Logs:Oathbreakers and Spies

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Oathbreakers and Spies


Characters: Slip & Stasya
Date: 2020-06-24
Summary: The Summer Queen and her Chamberlain discuss some outstanding business.
Disclaimers:

Slip asks for a casual meeting, no need for formality. And holding it away from the Community Center means lower likelihood of random interruption and multiple tangents. She's been here for a while now already, as evidence by the current state of her drink, the dark contents of her plastic cup half-gone, aside from the ice which still takes up a good bit of space. Condensation pools around the base, soaking into the napkin tucked beneath it, the drink mostly abandoned for the moment while she flicks through her phone with a slight slouch to her shoulders, still waking up to start her very, very, very late day.


Interruptions has been the common theme of the week, at least for Stasya and might explain why the normally punctual Wizened may be running later than she'd like for even this casual meeting. As soon as the door chimes her entrance she looks around, spoting the darkling and making eye contact and a mouthing of what looks like 'I'm sorry' before she places her order for coffee, simple and black to help expedite the process though she does add some cream and sugar on her way to the table. "So, there was something else to talk about?"


Slip dismisses the mouthed apology with a little shake of her head, a sleepy smile. The time it takes for Stasya to collect her coffee is enough for the darkling to finish whatever she's doing on her phone, the device set face down on the table by the time they're both settled in. "I wanna say it's a small thing..." But it sounds like it probably isn't. "Are you familiar with Peter Vhorman?"


Stasya sits down, not even waiting for the coffee too cool any more than the added cream allows before taking her first sip. The mention of the name gets a slow head tilt as she considers it. "I believe I must have seen it on a roster somewhere, but can't place it more than a feeling of 'I Should Know'. Before now, if someone wasn't in the militia, I didn't really make much of an effort to placing names and faces..." The Quartermaster had been quite content at her quatermasterly duties, but her world is definitely broadening rapidly.


With another shake of her head, Slip assures, "I don't think he's on any roster somewhere." She drags her cup closer, sinking forward a little, leaning on her forearms as they rest on the table. "He came to me a couple weeks ago. I've been a bit lax in addressing his request." Pausing briefly, she opts against explanations and excuses, the regret in that delay marked only with a faint frown before she moves on. "He was part of the freehold when it first started, I think. Before my time. Broke his oath. Radiates that sorta wrongness still. But he wants back in, wants to prove he means to do better, to focus on the community instead of his interests in the Hedge. He wants a proper quest to redeem himself."


The confession of laxness certainly has Stasya's attention, cup set down on the table with both hands around i as she watches. The mention of broken oaths has the Summer tensing up slightly, the mirage-heat wave of her mantle thickening a hair. "Broken his oath... how?" Details really are important sometimes and this could be one of them. "I'm not a very forgiving soul. Did he have a suggestion for what this 'quest to redeem himself' might be?"


Slip reflexively draws back a little from the deepening heat... and then follows through on that motion, sinking further into her seat. "Fucked off," she answers. "By my understanding. He had responsibilities, obligations, and took off into the Hedge." Damp fingers part from her cup to gesture shallowly as she goes on. "He didn't have suggestions, per se, but a few things he's good at. Spy work, social manipulation." The way her lips purse suggests she's not really sure how to make that work for them in the current climate. "What I think might be a genuine test of his loyalty, his skill, would be to send him on a task in the Hedge, where he'll have to fight against his own obsession to complete the task and return to us, to show that his desire to be a part of the freehold is strong enough to pull him back."


Stasya stares blankly at the suggestion. "An oathbreaker is suggesting we trust him enough... to spy. Or manipulate on our behalf..." There's a dismissive snort at the suggestion. "Things are delicate enough with this whole Butcher Queen and Tumbledown reopening mystery. We need our best for scouting and spying and negotiation, not those trying to prove their loyalty." She gives an exhale as she considers the thorny problem. "Do we know what his obsession was that caused the whole fucking off to begin with? Trying to arrange a test like that will take time... time I don't think we have at the moment." She might hold grudges on many things, but doesn't seem to begrudge the Chamberlain putting this particular problem on the back burner.


"I didn't press," Slip admits in regards to the oathbreaker's obssession. "I could look--" She taps two fingers to her chest, indicating her heart without any concern about anatomical accuracy, noting a Spring talent for seeing to the heart of a person. "--if you wanted me to." The wobble of her hand on its way back to holding her cup might express some degree of hesitation with doing so. "If you want to keep him away from Tumbledown and that mystery, mm." Her head cants, a crooked little smile starting to take shape. "We could send him in search of some Vines of Bacchus? Have the traitor bring in the fruit that reveals traitorous intent?"


The suggestion with a ring of poetic justice gets a smile crawling up into Stasya's face. "Why, Slip. You wicked little genius," and here she thought as a Wizened she was supposed to be the Shrewd one! "That should fit though. Efficient as well. Keeps him away from our real problem, lets him prove himself, AND he can eat the vines after so we know if the act of contrition was true or not. If he is true, then I hear they are a delicacy. And if not... the taste will be only the least of what he deserves."


