Dakota was slowly beginning to clean up the meeting room after this month's conference had come to a close a few shorts minutes ago. She had finished jotting down any additional notes and was beginning to wipe the wall-sized chalkboard down. Her movements were slow and deliberate as she continued to think about the topics that had been discussed, carefully mulling over everything that was shared today. As the words on the board disappeared, she filled her mind with every topic she erased, the ideas of her coworkers bouncing in her mind. It took about five minutes to finish cleaning the board, after which she fixed up the table and seats, imagining each of the Toranku in their respective chairs. Once she got to the Arakashi seat, she paused, thinking about the man who had sat there less than fifteen minutes ago. He seemed to be fairly at home in the meeting room, smoothly and easily communicating ideas and problems to the others and never overstepping boundaries while still pushing topics he believed deserved attention. His strength in the discussion was a very impressive attribute, especially with all the passionate people within the room, Claas herself included. Though there was still a certain nervousness she had felt from the man, and from her close vicinity to his chair from her own, it had been easy to tell whenever he had gotten overwhelmed. She hadn't offered any assistance, of course, because it wasn't her job to baby anybody within the room and she knew he had it under control anyway, as seen by his ability to quickly get over any troubling thoughts and join back in the group topics. Once the meeting had ended, however, it seemed he was hit pretty hard with the reality of who he was and what he was expected to do and be, as he left in quite a daze. Maybe I should seek him out after all... she thought to herself, contemplating it, before she decided she would, grabbing her notes and heading out of the room and down the long corridor towards the other offices where she hoped she'd find him. If not, she would just head to her own separate office and work on all the information she had been given, as a head start never hurt anyone.
Saladyn's heartbeat resounded in his ears and pulsated through his whole body. What was he doing? How the hell did he end up as a member of Hylion's Council, the Toranku 15? The young man ran his right hand through his bi-colored hair. He was lost. He didn't know where to go, or what he was doing. Saladyn had been late to the meeting, escorted in by one of the assistants. Sure, it was a lot like one of his business meeting, but he felt uneasy throughout it. Hopefully, he had been able to cover it up. Saladyn found himself in the middle of a large hall, with crystal windows on one side, pouring light in on the white marble floor and walls. The man turned, he had no idea what way he had come from, or where he was supposed to go. His pulse raised as anger seeped through him, in response, his nails on his left hand began to turn pure white and extended into sharp points. Stark scales began to cover his skin as Saladyn balled it into a fist, then slamming his arm against the wall. The marble cracked under the force, a few flecks falling to the floor as Saladyn swore. He was an absolute fool, thinking he could run an entire city, and that anger burned hotter at his lack of control. A voice rung through his head, Just let go... He wanted to. Saladyn wanted to give in, but something was tugging him back.
As Claas was walking towards the offices, she heard a shrill screech coming from the other direction, and she stopped abruptly, her hands clenching around the papers in her hands. What was going on? She wondered as she turned around, setting a brisk pace towards the source of the scream, her heels clicking against the marble floors noisily. Her steps were heavy as her anger began to build, immediately assuming the worst. Somebody had broken in and was killing the people in the building. Or maybe one of the workers themselves had turned on their country and began attacking everyone. Cold energy seeped from the woman as an icy blue haze began emitting from her palms, instantly forming into a sword. As she rounded a corner, she saw one of her assistants shaking in place, fear and panic glowing in their eyes. Dakota looked towards the direction they were looking in to see Saladyn, his fist curled and smashed into the wall. "Go," she told the woman, who jerked her head in Dakota's direction, then practically sprinted towards her and down the hall. The sword in Dakota's hand disappeared though the tension in her muscles didn't go away, nor did the distrust she felt in the pit of her stomach. "It's unlawful to destroy government property," she states, her voice cold and harsh as she stalked towards him, the sound of her steps reverberating in the space of the room. "Would you like to explain why you've quite possibly scared one of my most efficient workers into retirement and have hit the wall so hard you've broken it, or should I skip right to arresting you for treason?" She asks, no hint of remorse or hesitation in her voice. She'd been in her position too long and had done too much for all her efforts to go to waste because this man had manipulated his city's people into electing him. Her scarlet gaze burned into Saladyn, her magical presence radiating from her person and causing frost to gather across the windows, floor, and walls.
