==== September 23, 2013
==== A'lory, Peaston, Sara, Segam (NPC W'rin-handler]]]
==== An anonymous tip brings the guards knocking at The Handsome Harper.

Who A'lory, Peaston, Sara, Segam (NPC W'rin-handler)
What An anonymous tip brings the guards knocking at The Handsome Harper.
When 1 turn 1 month and 24 days until the 12th pass
Where Igen Weyr


The Handsome Harper
A long window reaches across the front portion of the store, with strong foldable shutters on each side designed to close the view when needed. Instruments of all various sizes and shapes hang from carved hooks. Smaller instruments are laid neatly upon tables that run the length of the window. Dark wooden walls showcase pieces of art, each signed with the name of the artist. In one corner sits a shallow desk with pen and paper neatly piled to one side. A pair of hard chars sit in front of the desk. The farthest most corner holds a table with instruments in various states of disrepair, and small wooden boxes holding the most common fixing materials. No obvious counter exists, and unlike many shops, this one has no exit onto the backside of the bazaar. In the center of the room sits a trio of softer chairs. Music, written and neatly ready to be plucked up and used isin a single shelf right next to the door.

The sunlight is winding down and the bazaar sidestreet has already lost the bright sunlight that makes the instruments on display glow though the shutters on the window remain open to try to lure in at least one last person. It has been some time since the last customer trotted through the doorway, and it is clear the owners do not expect anyone else. Sara has a broom in hand and is cleaning the stone floor at the back of the shop, paying careful attention to the corners where the dust of her work gets stuck. She hums quietly as she works, and older tune from her childhood.

The last few raids on the dingiest of the weyr's bazaar stores have left tales of destruction and one shopkeep being dragged off the lockup. As the guard has been working their way up to the more respected of establishments there has been some attempt at decorum. Though perhaps it will come as some surprise that one more person is lured in. The whacking of a heavy fist against the door frame of the store has an air of growing and arrogant authority as Segam stands just outside, he'll at least pretend that he doesn't have the right to come in.

The loud knocking has Sara physically jumping, bumping backwards against her work desk. "What in…" There is clear confusion in her utterance. A peek through the window shows the guard. Her face turns white. Swiftly she shoves the broom into a corner. "Kira! Go get A'lory." It's a sharp demand to the gold who had been dozing upon the sheet music. The firelizard fluffs herself for just a moment, then lifts ::between:: Striding to the door Sara opens it, placing herself right in the center of the doorway. "Welcome to The Handsome Harper, how can I help the guard tonight?" There is a smile on Sara's face, but the underlying whiteness might just showcase worry.

Peaston is stiffly filing things, moving with jerky movements, making sure everything is in line. When the knock on the door comes, his head jerks up, glancing over to Sara with a… is that a smirk? Whatever it is, it's probably gone too fast to notice. He stands primly by his desk as Sara goes to answer the door, crossing his arms in front of his chest and perhaps seeming a bit too calm and satisfied with the guard's arrival.

La Serenissima
The flaking, honeycombed edges of once monumental limestone rocks have been sent over sideways by the toll of four hundred Turns' ill effects and put to use for writing spaces and seating. Bone white with salty scaling, smaller chips off the old block lie in a carefully scattered arrangement, lining a path along the subtly labyrinthine grooves of the stone floor, guiding one's feet between the minimal, shabby-chic trappings of a man's life tucked into convenient crevices; hidden deep in the smallest end of that dark place is a decadent scarlet and iron staircase twists upward into the inexplicable mountain chill that creeps in from some unknown source to touch the spine with madness. Looming larger still, a monolith of halite and limestone dominates the larger space, worn smooth for a dragon's sleeping space.

A gold firelizard appears above A'lory's head, chattering loudly. She does not settle as she normally would, but flits back and forth in the room, agitated.

A'lory looks up from the stack of missives he's frowning at, wondering at the lizard's agitation. "Kira! Settle, will you?" Eisheth raises his head, eyes whirling as he croons to her encouragingly.

