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Mistborn: The Inquisition

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Running Out of Options

Delve's Photo Delve 14 Jan 2014

The hospital was not as fancy as Delve had first anticipated. She had staked it out after meeting the noble with bread the night before and concluded that approaching normally would be fine. She walked with the posture of a beaten down Skaa. Hunched over, shifting eyes, and a firm, protective hand on Sil's arm. That wasn't hard to keep her close, considering how small the girl was.

The two of them walked through the halls quickly. Part of Delve's initial stake-out was to find out which room the man they were meeting was in. She didn't want to have to talk to anyone, considering where they were. She counted doorways, casting continual glances over her shoulders to make sure that they weren't being followed. She was paranoid. Much to paranoid.

This was important to Delve. She'd heard about Klyde before, and had even considered joining his crew when she first heard about him, but she tried not to work with anyone that she felt was a competent person. Incompetence drove her away before she could get attached. Attachments were bad and to be avoided. She was running out of options, though. There were only so many thieving crews in Luthadel when you kept running from one to the other, and also had to stay hidden from people who knew you as to many names. This had worked at first, but now she was beginning to think that it might not be a bad idea to settle for a few months longer than normal and let people forget about her.

Delve checked the room for the millionth time, not wanting to be at the wrong one, and then knocked on the door once. If it wasn't the right room, they would know immediately, and it was better to wait for someone to call from the room instead of the two of them barging in.
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Ryle's Photo Ryle 14 Jan 2014

This place is impossible, thought Ryle. So white. It was too even, inconceivably bright and brilliant and colourless. Like a strange dream.

The corridors were almost completely empty. Ryle walked them, just a bit in front of Devren, but still very close, touching even. His right hand rested on the middle of her forearm, somehow guiding her with a light touch. He was worried and obviously weary of this place, this much was clear. It bled through to Ryle, but she was confident when with him. Her concern was much lesser, both because of that and because she could finally breathe somewhat normally. Three days sleeping in that building made her allergies really bad, but getting out, then being here - she could even smell some of that strange scent that filled this place.

Dev found a room and stood outside it, then knocked once. It was quick and hurried, as if he was not sure about it.
Edited by Tal Spektor, 14 January 2014 - 07:52 PM.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 15 Jan 2014

Klyde's underground instincts kicked in, and he nearly jumped out of bed when he heard the soft knock on the door. This of course, caused him a great deal of discomfort as his bandages rubbed against his injuries.

"Come in," he croaked, his voice not quite coming out clearly. Lord Ruler, he sounded like an old man!

"Cell? Khaelys? Delissia? Is that you?"
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Delve's Photo Delve 15 Jan 2014

Delve entered the room, looking the part of a timid, yet hopeful young man. It would be best, in this situation, to act like she was new in Luthadel, and hopefully the timidity would make Klyde more likely to accept the two of them. "'Scuse me, sir, we're looking for a man named Klyde. You wouldn't happen to know where he is, would you?" She kept her voice quiet, hiding in her oversized coat, hoping that Sil wouldn't feel the need to contradict any of her lies.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 15 Jan 2014

Klyde's eyes narrowed at the mention of his name. Out of the corner of his eye, he began to search the room for some kind of weapon, or some means of escape. It would hurt, but he was pretty certain he could still throw a knife, or another sharp object, if he could get his hands on one. If he waited until the right moment, he wouldn't even need to be that accurate.

"Who's asking?"
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Delve's Photo Delve 15 Jan 2014

Delve stepped farther into the room slowly. Timid. Slow. Nonthreatening. She reminded herself as she chewed on her lower lip and kept her eyes towards the floor. She kept a hand on Sil, but deliberately didn't mention a name. She wasn't sure if Sil would be able to keep up a false name or not. The lie was a complex one, and Delve didn't want to confuse the girl to much. Confusion would only lead to being found out.

"I'm Devren, and this is my sister. We're new to Luthadel and we heard about him. We were told that he was here. I don't know. This city is so big, and I don't know my way around yet." She said, still soft, though she looked up a little more, trying to show a determination behind the fear. Convincing suspicious people was not easy.
Edited by MozytheHealer, 15 January 2014 - 04:53 AM.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 15 Jan 2014

Klyde eyed the two kids suspiciously. Honestly was this some kind of joke? Why did mysterious teenagers keep tracking him down? Was one of his former crew members behind this, advertising his new crew among all the pick-pockets of Luthadel?

