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<eye of newt, toe of frog, gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/iliad

PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 7:30:07 pm
by Foleo
"Do not rely on February (…)
"The sun in this month
"begets a headache
"like an angel slapping you in the face."

—Anne Sexton, from The Complete Poems; “The Sermon of the Twelve Acknowledgements

Code: Select all
race // gender // age
[b]Magic Type:[/b]

fe-style headshot maker

font generators



human // female // 36

human // male // 27

baku // female // 531

human // female // last seen at 29, would be 35

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, and a gun> lorelei/foleo/umbr

PostPosted: June 21st, 2018, 9:05:50 pm
by MageLorelei

Half-fey // Female // 23

Human // Female // 25

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, and a gun> lorelei/foleo/umbr

PostPosted: June 24th, 2018, 4:29:41 pm
by umbreon241

human // female // 27

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 4th, 2018, 5:00:04 am
by Iliad

human // male // 19

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 9th, 2018, 12:03:48 am
by umbreon241
The sun was shining and the birds chirped cheerily. It was a nice day for a kirin hunt. Even if the weather was foul, Zuhra and Ayer would do their job just the same, but it was nice to have some sunlight.

Zuhra crept through the trees with Ayer as the bundle of netting attached to her belt swished with each movement. The forest floor, thick with twigs and dead leaves and moss, crunched with every footstep. According to their research, the kirin should be somewhere around here and although they had found hoof prints, they hadn’t seen the kirin itself.

Nearby, something crunched delicately. (Zuhra didn’t realize that anything could crunch delicately, but she supposed that you learn new things every day.) She grabbed Ayer’s sleeve and motioned for him to be quiet. There, that was another crunch. Zuhra shifted her weight, bringing her center of gravity closer to the ground, and crept into the clearing where the noise originated from.

There she found the kirin as it nibbled at a mushroom. She detached the net from her belt as she inched towards it, keeping it ready to use. Zuhra saw the kirin tense as she got closer before it finally swung its antlers towards her. The motion forced her to step to the side and she tried to grab its antlers. To her surprise, she succeeded. Its antlers would have scraped up her palms had she not wrapped her hands, but instead the kirin could only furiously try to shake her off. Unable to hold on any longer, Zuhra released its horns after one particularly vicious shake, only for the kirin to continue advancing towards her.

Zuhra kept backing up, dodging the swings of the kirin’s antlers. Her back hit bark and she reached out to grab the kirin’s antlers again to keep it from goring her. Again, it swung its head, but this time she didn’t let go. The kirin’s antlers, with Zuhra still clinging with them, slammed into the tree. Something in her hand cracked.

“Shit,” hissed Zuhra as she ducked another swing of the kirin’s antlers. With her good hand, she pushed back against the kirin’s head but it looked angry. She tried flexing her other hand and was rewarded with a sharp pain.

“Ayer?” She called as she gave in and tried to hold back kirin’s antlers with both hands. “A little help over here?”

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 9th, 2018, 2:55:17 am
by Foleo
Zuhra grabs onto its antlers, and two pink tranquilizer darts bloom on the kirin's left flank. It's undeterred—if anything, it's angered: it tosses its head furiously, and Zuhra's hands slip off.

"Ah, fuck." Ayer jams two more darts into the double barrels of the air-powered gun, flicking the chamber back in place just as Zuhra's back collides with a tree. Two more darts—right next to the previous ones, and now the kirin looks like it's been decorated by a brony and yet it swings its head hard and the clearing echoes with the sound of a sickening crack.

"Ayer? A little help over here?" Zuhra calls, and Christ, Ayer doesn't know how she can sound so level-headed when her hand just got splintered by some sort of fucked up dragon-deer: he forgoes a response in favor of shoving two more darts into his gun.

This time he aims for the neck—two quick shots: one bounces off its heavily armored scales, but the other slips in between. The kirin, head caught in the middle of a forward thrash, rolls its glowing goat-eyes towards Ayer—shudders violently—and buckles onto the forest floor, antlers falling just shy of Zuhra's legs.

