Pilfered Roses

Stabilized

Thoughts of the Hollow Czar

I am going to a psychic fair to pick up some leads and David is coming too. Juliette left a note saying she needs to take care of some stuff. I wonder what she is up to? No matter, I can ask when she gets back. There is a maid girl who seems off to me. Everyone else seems normal so I am going to try and speak to her quietly. She saw me and ran off. What the hell? I didn’t even do anything. She left by the back door and I don’t know where she went after that. There are a couple of stores nearby. Maybe a craft store, need some supplies to fix clothes? She wasn’t there but I now have a name and an occupation. Lisa is a maid for some rich family nearby. It isn’t much but it is something to go on.

David is terrible at getting information. Good distraction though.

One of the girls at the counter can see auras or something. My aura looks different, but she can’t see the scales. She could be useful. She knows a little about Lisa, so that is good. She also sees others with strange auras. I will have to keep up with her when I have more information.

Found Lisa with some clever Google searches. I have an address so I leave her a note to meet me at the UFO thing David set up.

I have just about had it with David. He is completely irresponsible and lazy. I am going to have to make what meager money we have last until Juliette can get a job at the psychic store. Thank god a farmer’s market is nearby and I got some good food for cheap. I guess I am going to learn to cook. Except I have no working stove, refrigerator, or even microwave. Some rubble in the hollow is probably hiding a kitchen but I hurt my shoulder trying to clear it. Tried sleeping and dreaming for a kitchen as it seemed to work on my room. It kind of worked? A cart with a freshly cooked meal showed up. This place really does have invisible staff.

Finally, information. Lisa is a bit of a loner when it comes to the Freehold, but my politeness and promise not to bother her again if she just tells me some basics about our nature seems to have worked. I now understand Pledges better, Contracts are spells (which I can cast at least one, a slimy trail instead of footsteps), and I have the location of the Freehold meeting location, among other things.

I tried seeing if I had anything that could read minds. Kind of, but it was a bad idea. I looked into David’s mind to see what he is thinking and got a horrible memory full of fear and books. I guess I know not to try that again. I also seem to have the ability to predict the future in a very small way. I will have to try that out at some point. David thinks we shouldn’t see the Freehold just yet and I agree. Jason believes me, and is going to keep an eye on my now inexplicably popular doppelganger. Juliette is still missing but I found out that Burning Man is happening, which might be a taste of her time. I won’t worry too much about it just yet. Besides, the girl who saw auras has vanished. I did mention her to Lisa, but did I actually say her name? David and I are going to look into this.

I feel much better. I have information, Jason trusts me, and I have my bearings. I’m still worried about living expenses, but that is a mundane matter compared to everything else. I feel back in control. Focused. Stable.

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