(1874-09-09) Dockside Deceptions
Dockside Deceptions
Summary: Myrana runs into difficulties at the Fiorello docks but finds an obliging cousing to lend a hand
Date: 09/09/2018
Related: None
NPCs: None
Ivo  Myrana  

Fiorello Docks
Ships, sailors, stevedores, water.
9th of Septebre, 1874 IE.

It's been months since Ocean Seeker has been seen this far north, and a few more until she had been expected back, but word of war travels and her Captain has returned early with holds full of elm staves, and others supplies for the military efforts. Not a profitable cargo, but sometimes there are other priorities. With the crew denied general shore leave the unloading is progressing at a faster pace than usual, and the faces of the crew that can be seen about the decks are grim. A few more hours and they'll be moving off the quay and out to anchor, but not until they've resupplied, and that's what Ivo is about now. Fresh water is the highest priority and so he's striding across the dock to check on the casks being delivered before they're lifted into his holds.

This little town prospers despite its size on two things; the resupply of merchant and military vessels along this, the main branch of the Fiore River that connects Four Corners to the rest of Aeqour, and the nobles and merchants that dock their pleasure barges here coming to-and-from the Free City. There is one restaurant in particular that's quite in the mode, with seating out overlooking the river where flowers are planted in crazy profusion and clever townsfolk ply little boats alongside with flowers and musical instruments ready.
Myrana is here for the latter, but not in the way one might assume she is. She too is on the docks, and she is in a hurry.
With a plumed tricorn jammed down over her head and her white hair stuffed up in it so that she's making a face under its brim like a man gritting down on a sour plum, and dressed in a very fine if very non-descript ship's kirtle and coat of cashmeri wool and oiled leather respectively, she still manages to look where she's going. It is impressive; she cuts through the busy procession of Ivo's men without appearing to lift her chin out of the hairy bristle of her rough wool scarf or reveal much of her face at all, micro-pivoting on smart little heels and giving a flash of ruffled underskirt as she actually hops with tight, hurried precision right OVER a bundle of something carried between two men instead of waiting for them to pass, causing the brass tip of her cutlass' scabbard to CLACK on the goods: "Sorry!"
She isn't running, you see. And she passes without any other slipups but the last-minute jump in her impression of someone who's deeply confused about the difference between a light jog and a casual stroll…
…Until she breathlessly feels she has a little more space than she actually does, and looks back over her shoulder, unable to resist calling a guilty apology to the men she just vaulted between, gripping her hat in one hand to make sure it fuckin' stays there this time—
-And very possibly just slams right the hell into Ivo without having seen him stride into her path of exit.

Ivo is, to be fair, not paying a vast amount of attention to anything outside of his narrow cone of focus, although that little hop does draw exclamations of confusion from the stevedores moving the cargo. Still, docks are noisy, stevedores are noisy, and the Captain keeps walking purposefully, the only sign of outside disturbance being to tug his own hat slightly lower over his brow, as if that'll shut it all out. The impact is glancing, rather than full on, but it's enough to snap his attention back to his immediate surroundings and summons an unimpressed frown to his features. "Watch where you're going," he mutters shortly, unimpressed that his way has been impeded in such a manner. He's on important business… The moment when recognition hits is clear to anyone paying attention though as the scowl turns briefly to surprise, and then faint confusion. "Cousin.." he starts, tilting his head to get a better look, ".. my apologies."

Myrana's hand flies off of Ardaigh's hilt like it was red-hot as she recognizes her cousin's face and her own goes from startled and affronted pique to amazement. "Ivo! I'm so terribly sorry, I looked behind me-"
"Hey YOU!"
From the direction the young woman hustled from, there comes also half-running men in somewhat worse-for-wear finery, swords clattering at their hips and their boots pulled rakishly down in the current fashion amongst criminals and artists in Aequor, and most especially younger merchants into the latest plays and serials. It is a frustratingly ambiguous sort of fashion trend that upsets the more traditionalist houses further inland.
Myrana seizes a crease of Ivo's sleeve. "I was snooping on the mayor." Just out with it at once. "They saw me out the bar window."

