Snippet #1584134

located in District Beta, a part of Revelation: The Cure, one of the many universes on RPG.

District Beta

Also called the merchant's district, and home to the more affluent commoners.

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Amon listened first to Giacomo, keeping his face carefully neutral. Most of this he already knew, including the name of the man in charge. With Azazel, it was not knowing his identity that was the problem, but finding him. His followers hid him well, and even his informants in Delta were reluctant to give the man up for any form of interrogation by the assassins. Likely, he had a rotation of residences, for his own was rarely ever occupied, and only then usually by the man’s wife. The Guildmaster was reluctant to act against Ishtar; not only had he once counted her a personal ally and friend, but she did not protest his training of some of her employees as spies. If ever there was a fruitful network of information, it was theirs, and this was something that he alone had thought to do.

He nodded just once in acknowledgement of the man’s offer, and watched the scientist depart in that very direction. He would follow soon after; Loki likely had enough to deal with right now, and it would not be long before she requested his presence as well, he was almost certain of it. The Queen’s plan was not something he particularly endorsed, but he was self-aware enough to know that he would rather it be Minerva than Loki who bore that particular burden. There were always options if the current monarch wound up disgraced; the same happening to her child would effectively undo nearly fifteen years of work on his part, as the woman had been astute enough to point out to him.

He followed Danterus thereafter, inquiring of the damage to his fellow guild leader before dropping in on Garbiel. The smith appeared to have been injured, but not in a way that was life-threatening. Amon nodded to his old friend and smiled humorlessly. “Garbiel, I’m afraid I’m going to need to borrow you and your lad. Tell him it’s to foil the mages.” True, but only partially. Still he needed allies where he could get them, especially if he was to make peace with Loki… she wasn’t going to like what she’d be hearing about now.



The Royal Palace

Loki stood in her mother’s parlor, none of the choice words she would have preferred to loose having made it yet past her tongue. There was something to be said for venting, but she had never been inclined. Instead, she ignored the tea and listened to her mother explain herself, becoming increasingly convinced that this was the single worst idea she had ever heard.

“It’s simple enough,” Minerva pointed out. “We knew that it was only a matter of time before Gilgamesh found a way to get what he wanted. He’s been losing his positioning to the two of you and your allies for a while now,” she continued, glancing at Lord Taylor, “and it was only a matter of time before this was irreparable. I don’t know if he engineered it specifically or just goaded these mages into doing what they did, but the fact remains that it came at a crucial time. You saw their faces, both of you. You must have known that fear was destroying their resolve. I did the only thing I could do and stalled for time.”

“That doesn’t explain why you didn’t let me do it,” Loki protested. She had a feeling she understood why, but that didn’t make it any wiser. “You’re the Queen. I could have passed it off as a rash mistake of youth, but you? This is so far out of character for you that they’ll tear you right off your throne if…” The odd little smile that had appeared on Minerva’s face caused her to trail off, and her eyes narrowed. “No. That is not an acceptable alternative.”

“Isn’t it?’ Minerva asked kindly, sipping delicately. “If they ‘tear me from my throne,’ as you so put it, little damage is done. I’ll finally be free of the weight of this crown, and my competent heir will be my replacement.” Loki grimaced noticeably, which simply caused her mother to look amused. “Of course, I’d much rather be able to leave after a successful career, give my crown to my child and the Prime Minister’s post to a much more worthy contender.”

Loki caught on immediately, and was inwardly fuming. “And did you ever stop to consider how myself and that worthy contender of yours would feel about this? What if he just wants to retire and raise his son, hm? Forgive me; I had forgotten that such things must always remain secondary to rule.” That had hurt, and it showed plainly in the Queen’s face. Loki refused to be shamed by this. “Just how long have you and Amon had these designs on our lives? I can understand if this was what you wanted for me, but surely Caelin is a recent addition?” The princess despised being duped, and this just about pushed her to a particular breaking point that she did not want to pass. She hadn’t lost her temper since she was a child, and now was no time to start. The fact that they were pulling a friend of hers into it just rubbed salt in the wound. She could expect it; she was a member of the royal family, after all, she practically existed to manipulate and be manipulated. But this?

