Diablotin 3 session 3
- Session date: November 2, 2014
- Diablotin date:
<DiablotinNarrator> It's rainy and cool this week in Diablotin, the streets that are paved or cobbled running with water, the rest just turning to mud.
<DiablotinNarrator> It's the harvest season, so all the wagons and trucks bringing food into the city are similarly drenched, even if they originally came from far afield, and the city's many markets are doing a brisk business despite the unpleasant weather.
Aubrienne and Lathra visit Tristan
<DiablotinNarrator> Aubrienne, you were hoping to pay a visit to Tristan Rademacher to check up on him a few days after his odd experience at the temple?
<Aubrienne> That was the plan, yes.
<DiablotinNarrator> You have his address, a flat in the east end of the Place d'Iena, from your and Lathra's efforts to make sure he would get home safely.
<DiablotinNarrator> It's a fairly well-to-do neighbourhood, the kind where there are automobiles parked on the street.
<DiablotinNarrator> Elegant shops and rows of townhouses, that sort of thing
<DiablotinNarrator> (and Lathra was invited to join her :)
<Aubrienne> (before work or on a day off, whichever is easier)
<DiablotinNarrator> Did you need to talk to each other about anything before getting there?
<DiablotinNarrator> or do you want to just arrive?
<Aubrienne> I think Aubrienne would just be talking idly about what happened. It was strange, it was kind of scary, that sort of thing.
<Aubrienne> Maybe asking whether Lathra had ever seen anything like that before
- Lathra would definitely accept the invitation
<DiablotinNarrator> You can arrive at the address, then...
<Aubrienne> (sounds good)
- Lathra will have been asking Aubrienne how she's been
- Aubrienne would say that she's been fine, but in a too-quick way that sounds like she's covering
<DiablotinNarrator> The door is opened by a woman, tall and thin, with frizzy blonde hair and odd golden-yellow eyes
<DiablotinNarrator> You'd recognize her from the human Serpent temple, Aubrienne - her name's Lurancy Dryden
<Aubrienne> Hello Lurancy. My friend and I were hoping to see Mr. Rademacher, if he's in.
<Lurancy> Oh, Aubrienne, of course - I wasn't expecting you here.
<Aubrienne> This is Lathra. Lathra, allow me to introduce you to Lurancy.
- Lurancy opens the door wider to let you both in
- Aubrienne will step inside with a smile.
<Lathra> Delighted to meet you, Lurancy!
- Lurancy smiles
<Lurancy> You as well.
<Lurancy> Tristan did tell me you were a great help to him after his ... incident.
<Lurancy> Come on inside, he's upstairs.
- Aubrienne follows
<Lathra> Thank you! It was all rather worrying, the turn he took - I trust he's better now?
<Aubrienne> How are you? I haven't been to the [human Serpent temple] in a while.
- Lurancy will escort you into the home (her home? you're not sure if she lives here too or is just visiting)
<Lurancy> I'm all right... things have been a bit worrying lately, of course, but well enough.
- Aubrienne frowns
<Aubrienne> Tristan's incident, or something else?
<Lurancy> Oh, well, that's nothing new, I'm afraid.
<Lurancy> But no - there have been people talking, that the nobleman who was murdered at the nightclub, you know? that it's somehow to do with the Evictors.
<Lurancy> But whether he was part of them, or killed by them, or both, nobody can really agree.
<Lurancy> Maybe it's all just rumours.
<Aubrienne> I guess I'm not up on these things. What did he have to do with the Evictors?
<Lurancy> I have no idea.
<Lurancy> Like I said, maybe it's just... the circles I move in, where people tend to worry about them more than usual.
<Aubrienne> Well, it's been a worrying time for as lot of us right now. Be careful, at the least.
<Lucette> Oh, we will. Thank you.
<Lurancy> I'm sure Tristan would like to talk to you - let me just see if he's awake.
<Lathra> Oh, don't wake him if not...
<Lathra> We can come back, can't we Aubrienne?
<Lurancy> Oh, don't worry - I'm sure he'll want to see you.
- Lurancy will head off, leaving the two of you alone for a few moments as she goes to check on him.
<Aubrienne> Do you think that's true? About the Evictors?
<Aubrienne> I don't really know anything about the victim...it's all just so close to home.
<Lathra> I'm sure I don't know... it's so easy for imaginations to run wild. It doesn't seem like an outlandish idea though, does it?
<Lathra> I mean, any more than the idea of the evictors themselves.
<Aubrienne> Well, they're crazy fanatics. I think outlandish comes with the territory.
<Lathra> Well, quite right.
- Lurancy returns a short while later, with Tristan at her side
- Tristan_ wears a dressing gown even though it's afternoon, and looks quite pale and weary.
- Aubrienne looks genuinely concerned
<Tristan_> Ladies, I'm sorry I'm not dressed to receive you, but I do appreciate the visit.
<Lathra> Oh my!
<Aubrienne> Oh, Tristan, I hope we're not bothering you.
- Lathra covers her mouth
<Tristan_> I'm all right. Just tired.
<Lurancy> After strong visions like that, he's usually pretty drained for a few days afterwards.
<Tristan_> Please, have a seat.
<Lathra> Oh! I'm sorry that your state startled me... are you sure you're well enough for our visit?
- Tristan_ offers, gesturing to the chairs in the parlour.
- Aubrienne will take a seat, still eyeing Tristan's state
<Tristan_> Truly, it's all right. Another day or two of rest and I'll be back to normal.
- Lurancy puts a protective arm around Tristan as they sit down on the couch.
<Aubrienne> And this is...normal?
<Tristan_> Well... it's not the first time it's happened.
<Lathra> Is it frequent?
<Tristan_> Not that frequent - and not always that strong. Perhaps a couple times a year?
<Tristan_> I'm fairly used to it by now.
- Lurancy nods
- Lathra nods as well
<Lurancy> I think the last time was.. just around the end of the war?
- Tristan_ sighs
<Tristan_> I'm sorry - can we offer you anything to drink? tea?
<Lathra> Oh, tea would be lovely!
<Lurancy> I'll be right back with that.
<Aubrienne> Oh, yes, thank you.
- Lurancy rises to go to the kitchen
<Aubrienne> So, are these, ah, incidents related to significant events?
<Tristan_> Sometimes. Sometimes I'm not able to determine what they might be related to...
<Aubrienne> I'm sorry, I don't mean to grill you. This is just new to me.
<Tristan_> But yes - Lurancy's right, the last one was a little while before the end of the war.
- Aubrienne smiles apologetically.
<Tristan_> No, it's fine.
<Lathra> Have you found them to be... insightful, or portentious in any way?
- Tristan_ smiles in return
<Lathra> I can't help but fancy they might be devine...
<Tristan_> I suppose so, yes.
<Tristan_> Insightful, I mean - insofar as I'm able to understand them.
<Tristan_> I do believe they're of divine origin
<Aubrienne> Have you gleaned anything from this most recent one?
<Tristan_> Thanks to the notes you were able to provide, at least I have some slight ideas
- Lathra breaks out in a massive grin
- Aubrienne gives Lathra an appreciative grin as well.
<Aubrienne> May we ask what ideas you have?
- Tristan_ nods, clearing his throat
<Tristan_> I think that ... because I was mainly amongst Shadar-kai at the time that it happened, that 'these ones' refers to them. That it speaks of someone, or something, that was 'pushed out' prior to the time the Shadar-kai left this plane. The.. whatever it was that I was channelling, thought that they would remember.
<Tristan_> That they know the truth.
- Aubrienne frowns in contemplation
<Tristan_> And that whatever it was that was 'pushed out', is attempting to return.
<Lathra> 'They', being we, the shadar-kai again?
- Tristan_ nods
<Tristan_> I think so. But I could be mistaken in my guess.
<Aubrienne> Something pushed out before the shadar-kai left...?
<Tristan_> Pushed out of this plane, perhaps. Or ... I don't know.
<Aubrienne> Maybe Jezina might have some thoughts on this. Would it be all right if we spoke to her?
<Tristan_> By all means.
<Tristan_> I'd be grateful for any insights... as I said, it's entirely possible I'm wrong.
<Aubrienne> Well, for the time being, I just hope you get sufficient rest.
- Lurancy returns with a pot of tea and some biscuits
<Tristan_> Thank you
<Aubrienne> Thank you Lurancy.
- Aubrienne will offer to help with tea.
<Lurancy> Oh, you're welcome :)
<Aubrienne> (pouring and whatnot)
- Lurancy accepts the help
<Lathra> Might I also discuss it with my peers in the Serpent priesthood? How discreet would you like us to be?
<Tristan_> It would be all right with me. I rather imagine that people are already aware of my... oddities, so there's no great worry about preserving my good name or anything of that sort.
- Tristan_ says with a wry smile
<Tristan_> If any of them require to speak with me personally, I'd be willing - but as I'm not in much state to go out at the moment, I do appreciate you looking into it.
- Tristan_ sips his tea
<Aubrienne> Happy to help. Let me know if there's anything I can do.
- Aubrienne doesn't want to speak for Lathra :)
<Lathra> Oh my, no problem at all. I am glad to know that your reputation is not on the line!
<Lurancy> Thank you... we appreciate it.
- Lathra hesitates for a moment to consider whether that was rude
- Tristan_ doesn't seem offended, at least
- Lathra smiles again, relieved
- Lathra tries the tea
<Aubrienne> (Aubrienne is happy to just switch to smalltalk and general visiting now, trying to make Tristan feel better in general)
<DiablotinNarrator> You can enjoy your tea and lighter conversation with them - you have the sense that, if they're not actually married, they at least act like a married couple.
<Lurancy> Thank you again...
- Lurancy says eventually, as she's showing you out
- Lathra makes sure to ask plenty about Lurancy, to get to know her a little
<Aubrienne> Our pleasure.
<Lurancy> For taking care of him. I try to do what I can, but I can't always be there... you never know, you know, when things like this will strike.
<Lurancy> So... you have my gratitude.
<Aubrienne> I'm sure he'll be okay. I'm glad we were able to help.
- Lurancy gives you a smile and a wave as you leave
<Lathra> Honestly, I'm honored to be able to assist in interpreting his gift.
- Lathra waves back
Hugo goes to Lucette's lecture
<DiablotinNarrator> Hugo, you have double invitations tonight - you're attending Mlle. Voclain's lecture at the Castalia, then heading to a party with Thera Rademacher
<Hugonel> (woohoo! double date, Hugo style)
<DiablotinNarrator> What's your plan for coordinating this? ;p
<Hugonel> (go to the talk a little early, see if I can talk to Lucette before, then leave right at the end of the talk and boot over to Thera's thing - will hire a carriage or whatever, since it's clearly the kind of thing you don't want to just walk up to)
<DiablotinNarrator> The talk is in one of the Castalia's larger lecture halls, and looks like it will be well-attended.
Various professors and other scholarly types are there, mingling around before the talk, when you arrive.
<DiablotinNarrator> Loick's also there, of course, as you had sort of expected.
- Hugonel is dressed in his best grey suit with a purple boutonniere and a matching cape.
<DiablotinNarrator> Lucette is probably busy getting ready.
- Hugonel will mill around and head over to see his uncle whenever he seems relatively free.
- Loick is of course chatting with the many people who are eager to talk to him, as the Chief Sorcerer of the Empire, but you can catch him for a moment
<Hugonel> Ah, hello, uncle - so good to see you! It's been too long.
<Loick> Hugo, good evening! I hadn't expected to see you here.
<Hugonel> Well, I admit that Princess Titania keeps me very busy, but then, I'm sure that the same is true for her father and you.
- Loick chuckles
<Loick> Yes, well, rather. How is that going, the nightclub?
<Hugonel> All well enough, I suppose. It suits me. This business with the Count of Radstock is upsetting, of course.
<Loick> Very unfortunate, yes. Were you there that evening?
<Hugonel> Oh yes. It was very chaotic - seems to have been a well-targeted business, not some piece of randomness.
- Loick nods
<Loick> I've heard only a little about the case - not my area of expertise, although one can't help picking up details here and there.
<Hugonel> Yes, well, we know precious little ourselves. But enough of that nastiness. How are you?
<Loick> Very well - busy, as always, although the wife and I were planning to take a short trip to the seaside before the year is out.
<Loick> Assuming nothing dire comes up, that is.
- Loick says with a smile.
