been, arguably, the more important part. The part full of dangerous secrets, of information she’d have killed to know just a day ago. She held the image of the Shade standing before her, running his finger along her cheek, face filled with a melancholy longing that ached even now. “You are your own. And I am more envious of that than you know.” He wanted to help her - he wanted to help them all. But deeper than all of that, he wished to be free. Lita could still feel her own simmering rage at the Stranger, at how he’d moved her around like a piece on the board, stolen her life, built her a cage of dreams. But that was nothing compared to the Shade. She tried to imagine it, shackled to the whim of his creator, never completely free. Never able to slip the leash, no matter how much slack he was allowed. A nightmare - living forever as the shadow of another. Lita ran a hand along her ribs - nothing. Nothing but the faint pain of metal that should be there. She looked at the copper bands on her arms, all too aware that she must have tapped the memories in her sleep. And if she had them back, it was only a matter of time before the shadow creatures would come to fix the aberration. She would have to forget again. Damn this rusting game, Lita thought, slipping out of her shift and turning on the shower. At the last moment, she slid the bayonet off the bedside too. It felt ridiculous to shower with a bayonet, but she’d be damned if some black goop worm got the better of her while she was washing her hair. Lita sat on the floor of the shower, letting cool water run over her skin, and thought. She needed to leave herself just enough information to help unravel the Stranger’s world, but not so much as to alert his attention. And this young man she was supposed to wait for… “Rust and ruin,” she breathed, giving a tiny mirthless laugh. It was Reshilore. Of course it was him. He looked almost exactly like them both now that she thought of it. A bit softer in the jaw and cheekbones…softer in all respects, really. Sweet and harmless as a child. And Lita was supposed to… what. Unravel him? The thought gave her a cruel little thrill. Yes, she could do it. She would do it. She’d pull at all the loose threads she could find, unleash the hunger that the Shade found so compelling. And when he was free, perhaps he’d visit her again. Outside of a dream. Lita leaned her head back against the cool tile and felt a wicked smile spread across her lips. She’d have to forget everything to fill her Coppermind. But first, she’d have to remember it. …… There was something different about today. Lita had felt it as soon as she’d woken up, a sort of shimmering, liquid grace to the world. She’d felt it in her fingers as she plaited her long auburn hair over her shoulder - something she’d never done as far as she could recall. But today it felt right. She’d felt it as she selected her outfit, hand reaching instinctively for the deep purple dress she’d bought on a whim and never worn. Somehow it came as no surprise when it slid over her like a glove, back cut a bit too low and kick pleat cut a bit too high for a business dress. She grinned at her reflection, teeth white against lips red as claret, and stepped into her heels. Black today. Black and purple and the flash of gold as she slipped her coin into a hidden pocket. Mmm, yes. Definitely the right choice. Lita made herself a cup of tea, then stepped out of her little blue door and began to Alleytravel. The door to her office seemed to spring open at her touch, and Lita glided in on a cloud, setting her tea down and not even minding the stack of paper mounted in her in-tray. Then she picked up a little silver pen, glanced at the clock on the wall, and sent her newest agent an Alleycant message. “Good morning, Laurelai. Are you ready for your first interrogation?” The pen spun across her fingers perfectly. Lita arched her back in a luxurious stretch and smiled. Such a beautiful day - and it was about to get even better. It was time to go hunting. @Voidus
  11. Tashi gave a tiny sigh and took a little bottle out from behind the counter. “You’re talking in the main room of my boarding house,” she said, pouring three glasses of light violet wine. “It’s not eavesdropping, it’s hearing. And I hardly care what you do for a living, as long as you don’t cause trouble here. This is a safe place - but not just for you. I’ve got a whole house full of patrons to look out for.” Tashi nudged the two glasses towards Roul and Sarian. “On the house.” @HOID WANTS INSTANT NOODLES @SymphonianBookworm
  12. Tashi watched everything with mild amusement, though she began to store health as soon as the woman mentioned that she could “kill people.” That would be useful information, very likely, though hopefully not so intimately useful. Briefly she wondered which of the two - the koloss or the young woman - would be more likely to kill her in the night. Probably the girl. She had that slightly wild look to her. “Right, well, no killin in here and your business is your own.”
  13. Uh… why would you wish to?
  14. Tashi raised an eyebrow at the woman. She was clearly unused to manual labor, and Tashi was surprised she’d even agreed, lighteyed as she was. “Floors also need polishing if that seems less daunting, Brightness.” She grinned a bit crookedly. “And I do apologize if the lodgings seem poor. I also sleep in the back annex and there’s plenty of sheets for all, but if you want I can ask the guests if any would mind you kippin’ with them. Gotta keep the full rooms for paying customers but I’ll not turn a soul out in the cold if they have two hands.” @SymphonianBookworm