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Paragon Agent - Follow the laws and die, scum!!! 0.058823529411765 5.9% [ 2 ]
Resistance Rebel - Damn your system!! 0.17647058823529 17.6% [ 6 ]
Tinker - Creativity of tomorrow, with pay. 0.32352941176471 32.4% [ 11 ]
Government Spy - Outsiders have chrome!! 0.029411764705882 2.9% [ 1 ]
Unaligned 0.41176470588235 41.2% [ 14 ]
Total Votes:[ 34 ]
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Matakor's avatar

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Vinstrom Johnston
) Vinny (

_____________________________


Vinny couldn't help but snicker as the group outside seemed to drag off the annoyance. It seemed a little odd that a miner type was in the higher-class area. For a moment, he wondered if the man was part tinker as well. He dropped the follow-up thought before really getting to it. He didn't need to align himself with a tinker that did nothing but cause fights. Instead, Vinny figured that it'd be a better idea to get a drink. "Hey, barkeep. Got any good whiskeys about? I'd like a glass, if it's not too much trouble. And a name, so I don't have to refer to a gentleman as 'barkeep'." For a moment, he thought he might start sweating. He'd been trying to keep up with his late boss's advice to be as articulate--another big word, blast that man--as possible.

Those blasted books...then again, he would love to get his hands on a copy of the book his boss had. Blast that fire as well. Vinny sighed as he thought about the book. Even a copy wouldn't really replace it. He'd need that one. The notes inside gave an insight he hadn't dreamed of in a book. So many ideas sprouted from one or two sentences. He loved seeing the train of thought that the Tinker had. His favorite was a pellet gun that shot bee-stingers. The idea sounded ridiculous, but the man had made a working prototype, only to discover that the bee stingers weren't the cause of the infections he wanted, but that it was the venom in the bee's rear. He scrapped the idea, but kept the pistol. Not that it would function anymore...
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Fix's Location: Rusty'z
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Grateful enough to hug her, I followed her eagerly, retaking my seat at the bar after having been so rudely dragged outside. Her offer of free food was not one I was willing to pass on, so I nodded my head after chewing some words for a moment, then swallowing them. Was I so weak that I had to be saved? Apparently. And I supposed for the time being, that I was more or less fine with that. Less really, but who was to say what was good and what was bad in a society as driven by science as I had heard this one was. Or at least, as I thought this one was. Rumor was a strange thing, driven by people's imaginations. I supposed it was entirely possible that...
Oh right. Food.
It was set in front of me, and I began to eat with gusto, savoring each individual morsel that entered my mouth, even as I managed to return my piston-fingered glove to my left hand once more. Where it belonged. it was an old thing. One of my first invention from some odd years ago, when I started tinkering. But it was as good as the day I had first put it together, and it still had many a use. I smiled at the barkeep and swallowed the food in my mouth before I spoke to her, wanting to retain some semblance of manners at least.
"Thanks. I'm sorry to drag you into things, but I'm grateful for the help. So.. yeah, thanks. If you ever need anything from a Tinkerer, lemme know. I'm Fix. I'm new in town, and could use a friend or two."
Probably too much information for her to actually use, but hey, it was better than 'excuse me miss.' I smiled at the thought, then my mind began to wander again. What about shoes?...


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Hobo_Bob's avatar

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Oh , - - - - - - - -
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
xxxxxThe u η c э я ą i η glory of an ąpriℓ d a yxxx ❁ ❁

        ωhich η ø ω shows ą ℓ ℓ beauty of the Suη

AndXXXX βy and βy XXX a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away



                                                  Location: The Rusty’z

                                                  Once the male took his seat at the table beside the other man she took notice of, she went to the kitchen to pick up a few more orders of food. People were asking for food and drink still, so she could not really sit and wait on one person for too long, no matter how attractive or interesting. A moment or two at best could be given, but for now she could only get the food and drinks out, maybe a smile and have a short conversation with someone before moving on again. That was when Simon motioned to the man she noticed earlier at the booth. He had said something to the barkeep, and Simon was not going to be able to serve him. That at least the normally quiet man was able to say as she gathered another full tray.

                                                  The meal for the day was a cup of creamy broccoli soup with a toasted sandwich that was filled with roasted chicken, a veggie spread and cheese. It was simple, but delicious. The veggies came from her garden, where the garden was only the three at the tavern knew that one. But going back to Simon as he spoke into her ear, she nodded and made a little sigh. He made a mountain from a mole hill yet again. Looking to who he motioned to, she nodded. Simon was the man that made the drinks and gathered the plates from the kitchen for her to take to the guests. If one wished for anything from him, one had to sit at the bar. Not at the bar, you don't get helped by the barkeep. So, he set the whisky drink on the side when it was asked for and handed it to Enor when she came around again. She worked the tables, so she brought him the drink.

