Ultima Ratio Regum, Scene I

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Morreluck
"Hello Mr. Underwood. How've you been?"
Underwood smiled. "Great, thanks. Hey, how're you and Squick doing; you still being adorable as all get out? Another guy I haven't had a beer with in too long -- last we saw each other was one of those official functions a couple weeks back, and we barely got to catch up."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch
"Underwood, eh? So, are you a faerie? Name's Scratch, acting Worm-in-chief and part-time can-can dancer."
"You too?" The grin turned wry. "I've been looking for someone to fill out my double act! No chance you can rhumba…" (Quick tonal shift) "...But yeah, about as Lost as Joe Friday at a racketeer's convention*, over here. I do the news when I'm not pulling Ambassador duty; help keep the Unseelie Court up to date and in equipment. This here is the fun part of the job, though, is getting to know people. Speaking of: that is a great suit, Scratch."

He meant it. Underwood's personal fashion sense aside -- as well as zoot suits' association with rioting -- the reporter was just gratified to see someone else dressed in his time period. "Original or custom? I can't find any good tailors around here…" (Quick pivot to the other woman; in for the handshake) "Oh, sorry, Miss, didn't catch your name."

*Editor's Note: Underwood is making a 'Dragnet' joke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna
"You value your freedom very much then, if you prefer neutrality over so many other prizes."
"I've just been drawn into enough covenant-related problems that I wonder what it would be like if I finally joined one..." Lauren grimaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna
"The club is... prospering. Despite the efforts of certain individuals."
"Good!" Lauren said brightly. "Let me know if you need any help." ...With keeping it out of Eddie's hands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna
"And David is well, though I think he is avoiding your friend this evening."
Lauren smiled briefly. "That's understandable. Tell him I said hello, next time you see him."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"You do not have beauty of form, perhaps, but it is a common thing. You have the talent to create beauty. This is less common by far."
"Most people create beauty, but with tools of a different sort," Erin murmured. "But beauty of the form is so easily dismissed with words, and less so when standing before it."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"But there was another. When I was last in London -- after the Second World War -- I encountered another Kindred by the name of Jason Locke, who had been a mercenary soldier in the Great Rebellion. But I have not seen him since that time."
Erin listened to Rajani with a very intent sort of expression, to the point where it was uncertain if she was really hearing anything being said.

Dice Roll: 11d10s8e
d10 Results: 5, 3, 7, 10, 5, 9, 4, 4, 7, 3, 1, 9 (Total Successes = 3)
Vision of Strife

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Jason Locke." Niall mused. "Not a familiar name to me." This must have been rare.
"Nor I," Erin whispered. "You must ignore me as a conversationalist, then, and merely let me listen. I am so very very young, and have nothing to speak of, compared to the knowledge of centuries."

Lauren

"Perhaps joining a covenant will prove calming. It is good to have support on your side. But then, you are almost of the Invictus with Sophie as is. But I will tell David you asked after him." Anna said, looking away for a moment as a new vampire arrived. It was a Kindred that Lauren didn't recognize.

He was short, a little shorter than Lauren, with a potbelly and an endearingly worried face. He resembled a clerk of some sort, as a matter of fact, in a drab black suit with a bowler hat upon his head. Someone's secretary, most likely, Embraced to provide an elder with perfect penmanship for eternity, or at least for a few decades -- not everyone trusted ghouls. There was one thing off, however. He was wearing dark, smoked glasses even in the semi-dark of the Elysium, and behind them, one of his eyes shone as though it was a bright blue -- but not the other.

"You may enter." Anna said, as her ghouls swept him for weapons or spell-components. The portly vampire nodded, glancing at Lauren curiously.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Erin

...The wounded soldier spoke in no language that Erin knew, but she grasped the words he was telling the young -- still mortal -- Rajani. He was bleeding from his arm, and from the way his eyes did not quite focus, he had been hit upon the head as well. The battle was lost, the war was lost. The Great Rebellion had failed and now the British were coming to put everything in this part of the country to the sword...

...Her country was vanquished. Her prince was dead. Her husband was missing, likely dead. She and her son would be dead soon as well. Rajani kept a facade of calm, a stoic woman even in life. But her heart was shattering into a thousand tiny pieces...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Most people create beauty, but with tools of a different sort," Erin murmured. "But beauty of the form is so easily dismissed with words, and less so when standing before it."
"Forms wither and decay, flesh losing its suppleness, skin its healthy shine. Time renders all into rotting meat and bone and ash." Rajani said softly. "It is an ephemeral beauty, that of the form."

"Your tools are unique, then? Or simply rare?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"You must ignore me as a conversationalist, then, and merely let me listen. I am so very very young, and have nothing to speak of, compared to the knowledge of centuries."
"Notice that Mrs. Lamothe says knowledge and not wisdom." Niall said with a teasing smile. "She knows the Kindred well enough not to assume that."