He turned abruptly, hiding his transformed arm behind his body. His voice was caught in his throat and a steamy tear burnt a trail down his face. It was his first day, and he was already caught by his boss crying. Dakota Claas was an intimidating woman and he suddenly knew why they called her what they did. Her icy aura seeped through him, chilling him to the bone, but his left arm still felt like it was burning him from the inside out. He gulped, unable to form words at he stared at the beautiful form of the scarlet haired woman. Saladyn couldn't help but notice her beauty, her stature, the furious gaze laid upon her perfect, flawless face. It made his knees weak. She was so stunningly cold. As he opened his mouth, attempting to form words, his body began to stumble backward until his back met the wall at the exact place he had broken it. He had nowhere to run, but nothing to say.
As the tear rolled down Saladyn's cheek, Dakota steeled her nerves before stepping forward, holding out her hands where a pair of handcuffs of ice appeared. "Give me your hands," she demanded. His emotional state had softened Dakota inwardly, though she refused to let it show, keeping her intense gaze trained on him. "If you refuse I will use any force necessary to detain you," she adds, her lips pulled thin in a stern frown.
His hands trembled as he outstretched them; the left hand still in enlarged and covered in scales due to his magic, scalding at the touch. The right remained normal, a plain, copper band around his wrist. His pulse was still racing and heat seemed to be coming off him in waves, crashing when it came in contact with the icy aura around Dakota. He stuttered, beginning to speak. "I'm sor-"
Despite the bizarre appearance of his hand, Claas remained unaffected, having seen far stranger in her lifetime. She simply adjusted the size of one cuff and locked them in place, reinforcing them with a layer of wind to ensure he wouldn't melt through them. The heat emanating from his scaled hand was brutal, and if not for the frigid layer of cold magic energy around her, she probably wouldn't have even been able to touch him directly. "Shut your mouth," she snaps before he can finish his apology. "I don't want to hear another word from you unless I've asked you a direct question. Now, can we talk civilly and figure everything out, or do I need to interrogate you like the criminal I have no choice but to assume you are?"
"I'm not a criminal." He snapped, the tears breaking away as demonic anger seeped in. "If you want to treat me like a one then go ahead. I shouldn't have been elected anyway." His eyes were narrowed into slits and the black strands in his bangs began to grow. He wasn't sure why, but he was pushing her. Maybe it was the demonic influence he felt as the soul inside of him shift. Saladyn winced in pain, shuttering as it briefly overwhelmed him.
Dakota's eyebrows quirked up at Saladyn's sudden change in demeanor, her body tensing in preparation for a physical fight. She clasped her hands together, a chair forming behind each of them. "Go ahead and take a seat," she states, though she made no move to sit. "If your not a criminal, then what were you doing destroying government property?" She asks, narrowing her eyes in suspicion. "Or perhaps a better question would be how you got into such a high position if you shouldn't have?"
Saladyn sat, crossing his legs and holding his hands in his lap. "I don't remember." He said bitterly. His head hurt. It was as if he was being split in two. "I didn't mean to break it. I'm stronger than I realize sometimes." He coughed gently into his shoulder, attempting to be polite even though he was shackled. As people passed them by, Saladyn couldn't help but feel flushed under their strange gazes.
Dakota neatly sat in the other seat after Saladyn, crossing her own legs and resting her hands over her knee. She considered the other man and the validity of his words, her lips pursing in thought. "Accidents happen, I am well aware of this. I expect the repairs to be paid in full and done by tomorrow evening or there will be serious consequences," she states, her gaze traveling away from Saladyn for a moment, looking towards somebody who was walking by. She hails them over. "If you could, I would much appreciate it if you gathered Arakashi's campaign and election files of this year," she requests, and they nod, walking away. "You're a takeover mage, and a very bad one at that, as it seems." Her tone is neutral as she states this, simply stating facts rather than intentionally insulting him. The person returns with a manila folder with S. Hiroshima written in capitals along the tab. Dakota takes the folder, pulling a few sheets out. "I read over everything about your election three times this morning alone. Most of your people were very supportive of your campaign and quite a few people in high positions sought me out specifically for help or advice in getting you elected. So why say you are not worthy? Do you intend to throw these people's efforts back in their faces? Are you not thankful for the time, energy, and money they put into getting you where you are now?"
