Log:PrP:Illumination - Lesser Alliance
|PrP:Illumination - Lesser Alliance|
30 April, 2019
November, as part of her efforts to woo Illumination into agreeing that she is worth forging a new Contract with, has pledged herself to perform minor acts of illumination. Tutoring and bringing light to dark places of the mind have been completed, but today, her task is a more prosaic one: bringing light to dark places of the city. Specifically, an alley which connects two main streets and USED to be good for walking. After she's done with it, it will be again!
Fort Brunsett alleyway
Things continue to warm up, and in turn people are in fairly lighter layers. It's still cold, and the looming threat of rain is not one people currently enjoy. The few people that can be found wandering the streets appear to care little for what might impede their way to where they wanna go. There's nothing to see or care for. There's little light nor beauty to be seen, and the world around this place is a drab mix of browns, greys, and whites.
The name she has used, today, is Alis Rodriguez, and her attire is as practical and sturdy as one might expect of a public worker: a set of coveralls, with vaguely official-looking insignia stitched on them, and sturdy boots/leather gloves. She has a van already partway filled with bags of trash, and, having planned this ahead of time, has already spoken with the owners of the buildings on either side of her target alley. Their general response: if she wants to be a weirdo and to give herself a backache cleaning up THEIR junk, it's her pain, not theirs.
The alley she has in mind WAS once a nice walking path between two of the larger streets in this area, but it has long since been grimed up and trashed.
Her first task: getting the larger garbage out. Bottles and old beer cans are tossed in a bag together, miscellaneous rubbish stuffed in trash bags, sharps into a sharps tub, because nobody REALLY wants to be walking on needles or broken glass. She works far more quickly than anyone would have reason to expect, any time no one is watching.
The dog, while noted, is ignored for the time being, since it doesn't seem to be aggressive. She keeps the beast in peripheral vision while looking behind the dumpster to see what's there.
The dog, for it's part, remained silent throughout. While November grows curious of what she might find behind the dumpster it leaves. Likely bored and finding something else that grabbed the attention of its feral thoughts. t barks loudly, and eventually that becomes a faint echo from down the road.
After a moment of consideration, she reaches out to pluck the key off of the nail, then takes a holey-stone out of her pocket and hangs that on the nail instead. It's only fair to make a trade. Anyone who looks through the gewgaw's hole will see a brighter, more optimistic version of the world, reality pretending to be something else.
After that? She goes back to cleaning. Satisfying Illumination is more important than chasing down a mystery.
While the pigeons continue their anxious scrutiny and continuous angling towards the trashbags another bird sits on the roof of the left side of the alley. A rather fat strix covered in black and tawny fur that stares somewhere ahead, unblinking in its avian vigil.
Regarding the pigeons, then the owl, she tilts her head and calls a lightly-accented (Hispanic, not Irish), "Not hungry, I take it? I wager they'd be more frightened of you than I," up to the bird. Unfortunately for her, she is as inept at dealing with animals as she is skilled at dealing with humanoids; no Fang and Talon for her.
She does, however, have a passing skill at illusion... Making the most convincingly delicious pigeon food those birds have ever tasted, she ensures to scatter it around the corners on the sidewalks where they won't be watching her.
Once the larger trash is dealt with, she gets a rake and a stiff-bristled push-broom out of the van, along with weeding tools to help pry out stubborn roots. First she rakes out larger weeds and smaller trash. Then she pries out any plants which wouldn't leave the first time. THEN she goes in with the broom to scrape encrusted dirt and grime away, leaving gewgaw lemon drops behind to help with the cleaning. She carefully places each one, then crushes it under her heel to activate it, leaving it to fizz and eat the dirt, mindful of whether any human visitors might be watching her do so.
The pigeons look from food to bags, and eventually animalistic greed wins out. They go about, pecking at the ground and gobbling up what they deem to be the most excellent feast. In turn they leave November to handle her own business, and pick up the remainder of the trash without a bother.
Her latest bit of work doesn't draw any human attention. The few times a mortal would walk by they pay her no mind. Why would they? The alley is usually a dump that's never worth any amount of notice unless you're gonna throw something away. Except she does get some mortal attention right when she's near the end of the alley. A long-haired and short young man somewhere in his twenties that's throwing a balled up bag of trash near the dumpster. He shouts, "Kobe!" and misses his target as his trash goes careening toward the ground.
The young man might be surprised, in fact, by just how clean the space around that dumpster has become.
November-as-Alis, working at scrubbing dirt out of a stubborn corner with a hand brush, glances up at the stranger and calls, "Mind trying a rebound?"
