Welcome to No Books of Men! We are a modern alternate history board set in a magical school nestled in the Columbiana Valley of the Rocky Mountains. Students of the Collegium Illustrata Columbiana (commonly called simply The Academy) are free to explore their wildest imaginations in learning the mystic arts, so long as it does not jeopardize the ongoing Shadow War with the Exarchs. How will you live up to the legacies of Merlin?
darkkenchild is the Head Admin here at No Books. He enjoys long walks on the beach and debating the metaphysical underpinnings of reality, so any questions about your character , the plot of No Books, and/or how magic works on the site, please do not hesitate to ask him.
Squeeji is the head of “Human Resources” here at No Books, and responsible for pretty much everything related to our contact with the outside world. Advertising, orientation, and just about anything to do with bringing in new blood is in her wheelhouse.
It had been the shortest prorogation he had ever done in his life, and by god...he had done a handful in his life time. But after figuring out that Katherine Byrne. nee Rook, worked at some piss-ant bookstore downtown had been a real lead on finding his buddy (who was married to the lady)- and subsequently the biggest dead end he had encountered too. Because the cute little homosexual couple that owned the shop closed ranks something fierce the second he started to ask names and god forbid he show a picture of the two, because the one with the mallen streak turned all sorts of crimson and huffed and puffed and Darcy was damn sure he was gonna bring the house down.
"AND STAY OUT!"
Apparently large storkly men had a bit of 'hmph' behind them, because before he could even bark out as much as an 'Oof-dah' Darcy found himself physically ejected from the store by the seat of his pants, hitting the pavement with a meaty thud, before the door closed behind him with a jingle of bells and the click of a lock. "Y'coulda just asked me to leave y'know! " He sat up, eyes flashing for moment before he shook his head and made a face, ah...he wasn't listening, with a passive aggressive huff he muttered. "Fuckin' savage." Well no reason to stay on his ass on a day like this, he pulled himself and dusted himself off.
Of course, you know...this meant war, and he was one ready and more then happy to bide his time, because barring a diminishing timeline, he really had nothing better to do with it and already he was hatching a plan, a terrible wonderful plan- which would take just a bit longer to put into motion. A few hours perhaps...he just had to wait for the fellas to go home for the night, and then...well, that was the part that took some hashing out.
So bide his time he did, rubbing his bruised ass as he waited for his order to come up at the coffee shop, all the while eyeing that shop across the street.
“C’mon Riesen, time to go home.” Elizabeth called out, tidying up her desk for the evening. As she switched off her lamp and threw on her peacoat, a pair of small glowing eyes blinked open under her desk. From amidst the tangle of cables and cords emerged a tiny humanoid creature. With a tremendous “Wheeeeeeeeeee!” it scuttled across the floor and vaulted into her open purse.
They hadn’t made it but two steps down the hallway when Lissi began to feel a tug on her empathetic connection with the creature. It wasn’t voiced so much as the general feeling of hunger followed by the nebulous threat of screwing with her Netflix recommendations if she didn’t appease him in a timely fashion. It wasn’t that big of a deal, she was hungry too, and since she was short on both time and cooking skills, the logical conclusion was a pit stop at The Hag.
The shop was mostly empty when they arrived, only a couple other patrons sprinkled sparsely throughout the front room. Elizabeth ordered tea and a blueberry muffin nearly the size of her face. While she waited for her tea, she took a seat in an overly large armchair.
Phone, please. She thought in Riesen’s direction. There was a very faint sound of shuffling in her purse, and then her phone emerged from within. Lissi took it quickly and in exchange, tore a large chunk of muffin off, wrapped it in a napkin, and dropped it into the purse. She took a moment to check her texts and emails, just in case she had missed anything important during her walk. Nope, nothing.
It was at that point she happened to look up and see an unfamiliar face. It wasn’t that she’d seen him around town and hadn’t managed to strike up a conversation yet, she’d genuinely never seen him before, and that was odd. Beyond that he appeared bitter about something, it was written on his face plain as day. She did double check by way of his aura though, because there was such a thing as resting bitch face and it was totally plausible that this guy could have been genetically blessed with it. Maybe, but he was definitely bitter about something.
While they hadn’t called her name yet, Lissi decided to leave her purse in her chair and go try to strike up a conversation while she waited for her drink.. “Rough day?” She questioned, stepping up to the counter.