- Hugonel chuckles.
<Hugonel> Have you talked to Lucette much about her presentation this evening? I must admit she's been playing coy with me regarding its contents.
<Loick> I've heard a few details from Professor Orecalo, I gather they've worked together on this to some extent.
<Loick> Something about new bloodlines she's been able to identify.
<Hugonel> As I'm sure you can imagine, that excites me quite a bit. Our children's children will never know a time where bloodlines were considered rare or even imaginary.
- Loick nods
<Loick> Well, it was good to see you again, Hugo - do stop by more often, it would be a pleasure to have more time to talk with you.
- Loick says as it appears the talk is getting ready to begin
<Hugonel> I will.
- Hugonel takes a seat near the front, so that Lucette is sure to see him, but at the side, in case he needs to make a quick escape afterwards.
- Lucette takes the podium, after being introduced by Prof. Orecalo as a 'promising young scholar'. She wears a modest and sober dark blue dress, and her hair is neatly tied back.
<Lucette> Good evening, and thank you for coming.
<Lucette> The study of sorcerer bloodlines is still in its infancy, and as yet there are many things still to be discovered about these fascinating aspects of arcane power.
<Lucette> We are only beginning to uncover the origins of these powers - while we may be able to identify that, for instance, a certain sorcerer can channel lightning more readily, determining *why* that might be the case is much more difficult.
<Lucette> The theory I wish to propose to you tonight may be controversial, but I believe it goes some measure towards explaining the prevalence of certain particular arcane abilities in Psyra.
- Lucette goes into an account of various unusual bloodline-type powers that have been observed and studied in the eastern Empire
<Lucette> The nature of these powers was tantalizing, but ambiguous - to channel cold, acid, electricity, and fire suggested an elemental origin, but then why should they be more prevalent in one area of the Empire than another?
<Lucette> The answer, it seems, may lie in the djinn of the ancient Psyrene kingdom.
- Lucette goes on at length to explain the various types of djinn and how they could relate to these particular bloodlines
- Lucette 's talk eventually concludes, to applause from the audience
- Hugonel applauds enthusiastically and tries to make sure to catch Lucette's eye.
- Lucette is of course swarmed with people afterwards who want to talk to her, but she can make time for you ;)
<Hugonel> Oh, Lucette, how wonderful! Thank you so much for that.
<Lucette> I'm glad you could make it.
- Hugonel smiles broadly.
<Hugonel> A Silveira keeps his promises to a lady. Every time.
- Loick laughs somewhere and has no idea why :p
- Lucette smiles, seeming mollified
<Hugonel> I wonder how the Psyrenes will take this new piece of information.
<Lucette> Bitter that they didn't figure it out first? ;p
<Hugonel> It is perhaps a bit indelicate, but I couldn't help wondering, as you were talking, whether this was a bloodline you yourself belonged to.
<Lucette> No, no. I'm of the arcane bloodline, nothing unusual there :)
- Lucette is about to get lured away by other scholars who want to chat with her
<Hugonel> It has, as always, been lovely speaking with you. I shall send my regards to Dorien.
<Lucette> It was good to see you, Hugo.
- Lucette gives you a kiss on the cheek before she goes
- Hugonel will dash off to his next party then! No time for delay!
Zola makes an appearance as Mico and runs into an old flame
<DiablotinNarrator> Zola, you have a gig tonight... as Mico.
- Zola sighs
<DiablotinNarrator> How are you preparing for this?
- Zola has probably spent a day or two practicing with Theo ?
- Zola has picked out a nice black suit and a burgundy tie, and will be binding her boobs as best she can.
<DiablotinNarrator> Theo's happy to help, of course - and may have a couple new songs for you to try, if you want to test them out before an audience
- Zola supposes that IS a good way to get the limited audience to talk about Mico some more... a new song.
- Zola will use cosmetics and styling to create a more masculine version of herself, with a picture of her father to work with.
- Zola then uses her hat of disguise to further refine the look.
- Zola certainly doesn't want some busybody with True Sight to rat her out >_>
- Zola is now known as Mico
<DiablotinNarrator> keen - you can make a very presentable Mico
- Mico masks the hat of disguise as a wig and fastens it in place over her short hair
<DiablotinNarrator> The party is at the home of Bright Rionet, the son of the Lord Chancellor, who lives in the Grand.
<DiablotinNarrator> As you've been hired for it, you can have transportation to get there - they'll send a car to pick you up
<DiablotinNarrator> but would you want them to pick you up at home, or elsewhere?
- Mico gives the Professor a kiss on the head before she goes to cab to a more discreet rendezvous point
<DiablotinNarrator> Oh it's not a cab :D
<DiablotinNarrator> They'll send a limo for you
<Mico> (I mean I'm cabbing to where they'll pick me up.)
<DiablotinNarrator> (oh I see)
<Mico> (Maybe Theo's?)
<DiablotinNarrator> (sure, that works)
<DiablotinNarrator> The limo will arrive at the appointed time, then.
<DiablotinNarrator> In the back seat, there is a large bouquet of flowers waiting for you, with a note.
<Mico> .oO( Oh dear. )
- Mico climbs into the back.
<Mico> .oO( Oh these seats... )
- Mico settles in and examines the bouquet before pulling out the note to read
<DiablotinNarrator> The flowers are an assortment of purple and blue irises, which are of course totally out of season this time of year, and so probably were very expensive.
- Mico will signal to the driver that sh... he's ready, if the driver doesn't start off on his own.
<DiablotinNarrator> As the driver heads off, you read the note: "Thank you for the honour of your presence tonight. Looking forward to seeing you soon. B."
<Mico> .oO( Just "B." ... oh this isn't good )
- Mico smells the lovely expensive flowers.
<Mico> .oO( I could get used to these seats though... )
- Mico hums a bit to himself on the way.
<DiablotinNarrator> The driver will bring you around to the back of the house (which is very nice, although on the smaller side for this neighbourhood) so that you can enter discreetly
<DiablotinNarrator> You can get introduced to the musicians who'll be your backup tonight - just a small ensemble, nothing too elaborate, but they seem competent.
- Mico greets them warmly and makes a note of their names so he can thank them near the end.
<DiablotinNarrator> You spend the next little while, prior to the party really getting going, getting warmed up and so on
<DiablotinNarrator> They've kindly provided you one of the guest bedrooms to prepare in
- Mico assumes the music &c was all forwarded in advance.
<DiablotinNarrator> (yeah, your agent would have taken care of all that)
<DiablotinNarrator> (he's gotta be good for something)
- Mico is going to start with Lover in the City, will save Ring Ring Ring (It's Love Calling) for later on in the set :P
<DiablotinNarrator> And the new number can be done acapella, so you don't need to terrify the musicians with a brand new piece on the spot ;)
<DiablotinNarrator> A short while before you're expected to go on, there's a knock at the door
- Mico will practice his moves in a mirror. :P
- Mico will put on a smile and go to answer the door.
<Mico> (Is he titled or an heir?)
<Bright> (nope, he's the younger son, nothing for him)
<Mico> (I suppose I wouldn't have seen him anywhere before?)
<Bright> Good evening... I hope I'm not interrupting?
- Bright has no doubt been at the club any number of times
- Bright is a very handsome young man, about 25 or so, tall and slender, with golden-blond hair and a ready smile.
<Mico> Ah, no, good evening Mr. Rionet.
- Mico smiles and offers his hand. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you."
- Bright shakes hands
<Bright> The pleasure is mine - I'm delighted you were willing to join us tonight.
<Bright> I hope everything is satisfactory? If there's anything you need, please ask.
<Mico> Well, I've heard great things about your events, I was quite excited at the prospect of performing I received the call from my agent :)
- Bright smiles
<Mico> Yes, yes, quite.
<Bright> I don't want to distract you before the show - but perhaps afterwards, you'd be willing to join me for a drink?
- Bright has a playful look that suggests he'd be quite amenable to distractions of various sorts
<Mico> Of course! I wouldn't want to sing and run, as it were :)
<Mico> Did you have any song in particular you'd like to hear tonight?
<Bright> Well... I know everyone will be hoping to hear your big hits, of course. But my favourite has always been the one that's on the reverse side of Ring Ring Ring - I Can't Believe It's True
<Bright> Something about it - so sad and sweet...
<Mico> It would be my pleasure.
<Bright> Thank you :)
<Bright> Well, I'll leave you to get ready. I'll see you later!
<Mico> Until then :)
- Bright departs
- Mico closes the door as Bright departs, screaming a little inside.
- Mico will arrange with the band to play that one just after the new one, so he can dedicate the two to the host
<DiablotinNarrator> All right - the show is about to go on!
<DiablotinNarrator> You could make a Perform check and see how it goes
- Mico will use Inspired to roll twice?
<Mico> (24 without fame bonus)
- Mico also lays on the sex appeal >_>
<DiablotinNarrator> The crowd, a mix of young people from the aristocracy and nouveau riche types, actors from moving pictures, and so on, seem quite impressed
- Mico relaxes a little as the performance goes on, at least as much as she can while she's making sure all her gestures are the right ones...
<DiablotinNarrator> The crowd shifts for a moment and from across the room you see a figure, familiar even if you haven't seen him for years - the tall, rather stout form, the wavy brown hair - too long to be fashionable, almost to his shoulders.
<Mico> .oO( :o )
- Noren turns and you can see that he's grown a mustache - it doesn't suit him. His glasses are probably in his pocket, as usual, since he doesn't seem to be staring at you, rather squinting a bit.
- Mico looks away so he doesn't lose focus on the performance; that all can wait.
<DiablotinNarrator> Fortunately you noticed him in an instrumental break so you didn't flub any lines or anything.
<DiablotinNarrator> You manage to carry on with the performance without getting too flustered.
<Mico> .oO( I hope he doesn't say anything... )
<DiablotinNarrator> Afterwards, what do you want to do?
<DiablotinNarrator> Try to escape to dressing room, mingle...?
- Mico needs to escape to the dressing room first, if nothing else, to decide what to do D:
<DiablotinNarrator> (you can flail in private ;)
- Mico wrings her hands in front of the mirror.
<Mico> .oO( If he was going to tell anyone about me, he'd have already done so, right? )
<Mico> .oO( But what if he doesn't realize I'm trying to keep things separate... )
<Mico> .oO( I should talk to him... )
- Mico will venture back out to try and find Noren before he's due for that drink with Bright.
<DiablotinNarrator> Okay - people will of course want to talk to you as you make your way through the assembled guests, but you can manage to disentangle yourself more or less smoothly as you look for him
- Noren is lurking in one of the side rooms, quietly sipping a drink
- Mico knocks quietly on the doorway.
<Noren> Oh, uh... Mico.
<Noren> I didn't expect to see you... like this.
- Noren pulls his glasses out to put them on and get a better look at you
<Mico> Yeah, it's a special occasion, I guess.
- Mico gets a good look at him too.
- Mico smiles.
<Mico> It's nice to see you again :)
<Noren> you too. I hear you on the radio every so often, so I knew you must be doing well, but it's good to see you.
<Mico> How long have you been in the city?
<Noren> A couple of months.
<Noren> I got a post with a law firm here, and... well, here I am.
- Mico nods.
<Noren> uh, is everything okay? for you?
<Mico> Yeah, I've got a steady gig down at Tits' Cabaret. I'm having a good time.
- Noren smiles, looking a bit ... relieved? at that
<Noren> I'm glad
<Noren> Would it be okay if I came to your show sometime?
<Noren> I don't want to make things awkward or anything.
<Mico> I do things as... Mico on the side... a few songs hit it big on the radio and it seemed like a waste to just... ignore that, and I'm not sure the city's ready for the truth.
<Mico> Of course :)
- Noren nods
<Mico> Maybe you can guess which songs are about you. :)
- Noren blushes, but smiles anyway
<Mico> I ...
<Mico> I was a little worried you'd just come back to town and might expect things to be the same.
<Mico> Silly of me I guess, you've probably done more living than I have in the meantime.
<Noren> No, I... I did miss you, but...
<Bright> Ah, there you are :)
<Mico> .oO( GaAH! )
- Bright says, sweeping in as he spots you hiding
- Noren quiets down at his arrival
<Mico> M. Rionet, I hope you enjoyed the perforamnce :)
<Bright> It was amazing - moreso than I dreamed was possible :)
<Bright> I hope I'm not interrupting?