Ayer darts out of cover and plucks the dart out of the kirin's neck before it could dump its full load—the last thing they needed after all this trouble was for the client's pet to go brain-dead. He peels back the kirin's eyelids: a faraway, glassy-eyed look greets him, but a beat later the beast hisses venomously and he pulls back in relief. "Oh, thank god," he sighs, and takes out a few lengths of rope from his bag.

He ties a muzzle around its snout and a collar around its neck, giving both a few good yanks to test their hold. Two velvety bags are slipped over the golden antlers, the drawstrings at the base pulled shut. After pulling out the empty vials of tranquilizer from the kirin's trembling haunches and collecting the one that didn't hit, he loops the remaining rope around the collar and gets to his feet, pulling the wobbly kirin up with him. "Alright, Bambi, time to go home." He'd have to tell Metzli to change the formula for the tranquilizer next time: a shot to the jugular shouldn't be the only thing that brings something down, and definitely shouldn't leave anything conscious enough to walk.

He glances at the hand that Zuhra is holding a little closer to her side than the other: it looked—well, it definitely didn't look good, with the awkward angle a few of her fingers sat at, but he'd put off mentioning it until the kirin was safely under Metzli's auspices. The last thing he wanted was for the sedative to wear off while they were on the road: the trunk of Zuhra's car was beat up enough as it was. "Hey Zuhra, toss me the keys. I'll drive today."

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 9th, 2018, 6:10:46 pm
by umbreon241
The final dart hits the kirin's neck and Zuhra wants to sag in relief, but they're not out of the woods yet. With both hands held out to defend herself from any final thrashing, Zuhra sidesteps away from the tree. At last, the kirin collapses and narrowly misses scraping her shin with its antlers. She waits a moment to see if it will rise again before she relaxes minutely, rolling her shoulders.

Ayer comes forward to inspect their catch and Zuhra takes a step back to let him work. Pain burns at the edges of her awareness but Zuhra pushes it to the side-- their job isn't over just yet. She watches over Ayer's shoulder as he creates a makeshift leash for their new charge and hauls it to its feet. The kirin resembles Ayer after a few too many drinks, but it looks steady enough to make it to her car. Zuhra doesn't offer to help and instead opts to keep an eye on their surroundings just in case a decidedly more dangerous creature comes along.

She catches the furtive glances that Ayer throws at her hand and turns her body to hide her hand from him as she pretends to look at something in the distance. With her good hand, Zuhra digs her car keys out of her pocket and tosses them to Ayer. They walk until they reach where her car is parked the edge of the woods. Zuhra opens the trunk as Ayer trusses up the kirin's legs. The beast was already unstable to begin with, so it's relatively easy to gently push it into the towel-lined trunk.

Zuhra slides into the passenger seat as Ayer closes the trunk and hops into the driver's seat. He starts her car and pulls away from the forest as she stares out the window. She probably has ten or fifteen minutes before the adrenaline from the fight wears off and the pain in her hand significantly worsens. There's probably a stash of ibuprofen in her glove compartment but she doesn't want to worry Ayer. Besides, a broken hand isn't a life-threatening emergency and she isn't weak. It'll be fine. She'll deal with it.

A blast of pop music interrupts her train of thought-- Ayer must have turned on the radio. She glares at him but on a scale of one to I'm going to decorate my home with your innards, it's maybe a three at best. His music taste isn't that bad and besides, who can resist some Britney Spears?

For the rest of their ride back to the shop, Ayer insists on singing along at the top of his lungs. His voice could make babies cry from fear and horror, but Zuhra learned long ago that trying to stop him is futile. She stares out the window and keeps her injured hand out of sight.

The car slows as Ayer pulls into the otherwise deserted alley behind the shop. Zuhra gets out and pops the trunk, revealing the drowsy kirin. She lets Ayer scoop it up in his weak noodle arms-- she doubts that she should be carrying anything right now-- and opens the back door of the shop. As soon as she closes the door, she crosses her arms to hide her injured hand.

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 9th, 2018, 7:56:49 pm
by Iliad
The bar is quiet while it's still daylight out, even more so than usual. The sun falls across the polished wood, clean and shiny where Angelo wiped it down earlier that day. He sits at the counter, letting his eye catch on the empty glasses stacked just in his line of sight, noticeable only because of the light reflecting off the glass. On the next stool sits Metzli, hands folded. Neither of them faces the bar; rather they face each other, not unlike a tutor and pupil.