“I will not apologize for my actions, Loki,” Minerva replied coolly, still the picture of serene acceptance. “It was never my desire to do this, but it has become more than necessary. You are not the only one who understands how these things work, I assure you. If this came as a surprise, then I am glad, for it means that I have not always been so, and that brings me some measure of relief. But we do not have time to work out this disagreement. If you wish to avoid being forced to ascend in the middle of a crisis, you’re going to need to prove my claims and find some solid evidence against Gilgamesh. You can take your fate back into your own hands, but only if you safely shepherd mine first.”




Outside the receiving room Loki had to forcibly unclench her teeth before she could speak. “I’m sorry,” she said at last. Despite the fact that she made a point of not apologizing, that had come rather easily. “I had no idea that was their intention. I had planned on making the accusation myself and leaving you out of it, but apparently I was superseded without my knowledge. I’ll understand if you want no part of this, but I am going to try and find that evidence. I have to, and not just for them. I think…” she stopped and shook her head.

“I’m not sure what I think. I’ll… get back to you, tomorrow. If you’re willing to become involved. I’d understand if you weren’t.” Nodding to her friend, then, she departed, trying to contain her roiling frustration as well as she was able. This was going to require… help. And not from Amon, either. They needed outside assistance. She knew she could count on Zade, so fine. More assassins would be useful. Eos… he didn’t like Amon much anyway, and right now, she could sympathize completely. Etzel was… she’d have to think on that one a bit more.

The more she thought about it, the more she wondered about taking this problem on using a larger scale. While they were proving Gilgamesh was generally a bastard, why not depose him altogether? That did leave the matter of a replacement, and privately she had to agree that Caelin would be suited for it, but unlike her mother, she wasn’t going to force it. Once, she would have, but not anymore. She couldn’t; not when she went to his estate and saw how happy her cousin was. There was no way Siri deserved to end up raised by his tutors and bodyguards and servants as she had been. Amon was more her parent than Minerva, and that was not an appealing thought at present.

But… other people that could help. The Guilds would be a good place to start; surely a few of those higher up in some of the more prominent Guilds had problems with Gilgamesh; she’d have to look for ones that were also not outwardly sympathetic to the uprising. Which might be tricky, now that she got to thinking of it- it was something of a polarizing issue, and a middle ground would be a dangerous place to tread. Good thing she’d never been afraid of a little danger. She’d start with the smiths; it was their building that had been roasted, after all.



District Delta

When Amon met Giacomo at his purifier, he knew fairly readily that they were not alone. Having a lifetime to perfect the art of moving unseen and unheard tended to mean you knew all the tricks. Still, he would not disturb their audience for the moment.

His face might have slipped into an expression of surprise were he anyone else, and he had to admit that he was impressed. “That is quite the invention, Mr. Vernazza.” The older man contemplated for a moment, his fingers tapping a staccato rhythm against his leg. “If you will permit, I think there might be great strategic use for something like this, though it will be best served by waiting until the moment is right. For now, I think we might do with something a little more… subversive.”




Three Days Later, The Royal Palace, Loki's Meeting Room

Loki glared daggers at Amon over the table they shared with the rest of the assembled parties, not bothering to disguise her displeasure with him. He ignored it with his customary grace, and to her credit, she managed to keep her tone civil. “What you propose places the parties involved in much danger,” she said, shooting a glance at Pandora. “I know there are no other mages on our side alone, but last time she saw Azazel, he tried to kill her. Now you want to send her in to spy for us? At least send someone else with her.”

“Who do you propose?” He countered smoothly, raising a brow. I can’t go, and you have… requisitioned Eos. I could send one of my other agents, but most of those familiar with Delta are currently occupied trying to contain the riots.” For now, they were localized to the two outer districts, but there was fear that they would spread. The city Guard had started using their doses of the Cure two days ago, but even without their powers, the magi were making a nuisance of themselves, and had taken to flash-rioting so quickly that by the time law enforcement got there, the damage had already been done.

