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Nym huddled against Amos in an attempt to shield anyone from watching him pick the lock on the large steel gate that guarded Ghostraven’s Steampunk and Pirates. Amos, obviously amused by her naive concerns- no one had trod down this alley for a very long time – took the opportunity to tease her.
“Better stand a bit closer, Peach,” he laughed.
Innocently she moved in closer to him with Amos encouraging her every step. When she was pressed against him physically, he grinned.
Nym concerned, looking around them wide eyed and nervous, “What will happen if someone sees us?”
“Well, your reputation will be ruined, but I’m certain to come up a notch with the blokes.” He struggled with the metal lock, laughing under his breath.
Nym jumped back a full pace before punching him hard in the arm.
“Ow,” He laughed, “Careful, that’s my lock-picking arm!”
Immediately remembering what they were doing, she came back into him, protectively shadowing his activity. Amos continued to laugh despite himself, but couldn’t help but feel distracted by the vetiver scent of her standing so closely. After a few minutes the metal of the lock clicked open and Nym and Amos both found themselves standing together a full moment longer than was needed. Embarrassedly, they separated to an acceptable distance from one another and went back to the business of breaking and entering.
Nym stood back and waited for Amos to lift the heavy metal gate that stood between them and the store of Marcel Ghostraven. She had waited for weeks for a breakthrough into the man and anything she might learn about the Pull. She busied herself excitedly imagining what might lay just beyond the barrier, turning the cog in her pocket between her fingers. It felt electric, as if it somehow sensed where they were; Lost in anticipation she suddenly payed no mind at all to their housebreaking efforts.
Amos tugged and struggled with aged and rusted cage door before looking up with frustration, calling Nym from her reverie,”Hey, Peach! You just gonna stand there dreamin’ or you gonna give a hand?”
The interior of Ghostraven’s Steampunk and Pirates was staunchly unremarkable in Nym’s impression. Glass cases displayed the usual mix of nuts, bolts, cogs, and other such apparatus for moving steam. Pipes, parts of engines, various haberdashery for men’s clothing and several very ornate hats stood on tasteful display.
Amos delighted himself with a few trinkets before spying some pieces he thought might be handy aboard The Crow. However, as he started to pocket them, two deep green points of light flashed at him from across the store. A security automaton stood behind the payment counter and, while Amos was certain that its auxiliary power would be mostly exhausted, he put the parts back where he had found them.
Looking up, Amos noticed Nym staring sadly out of the grimey store widow.
“What’s up, Peach?” He walked toward her- still mindful of the automaton.
“I just. I expected …I don’t know what I expected.” She hadn’t found a single scrap of information, not a photograph, a letter…anything. Amos, wishing to be of comfort, started to rest his hand on her shoulder, but thought better of it and held back.
Instead he offered, “You thought you’d find a box or a file or something that would say ‘To find Captain Ghostraven go here,’ but I told ya, Peach, he won’t be found unless he wants to be found.”
Amos saw the deep disappointment on her face and immediately regretted his words.
“But, you know,” He stretched for some way to cheer her, “I bet the Captain had an office, right? Maybe we can find it, there has to be something we’ve missed. We just got here!”
Amos started looking along the walls for hidden doors or tucked away corners. Nym, sighing, brightened a little and joined him. After a time of the two of them shuffling through drawers and moving around merchandise, Nym gasped loudly. Deep in a storage corner she has tipped over a heavy box which had fallen, hitting her shoulder and knocking her down onto the floor. Hearing her call, Amos raced to help worried that she might be injured. She lay looking upwards, stunned.
“Nym!” Amos was quickly on his knees next to her. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
Amos couldn’t hide an overwhelmed sense of responsibility for her safety; he had brought her here and he couldn’t stand the thought of regretting that decision. Nym stared at the ceiling for an instant and then began giggling, a sound that interrupted his fussing. She lay flat on her back, with loose strands of amber hair falling into her eyes and a line of dust running over her flushed cheek. Her dress was disheveled and slightly torn at the shoulder – and yet she was giggling like a child.
Amos worried that she might have hit her head a bit too hard in the fall.
“Nym. Really. It isn’t funny. Are you hurt? I can get a doctor if you need…”
“You called me Nym!” she continued to giggle for a time, enjoying the confused look on his face. Then sitting up, she pointed straight upwards. Directly over their heads was a blue vault door that secured into the ceiling. Steam pipes circled a large clockwork mechanism with a small cog shaped hole at the center.
The two giggled together for a moment and then stared at the door in a worried silence; this wasn’t going to be an easy lock to pick.