Angelo leans on the countertop, elbow on the wood, and rests his chin on his hand. The other hand rolls a piece of balled-up straw wrapper between the index finger and thumb, scrunching it imperceptibly smaller. The shop is muffled and quiet before Metzli speaks. "When it comes to your illusions, start small. Think of things you've already seen before. It's easier to start if you work from life." Angelo nods, considering for a moment. His fingernail unravels the straw-paper ball, and instead of rerolling it he puts it on the bar, making a note to throw it away later. "This also makes it more believable. If you've seen how something looks, and you've seen it move around, you can recreate it much more accurately," Metzli continues. "It works for bigger things too. If you wanted to make the illusion of a person, let's say, then it would be easier if it was a person you'd seen before."

"I think that's a bit beyond me," says Angelo, a hint of sheepishness in his tone. Instead of voicing that further, though, he asks, "Should I try something now?" Metzli nods, so he slides his elbow off the bar and sits up straight, lacing his fingers in his lap. His eyes find their way to a point in empty air several feet above both of their heads, and he stays completely still and silent for a moment. While his grasp of illusion magic is tenuous at this point, he's gotten somewhat used to the routine of it; he can't explain how it's done, just as it's hard for some to explain how to pop your eardrums or ride your bike, but he knows when he's reached enough magic to do it.

Above them, a downy white feather appears out of nowhere. It's not large at all; it looks more like a covert feather than a primary. It falls languidly, veering one way and then another in gentle pendular movements. Angelo follows its progress with his eyes and occasionally shifts, idly biting at the inside of his cheek. When it finally reaches them, it floats into Metzli's open palm, but before it touches her skin it vanishes—one moment it's there, the next gone, like it had never been there. Angelo frowns at its departure, but says nothing.

"That's a start," Metzli says. "I want you to try something else, too. Sometimes, we have to work with something we've only seen once, or that we don't have enough knowledge of. Think back to something that you've seen in passing around the shop recently, and try to recreate it—I'll let you know how you do." She leans back slightly, crossing her ankles.

He thinks for a bit, tilting his head back. Earlier that day, while wiping up behind the counter, he'd seen the corner of an old photograph, tucked between two slats of dark wood. When he'd tugged gently at it until it came out, and smoothed it out, he was met with a slightly-yellowed picture of a young woman, likely in her twenties. Parts of the photo were worn away from being buffeted by time, but he could make out violet hair and a confident, beaming smile. Thinking on it now, those features were so complex—humans are, all of them. Angelo doubts he'll ever be able to make a convincing illusion of one, even for a moment. Maybe he can manage a photograph, though.

He turns slightly to his left toward the counter and rests his hand flat on it, again stilling for just a moment. He tries to recall the eyes, the nose; surely he gets some of the face wrong, but he remembers the hair, and he remembers how she had her hands on her hips like she's about to say something teasing. After a moment, he removes his hand, and on the countertop is an illusion of the photograph. He looks cautiously up at Metzli after, waiting for her comments.

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, & a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/

PostPosted: July 10th, 2018, 4:05:27 am
by Foleo
Metzli feels her breath catch and her mind grind to a halt, and she stares at the picture a little too long before she notices Angelo looking expectantly at her. "It's," she starts, swallowing around the lump that forms in her throat, "it's fantastic. You're learning so quickly." She wants to reach out and touch it, but she remembers how the illusory feather that Angelo summoned had disappeared upon contact: the selfish, foolish part of her wants to keep the image around a while longer. Instead, her fingers fall uselessly to the counter a few inches away.

"Where did you find this picture, by the way?" she asks, trying to sound casual and probably failing, by the way Angelo draws back.

"Behind the counter," he says slowly, "near the bathrooms. I was wiping up and found it. Sorry, was I not supposed to pick it up?"

"Oh, no, it's no problem. I was just curious." She makes a mental note to thoroughly check every nook and cranny of the bar once nobody else was around. Belatedly, she notices that her cup had floated to eye-level while she was distracted: clearing her throat, she plucks it out of the air and takes a sip.