Slip bows her head in gracious acceptance of the compliment, though it doesn't hide her widening smile. "And if he can bring in a little extra, it'll be good for the freehold to have on hand. Just in case." Especially given the current situation they're facing, the uncertainty of broken oaths and opening doors. With a curt nod, she declares, "I'll let him know," and seems to be done with that bit of business. With a considering look to the Summer Queen, she wonders, "How have you been settling into the position otherwise? Anything you need from me?"


"If he's going through the effort to find one..." Stasya drawls out with that smirk still on her face, "He might as well find several. Like you said, we could use it. And it sounds like he has debts to repay." It seems good enough a solution to her. "Although if he breaks his oaths again, I swear I will personally hunt him down and hold him accountable." It's been a while since the witch has had a good reason to hex anybody. As for settling in, she gives a small shrug as she sips at her coffee once again. "As good as can be expected? Hard to believe it's only been a few days. I have found a replacement Lieutenant for the militia. Hawthorne. He'll also be serving as Autumn Advisor. And may have a lead on an appropriate quartermaster..."


"I really do hope he makes good," Slip murmurs, and she means it, but there's some curiosity threaded into the obviously incomplete sentiment, a distant interest in seeing how the sugary Summer would address such betrayal. "Good," comes for the appointment of positions, for a new face finding a place within the freehold. "I, uh. Hm. Did Ian mention Jacob's position on his way out? Not officially kept on the roster." For reasons, one might imagine.


The sugar might be deceptive as one doesn't wind up with the Summer Crown without a heart full of Wrath and Stasya is no exception, but exactly what her revenge might be will have to be a mystery for if they ever have to deal with such a situation (hopefully not!). For now, she just smiles politely. Her head tilts at the mention of Jacob and the outgoing King. "Jacob, not that I recall... but there was a torrent of information..." He could have and simply been lost in a sea of other information.


"Given his expertise in infiltration," Slip says of Jacob. "I'm not sure if the talents of a spy would be of much use in our current situation. Observe and report, maybe, but..." Her face screws up a little, an odd sort of contemplative expression. "He has a habit of extrapolation and exaggeration that I find problematic in regards to the reporting part of that sort of role. So, if you do send him out, I'd just take his reports with a grain of salt. Verify before acting. Definitely competent, don't get me wrong, just... not always great at communicating information accurately and concisely." But someone who spent her durance doing specifically that might have excrutiatingly high standards in that regard. "But that's all the business I had for you. Figure the whole Butcher Queen and Tumbledown thing can wait until our little townhall." The arch of her eyebrows implies a question, a check to see if they're on the same page.


Stasya nods as she takes the information in, frowning a little as well. "I can't say I normally have much use for typical spies..." This may sound odd coming from someone with still with such a heavy Russian accent, but Stasya also completely missed the Cold War. "Scouting, yes. But we also have no shortage of fine folks with skills in information gather," She gives a look towards the darkling with a rather pointed smile. "I'll definitely lean on your advice for who should be trusted for more delicate tasks as that." As for the townhall, she gives a nod. "I'd like to meet with you before the larger meeting. Just to make sure we have time to review any new information before we are in front of a crowd. No surprises." At least not any they can control.


Slip's ears give a little wiggle... which, given that she's wearing her hair down, mostly means that her hair moves, that the poited tips of her earlobes peek out a bit more easily. "Eva seems very analytical, intelligent. Charity seems shrewd." Her nose scrunches a bit as she comes to the end of her way too short list and admits, "I haven't been good, the last month or so, about getting out to meet people, make myself available to the freehold. Moving into a new place, out of the community center..." She flashes a faintly apologetic smile. "I've kinda been enjoying the privacy." Straightening slightly, she refocuses, nodding as she goes on, "But yeah. Now, later, whatever works for you."


"Noted," Staysa gives a crisp nod and while she might not write anything down, information is definitely stored away for later. And they're at least names she recognizes! "Things have been busy. Soon enough hopefully we'll have this Butcher Queen situation sorted out, then we can focus on the normal business. Establishing more trods, goblin fruit gathering... make sure any ill-meaning hobs think twice before taking advantage of our folks..." There's plans there, indeed. "But privacy is nice. I tend to retreat to my hollow usually when I need privacy. I should probably show you the way to it just in case things do come up and you need me..." There's a bit of a hesitation there because even if she trusts Slip, she has a feeling things WILL come up. "But as for the meeting, later. There are plenty of days ahead. Will probably be more information gathered in the following week."


"I know the difference between an emergency and everything else," Slip assures with a grin, recognizing that hesitation. There's certainly a reason why she isn't living at the community center anymore. Well, more than one reason, really, but the privacy definitely ranks very high on that list. "But if we don't have anything more to discuss? Think I'mma enjoy what little time I've got before I need to get to work tonight." One of those weirdos with a mundane job. As she starts to stand, she adds, "I appreciate you meeting with me."