                                                  Moving around tables and narrowly getting knocked down by people not paying attention, she made it ot he other side of the tavern safely. She set the glass down with a cup of the soup for him, smileing a little, one hand on her hip to show she wasn't going to stay for long since her tray still held food on it.

                                                  " That's Simon, if you need something ask me, okay? Now, how about some food to go with that drink? It's a bit early to be intoxicated, after all."

                                                  Her eyes moved away a moment to the table behind him. The man from earlier spoke to her again, so she listened to him call himself a Tinker and name himself Fix. It was somewhat self proclaiming what he did or who he was in the name alone. But there was more to this man then he said. He seemed, neurvous for some reason, also thinking of a million things at once if his unsteady gave gave her any indication. Enor could only nod and set his food down for him. A raised eye brow and she had her turn to speak once he seemed to be focusing again on her.

                                                  " Well it's a pleasure, and welcome to the city Mister Fix. However, do try not to cause too many problems. Not many are as lucky as you were just now. if you are in need of a job, there's a few things that could use repair here in the Rusty'z as well as the theater across the street. I know the owner. Beyond that....call me Enor."




                                                  Enor
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Qwenloswen's avatar

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Madelene was mildly surprised to find that Ruzty's was still so busy considering that the majority of the lunch rush was usually over with by now. Though she had to admit that she would a have preferred a quieter lunch, the theater owner couldn't really begrudge Enor such an obvious sign of good, steady business. Her own books were nothing to be sneezed at of course but when the Theatre was doing well it only showed at specific times; that was the nature of the beast.

Leaving her parasol with the cloakroom automaton she entered the main dining and bar area and and paused, taking it all in. The hoi polloi were mostly regulars she recognized by sight, if not by name and more than a few were her own actors and entertainers to whom she gave a pleasant nod if they turned her way. Madelene knew that if she went out onto the patio she would see more familiar faces; the theater techs, the scene changers and the minor performers to name a few. There were plenty she didn't know of course but two stood out in particular; one for the interesting device on his hand and the other...well, there was no need to explain really.

More intrigued than repulsed - she knew there was a story there, even if she might never know it - her attention was drawn by one of the staff coming over. One of the staff she most certainly knew,
"Enor, it's so good to see you," she said, smiling warmly as the other woman approached. It was no surprise of course, she knew the owner often lent a hand when it got busy but all the same it really was a pleasant turn of events to see her.
Matakor's avatar

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Vinstrom Johnston
) Vinny (

_____________________________


Vinny nodded, accepting the unwillingness of the barkeep to toss him a whiskey. He'd forgotten that his usual pad wasn't the same as others. This place wouldn't just toss him a bottle. "My apologies, ma'am. And, yes, I would like a little something. Forgive my odd request, but may I have a steak, medium cook, with a heavy dose of salt? A visible cover is generally the best. My...physical condition requires it. I must apologize however. I won't be able to enjoy the soup. Ever since my accident and the augmentation, my diet has been rather specific." He tried to smile, but it appeared very broken. In a matter of moments, his face returned to a more natural state, though his eyes fell.

Vinny sighed softly and firmly planted his head in his palm. "Please forgive the face. It was a smile, but..." he broke off the sentence, not really able to continue. Before the augments, he had been quite sociable. Even well looked upon, as he was quite handsome. Now though, not even a frown looked right. Scars weren't evident, but the damage might have been. Many of the muscles that had survived were unable to realign themselves, and so his face never quite moved naturally. The only time he really looked halfway decent was when his muscles were all relaxed.