"Well, you've clearly got an eye for detail," she says, gesturing at the picture on the counter with her free hand. "The shadow is a little too wide for such a flat object, though, and—" she leans as far to the side as the barstool allows, craning her neck to look at the picture. "Looked at in a different angle, it's not quite the right shape. We'll have to work on that."

Angelo opens his mouth to respond, but then a bell tinkles and the shop's door gets flung open.

"Hey, Metzli, we got your kirin!" Ayer shouts, and Metzli slams her hand over the picture. She feels the air around her crackle as the illusion breaks, and sneaks an apologetic look at Angelo. "Oh, you're right here," Ayer says in a lower voice, blinking owlishly. "Hey, new kid."

Metzli pats Angelo's arm. "Sorry, we're going to have to continue this later. While I call the client, could you water the plants and harvest any eyebright that's ready? At noon—don't pick them before, and if the minute passes just leave them for tomorrow. Good work today."

With that, she stands up and goes to take the reins from Ayer—both metaphorically and literally. She notices Zuhra leaning against the wall outside, which was never a good sign, though at least she was standing. "Do you need me to call Robin?" she asks Ayer lowly as she takes the makeshift leash, but he shakes his head.

"Nah, we'll take care of it," he says, and with that he's moved to the back of the kirin, giving its butt a few pats to help her herd it into the holding room. There, it's pushed into a cage—the fortification runes on the side glow a little under Metzli's touch before fading, and the kirin huffs and tosses its head. Its horns bounce harmlessly off the iron bars.

"I'm gonna take some healing salve, a restoration potion, and a couple of splints and bandages and things," he tells Metzli, and she nods.

"The back room's open if you want it."

"Yeah, thanks."

They look at each other, too close and too distant all at once, and then Ayer heads towards the door and Metzli heads upstairs to call the kirin's owner.

* * * * *

"Alright, now that that's taken of," Ayer says, the bell on top of the door jingling as he leaves the shop, "it's your turn."

Zuhra raises an eyebrow at him before looking away. "What? I'm fine. I'll deal with it."

"Oh, like fuck you will. C'mon, your hand looks like a tied up ham." He opens the door and looks expectantly at it. Zuhra sighs, resigned to her fate, and lets herself be corralled in.

They head directly to the back, Ayer snagging a few things off the shelves on their way. Once the door is locked and the fluorescent lights flicked on, Zuhra boosts herself, one-handed, onto the table. It's routine by now, fixing each other up, though they're both too proud to go without protest. Ayer busies himself grabbing more supplies while Zuhra picks gingerly at her hand wraps.

He dumps everything in the clear spot next to her and holds his hand out; though he knows what to expect, he can't help but hiss in sympathy when Zuhra presents him with her left hand. The two-hour drive back in a hot car certainly didn't do it any favors. Her knuckles bulge angrily through the gaps in her hand wraps, their red-purple a sharp contrast to the white of the fabric; her fingers are swollen stiff, straining outwards against the tight loops around their base. Two of them point in a direction that just looks wrong; Ayer winces internally as he realizes he'll have to reset them into what are probably fractured metacarpals. When he takes her hand gently in his own, he tries and fails to ignore the tiny breath that Zuhra draws in through her teeth. The skin is feverish and tender to the touch.

"I'm gonna have to unwrap this," he warns, and feels Zuhra's glare telling him to get on with it, already. "Uh, it's gonna hurt. Have you taken any painkillers yet? You don't need to answer that, I know you haven't. Here." He rustles through the pile of supplies and comes up with a vial of clear fluid. He presses it into Zuhra's good hand; she looks at him exasperatedly and pops the top.

"It's just a broken hand," she says. "Nothing I haven't had before."

"Yeah, and it's still gonna hurt like a bitch. Drink the damn potion."

He waits until she's set it back—empty—onto the table to begin peeling the wrappings off. He makes quick work of the wrapping around the wrist, but as he lifts the cloth to unravel it from her fingers, Zuhra stiffens and her jaw locks with an audible click of teeth.

Ayer stops, then slowly puts the end of the wrapping down. "You know what, lemme just—" he grabs a pair of scissors, sliding the blades underneath the wrappings despite Zuhra's noise of protest. "I'll buy you new ones. Or we'll make Metzli buy you new ones. Business expenses, you know."