<Noren> No, I was just about to go. Thank you for having me, though.
<Mico> We'll talk again, Noren, now that you're in the city, we've got plenty of time to catch up :)
<Noren> Yes, I'd like that.
- Noren makes polite excuses as he leaves, with a last smile for 'Mico'
<Bright> Now, about that drink I promised... what can I get you?
- Mico smiles
<Mico> I could go for a martini
<Bright> Of course!
- Mico lets him lead the way
- Bright will sweep you off and introduce you around to all his various rich and famous friends
- Mico 's face will be locked in a smile-like rictus later from all of the forced smiling
- Bright will offer you his number at the close of the evening, and suggest if you ever want to call... for a more private get-together... that you would be welcome
- Mico will accept, but be noncommittal about the possibilities >_>
Hettie and Denise receive Mikel and his boyfriend, Romain
<DiablotinNarrator> Hettie and Denise, Mikel has promised to bring his boyfriend by for lunch today
- Denise has made a cake!
- Denise had to make one anyway and it seemed like a good time :3
<DiablotinNarrator> yay cake!
- Hettienne has... purchased smoked meat!
- Mikel_ will arrive about on time, with Romain in tow
<Hettienne> Denise, get the door!
- Hettienne hollers.
- Denise will do
<Denise> come on in!
- Denise beams at her brother and gives the boy a look over
- Romain is a stocky boy with dark brown curls and a friendly, if somewhat nervous, smile, walking a bicycle alongside him.
- Hettienne comes into the entryway to inspect the boyfriend as well.
<Romain> Hey, nice to meet you.
<Mikel_> This is my sister Denise, and my aunt Hettie.
<Hettienne> Good to meet ya.
<Denise> nice ta meetcha :)
- Hettienne holds out her hand.
<Mikel_> Uh, and this is Romain Lodorre.
- Romain shakes your hand politely, while holding up his bike with the other
<Romain> Is there someplace I could leave my bike here?
<Hettienne> If you got a lock, just up against the fence...
<Romain> Okay, yeah - I got a lock. Kinda paranoid about it getting stolen - I need it for work.
<Hettienne> Should be alright... Nobody's tried to nick mine yet.
<Denise> oh right yeah - Mikel said you were a courier, sorta?
<Romain> Yeah, I work for Imperial Telegraph, delivering messages, so I bike all over the place.
<Denise> no one'll touch it here, they ain't stupid :p
<Hettienne> Heh heh.
- Hettienne grins at Den.
- Romain locks up his bike, then, and will come inside.
<Hettienne> Damn straight.
<Mikel_> So, what's for lunch?
- Mikel_ asks with teenage boy levels of interest in food
<Denise> I made a cake :D
<Mikel_> Aw, hey - that's sweet, you didn't havta do that.
<Hettienne> I got a big ol' package of smoked meat from the deli down the way, an' a nice rye...
<Denise> yeah I did, I promised Aunt hettie :3
<Hettienne> ... Bread, that is
<Hettienne> Although iffen you want a drink I have t' other too.
<Denise> she's gonna help me and mireva out eith a dress so we can go to the club :D
<Romain> That all sounds real nice, thank you.
<Mikel_> Yeah? Some kinda fancy dress?
<Hettienne> Yeah, she's borrowin' it from some big-boobed friend.
<Denise> Yeah - for Mireva. She's gonna borrow it but its too big in, uh,,places >..
<Hettienne> Well, let's go on in to the kitchen! :)
- Mikel_ and Romain will follow you in
- Hettienne has the table set already.
<Hettienne> It's a bit small but I reckon we'll all fit. ;)
<Denise> Anyone need a drink?
<Romain> This is real nice.
- Romain admires your house
- Hettienne starts slicing the bread.
<Mikel_> Yeah, I guess I could take one, thanks.
<Romain> Just water for me - I gotta get back to work after.
<Denise> I could put on some tea?
<Hettienne> This is breakfast for me an' Den. ;)
<Hettienne> I got a pot of coffee on, too.
<Romain> Sure, tea sounds swell.
- Denise s probably familiar with whatever Hettie and mikel drink >.>
<Denise> Yeah, always coffee 'round here - comes with workin' nights I guess.
- Hettienne nods.
- Denise will put on the kettle and get everyone else settled
- Hettienne starts making the sandwiches, passing plates to the boys first.
<Romain> So, Mik says you work at Titania's? What's that like?
- Romain asks Hettie politely
- Denise eyes her brother at 'Mik'
<Hettienne> Oh, Tits?
- Mikel_ takes food and starts digging in
- Mikel_ ignores your look
<Hettienne> I like it well enough. Lets me get a bit creatiuve, ya know?
<Hettienne> I do the costumes there.
- Romain nods
<Denise> Aunt hettie's real good at all the sewin' stuff
<Mikel_> 'S true
- Mikel_ says between bites
- Hettienne puffs a little :3
<Denise> stuff she makes 's way bettern' what you can buy in any store
<Hettienne> Aw, I dunno 'bout that...
<Denise> pfft, that stuff never fits right
<Mikel_> Yeah, on you
<Denise> yeah I guess I'm pretty big, but still
<Romain> That sounds real handy - d'you ever think about setting up a shop of your own, or you like it better working at the club?
<Hettienne> Yeah, maybe someday...
<Hettienne> I've only been at it a little over a year. I'd wanna get my name out there some more before I go it on my own.
- Romain nods
<Mikel_> You talk to Dad any?
- Mikel_ asks Denise quietly, as Romain and Hettie chat
<Denise> no really no...
<Denise> not *talk* talk
- Mikel_ nods
<Mikel_> Just wondered if he said anything
<Denise> not to me :p
<Denise> not 'bout you anyway
<Mikel_> yeah, that's what I meant
- Mikel_ takes a drink
<Denise> prolly figures there's no point, cause thrte ain't, really :p
<Mikel_> I'm thinkin' about whether ... whether I can stay there
<Denise> well.... you've got to, don't you?
<Denise> where'd you go?
<Mikel_> I can't leave Mam
<Mikel_> but I dunno.
<Hettienne> Hey what now?
<Hettienne> Don't be talkin' like that already.
- Hettienne butts in.
<Mikel_> Well... there's other stuff
<Hettienne> Thierry said he was gonna talk to Pat.
- Mikel_ says with a glance to Romain
<Mikel_> he did?
<Hettienne> I dunno if he had a chance yet, I only saw him t'other day, but...
<Hettienne> What other stuff?
<Mikel_> is it okay to tell them?
- Mikel_ asks Romain
- Denise looks between the two boys, waiting for info
<Mikel_> Romain and his sister might be lookin' for a new place
<Mikel_> so... if there was room, maybe...
- Mikel_ shrugs
<Mikel_> I dunno. At least I'd have someplace to get away...
<Romain> well, whatever it is, it ain't gonna be anything fancy.
<Romain> we can't afford that.
- Romain says, like he's trying not to get Mikel's hopes up too much
- Denise eyes aunt Hettie because clearly she is wiser in the ways of such things
<Mikel_> Yeah, I know... b
<Mikel_> but we'd share, right?
<Hettienne> Well y'know me an' Den will help you out how we can.
- Denise nods
- Denise is thinking how upset mam'd be, but doens't think it is what she should say
<Hettienne> Some nice curtains can make a real big difference if nothin' else.
<Romain> We don't have any family here to help out - you're lucky to have that. You shouldn't leave'em if you don't have to.
- Romain points out to him
<Mikel_> I know
- Mikel_ grumbles
<Denise> you shoudln't have to
- Denise says stubbornly
- Denise has this twinge of guilt though
<Denise> I mean like....
<Mikel_> Well... maybe if uncle Thierry talks to Dad an' things are okay again
<Denise> do you wanna?
<Hettienne> Yeah... Pat might come 'round.
<Hettienne> . o O (mmmmaybe)
<Hettienne> . o O (And I might start fartin' rainbows)
<Mikel_> even just havin' a place to go maybe like... once in a while, that'd be nice.
<Romain> well... if stuff works out for Harriette, we can do that. But I can't promise it's gonna be nice.
<Mikel_> I get it
<Denise> what's she doing?
- Denise nosies
<Romain> Well, right now she works at a place in Pearl called the Twin Vixens, but we might have to leave there soon.
<Romain> The guy who runs the place, Alric, he's been giving her shit... sorry, giving her trouble, for letting me stay in her room sometimes.
<Romain> An' anyway, he's a ... jerk.
- Romain says, obviously toning down whatever he was going to say
- Denise can read between the lines
<Denise> well I hope she finds somewhere better.
<Romain> Yeah, me too.
<Mikel_> Maybe you can go and rough him up ;)
<Denise> she got a line on anything?
- Mikel_ jokes to Denise
- Hettienne glances sidelong at Den.
- Denise sticks her tongue out at mikel
<Hettienne> Maybe Ander's people know a place.
<Romain> Nothing yet... she's looking in Pearl mainly, but over this side of the river maybe we'd have more luck.
<Denise> I can ask but it ain't really their thing
<Denise> might have heard somethin' though?
<Romain> If you did hear of anyplace hiring girls, I'd appreciate it
<Hettienne> I still got some friends around that kinda place.
<Denise> Ander knows all the right people, anyway.
- Denise nods
<Denise> I'll see if I can't find somethin' out
<Denise> What House is you?
<Romain> Does it matter?
<Denise> to somefolks
- Romain nods
<Romain> Mostly I meant if it mattered to you two
- Denise shrugs
<Mikel_> Doesn't matter to me.
- Mikel_ says with a bit of a smile to him
<Romain> I know that, stupid ;)
<Denise> that's what's important :)
<DiablotinNarrator> You can finish up your lunch, and Romain can hurry to get back to work after, with many thanks for the meal
Argent, Dorien, Aubrienne, and Lathra ask Tits about the staff
<DiablotinNarrator> So, people looking to investigate the staff - who all is involved in this by now? :)
<DiablotinNarrator> Argent, Dorien, Lathra, and Aubrienne?
<Aubrienne> (Well, we haven't *actually* asked Lathra in character...)
<DiablotinNarrator> And what are you planning to do?
<Argent> (Dorien's plan is to ask Titania for access to the vault to examine the staff for funny stuf)
<Dorien_Voclain> (Yeah, I plan to approach her before work)
- Argent still thinks his plan was much more interesting
- Titania is at the bar one day before the club opens, having an early drink.
- Dorien_Voclain walks in and sees Titania, approaching her with a smile.
<Dorien_Voclain> "Hi Boss. How are things going?"
<Titania> I'm not your boss, and things could be better.
- Titania says dryly, but she gives you a bit of a smile anyway
- Argent will watch the exchange from a distance, lounging before his shift, in case support is needed
<Titania> You're here early.
<Dorien_Voclain> Well, you'r as close to a boss as I have these days. I actually wanted to talk to you about something.
<Titania> Pull up a chair, we can talk for a bit.
- Dorien_Voclain sits down next to her.
<Dorien_Voclain> By the way, have I told you how pretty you are lately?
<Titania> ... what do you want, Dorien
- Dorien_Voclain grins. "You know me so well."
<Dorien_Voclain> Well... a few of us wanted your permission to get a look at something in the vault. We think it might be related possibly to the general shennanigans of the other week. Just a preliminary check. You're welcome to accompany us."
<Titania> Is this about the staff?
- Titania sighs
- Dorien_Voclain looks surprised
<Titania> That stupid thing. I wish the cops would jus take it out of here.
<Dorien_Voclain> So you know about it?
<Titania> you think there are things in my club's vault that I don't know about?
- Dorien_Voclain shrugs
<Titania> What about it?
<Dorien_Voclain> Well, I guess that's my question too. Is it magical? Is it related to the thing that stabbed me?
<Titania> Yes, and I don't know.
<Dorien_Voclain> Where'd it come from?
<Titania> Eirini left it behind in her dressing room - or at least, someone did.
<Dorien_Voclain> Have you have a mage look at it? Lathra or Aubrienne may be able to tell you more.
<Titania> Well, they're welcome to look, I suppose. The guards have already been all over the thing, but they want it to stay here, in the event she tries to come back for it.
- Argent smiles on the inside
<Dorien_Voclain> Couldn't hurt, right? So you'll let us down there?
<Titania> I'll go with you while you have your look.
- Dorien_Voclain smiles. "Thanks, Boss. I appreciate it."