"And what am I supposed to do about that?" He eyed to two expectantly, keeping his voice flat. "Well? I don't look like a bloody baby sitter, do I?"
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Delve's Photo Delve 15 Jan 2014

This wasn't going quite as badly as Delve had anticipated, but it could be going better. She decided that it was time to be a little bit more confident. It was only natural when one found out that one was in the right place to grow less timid. She stood straighter, though she still hid inside her coat. "Klyde's you? Good. I was worried that I had the wrong room."

"I don't expect that. We can take care of ourselves. But we want to join your crew. I don't know if you're actually accepting new members." She was talking to much. It was part of her plan. Devren was nervous. Nervous, excited, and determined.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 15 Jan 2014

Klyde raised his eye brow. Who did this punk think he was? "I need competent crew members, not little ash brains who aren't old enough to know their way around a woman's chambers yet. And while you might, and I mean might, be able to convince me that you can take care of yourself, which I'm still not convinced of by the way..." Klyde's eyes continued to wander around the room. Where were all of those women who were constantly bothering him at the moment? Wasn't it their job to keep him safe from wackos like these?

"Anyways," Klyde continued, realizing he had trailed off mid-sentence. "This is the real deal kid, not some grand adventure to join in on, or secret club house to keep you safe. I'm dealing with real cons, real people, real money, and real death. That's right death. You could die. And while you might say you are ready for that, not only do I not believe you, but I sure as the mists do not believe that little snot goblin trailing behind you can say the same. You wanna show you're tough enough to handle a crew like mine, tell me what you think you can do for me, and lose the screamer. Then we might talk."
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Ryle's Photo Ryle 15 Jan 2014

Devren was running into a wall here. Ryle could feel it. But she could also feel the way out. She widened her eyes a bit and took a few years off of her voice. Her question would be simple, implying that she was simple, and forcing Klyde to phrase something more complicated in a simplistic way. He was an adult and he disliked children, he would not know only six-year-olds thought that way. And the answer he will give, whatever it is, would make it simpler for Ryle to wrench him away from his position.

"Mister Klyde? Mister Klyde, why are you angry with us? Do you hate us?", she asked.
Edited by Tal Spektor, 15 January 2014 - 06:04 AM.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 15 Jan 2014

Klyde rolled his eyes, and ignored the tot. "See what I mean? She's useless! Like I said, I'm not a baby sitter, and as you can see by looking at me, this crew already has one invalid too many. Serves me right I guess for running into that ash blasted hotel I suppose. But at least I have a head on my shoulders. A head with a plan. And kid, that plan makes me valuable, which is why I'm here. Right now, I'm not seeing anything valuable about you or little lady goo-goo eyes over there, so unless you change my mind and show me some skills, it's time to scram." Klyde did his best to scowl in a menacing fashion, hoping to up his intimidation factor in order to compensate for his injuries.

He idly wondered what Delissia was doing at the moment? She certainly wasn't spending much time at the hotel. Who did she think she was, gallivanting all over the bloody city on her own. Aside from the fact that she checked in on him from time to time, he might as well have never found her. At least then he wouldn't have been stuck in this blasted prison of a hospital. She was probably off flirting with some handsome Lord right now, with the ash-blasted charm of hers, while he was stuck arguing with a delusional teenager and his dumb kid sister.
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Delve's Photo Delve 15 Jan 2014

A maybe. That was good. It was better than a no, at any rate. This was definitely when having a reputation came in handy, and Delve certainly didn't have that. Defensive, that was what Devren was now. Defensive, but still scared. He knew what he was doing, but Klyde was not a reassuring presence, which was, of course, only to be expected. When Sil spoke, Delve's worry went up and her hand tightened around Sil's. "I'm not that young, begging your pardon. I'm twenty-five, and I might be new to Luthadel, but I'm not new to this. I worked in a crew in the Northern dominance for a while, before Sil was old enough to help, but I've raised her well." Delve was going with the name that Sil had given when they met. It probably wasn't her real name, but she'd respond it it well.