So he had his suspicions that this had been a Twilight zone weird kinda place, but all it took was a nice looking lady to ask him how he was doing to all but convince him of it. Darcy blinked, knowing in some way that this here, this was about the most innocent interaction one person could have with another, but pretty girls didn't really talk to him, and he kinda expected her face to open up with some sort of tiny green man to wave at him.
"Oh uh...hi. Yeah, that obvious huh?"
He smirked, busying himself with putting a few sugars in his coffee and grabbing a some napkins, too many of course...so he handed half of his ill-gotten stash to the miss. "I don't know how, but somehow...this place is more unfriendly then the city..." Darcy grumbled, but he knew his luck had a way of changing, and here it was doing so, and he was seeing it, he didn't even necessarily hide the gratitude on his face- hers were maybe unfortunately, the first kind words spoken to said face in a long, long time. He was an attorney, he was used to being scum of the earth, but hey...even he had feelings yeah?
For a moment he gave her a long look over, consideration really, nothing unkosher, just a feeling, of whether or not that kindness was a ploy. "Darcy Townshend, good to meetchu." He offered his free hand after juggling his coffee to the other hand and shoving his napkins under his armpit to accommodate the gesture. "Sorry I looked a sight, got my ass tossed out by Stretch Armstrong across the street...so y'know...I'm experiencing real and literal butthurt right 'bout now."
“Mmmmmm, yeah…” Lissi’s nose wrinkled as she briefly considered the best way to affirm his statement without sounding like a complete tool. “...it was pretty obvious.” As the guy turned to doctor up his coffee, the barista approached with Lissi’s drink. Elizabeth reached out and drew the cup across the countertop and waited for the bitter young man to finish with the sugar packets.
“Oh, thank you.” One could never have too many napkins, so she politely took the wad of paper and set it next to her cup. “Unfriendly?” She reached past him politely as possible to grab a couple packets of sugar. “Depends on where you’re from I suppose. Folk around here are friendly enough, not southern-level hospitality, but they warm up eventually.” Though coming from Elizabeth the judgement might not have been so weighty, she was always giving people and things the benefit of the doubt.
Tearing open a couple sugar packets and sprinkling them into her drink, Lissi could see the guy staring at her out of the corner of her eye, but she seemed completely unbothered by it. When offered a handshake, she quickly crumpled up her empty sugar packets in her left hand, and shook Darcy’s hand with her right. “Lissi Wyatt, it’s good to meet you Darcy.” She gave his hand a good, firm shake...none of that limp-wristed nonsense, and then looked out the window in the direction he had been scowling earlier.
“You got tossed out? Of Fenwick and Blackwood? Ha!” She laughed, turning away to pop the lid back onto her drink and grab her cup and napkins. “Sorry, I’m not laughing at your pain, I’m just...how the hell did you get yourself kicked out of there? I mean Blackwood’s a bit of a dick, but Tobias is harmless.” She seemed to hesitate, catching herself. “Well I mean, he’s a Fenwick so maybe harmless isn’t the right word, but he’s pleasant enough.”
Darcy smirked, flustered but holding himself well enough, because that wasn't exactly the sort of person he was, the type that just sat there and glowered at a couple old men from across the way. But right now? Damn right he was. He was still feeling particularly salty, even with all this sugar in his coffee. "Well, I'm awfully sorry about that." His head canted at that, a strange smirk on his face as he admitted how bad his summation of this place really was. "Hmm, suppose I shouldn't tell you I came here from New York then." Most unfriendly place in the US of A...or at least he had thought so, until he had stumbled into this sorry arm pit of civilization.
At least someone around here had some manners. Lissi, strange name, but he had no leg to stand on there. But made it easy to commit to memory, so Lissi it was, he returned the shake with gusto and smiled toothily. "No it was freakin' hilarious I mean...you know with what they say about comedy being equal parts tragedy plus time." A chuckle and he was ready to take a seat, but dancing the subject he gestured towards a table, and then took a seat for him. "I think you're right though, he was able to throw my rather substantial ass out that door...suppose he didn't like me sneaking around." Which he should have considered, but still...he could have handled it just a touch better. Because now he was thinking of handling it very, very poorly. He blew his bangs out of his face and sighed, just idly pondering his new lot in life.