- Titania gets her keys to the vault
- Argent approaches Dorien
- Dorien_Voclain signlas to the others to come over
<Argent> Lets gather the troops :)
<Argent> Thanks for helping out
- Aubrienne heads over after the affirmative from Dorien
<Dorien_Voclain> Sure kid :) Anytime
- Argent says to Aubrienne and Lathra when they arrive
<Dorien_Voclain> oh >.>
<Lathra> Why, no problem at all, deary! Any time!
<Aubrienne> Well, I think I'd rather know what's going on.
- Argent smiles big
<Aubrienne> Hopefully we can suss out something.
- Titania returns with her keys
<Titania> Is everyone in on this?
- Titania says with a chuckle
<Argent> It was my idea, I talked Dorien into it... hope you don't mind
- Dorien_Voclain shrugs sheepishly
- Lathra chuckles into her fingers
<Titania> Boy, you are wasted as a waiter. You should be in sales ;)
- Dorien_Voclain laughs
<Aubrienne> Well, hey, maybe a promotion is in order.
<Titania> I'll bear it in mind.
- Aubrienne smiles and shrugs
- Argent looks a little sheepish at the complement but brushed it off with a smile
<Titania> All right, party time in the vault I guess.
- Titania will lead you all through the kitchen to the locked door of the vault.
- Titania unlocks it
- Dorien_Voclain will follow her in
- Titania turns on the lights
- Argent will let the girls in first and take the rear
<DiablotinNarrator> The shelves are there, with various boxes and crates, including the drugged wine. But the staff is nowhere to be seen.
<Titania> Well... fuck.
<Dorien_Voclain> Well... that was anticlimactic.
<Aubrienne> Well put.
<Aubrienne> Did the guards come for it, maybe?
<Titania> Maybe the cops did come back for it...
- Aubrienne looks around
- Argent takes a hard look around the room, looking for any signs of other access, such as grates or what not
<Dorien_Voclain> Wouldn't they have let you know?
<Titania> They should have!
- Aubrienne looks at Lathra
<Aubrienne> Can you sense if there's any trace?
<Aubrienne> Maybe it just got moved?
<Dorien_Voclain> Who has keys to here?
<Lathra> If it's magic I can try to search for it...
<Titania> Me, Neva, Myrtale, and Geff
<Titania> Sure - go ahead and try.
- Titania says to Lathra
<Lathra> Are there any other magic things in here? It might help if we move them all together, or at least the biggest ones.
<Titania> nothing much right now - just weapons for the bouncers
- Titania moves those out of the way
- Lathra casts DM
<DiablotinNarrator> Other than the weapons, you're not sensing anything here
<Argent> (don't suppose our searching found any other clues?)
<DiablotinNarrator> You can make Perception checks
<DiablotinNarrator> (those who are searching around)
<DiablotinNarrator> Oh there's probably a magic item on Titania, too - a ring
- Lathra pokes around in the weapons then, in case any of them have something unusual on them that could be a disguise, or just an invisible staff at the bottom of the pile
<DiablotinNarrator> alas, no such luck, Lathra
<Aubrienne> (11, meh)
- Lathra will feel out the ring a little out of sheer curiosity, and then stop herself from prying further.
<DiablotinNarrator> You don't see any signs of forced entry, Argent - you'd guess that either someone got in with the key, the normal way, or else they had some kind of magical means of access that you don't know about - teleported in or something else that wouldn't leave a sign.
<DiablotinNarrator> The ring is moderate conjuration, Lathra
<Argent> I don't think they broke in. Either a key or magic.
- Lathra tries not to speculate
- Argent concludes after his search
- Titania looks pissed off
<Titania> Someone breaking into my vault!
<Titania> well not breaking in.
- Titania amends
<Titania> But getting into when they aren't supposed to.
<Dorien_Voclain> Well... This certainly adds to the evidence that the staff was related.
<Titania> doesn't sound as snappy :p
<Lathra> Perhaps "stealing from" could lend a similar air of indignance?
- Titania nods crankily
<Titania> Someone stealing from my vault!
<Titania> yes, that'll work.
- Titania sighs
<Titania> I'll look into it. I'm sure you're right, it has to be connected.
<Dorien_Voclain> Should we call the guard?
<Argent> Does it look like anything else was taken? Just the staff?
- Argent asks Titania
<Titania> I don't see anything else missing.
<Titania> I'll contact them - you lot need to get to work.
<Lathra> Maybe I wasn't so paranoid in suggesting magical safeguards after all... I hope this isn't the start of a pattern.
- Argent nods
<Titania> Even you, Dorien.
<Dorien_Voclain> No rest for the wicked, eh?
<Dorien_Voclain> Right, well thanks for letting us down, at least.
- Argent thinks to himself that he acted too slowly
<Titania> And I'm going to ... well. not sure what I'll do, but look into what kinds of other wards we can put up here.
- Titania says with a nod to Lathra
- Aubrienne just looks quietly troubled by the whole mess
<Lathra> It seems so extreme...
- Zola wanders through the curiously empty main area on her way to get a drink from the refrigerators
- Titania shoos you all out, but will draw Argent aside for a word before he goes
- Argent waits
- Lathra bustles away
- Dorien_Voclain will head back up to the bar. I gots money to make
<Titania> Why did you even know about the staff in the first place?
<Argent> Dorien mentioned Gen saw a burnt staff when she was fetching something for Neva.
<Titania> I see.
<Titania> And you thought it might be important?
<Argent> Dyess was at Seda Grove
<Argent> he was in charge
- Titania nods
<Argent> Do you know about it?
<Titania> I know enough...
<Titania> And you know more than the average waiter.
<Argent> well I thought with the quickling and a burnt staff there might be a connection
<Titania> All right - back to work, clever boy ;)
- Argent nods
Genevriel has an unpleasant vision
<DiablotinNarrator> Gen, you are at work, late into your shift. It's been a long night, it's somewhere close to 3am, and you're exhausted.
- Gen counts the minutes until she can go home and collapse in bed. Hopefully there'll be no dreams tonight.
<DiablotinNarrator> You're backstage, gathering up a tray's worth of empty glasses from the green room. You've just added the last few to your heavy tray when a searing pain shoots up your hands and arms.
- Gen will try not to drop the tray full of breakable stuff, but instead set it down, if she possibly can (should I roll some sort of save?)
<Gen> (fortitude seems likeliest)
<DiablotinNarrator> sure, that works
<DiablotinNarrator> let's say DC 12 to avoid dropping the tray
<DiablotinNarrator> okay, you manage to set it down
<DiablotinNarrator> As the pain shoots up your arms, for a moment everything goes black, and you're back in the war. The stench of smoke and burning flesh is all around you.
- Gen sets the tray down on a table and grabs her arms reflexively, although of course that does nothing to lessen the pain. She tries to squeeze back tears.
<DiablotinNarrator> The boy - the one who looked like your brother, but wasn't - is standing before you, a short distance away, with his back turned.
- Gen says despairingly, though she knows that isn't right.
<DiablotinNarrator> You have to get to him, you know he's in danger!
- Gen rushes towards him, uncaring if she burns alive again.
- Gen stops short though...
- Gen just can't - just can't go through the flames.
<DiablotinNarrator> You reach out for him, even if you can't make it to him in time... Some kind of blue energy flows between your hand and his body, and he turns
<DiablotinNarrator> As he turns, you can see that his eyes are a bright, glowing blue.
<DiablotinNarrator> "We are all One," he says, his voice unnatural and echoing.
<Gen> Who *are* you?!
- Gen sobs.
<DiablotinNarrator> You come to - if in fact you were ever unconscious - to see an old man's face staring into yours, as he gently smacks you a couple times on the cheek.
<DiablotinNarrator> After a moment's confusion, you realize it's August, the elderly bass player from the band
<August> Hey... you all right?
- Gen scrabbles up and crabs backwards, trying to get away from him.
<August> whoa there, it's okay
<Gen> Yes. No. I'm *fine*.
- August says, his voice soothing
<August> Let's get you a drink
- August offers
- Gen laughs bitterly. She's probably already pretty tipsy from an evening's tippling.
- Gen shakes her head.
<August> all right
<August> You need a moment?
<Gen> I need to turn back time.
- Gen remembers she barely knows this person.
<August> Ahh. well, you're not the only one.
- Gen tries unsteadily to get to her feet.
<August> Here you go..
- August offers his arm. He's surprisingly steady on his feet for a man who has to be about 80
<Gen> It's just the war. I can't... I can't shake it.
- August nods sympathetically
<August> You ever want to talk, there's plenty here who'd listen. After all, we're all one.
- Gen glances at him sharply.
<Gen> What's that supposed to mean?
<August> We're all in the same boat here.
<August> You don't have to go it alone, is all I mean.
<Gen> You fought in the war?
- Gen seems a bit incredulous.
<August> Not this one.
<Gen> Which one?
- August pats your shoulder, and you oddly enough do feel a bit calmer.
- Gen tries to think of other wars; the only one is the other Psyrene war 30-some years ago.
<August> Oh, it was a long time ago.
<August> I'd best get back on stage. Old man, free beer, lots of bathroom breaks.
- August says with a crooked smile
- Gen nods.
<August> You take care of yourself, miss.
<Gen> You too.
<August> And maybe think about letting others take care of you too.
- August heads back out to the stage, then.
- Gen shakes her head.
<Gen> (Are my arms better now?)
<DiablotinNarrator> The pain has gone back to its normal levels... and you do feel a bit calmer.
- Gen retrieves her tray and takes it to the kitchen.
- Gen wishes she did know someone, but there's only Dorien, and he has his own problems. He doesn't need mine added to the pile.
- Gen glances towards the bar to see if he's still even working or if he called it a night already.
- Dorien_Voclain is indeed behind, probably chatting with a customer.
- Gen won't interrupt his business.
<DiablotinNarrator> You manage to make it through the rest of your shift, and get home to crawl into bed. Your dreams, for once, are peaceful, surprisingly enough.
<DiablotinNarrator> The end, for now...
Hugonel, Ilene, and Thera
* Hugonel will take whatever conveyance will get him to the party after Lucette's talk as quickly as possible
<DiablotinNarrator> (cab, I imagine)
<DiablotinNarrator> The party is already underway when you get there, although as it's still fairly early you're surely not the last person to arrive
* Hugonel will hustle about looking for Thera
* Thera is chatting with some friends, with a drink in hand
* Hugonel will strut over as if his lateness is completely irrelevant.
<Hugonel> Ah, there you are! Thera, darling, how wonderful to see you!
<Thera> Oh, Hugo, you've arrived :)
<Thera> How was your little... intellectual gathering?
<Hugonel> Mind-expanding, as always. But of course also an opportunity to be seen by a certain other segment of society. In particular I needed a moment with my Uncle Loick.
<Hugonel> Lucette sends her regards.
<Thera> I'm sure.
* Thera does not seem quiiite convinced
<Thera> How is it that you don't have any refreshments yet? shocking!
<Hugonel> Indeed - this travesty must be remedied at once!
* Hugonel looks for whoever is carrying around a tray of drinks to corral one for himself.
<Thera> (you can readily flag down a drink)
<Hugonel> (do I know Thera's friends?)
<DiablotinNarrator> (probably, although they're a bit younger than you for the most part - Jacqueline Courtemanche, Ilene Vaillancourt, and Dominique Rademacher are here atm)
<DiablotinNarrator> (Dominique is her cousin, obviously - the other two are just acquaintances)
* Hugonel will scan the room to see if there is anything notable - e.g., notable absences or anything interesting going on that I should know about
<DiablotinNarrator> There is a band set up, presumably for Mico's performance in a little while.
<Hugonel> (poor Zola ... ah well, it's money)
<Hugonel> Thera, my dear, you look resplendent this evening.
<Thera> Flatterer ;)
<Hugonel> I can only flatter if I speak the truth. Otherwise I'd just be a liar.
<Ilene> Hugo, were you at Titania's the night of that awful murder?
<Hugonel> I'm afraid I was. It was very chaotic - no one really saw what happened. But if you ask me, it was planned out in advance, by more than one person.
<Ilene> So shocking - poor Byran....
<Hugonel> Yes, terrible. I didn't know him well.
<Ilene> He was a cousin of mine... some sort of cousin, anyway.
* Ilene says vaguely
<Ilene> He was an utter prat but I can't imagine why someone would kill him.