"I know how to be a nobleman, and I can scam a person. I'm a decent lier, when I have to be, and I can take care of myself, if I have to. I can. I've been taking care of the two of us for years." Too much information could be risky. It was best to just give vague details about Devren's life, and only give specifics if pressed. "And I've trained Sil in the ways of the underground and such. She can be a young noblewoman, if she's quiet, and she can follow orders. Doesn't ask many questions, see."

Delve truly hoped this would work. Pulling the 'I've been lying the whole time' card never went well, but she'd use it if she had to.
Edited by MozytheHealer, 15 January 2014 - 06:34 AM.
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Ryle's Photo Ryle 15 Jan 2014

Ryle was so stunned by the injured man's headstrong proclamation that everybody is useless, she forgot to reply. It was only after Devren had made most of his points, that she was re-animated.

The first thing she did when she came to her senses was lose every indicator of innocense, every pretense. She straightened somewhat, and changed her air from looking up to him to looking him in the eyes. Her voice returned to normal, she was herself. Then she made herself amused and proud of herself. Ryle then turned to Devren and spoke.

"Did you see that, brother? He actually bought it! I told you I'd practiced. And please do not forget that he is a crewleader - he deals with real" she emphasized this last word scornfully "cons and conmen. Wouldn't you expect a member of the underground, a crewleader who plans cons, especially one who is successful, to know when he is being played with? It would be very unfortunate if one day he will be conned, don't you agree?"

Turning back to Klyde, Ryle saw he wore a skeptical mask over a surprised mind. Shouldn't he know what he was missing?

"Did you ever need a credible cover for a conman? Nobody would suspect a small girl to be in on a plan, therefore everything she supports will instantly be regarded as truth. As for my age, I am like my brother - many years older than I look. I am not a child like people see me - " Ryle turned to Devren again, and asked him in amusement "remember how a few days ago somebody said I was ten or so? - " facing Klyde again, she added in a matter-of-fact manner "I am fifteen, and much more mature than most my age. There will be no problem caused by my youth."

This must have done something.
Edited by Tal Spektor, 15 January 2014 - 06:25 PM.
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Delve's Photo Delve 15 Jan 2014

The girl was good, but it was a little surprising. They hadn't talked much about what they were going to say, and Delve hadn't expected her to be so quick to lie about something. "You did good, Sil." She said softly, with a proud smile. "See, Klyde? We know what we're doing."
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Ryle's Photo Ryle 16 Jan 2014

The soft words gave her confidence in her persona, which she desperately needed.

"Thank you, brother. I learned from the best." was her reply.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 17 Jan 2014

Klyde glanced at the pair, taking in all of the new information. So they were more skilled than they seemed? That was good, and far better than the opposite. He could work on those skills they already had, and the less skilled they seemed, the more difficult they would be to catch. And the girl really was older than he had originally thought. Fifteen meant she was almost a woman now, and that little girl act might be enough to protect her from all but the worst of the rapers, at least for a time. If she was good, chances were probably good that her brother was as well. Perhaps he could use them...

"Hold on a minute," he said, trying to get his thoughts in order. If he just let people into his crew left and right, it would be sure to fail. He didn't just need people, he needed the right people. Pots had always handled the hiring before, Klyde had always been occupied with, more important matters. As things were though, he needed all the people he could get. On the other hand, with these two in the mix, his crew would be almost entirely made up of teenagers. Did Delve honestly expect him to believe that a boy whose voice had barely changed could be twenty five? Klyde was still missing something, and he intended to figure it out.

"Let's say I believe that you are as good as you say, and your 'kid sister,' or girlfriend, or whatever she is, really is a teenager who's just really good at playing baby. That doesn't change the fact that..." Klyde faltered. Where was he going with this? "That... you... are hiding something from me!" His volume grew suddenly in triumph. Of course the brats were hiding something. They wouldn't be here if they weren't.

