Ms0 11


An old warehouse. The floor is littered with piles upon piles of rusted, broken metal and odd wood shapes. The remains of many a sunken ship and their contents. A few men are inside with wielding torches, cutting the larger parts of metal hull into smaller, more manageable pieces. At the far end of the warehouse is single, small room, with the words "ACCOUNTING OFFICE" written in front of it.
Inside: a single desk, with a mountain of paperwork covering most of it. A fresh pot of coffee takes up most of the rest of the desk, along with a small plate with a handful of oblong hashbrowns up in. The driftin woman behind the desk is currently finishing what remains of a breakfast burrito.
"I guess the upside to y'forcin' yer way into this is I get to eat a lot more'a yer cookin'."

"But I can't help but feel like you've spent all your time eating and have actually been doing your paperwork slower. That stack is higher than yesterday now, Lady Mcgunnery."

"Beth, Beth. Dear, sweet Beth." Elizabeth shakes her head.
"I literally pay someone else to fill out mosta these forums."
"Your desire fer interviews is holdin' them back!"

"If you have a better way to recruit people, by all means. Would you prefer we wander the streets aimlessly and ask people today?"
"We can compare the turnout from what I lined up yesterday."

"That was basically my initial plan…"
"I duno if it'd be better, per se, but."

"I almost feel bad for destroying that tree up there." Elbereth says wistfully.
"You should have taken a closer look at it to see the number of initials."

"Eh?" Elizabeth glances over to Elbereth.

"Last night."

"No idea what yer talkin' about."

Elbereth glances at the pile of paperwork before sighing. "Do you mind if I start on this?"

A polite knock on the door.

"Go for it." Elizabeth then adds, to the door: "Come in!"

Elbereth swiftly moves to the door and opens it for the guest.

Lady Elizabeth mumbles something about the door not being paperwork as she shoves a hashbrown into her mouth.

Elbereth ignores the mumbleing as she addresses their guest: "Welcome. Did you happen to see our flyer? I didn't have an interview scheduled for today."

Alianor blinks as it's opened before she could reach for the handle herself, stepping inside instead. Her clothes are a bit more rumpled from travel than she'd prefer, but her black outfit with gold accents is of fine quality - though not to noble standards - though the strange mix of staff and firearm, with far more moving parts than it needs slung over her shoulder might be what catches the eye most.
"Yes, that's why I came. You're really investigating the nearby Arcolith?"

"We really are."
"Well. 'investigating'," Elizabeth air quotes, "But yeah."

Elbereth nods before ushering the guest inside. She pulls out the smaller chair, not the giant one beside it. "Please, come have a seat."

Alianor smiles brightly at the confirmation, carefully propping her weapon against a wall near the chair before taking a seat. "That's certainly a surprise, since I've heard no one's been to this one in decades… Though the way you put it, I take it this isn't official?"

"It is official in so far as Filios is not officially owned by any living person an I've got a key inside." Elizabeth grins.

"A key… Yes, that would certainly make things easier, wouldn't it? I'm curious if you have anyone with any experience in the others yet, but if it's unofficial…" Alianor wonders aloud.

Elbereth rolls her trolley over to the table before taking a plate and placing it in front of the guest. She lifts the lid to reveal a hearty breakfast of sausage, hashbrowns, eggs and toast. Was that for herself? Elizabeth's unsateable appetite? She said she wasn't expecting guests…

"Hmm, not yet, I don't think." Elizabeth stuffs another hashbrown into her mouth.
"I mean, the others are all under imperial control, right?"

Elbereth places a mug on the table and pours Alianor a cup of coffee. She places some cream and sugar to the side on the saucer before taking a seat herself. She quietly starts on the paperwork.

"Well, I'm not sure about Agaap, but Pheros certainly is, and it wouldn't surprise me if they control Storgei now, but it wasn't when my mother, Vivienne Sheridan, went there almost a decade ago. I can't claim to be an expert, since I haven't set foot in one personally, but I do have all of my mother's notes and all she taught me about her trek, so if you choose to take me along, you at least wouldn't be starting from scratch." Alianor says.

"Huh… Yer mom was a researcher that got to Storgei before the imperial's ransacked it?" Elizabeth flicks an ear in Alianor's direction.

Alianor nods her head as she starts adding cream and three spoonfuls of sugar to the coffee, mixing it with a spoon. "That's about right, though without the Empire's experienced researchers, they didn't get as far as they'd hoped, much to her detriment… She was one of the ones that made it out with their lives, but her wounds caught up with her eventually." A sip at her coffee to try to cover up her lingering sorrow.

"Aha." Elizabeth nods.
"So… yer lookin' to follow in her foot steps?"

Elbereth stamps another piece of paper before pulling out a few empty folders. "For our records, what do you prefer to be called?"

"With hopefully more success, though I'll leave any opinion of how likely that is until I see the rest of the crew you're putting together… And my name is Alianor Sheridan."

Lady Elizabeth laughs a little. "Someone sounds confident."

"Better than fearful or indecisive, at least." Elbereth says. "Miss Sheridan, I take it you are well within your means of defending yourself, then?"