Vinny couldn't help but beat himself up over his new-found social deprivation. He couldn't even regain his like-able speech that had won over...no. He couldn't think about it anymore...he just couldn't..
Yeb-Toghr's avatar

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Fix's Location: The Rusty'z
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I smiled at her as she spoke, then nodded softly, glancing down at the food she’d functionally bought for me after a moment. I tucked in after she moved on, finishing the food she’d brought me after a few long moments. It was tasty, and I had to take my time to savor it. It reminded me a bit of the food I had survived on during my time in the college of mechanists back home, but it was much better. My time in college had been spent slacking, and as a result, I had all but dropped out. It wasn’t until I’d managed to successfully manufacture of the glove I wore still.
My thinking had, as my mentor had called it, ‘always been sporadic and whimsical. Not bound to a set pattern or trail of thought, but rather the specific mental wanderings of a young boy still learning about the world’s mechanisms.’ I had snurked when I’d heard that, and thought my mentor a fool, but it wasn’t until I’d reached Paragon City that I’d realized what she’d meant. Her words had been a recognition of my potential. Wild experimentation opened the wide horizons in the inventing world, though I’d always been too fixated on pistons to actually branch out. My thinking may have been unfettered by logic, but my tinkerings had always been focused on pistons and pneumatic systemics.
I glanced over at the fellow sitting beside me just in time to catch his attempt at a smile, and I had to resist the urge to recoil. It was a surprisingly broken expression, and though his face didn’t give away any sort of evidence of surgery or battle, it was clear that he had been through a lot.
My gaze moved toward the newest arrival, who I found my gaze lingering on. She was clearly of the theaterkind. Those were the people that had given me the most trouble in college. Thinking they were above my material workings with their affections for the arts. It took me a long time to finally rebuke their wrath, but now that I had, I felt much better about interacting with the acting sort.



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Hobo_Bob's avatar

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Oh , - - - - - - - -
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
xxxxxThe u η c э я ą i η glory of an ąpriℓ d a yxxx ❁ ❁

        ωhich η ø ω shows ą ℓ ℓ beauty of the Suη

AndXXXX βy and βy XXX a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away



                                                  Location: The Rusty’z

                                                  Looking to the one that called her name, she spotted her only real and living connection she had to a family. Madelene, the owner of the theater across the way. She'd often enjoyed a free show or two since they both became acquainted back as children, tickets her mother gave her and now Madelene herself. Enor loved the theater, and had been to a try out for small, very small, parts, just to have more to do with it then simply watch. However, her skills were best suited else where. She could sing, and dance a little, but beyond that, it was fruitless. Stage fright was a terrible beast.

                                                  Still, Enor set the tray down to embrace her relation and greet her in return.

                                                  " Madelene, it has been a while. What is the news of the thea-.....uuhh~....one moment...."

                                                  It was that smile of the other mans that brought her attention from her relation to the guest. He ordered a meal, and she felt a little disgruntled about the fact that he had asked. However, he was new at least to the Rusty'z so maybe he did not know. Lunch was served the same to everyone, if you didn't want it or like it then leave. Dinner was the special on top of an actual menu. Drinks were served more freely as well as a few other services, such as gambling in the backroom. But for now, she looked to his odd smile and parted her lips to speak again, only this time he stopped her and apologized.

                                                  She heard about half of what he had to say before she zoned out. Usually, in these times, Enor was one to pay attention to what the other was saying, but something came to her just then. A visitor in the corner of her eye, one that had caused many problems before, grinned. That was not something she liked to see. His fire red hair that reached the back of his neck and his navy blue over coat. An agent of Paragon, the one who tried to kick her out of her home for the assumption she was a rebel without any proof. Madelene had stopped them somehow, and to this day she owes her relation much, but before she could really look at the man, he steps out of the tavern, his hat on his head....

                                                  Zoning back into the conversation, she looked to the man as he explained...something...and nodded. She should feel guilty about what she had just done, but in the end, she really didn't. With a sigh, she picked up the tray again gave a small shrug before speaking once more to the man with the odd smile.

                                                  " I'm sorry, Lunch is set and everyone gets the same thing. But if you come back for dinner, then i'll have that steak for you. The kitchen is usually open at six, sharp. For now, can you add salt to the soup or even to the sandwich to help with your needs?"

                                                  It might have been much to ask, but it was all she could do. The kitchen was not under her control....

                                                  Looking once more to the man called Fix, she watched him let his ind wonder. It was obvious by the way his eyes seemed to blank out and his body moved as if he were focused on something difficult. Infact, maybe eating was difficult, for all Enor knew about him. That was a funny thought, it even brought a small smile to her lips as she looked to him.

                                                  "....How's the food, Mister Fix?"



                                                  Enor
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Qwenloswen's avatar

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Madelene could feel eyes on her and panned her gaze slowly around the room as Enor moved off. She was a bit surprised to find that one of the two that had caught her attention before, the one with the pneumatic glove, was the source of the feeling. Or perhaps surprised wasn't quite the right word - she was used to getting looks for one reason or another and not all of them kind - but she couldn't quite place the emotion behind his expression...mildly distrustful perhaps. She gave a mental shrug, it wasn't any of her business.