"I ran to make a change. To do better. But, I am not strong. I'm not a leader and I regret ever running. Being in that meeting room. Seeing all of you at work, it made me realize that." Saladyn looked at his palms, but his head quickly shot up at the sound of a bullet whizzing through the air. Simultaneously, Saladyn stood, his scaled arm growing as it ripped through the ice cuffs. "Look out!" He shouted, throwing his left arm out and grabbing Claas with his right, then pushing her to the ground with him. It happened instantly and before Saladyn knew it, blood was spilling out of his scaled arm and onto the white floor.
Claas nodded. "If you view yourself as a weakling you will never grow stronger," she states. She opens her mouth to continue, however, Saladyn's shout stops her, and then he proceeds to tackle her to the ground. She quickly twists as they are falling, ending up face-to-face with Saladyn with no more than two inches separating them. She draws her hands together despite the sizzling pain in her shoulder blades from landing on them so harshly, stating, "Dome," as they touched. A semi-sphere of ice surrounded the pair, protecting them from future assaults and Dakota grabbed Saladyn's hips, and in a burst of speed and strength, turned towards her right, pinning Saladyn beneath her. Her hand flies up to the wound on his arm, pouring frozen magic energy into her palm. Despite it, the sizzling heat that emanated from the limb canceled the effects, and his blood continued to pool beneath him. "Control your goddamn magic!" She snaps out, before she just gave up. "Never mind with fixing your wound, you'll probably cauterize it anyway. Come with me," she demands, grabbing his wrist and dropping the dome, quickly rising to her feet. "Shield," she stated, the ice from the dome forming into a rounded shield in front of them that followed Dakota's movements as she made her way towards the hall and away from the window. "I want all efforts focused on finding the perpetrator, though limited harm is to come to their body! If you must, please aim to slow them down, not mortally wounding them!" She commands, her voice booming throughout the building. "And you are not to do anything else. In fact, go to the infirmary to get properly stitched up," she states.
Saladyn began to walk quickly toward the Infirmary without another word. His arm ached and throbbed, but as Dakota claimed, his wound was cauterized by the heat emanating from his arm. He was in shock that his body have moved on his own, it was instinct to protect her and it backfired horribly. She hates me, even more, doesn't she... He thought to himself, mentally slapping himself. Dakota Claas was an intimidating yet alluring woman and he had already screwed himself over with her multiple times. As Saladyn entered the infirmary someone quickly tended to his wound. He was told that the bullet wound went straight through his hand and likely lodged itself somewhere in the floor. As he watched the hole in his scaled hand disappear, he couldn't help but think of how much he had blundered today. Once the nurse walked away Saladyn ran his opposite hand through his hair and muttered. "I'm totally getting fired on my first day."
As Saladyn walked off, Claas began walking towards the nearest watchtower, her figure becoming distorted as a bright light enveloped her body. A moment later, she donned a skintight black suit with a belt hung low over her hips, a gun holster and sword sheath on either side. She quickly ascended the stairs to the tower, her hand resting over her sword just in case the assailant was within the tower. Once she reached the top and deemed it safe she quickly began looking across the distances she could see from. Dozens of her underlings scoured the ground and the people within the towers used Heaven's Eye Magic to see over the far distances. Within ten minutes they had identified and found the assailant and it only took another five to apprehend them and bring them back to the compound. Claas left the watchtower and traveled back into the main building. On her way to the interrogation room she went past the infirmary and stopped in front of the door. "If you're conscious and functioning follow me," she states, waiting for his response before going forward again.
Saladyn stands quickly and resists the urge to look anywhere but her eyes. "Uh, yes ma'am." He stumbles out, following her down the hall. He can't help but jump every time her heels click against the cool, marble floor. The burning sensation was a mere tickle by now as Saladyn finally took the slightest bit of control over his arm. The pain was still there, but he didn't feel the burning anymore. Saladyn looks at the ugly, enlarged scale-covered arm and sighed deeply. It was a horrid power; one that he completely loathed, though he would admit, the healing was nice. "Where are we going?" He asks, trying to maintain at least the slightest sense of normality after he was arrested, and then shot.
