RP:Planning a Heist

From HollowWiki

Part of the Tales from the Row Arc

Synopsis:Finn and members of his crew formulate a strategy for retrieving the Forsaken-Book of the Dead from High Elf custody in fulfillment of the commission of a job.


Location: Rynvale; smuggler's Keep

A long winding staircase takes you down into the cellar of the store, which seems to be much further underground than it should otherwise be. In a world of shadows, lit only by the flickering flames of gas lanterns, the underbelly of the runner’s shady operation is revealed. Unopened crates and barrels line the damp earthen walls, and in various corners of the room rough hewn tables are set up, contraband in transit strewn across their surfaces. Some are destined for display and sale above stairs, others for re packaging and relocation to alternate destinations, be they private clients of the smuggler inland or the wider market offered by buyers in mainland Hollow. One might wonder how such large shipments are transported to and fro without alerting the authorities, but the presence of the opening to a rough hewn tunnel in the western wall of the room provides an answer. Should one care to traverse its depths, it would lead to the discovery that the tunnel spills out onto the Rolling Dunes of the island’s southern shore. There, on the darkest of nights might the runner’s ship Starchaser be discovered unloading her illegal load.

Finn: The steady flicker of the flame in the gas lantern sputtered for a moment as it gutted on its wick in a sudden stirring of the breeze from the entranceway of the tunnel that opened up into the basement keep of the smuggler’s shop. The sound of quiet murmurs and the scuff of boots on earth and sand could be heard on approach just before the runner emerged from the darkness of its depths. The male was a figure of shadows, black on black down to the bandana that was loosely fastened around the bridge of his nose, though strong fingers reached up to drag the makeshift mask down to rest at his throat the moment he stepped into the warmth and cover of the room. “ Set the crates down against the east wall..we’ll go through em later..” came the husky drawl. “Reckon I’ll be down here a while..need to go over some intel Ace dug up.” Gloves were stripped off tanned hands as the runner’s stride took him across the room to a far corner where a table that seemed capable of serving multiple duties sat, surrounded by a litter of chairs. It seemed this surface was at times for sorting, and at others for meeting. Currently, it seemed intended to serve as temporary home for the large map of the layout of an impressive building, even as a pensive brow furrowed the smuggler’s features. The men who entered behind him did as directed, before making to depart with a nod. All save one. Finn’s lips twitched. “Out with it then Dealer..” he drawled without looking up from his place.

Hanan had lingered outside the shop, leaning against the exterior wall with a cigarette and a shady look, waiting for the runner to arrive. He wasn't in the Barrel, he wasn't in the gambling parlor, and hadn't seemed to be in his shop... that is, until ears unnaturally attuned heard the increased noises of the runner's crew moving within the building. Fine, he must have been out on a job. Briefly, merely briefly, she suggested leaving her inquiry for the morning. But curiosity had always sustained the hellcat. After snubbing her tobacco on the street with a bootheel, she waited for most of the dark-clad men to pass, slipped in the door, located the source of noise--was that Red's voice in the basement down the staircase?--crept downward, and gave a polite, if abrupt, knock. Best not to repeat her hastiness on that dune.

Sulos snorted, letting the other men pass with a quick, icy glare. "I've paid my debt by now Runner, I'm done with these dog games." The assassin slung his own blades off his hip, across the floor to let it crash against the bare wall with a clatter. The male threw himself in a seat directly across his employer, locking his gaze in the short bout of power that would pass between them, Su didn't want to be digging around in the sandbox any more and Red knew it. The blonde's ears practically twitched at the soft sound of the knock but left it ignored until he was presented with a response, and a worthwhile response at that. "Eh've been bustin' my back and playin' clean up crew for months now!" Uneasy, he rose again to pace the room, all the while looking back at the door, expectantly. "You know I'm better then that." His determined gaze held.

Terra stayed upstairs during the latest business run, coming down only when she thought she heard someone enter through the front door. She had been just in time to watch as Hanan's form faded down the staircase and simply trailed after, paused at the bottom step to blink a few times at the knock. She simply reached around the Captain and nudged the door open, evidently making the decision that she could enter without any sort of confirmation from the inside. It was likely Hanan knew more about what was happening down here than she did, so what could another glimpse do? "You missed us, huh?" Asked of the pirate as they stepped into the room, the vampire sneaking a peek at one of the crates against the wall while Sulos started his negotiations.

Kirikae 's loathed, shabby excuse for a coat remained the only thing between him and the slight chill that nipped at his boot heels as he stalked the streets of Rynvale. Following in the crowd of men that made their way to the cellar, the Halfling had only barely begun to situate himself before the lad's outburst. "Oi. Guttersnipe." The words came in more a grunt as bandanna clad skull dipped in Su's direction. A calloused finger drifted to dig into one tapered ear, the captain's lips thinning before he spoke again. "Tha' lady's squealin' ye got goin' over there is a bit 'igh fer some of our ears, aye? " Removing his finger from his earhole, Kae dropped his hands back into their proper place in his coat pockets. "Ye'd think som' 'arlot's been cheated aou'uv 'er night's pay." He had not taken a chair yet, simply found a place against the wall, one boot cocked behind the other. Sulos was spared no further glances, save for perhaps a bored look should he come up with a retort. Terra and Hanan would at least receive a more assessing glance over once noticed.

