“Twelve quatloo, final offer,” Sky said in a firm tone, her blue eyes hardening. Her hand was wrapped around the base of an ornate hookah crafted with deep blue blown glass.
The rotund man in behind the wares booth laughed in her face, his hands on his ample stomach, “You’re killing me! That measly sum for famous Ravilan hurricane glass?! And in quatloo, nonetheless… Seventeen.”
Sky bared her teeth and hissed slightly as she spit out, “Seventeen?!” She raised the hookah and held it over the ground, “Fifteen or I walk. My hand is slipping…”
The large merchant’s eyes widened at the thinly veiled threat, “Fine! Fifteen!”
“Pleasure doing business with ya, sir, “ she said with a satisfied smirk before slamming her coins on the table, cradling the hookah in her arm and walking away. A successful haggle was almost as thrilling to her as stealing was once upon a time.
Sky found the shipping area and carefully wrapped the hookah before nestling it into a crate and marking it ‘FRAGILE’. She hesitated as she was writing the recipient’s names, rolling her eyes and muttering, “Damn titles…” In slanted hand she wrote: Emerson Lighthouse and Junie Ginsburg, The Gangplank, Clockhaven, New Babbage. She then wrapped up a length of fine rope and wrote: Jed and Kimika Dagger, 29 Merryman Way, New Babbage, New Babbage.
Humming to herself, Sky strolled the short distance to the Church compound and stood in a shadowed tunnel that was in view of the main entrance. She leaned against the wall of the tunnel and watched all who entered and exited through the large doors. After a while all of the Brothers and Sisters she saw started to look alike: dressed in black and in a hurry.
Then she saw him. An older Brother who tiptoed out of the doors and looked both ways carefully before hustling away, rushing just past the opening of Sky’s tunnel. “Bingo,” she whispered. Weaving through the busy streets, Sky darted after the suspicious looking Brother. She made a point of looking nonchalant whenever he looked over his shoulder, which was very often. In her mind Sky nicknamed the Brother ‘Twitchy,’ for obvious reasons.
The further they got away from the Church compound and square the fewer and farther between the crowd became. Sky needed to be concealed, and fast. She had noticed the ornate balconies of the buildings that lined the alleyways and seized the opportunity to put them to good use. In one fluid motion she bounded up a stack of crates and flung her body into the air, her gloved hand connecting with the corner of the balcony. Scrambling up, she ran across the balcony, hopped on the ending rail and launched herself onto the next balcony.
Sky was careful to keep her quarry in sight as she gracefully moved through the air. Brother Twitchy took a fast left down a small adjoining alley. Giving a quiet growl of frustration, Sky quickly scaled a drain pipe next to her and pulled herself up onto the tiled roof. She climbed and hurdled the roof peak, extending her hand behind her as she slid down the other side, her boots swiftly clicking across the tiles. She gripped the edge of the roof hard, her body already dangling over the side and hitting the wall once. After just a moment of looking down, she released the roof and rolled as she landed on a balcony below her. Brother Twitchy darted out of the small alleyway nearby and vanished into the door of an empty looking warehouse.
Sky slid down another drain pipe to the ground, sprinting towards the decrepit warehouse. Skidding to a halt, she looked around for another point of entry and found a small door near the corner of the building. The door opened as she carefully pulled on the handle. Slipping inside, she pressed against the wall to remain undetected. Sky could tell after a cursory glance that she was in a small office. She listened to distant voices discuss their business, her eyes widening when violent details were divulged.
Eventually the voices parted ways. Sky decided to see where this gentleman would lead her when she heard someone else enter the building, a new, strangely familiar voice. She found it suspicious that the information they started to discuss was extremely similar to what she had heard nearly 30 minutes prior, only markedly reversed. Then it clicked in her mind. If this new voice was who she suspected it was…
She peeked from the office and scanned the warehouse, her eyes locking onto a broken window across the room. Sky then smiled and slipped silently out into the street.