“Nah, you’re fine. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with looking like a jackass every now and again.” Lissi reassured him with a nonchalant shrug because really, it happened to everyone and she wasn’t going to judge...at least not until she had more details.
“Is it bad there? Never been, myself.” She had heard rumors about how nasty and cold people in New York could be, but she’d never experienced it first hand. Such was apparently typical for large, busy cities. Columbiana was not a large city by any means, but it did have an impressive concentration of weird that suffused it.
“Of course, that’s why Titanic jokes are funny.” Elizabeth paid close attention to the way Darcy responded to everything she said, trying to get a read on him so she could figure out how much she could get away with without causing offense. Smalltalk was an art, and she had learned at a young age to keep an eye out for those of whom outrage was a sport. So far so good though, he seemed like a pretty well-adjusted person, comparatively speaking. Lissi followed him to the table, set her cup down on, but didn’t yet sit. “Hold that thought, I’ll be right back.”
Elizabeth briefly excused herself to collect her purse and blueberry muffin from the armchair she had been sitting in earlier. Little of the scene had changed since she left, though a section of the muffin appeared to have been obliterated. She quickly peered down into her bag to see Riesen reclined amongst her crumb-covered belongings, playing with a tube of lipstick.
Try not to make too much of a mess. She warned Riesen silently, though really if he was going to make a mess, he was going to be the one to have to clean it up.
Lissi quickly returned to Darcy’s table, put her food on the tabletop, took a seat, and set her purse on an empty chair. “Why were you sneaking around? That’s not exactly the sort of behavior shopkeepers appreciate.” She questioned, taking a quick sip of her drink.
Darcy couldn't argue that, "True 'nuff." Some more then others, but he was hardly the worst, so you know...all in all, it came out a wash. At least he didn't show that he was really stressing it, it was a position he was used to being in. Resident jackassery.
Didn't quite hold a candle to where he hung his hat though. "Well...it isn't good. Great place to be a tourist, see the sights, get some food...I suggest getting the hell out and never talking to the locals. Just...nah." Local he was obviously not, and thank god for that, it meant he had some touch of human decency within him or something. Though New Yorkers weren't all bad, some were alright types, which included the sorry SOB that he was hunting down...he didn't deserve this weird, weird Twin Peaks type town and the people in it. If you asked him- no one did.
"Yeah I hear you got about two decades and then you can make a joke...I'm pushing the timeline for my ass though, since I think got beat up by a stork." Looked like it anyways, stork in a cravat and velvet pants. Hell of a sight, one he wouldn't be able to scrape from his eyes with a melon baller prolly. "Mmm hmm." Darcy went and sat down his left hand fidgeting at the table, finger tracing lines against the surface without much mind, "Well sneaking is a bit of a misnomer...creepin' perhaps? I was lookin' for this girl." He paused, suddenly aware of how...weird that sounded.
He winced, making note to correct that as soon as humanly possible, even if it meant talking over the girl because...wow. That was bad. "Wait, wait wait...what i meant was, I'm looking for this girl, her name is Katie. She's my best friend's wife, alright?" With a few rapid waves of his hand he tried to compartmentalize his conversation as he spoke, gesturing in blocks as he explained his sorry lot in life because this had been perhaps the first and only person who had given his concerns the time of day, and now...well, this Lissi girl was getting it, whether she wanted all this information or not. "So she disappears, and he figures that she's out here...right? And follows after. Now he's up and disappeared too!" The worry was hard to hide from his face, his eyebrows very nearly knitting together as he sighed.
"She works at that shop. And I was hoping to find her, but then Lurch over there decided he didn't like my kind comin' around asking questions."
Which had been the case with everyone he had bumped into, including the man who was apparently had no idea that Katie was having an affair with him. Though other then that? His leads had been slim, and his hope? Dwindling. "I'm just...real worried y'know? There's this kid involved, and I don't know what happened to any of them. Mattie's phone is dead and it's been months..." That coffee suddenly didn't seem so very appealing, so he just held it in his free hand and watched the steam, trying not to focus on the human element of this all, least he break down just a little to a stranger.