The freed hand is almost double the size of Zuhra's other one, and it radiates heat against his palms. It's deformed enough that he guesses at least two fractured metacarpals—that damn kirin was going to get its cage kicked at least once before its owner picked it up, the little bastard. Lightly, he taps her second and third fingers—they're stuck out at nauseating angles. "I'm gonna reset these babies, so brace yourself. One, two—"

He pulls sharply on one of the fingers and pops it into place—Zuhra gasps, her head pitching forward onto Ayer's shoulder. "—three." Before she can recover, he yanks the other one back to its proper position—he can feel Zuhra's jaw working aimlessly as she struggles to keep silent, and he keeps himself still for a few moments while she collects herself.

"Okay, metacarpal time," he says softly, when it doesn't seem like she'd be lifting her head anytime soon. He holds the base of the relocated fingers with one hand, grabs the wrist with the other, and pulls, pressing down on the fracture with his thumbs. He feels the bones realign, and the hand straightens out a bit. Zuhra grinds her forehead into his collarbone. "Make a fist? Hm. Extend it?" Zuhra does as she's told, her hand below both their bowed heads. "Ah, shit. Sorry, Zuhra, one more. Geez, that kirin did a number on you." He tugs again—this time, her hand comes out of it looking more like a proper hand, if hands were normally plum-colored and had sausage-shaped fingers.

"Alright, time to wrap this up. Can you sit on your own?" Zuhra uses her newly-set hand to shakily flip him off—a glowing endorsement of his medical skill, if he does say so himself.

Nonetheless, he waits until she blearily lifts her head up to putter off in search of a splint. They're always in the same place, but he opens wrong drawers until Zuhra's eyes have cleared a bit. Then, with a dramatic "aha!", he returns.

After wiping off the dirt and grime, he smears a couple layers of healing salve on her hand: it's perhaps a little too much, but what can he say—experience has taught him that trusting Zuhra to redress her wounds herself is about as reliable as trusting Fish to not jump on his face. Which is to say, not reliable at all.

The gauze goes on easily enough until he has to push her hand into position to splint it, but by now the numbing potion and healing salve have taken hold enough that the only reaction it elicits is a slight intake of breath. Then, the splint's strapped on and Ayer takes a few steps back, surveying his handiwork.

Now that it's been tucked into layers of gauze, the break doesn't look too bad. It'd probably heal completely within five days, with the help of some magic. Speaking of which—

"Take a shot of this every day until you finish it," Ayer says, shaking the restoration potion in front of Zuhra's face, "and put on more salve in the mornings and evenings. And keep your hand iced and elevated."

Zuhra rolls her eyes, slipping off the table, looking much better already. "As if I didn't already know that."

"Yeah, but if I didn't say it, you wouldn't have done any of it." He slips the potion and tin of salve, along with fat packs of gauze, into a paper sack. "I'd throw in some pain meds too, but we all know you're not going to take them."

Zuhra laughs, snatching the bag with her good hand. "You know me too well," she says, and heads for the door.

Her hand's on the handle when Ayer interjects, fumbling with the supplies he's started to put away. "Ah—wait—do you want me to come with you?"

"I think I'm just going to go home and sleep," she says. "Thanks for patching me up."

"Oh, cool. Uh. Call me if you need anything?"

"Yeah, I will. Thanks, really." She opens the door and heads out. As the door closes, Ayer realizes, belatedly, that he's short a ride home.

Re: <eye of newt, toe of frog, a gun> foleo/lorelei/umbry/il

PostPosted: July 28th, 2018, 11:41:37 pm
by Iliad
Angelo blinks. He might not be good at talking, but he doesn't miss the momentary catch before Metzli speaks, nor the conspicuous shift in her tone, made all the more clear by the way she switches back to her regular voice in the moments following. As she gives her appraisal of his illusion, he nods; he doesn't comment on her lapse in character, but to make sure that she knows the advice, at least, has been heard, he starts to speak in affirmation but doesn't quite get there.