<Hugonel> Perhaps something to do with the war? ... I don't know.
<Ilene> If you ask me, they ought to be looking at his fiancée.
<Ilene> Everyone knew he was stepping out on her.
<Hugonel> (who is that? someone I know?)
<Ilene> (make a k: nob roll)
<Hugonel> !roll 1d20+13
<Ilene> (heh. knob)
* BalthCat rolls for Hugonel: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 14 ].
<Hugonel> Oh dear! You don't say?
<Ilene> Well, you know how it is.
* Ilene says with a knowing smile
<Hugonel> I do?
* Hugonel says, equally knowingly.
<Thera> Surely you were engaged at least once.
* Thera says dryly
<Thera> I mean it's not as if they were married yet.
* Hugonel laughs.
<Ilene> Or as if it would make a difference if they had been ;p
<Hugonel> No, although decorum would at least have suggested that he have the good sense not to get caught.
<Ilene> There's a difference between getting caught red-handed and it being something that's known.
* Ilene shrugs
<Ilene> I suppose he was about as careful as most men.
* Hugonel feigns a look of grievous offense.
<Hugonel> I shall have to endeavour to be better than most in that regard, then.
<Hugonel> Why would she have him killed so publicly, and in such a risky manner, though? Strange...
* Ilene chuckles
<Ilene> Who knows?
<Hugonel> Perhaps she was not as careful as most women.
<Ilene> Evidently not.
<Thera> Oh, women do some foolish things too
* Thera glances at her cousin, who looks annoyed
<Hugonel> So, has anything interesting transpired yet this evening?
* Thera can relate to you some of the gossip concerning who's here with whom, who isn't here with whom, etc.
<Hugonel> Is your dear brother going to be able to make it?
<Thera> I doubt it - his lady-friend doesn't enjoy such gatherings, and he's more of a homebody since she moved in.
<Hugonel> Ah, I see.
* Thera knows perfectly well that you know Lurancy too, but she's avoiding the name in company
<Hugonel> (so right now is everyone just milling around waiting for the music to start?)
<DiablotinNarrator> (some people are probably playing cards or doing drugs in other rooms, if you want to wander ;)
* Hugonel will stick close to Thera, since he knows what's good for him.
<DiablotinNarrator> Soon enough, the performance will start, if you want to watch that
<DiablotinNarrator> (it's good, if somewhat surreal?)
* Hugonel will make sure to be seen with Thera as much as possible.
<Hugonel> This is very ... interesting, don't you think?
<Thera> It's all right - I'm sure Bright dropped a fair amount of coin on all of this.
* Thera nibbles at a canapé
Do you want some vodare? I brought enough to share, but not with everyone ;)
Oh, you temptress. You have found my only weakness!
* Hugonel says melodramatically.
<Thera> surely not.
* Hugonel laughs.
<Hugonel> Well, that, and beautiful women. So I'm doomed.
<Thera> Come along then ;)
* Hugonel does as he's told.
* Thera will lead you to a quieter room, where her stash will attract fewer moochers ;p
* Thera offers you what's left after she's sniffed her share
* Hugonel sniffs what's left like a pro.
* Thera shakes her head, more bright-eyed and cheerful now
* Thera leans on your arm affectionately/possessively
Now if I say anything odd you must ignore it
Of course, my dear.
<Thera> Were you expecting to take me home tonight? ^-^
<Hugonel> Were you hoping me to?
<Thera> Well, I was thinking I would see who was here, in case there was anyone more interesting... ;)
<Hugonel> In that case, I have nothing to worry about. ;)
* Thera laughs
<Thera> You are incorrigibly vain, Hugo.
<Hugonel> I prefer to think of myself as vainly incorrigible.
* Ilene is now known as Woman
* Thera gives you a kiss
* Woman enters the room just in time to interrupt that kiss ;p
<Hugonel> Oh, hello. Don't mind us!
<Woman> Well... all right. But this is my room.
* Woman seems not offended, exactly, but somewhat startled
<Hugonel> Oh, my apologies ... Thera, my dear, come, let's move on.
* Thera pouts a little, but will get up to go
* Woman is, you can presume, Bright's sister Janelle - she's about 30, or a little older than many of the people here (except you of course ;) and quite pretty, although not really dressed up for a party
* Woman is now known as Janelle
* Hugonel composes himself and escorts Thera out to find a more suitable place.
<Hugonel> Pardon us.
* Janelle smiles
<Janelle> It's quite all right, really. I didn't tell Bright I'd be home this evening.
<Janelle> I'm sure it's not like I'll be able to sleep.
<Hugonel> No indeed! I suspect none of us is going to get much of that tonight.
<Janelle> Perhaps I ought to just pick up a few necessities and head out to find somewhere else myself.
* Janelle says, evaluating the noise level
<Hugonel> As you wish.
* Thera tugs on your arm slightly
You were the one who wanted to go... but if you want to carry on chatting, by all means.
<Hugonel> Yes, of course.
* Hugonel escorts Thera out to find someplace more private.
* Janelle smiles, seeming amused rather than perturbed at finding makeouts in her room
* Thera will I SUPPOSE accompany you home after a while ;)
Aubrienne and Dorien
- Aubrienne will make her way to Dorien's place sometime during the week.
- Aubrienne knocks out a beat on the door
- Dorien_Voclain will come to the door and smile when he sees Aubrienne standing there. "Hey there, pretty lady. Come on in."
<Aubrienne> Well hello yourself. How's tricks?
- Aubrienne steps inside, giving Dorien a wink.
<Dorien_Voclain> Not bad. Getting ready for work later on. How've you been?
<Aubrienne> Ugh, in all honesty, not great.
- Aubrienne will collapse theatrically onto the nearest chair or sofa.
- Dorien_Voclain raises an eyebrow.
<Aubrienne> General weirdness.
<Aubrienne> Despite the stage persona, not really my thing.
<Aubrienne> How're you? I almost forgot to ask.
<Aubrienne> After the attack.
- Dorien_Voclain reaches into a nearby duffel bag and pulls out a small pouch with various powders and vials in it.
<Aubrienne> Are you doing all right?
<Dorien_Voclain> "I'm ok. The wound is already healed. Still a little annoyed, though. Here, maybe this will help with your weirdness. Your usual."
- Dorien_Voclain tossed her the pouch
<Dorien_Voclain> Actually, since you bring it up, there was something I was meaning to ask you about, possibly related to the attack.
- Aubrienne pauses, bag open
<Aubrienne> What's up?
<Dorien_Voclain> Well... the other day Gen was in the vault for an... errand... and she saw something weird. A staff. Burned on the end, she said. Argent thinks it might be related to the recent weirdness. I thought maybe you might know something.
<Aubrienne> I haven't seen the staff, if that's what you mean.
<Aubrienne> I don't really go near the vault. I'm more a backstage and bar-type.
<Dorien_Voclain> Well... I was more hoping you'd be willing to take a look at it, if we can get access to it.
<Dorien_Voclain> See if you know what it is or can at least see if it's magic or not.
<Aubrienne> Oh, huh.
<Dorien_Voclain> That's kind of your bailiwick, right?
<Aubrienne> Well, I can take a look at it, but I'm so great on the sensory end.
<Aubrienne> Well, scratch that.
<Aubrienne> I can make sensations.
<Aubrienne> That came out wrong.
<Dorien_Voclain> Oh can you?
- Aubrienne sticks her tongue out
<Dorien_Voclain> Dorien says with a grin
<Aubrienne> I do illusions, you jerk.
<Dorien_Voclain> Hey, can't blame me for hoping.
<Aubrienne> I'll take a look, but I'm not sure how much help I'll be.
<Aubrienne> Pretty sure we've had tha conversation, Dorien. I'm not that kind of girl.
- Aubrienne rolls her eyes playfully
<Dorien_Voclain> Hey, it's not too late to switch teams
<Aubrienne> However could I do that. I'm a franchise player, sweetie.
- Dorien_Voclain laughs
<Aubrienne> Have you talked to Hugo?
<Aubrienne> He could probably tell you if it's magic.
<Dorien_Voclain> Not lately. i try not to if I can.
<Aubrienne> Lathra or Zola might be able to help as well.
<Aubrienne> Tits does seem to keep a fair bit of practitioners around.
- Dorien_Voclain shrugs. "Yeah. It's probably nothing anyway. Mostly I just want to put Argent's mind to rest on it. You know how he gets when something sticks in his head.
<Aubrienne> Uh, actually, not so much.
<Aubrienne> Is he pretty worked up about everything?
<Dorien_Voclain> He can be very... focused.
<Dorien_Voclain> He wants to get to the bottom of things, which I don't blame him for.
<Aubrienne> Maybe he's right. Seems like a lot of weird things going on right now.
<Aubrienne> (assuming this is before the visit to Trisan's, Aubrienne would probably suggest again to talk to Lathra)
<Aubrienne> (what with the possible Evictor connection)
<Dorien_Voclain> (We can assume before if it's easiest :) )
<Dorien_Voclain> You think Lathra would want to help? I don't know her as well as you do.
<Aubrienne> She's a sweetheart. If nothing else, I bet she'd be happy to lay some minds at ease.
<Aubrienne> Speaking of which...
- Aubrienne consumes some of the powder in whatever manner is intended :p
<Dorien_Voclain> Well, the more the merrier
- Dorien_Voclain gets you a pillow to lay on so you can better enjoy your trip :3
Zola and Hugo
- Zola will visit Hugo the next day, with a polite call ahead to make sure any guests have gone home.
- Hugonel opens the door wearing a long silk robe tied at the waist, and open-toed sandals.
<Hugonel> Hello, Zola - come in.
- Hugonel smiles broadly.
<Zola> In a robe still, tsk.
- Zola gives him a peck on the cheek
<Hugonel> Have pity. I had a late night.
- Zola steps in and sets her bag near the door casually.
<Zola> Yes, I'm sure it was dreadful.
<Hugonel> One of the perils of being so handsome and popular, I suppose.
- Zola smiles
<Zola> You know, I was worried about that myself last night, but it all turned out OK in the end...
<Zola> Bright was a gentleman and didn't come on too strong... so I didn't have to wiggle my way out of anything.
<Hugonel> Oh? Ahhh, I see.
<Zola> He just gave me his number, and I drove home in that obnoxiously comfortable limousine.
<Hugonel> I've seen you wiggle. If you're looking to get out of a sticky situation, it rarely has the desired effect. :)
<Zola> Har har.
<Hugonel> I'm sure he'd be quite the catch for Mico.
<Zola> He would.
- Zola shrugs.
<Zola> It's probably better to just keep things simple.
<Zola> He was really sweet though :/
<Hugonel> Be careful - you know how it is for us. They fall so hard, so easily.
<Zola> Well, I don't think I'll call... so it'll be fine.
<Zola> I dedicated some songs to him, we had a few drinks...
<Zola> And he can tell everyone he met Mico from the radio.
- Zola shifts uncomfortably for a moment.
<Zola> You know what would be a sweet thing to do for a lady, Mr. Silver?
<Hugonel> Oh, what?
- Zola turns her back to Hugo
<Zola> I had to bind myself all up for the party and my back is *killing* me.
<Hugonel> Well, how could I say no to a woman in such distress?
<Zola> My hero.
- Zola says rather sincerely
- Hugonel is not a master of the backrub, but will do his best.
- Hugonel can use Mage Hand to help out as needed.
<Zola> I saw N-ow... Noren at the party too. You know the boy who gave me my knockers?
<Hugonel> Oh - yes, of course. How is he?
- Zola will have mentioned him before... he gave them to Zola for her birthday and his parents didn't so much appreciate him pilfering cash and shipped him away.
<Zola> He's good, I think... he's been in town a few months he says, at a law firm.
<Zola> I'm going to try to meet up with him again... we were interrupted by Bright...
<Zola> I'm kinda glad he didn't come back just for me.
<Hugonel> I presume his parents are still cross about the whole affair?
<Zola> I mean, it'd be flattering, but ... awkward.
<Zola> Well, they weren't cheap...
<Zola> They didn't really get to know me before the whole "stolen gold for boobs" scandal. So I couldn't really blame them if they were worried I was a golddigger or something.
- Zola cups them in her hands ... "Not a bad purchase really..."
<Hugonel> Speaking of old loves, I had a very nice time at Mlle. Voclain's lecture.
