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Character Nim

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Getting Ready for the Party - Maelstrom

(Originally written on March 4, 2018)

- August 18th, Centrum, West Twins, and Highholm with a jaunt through Paramount Hill -

Work at Hansons Apparel had been busier than usual, but Emily had expected this. Councilman Jeremiah Spink was hosting a big party later in the evening, so much of the aristocracy was getting new dresses, suit adjustments, and other last minute improvements to what they would wear to the event. Emily, of course, would be there, so she would have to leave work on time today. Fortunately, Emily had prepared adequetly for the influx of business, with most of her sales personnel scheduled to work. They had been able to handle the load quite well for the most part. Emily had tried to spend as much time on the floor as possible so that she could meet the customers. Relationship building was critical to her job as the sales manager, and also to her... other job.

Knowing people and getting them to like her made it much easier for her to learn about them. The more Emily could find out about people, the more information she could give back to the Rising Star. The Rising Star was hungry for information, and Emily was happy to provide it.

Emily had been able to get out of work a little after five, and from there, she took a shuttle to her apartment. Everyone thought that the aristocracy all lived in fancy mansions, and many of them did, but not everyone had that kind of money. Emily certainly didn't.

Emily lived in a fairly nice apartment that was as close to Highholm as she could afford. She did have to live by herself in order to limit the likelyhood of someone catching wind of her clandestine ties to the The Rising Star, which unfortunately was quite expensive. Still, she managed to get by with her income from Hansons and what little the Rising Star could afford to pay her.

After getting home from work, Emily spent a number of hours cleaning herself and getting ready for the party. Once she was done, she got a ride to the Highholm Gate. Highholm was quite an exclusive community, and not just anyone was allowed through. Fortunately, Emily was one of those people who was welcome inside.

After tipping the cab driver, she got in line at one of the pedestrian guard stations. Ten minutes later, she finally got to the front of the line, where she pulled out her ID card and flashed it to a stern-looking guard.

"Hi Phil," Emily began as the guard performed the required inspection of her card to verify that it wasn't a fake. "How is Sara doing?"

"She is holding on. The doctor says we have to keep the twins in her for another month in order to make sure they develop enough, but Sara's having more and more contractions. It's getting tough," the guard answered, handing her card back to her.

Emily smiled sympathetically as she took the card and put it back into her purse. "Stay strong, Phil. Just one more month, and you'll be a parent. Have you thought of names for them yet?"

Phil broke a smile as he replied, "They say it's bad luck to name a child before it's born... but we were thinking of naming them Mark and Daniel if they're boys, or Ruth and Isabella if they're girls."

"What if you get a boy and a girl?"

"We haven't thought of that yet. Now shoo, the people behind you are getting impatient."

Emily smiled guiltily, waved goodbye, and walked through the gate into Highholm. She made her way to Spink's manor on foot, having memorized most of Highholm's geography. She wasn't at all worried about being mugged, as Highholm was by far the safest area in the city thanks to people like Phil. Emily could have picked up another cab past the gate, but Highholm cab drivers charged an arm and a leg for their services. She didn't have money to burn like that.

The walk ended up being pleasant, with the temperature being fairly nice, and the fans on the walls of Highholm keeping much of the smog away. She timed her arrival so that she got to the manor just a few minutes early, when alot of people would already be there, and well, she wouldn't be late. She hated being late, even at parties where being late was almost an expectation. There were already quite a few people she recognized, so she hit the party off by greeting them and talking to them about things that were going on in their lives.

Soon, the party began in ernest. Emily went about doing her thing, talking to people, learning the juisiest gossip, and whatnot, and all the while, she plotted how she would go about trying to get close to the host, Councilman Jermiah Spink. He would know a wealth of things that Rising Star would like to know, so a conversation with him could be very productive...

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