"By Saturn, Akshi, why do I let her do it to me?"
"Perhaps you still have a sense of obligation after she saved your live, Nelor. That'd be entirely natural, after all."
"I've saved her worthless skin enough times since, both metaphorically and in reality."
"And she yours, you must admit."
"Well, yes, but it's not like I asked her to help, dammit."
"I don't remember you ever asking me, either." Akshi relaxed in the furs covering his throne.
"That's different, we're friends after all."
"No, she's a user. Or an abuser."
Akshi grinned inwardly, thinking that his friend might perhaps be laying his vitriol a little thick, and allowing a little suspicion to enter his mind.
"The woman just doesn't know when to stop telling me what to do. It's like she was born in the Deliberative or something. Not that that most-corrupt of institutions has survived, thank the Sun."
"I hate to agree with you about the First Age, but I have to agree with that. You're avoiding the issue, however, what did she want this time?"
Nelor grimaced as Akshi failed to take the usual bait. "She's lost something, and wants me to reclaim it for her."
"That shouldn't be too hard, surely?"
"It's not just sitting on the bloody pavement in Nexus, you know."
He took a swig of the spirit his friend had provided before continuing.
"She believes that it's in the Wyld Zone on the north edge of your territory."
"Exactly. She's too scared to go in there herself, she was practically having kittens at the mere thought of where it was in fact. And someone's evidently got her over a barrel, or else she wouldn't have offered me the deal she did."
"You said. I don't trust her, but your Sun should have something to say if she breaks it."
"Trouble is, I can't help but think that I'd do what the vixen asked of me even without, and that just leaves me cold."