The door slams open and nearly synchronously Metzli's hand comes down on the counter, and he jumps almost imperceptibly. For a second his eyes dart between her hand and the door, but eventually he settles on looking at the one who's just come in. He raises a hand, slightly, in greeting, and flashes a small smile, but doesn't speak. It looks like he has other business, anyway, and that Metzli does as well. "Sorry, we're going to have to continue this later. While I call the client, could you water the plants and harvest any eyebright that's ready? At noon—don't pick them before, and if the minute passes just leave them for tomorrow. Good work today."

He slides off the barstool; Metzli's words are a clear dismissal, and when Metzli is occupied with other things, remaining in the room would most probably be an inconvenience more than anything else. He's relieved when she gives him another task, and nods on his way out.

He slips out the back of the shop, and against the wall is a tin watering can. The garden is small enough to warrant its use—really, it's just a small square of land behind the shop, but it grows well, and Angelo's routinely amazed by the amount of herb it yields. He checks his watch; it's a few minutes before noon, just enough time to water the rest of the plants before he has to harvest the eyebright. He'd be lying if he said he knew the ins and outs as to why there were specific requirements for picking plants, but he does at least know that he'd be best off simply following the instructions he's been given.

He trawls over the plot of land with the watering can, shielding his eyes from the sun that's peeking out from behind the thin cloud cover of the morning. Every so often he leans down to get a closer look at a plant, and at times he flicks the leaves with a fingernail in order to unseat bugs that have found their way atop the stalks. He checks his watch again after he's done; it's just about time, so he makes his way over to storage to find a pair of small clippers and returns to the section of the garden that houses the eyebright.

There's not much to harvest this time, only a few plants that are ready. Still, the stems are coarse and threaded through with a tough fiber, so it takes nearly all of his minute to cut them. He's forgotten to wear gloves, too; sap makes the pads of his fingers tacky so that they stick together when they touch. It doesn't matter all that much, though. He gathers the plants he's prepared into a wicker basket, then goes to put them in the back. When he's about to open the door, though, it swings outward slowly; Zuhra's pushing it open. He nods at her, stepping back, and she nods back before she goes.

There are sounds coming from the other door in the back, soft scraping and shuffling. It's likely Ayer, cleaning up, so Angelo doesn't bother him; he just sets the basket down and makes a note to tell Metzli where he's put it.

He heads around to the front again, and pushes open the door. The bell sounds again, softer than when Ayer opened it, and he heads up to the counter. Metzli's no longer sitting at the counter; it's reasonable to assume that she's upstairs, where she usually calls to report in completed missions, so he tamps his way over to the stairs instead.

As he walks up, he hears the last few words of the call, but indistinct through the wall. The door to the room she's in is open, but he feels somewhat disruptive entering now, so he waits for a few moments next to the doorway until he hears her thank the client and place the phone down. He knocks a few times on the doorframe, then, and she looks up. "Angelo," she says, "come on in. Did you get the eyebright?" He nods, tells her that it's in the back in a basket. He wonders what it's used for, but he doesn't say anything about that; he'll find out at some point if she doesn't mind him knowing.

She leaves to go fetch it, and Angelo loiters there a bit longer, tapping back and forth on the apps on his own old phone. After a few minutes, the bell sounds again, startling him, and then a strange noise starts up. It's someone's voice, one that he recognizes, but it's drawing out one syllable to ridiculous proportions. "Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee—" The sound gets louder as he hears steps downstairs, and he's thinking that something's probably wrong by the time the thumps reach the stairs. "—Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee—" It continues all the way up the stairs, one footstep at a time. Finally, it arrives at the door. "—EEEEEEEEETZLI!"

Standing there is Azlin, eyes gleaming. "Hey, so, listen. I was at this house just now, and it was absolutely batshit—there's definitely something in there that doesn't belong." Her gaze moves about the room, sees clearly that Metzli's not there, settles on Angelo, and her expression falls. "Uhh... who're you again? You don't really look like you need to be here. Where in the world is Metzli, huh?"

"She went to the back," Angelo answers, pointing out the door behind Azlin. She's turning around to go when, in a rare move, Angelo speaks up again. "But I'm kind of interested in hearing about whatever you found there, if you don't mind," he adds, intrigued, but trying to keep himself from sounding nosy.