“I hate asking more favors of you.”

“Sop acting like I keep track, Eury.” Ambrosine leaned forward and picked up her drink from the table, swirling it absently. She missed this bar’s old location, and view of the beach. “Though it’s been funny that we’ve seen so much of each other lately.”

“You are in Lion’s Arch a lot for a noble from the Reach,” Eury said, side-eying her before hefting her own drink.

“Business interests,” Ambrosine murmured, shrugging one shoulder. The Order of Whispers base that operated in the sewers, actually, but nevermind that. She ran her brewery out of the Arch, as well. “Among other things. But come on. Spit it out, woman, what do you need?”

“I was wondering if you knew anyone who might be able to assist in funding the warband, if we don’t…want to be tied to the Legions.”

“Trying to seduce Mary into the sweet Gladium lifestyle, are you? I might. I’m not sure they are looking for anything else to invest in at the moment, however.” She paused, sipping her whiskey. It had been a hard liquor kind of day. “They might still be willing, although I won’t rule out the possibility of a string or two attached.”

“I’m trying to avoid strings.”

“We’re not talking about Legion level strings, here. But she’s an engineer, so it might be something as simple as ‘here, field test this equipment for me’. I won’t know until I talk to her, though.”

“Wait, you’re not talking about that little slip of a girl, are you? How could she have the funds?”

“Imke? She’s not a girl anymore, Eury. She’s in her twenties and has been working at Ames Engineering for over a decade. Aside from her work there, she does commissions for custom clockwork on the side. She’s richer than I am, threefold. Although that’s not hard.” 

(Ambrosine was never not amused by the idea that she was considered to be poor nobility. The irony was rich.)

“Huh.” Eury peered at her empty glass. She vaguely knew Imke, only because she regularly hit up the smugglers in town for various odd bits and bobs. There was a lot of Inquest tech that could be had from the right people. “Well. Guess we might as well ask her. I can get gear on the cheap with my contacts, but not liquid assets.”

“I’ll see her tomorrow. There’s some family thing, now that Jess’s brother Chris is out of school.”

“Talk to you later this week, then?”

“Of course, Eury.”

====================================================

Ambrosine was a little put off to just have a folder pushed into her hands. “Hold on, what is this?”

“Your next assignment is to start keeping tabs on this fellow.” The woman walked away, apparently quite busy.

“Hi to you too, Agent,” she muttered, opening it up. “Dukas? Oh boy, I helped uncover his parents as White Mantle.” 

Iskander Dukas, known as Alex. Innocent of his parents misdeeds, he nonetheless had to deal with the shame of the association. He was not a popular man in noble circles these days but then, Ambrosine had cultivated her reputation for ignoring such things carefully.

Young, mesmer, absurdly pretty. Alex wasn’t marked because he was suspicious himself–he’d been interrogated pretty thoroughly, the poor boy–but because he was an obvious mark in case anyone wanted to start fermenting trouble again. After all, no one else would know for sure he’d been clean in the whole mess.

“Okay, fine, this is all within my normal scope, only he doesn’t run in my circles. How am I supposed to approach him? Wh…oh. Oh.” 

It was right there in the file. Known alliances: Chris Ames.

“So, fantastic, I get to spy on my future brother-in-law’s…” she read further. “…lover? Of course. Sorry old man Ames, we are just wrecking your chances at grandchildren left and right. Okay.” She sighed. “There is no way this will not get awkward.” Although as it was, she knew more about the love lives of her fellows than she ever wanted to. It was to the point where Tove often mined her for salacious ideas for songs.

She tucked the folder in her bag and started back home, shaking her head.

“Nothing like two very different reasons to go calling on family.”

Author Ambrosine
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Comments (1)

  • fiel
    April 23, 2018 at 1:39 pm
    "Absurdly pretty" mesmers seem to be the norm.

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