The following days were quite dull to say the least. After word had gone around that the mysterious assassins were only targeting charr, all charr secros were ordered to stay within city walls. So I was immediately restricted to local jobs around Divinity’s Reach, while Daniel was left with providing for the both of us. Not that he minded, but staying home all day with nothing to do was becoming infuriating. So I began to think of… unusual methods, to keep myself busy.
“Okay you’re a weird charr I’ll admit that,” said Daniel approaching me with a padlock. “But I have to admit this is one of your strangest suggestions to date.”
“Just give me the lock already!” I said as I sat inside an iron cage. Daniel, was right, this was one of my more bizarre ventures… but boredom does strange things to the mind. The human handed me the lock and I closed the cage with me still inside. Then I secured the lock and made sure the cage could not be opened by force. I was not going anywhere while the lock was in use. I held my hand out to Daniel and he reached into his pocket. He took out a large wallet with various different types of lock picks and handed them to me.
“I know I said that lock picking is something that takes practice…” said the human, “but I meant like carrying a lock with you and trying to open it… not pick yourself out of a cage.”
“I believe this method will be much faster at teaching me,” I said as I started examining the different picks. “Most certainly give me more motivation.”
“That I don’t doubt…” Said Daniel with uncertainty. “What if you can’t get out though? A charr has to eat and stuff… And this job will take at least a day…”
“I told Serenity to check up on me tomorrow morning,” I began to try out the first pick made of copper, knowing that it would be quite a while before I would be out. “She will let me out if I am still inside.”
“Okay… but I don’t want to come back home and find a unconscious charr with an empty stomach!”
“You will not,” I reassured. “So far I have been successful with the previous ones, so you need not be concerned.”
Daniel lingered by my bedroom door for a brief moment.
“Well then… I guess I’ll be going.”
“Travel with caution,” I said mostly focusing on the lock. I could not see Daniel but I could tell he was smirking.
“Try not to have too much fun without me, big guy.” With that he left the room and I heard him leave the house shortly after. My ears perked up once I heard the door slam, I ceased fooling around with the metallic contraption and glanced towards my bedroom door.
I despised being alone, despite the fact that I was not one for socializing with people, I could not stand the silence of an empty house. It was maddening. Though the silence was the last thing in my mind at the moment. What happened by the carnival was still fresh in my mind, even though it was several days ago… I had no excuse for lashing out at Daniel, and I knew that very well. I was still wondering if Daniel remembered what happened or if he was too drunk. I had wanted to apologize, though I saw little need to if he could not recall. It did not stop me from banging my head against the cage in shame though.
“Rash and uncontrolled…” I mussed out loud with a sigh. “I am sorry Daniel…” I continued to work on the lock, allowing the activity to be my primary focus.
I worked on that lock for the majority of the day. I noticed the sun was reaching the horizon once I tossed the lock on my bed. After finally getting something to eat, I realized that I needed at least a bit of social interaction for today. Serenity seemed like the only person who had free time during the evening… now that I thought about it she had a lot of free time. So I looked for my coat and walked out into the city.
The day was especially windy, not many people were walking about aside from the occasional adventurer. I simply gave a short nod to any fellow secros as I moved past the trading commons, I decided to take the scenic route and take a look at the central plaza. It was this area in the city that looked like one massive garden. I moved past one of the many statues before deciding to take a seat, looking up at the ceiling of the dome over me I carefully examined the adornments that floated about.
“Didn’t take you for someone who would go on a stroll for no reason,” I lowered my head to find a petite human female looking at me with a warm smile.
“Serenity,” I said offering a smile. “What a coincidence, I was going to head to your house in a bit.”
“Actually, I stopped by your place but no one was home,” replied the human pointing her thumb towards the plaza’s exit. “So I asked a raven and they pointed me to here.” She went ahead and took a seat next to me. I noticed her pull her scarf over her mouth and breathed through it.
“I envy you charr sometimes; I bet you barely feel this cold.”
I tilted my head with a slight shrug. “Sometimes I think being a necromancer helps too, I think practicing the magic makes you partially dead, that would explain quite a bit.”
Serenity simply chuckled as she leaned on my arm. “Is the serious Anavari making a joke? These are strange times indeed!”
“I have a perfectly normal sense of humor miss Susurrus.” I said matter-of-factly. “I am more than capable of jesting.”
“The fact that you use ‘jesting’ proves you wrong, Anavari.” Serenity snickered as I raised my eyebrow at her with a smirk. I was having more conversations like this with Serenity, getting to know her was a pleasant experience. I could say with a certainty that I considered her a good friend. We both released a long, drawn out sigh as Serenity moved closer to me for warmth. I did not mind, I was already used to Daniel doing the same.
“So I take it you were looking for me because Daniel is out working again?”
“I tried keeping myself busy, but that does not seem to work very well,” I said.
“Ravens said that they’ve been hearing metallic noises coming out of your house, care explaining that.”
“I locked myself in a cage and picked my way out,” I said nonchalantly.
“…I can see that you were successful.”
“I have had time to practice… I would dare say I have more time than you.” We both shared a faint laugh, nothing loud enough to be noticed, it was more like releasing slightly more air than usual. “What of you? You said you were looking for me.”
“Yeah!” Serenity leaned away as her eyes blinked rapidly, I believed she was getting a bit too comfortable with my arm as a pillow. “Something real important about the investigation.”
I groaned loudly. “Please, may we discuss the investigation after a bit more small talk?” I asked. “Right now thinking about it just puts me on edge.”
“… I get that it’s a topic no one really want to talk about, Anavari. But it’s not really something we have the luxury of avoiding.”
“Of course we do, we just simply postpone it until we find an appropriate lead in…”
“And we both know that you will make sure the conversation will steer far away from it.”
I did not have a retort, mainly because she was right.
“Anavari, we have to look at the bigger picture here. Look over there.” I noticed Serenity motioned over to a small group quite a ways from the where we were, a couple of humans a sylvari and a norn. I could tell right away that they were secros, I could tell because I did a few contracts for one of them. Also secros rarely talk to non-secros.
“They are conversing, what of it?”
“It’s more than that. Those people right there are friends, and rumor has it that the sylvari is engaged to one of them. Everyone from that group is involved in our line of work. Before they joined us they had nothing, just rejects of society longing for a bit of purpose in their insignificant lives.”
“Your point being?” I asked calmly.
“My point? I just wanted to point out what being a secro is all about… eccentrics, outcasts, people who don’t fit in anywhere else. We accept them all with open arms. We give them a chance to start again. Former thieves, charr with no warbands, sylvari that have disconnected themselves from the pale tree. If you think about we’re all just one big dysfunctional family. This new threat may bring that all down… its not just the charr that will become hurt through this, but everyone else as well. The wellbeing of the secros is at stake here, that’s why we all have to do what we can…”
I sat there staring at the sylvari for several more seconds. She reached out for one of the human’s hands and he welcomed her in an affectionate embrace. Serenity was right, and perhaps I was in denial of what needed to be done.
“Very well,” I said in defeat. “What do you have for me?”
“I got a message from the observers themselves…” answered Serenity. “They want to see you…”
I shifted my gaze to the human with a shocked expression on my face. Now I knew things were serious…