The imagery of the man sitting in front of her being beat up by a literal stork elicited a snort and a laugh from Elizabeth. “A stork, HA. Gives a whole new meaning to that song from Dumbo. What was it?...look out for Mr. Stork, don’t try to get away, he’ll get you in the end.” Despite having seen the movie a thousand times the exact verse escaped her, but such precision hardly mattered.
After collecting her things, Elizabeth sat down and waited for Darcy to explain himself. His confession that he had been creeping around, looking for a girl raised not one but two eyebrows. “Okay...” She replied hesitantly. No two ways about it, it sounded bad. Not that she would have admitted it, but Lissi’s mind immediately jumped to whether he’d be the sort to start creeping on her. Wouldn’t have been the first time it’d happened, though it was never really a problem. Just a touch of memory-sculpting and poof, no more funny business.
Fortunately Darcy quickly corrected himself and elaborated on his troubles. Lissi relaxed and sipped at her tea, nodding as he launched into a lengthy explanation that she wasn’t even going to try to interrupt. When he finished, Lissi’s silence continued for a long moment.
“Well, I’m going to level with you here a minute. Going missing in this town does not bode well for your friend…” She said, her voice taking a dark but sensible turn. Darcy obviously wasn’t from around here, so Lissi chose to spare him the gory details. He probably didn’t need to know about things like the flayed bodies occasionally found in the park, but neither was she about to paint it as all rainbows and sparkles.
“...if you haven’t heard from him in a couple months he maaaaay not be alive anymore, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” Though she had a feeling just by looking at Darcy that he already knew that. “Either way, if you’d like some help figuring out what happened to him, I’ll help you however I can.” It was the least she could do, really, because clearly this guy was worried about his friend, and she had a preternatural fascination with all things woebegone.
Meanwhile a tiny, red-stained, knobby little hand came into view over the edge of the table. Spindly little fingers scampered left, right, and then left again until they came into contact with the blueberry muffin. The hand seized the paper liner and then slowly, arduously began dragging the muffin back towards Elizabeth’s purse.
Her mind busy elsewhere, Lissi didn’t immediately react to Riesen’s intrusion. “I think know the girl you’re talking about. I mean, I don’t know her, know her, but I’ve seen her around. Do you have an address for her or something?”
It was a half hearted chuckle that came out of Darcy even though he was a man who loved and was well versed in Disney films...no, he was rather preoccupied right now, and hated that it made him not the best sort of company to have, but he couldn't help it- not really. It felt like the only family he had anymore was dead in a ditch somewhere. Felt bad. Real, real bad.
"Not like that yeah? She's not a good person! Katie is like, a crazy persona alright? And I wouldn't go even in the same town she was in if it weren't for Mattie and Jack being missing." Darcy huffed, still feeling all sorts of feelings and not being particularly happy about any of them, especially the embarrassment of seeming like a perv on top of general worry. He had very nearly sworn he had felt the lady tense up for a moment there, and that was just...well, it was just awful, but she seemed a reasonable sort, hearing him out and making sense of his panicked rambling. "...I know, I read about this place on a few forums. It's like X-Files weird. And worse, everyone is just shutting me down since I'm some sort of outsider...It's really...I dunno, scary I guess? Eh well, maybe I'll be next." A shrug, and he bowed his head gratefully. "Though I really 'ppreciate you hearing me out."
He sighed, fingers tapping along as he finally looked back, hearing some sort of scrambling from under the table from her purse. A dog maybe? Darcy hadn't quite caught it, but he had seen a flash of red and the baked good was gone. "I uh...think your dog got your muffin there." He flicked a finger the direction of her purse and perked up as Lissi brought up maybe, possibly knowing the whereabouts of the runaway bride. "Oh! Really? I knew she was here...dammit, that professor lied to me. He was the one in that picture..." He grumbled under his breath and pulled out a photo of a pretty latino girl and an older blonde man- the biology professor.
"Thas her if you recognize her. Thats...not Matt though, that's some guy named Harris. He said he wasn't here, but had said something about the bookstore...I went there trying to find her, or maybe get her address or something." Darcy pulled a few more pictures out, one of a sad basset hound-eyed man and a redheaded child. "These are who I'm really looking for, could care less about the girl...But seems those guys 'cross the street? They care a lot, which is why I'm here now and not out there finding anything."
