Romi

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Frederick nodded.

"I know my sentence, if that's what you're asking," he said. "But if I can get out earlier is another thing entirely. It's not so cut and dried here as it was in Halcyon. There everything was clear, neat sentences - but I suppose the city was always more focused on punishment then reform."

That had been a change, hadn't it? The way he was living was closer to minimum security, if not even kinder. In Halcyon, his circumstances would have been much different.

"I suppose back there, inmates had more people waiting for them. Here it's different. Almost no one has a family, and plenty of people in here were arrested not long after getting to the island, if not immediately. The wild ones that attacked the scouts and were putting people at risk."
 

Zora

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"I see," Zora responded thoughtfully, "I had not considered that before. The part about not having families or a support system once they leave the islets," she clarified. She had to admit it was a world she was plainly unfamiliar with. Probably because she came to the island of her own free will and that she had a family of sorts who cared.

"It's good though that you might be able to get out early, no?" Zora said, once again holding no ill will towards him, especially now since he was not a threat anymore to Broen - not that Crawford ever was really a true threat. Not like Tomas had been for her anyways. She had a feeling her and Crawford would never quite see eye to eye on certain things, and her loyalty was always to his son, but she did, perhaps recognise as they talked, that in different circumstances, they might have been friends.
 

Romi

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"Common enough," he said. "The few who have families tend to get cut off by them. Plenty don't have anyone in the first place. Even those who do rarely have them when they get out. All the good intentions in the world doesn't change the fact that you have to take time out of your schedule to come visit. That the person you're visiting is never going to be able to stop by your softball games, or see your graduation."

He gave a small wave of his hand.

"I shouldn't ramble so much. Business has been good for you? I know you had some kind of trouble with your brother, but hopefully that's all resolved...?"
 

Zora

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"Business has been good. We are looking to expand and diversify further. My grandfather has acquired a few old sugar plantations and distilleries, and wants to start renovating them this spring and expanding into the middle to affordable holiday sector," she explained. Business was always a topic she enjoyed and felt comfortable with.

At the mention of Tomas, Zora frowned slightly. "I'm afraid that even from the afterlife my brother manages to cause me headaches," she admitted.

"Hopefully though, things will resolve themselves soon," she added, feeling that she didn't need to be burdening Frederick with her problems.
 

Romi

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Business talk. He missed business talk. He'd missed it since the moment he left Halcyon city, and hearing it was like music to his ears.

"Holidays on Manta Carlos... I imagine there's quite an industry of people wanting to go out into the narrow reality with help." He knew he wanted to go out there one day, assuming he even had a chance.

He raised his eyebrows when he mentioned her brother being dead and still trouble.

"...Considering where we are, I can't tell if you mean 'he's left me a complicated inheritance and a niece I didn't know about' or 'he's actually haunting my house'."
 

Zora

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"Yes, that is exactly the idea," Zora nodded, rather pleased that he seemed to know and understand what they were attempting to do. "There are a few complications, but with a bit of planning and foresight, and possibly even some concealing spells, wards, or illusions in place residents that don't care for human charms can enjoy a holiday on a Carribean island, and if that doesn't work, we can maybe offer human charm rentals or free use of them during their stay," she elaborated.

At Frederick's comment about Tomas, Zora actually laughed.

"I wish," she said with a grin, "A haunted house along with a complicated inheritance and a niece would be a welcome change from what he actually left me," Zora remarked, very used to business complications and having to find workarounds, or lawyers to untangle the mess.

"He actually borrowed against his businesses through a moneylender," here she used air quotes on moneylender, "and the amount owed is quite substantial. And at the moment, there is a slight difference in opinion regarding the amount due," she told Crawford.
 

Romi

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Frederick's face pinched together in concern as Zora explained the situation. A moneylender--especially with that tone--was just a very fancy way of saying loan shark. He'd had no dealings with them himself, but that didn't mean he was unfamiliar with how they worked or their methods.

"That's a dangerous situation for you to be in," Frederick said. "Hopefully you're getting help?" He wondered if Broen was the one giving the help. He seemed the type to stick his nose into something like that, probably with an excessive amount of violence. "It's not something a lady should have to deal with."
 

Zora

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Zora was a bit surprised to see concern cross his face, and just shook her head in answer to his inquiry.

"No, not really, but I should be fine," she assured him. "My brother's debt is large enough that I suspect they won't do anything too hasty," she explained calmly, trying to make things seem less serious than they were and less of a mess than they were.

"I think it's more a situation of them seeing how far they can push before I'll agree to pay the full amount," she explained, trying to keep things light and make it seem that she would be safe and free from harm.

Though the truth was between Tomas's unexpected "gift" and Broen up and leaving like he had, Zora was quite frankly a bit stressed and somewhat exhausted. She sort of understood why Broen left, though the fact that he had decided to disappear when she most needed his moral support, left her a tiny bit disappointed in him - not that she'd ever admit it. Now, she had to go at it alone, a thought that did not thrill her, but something that she was unfortunately very used to.
 

Romi

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Her reassurances did little to change his expression, the pinched worried look remaining.

"In my experience," he said, "that only makes men who are after money more intent on getting what they feel they deserve."

It was hard--maybe impossible--to not think of Basilio as he said that, even though he sincerely doubted the man had ever dirtied his hands so directly. Basilio would have been the man at the top, letting someone else do the work of hunting down the debt.

"Just make sure you're safe," Frederick said after a moment's pause, before deciding that acknowledging the elephant in the room wouldn't be too harmful. "I'm sure - I'm sure Broen wouldn't let anything too serious happen to you anyway."
 

Zora

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"I know, Mr. Crawford, and I will be careful," she said her voice now more solemn, remembering how insistent Kakeru had been that she pay the full amount. It would take time to liquidate that amount, and transferring it, well, she had a few plans on how to do that, and whether Kakeru knew it or not, she was going to make sure the Japanese authorities knew about the transfer. Damned if he thought he could intimidate her.

At the mention of his son, Zora pursed her lips. She had not known if Jude had said anything to Frederick or not and if he had, just how much. Apparently, he had not said anything at all, and Zora was at undecided for a moment how to continue.

"I am sure that he'd keep me safe if he was here, but unfortunately, your son is not on the island, or at least I don't think he is," Zora finally confessed.

Lies and avoiding the truth was something Zora had to herself sworn not to do anymore, at least not with friends and loved ones, and while Frederick was neither, he was Broen´s father, and she found herself not feeling comfortable with acting like Broen was here when he wasn´t. Lying now, would only mean keeping up the lie and furthering it along if he asked more questions, and Zora was too tired to be doing that.
 

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