Finn’s brow arced slightly as the clatter of blades against the near wall forced his attention from the fine sketch laid out on the table before him. Leaning back into his chair, arms came to settle across his chest just as Kirikae and the women made respective entrances from different areas of the room. One hand moved idly to bid a moment of Terra and Hanan, while his whisky gaze slid over Su’s shoulder for a moment to meet the gaze of the Halfling captain, auburn head canting in unspoken curiosity about what may have actually driven the captain to set foot on land, his end of the run having been accomplished there on the shore line. His first spoken comment, oddly, would be to that captain, leaving the assassin to simmer in his frustrations a few more moments. “The hell has finally lured you off that collection of planks mate?..” he drawled idly, before gaze shifted to Sulos in front of him. He held the man’s stare a beat, before cool observation was made. “Reckon you’ve spent enough time takin’ orders to know how to follow em now? Next job a man’s life might depend on it..” There was ice in his tone. A turn of his head would bring his attention to the women, the frigidity in his stare warming as he offered greeting. “ Cat..Sparrow..” A grin surfaced. “Welcome to my lair ladies..”

Hanan flicked her gaze Terra's way, as the other woman merely waltzed in. Well, it must be nice being the runner's girl. "Damn right I missed you. I had to buy my own drinks up at the Barrel." Taking her lead, the sailor strode in on her heels, giving a quick nod to the boy named Su, an echo of his own appraising look to Kirikae, who she had not met yet, and finally a subtle smirk to Red. She'd never heard the sentence "Welcome to my lair ladies" proceeding anything enjoyable, but she'd come to trust the fellow. Somewhat. "Lair, eh? Is that why you don't keep it swept down here?" She found a casual seat on one of the collected boxes. "I was just wondering if you've heard from either crazy knife-seeker. I'm interested in actually using my ship at some point."

Sulos scuffed again, dismissing Kae as quickly as he spoke. Licking the inside of his cheek, he could remember the blow the dear captain left during their last encounter. A wound still smarting as it were. The women were acknowledge by look alone, his eyes neither softening or providing any other greeting in his ill mood. The youth in him still burning too brightly to ebb to control or orders. Much as he tried to deny it, he really had the need to be less energetic and more focused, nothing he'd admit to the Runner or Kae under any circumstances. "Reckon' so," He finally called off to Finn who'd left that end of the conversation completely. Instead of diving into his normal mood of carefree trouble making, the assassin had resigned to sulk for a bit, as was his newfound coat under the Runner for now. Til he proved himself right at least.

Terra glanced only briefly towards the stranger gathered and chose to ignore whatever it was that he had said, hoping that none of it had been directed her way. Despite the chairs that were around the map-covered table, she chose the route of everyone else and settled on the edge of a crate with the assumption that nothing within was fragile. Since the topic of evening was business she would simply wave towards the runner and then turned back towards Hanan, giving a slight nudge to the pirate's arm. "I take it you got it repaired from last time...?" She's careful not to provide too many details and a look towards the other captain present would provide reason why. In the end she settled on giving a salute towards Sulos to acknowledge him since he seemed on the outside, like her, though for entirely different reasons.

Kirikae slid his gaze toward Finn, a crooked smile pulling the corner of his lips taut. "Were a woman," he offered. Rolling his broad shoulders in a shrug, his hands resurfaced to shape hourglass curves in the air. "Whut with thur mos' finely disproportionate assets yer ever did lay eyes on." Humor trickled almost imperceptibly in his gruff tones, and it was not long before hands dropped again. "Je's got bored." Further action on Kae's part would be idly settling in and listening to the others. Kae's player has people who think his room is a commons area.

Lita had known she'd be coming back to the runner's shop to find differences, but what she'd found had been... interesting, even to her. All the same, it was nice to be finding a few days off down time to herself. A smirk lingered on her lips as she made her way barefoot into the cellar. A quick glance was cast about the little group assembled, names she more than likely knew, where as the faces tended to blend together before she met them for herself. Either way, she kept silent, remaining on the last step, shoulder leaned against the cold wall. She was wearing her cloak to ward off the colder weather these days, and she pulled down the hood, raven curls falling against her cheeks and shoulders. Seemed like a sorry lot, if she'd have care enough to think about the persons gathered. Not quite a group and yet still a part of something whole. It was something mutual that kept them all here. There was always something to want, always something to gain. The only problem laid in sorting the truth from all the lies. Another smirk pulled at the corner of her lip and she bit her lower lip to keep the snicker in her throat from bubbling to the surface. In half-truth, she had decided to be neutral in most areas that did not involve her work.