"You are hiding something from me, and I know it, so here's your options: spit it out and show me that I can trust you, or you can go out, get some food, bring that back to me, then leave and never come back. It's up to you. And as for you little miss," continued Klyde, stalling the objection he wasn't sure was coming or not, "None of that, 'but you can trust me,' nonsense. Some people might be taken in by that namby pamby baby face routine, but not me. You wanna prove you can fool me? Make me trust you and then we'll see."
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Delve's Photo Delve 17 Jan 2014

Delve narrowed her eyes a bit. "Hiding something? Isn't everyone always hiding something? I'd say we're hiding quite a bit, at the moment. What is it you want to know?" She decided that Devren was now much more confident, as if the nerves had been an act. It would be good to show that she wouldn't back down. "I mean, we aren't new to Luthadel, if that's what you want to know. We worked for someone else, but then one of the crew members got to handsy with Sil and we were kicked out. Most of that crew thinks that we left the city, but we didn't. We just hid for a few months and let it blow over."

"Honestly, you should have known we were hiding something right away. And yes, our ages are exactly as we say, no matter how much you think otherwise." She could hear the doubt in his voice.
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Klyde's Photo Klyde 18 Jan 2014

Klyde rolled his eyes. "You'll have to do better than that kid, and lying to say you are older than you are won't help nothing. You're a late bloomer, that's just the way you are, whatever. I don't want to hear it. And I also don't want to hear any more of your lies."

Klyde raised an arm too suddenly, and cringed. Once the pain passed, he proceeded to count out his points on his fingers. "First of all, I know you are not new to Luthadel, because I am newly back in Luthadel, and there's no way you could have found me, or known to find me, this quickly if you had only just arrived as well. Second, you guys haven't been together long. If you had been, you wouldn't have stayed long enough for someone to get "too handsy" because you would have been able to see it coming, and either knife the guy quietly, or get the hell out before it happened. Also, your styles are completely different, so don't try to tell me you taught her anything. Next, let's move on to the king jewel on top of the treasure pile. You said earlier that you are a 'decent liar'. No one says they are a decent liar unless they are an ash-blasted great liar, because 'decent' liars are too worried about getting caught. So, how about you convince me how I can be sure you won't stab a knife in my back, despite you being the Lord Ruler of liars?" Klyde hoped that the pair would catch on to what he was waiting for, and hated himself for caring.
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Delve's Photo Delve 18 Jan 2014

So he wanted the truth? How about the almost truth. That should work for him. He was smart, though. Too smart. Maybe this wasn't as good an idea as she had originally thought. It took a clever person to call her out on that many mistakes. She'd gotten out of practice from lying to idiots. "Make you trust us? I doubt it. If I'm such a good liar, you would have to be an idiot to trust me. If I spill all, you'll trust us? Or will that only get us halfway? Shall I try this again? My name is Devren, and this is Sil. I met her two weeks ago. She can explain for herself." Still the lies. They were the only way that they could stay safe.

"I have lived in Luthadel for a year, and in that time I've figured things out. Decided you were my best bet at having a decent thieving job. Before that I worked for a crew north of here in this tiny little city. Not much there except for a few nobles who were stupid enough to fall for us every time." Tiny grains of truth. Small ones. Untraceable, and unnoticeable. She was still good at this, even if the original idea hadn't worked. It had been a longshot anyways. "I do have a sister, but she's dead now. The crew sold her to a brothel and she was killed by a nobleman. Now, as you know my entire life story, what else is required? Blood oath? Should I swear that I won't knife you and run? Perhaps I can swear by the mists? People like the mists."
Edited by MozytheHealer, 18 January 2014 - 09:31 PM.
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Ryle's Photo Ryle 19 Jan 2014

Dev was oddly unemotional about his sister. Not blank from suppressing it or because he grew used to it - there was still emotion in these. He looked as if it did not affect him at all. One step closer to what he was hiding from me since we met.

"I... I was born a plantation skaa. When I'd gone out in the mists, my parents rejected me. I ran away, and after one week, I found docks, got into a barge and then to Luthadel. In the five years since, all I did was con and steal in the streets - except for a few months in a thieving crew somewhere in the middle. Devren..." Ryle cringed at the memory of just a few nights ago, "He saved me from a rapist not long ago, and I have followed him ever since, which is why I am here."

Ryle drew a breath to calm the feelings that flashback raised. Slowly, slowly, she exhaled. "Now, is there anything more you wish to know about me?"
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