Ivo opens his mouth to return the greeting when the shout from behind them catches his attention. He turns his head to take in the men, then looks back to Myrana. "The Mayor?" From his expression he clearly has questions, but recognises that now is not the time and instead simply offers his elbow. "We've been walking together this past twenty minutes or so," he offers an alibi. "If they recognise you then you're welcoming me home, if they don't then.. well.. a captain can entertain aboard after a long voyage can he not?" As he speaks his hand drops to the hilt of his own weapon in warning to those approaching, it's too crowded for hand canons if their bluff is called, but hopefully there'll be no need for bloodshed. "If they refuse to see sense make for the gangway, or loose yourself in the crowds and we'll create a diversion."

Myrana puts her arm through Ivo's at once, and without seeming to realize that she's done it holds her breath as the men rush up to the line of Ivo's crew and slow down to a walk, breathing hard and gripping their swords. They scan the crowd as they get more slowly through- and their eyes fall on Ivo and Myrana.
But by this time Myrana has taken off her hat and shaken her white shock of hair wild and braided in a crown around her head, from hathair into a somewhat cockeyed fluff that just might be artfully tousled, if the viewer were feeling generous. Closer inspection would show she's sweating bullets as she goes from her artful head-down jog to a casual mosey arm-in-arm with another heat-generating human.
Fortunately, their gaze passes quickly on and they run on past, going close enough to brush them both with their shoulders and a waft of sweat and perfume.
Myrana lets out a 'bwah!' and sucks in air for a moment the very instant they're out around a corner, and sort of crumples in on herself like a runner who'd very much like to die on the ground or lean on their knees and wheeze for a few minutes.
"Ahaha-!" she laughs, between trying to catch her breath. "Aha- oh, tha..hah. Excuse me. That was wonderful luck."

Ivo watches the men as they go past, his expression one of fleeting annoyance as they brush past, but he watches them until they're around the corner and away. He waits a beat or two, until he's sure then turns back to his cousin. Noting her shortness of breath he guides their progress towards the gangway. "Wine?" he offers as they draw near to the privacy his ship provides, "we've not restocked but there are still a few drinkable bottles in the hold." A short upnod to one of the gangway watch has the young lad scurrying off to inform the steward before he continues to Myrana, "so not only is it war, but there are other matters afoot too? I'd be grateful for your take on things cousin, if you're so inclined. It's been a long few months, and all I've had to rely on is dockside rumours." He resists the urge to glance back to the bar itself, asking quietly instead, "the mayor?"

Myrana walks along with Ivo and fans herself with her hat, having apparently run for some distance before slowing down to the speed she navigated the docks at. "Oh, thank you, that would be very nice indeed." When she's a little cooler, even if still full of nerves and a little out of breath, she lets her hand drop and carries it along at her side, rolling her stiff neck. "What a relief to have that off; I thought my brain would be squeezed out."
"I heard a rumor that the mayor here was drinking wine from Alasce and sponsoring his own alchemist from Four Corners. With things how they are, well… I was curious. And I don't much like calling on people. I'd be glad to tell you what I know, though." She reaches up and unbuttons her trim coat and lets it hang loose and comfortable, readjusting how her cutlass hangs so it's not banging her knee anymore. She took off in a hurry before and it wasn't quite tightly belted enough.
When they reach the gangplank she pauses, and seeming reluctant to leave the breeze takes a look around. "The Count is focusing his defence here," she says. "Protecting our people. It's safe enough, thank Heaven. I wish I could invite you to eat at The Damosel Roux with me; I was actually going to go there later, if I'd managed to keep from letting my curiosity make me hasty. Did you see battle closer to Four Corners?"

