Log:PrP:Illumination - Lesser Alliance

From Fate's Harvest
Jump to: navigation, search

PrP:Illumination - Lesser Alliance

November, Eziyishumi, Saulot

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.

      November is not herself today, in more than one way. Her Mask appears completely different (https://i.pinimg.com/564x/e7/e5/be/e7e5bea856b98ec01e4f65bf59c35fb9.jpg), and Changeling-side, she's more a creature of sand and light and shadow than anything icy. Best way to avoid people asking awkward questions about cold hands, that.

      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 newly masked November is ignored as she passes. The rainbow-haired librarian is very much a known entity. Ms. Rodriguez? Not so much. The trash she sees before her is a mess, but an expected mess. The sharper detritis proves to be something of a problem with some requiring her to dig a shards of glass out of cast off plastics. Eventually, as she cleans up and finds her way through she can see something just behind a nearby dumpster. Further still down the opposite side of the alleyway she can see a dog, dopily staring at her and watching her work.

      Being a relative unknown is precisely the way November likes it. Her movements are decisive and efficient, behaviour brisk and confident, but Alis is no queen. Alis is a kick-ass Get Stuff Done practical woman.

      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.

      A few nails are embedded into the walls of the alley. Nothing hangs from any of them. She can caount seventeen total, and the oddest is one on the bottom-left. The nail looks new, and a leather string hangs from it. At the end of the leather is a key without any name or information what it's for.

      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.

      Head tilting a modicum as she counts the nails, then studies the key, the Ancient glances at the back of the dumpster itself, because naturally, keys belong in locks, then studies the key itself, rustling plastic bag in hand. Construction plastic, mind, because no one wants a regular old cheapo wimpy plastic bag holding nasty alley trash.

      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.

      Her cleaning goes largely undisturbed and without too much issue. The only trouble comes from the occasional pigeon that wants to get at what she's cleaning. There's some prime eats down there, and she's just throwing them away. After a certain point she'll either have to get the birds away or do something before they start going at the bags.

      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.

      Thankfully, the only bags which are accessible are the ones immediately beside November; any bag she fills is brought immediately back to the van to be dumped inside of it.

      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.

      As the Fairest looks up at the owl, it turns its head low to stare back at her. Of all the things that've come through here it seems the oddest of them all. Nothing human or otherworldly intelligent, but still odd. Her question gets a literal hoot from the owl, and a ruffling of its feathers. The following statement draws a long, silent stare as it narrows its eyes. Eventually it turns its head back up and away from her. It does, however, start to look back down at her every so often. Whenever she chances to look back up at the owl it's quick to turn its gaze away once more.

      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 oddity of owls aside, November does pay attention to the bird, given its peculiarity, but mostly pays attention to her work, using a blend of magic and plain old muscle power to clean the cobbles of the alley. Admittedly, a lot of the cleaning is done by magic. A very large lot.

      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?"

      "What?" he asks with a scoff. "I said Kobe not Greek Freak." He shakes his head, starts moseying along, and leaves the trash for November to pick up. She's already started so he's more than happy to leave her to it. He shoots her a peace sign on the way out.

      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.

      November watches the young man leave, expressionless, and for just a moment, dangerously still. Only a moment. She resumes her Alis subterfuge with a muttered Spanish expletive and goes to toss the trash bag in the dumpster for the lazy boy, noting the owl's departure as she does so, and is just about to start scrubbing again when Janice arrives.

      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."

      "Oh it definitely needed work." She's smiling, but there's a sneer to be heard in her voice. A snide remark just waiting to follow it. "There definitely is a need, but you could still do a bit better of a job." She stops, and sniffs the air for a few beats. "Like the lemon pledge? That's in really poor taste. Did you know some of us are even allergic to it!? Why, you could kill someone with the job you're doing." She smiles weakly, "And that's not even counting that I can still see bits of dirt on the ground."

      Working at scrubbing out the corner nearest the street, November-as-Alis lazily comments over her shoulder that, "The ingredients of my products are allergen-free and eco-friendly." Technically true, since they disappear entirely when they're done with their job. She sweeps the grimy dirt and tiny bits of glass into a dustpan, then dumps it into a bucket to be carried back to the van at the other end of the alley. "Have a pleasant evening."

      "If you say so," she responds. Despite the truth of it Alis' words Janice turns her nose up at the woman. She gives the alley further scrutiny, and grimaces at the sight of the walls. "Well, you are doing the best job that you can. Before I must go, dear, what's your name? You're doing such a lovely job here that I just have to tell everyone else about this."