Claas silently led him down the hall, feeling his gaze at her back and lower. Beyond that, she heard the slight hiccups in his steps, no doubt because of the nervousness that whispered through his veins. The heat she had felt coming off his body before was light now, hardly noticeable unless she really focused on it. At his question, Claas pauses in her movements, turning on him a moment later, her vibrant hair fanning like flames around her as she moved. "We won't be going anywhere unless you stop staring at my ass," she hisses out. She reaches forward, bunching up the front of Saladyn's shirt in her fist. Glaring down at him with fury glowing in her eyes, she continues. "If I catch your gaze anywhere but on the man we're about to interrogate I will make you wish you had died. Understood?"
"Yes, Ma'am." He whispered meekly, allowing her to drop him back to the ground. He shook his head rapidly, attempting to get back into focus as he walked quickly, trying to keep even with the red-headed woman. As they entered the interrogation room he leaned up against a corner, concealing his hand once more behind his body. He bore his eyes into the assailant, not allowing his eyes to even flicker for a second in fear of Councilwoman Claas. The attacker was a roughly shaven middle-aged man with a scruff of unruly gray hair on his head. He jutted his jaw upward and spoke. "Why's the guy starin' at me, he mad that he got shot?"
Claas watched as Saladyn walked over to the corner of the room, her gaze following his deliberate movements that concealed his beastly appendage. Of course, the man had not so much as glanced at her through the corner of his eye, and she then focused her attention on the man who sat handcuffed to a table. "Why do you ask stupid questions?" She retorts, sauntering over to the chair opposite him. She turned it around and then sat down, resting her arms across the back and leaning forward over them so she could get a better look at the man. "Now, what possessed you to try and attack Hylion's capital building and the leader of the country's capital?"
"Bored. I was paid pretty decently to do so, plus I'd see you die. Win, win." The man smiled, then his cheeks quickly puffed and spit flew through the air landing quickly on Claas' face. Saladyn's arm reached faster than he could think; the pale scaled arm launched outward and a burning, searing heat struck the man's face along with three blooding gashes grazing his cheek. Saladyn had stepped out of the corner as his arm calmly moved back to his side. A snarl momentarily rested on his face before it turned back into an expression of neutrality. "My apologies Miss Claas, that was rash."
Claas wiped the glob of saliva off her cheek, flicking the offending slime off to the side. She watched as Saladyn came forward and delivered a swift blow to the man's face, leaving three distinct claw marks along his face. She remains perfectly neutral, only giving Sal a sidelong glance to even show she had acknowledged his speaking. Any other instance and she had never lifted her gaze from the man's. "Well, now you have nothing. Well, actually, you have less than nothing. You've received a blow to your pride for having failed in such a menial task as shooting an unsuspecting person and you're missing part of your cheek." She maintains a cool and calm aura about her, pressing her palms flat on the table, pouring her magic energy into the metal slab. Instantly, the temperature of the table drops, pain pricking across the man's arms where they were in contact. "All the cockiness in the world would never save you from the never ending pain I could inflict on you without ever touching you. Choose your words and actions wisely," she states, lifting her hands from the table, allowing the frost that had gathered to begin to melt away. "Who employed you and why? Refuse to answer and I'll throw your ass in jail and I'll be the only person you'll ever see or talk to again."
"I don't know. I got a call from a guy. His voice was deep. He told me that there was money in my mailbox and that he'd pay me twice that if I killed you. I needed the money and I'm a good shot, so I took it." The man gritted his teeth while speaking, hissing as the ice pricked and releasing his tension as the ice melted. "Would you deny me some first aid. I need some as you can probably see." The man directed his glare at Saladyn, who firmly stood his ground, not saying another word.