A quick glower towards that closed storefront and Darcy was crossing his arms and looking about fit to pout. "I'm half tempted to break in there and find some tax info or something..." Not the best idea, no, not even remotely legal, but he was done playing nice, this was all bullshit, and already people he cared about could have already been dead.
“They have forums? Who’d have thought...” She marveled in passing. He wasn’t wrong though, the Academy’s food court alone could inspire a dozen X-Files episodes. “No problem. Before you go off playing detective, I’ll give you the advice I give the freshmen. If you don’t want to end up dead or worse, don’t walk around by yourself at night. Silly as it sounds, the buddy system saves lives around here.” Of course, there were times when the buddy system did fuck all, but it was better than nothing.
The muffin tipped off of the edge of the table and tumbled into Elizabeth’s opened purse. “Dog? Wha...oh.” She might not have noticed for another minute had Darcy not pointed it out. She reached over and pulled the remnants of the baked good out of her purse. Though mangled, it seemed edible enough, so she tore off a few pieces for herself. Between bites she leaned forward to take a look at the picture. “Yeah, that’s her, she definitely works over there.” At least Lissi was pretty sure it was the girl they’d hired to work in the bookshop.
She gave the other pictures a good, long look too. “I’ve seen him around before. He’s uh…” Elizabeth squinted as she tried to recall what little she knew of him. “...isn’t he a lawyer or something? I don’t really know him either, but I’ve seen him around too, just...not in a while now that I think of it.” She scoured her own memories again, looking for anything that might help the poor guy find his friend, but she came up with nothing.
Darcy’s admission that he wanted to commit a touch of burglary didn’t honestly come as a shock. “Well...It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard. ” She paused a beat in consideration. If they could just find the girl, then Darcy could ask his questions. Even if they could only find where the girl lived, Lissi had ways of making the walls themselves speak.
She lowered her voice slightly as was custom when discussing illegal activities. “As long as you promise you’re just interested in W2’s and that you’re not going to yanno, steal or destroy their stock out of spite, I’ll help you.” Because doing good didn’t always mean staying within the confines of the law, Robin Hood could attest to that.
“Oh.” Elizabeth held up a hand. “Before you decide to go all Oceans 11 on that fine establishment, please tell me you had the foresight to look Katie up in the white pages first.” Because there was no harm in double checking before they went in bobby pins a blazin’.
Darcy frowned in consideration and put his hands up, "They got forums for everything if you're willing to look for them..." He wasn't a crazy conspiracy theorist, but having to deal with this had gotten him to dabble. Nevermind he felt like he was enjoying it, he was a natural he guessed...very good at this mystery crap. "Well trust me, if I didn't have to, I wouldn't. Also this place is hella creepy and I don't even want to be here during the day." That much was true, there was just something about the place that felt...magnetic, he was drawn to it, and he worried that maybe, just maybe he couldn't leave even if he wanted to. Though he shook those paranoid thoughts quickly, because that was just what he was thinking about in regards to his friend...right?
His brows lifted as he watched her just take the least slobber covered bits of muffin back from what he assumed was some sort of teacup something-or-another. Usually girls like that, they weren't much for secondhand food. Color him surprised if not a bit impressed. "I thought so." Hmph, well wasn't that something? Nothing really, because it just made him absolutely aware that he was completely right, and he was just a touch annoyed on top of everything else.
"You have?" Now he couldn't hide his shock at that, because that meant she was the first one that even admitted to having seen Matt, which didn't mean he hadn't been there, it was just part of this place's....Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe. "Right a lawyer, we're partners. Were, I...retired for a bit, but...you've really seen him?" That was the best thing he had heard in a long, long time, and it only steeled Darcy in his need to keep this search going, person or body, he was gonna find his friend. "...oh." Hmm, yeah that bit wasn't so good, but also half expected.
But he was determined now, leaning in as he tapped his finger on the table, looking Lissi in the eyes to prove that he was no monster, just a man looking for answers. "No...no...no, well...might photocopy my injured ass so he remembers the real victim here but nothing vicious, just...cheeky college pranks, I'm no criminal, not on purpose. I'm only doing this because lives are on the line, I think." Or rather part of him knew, but he needed to make sure that was wrong, it had to right? God he hoped so, he was worried more about those twos' life then his own, but then again...there wasn't much of his left.
