The man named Schreber did not need Amy’s keen memory to be remembered. He was a warrior, a leader, and the owner of the only indel retreat in Outer Kaluna—the Wolf Trap. Everyone knew that. What most people did not know, and what Amy had been paid to never reveal, was that Schreber had ties to the Western Stronghold. Amy didn’t think he had the power to order someone’s assassination, but there was no sense in taking risks. Dealing with him would be messy.
“Don’t worry too much about it. You may remember Invokers are a rare sight this side of the gates. People hope to see something worth gossiping about—or worth being paid to report.”
Bernard’s eyes narrowed, and he mouthed her words as if trying to devise some secret from them. She waited, praying he wouldn’t slip anything important in the next few moments.
“It’s about the Duke—“
Amy didn’t give him a chance to say another word. She clapped a hand over his mouth once again, and yanked him back till he was laying on the bed. “Cover your head with the pillow and keep your nose pressed into the sheets. Do not move until I tell you,” she whispered.
Schreber would give her hell later, but if she got something worthy of his attention it would probably come out alright. If not, there were places she could hide until things cooled down. She waited until Bernard’s head was completely covered by the pillow, and then reached deep into her shirt for what she kept hidden there.
The soft leather pouch she withdrew contained eighty or so sectioned rabbit intestines, their ends tightly sealed to prevent what was inside from leaking out. Not the wisest thing for an Invoker to see (or smell) herself carrying, but under the circumstances she had no problems using it.
She pulled a needle from where it had been thrust through the leather, and pierced the membrane with it, carefully spraying the floor near the door and the window sill with pungent fluid.
An outraged snarl came from outside the door, and Amy caught the soft sound of padded cat paws running as fast as could be managed. Schreber had been listening after all. No doubt he’d be back in human form, his nose dulled to the scent, and listen in once more. After he stopped wretching, and if he could find clothing so it wasn’t obvious to everyone he was snooping. They had a little time, now all she had to do was make sure Bernard didn’t know what she’d done.
She replaced the pouch around her neck, and reached for her belt loop, where the only other object she carried at all times rested. Another pouch, this one containing several mishappen glass tubes. She selected one, tried not to think of how much it cost, and dashed it against the floor as hard as she could.
The smell of lavender flooded from the container, almost strong enough to make her gag, but it covered the smell of the repellant. Whatever Bernard had it in mind to say, it better be good.
“Alright,” she said, lifting the pillow from his head. “You can tell me now.”
He sat up, coughed, and grabbed for his handkerchief. “What’s that stench?”
“I dropped a bottle of perfume. The Duke.”
He stretched out on the bed and rolled till he was facing towards her and away from the furnace pipes. “The Duke is receiving threatening letters. He sent me to reestablish myself on the streets and keep the Duke informed about any news that may be useful.”
Discussion time. ^^ What do you think is going to happen next?