Yes, I’m levitating, but only a little bit. It helps with the shoes and the sense of place.
“Marcus” is giving the appearance of having a wonderful time, but I think he is getting restless. He’s shielded enough I had to be within a couple of meters to read him, even with that spike that the dealer generated. I waited until he laughed off the old dope peddler and turned away before placing the “Police Notice You” mark on the freelance pharmacist. It is one of Mama’s favorites, and the one with the least karma load to balance out later.
We are still here hours later, still hunting for Gematria. It seems the balance for the place is off, time does not seem to mean anything to anyone here - and the music isn’t that great. I only listen because I might need to react to the play list or musical technician’s comments.
There are more family members on the way, but I can’t tell which side they are on at this range. It is no one I have met since incorporating. Ash is still on the roof across the way, and either has not seen them, or does not consider them to be a danger to the mission. Moving closer to Father, I cannot yet tell if these two are carrying the taint of the Usurper or not. Still, we might need a quick exit….
She does not enter the club, but he does, and I hang in the air, dumbfounded for a moment. He’s not supposed to be back for at least another generation, I thought. I check the buckle of my shoe to cover the pause in the dance and watch him approach “Marcus”.
He covers his surprise well, for those who can’t See. He invites me along on the outing, the first time he has acknowledged me directly since we got here, but considering the clientele, I don’t think anyone here will notice. I drop to my feet and use the twinge in my toes on landing to fuel another light shield around the two of us. At this point, the low level nervousness on the edge of my sensing could be me or Father, but it is likely just me. He grins up at me as we leave the club to meet with a pair of impossibilities.
Following the nekos through the alleys of this district, is seems to me they are in no hurry, the male chatting amicably with “Marcus”, though the female gives away her tension in the set of her ears and the twitch of her tail. We are not led through the darkest alleys, though no one here seems to care to be caught in the occasional pools of light. We were in the club for hours, yet I have not seen this place in full sun. Not that I really care to, because my night vision is adequate, though I sometimes wish my sense of smell was not so sharp. Thankfully, our guides seem to be olfactorily sensitive as well, and steer clear of the most noxious areas.
The café we finally light upon is reasonably hygienic and lit just a little brighter than a tavern or a dockside chai-house. There are a few children here, but “Marcus” stands out for having unpatched flight leathers. I hope adding the “I Am Not Your Problem” formula to the shield will be enough. He is also one of the few apparent humans in the room, and I keep a firm grip of his shoulders as the nekos lead us to a table.
In deference to my wings, they give me a backless chair, one of several about. If I wasn’t so worried about being led into a trap, I might feel comfortable here. I can get us back to the hospital if we are in danger, or if something follows us, I can get us to the clan house holding arena, but that would mean we lose the leads for this district, and even if these two are a distraction, we still have a toehold here.
Strategically, this is not a terrible spot, but Father’s curiosity might need to go unanswered if this meeting does not lead to Gematria. With Uncle's unresponsive state, there is some urgency - I have a sense of foreboding that we must find her soon.
Back in the swing
11 months ago