Finn snorted lightly Kirikae’s direction. “Shoulda known..” he drawled. “ That’d be about the only thing that could get you off the water.” Gaze flickered to Hanan. “Mums the word cat. Reckon we may have lost the bite,” he said huskily. Eyes turned thoughtful though, in resting on the female. “Don’t figure I’ll have need of the ship..Kae here can cover what else I’ve got needin’ doin’ while he’s in port..and you’ve got your.. sail problem. But I might have somethin’ goin’ that’ll pay just as well, if you’re interested.” As if on cue, the ebon and ivory shadow that was the Ace of spades flickered at he base of the stairs, drawing the attention of the runner her way. “And if it isn’t just the lass who’s gonna give me what I need to make it happen.” Auburn head dipped her way. “ Ace..” drawled softly in greeting. Eyes flickered around the room. “In fact..if we play our cards right, I’m figurin’ all of you might be able to turn a profit. Interested?” Eyes travelled from the halfing captain, through Hanan, Sulos, and finally came to rest on the slender form of the blonde vampire. “Even you sparrow..” there was the suggestion of a tease in his voice. He knew the female sometimes felt out of place in his world.

Hanan rolled her eyes. "Red, it's -only- a sail problem. The whole ship's sound and my watch should--" But she'd been talking over him, then. At the mention of the deal possibly off and not needing her ship besides, her expression went sour, the good captain's normal smirk dissipating rather immediately. "You're tellin' me I've been sitting on my ass and recruiting people for nothing?" A subtle flare of her nostrils as her eyes turned the newcomer's way. For this she'd have to tell Fennec and Yasmine the job she'd promised them was off... especially Yasmine. She didn't want to look a fool. Whatever Ace was planning had better be good. Settling back onto the box, she cast Terra a sidelong look, then lowered her voice. "Yeah, it's fixed alright. Just more canvas... I'm pretty much in line with the standard size. How's the store, shopgirl?"

Sulos found his place against the wall, heel of his boot pressing firmly against the wall to balance him while he watched the on-goings. Nimble fingers twitched in his pocket as the familiar woman saluted him, itching to return the acknowledgement without seeming hasty. His cool eyes watched her converse before remembering Finn's remark and turning to address the situation as it boiled over to the crowd surrounding. Blasted time there was another worthwhile job, the assassin thought, keen to hear more.

Terra watched the brief interaction between Finn and who she now knew as Kae, merely taking in all the information as it came. Lita's arrival had been heard and she hadn't bothered to glance in the direction and didn't seem inclined to do so now, instead placing both hands behind her on the crate to situate herself better. She just smirked towards Sulos since he hadn't bothered to return the greeting, but she's pretty good natured about it especially since it seemed like she would be here for the duration of the evening now that Finn has more or less bought their attention with talk of profit. "Let's hear it." She figured others would be voicing their own opinons on the matter so she took that moment to reply to Hanan, a shoulder rising in a slight shrug. "Good, when are you going to come by and let me sell you something?" She's trying to gain another smile from Hanan after having watched her expression change.

Finn tossed the disgruntled captain a quick glance. “ Hold onto your britches cat- didn’t say the deal was dead. Reckon the crazies might still surface, an’ I suppose a man can never have too much help on the water. We’ll give it a few more days. In the meantime..” eyes flickered Ace’s way in anticipation of her announced arrival.

Lita lofted a brow in the direction of the runner, a slight nod offered as a means of greeting. "Always willing to lend a hand." she managed with a smile. She'd never admit she was interested in whatever new plot the runner would have tucked up his sleeve. Her eyes flickered for a moment, distracted by a mockingbird at the use of the term 'shopgirl', another smile pulling at her lips. Everything was humorous to her tonight. She must be in good spirits. She refocused her attentions to the runner, a brow raised slightly in both question and curiosity. She had no intention of making a big fuss over her own arrival, seeing as she didn't yet have anything to gain for herself from this little encounter- and on her time off, at that.

Alaine tromped down the stairwell, slender legs drawn out in their steps. Upon reaching the meeting, silver eyes popped slightly, humming before following some persons' example and making foot toward the wall. She wasn't one normally to shy from a crowd, but they looked busy, all eyes seeming to focus on The Runner. Keen ears stayed intentive as she scuffled her way over to a fairly-familiar, but certainly-revered face. Leather duster rustled as Fox came to rest beside Ace, playfully bumping the ebon-haired woman's hip, though sadly not with her own; hips were not level, so the poor elf had to put a little skip into the bump, allowing form to rise a few inches, though still only catching the seductress' curve with her belt-line. Choppy ebon locks settled, offering the woman a warm smile and still paying close attention to the group, keeping up without much challenge.

Lita turned her head 'round at the sound of footsteps, a smile licking flame 'cross her lips at sight of the cunning little fox she'd come to know. She dipped her left side slightly, a small attempt to meet the smaller woman's hip, but the angle was off, seeing as the fox was aiming upwards herself. The result was an awkward little gesture, but well intentioned, and she did laugh lightly under breath, leaning against the woman's shoulder for a moment of commraderie.