"I have no idea how you do it, cousin." commented Madelene drily as she followed Enor to the bar and took her preferred seat, taking in the busy room with an amused quirk on her lips, "Having people coming and going at all hours would drive me crazy." She could see the response coming before Enor could utter it - they'd had this conversation enough times before, after all, "Of course I must already have reached that point to prefer working with actors and their assorted neuroses." The discussion was old hat but she enjoyed it, at least in part because she had to concede her relative's point. Just as well that not everyone was made the same she supposed or else not much would get done. Or at least not much that wasn't all the same thing.

Accepting a cup of the soup and a sandwich with a nod of thanks for Simon behind the bar she was about to request a drink when he placed a glass of iced tea in front of her; her usual, admittedly, but she had been planning on something a little harder. Fighting down a sigh she thanked him instead...probably better if she didn't start drinking so early after all, especially on a show night.

By chance or subconscious design she'd ended up next to the young man who had been eyeing her by the entryway and he seemed lost in thought,
"Penny for your thoughts?" she asked at the same time that Enor asked her question, laughing lightly at the faux pas before indicating with a wave that Enor's question take precedence.
Matakor's avatar

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Vinstrom Johnston
) Vinny (

_____________________________


Vinny flushed quite heavily, embarrassed that he hadn't noticed. "My apologies ma'am, I wasn't aware the dining hours were so limited.." He bowed his head in apology, then tried to fix himself. Best not to act like a total fool. "Well then, I suppose the whiskey will have to do for now. I don't need as much food as I used to. I'll be back for the steak later then." He left Enor to her thoughts and the voices of the rest of the house, and turned to the other man sitting across from him.

"Mr. Fix, is it? Is the name a pun of the job, or the job a pun of the name?" He sounded jolly, though he did his best to keep his face from showing any emotion, as it'd likely just make his disposition worse. "Forgive my show of a smile, events in my past have ruined much of my body. A few like yourself have made my body work, though not as well as nature intended."
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Waaah. So much attention in so little time! I panicked in my head briefly before centering myself and taking things one step at a time. First, I’d respond to the tavern owner, Enor, with a nod and a smile, grateful that the food was as good as it was. Then I’d turn my attention to the woman I’d been unwittingly staring at, lost in thought, and give a meek shrug, the gloved hand going to the back of my neck and scratching gently as I put my words together in a more sensible way.
“Just thinking about my home and the time I spent in college there…”
I had to give it a good thought on the man’s question, and as a result, I went somewhat silent as I mulled it over. When had I taken to being called Fix? Was it after I’d graduated? or was it a college nickname that stuck? Oh! That was it! I was in college, probably, and had managed to fix some stupid trinket or gadget that a friend was stumped by in his Mechanisms class. The friend had been amazed and flabbergasted, and as a result, had started to call me ‘Mister Fixit’ as a joke. Things had just evolved from there.
“A little of both, I suppose.”
Yes, his explanation of his smile had been lost on me as I thought. I had known he was talking, but when I had picked out the subject of his brief apology, I had tuned it out to continue deliberating. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was that I wasn’t particularly upset by his smile, just surprised. It likely wouldn’t catch me off guard again. So I didn’t listen to him defend it, I opted to simply answer his question, then hope slightly that my presence here wouldn’t garner too much more attention at once. It was somewhat stressful. Maybe I should stop looking and keep my mind on my toys…


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Hobo_Bob's avatar

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Oh , - - - - - - - -
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
xxxxxThe u η c э я ą i η glory of an ąpriℓ d a yxxx ❁ ❁

        ωhich η ø ω shows ą ℓ ℓ beauty of the Suη

AndXXXX βy and βy XXX a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away



                                                  Location: The Rusty’z

                                                  It seemed the attention was removed from Enor herself and placed on the Tinker. He didn't seem to mind, and as he nodded that the food was good, she took her tray and helped a few more of the guests. A lady asked for more tea, a gentleman and his secretary asked for an unwarranted discount based on the fact they disliked the soup, despite the fact the soup bowl was empty. Enor was one to usually be obliging, but this man was sleeping with his secretary despite the fact he has three young children with a woman she bought her coats from, and at a decent price too. Liberty Datalenous was a wonderful seamstress and mother to the three children, and often Enor dropped a good $300 gold coin on a complete outfit in a single hour of shopping at her shop. So, seeing her husband Pendry with the woman he was obviously sleeping around with ask for a discount, she could not help but shake her head with a sadistic smile.

