“Were you expecting company?” you ask Ika.
She sighs and says “Yes, she wasn’t supposed to arrive…”
“They are here now.” Chiyoko interrupts. “And they are armed.”
“Armed?” Ika’s eyes widen. She picks up her bag and finds a seat at the bar. You get up from the table.
“Where are you going?” Chiyoko asks.
“I’ll be right here. You’ll just won’t see me.” You head towards the bathrooms and step outside of fate. As soon as you do, the threat of violence fades. When you reenter the bar’s main room, one of the mercenaries is seated at the bar next to Ika. The other two are flanking her.
“You are here early… and you brought friends. I don’t have the goods yet, because you scared my contact off.” Ika complains.
“You should stop hiring cowards.” The leader wrinkles her noise. “I always forget how bad Creation smells.” You move to get a better look at the mercenary. The woman’s eyes glow with a dull light. You realize that some god is possessing her. You wonder what god the mercenary worships.
“I’ll hire who I want. You need to stop breathing down my neck all the time. I always get the job done, don’t I?”
“I just am managing my investments. I’ve spent a lot of resources protecting you, Ika. ”
Ika looks away. “Will I ever get done paying you back for that? Look. I am still going to get you the dust. As I said, I was meeting with my contact and your friends here scared him off. So, have your puppets run along and let I’ll finish my job. We will both be happier that way.”
The possessed mercenary smiles. “You think I am here with my worshipers just for dust? I heard a rumor. Apparently you were seen in a café with a young man. He doesn’t happen to be your contact you were meeting?”
Ika pauses mid-drink. “A kid? No. Why would I use a kid to transport dust? That’s stupid.” Of course now she realizes this.
“Hmmm… A shame. Apparently this particular child is difficult to find. Certain individuals would pay a lot to have him. If you could help me find him I’d be willing to forgive your debt to me.”
Ika sets her drink down and turns towards the possessed mercenary. “Would you really think I’d stoop so low to sell a child?”
The possessed mercenary grabs Ika and throws her back on the bar. You hand immediately goes to the hilt of your sword, memories of the sleeping girl flooding your mind. You take a deep breath and push the memories away. If these mercenaries are looking for you, then revealing yourself will make the situation worse.
You look towards Chiyoko and that she has her hood back up. She is watching the bartender who does nothing more than move the nearby glassware out of the way. The rest of the patrons pretend not to notice the argument.
“Ika, Ika.. Don’t fuck with me. If it wasn’t for me, Trailing Sorrows would have found you long ago. Don’t think just because Trailing Sorrows is a statue now doesn’t mean her associates aren’t still looking for you. What would you do if I wasn’t around? Run to daddy? He would never take a criminal like you back.” The possessed mercenary leans in to whisper in Ika’s ear. “I am all that standing between you and your mother’s enemies. I’m the only one that saw something worth saving in your lousy ass. “
Trailing Sorrows has associates!? You remember the goddess that kidnapped Nanny. You hoped that business with the scroll would be over with the goddess serving a thousand year sentence as a stone statue.
Ika closes her eyes. “You’re right. You’re right.” The feathered haired woman sounds cowed.
“What do you know about the boy?”
“I don’t know. He just wanted to talk to me. Say he’d buy me lunch, if I did.”
“What did you talk about?”
“My parents mostly.” Ika shrugs.
“Will he contact you again?”
“Probably not. He seemed disappointed that I don’t remember much about my mother. ”
“If he see you again, will you contact me?”
“Of course,” Ika whispers.
“Good girl.” The possessed mercenary lets her go. “Finish with your contact and collect the dust. We will be just over there if you need us.” The glow fades from the mercenary’s eyes and she stumbles around disoriented. The one of other mercenaries lead her to a table near the door. The second mercenary heads out the front door. You see Chiyoko silently mouth to Masaru to follow him.
“Shit. Shit. Shit.” Ika curses.
What do you do?
- Give Ika the dust. The sooner the mercenaries have what they want the sooner they leave.
- Forget the dust. You, Chiyoko, and Ika need to get out of there. No sense taking chances.
- You aren’t so sure about Ika anymore. Try to leave without the feathered haired woman.