Hanan gave Red a short look in reply, a "I'll take your word for it," which didn't sound too convinced. Maybe it wasn't entirely his fault. She was still pissed as hell over it. Terra, however, got a small quirk of a smirk for her inquiry. "When you start sellin' something interesting, maybe. I walked in there once, you must've been off duty. I saw flowers, some dresses and a rusty bucket." A quick appraising look was given Ace--what the hell was she so smiley over--before the Fox's tromping also drew her eye. Damn. Much of the gambling crew was down here. Didn't say much for the odds in general. Lita whispered something to Alaine.

Terra furrowed a brow in thought, trying to place Alaine and once she had she'd wiggle a few fingers in a greeting - maybe this one would be returned. Did she shoot Sulos a look then? Maybe... Still, there's something that had her leaning in towards Hanan to whisper something before she looked back to Finn.

Terra whispered something to Hanan.

Hanan lifted a single brow at Terra's whisper... now, that was interesting. Covering her mouth with the back of one hand--that wasn't the most stealthy way to whisper, but it did the job--she inquired further. Hanan whispered something to Terra.

Finn chuckled softly then, his gaze finding Lita where she lurked. “You already have darlin’..” he said dryly. Lent a helping hand, that was. “Unless you’re goin’ to tell me it wasn’t your runner that delivered these to me?” A pair of fingers tapped the sprawling expanse of blue print. “I’m talkin’ about gettin’ the Book..” The very book that she had just spent weeks undercover to discover its location and level of protection. Finn’s gold flecked gaze swept the gathering again, nodding a greeting to the newly arrived Fox.. “Ace here, has found me somethin’..somethin’ somebody will pay a helluva lot of coin to get a hold of. But the dammed thing is buried, locked right and tight in the Red Elf’s stronghold.” The thought of contesting wit and skill with Arien did not appear to daunt the male, if anything a hungry gleam lurked in his gaze. “I’m goin’ to get it out..” It was a statement of fact, resolution concrete. “An’ I figure you lot are gonna help me...” He leaned back again, arms crossing over his chest. “ If you’re game of course..” he drawled softly. There lurked in that last that which hinted that their lack of interest in the gig might somehow eqate to their lack of cahones to pull it off. “It’ll need a full crew..a ready plan and a steady hand..but it can be done.” A finger tapped his temple briefly. “Got it all up here already.”

Alaine took note of the still-unnamed blonde woman from a few weeks prior, smiling to the oddly-familiar stranger before offering her a two-fingered salute paired with a wink; despite lack of title, the woman did hold intrigue and character. Hell, if she was enough to tame Red, that spoke enough in itself. Sterling gaze held a fleeting glance of blonde curls before returning to the stunning visage aside her own, shrugging heavy duster in response before grinning and leaning on companion's shoulder in order to whisper, though movements still acting as a sign of friendly-affection.

Alaine whispered something to Lita. Terra whispered something to Hanan.

Hanan tilted her head somewhat to the side. "Which part of her's red? I forget." Her old lopsided smirk had returned, though it was Terra who'd bestowed it upon her, not the runner... still. "The book deal finally came through, then?" She rolled her shoulders, looking Red straight in the eye; she caught the challenge there. She'd meet it. "I'm game for it. Better be, or hangin' around your Barrel will of done nothing for me. One question, though. Who's the client? Who wants this so badly? What the hell's in the book?"

Sulos watched the new arrival breeze in, almost amused out of his sollen state by her mimicking actions and aloft attitude, not lost in the lack of words between them. To Terra he finally managed to return a small, somewhat poor excuse for a salute, accompanied by an apologetic shrug. The whispering that pasted between both of the original women drew his attention away from Ace for the time being, Curiosity always being his downfall. The Runner admittedly knew how to draw the pup from his curiosity, and the male had his full attention again. A plan? Figures, the tossled blonde smirked, wasn't that just like him?

Terra had not made a mistake when it came to that whispered conversation with Hanan, no matter the words that followed after. In fact, they would summon a grin that was all too bright and it took a few attempts to stifle snickers with a hand covering her mouth. She was about as graceful in that respect as she was in the art of subtle, quiet conversation with the captain at her side. She hadn't missed Alaine's acknowledgement and was all too happy to provide a smile for the Fox, letting her own gaze trail away as quickly as it had came upon her. When Su, at long last, felt it was the right time to greet her she'd catch it and that smirk she provided was similiar to his own. This felt like a small victory. Running on the high from having earned a greeting - evidently it was a private battle for her - she'd turn that smile towards Finn, echoed the words that Hanan had offered. "I'm game." And just when it looked like she was paying attention she leaned back towards the Lady with a quick reply. Then she was all ears, honest.