                                                  Enor leaned over the table and said a few words to the man, watched his face pale and took the money he gave her. It was more then the meal was worth, but none the less if one person knew his secret then he would not try to be so bold again. And yes, Liberty knew, and she let it slide, for she too was sleeping around. Ahh~...the vices of other people often never surprised her, but the fact they pretended around everyone else was beyond dysfunctional, and borderlines on the retarded. Still, taking the money and putting it away, she went back to the kitchen to place the dishes in the sink and proceeded to wash them. The pile was large, and Simon was able to handle the bar without her. Lunch rush was over, a few people were now leaving, and That meant that dishes would need to be cleaned for the dinner hours. As well as a set menu.

                                                  Monty and Enor cleaned up the kitchen and spoke of what the special should be. A soup or salad? Pasta or rice? Chicken or pork? These things were all decided, and in the end, Enor was left to the kitchen as Monty went to gather the supplies....

                                                  Two hours later: 2pm in the afternoon, three and a half hours till the dinner hours.

                                                  The bar was all but empty again but for a few people. Her relation, the Tinker and the other man with the strange smile. Enor finished the dishes and went to the main room only to see the Paragon Agent in the navy coat with the fire red hair down to the middle of his back return with two men at his back. This did not bode well. Last he was here, the Rusty'z was closed for a solid week for property taxes not paid, only to have them suddenly appear again. Everyone knew that the Rusty'z was a hideout for the rebels, but no one would say it aloud or to Enor's face. No proof of it either, hence why the closed the tavern, to see the people that came and went. But that was an old trick that did not work. No one but herself and her two workers ever entered the tavern, at least via the doors. The secret entrances were another thing.

                                                  Moving over to the agent, Enor sporting her best smile, and did a little curtsy in greeting and this was the conversation:

                                                  " Do not try to deter us from official business. We hear of your illegal dealings, but this is it for you."

                                                  " I'm sorry, I do not understand, officer."

                                                  "The Tinker, woman. He isn't registered in the system."

                                                  " Oh? Well you would have to speak to Mr. Fix yourself, because-..."

                                                  " Ah, then you admit you know him. In that case, he is under your responsibility. Where are his papers?"

                                                  " No no, you have it all wrong. He isn't-..."

                                                  "No papers, Miss Anleel? In that case, here is your fine..."

                                                  "...Two-thousand gold coins?! That is more then I make in a month, this is preposterous!! Where is your proof he is in association with me?"

                                                  "He is here, and you know his name. Now, pay by the end of the week or you will be placed under arrest for three months. Good day, Miss Anleel..."

                                                  With that they left, and without much more to say, Enor shoved the paper into the fire, knowing that reguardless of the notification she would have to come up with the money some how...



                                                  Enor
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Yeb-Toghr's avatar

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Fix's Location: The Rusty'z
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Yes, I watched it all and didn't interrupt. I wasn't rude, but the rapid-fire exchange between the two made it rather hard for me to step in an announce myself. Rather, I stayed in my seat, feeling awful for putting Enor in this position, and when she was finally unlocked from the conversation, I quickly turned to face her, hands on my knees and bent forward in an awkwardly seated bow.
"I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused you. I can't let you pay that fine. I'll cover it. How can I reach those guys?"
My eyes were on the floor at this point, and I briefly wondered how it was, exactly that they would handle my demand to pay the fine I had instigated. Would they simply accept the money and move on. Would they reject me? Would they jail me? It was all possible, and none of the options minus the first seemed at all pleasant. I sighed to myself as my eyes closed and I began to work out just what I should do to help in this situation. It seemed plausible that I might take odd jobs around town repairing things and improving things to raise money to pay the fine. That seemed the easiest and best course of action for me. Of course, then there was the issue of papers. The men that I had spoken to after entering the city hadn't mentioned anything about papers to me, but that may have been a clerical oversight or a deliberate act of spite based on my appearance. Nevertheless, papers were needed, and so I would have to seek them out.
"And where can I get the papers I need?"
All of this was so much to handle. But I supposed once I got through it, I would have it relatively easy for the remainder of my time here. Perhaps this would be a learning opportunity in more than just a scientific way...


