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An Opportunistic Proposal [story, ooc welcome]

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((RP from the CRA's IC chatbox! Follows roughly a day after Amongst the Orange Trees and An Accident.))



Light refracted strangely through theimperfect glass of the single window carved into the stone above the modest kitchen counter of Antimony's apartment. It sent wavy lines of pale yellowdancing across the dull-metal sink, the clean but aged and scuffed wooden floor, and the rocking chair with its thick woven quit thrownover the back. The rest of the apartment - really, a small alcove with a bed and a well-used table sitting in the middle of the primary open space - was not well lit, however, and Antimony moved about it with ease.


At this time, she was carefully lighting anumber of candles, which she would use to keep down the eyestrain of staring at pages upon pages of numbers. Or at least, they would theoretically be used for such a thing, if she could get herself to stop wondering in a mild panic if she should run to the authorities and seek some kind of protection for the assassins she was /certain/ were going to come for her next because why else would Perelon and Ernafalk up and drown like that? Well, granted, she had never learned if they were good swimmers, and drowning could be a present danger in Limsa, what with the walkways crossing deep water frequently, sometimes even without railings. And lalafell were so tiny, Perelon may have easily been swallowed up in a wave or a whale or--did whales even come this close to Limsa? But no matter, even Ernafalk, with his great bulk, may have tripped and fell and simply sunk like a stone! But both of them, on the same night? No, it had to be a coincidence. It just had to. Such went Antimony's thoughts as shemethodically lit candles in the middle of the day, when there was more than enough light to fill her apartment even with only one window.


Someone knocked at the door three times. Thelast one came out after a rather long pause, as if whomever was knocking suddenly had forgotten how to use his hand. It was only chance that theknock came between candles, and Antimony would later be grateful because she really couldn't afford to pay for fire damages. In that moment, however, she mostly thought 1) Oh Nymeia (ignoring the fact that she hadn't actually been observant for over five years), they've come already! Followed quickly by, 2) Don't be silly. Why would they come in broad daylight? And then finally, 3) You've really let them wait for too long. They've probably already left in a huff by now!


At which point, she turned around, unlitcandle in hand, and approached the door. She spent another moment squinting at it as though she could see through the thick wood, but had to accept the inevitable eventually: opening the door and peeking out at... someone's midriff.


The man on the other side looked old, his haircompletely greyed and tied up in tidy dreadlocks rows that met at the back of his head where they formed a ridiculous bow. His clothes, while not expensive, had been made by some respectable tailor. A dark grey open coat over a red shirt, black trousers and boots. Unlike his apparel, his beard had probably been left without trimming for some time. Or perhaps it had seen a very liberal use of the word 'trimming'. He bowed his head at theopening door. "I'm looking for miss Antimony." he said.


Craning her neck back, Antimony took in theaged and proper appearance of the hyur in front of her and, in a self-reassuring gesture, smoothed the loose, blue fabric of her robe with the hand not holding onto a silly, uselessly unlit candle. She watched him for several seconds before realizing he had spoken and so started with a, "Oh! I'm sorry. That's--well, that's me, I think." A blink. "Not that I'm unsure of my name. Only that I think I am the Antimony you're looking for? Seeing as you did show up at my home and though I'm surethere are many Antimonys out there, there is only one who lives here, so you... must be looking for... me." She finished a bit lamely.


Ildur found the aimless rambling amusing. Heshowed this by smiling, most of his lips perfectly hidden under his beard. "Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Ildur Vaernian from the Commerce Regulation Agency."


"The commerce... oh!" Antimony'smouth quirked. Perelon and Ernafalk had had much to say about said Agency, most of it tinged with frustration. Antimony honestly hadn't paid much attention except to note that they were in roughly the same business as she.


The greying miqo'te flashed a small smileupward, still holding the door so it was open just enough that her body fit in the gap. "That's nice."


The hyur dropped his smile, adopting a moresomber tone. "We had a business association with your late employers. I know it is quite insensitive for us to come at this, time, but this are matters that, unfortunately, are better settled now rather than later."


Her own smile faltered, a new wrinkle joiningthe faint ones always present in the creases of her features as her brows knit together. "Matters?" She stifled the thought that wanted to translate "matters' into "I have come to kill you". That was silly andunproductive and just... nope, not thinking about that!


Ildur nodded. "For their association withus, all properties of the Paqirelon & Bleigarasyn firm will be divided between the Agency and the Maelstorm. This division often includes employees. If they so choose to keep their work with one of their new employers."


