xp_topaz: (Unsure approach)
[personal profile] xp_topaz posting in [community profile] xp_logs
Amanda and Topaz head into town to try and find the shop where the kids got the game. And find precisely nothing.

Topaz looked up and down the street, making a face. "Maybe the kids got the street wrong," she said as she stepped back off the sidewalk to get a better look at the shops. Clea and Stephen hadn't been able to remember exactly what the shop was called, and "game shops in Salem Center" hadn't turned up any useful Google results. But they'd been mostly certain about its location. There were no game shops on this street, though, and the store they had directed them to was clearly empty.

"Maybe," but Amanda didn't sound convinced. A certain nasty feeling was gnawing at her gut. "Let's ask around, see if any of the locals can help out. Town the size of this, everyone knows everyone."

"Sounds good." Topaz stepped back onto the sidewalk, looking to the left. "I'll go left, you go right?"

Amanda nodded. "Meet you back here in half an hour. Let's hope someone knows something."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"Hope you had better luck than me," Topaz said as she approached Amanda back at their meeting place, half an hour later. "I got a whole lot of 'well are you sure the store you're looking for was around here?'"

"Same here," Amanda said gloomily, blowing smoke through her nose from the cigarette she'd lit while waiting. "Plus some smart arses suggesting I check out this crazy new thing called a google search. I think we're looking at a magical bait and switch. Set up something only the kids will notice, and get rid of it once the deed's done."

"How cliche." Topaz looked back at the empty shop they had started in front of, frowning. "You don't think it has anything to do with those Way people, do you?"

"Oh, I think it has everything to do with them. Someone's fucking idea of a test. Not sure which side - it could be either, really, trying to feel the kids out, what their strengths are." Amanda's tone did not bode well for the culprits if they ever caught up with them. "This is exactly why I didn't want this shite going on. Tests and offers and the whole kit and kaboodle." She finished her cigarette and ground the butt viciously under her boot heel.

"Yeah, well..." Topaz recognized that tone in Amanda's voice. She looked back, hands in her pockets. "Can't protect them from everything." The words weren't vicious; if anything, they were just tired, and coming from someone who had learned the hard way that Amanda could not, in fact, fix everything. "Does this mean we have to start monitoring everything that comes through the doors, though? The cards didn't ping anything until the magic actually activated."

"It'll be a nightmare, but yeah, I think we're going to have to." Amanda sighed. "But like you said, unless the magic's active, there's not a lot we can do. Maybe tell the kids to be a bit more careful about where they go and what they do. Which I don't like doing - they're not prisoners and they'll learn bugger all about the world if we shut them up entirely."

"Might be a good time for a lesson in trust your instincts," Topaz said thoughtfully, casting one last look at the store, like she thought it might suddenly morph into the game store the kids had found. "Stephen did say the bloke who was running it seemed creepy. It's not paranoia if they're actually out to get you, right?"

"Yeah, I think you're onto something there. As long as they keep us updated too - Clea did well to call us in when she did." Amanda shoved her hands in her jeans pockets. "Looks like we've done all we can here - there's not even an energy signature left to follow. I suppose we can try and get the best description we can out of the kids and put it out on the network. Tho' with this whole Way thing, I don't know how much I can trust my sources these days."

"Can't hurt, right? The most that happens is you get fed a bunch of different stories about who the person is and don't actually get anywhere." Topaz paused. "Or you get lured into some kind of trap like a normal Tuesday."

Amanda snorted at that. "Don't tempt Murphy - he loves us magic types," she warned, jokingly. "C'mon, I'll spot you dinner on the way back."
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