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Hobo_Bob's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

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Oh , - - - - - - - -
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
                                          how this spring of love resembleth
xxxxxThe u η c э я ą i η glory of an ąpriℓ d a yxxx ❁ ❁

        ωhich η ø ω shows ą ℓ ℓ beauty of the Suη

AndXXXX βy and βy XXX a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away
                                                                  a cloud takes all away



                                                  Location: The Rusty’z

                                                  She hadn't expected him to still be here. At this time, she assumed that he had run off to do his own thing for the day, but he still remained. And had heard the conversation with those agents a moment ago. Enor looked to him as he asked that he pay the fine, and she knew that by every right he should, yet if he was asking about papers, then if he tried to pay for the fine himself, without said papers, then he would get tossed into jail. And being a tinker, he would be forced to work for Paragon, or be killed if his skill was not useful. Both those things, she could not have on her conscious. With a smile that did not reach her eyes, she patted the top of his head as he bowed to her and walked to behind the bar to help Simon with the glasses, all the while still speaking to him.

                                                  " Do not worry about it, I make enough to cover the charge. But not for anything, since you would be the one to suffer should I chose not to. How about, a month in service to me. No pay of course, but you'll have a place to sleep and food for the work you do. If that isn't fair, what do you suggest? Anyone else suggest something?"

                                                  The conversation was aloud and from across the bar, so it was not like it was private. Anyone who wished to jump in with something to say could do so at this time. Or perhaps even suggest something better that benefited them more then herself. Papers were easy to get, a few coin to the right person. But he was of the Tinkers, and their leader was...unknown. They were all together in this strange group that did not have a leader or any one that told them what to do. More of a mercantile class, but in a sense not entirely. Not even the rebel leaders knew anything about them since each member of the Tinkers were of their own world, their own mind and what not. So, in a way, he would have to find a tinker willing to talk to get papers for himself. Since they did not speak to anyone about their inner workings, much less each other.

                                                  " As for your papers.....well I don't know that one at all, Mister Fix."




                                                  Enor
                                                  W h I n t o n A n l e e l

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Knowing that the theater was in good hands, Madelene had opted not to leave Ruzty’s as the last of the lunch rush trickled out, instead chatting with Enor when the opportunity presented itself and other patrons when it didn’t. Maybe deep down what had kept her there was wanting to talk to Enor about some of the things going on at the theater but that would be best suited for another time. And far less company.

Her eyes narrowed as she recognized the fellow who swaggered into Ruzty’s; she’d had the misfortune of meeting him before as Enor had mentally noted but then he had been sent packing. Apparently failure hadn’t dulled his zeal for trying to bring down Ruzty’s and/or Enor. After all, most people knew that one meant the other these days. And now he was pulling this hoax about paperwork. Everyone was supposed to have it, true, but it was in the same way nobody was supposed to be out on the streets after ten or were supposed to turn themselves in for the most minor of infractions when it came to their multitude of ever-changing rules. Most people took it in stride and went through the motions but everyone knew that if they wanted to the Paragon could find some reason to try to remove you.


“If need be, the Theatre can help as well, cousin,” offered Madelene, “We are currently suffering an excess of funds and no sponges on it.” Here she rapped on the wooden bar top out of habit, actors were a highly superstitious lot and though she herself hadn’t taken the stage in ages some things stuck. Her eyes flickered to Fix’s still-bowed head, “With no demands on his time unless something major should arise,” here she realized she was talking about someone who was present, another faux pas for the evening, “Assuming, of course, that such an arrangement is amenable to you as well, Mr. Fix. Though as for papers I’m afraid I cannot help.”
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"Perhaps I can be of assistance there," came a new voice from a side table. When all eyes turned to him the speaker stood and touched the brim of his hat, though whether by way of apology or greeting was unclear, ”My sincerest apologies if this discussion was not intended for outsiders but I have some knowledge in that arena and thought I might offer it.”

Taking his glass of wine with him, the newcomer to the conversation joined the others at the bar, taking a chair that put him between Fix and Vinny. ”Lucienne Arceneau, Tinker in good standing,” he said by way of greeting, offering Fix his hand regardless of the gauntlet on the latter’s hand. Or perhaps because of it. If he was a Tinker – and there was absolutely no reason to doubt this – then he probably had a healthy curiosity for the device.

In fact he had thoughtfully examined it from a distance, wondering at such things as force output and torque as well as a myriad of other things while he’d enjoyed a late lunch. That a number of napkins now bore schematic concept doodles would remain his secret.
”It’s not a difficult process, just a time-consuming one – for the bureaucrats, thankfully, not us – and not an especially expensive one. All we need to figure out is getting you a sponsor from within the ranks.”

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