November 22, 2013

The Promise of Gold, Pt. IV

hough the walk was long and eerie, she had opened a pocket of time to think about things with an honest note. She had spent some time in Marleybone before, mainly in a relief effort for the little ones left behind in an orphanage with too many to care for. She had been a storyteller, a trader, and even more a hero to the little ones, all who had recognized her right away. It had been hard to halt them without a greeting when she had arrived with Ivy.
"Ivy doesn't have a heart, does she?" Ginelle sighed, walking through a rocky tunnel and looking over the Marleybonian underground, "She just doesn't understand it." The few shops below ground sparkled with overwhelming light. It was both a center for salvation, being away from the city's bustle and havoc, but also came with its own trials, as Ginelle came to notice. Coins and torn-up handbags were strewn across barrels, catprints trailing off.
"Aye, she's a toughie." A tall, gray-furred cat strode to Ginelle's side. He stood with a stroke of perseverance that seemed, in the light of the war, otherworldly. His hands were on his hips, chest jutted out towards the havoc-wreaking underground as if he had built the first structure and watched it grow. And maybe he had.
"I'm Felix," the cat introduced himself as, "And I recognize ye – ye're the Orphan Runner!" Ginelle nodded courteously and folded her arms, facing her passage back, just in case. She didn't have any money on her, though, so she considered herself less of a target.
"Ye didn't come alone, though, did ye?" Ginelle shook her head, "Aye, the knowin' of a captain lies on ye. Frakes, by the smell of it. She didn't do ye any harm, now?" Ginelle shrugged.
"For all I know, she's off looting something," she grumbled.
"The captain and I have met," Felix noted, "Something to do with my other affairs, with the Special Branch and all. I'm sure you've caught up in that." Ginelle laughed shakily. One night, all Ivy would speak about were her adventures in the Special Branch of the Marleybonian services. For something so secret, it seemed to be too interesting to contain. "No doubt the sharp-eyed smuggler's comin' with ye, no?" Ginelle once again shrugged.
"We owe him a favor for the hospitality, and -" Felix couldn't help but guffaw.
"Lass," he chuckled, "I think we all know by now that the promise of gold is the promise of lies." Though Ginelle caught what Felix implied, she then thought to the orphanage above-ground. Ivy had promised her to deliver some of the gold to the building...
From the tunnel that Ginelle had used before, a horde of what could have been ten or twenty cat thugs rushed out, yelling and waving clubs as they ran into the underground. Felix leaped behind a stack of barrels, Ginelle following suit. They were all holding various items, most of them bearing clubs and coin sacks, though some had nicer weapons. What caught Ginelle's eye, though, was a scrap of purple. Upon closer inspection, Ginelle recognized it to be...
"Sharp's hood," she whispered. The tunnel was clear, dust still in the air from the stampede.
"Then go," Felix whispered, pushing Ginelle towards the tunnel. She nodded curtly and ran off, pushing past the jagged walls. Ian was still there, coughing over the dust. His hood had merely been ripped off, as were his weapons.
"Ginelle," he coughed, "Ivy's still up there. She's got a dilemma." Ginelle nodded. Helping Sharp up, she ran towards the other side of the tunnel, the dust stinging her eyes. The two ran from the sewers, reaching the bustling above-ground quickly.
"Get down," Sharp whispered as he and Ginelle hid in opposite directions. Was it just them, or were clockworks walking alongside the dogs? Sharp bit his tongue and shook his head in disappointment. Ginelle unsheathed one of her pistols and threw it towards Ian, who caught it. Silently, she explained the modern dial system and how to create different effects. Ian put a cloak on, one that seemed to blend in directly with the groundfaring smog. He tossed a folded cloak to Ginelle, who followed suit. She had to admit that, even though the cloak made the outside look darker, getting to the warehouse at the end of the island took only minutes.

"You first," Sharp said, "There's a window."

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