03/08/998: Late Morning, Blackbeam.

Jack Dawton

Jack easily moves into the warehouse, giving Len or Simon a cheeky grin and a wave. Running unexpectedly into Priss, he let his natural air of deviltry take over and gave her a devil-may-care smile. "A'course he weren't. He and I 'ad a little chat." Jack keeps smiling, and looks around the room. "Any of the 'forcers about? I chased up that little matter Willy warnted me ta look into, but the trail leads ta two thugs dawn in Enders, and I needs a few sharp knives ta convince them ta show me a few things." Jack winks at Priss and leans forward, resting one hand on the large and ornate tabletop. "I'd rather not bother the bossman in his big meeting, either, but times a little short 'round 'ere." He casts an uneasy glance at the foreman's office, and shrugs. "Better to just round up a few likely lads, and 'ave at it, i'm thinkin'."


"I don't know, but we're not real well protected right here, right now. It's making me nervous. Willy sent the big boys off to do a job. There's something big going down, but he's being pretty hush-hush on it."

She chews a bit on her lower lip before confiding;

"I'm scared. Something's gone wrong. And I've been having these weird dreams..."

Jack Dawton

Jack paused, something in him worried at Priss' words. Most dreams he would discount, but serious young Priss... besides, they say she knows magic, and when magickers get worried, it's time to be scarper. "Look, Priss." He said gently, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Don't you worry none. I've got some business to be getting on with, but befar I go, i'll 'ave a word to Willy. He'd as lief hear the word anyway, as I don't miss moi guess." Jack gave her a straight-faced look for a moment, before letting the smile back and giving her his trademarket wink. Turning away from the table, he walked up to Willy's door, peeking in a window before giving it a short, sharp, rap.

The door is windowless, having lost its glass long before Green Willy and his crew took the place over. The empty space is tacked over with oilcloth, translucent enough to let in some light, but not enough to see through.

Jack hears voices inside, catching a snatch of conversation before he knocks.

"They're just children,"
says Willy, "and they're my charges. I can't just hand one over-"

The voice that answers him doesn't sound like a voice at all, it has more in common with the sound of rotten meat in high summer just after the blow fly eggs have hatched.

"We had an arrangement."

"It wasn't my arrangement! I just took-"

"You should have read the fine print," the voice breaks in with a wet chuckle.

As Jack's hand is poised to knock, before his knuckles touch the wood, the thing behind the door growls;

"Someone approaches. We will speak of this again."

Then there is a noise like a sack of grain being emptied on the wooden floor.

Jack Dawton

Jack freezes, ears trying to discern further noise, poised to leap backwards should someone come through the door. After a few moments, if nothing further is forthcoming, he reaches down, and slowly opens the doorway, sliding his dagger from it's sheath and surveying the room to see what he can see.

Who I decided to make handsome, 'cause I wanted some eye candy!
Willy is standing with his back to the door, watching as clusters of grubs, maggots, and beetles vanish wriggling into the cracks between the floorboards. A few fat black flies buzz out the door past Jack's head.

Willy turns slowly to the sound of the opening door. He looks pale and shaken.

Green Willy

"Jack," he says, quietly, then falls silent.

Jack Dawton

"Willy." He answers, cautiously, the question unsaid, but still spoken. All hint of laughter and mockery has faded from his visage, and his face is guarded. His eyes are fixed on Willy's, leaving no doubt that he saw enough to mean that Willy can't gloss over this, one way or another.

Green Willy

"I'm in a bit of trouble, Jack," Willy begins hesitantly. The silence as he searches for the right words is broken by the quiet clatter of a beetle's tick-tick-ticking passage across the floor near Willy's foot. He flinches at the sound, then, without looking down, crushes it under his boot, grinding the little bug into the floor.

"It seems I've..."

He hesitates again, noticing for the first time Jack's fancy new rapier.

"Jack... what did you do to Robinson? Little blond kid?"

Jack Dawton

A touch of Jack's ne'er'do'well nature re-emerges for a brief instant before he becomes somber again. "Oh, he and I 'ad a chat. Last I saw, 'e was out cold, drinkin' on the job, sorry state of affairs. I took this here off'f 'im fer safekeeping, laying out there, it'd'a not lasted a scanty second, all shiny and pretty-like." The smiles fades from his face. "Willy." He adds, the accent mainly stripped from his voice. "Tell me."

Green Willy

"Damn it, Jack, he don't lie to me. He wasn't 'drinking on the job,' kid's straight as an arrow. Do you have any idea who he is?"

Although he had seemed on the verge of confessing all to Jack, the current whereabouts and condition of 'Robinson' seems to be of more immediate concern. He charges out of his office, heading toward the front doors.

"And you just left him on the street? What in the Nine were you thinking?"


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