Amadhay flounced into the interrogation room. “I brought him,” she told Atlas in a singsong voice, seating herself on the table.
She gave a quick glance to a pitiful looking Mayday and disappeared, reappearing a few clicks later in a kneel with two bowls to set under the table. She set a bowl of minced fish and a bowl of water down before hopping up and dropping in an undignified heap on the table, bouncing on her bottom in impatience.
She smiled flirtatiously at Atlas before huffing when he gave her a blank look. She noted that he gave no reaction to her unmasked face, which confirmed that he’d already known who she was. She decided to think about that later.
In the meantime, waiting for Darach and Benjy to catch up with her was boring her. “I have pretty short legs, I know. So you’d think that it would be easier for them to keep up,” she complained to Atlas, who was beginning to watch her with curiosity.
“So, will you answer more questions now or do you have a plan brewing in your mind?” she asked, hoping to take advantage of his slight change of attitude, “I bet you have a plan brewing. I mean you must. I can’t imagine that you want to sit here for much longer,” she bounced her knees on the table, now forcing herself into a cross-legged sitting position.
“I doubt the dead one cares how short your legs are,” Atlas spoke with a distracted air as he glanced to the door, not even looking at her until she stopped moving, staring at him.
Atlas looked back and he and Amadhay stared at each other just as Darach entered the room. “Armerose,” he said, shaking his head, “It figures your curse would bring you here.” He stole Atlas’ attention, moving into the room and choosing to stand before Atlas rather than sit in the unused chair.
I doubt the dead one cares about how short your legs are. Benjy entered the room, shutting the door without touching it.
“Barqael,” Atlas stated coldly, standing just as semi-corporeal Benjy walked through Darach before becoming fully tangible to sit next to Amadhay.
“How did y—” Amadhay started to question Atlas on knowing that Benjy was with her, but Benjy interrupted her.
“You know your cousin, Hynnkel?” Benjy asked Amadhay. She tried to concentrate on the looks Atlas and Darach were giving each other, as if they were speaking without words. “The spicket one? I saw him the other day. He was with your sister and that cute catgirl.”
That was all he had to say to get her full attention. Christein, too, kept mentioning the cute catgirl. “And these two Palnoki members. I just remembered that ‘cause of Atlas. One of the members was one of his two Second-In-Commands. I don’t like the other one. He’s a creep.” Benjy sounded bored, but she knew just how much he recognized she was interested in what he had just said. Hynnkel with Palnokians? High-ranking Palnokians? What is he planning?
“You,” Atlas said abruptly, turning from Darach to Benjy.
Benjy grinned suddenly, straightening up to look at Atlas as if everything was going according to some plan Amadhay didn’t know about. “Yes?”
“Go get those two Palnoki members.”
Atlas giving orders bothered Amadhay, and she knew it was more than the situation where they should have been in charge, asking questions and getting answers, not the other way around, with them doing whatever he wanted. Something strange was going on and she was having a hard time determining what it was.
“You know, we’re not here so much to bring you people as we are to demand answers to Lord Phoeganis’ questions.” Her fingers began drumming on the table, a sure sign of her pent up energy battling with her irritation. “So how about you answer one itty bitty question? Then we’ll get to those people for you. Mkay? Mkay.”
“No,” Benjy said to both Amadhay and Atlas. His expression had changed from cocky to a stubborn one that Amadhay knew too well. “I answer to Lord Phoeganis, not Lord Palnoki.”
“Amadhay Hakinato,” Darach said coldly. Amadhay felt a chill go up her spine at his use of her family name. Very few people knew it and even fewer used it, considering it carried so much power that she, herself, didn’t. “Go find Tenshu Tanhakinshu and Mitchell Hunnigan. Atlas will not answer your questions, but I’m sure they will. Take a woman named Scarlet Johannes as well, but be careful not to underestimate any of them. That’s an order.”
“Thought he didn’t know you,” Benjy muttered under his breath, glancing at Amadhay from the corner of his eye.
“Obviously he doesn’t,” Amadhay snapped, anger coursing through her. She hopped off of the table, her heels snapping loudly against the floor as she moved to stand face to chest with Darach, but her fury made her seem inches taller.
“Look. You may be in charge with your information gatherers, but I am not one of them. I do not answer to you.” She clenched her fists and glared just past him at the wall. “I answer only to Punishment, and only him when I want to. So if you want to rephrase that as a request, then maybe I will consider it. But until then, I suggest you hold your tongue unless you want me to cut it out.”
She used her pent up energy to switch into her Gift, moving from almost in his face, back to the table. She was now holding Mayday, petting the kitten furiously to keep herself from doing something she was sure she would regret if for no other reason than because Arne Riff and Alphonse would make sure she did. She was envisioning ripping Darach’s tongue out of his mouth while Benjy stared at her in surprise when Atlas turned to her. He placed a hand on either side of her, with one hand on her knee and the other behind her, his arm just touching her back.
“Amadhay, go get them for me then. You don’t have to obey any orders, but to keep both you and Lord Phoeganis happy, I need them.” Something about that didn’t sound right, didn’t make sense to her. “I promise I’ll give you something in return. I swear,” he whispered urgently in her ear. Her eyes flickered over to Benjy, who seemed to object to the lack of personal space between her and Atlas, which she found interesting. More so, she questioned that she didn’t object to the lack of space between them.
“Take the ghost with you if you agree. Scarlet’s not easy, or normal. I think Cyborg versus Phantom would be fair enough, if you can handle a vampire and a human-ish boy.”
When Mayday scratched Amadhay to get to Atlas, she let him go and Atlas moved back from the girl, stroking the kitten with a small smile. Amadhay studied his face for a few moments, severely bothered by something, but not knowing what. It was only because she was so close that she could hear what Atlas was muttering to the kitten. “I’m fine. Only Darach can hurt me. The others might not be so lucky, but they’ll find a way.”
She liked a challenge. “C’mon Benjy,” she said, nodding at Atlas, who moved out of her way so she could slide off of the table. She glanced at Darach, who was once again studying her with an intensity she didn’t like at all. “Let’s go get some Palnoki.”
Benjy got to his feet just as she did. Once they were at the door, Atlas called out to her again. “Make sure your friend keeps away from Tenshu,” Atlas told her pointedly.
“Why?” she asked, stopping in the doorway. She looked at Atlas, but it was Benjy who answered her question.
“He’s a necromancer,” he said darkly.Her eyes widened slightly as she realized the implications. Phantoms and necromancers were in no way well matched. “Got it,” she said, more to Atlas than Benjy. “Let’s get going,” she told Benjy, leaving the room with him following close behind her.