Alianor nods her head, waving a hand towards the strange gunstaff leaning against the wall. "Priscilla there is the culmination of my parents's ingenuity, and I'm looking forward to seeing what upgrades I can gleam from the automatons I've heard exist in the Arcoliths."

"Aha. It's certainly a strange… boomstick?" Elizabeth scoots her seat in its direction, taking a closer look at it.
La "So considering all that, how'd you wind up in Leviathan, given up until a few days ago the entire world thought it was sealed?"

"Boomstick… I guess that's one word for it. And that kind of ties into how I wound up here… My father still lives, as far as I know, but with the Empire soon knocking on our door, he didn't want any of our family's research falling into their hands; they don't need any more help conquering the world as it is. So I… fled with all of it while he stayed behind to make sure there was nothing left to claim. "
Alianor looks pensive, clearly worried about him.

"Ah. And Leviathan, being one of the few places still mostly unaffected…"
Lady Elizabeth sits back up in order to take a drink from her coffee.
"Bad luck on that timin' then, with the Imperials hot on the trail of those big ships at the docks."

Alianor grimaces, nodding her head. "I don't see any reason why they'd be hunting for me specifically… but I'm not willing to bet against it, either. If that's a problem…"

"Naw not really. Us goin' in and beatin' 'em to the punch is likely to raise a bit of their ire, regardless."
"And more than a few potential's had their own enmity with the empire, besides."

"If they're also coming off of the refugee boats,… Oh, right. Since you're hiring for this, what kind of wage are we getting?"

Elbereth is quiet, but focused as the stack of papers starts to thin into their respective folders.

Elizabeth answers: "Basic outline of the expedition is this: headin' out for about a week, in a week. Plan on having three days to explore an' scout out the place, see what we find, then head back to the leviathan to formulate a real place based on that. I got enough to pay any that come along and contribute 100G, though if ya find anything in particular that tickles yer fancy, we can negotiate a lower wage fer loot."

"Hmm, that seems fair enough… We can work out how much any machinery salvage is worth once we've gotten our hands on it." Alianor nods.

"'Sactly, yeah."
"Well. Y'seem intimately familiar with the dangers we might face, atleast, so if yer confident you can hold yer own against 'em, then yer more than welcome to come with."

"Priscilla there hasn't let me down before, so you can bet I'll be ready to ship out with the rest of you in about a week."

"Alright then." Elizabeth glances between Elbereth and Alianor. "Anything else?"

Elbereth shakes her head. "No particular questions spring to mind, Lady Mcgunnery."

Alianor shakes her head, smiling slightly as she gets up. "I don't believe so. I hope it'll be a pleasure working with you, Miss… Mcgunnery?" She inquires as she offers her a hand.

"Lady Elizabeth McGunnery." She smoothly takes the hand and gives a shake.

Elbereth gets up and moves to get the door for their guest. "My name is Elbereth. I offer a variety of services for all the residents and guests of Leviathan. Safe travels in our humble town."

Alianor smiles as she shakes her hand before going over and gently picking up her weapon from the wall, and then heading towards the opened door. "Until next time, then."

Elbereth gives a quick curtsie before shutting the door. She moves back to the desk and starts to work on the stack of paperwork again.

Lady Elizabeth devours the last hashbrown while looking towards the door in thought after Alianor leaves. "Out of curiosity,"
"Did I give off that same kinda impression when I was younger?"

"Most young girls in a sailors town are full of themselves, Lady Mcgunnery." Elbereth replies, matter-of-factually.

"Oh not that. Pft. Anyone without a fair bit'a self confidence ain't got no business bein' here."

"That interview was refreshing, though. That was probably the most normal applicant we've had."

"Ment more, she looked… *way* too soft for delvin' into a death trap, but."

"She did seem eager to follow in her parents footsteps without actually realizing what it entails."

"Wouldn't really feel right tellin' her no considerin' what brought her here, though." Elizabeth nods.

"No matter. The crew is large enough that she can learn as she goes. Worst comes to worse you can just tell Lobelia to protect her instead of me. As rest assured, I do not need the assistance."

"Admittedly yer one of the few that don't seem to walk around with some kinda weapon but… that's a different kind of danger entirely."
"Fair enough though I suppose."

"With all due respect, Lady Mcgunnery… you did see the other applicant last night with no weapon."
"I can take care of myself."

"Beth, Beth, poor sweet Beth." Elizabeth chides Elbereth,
"That man was clearly a weapon in and of himself."
"Fucking hell, you saw how sharp that stinger was. Wham! Cleaved straight through that damn tree."

"So now you remember the tree."

"How could I forget?"

"I admit I was not sure if he was friend or foe when he came crashing through the door."
"The insatiable bloodlust he exhibits did not help."

"I imagine if applied in the correct direction it'll be fairly helpful."

"Had I not washed ashore and met Herald as a teenager I no doubt could have ended up like him. Bitter, resentful and alone with everything taken from me."
"Those in Leviathan did much to help heal my wounds these past eighty years."

"I guess y'can try an' help someone else this time, when he's ready."

Elbereth glances at the table before shaking her head. "This is going faster than I expected. It should be caught up in another hour or so."

"I'll leave ya to it then." Elizabeth leans back and slowly drains the rest of her mug.

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