The owl now flies off if November still pays it any mind. Her work so far is good. Disturbingly good. It's enough that one of the passersby stops, mostly because of her dog. The woman's a bit on the taller side of average, but doesn't have as much height on her as November. Her hair's cut short into a bob, and she has a pair of shades to keep out the sun despite it not being out right now thanks to the clouds. She's dressed in a pink polo, beige capris, and a red sandals that won't be as comfortable if the clouds burst.
She's Janice, if November can remember the lady. A local gossip that has her nose in anything she doesn't already know about. She's looking over the work of Alis, impressed beyond words at first. Except Janice is and Janice does, and can't keep her mouth shut.
"Oh my stars and garters, this is just lovely!" she calls out loud enough to send some of those surrounding pigeons to flee. "I swear I didn't hear a THING about this." November can already hear the passive-aggressiveness coming out. "If I didn't know any better I'd say you'd be planning something." She chuckles wryly. "You aren't, are you?" She asks with that needling, all-too-nice grin.
Notably, the alley smells like lemon cleaning products, and while the brick walls on either side are still grimy, the ground is looking fantastic.
"It needed the work," she tells Janice, polite, but unsmiling. "The city has a lot to do, and too few hands to do it."
Different scrub brushes, a bit gentler for the surface of the bricks, are her next go-to, along with a perfectly mundane grout-cleaner, and other pending other distractions, she and a trusty step-stool clean the bricks up to 10' high on either side of the alley, getting mold and general grime off first, rinsing with spray bottles and rubbing with cloths, before she goes back for the extremely, extremely tedious process of spraying Grout-Eez into the grout of each and every grout-line in the bricks. She works in small sections, doing about five feet of wall at a time, top to bottom, so she doesn't have to move the stool as often.
Thankfully, with Janice gone, and no one else around to stare at her (yet), November-as-Alis can speed through the the process of applying the Grout Eez with blithe defiance of the accepted human laws of physics and time. She's careful, oh, always careful, and ensures that she does a good and thorough job, and waits patiently in the van with a bottle of water for the chemicals to do their work on the porous binders there between the bricks.
Counting rows and doing math while she rests, dark eyes study the walls, then the facades of the buildings, thoughtful. Still, eventually, it's time to get to work, and she pushes herself up to start brushing/wiping away the cleanser -- and the majority of the grime. With that alone, the alley already looks brighter, and it's getting better the more of it she cleans away.
That dog from before returns again, now covered in mud. He barks a greeting, short tail wagging happily at the sight of Alis. He barks again, not moving just yet as he stares at her. Eventually he stands back up, and starts walking over towards her with a want to play.
A whopping big sponge to stir it all together comes out next, and, being November, she doesn't even bother using gloves to help her apply the white-wash to the brick. Again, only going ten feet up, and only painting the bricks she had cleaned. While she isn't incredibly careful, she does at least squeeze out the majority of the liquid out of the sponge before applying the wash to the wall, to avoid unsightly dripping.
Notably, she does what she can to keep the dog -away- from the walls while they are covered in wet white paint. At least they'll dry quickly, as thin/diluted as it is.
The Fairest's work proves fruitful, and, with the dog occupied elsewhere, without bother. With the dog being as near as it is, most people are happy to give the place a bit more room just to keep away from that smelly creature. She does still get the occasional stare, although nothing beyond meager curiosities. Near the end of her work she does spy someone filming her working for a few seconds with her phone, but the seemingly teenaged girl is quick to bolt if Alis at all turns to her.
The dark-haired woman unzips a pocket to pull out her phone, notably NOT November's sleek black smartphone. This one has a case with simple turquoise and white chevrons, fairly generic. "Peggy? Alis. Could you send one of the guys from the pet store down with a bone or two and some dog food? Maybe a tennis ball." Silence, listening, then a bark of surprised laughter. "No, not for me; to tempt a feral Rottweiler." Silence. "That'll be fine. I have to watch paint dry anyway."
She hangs up after rattling off the address of the alley, and true to her word, she sticks around and does what she can to keep the dog entertained until the impromptu delivery arrives. It's amazing what an astonishing amount of money can do to speed up a teenager's willingness to drive across the city.
Eziyishumi comes into view, looking for the reason of his being here. He crouches down near the dog and lets out a woof for the dog. The dog returns the bark with another of his own before Ezi reaches over to start scratching at the dog's dirtied head. "How ya doing, Rapsutin." The dog ducks it's head back, and barks a rebuttal. "Okay okay. Rover?" That gets another bark, and Ezi resumes his scratching. "I heard that a bright lady was out here bothering you, Rover. Is that right?" The dog turns to bark in Alis' direction, and leaves Ezi confused as all hell. "Huh?"
"Ah, good. If you've got the delivery, I can get out of here." She rubs a shoulder, then twists to look out over the alley she's spent her day working on. "A hot soak and a glass of wine..."