the shadow demon emerges

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[Q&Q]

He stands in an alcove, waiting for the right moment. He's wearing all black DecayFac3, boots and waxed jeans and a shirt unbuttoned too far, showing off his very smooth and sculpted chest, his raven dreads dangling over his smudged kohl eyes. He's like a hot demon perpetually emerging from the shadows.

Finally he see his mark. A short person in a dirty hoodie with no logo passes by. The shadow demon emerges from his lair, grabbing the person by the hoodie and dragging them across the hallway, shoving them through the bathroom door, before they can even register a protest. The person stumbles against the sinks and turns to look at their assailant. Their eyes grow wide in fearful recognition.

"Se7enJaw," the person says.

"extra_mar. Good to see you," Se7enJaw says. "Been a while."

"Yeah not long enough in my opinionation. How's the subversive quilting business."

"Very fulfilling. This won't take long and it doesn't have to be unpleasant. I just need a little information."

"Yeah so do I. A proper education is the cornerstone to a successful-"

In one smooth motion Se7enJaw has extra_mar in an arm lock, pinned against the wall. "I need a very *specific piece of information," he says.

extra_mar pauses, waiting, then clears their throat. "Well can you be more...specific."

Se7enJaw releases extra_mar's arm. "Isabella_the_Ronin."

"No no no," extra_mar says, trying to brush past Se7enJaw, who shoves them back against the wall. "I don't know anything about that."

"You do. She stole something from the Upperclass today. I just want to know her plan."

"Don't ask me that, I can't help you with that."

Se7enJaw leans on the wall next to extra_mar, pushes their beanie up and begins twirling a piece of their hair.

"I'll be honest mar I don't see a lot of options for you here."

"OK look I get it, I help you or I'm dead. But if I help you Isabella will kill me. So I'm going to take my chances with her, no offense."

"I'll handle Isabella. In the meantime, here's your incentive." He swipes his screen and holds it up.

extra_mar stops breathing for a second. "Is that a math book?"

"It is."

"Unlocked?"

"Jail-broken and untraceable."

"I could learn algebra," mar whispers, almost to themself.

"Or sell it to someone who wants to. I've heard the Binomial Theorem fetches a good price these days."

extra_mar licks their lips nervously as Se7enJaw swipes through a few pages of the book, each one showing a more complicated mathematical equation than the last. "Fine OK," they say. "Isabella grabbed Qynka. She has her stashed in a closet in the UnderSchool. 43H. Word is if the Upper Admins don't meet certain demands by the end of the day, Qynka starts losing body parts."

"Whose demands? Isabella's?"

"I believe I was promised certain mathematical knowledge."

"And you'll get it. Isabella isn't working alone on this, is she."

extra_mar shrugs. "I don't know where it's coming from but it's a big move for Isabella. Seems unlikely she pulled this off on her own."

Se7enJaw nods in thought. "43H, that's above the Upper science wing."

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