Lita caught Hanan's look and she offered a sultry little smile in return, tucking rebel curls behind her right ear with slender fingers. She did bite her lower lip though, taming, at least for the moment, that renegade smile. Perhaps she needed a new game face. Perhaps not. It was all a game to be played, after all. And everything- every little detail- was a pawn to be played. Her gaze flickered over the whispering pair that was Terra and Hanan before falling over to Sulos and Kae, all quiet this evening, it would seem. Her attentions were soon drawn back to the runner, the blueprints noted. So they had been delivered safely in her absence. Nice to know she still had friends who could get things done right and on time. "You know I won't divulge sources, runner. But they're legit, if that's what you're askin' after. As for bein' willin' to go after the book at all, I reckon the last few weeks would've been a right waste otherwise, eh?" She leaned slightly again to catch the fox's words and smiled, nodding as she'd turn her head with a whispered reply. In the end though, she would feign all interest to be on the runner's prose.

Alaine turned attention to Red just as lips stilled beside her neighbor's ear, offering him a returning nod before eyes took on a new shade, narrowing slightly and showing surprising concentration, considering the elf's normal demeanor; business was business, and she wanted to catch all the facts The Runner was willing to offer. When he had finished with the brief explanation, Fox nodded again, methodical psyche already working around a few catching words uttered by The Runner -- 'locked right and tight'. Locks? This intrigued the artificer a great deal, mind already racing through the various mechanics and knowledge attained concerning the subject, one studied quite a bit and researched even further. Even at this moment, several gadgets lay about the elf's foundry, all prototypes currently being tested in order to supply The Runner with what he needed, previously assuming they would run across a lock from time-to-time. Completing disregarding the various calls of agreed-participation from the surrounding crowd, Alaine looked to Red, right in gold-flecked gaze, and smiled. Did the artificer really need to verbalize her involvement in the plan?

Finn glanced Hanan’s way. “Hell if I know what’s in it. Fellow seemed to be a mage sort. Not one you’d want to mess with. One of the Forsaken. Said the elf’s people had stolen it and he wanted it back.” A grin surfaced in his dusky features again. “Reckon I don’t care why he wants it..or what’s in it, so long as I get paid for it aye?” nods of satisfaction were offered as he ganrnered what seemed to be a collective affirmation from those present, and the male leaned forward to position himself over the map again, a reply tossed the wildflower’s way. “That’s all I needed to know..” The scroll had not borne the seal of his signet ring, and while it seemed unlikely that any other would be aware of his interest in locating the rarity..one could never be too sure, or too leery of traps. “If the maps are right, The Elves have it locked up beneath the Royal Townhouse. The king and queen are livin’ there..and the Governor, most days works in offices on the upper floors. It’ll be under heavy guard..even at surface level.” The challenge caused whisky gaze to glow golden with grim anticipatipon. “Reckon we’ll need multiple layers of distraction just to make the breech, before we even talk about what it’ll take to get down to the lower levels. The plan says there’s a secret tunnel..opens up somewhere in the parlor, but doesn’t show where. It’ll take time..time we don’t have to find it cold. We need somebody on the inside..and for long enough to find out where it is. And that doesn’t even account for what we find when we get down there..” Eyes lifted from the maps to flicker about the group. “Any suggestions?”

Hanan simply smirked in Ace's direction. Huh. Maybe she was trouble. "Forsaken, hmm?" She wondered what kind of people would take pride in calling themselves forsaken--yeah, she knew the history, but taking on that title still made the whole lot look shady to her. "Multiple distractions..." Her brown eyes flicked sideways to Terra, the gears in her brain clicking fast enough that perhaps the Fox could hear them. "Terra. She can be a distraction." She raised her arms, crossing them snuggly over her chest. "Terra. She's probably the cleanest one here, right? Terra--if you can move about on the inside... or raise enough hell outside, you could distract the guards without arousing much suspicion. You're good at looking harmless." A beat. "That's a compliment, by the way." Afterward she'd lean in, her look sly indeed--eyes flicking Lita's way once more as she spoke before she thought better of it.

Terra remained focused throughout the job proposal and was more than happy to merely sit there and listen to offers, pitch in her own when suddenly Hanan is volunteering her and earning a quick look from the empath, one that registered surprised. This, she had not expected. "Yeah," she spoke after a brief pause, eyes rolling upwards at what had been considered a compliment provided by the lady. "I can do that. And Lady here could talk to her ...friend," had she hesistated at that word? "About getting some of those potions or what have you. Let's not kill anyone." Splayed hands are held upwards in a gesture of surrender that wasn't all that surprising when it came from her. "Just a temporary creation to render anyone you guys come across unconcious and give enough time to allow for an escape with the.. the book." That was her suggestion, nominating the one who had thrown her out there, though Hanan had earned quite the grin at the whispered words that followed. "You're good at convincing others right?"

