The Grey Veil
The magnifying glass brought the last tiny screw into focus. One firm turn, a wind of the spring and suddenly the tiny emerald bird let out a sweet, seven note trill. Daphne turned around to show her father her triumph when the thoughts of the past two weeks connected. He was not here. Where was he now? The doctor and the “kindly” men had help him into the carriage, or was it a wagon, and whisked him away to where? What had they said? “asylum”, “help”, “insane” — had these been important words? She had assumed he would return, but the shopping hadn’t been done and he hadn’t retrieved their clothing from the washer woman. Maybe this was not a good thing. Maybe she should go find him.
The people at the courthouse were not helpful. They very well could have mistaken her for a child as small as she. She was easy to overlook. In fact she seemed to disappear as if she could will herself invisible to anyone who might be too curious about her. Since her questions were ignored she simply found the information she was wanting. They would forget she was there; they would somehow stop thinking about her. Then she need only wait ever so patiently until someone was distracted then simply look through the documents committing them to memory at a glance. A name, a place and finally a death notice. End of search.
The wheels in her mind began to turn rapidly leaving her heart cold with concern. She was alone. What if they came back? Her skills were now applied to objects of defense instead of amusement. Finally paranoia overcame her fear of the outside world. She took the bag, the one that held everything. Her tools, her toys, the clockwork bird, other more deadly creations and left the only home she had ever known in search of someplace else.
It’s been a few nights since the massive orphanage fire where many adults had lost their lives; yet, amazingly none of the children had died. Those who died went into the building despite others attempts to hold them back. This was curious and she had to know more. This was going to be dangerous as some outside group was hampering the investigation; maybe they were the same people that had something to do with dad’s disappearance.
Waiting till late in the evening, she snuck out of her rented hole-in-a-wall and made her way to the ruins of the orphanage. She deftly avoided the night watch; she was focused and she was like a shadow. As she made her way into the ruins, she began to look for clues to where the fire started. It was down this alley… Halfway into the alley she realized something horrid! It was a trap! Several large men started to move out of the shadows cutting off her escape. She fumbled for the gadget that would blind them all, she dropped it. It went off, but she hadn’t removed the shield. The men started to snicker… and then they froze. There was an awful moan and then the men started to tremble in fear. Another moan and the men ran.
From within the ruins of the building came a weird amorphous looking creature. “Hi, I’m Clint. You’re different.” Turns out he was the one to scare the men away. The weirdest part is how he kept commenting on her mind, her emotions. He said they were like liquid molten sand, whatever that meant? He offered to help her find what she was looking for.
Daphne aspects gained: Sneaky aspect, it’s a trap
Clint aspect gained: Scary