Of Opportunities Come


Ozcollo.jpg Delaus (NPC'd by Jaya)

Date: July 25, 2011
Location: Delaus' Den, Crom area
Synopsis: Cromese crimelord Delaus has a mission for Ozcollo: to infiltrate Eastern Weyr and the business of its fellow crimelord.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Jaya

“Send him in.”

Delaus was busy looking over the profits from today’s business when his lady, Perstiny, shows up at his door. He had called for Ozcollo earlier in the day through his men, having come to some decisions that required his presence. Of course, with him, business always came first. The black market of Crom never falls nor fails to profit as long as there’s Lord Holders being tight with their goods.

He lifts one hand to beckon his statuesque lady forward from the door, himself all clad up in expensive silks this evening from head to toe. “Perstiny, my dear, you’re as radiant as the southern sun,” he confesses, his hand reaching out to claim her as she approaches. As always. Delaus was never one without his comforts, and Perstiny included, as he waits for Ozcollo to enter into his den.

Ozcollo receives his summons while tackling some of the menial labor, goods lifting and shifting, required in the running of even a renegade Hold. As he is usually ordered about by Delaus's men and not the head honcho himself, Oz makes sure to put on a relatively clean-smelling shirt and his best boots before presenting himself to his master as evening descends. Pausing before the door to check his scent, luckily not too much like the stables, he smiles hopefully at the man guarding Delaus's door. "Lord Delaus wants to see me?"

As he is waved in, Oz ducks his head in thanks despite the amused expression on the man's face. He straightens his shoulders and enters into Delaus's presence, not in the least surprised to find Perstiny there as well. Oz performs a precise bow and plasters his serious look on his face, an expression somewhat marred by the smile that prefaces his eager greeting, "Lord Delaus. I am at your service."

The statuesque, black-haired Perstiny is sitting on the crimelord's lap, laughing and playing her little thin fingers against the silk of his collared shirt when Ozcollo was being escorted in. "Take a load off," Delaus is offering, leaning back with two fingers lifting in a gesture towards his deepwood desk. "Pour yourself a glass," something likely strong. It was how Delaus greeted his guests, when he was about to do some business or send someone off. Perstiny looks on as Delaus nurses his own drink before acknowledging that he had spoken. He waves for the man to sit before stating, "You and I have something to discuss. An opportunity." Everything, to him, was an opportunity.

Ozcollo shows no surprise at Delaus’s invitation, but instead performs another slight bow and tips an imaginary hat at Perstiny in greeting. “Yes, sir.” He acknowledges, taking a deep breath to fortify himself before he strides to the desk to reinforce his image of complete cooperation. A moment later, after the gentle chime of glass on glass, he perches himself on the edge of the chair indicated and sips gingerly from his just-poured liquor. “Yes, sir. An opportunity? A sensitive courier parcel, perhaps, sir?” Oz guesses, leaving his drink untouched except for his initial taste.

Perstiny delivers Ozcollo a smile while the Crom crimelord refills his own glass. "Not a courier this time, no," Delaus answers him, shaking his head as he takes a drink. "Something far more….lucrative? Perse, dear, close the door." At that command, the ebony-haired woman gets up and does as bidden, and it's only then, once the door is shut, that the man continues. Clearing his throat, "I'm sending you down south," he makes the announcement, straightening up more in his chair. "It's going to be a logn assignment, so whatever loose ends you have up here, I suggest you get them tied within the seven." He offers his lap to Perstiny once more, which she takes, before he adds, "Surely you've heard about this new crimelord we have down in the southern continent, yes? A, ahh, Max?"

Acknowledging the negative reply with a brief smile, Ozcollo perks up upon learning that his task will fall into the ‘something completely different’ category. Unabashed interest lights his eyes as he follows Perstiny’s progress toward the door, responding with only a “Sir” to to his master’s correction. Even primed for the unusual, once the latch clicks and Delaus speaks, Oz’s drink sloshes onto his pant-leg before he recovers himself. “The southern continent?” Despite his surprise, his voice retains its earnest tenor, “Of course. I can be ready to leave faster if you want.” A breath later, however, a crease appears between Oz’s eyebrows. “Max, yes. Max. I have heard rumors, sir. The traders last sevenday said this Max has backing, but they didn’t say from who.”

Delaus can zero in on when his precious liquor is being wasted - rather, wasted on Ozcollo's pants. There's a brief look of distaste that washes over him, and it's something akin to the way a blooded holder would look at holdless person rolling around on his silk sheets. Luckily it's brief. When Ozcollo shows eagerness to leave on the mission, his ease returns and he throws a smile towards his lady. "Now that's the kind of men I like around me," he tells her aloud, pleased as he gestures towards Ozcollo. "A man that doesn't balk. Pern needs more like you, Oz, my boy! Leaning forward now, "You can leave tomorrow for all I care. The sooner, the better. As for this Max-person," and he leans away, reclaiming his glass with a dramatic sigh, "I'm not too fond of uncouth men that think it civilized to throw dead bodies on other men's doorsteps, yes? Not to mention I've been hearing some horrid things involving the mines and Landing….well," and he shakes his head, "you'll find out for me, won't you? You'll watch this upstart for me, yes? I have eyes there, yes, and you will meet one or two of them down at the Weyr you're going to, but, I want you in particular to watch this man. Work with him, work beside him, fuck his sister if he has one - I don't care." He pauses to take a long drink before continuing. "I want reports - reports on him, reports on whatever mining is going on down there, and make sure to take a few trips into Landing when you get the chance." - "What kind of backing?" Perstiny speaks up in her low soprano, watching the young man with interest as she picks out something he had said.