The gold does not settle, but instead of flipping around the head of the rider, she sweeps towards the encouraging large-one. The images she sends are disjointed to say the least, Sara at the door to her shop, people aroud with malevolent intent, and simply a sense of danger. Her eyes whirl a dark yellow as fast as they can.

A'lory is reaching for his jacket as Eisheth rises, his own eyes wheeling with rising anger. Threaten his Harper, will they? They'll just see about that. And A'lory is mounted, having no need of mere straps after so many Turns. They're soon down the tunnel and on their say to the Bazaar in a controlled fury.

"Just come to serve our warrant ma'am." A soft smile plays on the guard captains lips, "There have been some claims of impropriety." The official document is handed over to the female harper, as he takes a step forward, he hasn't forced his way in yet, but his puffing chest shows he will if he has to. To do his job. "If you'll step aside, this will only take a minute. After all the allegations are certainly false." A sneer belies his formal smile. They are always false aren't they. Everyone is innocent. "If you'll see right there it is signed by the weyrwoman. Now…" Another step forward.

Sara hesitates as she takes the warrant, almost ready to resist till she can read the warrant. But this is the guard and without another word she steps backwards, unfolding the warrant as she leaves just enough room in the doorway for the men to enter if they will. Her eyes sweep across the parchment. "This is… impossible. We've only been open a few sevendays!" She turns to Peaston, "Have you heard anything about this?" Her eyes lock with her "partner", almost hoping he shares her concern.

"Claims of impropriety? How absurd," Peaston returns, though his eyes flicker over to Sara. Holding her gaze, he adds with the smallest of smiles, "I would hate to see our poor Journeywoman lose her knot so soon after her hard-fought battle to regain it." He clears his throat as he looks away, making sure the piles of paper on his desk are perfectly lined up. Once satisfied, the Harper steps around to stand next to his 'partner'. "Nonetheless, I am glad for your protection, gentlemen. Surely you are acting in the best interest of the Weyr."

"Not impossible ma'am. Some people settle here, because they think we'll let them get away with murder." Which given Igen's history, probably isn't too far from the truth, but here is the guard captain anyway, pressing on into the shop. "Like I said, if nothing is amiss surely this will only take a minute." Only a pair of guards follow him in today. Segan waves at them, and then to some places to start looking. Clearly he only means to manage the situation. As the two other men start their search, a rough, but certainly not bent on destruction stroll through the some of the drawers at the back of the store, the capatins eyes settle on the male journeyman. "Yes. Well. The person who put in complain really ought to hope we find something. No one looks kindly on those who waste the guards time." A brow cocks at the man.

Sara casts a suspicious glance at Peaston for his sudden… empathy or at least lip service to her remaining in the craft. But she shifts back to the guard captian soon enough. The thought that Sara would be involved in anything even close to murder has Sara's mouth taking a hard line. "I assure you, the Hall fully supports this shop and would care for any impropriety with the utmost harshness. It would mean most… please becareful!" Her attention is diverted as one of the guards begins to go through her drawers, "many of those papers are completly irreplacable they…" she shuts her mouth, her eyes darting to Peaston. Finally, "they simply cannot be remade."

A'lory is a sudden presence, somehow much larger and distinctly less scruffy than usual as he enters the shop, finding just the thing he would rather not: men searching the place as though there were good reason. "Is there a reason for this, Captain?" His tone is quite calm, almost… friendly. But the gleam in his eye is quite the opposite: frozen rage, and a chilly certainty that somehow a certain Journeyman is at the root of it all.

Peaston stands up a bit straighter, drawing up to the whole of his gangly height. He returns the eyebrow quirk at the guard impassively, "Ruling out potential wrong-doing certainly helps in the long run, though, does it not? Especially with the pass coming on so fast, we can't afford to sit idly by." His ears perk up in that wonderful metaphorical sense when Sara starts becoming distressed, and a smug, self-satisfied look isn't heavily disguised. "I'm sure the men know they're doing, girl," he says under the not-very-good-guise of a calming statement. The same calm look afforded to the guard is dispersed to A'lory when the rider enters, but he gives him a proper nod of greeting, "Weyrsecond."