Claas grinds her teeth, pressing her palms on the table again. "What kind of idiot just accepts offers from strangers?" She asks, cold rage filling her voice. "Are you telling me all I have to do to catch criminals is sound like a chain smoker and give them some cash in advance and they'll come running to Hylion's Capitol Building?" She freezes the table over again, this time, ice spikes jumping from the surface and digging into the man's skin, dyeing the foggy white fractal ruby red. "Saladyn, please have a cell prepared, I'm done dealing with him," Claas says, standing up from the chair and leaving the room. She stayed just outside in the hall, running her fingers through her hair to calm down, requipping back into a white blouse and black skirt as she rested her back against the wall.
Saladyn's arm shifted back to normal as he calmed himself down, the shooter's grunts of pain accompanying the air. He moved quickly and started flirtatiously speaking to a female guard. After a quick conversation and small gestures toward the interrogation room, the guard began to walk to detain and imprison the shooter, sending a coy smile back at Saladyn. He then walked over to Claas and leaned up against the wall beside her. "Are you alright?" He asked calmly, trying to ignore the nervousness he felt gathering in his stomach.
Claas lifts her head up as Saladyn leans against the wall next to her, sending him a disapproving glare. "Yeah, just peachy Sal," she responds, pushing off the wall. "You could have been killed, and it would have been my fault. And don't you dare bullshit me about it because it's my job to set up security and its my job to ensure that everything is in order so incidents like this don't happen." She spits out. "And now, on top of my normal workload, I have to find a way to maximize security and I have to extract information from a man who knows absolutely nothing until I find the puppet master. You'd think after three years I'd know how to handle this a bit better but I really don't. And while you were chatting up a storm with one of the employees I was over here plotting a criminal's demise so you're not allowed to sympathize with me either."
He couldn't help but sigh in response to her words and felt dread continue to toil in his gut. "Dakot- I mean- Miss Cla- Councilwoman Claas," He stuttered, before attempting to regain his composure. "It, well, it looks like you could use a break. Your job is stressful and I always see you working and I don't think that you could have prevented it..." He gathered breath and spat out words before he even had a chance to think about them. "I think you deserve to have some fun!" As a brief moment of silence passed Saladyn looked mortified as she stared at him, waiting for the fiery-haired woman to say something. Anything.
Claas stares at him for a good while, her gaze devoid of any emotion as she let his words settle in her mind. "Saladyn," she starts, forcing down any urges to yell at him for suggesting that she just relax when an attempted murderer was in the building and their employer could be anywhere in Hylion right now; right under their noses or several hundred miles away. "Are you aware of the common criminal behaviors? They return to the crime scene, appear sympathetic, even perform benevolent acts." She pauses, her posture open and relaxed, though the cold undertone to her voice was at odds with such a calm disposition. "Isn't it odd that the day you show up is the day somebody tries to gun me down? Now, I can believe you are looking out for my well-being when you tell me that I deserve a break, or I can listen to the voice in my head that tells me that you might have something to do with this. Who do you think the ever-careful, cautious, and calculated Councilwoman Claas will listen to?" She asks, her body buzzing with adrenaline as she rested a hand on his shoulder. "Please be compliant. It would be a shame if I were to put a permanent end to your little Takeover problem, wouldn't it?" The hand resting over his arm turns ice cold, easily permeating the layer of clothing to reach his skin, not enough to do any damage though close enough that it would take less than a second for her to freeze his limb and break it into a thousand tiny pieces.
Saladyn's distress grew and grew as she continued talking and he felt the cold rush down his arm as she froze it. Before he knew, his skin was scalding and scales began to appear. As his hair turned darker and his arms transformed, he uttered out four words. "Oh no. Not now." Quickly, his hair faded to a pitch black and after one blink, his previously ocean blue eye had turned blood red. The man swiftly grabbed and pulled Dakota's arm off his left with his right and took a step back, letting out a deep chuckle. "Damn, it feels good to be back out," Seraph said. The man began to untie his tie and unbutton the top two buttons of his dress shirt and then his shoulders backward. Simultaneously, two large jet-shaded, bat-like wings ripped through the back of his shirt, unfurling behind him. "Well," Seraph said, turning his attention back to Dakota. "I suppose you're Dakota Class, the one who scared dear Sally so shitless he let me out."