Like a faithful hound who follows his master’s cues closely, Oz does not miss the man’s momentary expression and hunches, tucking his drink close and flushing with mixed embarrassment and pleasure at Delaus’s words. “Tomorrow would be fine, sir. I only need to fill my spot on the duty roster.” Visibly squaring his shoulders with a deep breath, he continues, “I will report and find out about the sister, but- er, sir-” The color flames back into his cheeks and down the skin of his neck, “Will I need to return if I am found out?” Which is, for Oz, a very polite way of saying ‘when’ he’s found out; his track record with clandestine jobs is slim and abysmal. Question asked, however, Perstiny’s words cause him to drop his eyes and focus hard on his glass, “‘Riders, ma’am.” He appears ill at even suggesting the idea and is quick to add, “But it’s just a rumor.”

"No woman to bid farewell?" Perse asks when Oz speaks about leaving the next day, a brow lifting as she plays a finger along the rim of Delaus' glass. "No tab to pay off at some local tavern?" - "He's awfully too young to be having a tab at some dingy bar, Perse," Delaus waves her second notion off with a flick of his fingers against his armrest. They both watch the color flame his cheeks and the woman smiles deeply, amused as the crimelord answers him with, "Found out?" He seems to taste those, as if they were foreign to him. Of course he knows Oz's track record, but still…. "It would be best if you don't get found out, my boy," he says those words carefully, as if he was choosing what and how to say it best. "You likely will, knowing you, but since I don't know how this new upstart is, it would be good not to make your connection to me found. However," and he leans forward, his tone dropping to something more like a renegade than some self-style lord, "however….should you get caught, my name never leaves your mouth," he tells him. "You know the drill. I will find out if you break under question, and you know what happens to those that get sent somewhere and buckles under pressure, my boy." He lets that one sink in, pausing before finally addressing the answer Ozcollo gives his lady. He sniffs at it and briefly looks away. "The rumor is true, rather. This Max, he dabbles with dragonriders. Why else would a renegadelord dare to house his seat of power within the confines of some filthy Weyr?" He laughs at that, to which his Perstiny joins in. "Oh yes, yes! I would almost think he was one of them, the way I hear he dabbles so. He even smells like them I hear, though that's to be expected when you live with smelly winged beasts."

“No tab-” Oz hesitates, then shakes his head firmly before finishing his reply. “No woman.” Taking his second sip from his glass in response to the their banter, he tries to use the expensive alcohol to ease the obvious, increasing tension in his shoulders. “I-” Delaus’s threat looms impossible and he stutters before recovering his earnest focus. “I- sir. I would never give your name.” Still, “I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity like this, sir, but lying to folks is not something I’m really good at. I want to do best by you, sir, but I got limits.” Oz blurting out ‘I’m sent by Delaus of Crom!’ has precedent, though not recently. Delaus’s and Perstiny’s laughter, however, causes him to look up from one to the other with surprise on his face. “I didn’t really think that rumor could-” The surprise turns to poorly-hidden awe and no little fear. “There will be dragons? How am I supposed to hide things from dragons? Can’t they read minds?”

“A shame,” Perse comments back on Oz’s answer to her, leaning back against the Crom crimelord. “On both.” – “Then I suggest you get good at it,” Delaus takes up the next, watching the young man’s face with little interest. “The lying bit. It’s not hard, really. Just make up a story and stick to it. Forget your own name and where you’ve come from, if that will help. I don’t need this Max getting to me through you.” He drains his glass then, setting it on the desk before he addresses the rumor. “Who knows what those dragons are capable of,” he admits now wryly, “but I doubt one of them would pick you out to read your mind. Not if you play your cards right, yes? So yes, there will be dragons. If they bother you so much, then do with most of us would do. Avoid them.”

Oz’s expression shutters and he finishes off the finger-width of liquor he had left, coughing a bit after he swallows. “Sir.” The word is a confirmation of received orders and little more as he regains his balance in the face of Delaus’s utter lack of sympathy. When he speaks again, he sounds no less eager to be off, but his enthusiasm appears tempered. “I’ll avoid ‘em. Anywhere with animals always needs help with mucking.” He runs his thumb over the spot on his knee where he’d spilled before looking back up at his master and his master’s lady. “Any further instruction, sir, before I pack?”

"Perfect," Delaus takes his tone and words at face value, the smile that returns blossoming like a flower when he turns to his lady. "I think this will be a good opportunity to you, Oz. You may find the south far more agreeable than the north for you, even." Beat. "As to further instructions," he continues on to say, reaching for his glass to drink, "make sure you go down to the stores before you go to get some supplies. They already know to expect you. If you don't have any further questions…." and he turns to regard Perstiny expectedly, more or less a dismissal of the young man. Delaus was just not one to dawdle.

“As you wish, sir.” Ozcollo dips his head and stands, placing the glass back on the desk before he makes his way to the door. There is, of course, nothing more for Ozcollo to say. Leaving, he performs another slight bow and bids them farewell. “Good night, Lord. Lady.”

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