"Thank you for flying Iron Airlines. Was there anything we could get you to drink? Does Sir...?"
An understandable question, as was the faintest hesitation before the first second and the second; the man standing in the walkway of the plane, dressed quite sharply, had a green and nervous look to his face as he spoke, eyes flicking towards the exit door, and then back towards his guest. He cleared his throat ever so slightly, shaking his head, and then glancing off to the side. He shuffled in place for a bit, as if he were waiting for a response, or some sort of dispensation to run away
Yaksha Dokuja paused for only the slightest second, as he looked away from the magazine he was reading. A pen was stuck between his teeth, or what passed for teeth in a hollow's masked mouth; it looked more like a great deal of strings, tightly woven together, had been threaded across the white surface, giving it a distinctly inorganic feel as he moved the writing utensil back and forth, gently cooing in the back of his throat."Hm? Oh, no. No, I don't. Whatever you were thinking of tacking onto that statement, I don't. You can take my word on that. I don't really see the point. I've far too many better things to do than...that. But if you could bring me a fresh ream of paper, I'd appreciate it greatly. I believe this plane was clocked as one of the fastest of its model, yes?""Yes Sir! We should be there within an hour and thirty minutes.""Really? Across the entire Atlantic? My, how the times change. Very well. Wake me when we arrive, if you don't mind. And please have the paper ready for me, I have a lot of very dense terminology to start spewing out when I land, and not very much time to do it.""We'll do our best to have some ready for you when we arrive. I doubt we have a full sheaf on the plane.""Mmm. Alright. Please do check for me. There's a bonus in it for you if you can procure me some while we're in transit."
This said, the hollow reached down into a pouch hanging just off the side of the seat, pulling out a thin band of black cloth, that ended in a long, hanging oblong. He examined it curiously, then gave out a sheepish, almost delighted chuckle. The apparatus identified, Yaksha then attached the sleep mask to his face, folding his hands in his lap, and proceeding to snore loudly enough to drown out any attempt at further speech.
An hour later, seventy minutes at the most, a clawed hand rose to pluck off the sleep mask, glancing down at a freshly assembled, if someone hastily-banded together sheaf of 250 pieces of paper rested in front of Yaksha. He let out a faint, almost delighted sound of acknowledgement, raising one hand and gently circling the papers a few times, causing a thin purple-and-black portal to appear just beneath them, and consume the parchment with scarcely a second of wasted time. Yaksha nodded just once, faintly, and then drew his own stack of bills from his above-head compartment, using one of his tails as nimbly as most would a hand. He began to count out the bills slowly, with great focus, and then set it neatly beside the spot where the sheaf of paper had been until a mere moment ago. Unsure of just how much the going rate for work in the airline industry was, Yaksha had taken no chances; he had prepared his money in stacks of a million, and one rested there at this very moment to be pocketed."Insofar as...thereby...deem it necessary to..."
He sighed, touching a hand to one of his horns, with the same unconscious gesture most would use to brush back a stray lock of hair, and then shook his head gently."Mmm. I certainly hope that he doesn't plan to start things right away when I arrive."
Twenty minutes later, a taxi driver was nearly choking on a piece of gum as an enormous white-clad monstrosity approached his vehicle, placing a hand on top of it and ducking forward. He slipped into the backseat with a bonelessness that brought to mind octopi or other similar creatures that could occupy spaces no larger than their head. Upon closer inspection, the hapless driver even noted that the hollow wore what was almost certainly a very expensive, specially-requested suit and tie...but on a hollow, even a very special request looks badly fitted. It jutted and hung in odd places, and looked like it was straining nearly to the breaking point in others. Yaksha rose a hand, gently gesturing as he reached out into thin air, plopping a large stack of papers into his lap."I've an appointment with a very important man. Please take me to Hayden.""What, you mean...Desmond? The boss?"
Yaksha paused in the act of slicing off the rubber band that had been meticulously used to bind the papers together, speaking not a single word...one couldn't even gauge his expression with his mask in the way, but somehow he was able to convey his unspoken disappointment at this question without a single word or spoken gesture. The taxi driver gulped, and set the vehicle into drive, setting off at a steady pace."So...what's your business in this nick of the woods?""I'm simply here to oversee some matters of protocol. I understand Mr. Hayden has made a very shocking statement recently, and I wish it to be known that I am sympathetic to the needs of the Vanguard, in this delicate time.""...Right then. Right you are. Shouldn't be long."
There were perhaps sixty seconds of silence as they rode in silence, before the hollow reached over from the back seat, nearly causing the taxi driver to swerve into oncoming traffic, as one clawed hand dropped a CD in his lap, speaking in that same faintly distracted, almost bemused tone."Could you please put this on? Your taste in music is crap."
Coding Altered From: [The Frost]