Kirikae watched in silence from his place, occasionally lifting a hand to worry at the fabric of his bandanna. The cloth was becoming worn. Restraining the dissatisfied frown that might have otherwise pulled his features into a grimmer cast, the Halfling turned his attention to the gathering that steadily trickled into the room. Most of them were unrecognized, though he made a point to file away what information he could gather. It was not until the plans for the heist began that the captain peeled himself from the wall. Weaving around crates, the blonde gave no word or warning as to his sudden departure, though a clipped salute might have been motioned toward Red for his unexplained exit. Shoving his hands back into his pockets, Kae disappeared out the door and into the night.

Lita caught Hanan's gaze and she leaned back against the wall, seeing as the fox had ingrained herself into the task at hand. Her eyes narrowed slightly, both her curiosity and suspicion growing. She glanced back to the runner. Words would need to be shared later. She wasn't about to lose a partnership and good work to a moment, no matter how swell. A raised brow was cast to the form that was Terra at her suggestion that they use a potion of some sort, as to not kill anyone? Really? Did she know the crowd she was runnin' with these days. She wasn't sure about the others, but there was no way she'd be shelvin' her weapons for any mission. She glanced to Kae as the mystery made its exit, but then her attention was back on the discussion at hand. "What if we sent Terra as a gift of sorts? A working girl. She'd be able to come and go as she pleased without anyone taking much notice." She piped up from the back, keeping her attention on the runner, rather than the blonde herself. Though was that a smirk evident in her eyes? Or just a meticulous play of shadow?

Alaine tucked lithe hands into the oversized leather pockets sported on worn duster, fingertips idly running over the dense metal curves of Morri, the miniature mechanical wonder seeming to be powered-down for the night. Fingers continued idly pricking at the steel as sterling gaze shifted from the hardwood floor to whiskey-gaze of the leader. Taking into account Captain's and the blonde's -- who was now discovered to be called 'Terra' -- suggestions along with Ace's input, the elf measured the described setting of the heist and hummed in contemplation. "Terra's looks can only go so far." An apologetic smile was given to the blonde, making it a note to stress the inoffensive intent behind the chosen words, "I mean, one woman can only do so much. We'll need more distraction, something to grab the guards' attention. We'll also need strength and fighters to hold off the guards in case the decoys fall through. I can work on the locks and any safe door, but some may require time. We'll need solid defense."

Finn listened to the suggestions tumbling around him from those gathered. He was not without his own..but had learned over time that a team vested in the planning, would be a team vested in the success of the job. Already he was refining, tweaking ideas mentally and reassigning personnel. He had not been unaware of the whispers present, or of the weighty looks that were passed from one end of the room to another with increasing frequency, and so was far from surprised when Lita’s scarce sheathed barb sank home. The ghost of a grin tugged at his lips. Working with women of such forceful personality had its..down sides..it could be argued. Good thing he was not of the sort to take sides, and jump to the defense of one over the other. He’d learned quickly enough that women could fight their own battles-even if he was often at the center of them. He kept attention fixed, rather to the validity of each proposal in turn. The Fox’s suggestion as most recently heard, was the first addressed, his eyes seeking her petite features. “Don’t reckon we’ll actually try to get in through the front entrance..an entire squad of guard there. But you’re right, we’ll need a distraction, maybe a big one. Perhaps some of the girls can play at damsel in distress. Sure Su here would have no problem inviting trouble, set up a fake assault, get the guard away from the house,” He cast the sullen youth a glance, before settling eyes on the whispering pair, an imp of mischief in his gaze as look darted from them to the ebon haired sea witch. “Maybe Ace and the sparrow here can play at his helpless victims..” His eyes locked on Lita’s then. “Bit more productive than Terra as wonderin gift..don’t you think?” He looked away, eyes falling on Hanan again. “If you can get hold of somethin’ that’ll be useful for knockin’ em out do it. Less bodies around, less likely Arien will turn up on our doorstep sniffin’ around. Still. Ace is right. We go in armed. If they don’t go down clean..they’ll go down bloody.”

Hanan shruged, the epitome of feigned nonchalance, as she tore herself from her whispered conversation with Terra. "Terra as a 'gift?' Honestly, I don't see it. Ace, I think you look more the part." Pause. "Don't take that wrong." A smooth smirk was given, not entirely unfriendly, but she's grown to like the other vampire. To the Fox's suggestion: "If you need someone to do more of the fighting, I can manage that. I'm rather good at sneakin' and stabbin'... even if I have to do it with a little poisoned needle." Eyes moved to Terra. "The problem with Yasmine's poison, though, is that our worst case scenario moves from a bunch of dead bodies and an angry Arien to an angry Arien with a bunch of recently-unconcious guards who might be able to name one of us." She turned back to the rest. "I'm assuming we'd go in there with our faces covered, we'd be damned stupid otherwise, but things happen... we have to be prepared to take more drastic measures if it's down to our asses or theirs."