Dakota watched as the man took on another persona, the abrupt change in his appearance and demeanor causing her to furrow her brows. How can someone have so little control over a magic? This is absolutely ridiculous! She thinks to herself, waiting with ebbing patience for the entire swap was completed. "I am the Dakota Claas you seek." She says simply, taking a few moments to assess the new situation. Sure, her main element would be difficult to use against him, but she also had a gun and a rapier available. There was no need to panic, and her body language reflected that; a tall stance that clearly portrayed the control she held over the situation and that she would continue to keep such control. "Now, to avoid this situation turning into something it doesn't need to be, I would like you to follow me to the interrogation room. No handcuffs necessary, I would just like a closed off space to speak to you about Saladyn's motivations. He seems much too spineless to ever consider plotting a governmental collapse, though there could be more than meets the eye, and I'm sure you could understand why I would be cautious. There is more at stake than my life with the gunman's employer still out there. Continent-wide panic would arise if news of this spread, and I would like to get rid of the problem before it causes any more pandemonium."
"Gunman?" The man asked cautiously, his eyes darting around carefully. "Who?" He pivoted briefly, checking the area around them and blatantly ignoring those who stared at his demonic appearance. Where am I? He thought, cursing the amnesia that rose whenever he seized control of his host. Seraph spotted the logo of the Toranku 15, quickly determining his position. After Seraph determined that the area around them was safe he continued talking, a gentle smirk laced across his lips, "Why of course. I'd go anywhere with such a beautiful woman like yourself." He then reached out, grabbing her arm and pulling her into him, whispering in her ear. "I just need you to show me the way."
Dakota nodded, "The gunman who shot at Saladyn and I. His identity has yet to be confirmed, though I assure you multiple tests and figures are being run at the moment to figure that out." She watches as he begins turning, assessing the area he's in. There must be a memory lapse when they switch. Impractical in any situation, battle or otherwise, especially with the time it takes for this switch to occur. She thinks to herself, studying over Seraph's physique. He was fit, a given considering the high demand being a mage took when those without magic were blissfully unaware of any sense of danger. The smirk that pulls at his lips is not missed, his sultry tone of voice serving to put Dakota on her guard. Despite this, she was not prepared for him to pull her closer, and while she showed no signs of surprise, she was not able to resist it either. She grits her teeth as he whispers in her ear, her hand latching around the arm that held hers. "I suggest never touching or speaking to me in such a familiar manner again or you may have trouble walking to the destination." She grounds out, before releasing her grip and wrenching her arm away from his. She turns on her heel, returning to the interrogation room and holding the door open for him. "Please have a seat. I am aware of how Takeover spells work, though I assume this is a rapidly different arrangement considering the change in appearance and demeanor. So, if there is a change in name as well, I would appreciate being informed of this." She goes to the seat she had been in before, turning it the correct way and seating herself in what appears to be a relaxed manner, though judging by the taut muscles in her crossed arms, she is anything but. "In any case, the conversation Saladyn and I were holding earlier was rudely interrupted by a gunman. The only thing I learned about the man is that he wishes to see a change but has no desire to make said change. He lacks any confidence in himself and his achievements. He is weak, that much is clear, but it seems he is only weak because he does not allow his strength to show. So, what led him to selflessly defend me against a bullet? Other than to shake us off his trail in the event that he has orchestrated this entire thing."
Seraph snickered as she threatened him, yet obediently followed her into the room, turning down his own body temperature until it was only a faint toaster-like heat. At her command concerning the seat, he politely declined. "Sorry, sitting ain't the most comfortable thing with these." He said, motioning to his wings. Seraph listened, observing her body, well aware that she could strike at any moment. "Oh, well, you see, Sally suffers from something I'd call Hero Complex. The majority of the time he's a little spineless bastard and I have to do all of the hard work whenever he gets scared, then suddenly in the face of danger he has these stupid little moments that actually make him seem brave or charming or whatever you ladies like these days." Seraph couldn't hold back his laughter at her final statement. Between choked, gasps of air, he managed to speak. "Fuckin' Sal behind all of this. Goddamn, that's so insane it's funny. Ah man, you really do have a stick shoved up your ass don't you lady? Also. What makes you think you were the target?" His expression darkened, "If I was to go against the 15, I'd start off with an elaborate distraction such as... Oh, well, I dunno," A grin returned to Seraph's face as he finished his statement, watching the gears turn in the red-haired woman's head. "Hiring some grunt to take a shitty shot at the first chair?"