“So send someone who isn’t one of your agents,” Loki replied tersely. “I understand that we need the information, but I cannot let you send Pandora in there by herself. She is not trained in subterfuge, and may very well be met with hostility from the start.” The conclusion was obvious, but Loki really didn’t want to make it. It seemed, though, as if Amon were going to force her to be the one to ask, and so she would. There was no other choice. “Victoria. If Etzel trained you as he was trained, you know how to do things like this. Would you be willing to lend Pandora your aid against Azazel?” She could have said ‘against the people who killed your master’ but she was not quite so cruel as that. The choice needed to belong to the young woman alone.

If worse came to worse, she’d have to send Carlisle, but hopefully that would not be necessary. He might be recognized, and she wanted him here. Amon, Giacomo, and a few others would be undertaking the tasks of examining the magi’s crime scenes for evidence, as well as trying to figure out how they’d managed to disappear so quickly after the destruction of the Facility. He’d bring Danterus along as well; as this was the part of his plan that was most actively working against the interest of the magi, Amon would admit that he was using the young man’s hatred a bit more than he would like, but all spare hands were needed at the moment, and he could not regret taking them where he found them.

Loki and Eos would be attempting to break into the Gilgamesh Estate after dark. The personal involvement of herself had bothered Amon, she’d seen it, which was really just all the more reason for her to do it. Meanwhile, Caelin, Scheherazade, and the smith Garbiel (the singular result into Loki’s inquiries for mostly-neutral guild members), would be attempting to get information on his illegal activities from their potential victims (nobles whose children had been ransomed, or guild professionals who’d been blackmailed into supplying him with the machinery and equipment necessary to produce his own personal Cure-factory), while trying to gather the resources to do the same without the coercion. The sooner an independent production facility was up and running, the better. They had her money and Caelin’s industrial space, but parts needed to be made and workers obtained- without going to the slave markets. This was all going to be as clean as she could make it.



The Next Afternoon, The Facility

The Facility was now essentially a large pile of rubble, with precious little evidence of what had occurred to be seen. It hadn’t actually been ‘blown up’ but imploded, and a few scattered bits of debris notwithstanding, in much the same space it had been before. The mages and mage-supporters responsible for the deed had then disappeared, as unseen in their exit as they had been in their entrance. Amon was puzzled by this initially, but knew there was a logical explanation for it. Magi had not, to his knowledge, managed yet to discover the mechanism for teleportation (if such a thing were even within the realm of possibility), so they had to have gone on foot or by vehicle.

They didn’t have vehicles that he knew of, and their passage on foot would not have gone unnoticed. Which meant they had taken to the air or- that was it. “Where’s the nearest sewer entrance from here?” he asked the men arrayed about him, clearly thinking he’d caught on to something important.



That Evening, Outside the Gilgamesh Estate

Damn, sometimes not wearing a dress made all the rest of this feel like it was worth the trouble. Or at least she would have thought so were she not much more practical than that. Nodding to Eos, Loki darted forward, using the shadows to provide cover as she crept closer to the Gilgamesh Estate. The house proper was surrounded by walls, which was to be expected from the wealthy and the paranoid. They were approaching from the side, so as to avoid as many guards as possible. She’d fell them if she had to, but they weren’t going to kill anyone, and the less evidence they left that a burglary had taken place, the better.

The target was a second-story window, which would place them hopefully within the vicinity of Gilgamesh’s private study. The light within had gone off just fifteen minutes previously, enough time for the room’s occupant to move elsewhere. Grasping the rope in her hand, Loki gestured for Eos to boost her over the wall, and landed lightly on the other side, gripping the rope in both hands and anchoring herself to the ground as well as she could so he would be able to climb it without her dropping him unceremoniously onto the ground.