Well, if he was going to assassinate her, hewould've done so by now. At least, she figured that was how assassins would operate - not that she really knew much about assassins, but they did seem like the kind of people who would want to get a job done as efficiently as possible. So. She could be reasonably certain he wasn't some evil man out to kill her. This decided, with rather zero evidence to back it up, Antimony let the door open wider and somewhat relaxed her posture. "I still can't quite believetheir both dead," she said with a small measure of distressin her voice. "They were so kind to me, and they were going to help with... well, things!" If her voice squeaked a little on that last word, she ignored it. Hopefully this hyur would as well.


"Yes." The Hyur nodded, keeping his composureand, probably, not noticing the woman's squeaking word. "It is quite unfortunate that they met such an unsavory end." His glassy eyes wandered behind the woman and into her house. He raised his brows. He probably noticed the flickering of the candles. "Ah, butyou must excuse me! I see you are expecting someone. Let me stop taking your time and go to the point: we are offering you an employment under the Agency, keeping the same status and a slightly raised salary as the post you had in Paqirelon & Bleigarasyn."


Ears wilting a bit against her head, Antimonytook a moment of silence for her apparently swiftly departed former employers before catching the particular phrasing of Ildur's proposition: "What? Oh! No, I'm not expecting... well, anyone really. I was just..." She trailed off and then just waved the hand holding the unlit candle as though it offered some kind of explanation. "But... employment? Well... I'd been considering retirement. But I suppose..."


Ildur followed the unlit candle with his eyes.Indeed, it offered no explanation. He resumed looking at Antimony. "Retirement? You certainly do not look old enough to be considering such an option." he chuckled. "But I suppose it is your right."


"Oh, I don't know. What with recentsituations and all..." Her tail twitched a bit distractedly behind her. She continued, largely just thinking out loud, "I suppose it's not really wise, considering what a drain living in the city is on finances. And I really wouldn't want to end up living in a box. Or really anywhere but a place with a solid roof. Though I'm pretty sure there's a small leak in the sealing of the window, but I just haven't had the time to look into getting it fixed and--" She stopped herself forcibly. "Right,employment. Ah. I... don't suppose I'd have to worry about assassins?"


He tilted his head to a side, squintingslightly. "Were they...a common issue in your last job?"


Antimony choked. "Well, uhm, no! Notcommon. I'm sorry, forget I said anything."


"Assassins are one of the many things ouremployees do not have to worry about." he smiled.


"Well, that's comforting." Shechuckled a bit faintly before glancing behind her at the otherwise neatly organized room and its... redecoration-by-candle. Blinking at the strange sight, Antimony thought for a moment, and then turned back to peer up at Ildur once again, "So you're offering me a new job." Her tone grew a bit more serious, words more precise. "What duties would I be asked to cover?"


"You will essentially keep the duties youhad previously: auditioning of associates, clients, potential partners and merchants; along with appraisal of their assets."


Silence. Several seconds of it, to be exact,as Antimony mulled over the offer, mulled over the candles cluttering her apartment, and then mulled over the two bodies that had been recently fished up from the seas around Limsa. "Alright," she found herself saying, and really, there really wasn't any reason not to. She had enjoyed her work with Perelon and Ernafalk, at least up until that trip to Gridania. "Do you have anything for me to sign...?"


"Oh, sadly, I haven't. That would havebeen too smart from me." he laughed faintly. "But if you could come by our offices tomorrow at noon, I will have the paperwork ready."


She chuckled along with him, grey-furred ears perking slightly."Very well." A pause. "Perelon and Ernafalk had given me... a week's rest. To... recover. Would that, ah, still be in effect?"


Ildur bowed his head. "Of course! Do not worry yourself overit. Would you like me to send someone with the papers for you to sign tomorrow? "


"Well..." She ran a hand through her hair lightly, andthen caught the candle in it a bit comically (forgetting she still held it) so spent several seconds dislodging it from her hair. She grimaced in mild embarrassment. "Yes, please, if you don't mind. I'll want time to go over the contract, of course, before signing it, so... ah, I'll get it back to you in a day or two."


"A cautious woman. I expected no less." he chuckled."I will send you the contract tomorrow after noon. Thank you for your time, miss Antimony. I hope you have a nice rest during this week."


Smiling, Antimony dipped her head slightly. "You, as well.Have a nice..." She leaned to one side, glancing past Ildur's head towards the sky, "... late afternoon!"



Ildur smiled one last time before turning around and walking away,hands clasped together behind his back. His expression straightened. He felt he had smiled way too many times.

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