Masquerade Mayhem

a story
major eventviolencecanonstrong language
2013-03-31 12:00:35,
2014-09-24 20:52:23
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The Builder

See: The storm that lit Fires for events leading up to this story.

The Office was huge, and very different compared with most offices that Leo had seen. It looked like a rich man's office with a large carved mahogany desk in the center and matching furniture spread about.

The decor was nice, but messy. The large desk was stained with little drops of grease, much like the rest of the furniture.

Little robots and parts were scattered around the room, some moving in little functions with cogs turning, some just lying in a junk heaps spouting steam. Even with the robotic parts everywhere, the room itself retained a managed look.

From what Leo had heard about Lucas Merriwether Buford, the room was a perfect fit. Everyone knew tale that Lucas Buford was so obsessed with the mechanics of his dolls that he built a business devoted to automatons. People also say that Lucas talks to his lifeless robots as if they were his children; Maybe those rumors were true. Leo had to wonder though, what would a man of business in robots want with him?

As Leo got closer to the large table, he got a better look at the master engineer. He was a youthful adult of a man with short blond hair and a light golden goatee. He was dressed in a fine dress shirt with a dark purple pinstripe vest; his jacket was tossed over a chair on the right. He was sketching what appeared to be automaton schematics with his left hand.

Lucas was so drawn with his work that he did not notice Leo, as he stood by the desk. A long awkward moment passed before Leo faked a cough to reach for the man’s attention. Normally Leo would be more loud or obnoxious but he was trying to remain professional. Doing a job for Lucas could prove to be a huge opportunity.

“Wha’?” Lucas said as he looked up from his work.

He noticed Leo standing in front of him. He brushed away some smaller gizmos and a few other things from his desk and sat up from his chair.

“Apologies, I get caught up in my work. Captain Leo I presume?”

“Yes,” Leo said as he reached out his right hand for a handshake, “At your service-”

When Lucas raised his hand to shake, Leo noticed that it was no normal hand! It was large and robotic! Made of what appeared to be wood with springs and other assortments of mechanical engineering! Leo was so surprised he took a step back, clutching his own right hand to his chest, as if he were protecting it.

Lucas chuckled at this.

Does this happen all the time? Leo thought to himself but it seemed unlikely. Lucas was a man of industry, he must sit down with businessmen daily. Maybe his hand even helped his business by making an impression with those he does business with.

“Apologies, again,” Lucas chuckled, “It’s been with me for so long I hardly notice it, let alone remember that it might be strange and new to others.”

He then gestured Leo to have a seat. Which he did reluctantly, for he was still tense.

Once Leo was seated Lucas continued, “I Have a very important job for you. You see, I have been working on a lot of projects recently, like medical technology for example. Recently I’d unintentionally upset a few of my... customers. They went to the government and had them commandeer all of my prototypes and research.”

Leo raised and eyebrow, a subtle message for more details.

“A man by the name Charles Button,” Lucas explained, “has been a problem to my business for a some time. He works for the Engineers you see, strong ties to the government. He works a great deal in other industries. An inventor like myself, only he has more government pull. I am most certain that he got ahold of my prototypes and research notes! He built a machine using my prototypes and called it his own! You should of seen it, his 'auto-clinic' had my style all over it!”

Lucas slammed his robotic fist down hard on his desk in frustration.

"And what would you have me do Mr.Buford?" Leo said, cutting to the chase.

"I want him removed."

“I’m no hitman, Mr. Buford.” said Leo.

"Oh, I never said anything out killing him. Just... removed and gone."

"Do you want me to bring him to some isolated island? Maybe put him on Adele?" At this point Leo was being sarcastic.

"Listen, however you want to do it is fine by me! I just want the petty thief out of my life, and punished for thinking he could steal others inventions to call his own!"

“I see,” said Leo, “Alright, what else can you tell me about this man?”

Lucas gave all the information on Charles Button that he had. Leo found out that Charles Button was of a Knight of the Engineers.

Knights were a rank and a strong one at that. Not a Knight like back in the monarchy days, but simply a man with government honors. This man had so much power he employed bodyguards around the clock. Charles Button had more security than a god damn bank.

Getting at him was going to be hard. Leo needed to think of a time where Charles would have his guard down, where Leo could get to him easier. Leo noticed a colorful sheet of paper in a pile of more ordinary papers by Lucas’s robotic right arm.

“Would you mind if I see that paper?” he asked.

“Not at all,” replied Lucas. He handed the sheet to Leo, “It’s an invitation to Gearford’s big yearly ball, a month away.”

“Who is going to be there?” Leo stared at Lucas. Leo had a plan forming.

Lucas looked at the young captain, puzzled.

“It’s mostly going to be the old nobles, rich, men of industry, high upper crust intellectuals and Technocrats...” Lucas’s eyes grew wide as he caught on to Leo’s idea, “Yes, I see what you’re thinking. However, there is one flaw. You need invitation to get in.”

“I'll just take yours. A invitation to a ball for your rivals disappearance, it’s more than a fair price to pay; Is it not? Well that and my overall payment.”

Lucas nodded at Leo accepting the offer.

Leo stood up and began pacing back and forth in front of the desk, “With this I also get a guest, but I’m going to need at least one more invitation for a group of four... Do you know anyone else that would have an invitation for me?"

"Yes I know someone who might." Lucas said.

"And you want this done discreetly, correct?" Leo asked to which Lucas gave a nod, "I'm going to need to get ahold of some drugs to knock him out then."

Lucas pondered this in his head for a moment. He took hold of a pen and a piece of paper. He went to write on it but hesitated for a moment.

He looked up at Leo who was grinning at him. Lucas saw Leo better now. Not in appearance so much as spirit. Leo did have the look of passion and experience burning in his eyes. Years of training was visible. Leo did have a sort of swagger about him.

After this quick check of character Lucas wrote down information on the paper and handed it to Leo. “She might be able to help you out with both of your situations. I can trust that you can get this done?” asked Lucas.

“You will never hear from him again. I promise.” With that Leo walked out of the door, through the building and out into the streets.

Aletheia Snow was waiting for him, right where he had left her when he walked into the building. She walked next to him as he opened the note Lucas had written for him.

“How'd it go?” Aletheia asked with a high and upbeat voice. That's what Leo liked about Aletheia, she was a big spurt of positive and high energy.

“Rather well,” replied Leo, giving her a smile.

Her smile brightened up even bigger, and, for a step or two, she skipped, “So? What are we to do now?”

Leo took one last glance at the paper, “We are off to find a shady seller of narcotics by the name of Abigail Beatrix Cromac. ”