<Zola> Was it interesting, or boring like a school lecture? :)
<Hugonel> It was interesting ... like a school lecture.
<Zola> What was it about?
<Zola> And keep rubbing.
- Hugonel complies.
<Hugonel> She presented evidence for a new bloodline, more common in Psyra than elsewhere, related to the djinni.
<Hugonel> Perhaps it's just the hopeless romantic in me, but I am enamored of the idea that it emerged from a granted wish, centuries ago.
<Zola> I'd have just assumed someone had sex with one.
<Hugonel> Well, that's because you're a heartless pragmatist, no doubt.
- Zola looks back at you like you're bonkers
- Hugonel laughs.
<Hugonel> You're probably right.
<Zola> Besides, there's plenty of romance to be drummed up in the love of a beautiful Psyrene and a ...whatever those are, are they like genies?
<Hugonel> Yes, one can only imagine.
<Hugonel> At any rate, one wonders about the political implications of such a finding, as well as its arcane importance.
<Zola> How's that political?
<Zola> Are we going to start calling them genie-fuckers?
<Hugonel> Well, there are some people who don't like outsiders, and there are a lot of people, of course, who don't like Psyrenes.
<Hugonel> Then again, my bloodline comes from Serpent, so I'm hardly one to judge.
<Zola> How do you know it comes from Serpent?
<Hugonel> Well ... it comes from being descended from those touched by the power of the Arch, technically.
- Zola nods
<Zola> Doesn't seem like a great plan to label the Emperor as "outsiders" though :P
<Hugonel> Well ... no. That's a technical definition, not one likely to be endorsed more broadly.
<Zola> There's probably all sorts of things spicing up the blood in the empire.
<Zola> Who's to say that arcane bloodline everyone has isn't of inhuman origin too.
<Hugonel> Indeed - I often wonder whether what we call 'arcane' is simply a code for 'we don't know yet'.
<Zola> I imagine it so.
<Hugonel> At any rate, Mlle. Voclain made a persuasive case. I do think she's still half-smitten with me, also.
<Zola> Well hopefully only half, if you're not inclined to smite her back.
<Hugonel> Well, I don't want to break the poor girl's heart. She is *very* young, still.
<Zola> Good boy.
- Zola leans back against you, her back feeling better
<Zola> Time to get all dolled up soon
<Hugonel> Yes, well, we wouldn't want to be anything less than our best, now would we?
<Hugonel> And I wouldn't want Tits thinking that I am ungrateful for last night's respite.
- Zola nods
<Zola> I could use another nap though...
<Hugonel> Well, don't let me stand in your way, by all means.
<Zola> You'd be more of a pillow really... but I ought not risk it.
- Zola gets herself up instead, shaking the drowsiness away.
<Zola> I'll head over and get a head start on making myself look gorgeous.
- Zola holds up her fingers and frames her face as if for a picture
<Zola> See you in a bit.
Gen and August
- Gen has arranged to meet with August at a cafe or something similar, and through immense effort, has managed to keep her tippling to a minimum through the morning and early afternoon, so that she can have a clear head while talking to him. Well, clearer than normal, anyway.
- August will be there at the café when you arrive, sipping his coffee
- Gen is relieved but also anxious when she sees he did come.
<Gen> Good afternoon, M. Merrion.
- Gen slides into a chair across from him.
<August> Hello, Mlle. Doucette
- August says with a polite nod
<Gen> How are you today?
<August> I'm doing well, thank you. And how are you?
<Gen> I'm all right, thanks.
- Gen 's social skills are probably a little rusty, but she is trying. ^-^
<August> Have you already eaten?
<Gen> Yes, thank you.
<Gen> But I'll order a coffee when the server next comes by. :)
<August> All right.
<Gen> I'm not a musician, but the first piece of your second... set?... last night seemed especially tricky for the bass. I enjoyed listening to you play.
- Gen tries to make polite small talk while she builds up her courage to get to the gist of the matter.
<August> Thank you. It's a pleasure to get to perform with such a talented group of young people.
- August flags down a waiter as they pass, so you can order
- Gen asks for a coffee, black, with extra sugar, Psyrene-style.
<August> ... and could we also have a basket of the cinnamon rolls?
- August adds
- Gen feels a little awkward... Does he seem to be trying to take care of her because she's a pitiful excuse for a human being, or is he just being sociable? She cannot tell.
<August> They're wonderful here - I don't know if you've had them, but they do them with a delicious glaze
- Gen shakes her head. "I usually only get a coffee when I come here."
<August> (if anything, he probably just suspects that he makes a good deal more money than you, and is being polite by sharing)
<August> Ah, well, you're in for a treat then :)
- Gen smiles. It very nearly reaches her eyes.
<Gen> Well... thank you.
<Gen> I wanted to talk to you about... about the other night.
- Gen nods.
<Gen> If that's all right.
- Gen nods, uncertain how to proceed, because her question for him could easily sound like crazy talk. Someone else at the cafe might overhear, too. :P
- August waits patiently to hear what you have to say
<Gen> Well... this will probably sound strange. But I haven't really had a peaceful night since... well, months at least.
<August> Trouble sleeping?
<Gen> I have nightmares pretty much every night. But that night, I slept well, and that was strange enough for me to wonder if it might be due to you, somehow.
<Gen> In which case, I wanted to thank you.
<August> Well, I don't know if I can take credit for your lack of bad dreams. But I'm glad to hear that you did sleep well, at least.
<August> You seemed ... off in another world when I came across you backstage.
- Gen nods.
<Gen> I have flashbacks. So in some respect, I probably was off in another world.
- Gen 's knuckles, if they were visible, would be white with tension; this is as close as she's come to talking about any of this stuff with anyone to date.
- August nods
<August> That happens to many people who've been through difficult events
- Gen nods.
<August> Is it something you want to talk about?
- Gen looks startled; she wasn't expecting that.
- Gen also seems a bit distressed. She doesn't really know this dude!
<August> It's all right if you don't.
- August adds
<Gen> I... um... No. I don't know. I mean, I don't really know you.
<Gen> I'm sorry. I'm not very good at talking to people.
<August> That's fine.
- Gen nods, relieved. Her eyes are probably a little watery.
- Gen tries hard to control her emotions. The worst thing she can imagine (well, not the worst, actually :P) would be to make a scene in public.
- Gen collects herself, taking a deep breath, but her voice is probably a little wavery nonetheless.
<Gen> I probably should talk about it, you are right, but I have to do it when and where I can feel safe doing so.
- Gen sweeps her gaze over the cafe.
<Gen> This isn't that place.
<Gen> Thank you, though.
- Gen turns her attention to her coffee and the basket of cinnamon rolls when it arrives, taking one only after August has helped himself.
- August has a couple of rolls, in fact :)
<Gen> (does he want to break the sort-of-companionable silence, or shall I?)
- August seems content to keep quiet until you feel like talking again
- Gen looks up at him at length.
<Gen> So which war, or wars, did you fight in?
- Gen steers the conversation to someplace less fraught with awkwardness, she hopes.
<August> I don't suppose you'd believe me if I said it was the crisis when Enzephir took the throne?
- Gen rapidly does the math in her head. (C is much slower at math)
<August> (that would have been ~80 years ago)
<August> (er, no)
<August> (my math was wacky too! 130 years ago)
<Gen> You look good for a supercentenarian.
<August> (either way, it's much longer ago than you would think is possible for someone to still be walking around chatting ;)
- August smiles
<August> I'd chalk it up to fresh air and healthy foods, but that would be a lie.
- August says, taking another bite of cinnamon roll.
- Gen considers him for a moment; she doesn't seem all that disturbed by or disbelieving of his professed age.
<Gen> You'll have to tell me all about it.
<August> If you'd like.
<Gen> I like history, so I'd like that.
<August> Well, I often feel like I'm a historical relic these days - so much has changed, so quickly.
- Gen smiles a bit wryly.
- August gestures out the café window as a car honks, its path blocked by a carriage that seems to be stuck
- Gen nods.
<Gen> I'm only 22, and my whole world has changed in only three years. You've got nothing on me.
- Gen actually does crack a smile.
<Gen> But yes, I understand.
- August smiles back
<August> The older you get, the more quickly it seems to go, I'm afraid.
- Gen shrugs.
<Gen> I'll have to take your word for it.
<August> Hopefully you'll have the chance to learn it for yourself.
- Gen 's momentary good spirits trickle away. Living such a long time with everything she feels right now is not really something to look forward to, sadly.
<August> ... it does get easier.
- August offers sympathetically
- Gen nods, accepting his attempt at kindness for what it is.
- Gen 's earlier tension seems to have returned in full force, though.
<Gen> There was something you said... it caught my attention because I hear something like it in my dreams and my pulse all the time. "We are all one." With your history, do you know anything about what that might mean, if anything?
- August considers his answer for a moment
<August> I meant that we - we let ourselves be divided by so many things, and often such petty things. We can't see beyond the walls we've put up.
<August> I understand you don't know me, and might not want to talk about whatever it is that's eating away at you.
<August> But is there anyone you can talk to? Someone you can trust enough to let down that wall?
- Gen looks like she's about to crumble into pieces. She shakes her head, struggling to keep from making that public scene she dreads.
<Gen> There's only my cousin Dorien, but he has his own problems. I don't want to burden him - anyone - with mine.
<Gen> Also... I'm scared.
- Gen whispers.
<August> can you say what it is you're scared of?
<Gen> Not here. Not in public.
<August> All right.
- Gen is mostly concerned about someone here overhearing her.
<August> Would you like to walk for a while?
- Gen nods, relieved.
- August wraps up the remaining rolls in a napkin to take along, and pays the bill (paying for both of you before you can protest ;)
- Gen feels worse when he does that.
- Gen trails along beside him, trying to regain some measure of control over herself and her situation.
<Gen> A park. Is there a park nearby?
<Gen> I feel calmer among green growing things.
<August> I think we can find somewhere
- Gen looks pale and shaky and feels stupid for being so weak.
- August takes you to Ash Hill, the graveyard in Rhenea
<August> (It's not the most cheerful place, but it's quiet, and there are definitely trees, although it's fall so they're mostly not green)
- Gen laughs a bit hysterically when she sees the crumbling headstones.
<Gen> A graveyard, yes. It suits.
- Gen wanders to a tree and finds a dry spot under it where she can sit down and try to breathe normally.
- August wanders past the old marble monuments, worn by the weather and time, to sit with you.
- Gen forces herself to take deep breaths for a few minutes, then leans her head back against the tree's corrugated grey bark, eyes closed.
<Gen> This is going to sound stupid and childish.
<Gen> And also very... narcissistic, in a twisted sort of way.
<Gen> I was a chasseur, in Psyra, because I grew up there and I have good woodsman's skills.
<Gen> My squadron would scout out rebel strongholds.
<Gen> If they were small enough, we'd eliminate them ourselves.
<Gen> Those were our orders.
- August nods, listening
<Gen> I followed my orders, over and over and over and over.
<Gen> My squadron became known as the "Red Squadron" because we were so good at it.
<Gen> There was, finally, a farm with a boy... a boy the same age as my brother had been.
<Gen> We rounded them up and into the farmhouse, and we set it alight.
<Gen> They were only slicks, after all.
<Gen> They burn really well because they're 80% olive oil.
- Gen laughs hysterically.
<Gen> Only they weren't, you know?
<Gen> They were people, just like you, just like me.
- August nods
<Gen> I was raised in the Church of the Seven, but had buried my symbol of the Wheel with a friend early in the war. I had no real hope or expectation that anyone would answer my prayers as I ran into that burning house to get those people out.
<Gen> I only managed to find two. One was the boy.
<Gen> He was badly burnt, he was going to die.
<Gen> So I opened myself up to all the stars in the heavens, and begged, begged for someone to help me help him.
<Gen> He was healed.
<August> That was a courageous decision.
<Gen> It was a stupid decision.
<Gen> I opened a door wide for something, and something came through.
<Gen> Only I don't know what it was, only that it is still with me.
<August> Well... courageous is often a kind word for stupid. It doesn't mean it wasn't also heroic. But please - go on.
<Gen> I am afraid of what I let in, and of what it made of me.
<August> You feel that it's something non-human, I take it?
<August> Something outside yourself
- Gen nods.
<Gen> It marked me; the army clerics wanted to study me.
<August> Does it make you do things? Speak to you?