As Myrana doesn’t seem fussed about the additional privacy offered by being onboard Ivo seems content to remain on the quay. Wine is brought down, along with glasses, and then the crew retreat to a respectful distance, one where they are close should trouble occur, but not so close as to overhear what is being said. "And were those rumours true?" he asks, risking a glance back the way they've come, "or were those young men simply being steadfast in their duty of protection?" From his tone he doubts the latter, but you never know. Listening to the news of the defence he then shakes his head slowly. "No. With news of fighting I waited for the flood time and entered the river under cover of darkness. We had luck with the clouds, and got a good way up river before the dawn. It wasn't easy though, we couldn't have done it if the sailing master hadn't been in and out of that estuary all his life." Then tilting his head to the ship he notes, "we'll be moving to anchor before the day is out. Unless of course the Count has a use for us off the bat. Do you know who is handling such matters for now? I should pay them a call, discuss things."

"Putting you in contact with them will be a simple matter; I will have someone speak to you by the time you leave." Myrana thanks the crewman for the wine and toasts Ivo cheerily with it before taking a sip. "I didn't really learn anything. But they didn't know who I was, so I'm sure I'll be able to inquire with the wine-merchants later, and leave without incident." And also without the fabulous dinner. Myrana's heart is pained, but she stuffs it down with some effort.

"All I truly know is that the Count is defending Armaz lands and leaving the coast defences to Countess D'Juliano. D'Geroux is in trouble… I don't know what is happening in their lands." She takes a sip of wine and tilts her glass to look at the colour, braid swaying very slightly down her back with the pleasant breeze stirring her coat-skirts. "But I've just come from Paras, where the Imperials are. They are training the people there to fight like Vir Sidus soldiers, and they are making weapons. To fight the Qatanux, or press further into Aequor? That I don't know. I'm forbidden for going further into the occupied lands here at our front with the Raiders, so I'm a little stuck, and wishing I was of more use."

"I shall await them here then," Ivor replies before he takes another drink of wine, "I'd've sent word ahead but I didn't want it intercepted." War is a bugger like that. As wine merchants are mentioned he smiles, a hint of amusement on his face, "now that is a job I wouldn't turn down, but I fear the vintners and I are all too well acquainted for your work." His smile morphs into a wry one as their rival house is mentioned. "D'Gerous is in trouble," he repeats back slowly, "oft times I'd've called that a cause for celebration. How times change." The news from inland is met with a slow nod as he's forced to admit, "I've heard nothing on that front while I've been away. People have been tight lipped due to the troubles mind, but what rumours reached my ear were of Whitehall."

"We are in trouble," Myrana is earnest with her cousin, smiling wryly at his remark about the wine merchants. "You do have good taste in wine, Ivo. I wouldn't, er, mind if you wanted to come with me to the Alchemist's home." A pause. "They are often crazy, and I'm not sure how I'm going to approach it."

Ivo sucks in his breath over his teeth at the mention of the Alchemist. "Now there is a breed I've had few dealings with. I'll accompany you though, if you desire. It'll likely do me good to stretch my legs again." Assuming he isn't sent immediately off on war business of course. "Is that a task for this afternoon, or should I keep the ship's boat ready once we shift station? I can have a few trusted crew wait nearby either way, but if you're wanting to go today I may not have another glass."

"Around dinner," she says. "I want to go into his lab and see what the mayor is having him make. Or, well, see if we can make a guess. He's been here for a few months now, so if the mayor is having him make something suspicious, we'll know, and bring the information to the Count. If he's just making that greedy man soap to tighten his wrinkles away, well," she shrugs, grinning at Ivo over her glass of wine with a flash of teeth, a little mischievously. "I'm not above letting father know how he's spending that tax money. Either way, if the mayor IS drinking Alasce wine while the city's been overrun by invaders, it is in bad taste, and I'm going to take some offense.

"Dinner. Plenty of time for another then," Ivo replies with a smile as he reaches to refill his own glass and offers to do the same for Myrana. "If the mayor can afford an alchemist's soap while we're at war then I'd have serious questions regarding his priorities," he replies in a more serious tone, "that's money that could go on defences and armaments. Not that I begrudge the alchemist mind, he has his trade, but our erstwhile mayor.. well, it'd better be something useful he's procuring or your right, your Father should know."

Myrana nods with blue eyes that glitter rather seriously for all her jovial mood, and finishing her first glass joins Ivo for a little while to relax and catch him up on what she knows of the war thus far.

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