Upon being permitted to speak, her story comes out all in a piece. "My name is Alicia Farnsworth. I am part of a group of escaped slaves, from Atlantis. We managed to arrange a deal with the Underground Railroad to get us out. One of us had a relative on the continent, who made the arrangements to pay for it, you see. Well, the smugglers held up their end of the bargain and got us out, but Aldus--that's the man who hired them--was waylaid on his way to make payment, and while he survived, he was robbed of everything. Things... didn't go well after that. The smugglers--coyotes, they're called--refused to release us if they weren't getting paid; said they would put us to work for themselves, or sell us off again to recoup the cost. They agreed to let me go to try to raise the money--I do have some family I was able to contact, you see. But I've only been able to get a fraction of the price, and time is running out."
She gives a small sob. "I swear, we will pay them the full amount, as we are able. We genuinely owe them for getting us out of that horrible place. But it is such a large sum, I just can't gather it in time. I need someone capable to negotiate for us--we just need time to earn the money, or find some way for the rest of the people to be released without being sold off back into slavery; I think, after coming so close to being free, that would break many of them."
She takes a small breath, then continues. "I will be honest, if I thought there was a way, I would ask you to use force, but... you see, to get us out of Atlantis, they used a Rift. That took us to a waypoint; I do not know where that holding facility actually is. Then they opened a second Rift here when I told them about my family--it was as close as they could get me to home. They released me, and gave me two weeks. That comes up in two days. I have to meet them at the Nexus then, or they will start... I only have a quarter of what we owe."