- August tries to clarify what 'it' is for you
<Gen> I hear voices. Old ones, young ones, male, female, hard-to-say. They're always changing, and I only recognize a few of their words.
<Gen> If that.
<Gen> If they're trying to make me do something, we've got a language barrier to overcome.
- August nods, smiling slightly at that despite the seriousness of the subject
<Gen> I do have a strong sense that I am supposed to be here, in Diablotin, though.
<Gen> I'd rather be in the country somewhere, but I'm here because I feel like I have to be.
- August nods
<Gen> The only phrase I have been able to understand is that we are all one.
<Gen> It's maddening.
<August> You're worried that you're going crazy?
<Gen> Wouldn't you be?
<August> Yes, certainly. I think anyone would.
<Gen> But I can ask for people to be healed still, and it works.
<Gen> So I'm not completely insane, because if I were just delusional, nobody would be healed. Right?
<August> Whatever happened to you, something has obviously changed you, and not simply in your mind.
<August> There are so many things in the world - and outside it - that we don't understand.
<August> Your story doesn't make me think you're crazy. It makes me think you've stumbled into one of those... unknowns.
- Gen pulls her knees up and hugs them to her chest.
<August> Of course you're scared, and uncertain, and having bad dreams.
<August> There's only so much that a human mind can comprehend...
- Gen nods.
<August> And that's not even counting the war.
<Gen> And the outsider hunters.
<Gen> I am human, but they might not see me that way.
<August> Now that, I can certainly sympathize with.
<August> Mlle. Doucette - with your permission, could I bring this case to some people I know? I'd leave your name out of it, if you want to maintain your privacy.
<August> But I'd like to help you get answers, if such a thing is possible.
<Gen> I want to know, because that's the only way I can start to understand...
<Gen> My parents were both scientists.
- Gen whispers.
<Gen> But... I don't want to be someone's study.
<August> I understand
<Gen> I... I'm human, not... a piece of old pottery or something.
<Gen> Would your friends want to turn me into a piece of old pottery?
<August> No, I doubt that.
- August says with a slight smile
<August> As I said, they don't even need to know who you are, if you prefer it that way.
- Gen nods.
<Gen> Maybe that would work.
- August gets himself up from the ground, with a slight bit of effort
<Gen> Yes, that could work.
- Gen glances up at him.
<August> All right.
<Gen> I'm sorry... the ground. I didn't think.
- August smiles
<August> don't worry
- Gen rises to her feet with youthful grace.
- August is pretty spry for a ... however old he is
<August> Next time we'll choose a spot with a bench.
<August> Or be disrespectful and sit on one of the tombs, maybe.
<August> I don't think they mind.
- Gen shrugs.
<Gen> I wouldn't know.
<Gen> Thank you.
<August> Thank you.
<Gen> For what?
- Gen looks puzzled, and perhaps a little wary.
<August> For being willing to talk about this.
<August> I'm sure it wasn't easy, and as you said, we don't know each other well.
<Gen> I actually didn't mean to.
<Gen> I really only wanted to know if you had a... gift?, too.
<Gen> Because I did sleep well after you touched me.
<Gen> But I do feel a little better for having told someone.
<August> I've had a lot of practice at ... calming people down.
<August> I hope it helps you sleep better.
<August> I'll speak to you again soon. Will I see you at the club later?
- Gen nods.
<August> Good, then.
- August leaves the napkin with the extra cinnamon buns with you as he leaves.
- Gen looks a bit shamefaced as she picks them up... She wishes she weren't such a charity case.
Zola and Noren
- Noren will show up for your not-a-date slightly after the appointed time
- Zola will have gotten in touch with Noren through his office, likely, rather than his parents, even if that meant a little more digging... and suggested coffee at a nearby place.
- Zola is patient, being the fashionably late type herself.
<Noren> Sorry I'm late
- Noren says, sitting down, a little harried-looking
<Zola> It's no problem :)
<Noren> (how done up is Zola? ;)
- Zola has chosen a simpler look today, in contrast with the fancy costume that is Mico, so he can have a better idea of what she's like now... no wig, no magic.
- Zola is still prettied up more than one might expect for a coffee date though, but that's not out of character... bright red lipstick stains mouthpiece of her short cigarette holder
<Noren> You look... well.
- Noren says, settling on that as a neutral choice of word
<Zola> Thank you, hun. You look good too.
- Zola smiles
<Zola> Hard to get away from the office?
- Noren nods
<Noren> Preparing for a case, and... well, you know - being new there, I need to make a good impression. That means a lot of extra hours.
<Zola> I wasn't even thinking... we could have met later, once the office closed.
<Noren> No, no, it's fine. I'll just stay a little longer in the evening.
<Zola> Well at least they're flexible :)
<Noren> As long as it all gets done, they don't begrudge me taking a break for a coffee with an old friend.
- Noren says with a smile
- Zola gestures to the waiter and orders a coffee with cinnamon and cream.
- Noren will get a black coffee and a piece of apple pie.
<Zola> What sort of law office? Something interesting, like criminal cases, or is it all who's property is the fence on? :)
<Noren> Oh, uh, I think the people who own the fence find that sort of thing pretty interesting ;) But no, it's criminal cases - defense.
<Zola> I suppose that one's a bit of a mixed bag...
<Zola> Someone's gotta do it though :)
- Noren nods
<Noren> What about you? I gather you're getting to be quite a star...
- Zola smiles ruefully. "In a sense."
<Zola> I've got a steady slot at Tits', but I suppose you meant as Mico.
<Noren> Well, either way - I guess I was surprised, a little, to find you were still...
- Noren looks for the right word
<Noren> ... still Mico.
- Noren settles on
<Zola> That's the thing... I'm not, not really.
<Zola> He's a character.
- Noren nods
<Noren> That must be ... odd.
<Zola> It is, but when a few of my songs started catching ears, I knew... well my agent said it was better that way.
<Zola> Less complicated for the fans, I guess.
<Zola> So Mico gets to become a reclusive radio star.
- Noren nods
<Zola> I didn't really want to do the party...
<Zola> But I'm glad I did. :)
<Noren> me too
<Noren> I wasn't going to go, but then I heard ... Mico would be performing, so I thought it might be worthwhile.
- Zola blushes a little.
<Zola> I just figured you were friends with Bright.
<Noren> Well, that's why I got invited in the first place... you know, there aren't a lot of us Rats, we have to stick together. we're close to the same age, we used to play together when we were kids, that sort of thing.
- Zola nods
<Zola> He seems like a nice guy.
<Noren> His scene isn't really... my scene, though.
<Zola> No? Maybe he needs to send you more bouquets? :)
<Noren> Did you get one? ;)
<Zola> It was gorgeous
<Zola> And the limo was so comfortable.
- Noren nods
<Zola> Too much partying for your taste?
<Noren> That, and... hm.
- Noren tries to think how to say this without being rude
<Zola> He's not a pervert is he? :o
<Noren> Gods, I don't know :o I don't think so?
<Zola> Good :) He seemed to enjoy the show... gave me his number and everything. I'd like to be able to at least dream of giving him a ring.
- Zola says, clearly not thinking it's a real possibility.
<Noren> No, I just mean... well. he's a noble, and he's content that way. He doesn't seem to want to have a job, or ... you know?
<Noren> I can see how, uh, Mico would be his type, though, definitely :)
<Zola> I can see that... averse to work.
<Noren> I guess it annoys his father to no end, but... short of cutting him off, I guess he can't exactly force him to do something useful with his life.
<Zola> Maybe his father should give mother a call, I'm sure she could pass on some tips.
- Zola taps her cigarette in an ashtray.
<Zola> Not that I didn't get some help to st art off ...
- Noren smiles, perhaps remembering how he helped you ;)
<Zola> I meant with tuition, not with these
- Zola grins and gestures at her respectable bosom.
<Noren> Oh, fair ;)
<Zola> Though I've yet to get a better birthday gift.
- Zola smiles, though the truth is they came with a cost.
<Noren> well I don't know if I could ever top that one... maybe it's better I quit while I was ahead
- Zola glances away for a moment at his choice of "quit" and takes a drag from her cigarette
<Zola> Well, you've certainly set the bar high for everyone else :)
<Noren> ... is there someone else?
- Noren asks carefully
<Zola> No, not right now.
<Zola> How about you? Did you bring anyone back to the city? :)
<Noren> No, I didn't.
<Noren> My parents have been arranging some ... afternoon teas, I guess, with suitable girls.
<Zola> So this *Zola gestures to her upper lip* is all your idea?
<Noren> even when I point out to them that I'm usually at work in the afternoon.
- Zola teases good naturedly
<Noren> oh... well, I thought it would make me look older.
<Noren> you don't like it?
<Zola> Might just take getting used to :)
- Noren smiles
<Noren> I was just getting tired of being called 'kid' :)
<Zola> Well as long as the judges like it, that's what matters :)
<Noren> Hopefully I can sway them with more than my mustache.
- Noren says jokingly
<Zola> Your parents are right, in a way and probably by accident... you should make sure you aren't so caught up in your work that you let everything pass you by.
- Noren sips his coffee and picks at his slice of pie, a bit distractedly
<Zola> Unless there's someone *at* work you're interested in... I suppose...
<Noren> There isn't anything in my life at the moment that's more interesting.
<Noren> well... there wasn't.
- Noren says shyly.
<Zola> That's why you have to go out and find things, dear.
<Noren> you're probably right
<Zola> That's what I'm saying, you need to go out and have fun, even if Bright's scene isn't your thing. Or visit the cabaret, you might meet someone nice :)
<Noren> I should give it a try.
<Zola> Will, the word I'm looking for is *will* give it a try :)
<Noren> I will.
- Noren promises
<Zola> Excellent :)
<Zola> You'll find someone thoroughly unsuitable for your parents in no time :D
<Zola> You know, I almost called them to find out how to get in touch with you
<Zola> But I thought there had to be a better way even if I called every law office in town @_@
<Noren> oh, well.
- Noren looks a bit embarrassed
<Noren> You'd have found me if you'd called there - I'm staying with them for a while, until I can manage saving up for a place of my own.
<Zola> Oh, well, I suppose they have lots of space, that makes sense!
<Noren> Yes... it just means, not much privacy. I'd gotten used to not, well, not having them looking over my shoulder all the time.
<Zola> Well, you get what you pay for, right? :) Some apartments have rats... I'm assuming they're a lot more pleasant :D
<Noren> I suppose that's true.
<Noren> What about you, are you still staying in the same apartment?
<Noren> Or do you have some glamorous mansion yet? ^-^
<Zola> No, no glamourous mansion... though maybe if I give Bright a call...
<Zola> No, I have a new place in Rhenea now, closer to Tits'... just me and Bastien
<Zola> Oh, you remember my aunt, Estrelle? That's her familiar... she... didn't come home from the war, but he managed to survive somehow.
<Noren> oh... I'm sorry to hear that.
<Zola> Anyway, it's a nice place, no rodents even without a cat on patrol, I think :)
<Noren> well, that's good
<Zola> I should give you my number...
<Noren> oh, sure :)
- Zola pulls up her handbag and roots through it for a writing implement and paper.
- Noren takes out a notebook from his pocket at the same time
<Zola> Oh, that works...
- Noren writes down her number
- Zola recites it
<Zola> Though aim for the afternoon, work keeps me out late :)
<Noren> what time, uh, do you work usually?
<Zola> It all depends... that's the nature of show business, I guess :)
- Zola gives him some examples.
<Zola> My agent just loves to call me bright and early.
- Noren nods
<Noren> So... around dinnertime, you might be available?
<Zola> Yeah, I should be up by then, and not due to the cabaret for a few hours
- Noren suggests casually, or at least as casually as he can
<Zola> No one ever likes to call then
<Zola> They figure you're sitting down to dinner.
- Noren nods
- Noren fiddles with his pen, considering what to say and whether this is a terrible idea or not
<Noren> I know a lot has changed, and if the answer's no, I'll understand...
<Noren> Zola, would you like to have dinner with me?
- Zola looks a surprised.
<Zola> You mean a date, don't you?
<Noren> ... possibly. if it would be weird, then I mean just as friends.
<Noren> Mostly I guess what I mean is...
- Noren fumbles for words
<Noren> It's been, what, three years? I'd like to get to know who you are now.
<Noren> Without expectations that it'll be the same as it was before.
