"Uh, is this Triessa...Elrich?" He sounded uncomfortable to Triessa, uncertain...and his voice seemed like someone who wasn't uncertain often. "Our mutual acquaintance said you might be able to get me some leads from some information I have gathered.
Triessa was sitting in the beach house, chilling a little before heading out to meet the mystery man. The one who'd had that weird, spooky but kind of intriguing conversation with her. Gravely. Mike had let her know to expect a call, and he'd said Gravely was legit. Hardcore, but legit. That was a relief, but also pretty scary. Everything was getting real. Was she ready?
She got to her feet, checking her watch, and went to the door to look out at the eternal gentle ocean waves as they came rolling in. It was sunny, with just a bit of hazy mist hanging around, limiting visibility around the house while not really blocking the light. Seeing the place brought that same feeling of comfort and safety mingled with the ache of loss that it always did. Triessa kissed her two first fingertips and touched them to the doorframe as she walked out of the house and hung a left at the line where the sand was wet, following the coastline. The mist thickened as she went, until it was pea-soup fog and the noise of the water faded away. Then there was only silence, and mist...
And then the mists parted, if not all the way. Enough to see the world again, but the world was different. The placid oceanside replaced by her parents' house...well, her house now. It still didn't feel real, over a decade later. Everything looked fuzzy and tinged with grey, and the sounds were muted. Like looking at the world through slightly dirty, overly thick glass.
Clad in the last lingering curls of silver mist, Triessa started off to the meeting, propelled by her will through the border shoals where astral and material worlds met.
She'd suggested the University Botanical Gardens for the meeting spot. It was large enough that two people could easily find privacy, but public enough that they could get help if anything went wrong. And if she needed time to step over, it wouldn't be hard to stay out of sight for a minute there. He'd agreed.
They hadn't talked much on the call. It felt very...spy to her. Not classy, cool James Bond kind of spy though. More like how she figured a 'real' spy would be. Gruff. To the point. Volunteering and asking for no details. Again...scary.
The mists cleared again, revealing the copious greenery of the Gardens. There was a greenhouse, a glass building that was large enough and distinctive enough to be easily spotted. That's where they'd meet. Triessa breezed through the trees and people as if they weren't there, making a beeline for the greenhouse. She was running a tiny bit late, just a few minutes. Hopefully he'd still be there.
Gravelly hadn't said much about how to recognize him, but Triessa spotted him right off. Some people look like how they sound, and that was definitely true of her phone-spook pal. Shadows of things he'd seen were in his eyes, in his face...a weight he probably didn't know he felt, but bent him all the same.
Triessa moved to him and looked around. The annex was secluded, big enough for a group of four or five or six, but you had to pass through a curtain of flowers and vines to get into it. It would be safe to step over. On consideration she gave him a bit of space, a couple of arms length. Just in case he was jumpy. He'd only said he wanted her to check out some leads, and she'd assumed Mike had filled him in...but she wasn't taking chances.
As Gravely stood, listening to the cheeping birds and the distant sounds of the small waterfall at the other end of the greenhouse, he felt something change in the air. The feeling of heat and humidity eased, a sensation akin to being in a small room when someone opened a fridge not far away. A puff of cold air. When he turned around he saw a cool white mist rising, spilling from empty air as something took shape within it. A human figure that quickly resolved into a teenage girl with brown hair and dark eyes behind a pair of glasses.
She glanced behind her to make sure no one had seen her, then held a hand out.
"You're Gravely, right? Triessa. We talked."