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Sep 16, 2019 4:13 AM
a new killer on the block
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"Reasonable. I prefer the thrill, and quickly grew tired of easy fights."

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"Well, I can certainly understand taking drastic steps to relieve boredom."

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"I think that motivates many of us more than we like to admit."

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He laughs.

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Soon, they all filter back inside.

Maystadt gathers the better part of the team to come with her on an errand - "Nothing exciting," Quicksilver says chattily, "just a shopping trip, we're only there to lurk out of sight in case someone somehow recognizes Suture out of his costume and things go sour" - but leaves Slimebones behind.  A few others, including Decima, are instructed to stay behind as well to keep an eye on him.

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She returns to her ongoing task of pilfering the house for interesting books, boxing some up for Tyrannissa to put wherever she stores things.

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Slimebones retreats upstairs with Bast, luxuriating in the room that the others picked out for him.  It's small, and bare, but the bed is comfortable.

Hmm.  No, luxuriating gets boring after a few minutes.  But this is a big house with lots of interesting people living in it, and they probably have interesting things squirreled away in their rooms, too.  He doesn't even have to say anything to Bast, they just share a look and set off.

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They've both already noted down the creakiest floorboards, and they know how to walk slowly and lightly to minimize sound.  They've spent enough time not being overtly sketchy, they both suspect, that they've got at least a few minutes of no one having seen them before anyone gets suspicious.

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Maystadt's room would probably be the most interesting.  It's locked, but that's not much of an obstacle; he can form fleshen pseudopods far finer than the width of his fingers, and he knows how to pick a lock.

It's a bit disappointing, actually.  It's poorly lit and almost as empty of interesting furnishings as his own room.  There is a single bookshelf, with a few well-worn volumes about Doctor Maystadt and similarly unsavory historical figures on it.  On the wall behind her bed there's a setting board with a single inexpertly pinned cockroach.  Her bedside table contains a few newspaper clippings, which look to be of her own and the Guillotine's first exploits.

He'd been hoping for a diary, he'd be fascinated to learn what kind of diary a person like Maystadt kept, but apparently the answer is "none".  Oh well.

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Quicksilver's room is brighter, more comfortable: a desk and chair, a comfier-looking bed, more pillows, a scratching post for his daemon.  Slimebones is surprised he can discern levels of pillow comfort under that metal skin.  His own bedside table also has newspaper clippings about Maystadt, but a lot more of them, and with a greater focus on her in particular rather than the Guillotine as a whole.  His own collection of books isn't interesting, except in that they're bookmarked with even more clippings.

He doesn't have a diary either, but Slimebones does find a small sketchbook on his desk, which he pages through.  Rather than drawings, it's full of calligraphy: elaborate renderings of Maystadt's name.

About halfway through the Maystadts become interspersed with instances of the name Yvonne Sharpe.

Well.  It's not a name Slimebones recognizes, but that might still be useful.  Assuming that is Maystadt's name, and not some competitor for Quicksilver's affection.

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Hmm.  What's in Decima's room?

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Apparently shared with Tyrannissa, going by the amount of abstract art present. And the two beds, one of which is an art piece itself. There's also numerous books crowding the room, many of them very old, and a few more journal-looking on the cluttered desk. It smells like a library, and like ink, and like paint.

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Goodness, this certainly is Tyrannissa's room.  Maybe this was the sort of thing Decima was talking about, when she talked about people being so much themselves.

Slimebones pads quietly toward the desk, picks up and leafs through one of the journals(?).

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Full of calligraphy, mostly assorted poems, often with little illustrations. Emily Dickenson, Sylvia Plath, E.E. Cummings, and more that he doesn't recognize. 'Life, death, and the meaning of existence' is a common theme, though there's a few odes to nature, and a few odder narratives (Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market," A.E. Houseman's "Her Strong Enchantments Failing," Lord Byron's "Darkness," and Claude McKay's "Outcast" are some of the more illustrated ones).

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He's never been one for poetry, but anything of somebody else's is an interesting read.  He glances briefly at a random page in each other journal-like volume, expecting more of the same, then turns to survey the room again.

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Decima is standing behind him.

"Having fun?" she asks.

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"Well, isn't this dreadfully embarrassing."

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"Just a little bit. Be glad I'm not Egni."

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"This would be ending differently, I take it?"  He and Bast make to leave the room.

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"I suspect we'd be cleaning one of the two of you out of the floorboards."

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"I'm flattered you think I'd stand a chance.  Apparently I'm not as stealthy as I thought."

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"Sound carries through the floor exceptionally well. Old houses, you know."

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Hmm.  He has ever been snooping around the second floor of a building before.  Maybe not one quite this old, but nonetheless, he did not notice any sound traveling exceptionally well to his ears.

"If I'm ever involved in any second-story work, I'll be sure to keep that in mind.  And my sincerest apologies, once again."

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"Oh, I'm not particularly bothered. And I'd like to see you succeed."

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