"Oh my god. Of course I did...I wouldn't have even bothered if that had been a thing...no she's always been sneaky that way, manipulative. Playing dumb when...well, she could hide in plain sight." Oh he did not like that woman, and he hated to have to find her to find him...
“Awww, it’s not so bad during the day. Once you get used to it…” Lissi shrugged, valiantly coming to the defense of the poor, eerie city. She’d lived there for years so she couldn’t help herself. “...it’s actually pretty neat.” At least she thought so. Then again as a mage who regularly spoke with the dead and lived with a ghost, she had an abnormally calibrated scale of creepiness.
“Yes, I’ve really seen him. I mean, it’s probably been mmm…” She tried to think back to the last time she’d seen him around town, which was hard because it wasn’t like she’d made a point of remembering him. “Three or four months maybe? Probably not great news I know, but you’re on the right track at least.”
Elizabeth took another bite of mangled muffin and sipped at her tea while Darcy locked eyes with her. She didn’t find him intimidating in the slightest, but she could tell that he was serious, and she trusted that he wasn’t looking to go nuclear on the bookstore. It was assurance enough for her in any case.
“Cheeky, literally.” She laughed weakly because, well it would have been funny if it hadn’t been mixed up in a conversation about looking for two missing and possibly dead persons.
“Hey, hey.” She started gently, setting her things down so she could hold her hands up in a demonstration of docility. While not averse to breaking the law, she did intend to avoid the possibility of being thrown in prison whenever possible. “Just had to check. I have no way of knowing how thorough you’ve been in your research.” Though from the way he was talking, Lissi had a feeling his exasperation was more due to Katie than herself. From the sounds of it, she wasn’t a very pleasant woman.
She twisted around in her chair to look out over to the bookshop. “Have you seen them leave yet? They should be closing up shop soon if they haven’t already.” No sooner had the words left her mouth than the bookstore’s lights flicked off. A moment later the storkly proprietor stepped out to lock up. “Heeeey, perfect timing. We should probably give ‘em a couple minutes to be on the safe side, though.” Lissi finished off the muffin, crumpling up the paper and dropping the remaining crumbs into her purse for Riesen to clean up.
She finished drinking her tea a bit too quickly for such a warm beverage. Ouch. She winced, inhaled through her teeth, and sighed. “I don’t remember if they have an alarm system or cameras or anything, they might have some enchantments in place, hmmmmm…” Sending Riesen out to scout sounded like a reasonable option. His kind were common and unlikely to trigger anything worse than a sticky trap.
Darcy wasn't one for hometown pride, but he supposed he could figure why someone might...or could, still, as much as Lissi tried to sell this place he couldn't help but feel off about the whole place. Something just didn't feel right to him. "Yeah I dunno, maybe...but I keep getting an awful funny feeling 'bout this place." And not the funny ha-ha kind of funny neither.
"Well, that's great!" It was better then nothing, it was a touch of hope in a situation that felt devoid of it, so Darcy was more then willing to take it, "I mean, it's better then nuthin', so you know..." He could kick himself for not having come out here sooner, he really could have. But he had been busy, and well...Matt was a grown ass man, then of course there was the fight that had broke out before all of this and that big, stupid quest to find a woman that was nothing but bad news. So he felt like he failed, mostly just because of some vindictive and childish stubbornness because of he was right, and Matt was wrong. Now...because of it, he might have been dead.
He rubbed at his temples, humor was his only way of coping with things, but it came out jilted and strange as he spoke. Probably just creeped Lissi out, and that was fair. It wasn't the healthiest way to deal with serious problems, but it did him. In a pinch. "Yeah." Half-hearted didn't even start to explain the smile he tried to plaster on his face, but this was hard for him, asking for help, and subsequently- talking about his problems at any length, let alone this extensively. "Well, I have...okay? This is...well, you know...important. You focus on something that's important." Or obsess, obsess was fine too, worse if you considered that some nights he swore he passed out over his studies and must have been sleep walking or something. It was bordering on worrisome, but he was still more concerned about what he considered his family then himself.
That could wait couldn't it?
