“Thank you very much, sir.” It was an automatic, and rather flat response to the rather handsome fellow’s contribution. While it was rather little, that five munny gave him a total of two hundred. It wasn’t much, but it was better than the double digit numbers he’d been getting lately. Regardless of what was given, William didn’t have his attention, at least not until he joined up with Xoen and the shimmering creature of darkness.
He looks to be gathering allies, could he perhaps be looking for the people we’ve taken? Or maybe he’s organizing a raid on Villian’s Vale? Either way I need to let Karl know. With that in mind he placed the munny in his inventory and got to his feet, being sure to grab his hat. He left the marketplace at a brisk pace, looking to put as much distance between himself and the area as quickly as possible.
Down a set of stairs he would go, ignoring the looks of the those thatpasser by. Neither civilian nor guard would dare get his attention at the moment. William was a man on a mission, which entailed he find an area where he could be alone. After all, it’d seem weird for him to start suddenly talking to his arm. Knowing his luck anyone who caught him would find him to be crazy. That in turn would set of f a domino effect that would soon involve the guards. Needless to say he didn’t want that.
Finally, an alleyway came into view. Quietly he slipped out of the crowds, with none being the wiser. The crowds would flow like a river from his point of view, the alleyway acting as a calm bastion to the chaos of the day. He made his way to the wall at the end of it, and took a seat. He pulled back the rags covering his left arm, revealing a copper armguard underneath. After a quick combination of button presses he spoke into the tiny speaker.
“Karl can you hear me, over?” Within a few moments he’s met with a response.
“Ah, hello Will. I didn’t expect to hear from you for another hour. Is everything alright?” Karl on the other end sounded rather agitated despite what he said. William swallowed the lump in his throat, he hoped that it wasn’t him or Noah that caused him distress.
“Yes, I managed to find the patrol routes of a number of guards in the marketplace. I also know that they’re changed out every three hours or so. However, the change happens over a few seconds. There is never a time where the marketplace doesn’t have guards stationed.” During his report he would cast a glance back towards the entrance, last thing he needed was someone listening in.
“I figured as such, that’s one of the busiest areas around. It’d make sense for Yima to keep that place under constant surveillance. Is there anything else?” William hesitated for a few moments. Wondering if he really should let his boss know about Xoen’s wearabouts. Knowing how he got, Karl would probably drop everything he was doing in order to pick back up on the prototype project.
Last he recalled he made a breakthrough with the heart in Xoen’s chest. He just needed to ingredients to inject in him. But that would take quite a while, and William didn’t want to wait. Just thinking about the coming invasion, and overthrowing Yima made him giddy. He would do everything he could to insure their victory, even if it meant killing the hermit himself. Nevertheless, he would tell Karl. If William didn’t, and if the professor found out later, he’d chastise the ex-assassin for his lack of insight.
“William, are you there?” Karl asks, freeing William from his fantasies of grandeur.
“Y-yes professor. It’s just, I found out something you might find startling.”
“Oh,” Karl starts, his voice full of curiosity, “and what might that be?”
“Eno is alive.” William waits for Karl’s response, and is surprised to be met with silence.
Suddenly, the professor answers, albeit breathlessly, “W-w-what did you say?”
“I said he’s alive, Wood. I saw him walking through the marketplace. He had some black things following him, and a blonde haired man in a sleeveless hoodie joined up with them. I think he might be planning to—“ he gets nothing else out as Karl’s excited shouts cut him off. William scrambles to lower the volume on his armguard to make sure no one overhears him.
“P-Professor this is serious, you know what this means don’t you?”
“Oh ho! I don’t care what plan my experiment has in his little head! All I know is we must capture him alive and bring him back here. Oh my goodness I have so much to do and so little time!” William grimaced as he heard various beakers shattering, no doubt the cause behind it being Karl himself. “I feel like I’m experimenting on a heartless for the first time! Can you not feel it William? The exhilaration in knowing I can finish what I started?!”
“I uh, can’t say I do, Karl.”
“Bah, whatever it isn’t important. What is, is that you need to grab a test subject for me. Noah brought me the married couple, and now I require another. I know thirteen is an unlucky number but I feel that to hold no merit in this venture!” William had to do a double take from this information.
“Wood are you crazy?! You want me to catch someone in the middle of broad daylight?!” William cries.
“Oh come now, William. You’re smart enough to find Eno in a crowd, I’m sure this will be a cakewalk. Use your ingenuity my friend! All it should take is luring someone away and electrocuting them.” William shakes his head before pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Karl you know it’s never that easy. They always scream when they’re shocked. That’s going to bring Radiant Garden on my head with the sun being out, and you had to use a defibrillator on the last two I brought in using that.”
“I don’t care, it still works fine. Oh, before I let you go this next subject needs to be in the range of twelve to nineteen years of age. Gender doesn’t matter. The reason I say this is while children’s hearts are full of light the husks never survive the process. With adults we always get that odd conglomeration of human and husk features. I feel that a teenager should have an equal balance and either provide us with a strong husk, or another you!”
“Uh, I don’t think it works like that.”
“Again, don’t care, just do as I ask please? As soon as you have it in your possession contact me again. I’ll have Noah on standby to bring you to the lab. Thank you again Will you have no idea how much that information means to me!” And with that the line goes silent, leaving him alone in the alley.
“You son of a bitch, Karl.” He sighs before turning his attention back to the crowd. The minutes tick by as he sits there, waiting for an opportunity. So far, the ones that pass by fitting the age group don’t necessarily stand out among the populace. Even if he felt that he was being rushed, he had to be methodical, subtle, and above all swift. That doesn’t happen spontaneously, it takes time…
Ironically enough, the ten minute mark would provide him with the opportunity he desired. His eyes barely caught a glimpse of her, but it was enough to imprint her appearance in his head.
She was rather short, not more than five feet. Sadly he almost confused her for a small child at first, were it not for her face. Her body type seemed to match her height. She seemed to be skin and bones. While brief, from what he saw her clothing consisted of a blue top with a bright pink-purple bow. A white portion in the center showed him a section of her white multi-piece belt. At the top on the sleeve sides were segments of pink cloth with a single white stripe on each piece. Her dress has small sleeves with button-clasps. She also seemed to be wearing a white skirt piece that looked opened in the middle. Pink and white striped socks and what he thought were slippers completed her appearance. If he didn’t know any better he thought she’d be ready to drop and fall right to sleep.
Though what stood out for him the most in those seconds were her bright pink eyes that seemed alight with joy, or rather inquisitiveness he couldn’t tell from his angle. That and her waist length, messy hair seemed to have a little sway and bounce as she moved. She quickly made her way by, none the wiser to the man lurking within. Her general attitude brought a smile to William’s face.
“Oh yes, you’ll do nicely,” he said to himself, getting to his feet. Hurriedly he made his way to the entrance, not wanting to lose sight of the girl. As he peeked around the corner he saw that there was more distance that he would have liked. In no time at all he was out of the alleyway and back in the crowds, watching from a distance. He’d bide his time and wait for her to be alone and out of the public eye. Then he’d strike.