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located in Steampowered London - 1885, a part of Death Comes to London, one of the many universes on RPG.

Steampowered London - 1885

A metropolis of clockwork and steam.

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Character Portrait: Ephraim Ramsey Character Portrait: Amelia Lancaster
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London - Office of Ramsey & Associates
July 2, 1885 - 10:30 a.m. - Drizzle
Amelia Lancaster


Leaving the estate under the guise of going to Miss Vera's was, perhaps, the easiest lie she'd ever had to tell her father. If he actually knew what she was doing, Amelia was certain that he'd have some massive heart failure, or he'd do something like keep her contained within the estate. Somehow, at least. She thanked the carriage driver, and slipped her umbrella outside, opening it so that it could shield her from the droplets of rain that refused to stop. The soft thudding of the rain drops against her umbrella, filled her senses until she reached the door to the office.

Once inside, she shook some of the moisture off of the umbrella before setting it down in the corner, and removed the hat she'd worn inside. Satisfied that she was not soaked, nor bringing in any excess moisture, she turned to glance into the place she'd grown familiar with.

It was slightly less familiar today, though, its layout oddly changed. Mr. Ramsey's desk was still placed in front of the back wall and the hearth as always, impeccably neat in its organization and polished in its shine, with the green wingback chair behind it.

Charlie's, too, was in the usual place to the left, nearest the door to the small kitchen. It was a little less neat, the other girl's notebook open at an angle with a pen still resting along the seam in the middle, and a few pieces of smaller alchemy gear clustered at one of the corners. But the little-used seating area that had occupied the spot across from that had been moved forward, to nearer the front door, and in its place was another desk.

This desk was of a match with the others, a rich, if gently-worn, teak wood, about of a size with Charlie's. The chair behind it was upholstered in a soft turquoise, a subtle variation in the shade making a paisley pattern in the fabric.

Mr. Ramsey stood in front of the desk, just setting down a leather-bound notebook and smooth, dark blue fountain pen in front of the chair. The desk had a large inbox and outbox sitting on it already, both empty, and what seemed to be an organizational calendar, but it was otherwise clear.

He stepped away once he'd put the items in their place, and nodded briefly to her. "Miss Lancaster."

She arched a brow, slightly confused as to the change, however; she nodded her head in return. “Ramsey," she greeted, brow still arched in slight confusion. “Are we expecting another addition?" she inquired, motioning towards the new desk. She quashed the thought of the possibility of the desk being Jaziri's. Ramsey was far too intelligent to do something like that. Jaziri also did not spend as much time at the office as she did, however; the possibility of it being her desk, did not cross her mind.

“If so, should I prepare a proper welcome for them?" she asked, referring, of course, to setting the tea so that it would be available when the mystery person arrived.

For a moment, Mr. Ramsey blinked at her, arching one eyebrow as if waiting for her to make some connection she had not seen. When it was not forthcoming, he huffed a short, soft breath through his nose. "Addition is not quite the correct word," he said, crossing back to his desk and picking up what seemed to be a thin file folder. It was simply blank manila, but he extended it out towards her.

He did not let go immediately, however, holding her eyes instead, intently enough that it was obvious the words that followed were going to be important. "You did good work on the Bianchi-Harris case. There is much you have yet to learn, but you have earned the right to learn it if you wish. This contains the terms of a more formal apprenticeship. You will want to look them over. Perhaps at your desk." He released the folder.

It was the first time he'd said anything regarding her provisional status since they'd come to the arrangement in mid-May. Though she'd offered to pay him the fee he'd asked for, he'd put it off until the end of that month and then just... not mentioned it again. It had been easy to forget about, with all the things she was learning. But it seemed she'd done something right in the month and a half she'd been here.

Amelia was glad that any emotion she was currently feeling, was not present on her face. She took the folder he'd handed her, but continued holding his gaze. She was looking for something; for this to be a jest of some sort. She knew, however, that Ramsey was not the joking kind. He rarely showed amusement of that sort, at least not outright. She'd learned to spot small details here and there, but it wasn't anything quite noteworthy. As he'd mentioned, she still had a lot to learn.