Terra did not, despite all the whispered words to Hanan, appear all that amused by the suggestion but it was not protested. A muscle in her jaw jumped from the level of restraint and it was Alaine's comment that pulled her attention away from the wall and then Finn's option which, could have been anything other than Lita's and she probably would have agreed. For the sake of this meeting she would remain on her crate, legs neatly crossed and it would take a look back towards Hanan to serve as a reminder for whatever purpose she had in mind. "Despite her being a bitch, Ace may have a point. Let's plant someone on the inside. So if Su and I remain outside as a distraction, the person on the inside can let you in. Maybe this one should be a guy since there's bound to be maids and serving girls and that's our way in, their entrance." All the talk of bloodshed had her feeling a little more nervous than she had thought. While being included in this had been an appealing idea at the start, there are certain ... ends of a bargain to be held and this job is threatening her in those regards. "I'll stay on the outside as a lookout if I haven't been carted off to the local asylum." Cool hands start to pull her hair upwards and few might recgonize it for what it was, a nervous gesture. "If it's guarded by elves you're going to need someone with ... magic too. They're not stupid enough to believe that locks will hold their secrets."

Lita mulled over her thoughts for a passing moment. Barbs about her particularly chosen subjects of expertise were, for the most part, ignored as she stared at the ground. She knew there was something they were missing. There was something she was missing. It wasn't a matter of getting around the guards, or even through them. Numbers was not something they were lacking in. Nor was strength or talent, or a willingness to get the job done. What they needed was efficiency. They needed the guards in the inner circles to be willing to let them walk in and take the book, or at least get far enough that the guards would be forced to hand it over. What they needed was reasoning, magic, persuasion. She chewed at her lip, arranging and rearranging the pawns in her head that stood readily available... And that was it! A coy grin etched 'cross her lips and touched the corners of her eyes as she glanced back up to the runner. "We need the distractions to get past the guards and personnel. We need Fox here to get us through any major locks. But the end of the road, we'll need the last of the guards to be willing to unlock whatever mechanism contains the book itself and hand us the book. We need someone persuasive." She had glanced to the persons gathered in turn before looking again to the runner. "We need the Jack of Hearts on this one, runner."

Alaine shrugged to Terra's comment, lithe frame adjusting its position on the wall. The artificer was perfectly aware of how far her inventions could go; drills and picks could beat most things, but magic was a different field entirely, one the Fox couldn't compete with. So, for now, the elf kept put, fair lips remaining sealed as sterling gaze glanced about to pay heed to the speaker, occasionally giving a nod of approval. Ace's last remark cause fine brows to quirk, looking to the woman questioningly. Jack of Hearts?

Lita caught Alaine's glance and nodded slightly, offering a reassuring smile. She leaned to the left and bumped the fox's shoulder in a playful manner.

Finn’s lips twitched again slightly, at Terra’s offhanded volley Lita’s way. Both females it seemed, could give as good as they got- but more importantly, both of them realized that succeeding on the job came before winning any games of one- upmanship. A dry look was drifted Hanan’s way for inserting herself into the underlying unspoken drama, but that was the nature of the hellcat he’d found. She was fiercely, almost blindly possessive of those deemed worthy of her support and seemed in general to be absent of a verbal filter to begin with anyway. “Cat…” the low drawl was a lazy, warning rumble to refocus on priorities. “Save it for the guard..” Her claws. “Reckon’ you’d be a sound enough help on that front. Consider it your gig.” Lita’s suggestion was met at first with pensive silence, the runner disinclined to trust such a responsibility with one he had so little knowledge of. “If you can get him wrapped up..make sure he’ll toe the line an’ do what we want. I’ll consider it. You think he’s got what it takes to get the to hand it over? What is he..a spell caster?” Finn was entirely aware of will’s skill set as a bard and lyrical spellweaver. “If he’s good enough to persuade a guard on duty, he might be the one we want on the inside. The lad can work a female. Seen it first hand. But we need him hooked Ace..” And his eyes told her what she already knew would be required. The Jack of hearts would have to be covered by an Ace of spades.

Hanan ::Red had her pegged. He really did. Good thing she didn't know about it.He was lucky she also liked the way he said Cat. Still, other nicknames left something to be desired. "Jack of Hearts?" Quick brown eyes flitted from Ace, to Red, to Ace, briefly to Terra, then back to Red. For some reason she left Fox out of it. "You know someone--you want to work with someone--who calls himself the ruttin' Jack of Hearts? Are you kidding me?" Were they really going to rely on someone she assumed must be that foppish? She just shook her head. "I'm happy to do some bladework if it's needed. Gods know I've been itching to get back into practice." She turned to Terra. "Are we sure seduction is what we should be after? Perhaps we can simply bribe a guard? That might be faster... and I seriously doubt Arien's palace is so straight there isn't one corrupt bastard."

Terra had nothing to do with the names that had been dished out. She just blinked at Hanan's glance, let her hand fall to the opposite wrist and feel the raised letters of the tattoo'd letters. "If they'll turn on Arien, they'll turn on us even quicker. Get into their head, under their skin, and you've got it set." Since it appeared that Finn and Lita had the rest of the details covered in silent conversation she felt no more inclined to add to the conversation yet not ready to leave.