The two men stop, eye Sara, and then continue on as they were. Segam seems non-too-impressed with the male half of this store, sizing the man up the side of his lip raises in a full sneer, he doesn't bother to continue talking to that harper. "Ma'am." A slight nod of his head, "Boys, take it easy." The grunts, do in deed, grunt at the orders but obey. A more careful examination of the contents of where the look. "Weyrsecond." He waves to at the paper he handed to the female. "You'll find it all in order. Can I enquire as to your particular interest in this store." It is after all the first one they've actually had a legitimate, in theory, reason to be in. "The weyrwoman signed the warrant. Shall I be telling her the weyrleader is checking up on her? I'm sure she'd be glad to know."

Sara almost melts with relief as A'lory steps through the doorway. We're clean. She is instant on this, and strides towards A'lory, holding out the warrant. There has been an anonymous tip saying that the 'Harper is involved in illicit activities, which is utter nonsense. Segam, gets a tight smile from the female half of the shop as she stops very close to A'lory. Thank you sir. Peaston? He gets ignored completely.

Sara almost melts with relief as A'lory steps through the doorway. "We're clean." She is instant on this, and strides towards A'lory, holding out the warrant. "There has been an anonymous tip saying that the 'Harper is involved in illicit activities, which is utter nonsense." Segam, gets a tight smile from the female half of the shop as she stops very close to A'lory. "Thank you sir." Peaston? He gets ignored completely.

A'lory's gaze settles on Peaston like a weighted sack of firestone. "I don't believe I heard you correctly. I see no children here." And he moves closer to the much-disliked Peaston, swinging a jaundiced eye over the guard. He is not so sanguine as to their competence. "My concern is purely personal, Captain." He has little interest in the weyrwoman's approval — after all, her very presence in the world is of little concern to him. As the warrant is oriented, he scans it briefly, then scoffs. "Of all the harebrained… " But he knows — it will have to be allowed. "Let the…. " Right. He has to be polite. "… gentlemen finish, Sara. I am sure the 'informant' is mistaken." And likely to meet with an unfortunate inquiry sooner or later. "Likely just some jealous twit trying out a little revenge."

Some of Peaston's confidence fades as A'lory steps toward him, and he tightly responds, "My apologies, sir. My mistake… I am not used to having equals in my craft," that are female'

Some of Peaston's confidence fades as A'lory steps toward him, and he tightly responds, "My apologies, sir. My mistake… I am not used to having equals in my craft." 'That are female' is wisely left off. He crosses his arms and adjusts his shoulders uncomfortably, turning his eyes over to the guards and their quarry, remaining uncharacteristically silent.

"Of course it is." Segam's tone is carefully professional as he responds to A'lory. The boys under his control are rather inept at doing anything besides tossing things around, it seems. And since they aren't currently allowed to do that boredom makes them move on rather quickly. "Finished, sir." The first says as he steps forward and towards the door of the shop. The second, a rotund and lazy one, looks after the first, reluctant to move so quickly, or at all, and he pulls open a cabinet the first seemed uninterested in. "Wha's this?" It is not small feat that lowers the man toward the floor cupboard, and he returns with a ledger. One that was not with the offical at the counter. It is suppressed surprise, a the pleased look of a man who wasn't expecting to succeed that plants itself on the guards face. Undeserved pride as he opens the book and scans, clucking softly as his finger runs down the page. "And did you see these things accounted for in your search?" He's positively coo-ing over the grease ball of a recruit that found the evidence.
The first guard's admission of being done has Sara relaxing, just a touch. She moves just a touch closer to A'lory, taking comfort in his presence. Her gaze follows the second guard and her eyes narrow at the sight of the book. "Peaston." Her voice is level, "what is that?"