It finally settled in that the new desk was hers, and she allowed herself to break the gaze, moving her attention to her desk. She didn't think the possibility of getting a desk was an option. She'd planned on sharing Charlie's desk, however; it made sense to her, now, it was best if she didn't. If she was going to remain here, on a more formal basis, she would need her own space. And a new desk certainly provided that.

“I'm... grateful," because she didn't know how else to express her gratitude. It was uncouth of her to approach him for an embrace. It would be crossing a boundary she had no intentions of crossing. He was her mentor; she respected him greatly for everything that he's been able to teach her. That she'd be able to continue learning under him was something else entirely. She had no words to describe the elated feeling she currently felt.

“The fee," she began glancing back towards Ramsey. “How should I pay it?" she asked. She couldn't exactly have her father make the payment to Ramsey. It would give way to the truth. If he made the payment to Miss Vera, however, perhaps she could give it to Ramsey?

He shook his head slightly. "It's in the contract. Your wage will be garnished until the thousand is paid, at which point you'll move into full associate status and earn the standard portion of my private-case commissions. Yard consultations are effectively pro bono, but you've seen the business I do. The majority of my clients are paying in some form."

Mr. Ramsey's eyes fell to her inbox. "If you are amenable I would shift the initial filtering of requests to you as well. Miss Blythe means well, but she is not as able to discriminate the problems of one person from another, and so I have been handling the intake myself. It is not the most useful work for me, but it does help tune the instincts—there would be some benefit to you."

She knew she was smiling, now, even as he continued to speak. She was going to be an official associate once she'd paid the fee, however; something he said caught her off guard. “I'm not complaining, but," she began, furrowing her brows slightly. “Wasn't the original fee, two thousand?" She really wasn't complaining. If anything, she wanted to know why the fee had been cut in half.

The work he provided her had been impeccable, and he deserved to be paid the full amount he'd originally stated to her. It wasn't as if it'd be a bother to her, either. After she paid off her fee, whatever money she'd earn herself would be poured straight back into Ramsey's place of business. She didn't intend on keeping it for herself. She didn't need to, after all, considering her family's status. Besides, it was something she wanted to do. Perhaps she could save what she made to make smaller adjustments in the near future?

He shrugged, the motion on a slight delay, as though he had to think about it more than most people would have. "Two thousand is what I would have charged you if you were tolerable, but useless or in some other way a burden." He leaned back against his own desk, hands finding the pockets of his trousers.

"You are not."

Any other person might have been insulted by that statement, however; Amelia was not. She took that as a compliement, considering that Ramsey was not the sort to do so. Observations were more his thing, and that was what this likely was. That she was not useless or a burden had been her intention when she'd first began, after all. She'd dedicated a lot of time and effort to be useful in some manner or another. For him to say that she wasn't useless... well that was another thing entirely.

“Then I shall oblige and pay the fee you've set," she finally responded, setting the packet down on her desk. She would go through it, later, however; she turned to face Ramsey. “I shall continue to do my best to serve you well, Ramsey. Do let me know if, at any time, I fail in that." It would be an immediate correction, of course. That was the last thing she wanted to do, and that was to fail where she was currently succeeding.

He snorted softly. "As you wish. Continue to apply yourself and I foresee no such difficulty." Leaning backwards slightly and snatching up a much thicker file folder, he extended it towards her. "This is the current intake file. Do you suppose you can get it down to three cases?"

She took the file he'd handed her, and arched a brow. That sounded like a challenge, if anything, to her. The file was thick, which meant it had at least over ten cases. Considering that she was still learning, the fact that this felt like a challenge spoke volumes to her. He was entrusting her to bring these files down to three, and she'd be damned if she didn't do it.

“Are you sure you only want three? I can get it down to two, if you'd prefer," because she would if that's what he really wanted. Three wasn't too much to handle, but still... it was his call.

There was an almost imperceptible change in Mr. Ramsey's expression then, a narrowing of his eyes and the slightest alteration to the cast of them. It seemed almost to be a pleased thing, like he was smiling without physically moving the necessary muscles.

"Two and a backup," he said after a moment. "In case one of them is duller than expected and we solve it too easily." He pushed away from the desk and crossed behind it, lowering himself into his chair, no doubt to begin his own portion of the office's work.

"Welcome to the investigations business, Miss Lancaster."

She allowed a smirk to adorn her features.

She had some work to do.