John had seen a strange sights since he left home in the company of a one Cooper Smith. Things from fantastic beasts, to strange cultures, to odd aliens and wildly talented people but he was going too this to the list of strangest. Out of the crowd of dirty, ragged rabble and cocky hive gangers, came, well he could only describe the man as a peacock, to name the colorful Old Earth bird. His clothing might as well been a flashing neon sign, with a pair of loudspeakers, screamed money. Then there was the pair of belt across his chest, covered with knives and daggers, with a sword hanging near each hip.
The ebony hand have to wave his hand a little, to halt two of his crew from stepping out of the gate, in order stop the man from entering the circus. Normally they would prevent anyone, so heavily and visibly armed, from getting close, as a general policy but their boss sensed something about him. Something more then money. Besides, there was always the small chance that the noble houses who hired them, might be sending an agent to check up on them. Not that this person looked like a house agent, they would have blended in with the crowd and a noble on official business would have a retinue of armed guards. It was something else this young man was here for.
John arched an eyebrow, the only hair on his head, as the blade covered man, picked him out of the "guards" on the gate. The eyebrow arched a little higher, as the man demanded that he run off and fetch both the ringmaster and the dead man. He almost considered letting his boys toss him out, for a pleasant fraction of a second but even if the noble was here on his own, he could still cause trouble for the boss if slighted. Besides, it would be a good show, when the tattooed grump was awoken early for this peacock.
"Of course" said the chief roustabout, in a rich, smooth voice, rarely heard, with a slight bob of his clean shaven head. Turning around, he trotted off into the circus. While he didn't know right were the boss was, they had been doing this for two decades, it would be easy to check the four or so places Cooper might be. The first stop was his tent, which proved to be empty. The mess tent was also lacking in the presence of the circus owner but the cooks were able tell him that the boss hadn't been in yet. That left the showers.
"Cooper" said John, opening the door to the shower house and spotting the owner, apparently chatting with the newest member of the circus troupe, "Visitor, front gates."
"Who is it" asked Cooper, looking over to see his right hand man, roll his broad shoulders a little in his version of a shrug.
"They important then?"
"Think so" replied John, "Noble and wants to see Atticus too."
'Alright" said Cooper, "I'll get changed and you go see if our tattooed friend is on his feet or if he's still dead. I'll meet you back at the gate."
"My apologies Ms. Freeman" the ringmaster continued, as the chief roustabout disappear, "But business calls, it appears. I'll see you backstage before the show."
Bowing grandly, as was his fashion, Cooper left the shower house, at a brisk walk. Stopping at his tent, he slipped into his custom; black trousers, white shirt, gold vest and red coat. It wouldn't do to meet someone who might be important in jeans and an old tee shirt, besides he had too look the part for someone inspecting his troupe. Quickly waxing his mustache into it's normal curl and grabbing his top hat, he strolled towards the gate. Weaving through the crowd with ease, his augmented eyes picked out the man John must have been talking about and he fought an amused smile. It would take a cocky, entitled man to be able to walk through the hive unmolested, dressed like that.
"Good morning" called the ringmaster, walking towards the swordsman, extending a hand to shake.
In the mean time, John had walked straight from the shower house, to the only place Atticus could be, Laine's tent. He didn't hurry, as he didn't really expect for the tattooed man to be awake yet (much less for him to be engaged in other sorts of activity). Stopping at the door to the plain, uniformed and unadorned hut, he rapped large knuckles against the plysteel. Not overly hard, just enough for someone awake inside to hear and let them know someone was coming inside.
Without waiting for an acknowledgment of the knocking or permission to enter, the roustabout wrapped his hand around the knob and opened the door. In the past eight years, he had never needed permission to enter Laine's tent. It was just the way things had worked out, either because he needed to see Cooper (and the man had spend many a night with the acrobat) or because he was checking up on her after a hard day or some other little reason.
Not looking around first, John stepped inside ad shut the door beside him, not that anyone in the circus would try to peek. There were plenty of open shows around the place. As the latch clicked back in place, he looked towards the two beds and arched an eyebrow in mild surprise. The tattooed man was awake and the pair of them appeared to be enjoying each other's company. After a second, a broad smile flashed brightly white teeth in an ebony face.
"Sorry Laine" said the roustabout, "Atticus, your wanted at the front gate."