      November-as-Alis, already partway down the alley, shifts the weight of her tub of dirt and detritus to a different spot on her hip as she half turns to answer, "Alis," and continues on her way. Once she reaches the van, the tub is set aside, and she putters with tidying up the space inside while waiting for Janice to go away.

      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.

      Janice huffs, and in the act her hair falls into blocking some of her vision. She brushes it aside, and offers her lying smile again. "Well thank you for your service, Alis. I'll make sure to let everyone know how good a job you're doing." That said, she gatheres herself and starts walking away. Just as the woman is out of eyesight Alis née November can hear her yapping up a storm already to someone, somewhere.

      Some days, it pays to manipulate the universe into giving you another face. This is one of those days.

      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.

      Now free and clear November's work is allowed to continue uninterrupted. There are still people passing by, but the act is at least rare. She may get an askance glance, a brief stare of curiosity, and the occasional hushed moment of awe. No one stays around long enough that her work takes terribly long.

      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.

      Dog. Why did it have to be a dog? Animals are so...animalish. Tall and, now, rather dirty in her coveralls after all of the crawling around she's been doing, November-as-Alis regards the Rottie with mild bemusement. After a moment of thought, she glances toward where she had gotten rid of her Pigeon Problem, then at the sliver of sky visible between the buildings, gauging the time. She's still within her limit, though it's getting closer to expiration. Pulling an illusory ball out of an imagined pocket, she chucks it toward the far end of the alley. It is realistic to eyes, ears, sound, taste, weight...aside from the fact that it glows a little bit more than it should, but surely, that can be blamed on neon yellow tennis ball syndrome.

      The dog looks at her for a moment, head tilting curiously. Then there's a ball? Ball! He's already barking again by the time she throws it. He follows it for a moment, and then takes off out of sight for it. He's off and dealing wtih that, and will be for a while. A dog would usually come a running back, but not this one. He's trying to grab a hold of it, but can't get it to move from it's spot on the ground. He goes at it from many different angles, and no dice each time. He'll likely be there until the illusion wears off in its entirety.

      After regarding the newly grout-cleaned walls, the faerie Ancient leaves the dog to his ball, occasionally letting it cooperate to give him hope and let him chase something, and goes back to the van to retrieve a large bucket filled with water partway up. She gets out a flat-head screwdriver and a can of white paint next, and, after prying up the lid with the screwdriver in a few places to loosen the seal, peels it off and outright dumps the paint into the water bucket, diluting it.

      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 dog growls and even whimpers until the ball moves. Canine stubborness proves to be a useful aid to November. Just when the dog was about to give up he finds renewed energy when the ball moves again. Joy of joys the chase isn't over!

      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.

      She may not know much about dogs, but she knows enough to know that they like food and attention. November-as-Alis, glancing at the girl who had been filming her before the teen bolts off, wipes her hands clean on a rag and hauls the nearly-empty bucket back to the van before turning to survey her work. Lighter, a bright spot of order and cleanliness amidst the grime and chaos of a living city -- that's a job well done. Only one more thing to do.

      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.

      The dog needs to be occupied for some time before any form of help arrives. There's no car to be heard save what's going up and down the street. Around fifteen minutes pass before someone answers the Waylady's request. A smoky baritone that barks out to the dirtied dog, and with it comes another bark.

      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?"

      And the very reason for the secondary subterfuge of Riddle-Kith is revealed. Sure, she's still tall, but definitely not a Fairest, from the look of her. Too earthy and too rough, despite the slippery quality of sand within her flesh. Also way too female. November's inhuman androgyny is nowhere in evidence -here-.

      "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..."

      Alis gets a long, hard stare from the Warlock. He scents the air along with the shadowy dog watching his flanks. His gaze narrows, suspicious of the woman in the alley. Small jets of flame escape his mouth as he lets out a sigh, and turns his attentions back to the dog. "Well, Rover, why don't I take you over to my spot and maybe clean you up. You like that?" The dog bounds up and down, barking happily. The Wayhouse may have a muddy trail leading inside.

      It doesn't take long to make sure nothing's going to spill or fall over in the van, as tightly-packed as it is. Soon enough, November-as-Alis is in the driver's seat -- covered with a trash bag, mind, as is the floor, to keep her filthy clothes off of the fabric -- and she's puttering off toward the nearest garbage reclamation station. Illumination: complete.