"Well, the strict lookin' fella left early, I'm still waiting for the brute to noodle his way out the door." He gestured at the window, having been keeping a rather steady if not lazy peripheral gaze on the shop. Speaking of..."Nice, nice." Well that was good then, big guy was finally leaving and that left the lot of them having to figure out how to go about this. "...Yeah I bet they got one of those cameras that has a light but doesn't record or nothin. A dummy. Maybe an alarm, but in a small town you think the cops'll get here too fast?" He spoke with...surprising comfort on the whole topic of B&E, at least for the general look of him. "Wait...enchantments? Are you serious with that shit?"
The longer they talked, the more Lissi saw Darcy as a desperate and miserable person. Not that she blamed him of course, his friend was missing and obviously very dear to him. “It’s okay. I understand, you’re worried about your friend. We’ll find him.” She said with conviction. One way or another they’d find the guy, though in all honesty tracking him down would probably be easier if he were dead. Not that she was going to tell Darcy that. Most people weren’t as cavalier about death as she was. The last thing she needed was to give him a anxiety attack right before they broke into the bookshop across the street.
They just had to figure out how they were going to do it first. When he questioned her usage of the term enchantments, Elizabeth’s eyes widened slightly in that, ‘oh God he doesn’t know’ sort of way. “Yes, I am serious with that shit.” She paused, as if trying to decide how much she should elaborate. “God, you’re going to think I’m batshit insane...” Not that it would be a weird conclusion to jump to, given what he knew about the town already.
“But...basically yes, enchantments are a thing. Always check door frames and window frames before you go through them. If you see anything runes or weird writing, let me know. Anything found in a bookshop isn’t likely to be lethal, but there might be something set to silently trip an alarm and lock us in.” The way she spoke made her sound ambiguously experienced with such things. Truth be told, her curiosity had driven her to do some questionable things in her youth. It still drove her to do questionable things, she was just slightly more careful about it now.
Lissi took a brief moment to go over what she imagined might be the worst case scenario. “If there is an alarm, the cops will get here quickly, but so long as we don’t bust any windows or leave the door wide open, they’re not going to waltz in behind us. Worst case the cops will show up, peek in the windows, and give the owners a call. It’ll buy us a few minutes, and that’s all we’ll need. If we do get caught...well, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”
When it seemed like a sufficient amount of time had passed, Elizabeth stood and pushed in her chair. “Shall we?” She asked, gesturing towards the door before grabbing her purse and slinging it over her shoulder. After tossing her trash away she turned to Darcy and regarded him with an inquisitive look.
“Just, uh...how much do you know about magic, exactly?” Might as well cut to the chase, she figured. If he was going to be snooping around Columbiana he was going to run into something inexplicable sooner or later. Best to sort it out now and hope it softened the blow.
Darcy sucked his lips into a thin tense line and nodded, knowing he had said too much and had gotten just a bit too emotional for the business they had to do here, they, as if this weren't his thing. But if Lissi felt she wanted in for the ride and wasn't going to call the cops? Well...who was he to tell her no?
"Eh try me...these last few months have taught me a thing or two about insanity." He waved a hand about dismissively, not really certain what she was going to bring up with that lovely lead in, but any girl who was willing to commit a felony with a complete stranger was bound to have a doozy or two hidden in her back pocket. So you know what? Just fuck him up, he didn't care. "Huh...well alright then, as your new attorney...and yes I'm appointing myself as one...I say we wing it, and if the shit does hit the fan I'm sure I can figure us a way out." From one former juvie to another, he felt that between the two of them, this shit was on lock, and he nodded sagely.
He stood, taking a moment to chug the neglected cup of coffee like he was a frat boy crushing a beer and then dunked it into the trash. "Yeah...yeah, ready as I'll ever be." It was exhilarating in a way, back in the swing of ways he had long since left behind in youth. He always thought there should have been regret for his past, but hell if there was, and now...he here he was practically giddy- which was a nice change of pace between the guilt and fear he had been feeling as of recently...
"Magic?" Darcy's brows bobbed, and he grew quiet and thoughtful for a moment. "Well, blue is for status effects, green is crowd control...uh, red...red was just for um...what quick burning, and uh...black, that was damage over time. White was just goddamn obnoxious..." Oh someone was just having a laugh, talking card games but if magic was real, well...he wasn't exactly a skeptic, the way things had been since his time in the hospital, but magic? Like Hogwarts? That was still a hard pill to swallow.