Lita nodded to Finn, a smile all the answer she would offer him at his unspoken words. It was another challenge, and she'd never to date backed down against one of those. "Consider it done." she mumbled under her breath. Looks like her planned days off were going to be spent working after all. There was a sigh lingering on her lips, but she turned a terse smile to Hanan instead. "It's a cover, assuredly. I'm not privy to using real names in public settings." She glanced back to the runner, silent questions there that she wouldn't ask.

Finn nodded then, his eyes promising the sea witch that the desired talk would be forthcoming. Much had changed in her days away, on multiple fronts, and she’d need to be made aware of them as his partner, amongst other things. “Already do darlin’..” he drawled lightly to her commitment to accomplish the desired task. “Wouldn’t have asked you to if I didn’t.” He nodded idly her way as he moved finally, to push himself to his feet. “Reckon we’ve got a start then. Terra..you and Su can plan on workin’ the front door, get the bulk of the guard off our tails. Cat, you’ll come in with me, reckon Kae won’t be too far behind. Between the three of us we should be able to handle any trouble that surfaces on the inside..though..one more mightn’t hurt.” A quick glance was shot then to the Fox, her lover remembered in the moment, and his offer of aid. “Might want to get Fennec in on this Fox.. he’ll have his uses and I’m sure he could use the gold. We’ll need you to work any locks that won’t be opened by..more persuasive means..” he added dryly. A look was offered to Hanan, “See about gettin’ a hold of the right toxins to avoid a pile up, aye?”

Alaine was completely left out by Captain! But, alas, the lack-of-recognition from the Captain was not noticed due to lack-of-attention from the Fox; ignorance of the ignorance equals bliss? Possibly. The elf kept ears perked to the discussion at hand, though she was growing antsy; she needed something to drink, dryness in her throat suddenly becoming quite apparent. Lips parted in a gentle sigh, tapping the wall with knuckles before pushing off the wall. "Well, seems we have solid foundation for a plan." Sterling gaze was focused 'pon The Runner as she offered him a parting nod, "I'll talk to Ralien and see what he wants to do, though I'm sure he'll be eager to join in. If you find out what security we'll be going up against, let me know." Terra and Captain were offered a warm smile, Lita given an affectionate slap to the shoulder before leaning in to respond to the seductress' earlier whisper.

Alaine whispered something to Lita.

Alaine pulled from Ace's ear, grinning as the elf began ascending the stairs, boots echoing and making her exit resonate with arm swinging in a half-hearted wave. "Drinks, anyone?" Her destination was obvious, and she was curious if anyone would follow as she exited Finn's business and trudged out into the street.

Finn: A glance was offered around the room, a nod following Fox’s suggestion at a change of locale. “She’s right..that should do it. I’ll call you in if anythin’ changes..” The runner was rolling the maps back up into tight little scrolls as he spoke.

Hanan took Finn's cue, rising to her feet. "This better go off as well as you plan, Red. If things go south and we've got Arien's men on our tails, the whole row's going to be combed over. You know it will be. We might have to hunker down or ship off for awhile." A quick look was given to Lita, a lopsided grin: "I figured that's a false name, Ace. Just figured he could choose a better one, is all." To Terra: "I suppose you're right... in any case, better to go with the plan we've got, it'll be faster anyway." And the Fox's suggestion was all she needed to hear. "Yeah, I'm up for a drink. Anyone else?"

Terra can read between the lines on this one and a dry look is offered towards Hanan, Beneath her bangs, her eyes roll upwards towards the ceiling and a slight breath is pushed through her nose. Seeing Alaine go into motion inspired similiar behaviour in herself and she pushed off the crate just as Hanan started to, shook her head at the offer. "I've drank in enough for the evening. Be seein' you soon enough though." She noted the maps that needed to be worked over and the crates that had yet to be dealt with but she just headed for the stairs not too far after Alaine, though she didn't head out the door and there's the steady sound of steps on another staircase before a door, somewhere overhead, comes to a sudden close.

Lita passed a warning glance in the runner's direction, a loose smile accompanying the look that lingered in those obsidian hued eyes. The cause of the warning may be undetermined, but the point would be clear. All said and done, she turned on her heel and sauntered after the fox. The Barrel would more than likely have to be her second stop from here, but she'd have even up their all the same.

Finn watched the small assembly dissolve, the male not missing that warning that lingered in the sea witch’s eyes. His lips curved slightly in response. The woman was still worried that her assets were in jeopardy with his connection to the vampire cemented. What was she worried about? Did she think he would fall apart, destroy their business if the sparrow flew the roost? He’d landed on his feet in the past and he’d do so again if the time ever came. For now, he was satisfied to live in the moment. Her moment. The sound of the door closing upstairs was an invitation. He’d not be drinking tonight, save for the kisses teased from her lips. The maps were secured, and then the runner was turning on booted heel to make for the staircase himself, following the path trod by the vampire moments before. The repetition of earlier sound, the door closing the world out and locking him in, would be the last sound to sever the silence of the runner’s stronghold.