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Little Place Above a Shop
Continued from A Lesson

Aria hadn’t left headquarters long on her search before she stumbled across a for rent sign. It was almost literally outside the door. One of the stores near the Baccarat Mansion was a little book shop called The Delicate Scroll. On the worn sign hanging across the sidewalk for passerbyers to see the words were burnt into a piece of old wood. It looked like it had hung there for years. An all seeing eye like the one the Illuminate are rumored was burnt between the top and bottom row of words. In the window you could see an old man dusting the cases of the rows of books inside the shop, a small ‘room for rent’ sign was propped up against the window.

Aria opened the glass door and the soft tinkle of the bell above let the proprietor know she had entered. He smiled a toothlessly at her. Aria smiled back.

“How can I help you?”

Aria nodded towards the window, “Can I see that room you have for rent?”

Aria noticed he had been glancing at her wrist since she first stepped in the door. He nodded with a knowing smile. “This way deary.”

Aria followed the man, he was hardly an inch taller than her, but he walked with a hunched back and held on to most objects as he passed by. “There is an entrance in the alley way back there. I’ll show you were it comes in at.”

The way in the back was even more cluttered with old books and things of antiquity. On a high shelf above the door Aria spotted a sword. Could her luck be that good today? She could hardly believe it, but that was another matter, first a home, then replacing things. She’d only been in town for less than a week. And she didn’t want to stay under the same roof as the Regus.

The room was up two flights of stairs that was separated by a door to the shop and the hallway from the alley way. From the outside Aria would have suspected the place to be in bad shape but it wasn’t. It was far from the baccarat mansion she was sure, but it was in good repair, well light and not a smudge of dust anywhere.

The room on the other hand left a little to be desired. It was literally one room, with small bathroom off to one side. It like the rest of the shop was in good repair, even if it was small. But really she didn’t need much, just a place to crash when the world came at her full strength.

There was bare furnishings, a two seat dinner table, a small love seat with an coffee table, a double bed and a wardrobe for a closet. The bathroom was what sold it for Aria, inside what looked to be a small bathroom from where she had stood, there was a cast iron claw foot tub long enough for Aria to lay flat with out bending her knees. Granted it didn’t need to be of great length to do that, but it sold the small place.

Aria turned to the man, “How much?”

He smiled, “I’ll arrange it with your employers don’t worry about the rest.”

Aria was suspicious, but if he knew what she was then surely this wasn’t a coincidence.

He handed Aria a key and slipped out the door. “Come one down anytime.” And with that he was gone.

It wasn’t much but it wasn’t worse than the room she had in the Vatican. It would do well.
continued from A Different Kind of Hunt

The boys hadn't been very helpful overall hopefully the little piece of paper in Aria's hand would make it worth her while.

The sparsness of her new apartment was comforting. But it still lacked the hominess she wished for. One day, shopping would be in order, but today Aria sat down on the provided stuffed chair and pulled out her wallet.

It was a simple device. Not like the one she wanted to hack into. She needed more power than her own personal one held. At least that was what she figured. Hopefully she be able to explain to a hacker exactly what she needed.

Aria tapped out the link in her wallet and it opened into nothing more than a bunch of text and links. Information overload. But that was far better than emotional overload for Aria.

Aria sat and sifted through the information and at the very bottom she found a link it was nearly hidden in a picture of a cat hanging from a tree. The picture was clearly a throw back from the early part of the century when social media was big.

The link started a download. Aria could only hope that it didn't set of any security on her wallet. Thankfully it was fast and done with in seconds and even the installation didn't prompt any security warnings.

The new program blinked at her before she tabbed the icon to start it. It was simple. Just a text box to type in. Seriously?

Aria started typing her message:

Hopefully this works. I'm looking for someone to integrate a wallet and a government issue set of goggles. Pay isn't great to start with, but if it turns out great you can have all the credit and the patents etc. As well as sell it to another bidder. My uses are private and I don't care what ya'll do wit it later.

Aria clicked the encrypt button at the bottom of the box.

Magic happened. Pages of the internet flipped by. An archived post filtered to the top. And the screen split in two. One was the archived page from the Huffington Post, the other was her message in black and white.

A line at the bottom said, "Searching for replies..."

Continued on The Scroll

Edited by Aria, Nov 12 2013, 02:47 PM.
continued from The Beginning of An End

Aria unlocked the door to her apartment. Home Sweet Home! But Aria looked around and things felt different. The room seemed larger than she remembered, the neighbors felt quieter, but they were fighting again, which meant later that night would be the make up. Aria sighed, so much for a good nights rest in her bed.

There was a lot to be done. The train was plenty of time to get some of the so called planning done, but now that she was in Moscow she just wanted to relax. The train ride had done little to ease her worries, or provide ample quiet time to actually think beyond the cursory reading she had done. She had watched the horrifying video of Ascendancy burning a man alive several times. Try as she might there was nothing there that was any help, the only help the video would be was to prove to someone else that this was the only human that needed to be hunted, god or not, he was a monster.

Aria cared little for politics, she didn't bother with anything other than those with in the Atharim. The CCD seemed well handled and nothing amiss, it wasn't for political reasons, but she did doubt herself many times over the long train ride.

Aria walked into the bathroom and turned on the water to what would become a warm bath later, she dropped the stopper in the drain, and walked away from the room.

While she waited for the bath to run, Aria pulled out her wallet and pulled up the encryption program that she had used to contact Katya before and sent her a message. "Need to meet. Send time and place."

There was little reason to send more than that, she had a few thoughts, and Katya could help, the goggle project would probably have to be dropped. At the moment there was little need of it, but it depended on where the little hacker girl had gotten with them.

Monsters were all about, and some of her brethren had taken differing interests in things. Aria sent Tehya a message too. "I'd like to arrange a meeting, to discuss your research." Keeping the rougarou alive, there had to be a reason, and Tehya had been the one to send them after it with the living order. Maybe Tehya could be helpful in her mission. It could turn out poorly, but you never knew unless you tried.

Aria dropped the wallet on the small table by the bed and pulled off her clothes, they fell where they may. She could clean it up later. Aria pulled a pistol from her bag and brought it with her, there was no need to be unprotected in a world where monsters lived everywhere. She smirked at her own thoughts, Aria knew she was one such creature.

Aria pulled a fresh towel from the rack, the fluffy white terry clothe looked almost new, it had been one of few things she had enjoyed purchasing. Aria set the towel on the radiator next to the tub and her gun atop it and stepped into the bath and submerged completely. The world faded away to a dull ebb and Aria closed her eyes and waited in relative peace.

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