Dakota quietly listened to his explanation, turning the idea of a Hero Complex over in her mind several times. "In the name of impressing others, he risks his life... That is stupid, why would I be impressed when he can't even show the same bravery in a zone where his life isn't threatened?" She watches in silence as he fell into a laughing fit, her expression turning grim. "Miss Class, if you wouldn't mind, sir." She says, grounding out every syllable. "Though I suppose your feral and otherwise primitive mind can not really comprehend common courtesy and mannerisms, now could it?" She places her hands together in her lap as he continues on, gritting her teeth. "The man was expendable. He wasn't loyal to the cause, he wanted money. A distraction would ensure I was holed up in here the whole time doing everything I could to maximize security. That would give them ample time to group up and prepare a revolt, one with a more assured victory. They wouldn't even have to attack here, any small part of the city to get us bending over backward to save the people." She took a deep breath in, closing her eyes for a moment before returning her gaze to Seraph. "If you wouldn't mind, I do believe Saladyn offered to take me out for fun. Of course, I won't be having any fun, but maybe he'll stop shaking in his boots if I accept. And in turn, I can scout out the city for places they might group up and prevent anything from occurring."
He was amused and it was evident by the broad grin plastered across his handsome face. Seraph supposed that he liked Miss Claas, she was unlike any of the other girls he toyed with. She didn't get flustered by his flirtatious actions nor was overly aggressive and she even shot insults back at him. At the mention of Saladyn however, the expression faded. "Claas-y," He said softly, "It doesn't really work that way. We don't really control when it switches, it just happens. Whenever Saladyn gets stressed, angry or nervous, he and I switch for a while." Seraph's body began to shift, the wings shrunk back into his body and the stark scales on his arms faded, turning back to soft, peachy skin. "I don't always look like a demon. It's his negative emotions that set off that charge." His own glowing crimson eyes bore into hers as a frown cut into his soft features. He hadn't always been evil. It was just an accident and guilt that had lead him to his current position.
She watched with mild curiosity as his form receded into a more humanoid one, his crimson glowing eyes and pitch black hair the only reminder that he wasn't the true inhabitant of the body. Her body relaxes the slightest bit, her lips pursing together in thought. "Then I suppose I will have to ask you to step in. It would be strange and suspicious for Councilwoman Claas to wander the streets after such a high-risk situation occurred, it's strange to find Councilwoman Class outside of the Council building unless she's on her way home. It would be more beneficial if Saladyn were here, as I could act as though I am showing him around the city. I could always say you're some distant relative if were we questioned, the eye color similarity would lend itself to that. Not many people would be distinctly familiar with Saladyn's features enough to tell that you two have the same facial and body structure, he's not too famous quite yet. Does that sound alright to you?" She asks, her voice sincere. She didn't want to pull Seraph or Saladyn—whenever he showed up again—into crazy revolt-stopping missions if the man wasn't even sure he wanted to be involved with the government at all anymore. If absolutely necessary, stringing along any of her employees would work, though she would probably need to be a lot more vague with her plan and she would need to defend them, which could prove troublesome. So, maybe having Seraph there would be better, but she couldn't very well demand he go along if she were to consider him an ally and equal in the grand scheme of things as an elected leader.
"I accept. It would be rude to decline such an offer from a woman such as yourself. After Sally's cooled down I will return him to you. I don't believe spending the evening with the devil was on your to-do list was it?" Seraph said, with a small chuckle, twisting a lock of his ebony hair around his forefinger. "Also, it seems I need another shirt." He said, twisting around, showing her the slashes through it, from where his demonic wings has previously burst through. "Or a jacket would do. I just don't think it'd be proper to walk around the way I am now."
Dakota waves him off flippantly. "I didn't plan on getting shot today either so it's not as though things ever truly go my way." She says, before walking down the hall in pursuit of the shirt or jacket he needed, going through various people within the building and trying to find a match to Seraph's body structure. After going down a few corridors she stopped in an office and after a short conversation with the man within the room, she was able to procure a jacket. She goes to Seraph and hands it over to him and then straightens her clothes. "Alright, I would rather not damage something that doesn't belong to me so please refrain from tearing that jacket." She says, though already mentally calculating how much it would cost to buy one similar since she doubted the demon had any reason to respect other people's belongings. "Let's go," she says, leading the way out of the building and into the streets. "If you were criminal scum where would you go?"
