Gremlaw sat with his back to the rough wall of the inn, he had shifted his consciousness into the alternate perception enabling him to see negative space and sipped at the seawater which passed for ale here. His meal had consisted of a meagre stew, more like a soup and his mind shied away from the possible sources of the meat it had contained.
A bow backed man of middling years sidled across to the barkeep who cut his eyes briefly towards Gremlaw as this newcomer spoke. Semmental turned to look at the youth who made brief eye contact before returning to his watery ale. Surveying the room, over the rim of the leather jack the ale had been served in, Gremlaw noted the inn was beginning to fill with sailors and dockworkers, crowding out the negative spaces he could detect.
Semmental glanced over at Gremlaw once more before exiting the establishment. It was all the incentive Gremlaw needed to leave this place, yet he made sure he finished his fare before following his contact.
Detritus filled the alley Gremlaw found himself in, the stench overpowering as he cast his glance around, taking note of all his available exits. There were few. One end led back to the waterfront, its opposite away and there was no sign of Semmental. Gremlaw opted to put the waterfront at his back and head into the maze of the town.
A whisper to his left caused him to duck right, into a space formed by black shadow and broken crates. Semmental was blundering around like a toddler in the alley, tripping over the mess of human rubbish scattered in the alley. Gremlaw moaned inwardly; this was to be his contact? The sight would have been funny under other circumstances, now his life depended on this odd character.
“Semmental,” Gremlaw said as he stepped from his concealment. The other man screamed in such a feminine fashion, Gremlaw feared people would come looking for a woman in distress. “We should go.” He said to the other man who clutched his chest in fright.
Semmental led Gremlaw through the streets and alleys of Silverdane towards what amounted to little more than a shack, a run down plank building with one grimy and cracked windowpane to view the world like a Cyclops’ eye. Gremlaw would rather have stayed outside.
“I comed across some information,” Semmental told Gremlaw after the checking of identities and codewords had been performed. Although he spoke softly, Semmental’s high pitched voice was a grating experience to have on the ear. “I managed to find out who’s importing Forever into the kingdom.” The older man wiped his twitching, tear producing left eye and looked massively pleased with himself.
“And?” Gremlaw asked, tilting his head and raising his eyebrow. Semmental looked deflated as he answered,
“Fitlock Haguana.” the perpetually nervous man said, “Began the Durana Trading Company about ten year ago. ‘Twas legitimate till three years past,” Semmental spread his hands in a small shrug, “Word is, agents from Kavash tooked the man’s fambly as in-sure-ants of his good behavin’” Semmental seemed to struggle with the words, “Nasty pieces of work, them Kevashians.”
Gremlaw thought for a few moments as Semmental trembled and took a drink from a filthy bottle he had secreted about the rags he sported as clothing.
“Can you get me inside?” he asked. Semmental grinned, revealing both his front teeth at the same time.