- Zola smiles
<Zola> I think that sounds nice, Noren.
- Noren smiles, looking relieved
<Noren> All right.
- Noren seems slightly lost for words at this point
<Zola> I guess I hadn't really thougt of it that way...
<Zola> I mean... that the past could be the past without it preventing anything in the now.
- Zola says, unsure of herself.
- Zola looks a little embarassed... "I guess I was being vain. I was just relieved that you were back in town for your own reasons and not for me."
<Noren> Zola... I wasn't planning to come looking for you. I figured you'd have so much going on, and people in your life who were much more important than me, and I was all right with that.
<Noren> But when I saw you, I... I don't know.
<Noren> I missed you all over again. I thought I'd gotten past that.
<Noren> it made me realise that you'll always be special to me... but I know that a lot can change in three years.
<Noren> so ... I didn't want assume, and ... now I'm babbling, so I'll shut up.
- Zola draws on her cigarette nervously
<Zola> I cherish the time we spent together...
<Zola> I'm just worried that's what you'll be looking for... comparing me to.
<Zola> Maybe it's not such a good idea... it's hard not to have expectations...
<Noren> I understand. That's why I guess I was hoping we could start fresh. I'm not the same as I was then either, and maybe ... maybe it can't work out now.
- Zola nods.
<Noren> I just thought maybe we could find out.
<Noren> Find out where we are now, and who we are, and ...
- Noren shrugs
<Zola> I think we can give it a try.
<Zola> You seem like you've given it the right kind of thought :)
<Zola> I guess that's one thing that's changed about us...
<Noren> Believe me... I've had a lot of time to think.
- Zola laughs
<Zola> Who'd have expected the boy who raided his parents treasury for a pair of tits would be so sensible about all this :)
- Noren laughs, embarrassed
<Noren> I know I made some... rash choices.
<Noren> if I had it to do over again, I might go about it a different way
<Noren> but... I don't regret it - or you.
- Zola smiles
<Zola> I think maybe a delay on the bosom might have been in order...
<Zola> But I still believe it's better to have loved and lost :)
- Noren smiles fondly, maybe remembering the first time after you got them ;)
- Zola should have brought a shawl, clearly.
<Zola> Well, I should go... I have to get all gussied up for the audience.
<Noren> I really ought to get back to work...
<Noren> but this has been nice - thank you.
- Zola reaches out to give his hand a squeeze
<Noren> And I'll call about that dinner?
- Noren squeezes back
<Zola> Sure thing :)
<Noren> Great :)
- Noren will be on his way, then
Denise and Mireva
- Mireva will come over to your place to get ready for going out
<Denise> You got the dress? :D
<Mireva> Right here!
- Mireva holds up a bag
<Mireva> What're you gonna wear?
<Denise> Oh, probably just the usual stuff I guess.
- Mireva asks as she makes her way to your room
<Mireva> Aw, you don't wanna wear a dress?
- Denise gives her a look liek she has two heads
<Denise> You mean a potato sack? :p
<Mireva> do you even have a dress? ^-^
<Denise> no :p
<Mireva> Well, okay then
<Mireva> At least maybe we can do your hair and makeup if you'd like :)
<Denise> uh, I guess?
<Denise> if you've got any that will look okay on me :p
<Denise> 'cause I don't
<Denise> well, no makeup
<Denise> I got lots of hair!
- Mireva nods
<Mireva> I don't have a lot of makeup that would be good for you, it's true - but black eyeliner is always good!
<Denise> It won't look weird with nothin' else?
- Mireva shrugs
<Mireva> If it does, we can just wash it off
- Denise says, still slightly wary
<Mireva> come on, it'll be fun
<Denise> well, you can try, I just don't know that it'll do much good is all!
<Denise> I ain't never gonna be real pretty.
<Mireva> aww... I dunno if that's true.
<Denise> we'll, its okay anyway
- Denise doens't seem too bothered
<Mireva> maybe you don't look like some little girly girl, but there's folks who'd think you're a real stunner, I'm sure.
<Denise> I got other things to get by on :)
- Mireva smiles
<Mireva> well, help me get into this dress, and then we can try makeup
- Denise will do so
- Mireva gets out of her regular dress and into the fancy one
<Denise> aww, see I knew it's look better on you once it was all sorted out!
<Mireva> Yeah, your aunt did a really great job
<Mireva> an' I don't have to worry about Yonelle bein' pissy at me, cause it'll all come back out later
<Denise> toldya :D
<Denise> she;ll jjust be pissy 'cause she can't wear it so well ;p
<Mireva> yeah, maybe
- Denise gets out stuff to get dressed herself
<Mireva> you think guys would like it?
- Mireva asks, still looking at herself in the mirror
<Denise> I mean
<Denise> from what seen, guys ain't all real picky anyway, but you look nice?
- Mireva laughs
<Mireva> well, *some* guys, sure
<Denise> what're you in the market for? ^-^
<Mireva> oh, how about someone rich and handsome? and not shadar-kai :p
<Denise> what, you've had your fill of rich handsome Shadar-kaio men?
- Denise teases
<Mireva> No... but they're sorta... I dunno. A lot of 'em are old-fashioned.
<Denise> how's that mean?
<Mireva> Just want a girl who'll tell them what to do ;)
<Denise> is that bad?
- Mireva shrugs
<Mireva> nah, I guess... but for once it'd be nice to have a guy who'd sweep me off my feet and be real romantic. like in the movies.
<Denise> awww, I see
<Denise> well, I think Tits' is a pretty good poklace to look for guys, anyway, so I guess we'll see!
- Mireva nods
<Denise> if I see any noice lookin' ones I'll send 'em over ^-^
<Mireva> I mean there's no hope for any half-shadar-kai guys, so I think human's the way to go ;)
<Mireva> 'less I wanna date someone who's younger I guess
<Mireva> but meh.. they're all kinda like little brothers :p
<Denise> yeah, I kinda figured
<Mireva> only like... Launim's close to my age, but...
<Mireva> he ain't interested in girls anyway :p
<Mireva> plus he's stuck up
<Mireva> but that first thing'd be the bigger problem
<Denise> yeah :|
<Denise> there's um
<Denise> that one
<Denise> with the hair?
<Mireva> oh... Ridge?
- Mireva guesses
<Denise> I think so?
<Mireva> kinda purple hair?
<Denise> purple hair?
<Mireva> he's nice... kinda religious.
<Mireva> not that there's anything wrong with that I guess
<Mireva> just ain't my thing
<Denise> I getcha
<Denise> I wonder how that's gonna go for Mikel...
- Denise muses
<Denise> he's seein a boy! :D
<Denise> I know right?
<Denise> like, where did *that* come from :o
<Mireva> what guy?
<Denise> Some guy named Romain? He delivers telegrams or somthing.
<Denise> he seemed nice enough
<Mireva> you met him already?
<Denise> yeah, Mikel brought him by for lunch
<Denise> when I made the cake I had to make for your dress ;p
<Mireva> does he... not like girls now? or ... ever?
- Mireva curiouses
<Denise> I didn't ask
<Denise> (Have I ever known him to like... moon over girls or anything or has he never really taken an interest in anyone before?)
<Mireva> (probably some crushes on girls that never went anywhere?)
<Denise> I thought he had a thing for Jainie at school but that never went nowhere
- Mireva nods
<Mireva> well.. that's a surprise
- Denise finishes getting her shirt and such on, leaving off her jacket for now
<Denise> that's what *I* though
<Denise> I guess as long as he's happy?
<Mireva> yeah. I don't care if it's guys or girls, but I hope he don't get hurt. he's a sweet kid.
<Denise> I worry abit 'cause he's like alll excited but like, how long has even even known this guy?
- Mireva nods
<Denise> he did seem okay
<Denise> so I guess we'll see!
<Mireva> is the guy another Rat, or what?
<Denise> he aibn't even
<Denise> which is just... I dunno
<Denise> that almost more a surprise?
- Mireva considers
<Denise> I guess they met when Romain had to bring a message to Channel Sylvia
<Denise> but liek
<Denise> how does that even go?
<Denise> did they like make a date just then, when they met for two minutes to pass a message?
<Mireva> I can sorta see, though - like if he wants something different, really, from what's all around him... I dunno. like how maybe I'm like 'enh' on shadar-kai guys right now?
<Denise> I guess like that it makes sense
- Mireva can see that bothers you a bit
<Mireva> would you ever date a fella who wasn't Rat?
<Denise> I dunno.
<Denise> I ... I don't wana date anyone, really?
<Denise> is that weird?
<Mireva> maybe you just haven't met the right 'anyone' yet.
- Mireva says
<Mireva> it's not weird to not wanna just get with everyone who looks at you
- Mireva assures you
<Denise> well, okay
<Mireva> maybe you just have higher standards ^-^
<Denise> heh, maybe
<Denise> we'll see I guess
<Denise> anyway ae you gonna do this makeup thing?
- Mireva smiles
<Mireva> Yeah, sure
<Denise> 'cause *I* sure don't knwo what I'm doin'!
<Mireva> c'mere and sit down and lemme give it a shot
- Denise sits where she's directed
- Mireva will perch on your bed and get you to close your eyes so she can attempt eyeliner application
- Denise is pretty good about not finching at least, unless she gets poked in the eye
- Mireva tries to go light on it, so it's not tooooo overwhelming
<Mireva> don't wanna look like you just got punched ;)
<Denise> well people might belive that more easy 'n me wearin' makeup :V
<Mireva> maybe, yeah
<Denise> Too bad the boss ain't gonna be there, heh
<Mireva> but that's not the look we're goin' for ;)
<Mireva> so what's your boss up to tonight? he got work, or a hot date, or what?
<Mireva> or is it one of those things you ain't allowed to talk about ;)
<Denise> Yeah, work >.>
- Mireva nods
- Mireva seems unconcerned ;)
<Mireva> there... okay, take a look in the mirror and see what you think?
- Denise looks
- Denise turns her face to look at other angles
<Mireva> I think it looks nice... like, kinda brings out your eyes
<Mireva> but if you don't like it, we'll get rid of it
<Denise> No, its okay
<Denise> I do think it looks a little weird wkkth just that though?
<Denise> I wonder if Aunt Hettie's got anything
<Mireva> well... does your aunt have any other stuff? like lipstick or somethin' that's not purple? ;)
<Denise> she's not so dark as me though :|
<Denise> she's got a lot of red!
<Mireva> well, that could work :)
<Mireva> if you don't think she'd get upset you borrowing it?
<Denise> long as I don't bust it or nothin'
- Mireva nods
<Mireva> well, if you can find that, I'll help you put it on
- Denise will see what she can find in Hettie's room without prying too much :3
<Denise> (or the bathroom I guess, wherever!)
- Denise comes back with a bag
- Mireva pokes through it to see what options there are
- Mireva pulls out a red lipstick
<Mireva> let's try this one
<Mireva> I dunno if her rouge would work good on you but we could try that too
<Denise> lipstick, anyway
<Denise> then we'll see
- Mireva will give that a shot - it might be a bit bright for Denise, but she'll try just using a little bit and see how that goes
<Mireva> ... well, it's red!
- Mireva seems a little less sure about this one, but will let you make up your mind
- Denise makes some faces in the mirror
<Denise> i dunno :|
<Mireva> I don;t think it's bad, but maybe something a little less orangey would be good? like maybe more pink
- Mireva pokes around a little more in the bag to see if there are any other options
<Mireva> so.. hear me out on this
- Denise cocks her head
<Mireva> she's got some cream rouge, and we could try that on your lips instead
<Denise> that won't mess up her rouge?
<Mireva> well, if we just try a little bit...
- Mireva dabs a little tiny bit on her finger
<Mireva> go like this
- Mireva says, pouting her lips to show you
- Denise pouts
- Mireva rubs it on
<Mireva> okay, how's that?
- Denise looks
<Denise> aw yeah that's better!
- Mireva smiles
<Mireva> great :)
<Mireva> now lemme do mine, and we'll be ready to go
- Mireva has her own makeup in her bag, which is more suited for greyish skin tones ;)
- Denise is sure to put aunt hettie's back :V
- Mireva does her own face with a heavier hand, and looks much more glamorous with the combination of the sparkly dress and the makeup
<Mireva> Okay, I'm all set :)
<Denise> then let's go!
- Denise will grab her hat and jacket :D
- Mireva grins and will take your arm to head off