Peaston has the decency (HAH!) to look surprised, both at the ledger and the accusation. "I don't know, Journeyman Sara. What is it?" he asks, turning his head narrowing his beady little bastard eyes at her.

A'lory is staring hard at Peaston, quite sure the man is lying. The ledger is just too conveniently placed for mere coincidence. "Really." His gaze is narrow az he stares at the man.

Segam has no time for the petty staring and finger pointing going on in front of him. "It appears that it is a ledger of The Handsome Harper's REAL business." The man clears his throat. Vindicated in his warrant he closes the book and tucks it under his arm. "It seems you were not so straight with me." His eyes flicker back and forth between the two harpers. They're in trouble now. The tub-o'-lard guard, and the tall skinny one pull up next to the captain's side.

"That is nonsense." Sara says this with sharply intaken breath. A few steps across has her pulling out the offical ledger of the Harper. The book isn't large, but it feels like a rock in Sara's hand. "These are the only sales we have made recently." She turns to offer the book to the guard. Her face is ashen though, and the look she casts at A'lory is more than a little paniced.

There is something distinctly odd about this mysterious 'evidence' that has suddenly cropped up. A'lory is still, very still — what the hell has been going on. He would protest — and yet how, with evidence, as false as it is, before them. He stares back at Sara, as worried as she is.

Peaston, enacting his authority as a SENIOR Journeyman, steps over to intercept the book, taking in from Sara's hands and flipping it open, scanning it. Or rather, flipping it open to a page with both his and Sara's handwriting on it. He creases his brow, glancing over to the 'secret ledger'. And if someone was to look, when comparing the secret ledger to the official one, you can very clearly see WHOSE handwriting is whose… and that the secret ledger only has one kind of handwriting inside.

The Captain of the Guard's nostrils flair slightly as he glances from legitimate shop books to the one that is clearly for the evil and malicious dealings this one reputable store was known (briefly) for. A shame really, a disappointed glance at Sara as it is her writing in the book. Perhaps he really wanted to bag the jackass of a male harper, the one known for fighting in the bazaar. But to do there is not to be done. "Harperwoman Sara, there will be a hefty fine levied in the name of the store. And The Handsome Harper is currently closed for business." By either one of them, his eyes flicker to the male harper. It is after all the store in which these illicit transactions were completed. If Peaston was looking forward to having the store to himself, the rug is quickly yanked out from under him. "You'll also be questioned as to your business partners. And you." Surprise of surprises, surely incompetence is rearing it's ugly head, or perhaps he's just abusing his power to take in someone he dislikes. "You are to come with us as well. A lack of handwriting doesn't clear you of wrong doing. It could simply be that you are too stupid to count so you had her keep the books. We can go willingly…" Or otherwise.

Sara's forces herself to step forward her eyes flicking from the real to secret ledger. She bites her lip and the white in her face becomes more pronounced. Her eyes rise to A'lory's, begging him to please belive this isn't possible. She isn't sure if he will believe her though. "Of course," she says faintly.

A'lory rubs a hand over his face, silent and angry. And then he meets Sara's eyes for a moment before they rake the books over a final time. There's something wrong in this scenario — one he cannot find easily. What can be said at this moment?

The male Harper gapes at Segam and the blatant disregard of how squeaky clean Peaston's slate is. SQUEAKY, I TELL YOU. He sputters, looking from Sara to the lackeys and even to A'lory. Great character witnesses he has on scene, right? He purses his lips, making a quite unpleasant facial expression to go with it. In a strained tone, he finally acquiesces, "Very well. I'm sure time will tell my innocence."

Segam doesn't care particularly about the longing and worried glances between lovers, or the protests of slippery male harpers. What he does care about is getting these two back to the guard house, and interrogated before lunch time. Because he has a card game to attend. And so with his 'evidence' tucked beneath his arm and the two pushed out gently in front of him. He parades them down the street and through the bazaar.

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