Sereph pulled on the jacket and snickered, "I'm not that reckless." As they walked through the marble halls the demon noted the layout, seeing as it would come in handy later. After they exited, he frowned at her comment. "Hey, just because someone does a bad thing doesn't mean their scum." Seraph stuck his hands in the pockets of the jacket and fiddled with a pack of gum he found inside. He unwrapped a piece and stuck it in his mouth. It tasted like sour apples and he enjoyed the sour sensation on his tongue. "My guess would be downtown. There's lot of things crawling around in such close quarters, if you're lucky we might even fall into the underground."
Dakota scowled, understanding the merit in his comment but not at all seeing how it fit in this context. "Sometimes people make mistakes that end up with major consequences, but in no way was this a mistake. Those who intentionally harm for their personal gain are scum," she states. As he stuck the gum in his mouth she rolled her eyes, "Really? It's not even yours." After he tells her where he believes the criminals may be lurking she begins walking towards the direction of downtown. "I doubt we could fall into the underground unless its a trap. I've been Councilwoman of this city for three years. I am a figurehead and a structural piece of the government, so regardless of how you look at this, I am not going to simply blend in. Even if people are ignorant of the law, they are aware of the people they need to avoid to getting in trouble and I am one of those people. I am a more than willing to enforce the laws when others sink beneath their standard, which is an incredibly low bar if you ask me."
"Stop saying that." Seraph snarled, angrily twisting the bangle on his right wrist. "If you would just take a second to look at things from an inside perspective instead of sitting on your goddamn pedastal all the time you'd see that things aren't just black and white. It's people like you that piss me off the most, never thinking past what they see on the outside." The man spat each word, each with precision, aimed like a knife at the councilwoman beside him. Guilt twisted inside of him as he thought of his job and what he had and had to do to return home. Nothing was ever black and white for him. It all had to be gray.
Dakota stopped walking, closing her eyes for a few seconds to recollect herself before speaking. "You think I sit on a pedestal, that I am ignorant?" She asks rhetorically, releasing the tension in her shoulders. "I know the inside perspective, Seraph, I lived it for decades, lived at the bottom of the barrel and nobody cared about me or anybody else there with me. I have the chance to fix that, to help the people who struggle to help themselves and I'm not going to let some fluke shot by some guy from the slums ruin it. Things don't always turn out how you plan them but at the end of the day, you have to decide whether what you did was good or bad for the people around you. Things are black and white and there are very few exceptions. And I don't know if a demon is one of them or not because the most I've seen from you is disrespect and disregard to anyone and anything." She makes a vague motion with her hand, gathering a bit of magic there, though the exact intent of the action remained unknown. "Now, are you gonna shut your mouth and just do as I asked and take me to the perpetrators or are we going to continue arguing until one of us gets shot again?"
"I can't believe I hooked Saladyn up to work with a sick bitch like you." Seraph snarled in response, releasing control of Saladyn's body. The man's hair faded, back into its usual snow-like color, albeit the black bangs. He stumbled for a moment, before catching himself and rising. "Miss Claas." Saladyn asked, still dizzy from his transformation, "Do you mind telling me where we are?"
Dakota grit her teeth, seething as black faded to white, leaving the tips tinged with the reminder of the demon residing within. She quickly wiped the expression from her face, allowing the magic she had gathered to dissipate as Saladyn stumbled a bit. "We're headed downtown, looking for clues about the gunman or anyone involved. Seraph had accompanied me, but if you would like to leave, you're free to go, I won't hold you accountable for this." She looks around a moment, chewing on the inside of her cheek, worrying over the precious time she had lost by arguing. She doesn't even know why she had begun arguing, she was normally alright with differing opinions, especially when there were more important things to worry about. And yet, she had pointlessly carried on with Seraph for reasons she couldn't fathom, and she dearly hoped that she still had enough time to get to the bottom of the attack before something else happened.