Augusta was at the door again. Lucas could tell because her hissing, whirring and clanking were far easier to hear in his new Kuuvian office.
The office was very clean and furnished with gorgeous earthen tones. It was starkly different from home. He wasn’t sure how long he should wait before leaving his newfound operations in Falinnbannao, Kuu. Not before they replaced the door that Phinneus, from the Order, destroyed. Though, they must have by now. No, he was enjoying his visit overseas.
Exactly three knocks, as always, sounded on this office’s door.
“Very good Augusta, let them in!” Lucas called.
The door swung open, and following the fanciful automaton were a rag-tag band of mercenaries from the airship Gazelle. Lucas was wary of hiring another bounty hunter, but he had no choice and these three were assigned by Queen Dahlberg herself.
“Good evening,” Lucas offered his hand.
The captain shook with him, “Alexander Nolan, at your service, Mr. Buford. This is my partner Rilain and the guy on my shoulder is Franklin.”
“I’m glad you could come.”
“I received a letter from the Queen; she said it was a matter important to the people of Falinnbannao, but never mentioned what it meant to you,” Nolan led the conversation.
“Captain, I’m involved in this because this town’s well-being is literally my business.
About a month into operations began here, workers started to disappear. One by one, they would just... not show up. I’d had the production manager follow up and check on their families, but they said they hadn’t seen the either.
I’m going to be frank, the police have nothing, and I’m not qualified to be hunting down a serial kidnapper.”
From the corner of his eye he could see the Nakalo fiddling with his bookshelf, thumbing through them. Growing up with royalty, their prejudices were well ingrained.
“And could your demon, please stop touching my things!?”
Rilain didn’t take to the slur quietly. She’d been pushed around every time she’d been to this icy nation and it was starting to cut deeper each time.
“Call me a demon again,” she gritted her teeth, ” and you're going to need to replace the other arm.”
“Our help, our rules,” Nolan chuckled.
The air was tense. The little octopus, Franklin, squeaked a few times.
“I agree, little buddy,” Nolan turned to Lucas, “I’m going to shake down some locals.”
The mercenaries were heading for the door when Lucas gestured to hold on.
“Wait. We’ve started on the wrong foot. This is my money paying you, and my people you’re about to harass. They’ve had enough trouble lately. Your reputation precedes you, no matter what the Queen thinks. I can’t have you roughing anyone up just yet. I implore you.”
“And what do you propose we do, then?” Nolan a little miffed. He forgot that being Antifordian, Buford had, more than likely, heard of him.
“Take it easy, get your bearings, reconnaissance. I’m prepared to pay your stay at the Dansen Inn since we’re so far from the docks. We’ll reconvene for afternoon tea and I can answer any more questions you have.”
Alexander looked over at his partner who was giving him an eye and began speaking again still focused on her, “They got booze?”
“There’s a pub two blocks uptown.”
The captain smirked, “See you tomorrow, Buford.”
And with that, the crew left his office. He didn’t know how he managed to get through any social interaction with Arazian folk without harm. Perhaps Kuu was a better place to be.