"In truth, I was merely wondering what to make of this modern world. I have been sequestered for some decades now. I am... very out of touch with what humans do today." Rajani said, looking at Erin's clothing carefully. "They bustle more now than they did when I was alive."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Underwood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
Hey, how're you and Squick doing; you still being adorable as all get out?
"We are completely adorable." Lydia agreed. It was always a bit of a mystery as to why a blind goth-pire and a tunnel-dwelling boogieman had the personalities of a bubbly girl-next-door and a genial nerd. Between the two of them Lydia and Squick had more sharp teeth than a shark, but they were so petit-bourgeoisie it was silly. Appearances were deceiving, one supposed. "They're upgrading networks at the big corporation he works for, so he's been putting in about a hundred hours of overtime. We might take a vacation to France once he's done, go visit Paris, see the catacombs..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"You too?" The grin turned wry. "I've been looking for someone to fill out my double act! No chance you can rhumba…" (Quick tonal shift) "...But yeah, about as Lost as Joe Friday at a racketeer's convention*, over here. I do the news when I'm not pulling Ambassador duty; help keep the Unseelie Court up to date and in equipment. This here is the fun part of the job, though, is getting to know people. Speaking of: that is a great suit, Scratch."
"Copacetic. I also foxtrot." Scratch twisted his shoulders, miming a dance move. Then he leaned back in his chair, the chair's front two legs lifting off the floor. "So, that makes me, what, want to blow up LA city hall?* Never been there, though I wouldn't mind giving Boris** a shove down the stairs. But hey, I can do rackets. Ask about folks and I'll give you the worm's-eye view, partner."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Oh, sorry, Miss, didn't catch your name."
"Oh. My name's Irina." The rainbow-clad vampire said. She was entirely too pretty to be here. She had a smile like an angel. "I'm still sort of new to this, I only got Embraced about a year ago."

"Watch out for this one, partner, she's an absolute bearcat." Scratch drawled. Irina had no idea what a bearcat was, so she just sort of shrugged helplessly.

*Dragnet Season 1, Episode 1
** Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

The moment Lauren noticed the new vampire, or more precisely, the new vampire's eyes, she went stiff and stared, wide-eyed. She recovered a moment later. She'd seen those eyes before... in Mack's eyes, in a dream... but she remembered them clearly. How could she forget? But... it could be a coincidence. Maybe.

Lauren smiled. "Good evening. I'm Lauren Darrow. I don't think I've seen you here before." She extended her hand.

Spent 1 WP, down to 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Forms wither and decay, flesh losing its suppleness, skin its healthy shine. Time renders all into rotting meat and bone and ash." Rajani said softly. "It is an ephemeral beauty, that of the form."
"Save for that of the Kindred?" Erin asked, roving her eyes around the many faces in the room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Your tools are unique, then? Or simply rare?"
"Hardly either," Erin said, with a wave of her hand. "Easier for others to see, and appreciate, at the time. But in the end, as ephemeral a beauty, I think. Perhaps something may wind in a museum, and another thing will be hoarded away, and the rest... shall be broken, or lost, or forgotten."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Notice that Mrs. Lamothe says knowledge and not wisdom." Niall said with a teasing smile. "She knows the Kindred well enough not to assume that."
Erin put her hands on her hips and arched an eyebrow at Niall, smiling faintly. "I might say one would hope one leads to the other. And, after all, the knowledge of the Kindred is not learned from books, yet instead earned through experience."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"In truth, I was merely wondering what to make of this modern world. I have been sequestered for some decades now. I am... very out of touch with what humans do today." Rajani said, looking at Erin's clothing carefully. "They bustle more now than they did when I was alive."
"Yes... I am not surprised to hear," Erin said. "The way things have changed in simply ten years... ah, so long, has it almost been so long...?" She stopped, suddenly, and laughed, a girlish giggle hidden behind a hand pressed to her lips.

"Listen to me. How I must sound to you. Ten years! Such a long time!" she whispered, and laughed again. "It is all just magic, in the end, is it not? We say, look, here is a magic circle, and you may send messages through it to another person with the circle, and if it breaks and you do not know the magic you must summon someone who does. Add the humans say, look, here is a magic computer box, and you may send messages through it to another person with the computer box, and if it breaks and you do not know computers you must summon the IT man. But then the humans give every human a magic box, and suddenly everything changes so quickly."

"Things are not so different, I think... just faster," Erin mused. "Perhaps more different in places where the culture is changing. But perhaps not so different. And when one looks at the pictures that come back from Haiti*... perhaps not that different at all."

*Today is the day after the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Morreluck
"We are completely adorable. They're upgrading networks at the big corporation he works for, so he's been putting in about a hundred hours of overtime. We might take a vacation to France once he's done, go visit Paris, see the catacombs..."
"Ah, that's why he hasn't been around as much. I gotcha. Well, Paris is great! I've only been over there for a few days -- called back to run some Winter business just after -- but wish I could've stayed more. Hey, though, if you're ever in New York, call me first: I know a guy who does sewer tours. Didn't even know 'urban caving' was a thing until I got out of stir…"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch
"Copacetic. I also foxtrot. So, that makes me, what, want to blow up LA city hall?* Never been there, though I wouldn't mind giving Boris** a shove down the stairs. But hey, I can do rackets. Ask about folks and I'll give you the worm's-eye view, partner."
Underwood chuckled. "Good episode. Personally, I like the one where Romero takes over.* But yeah, you kick Johnson in the pants, I'm not going to say no. 'No drinking on the subway,'** my eye…" He rolled his. "'Least he's got a sense of humor sometimes."

The reporter looked around the room. "…But I may take you up on that offer, Scratch. Now, me, I see a group of people, and I'm curious about how information gets from one to another: part of that's me being a reporter, part of it's the organization I belong to. So, apart from yourself, who here would you say keeps the wheels of communication turning? Excepting any trade secrets you guys've got, of course; I'm just curious who's connected."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irina
"Oh. My name's Irina. I'm still sort of new to this, I only got Embraced about a year ago."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch
"Watch out for this one, partner, she's an absolute bearcat."
"Oh, really?" Underwood grinned, taking the comment as intended. "Pleasure to meet you, Irina -- and your coworker here's calling you a spirited young woman, so you're good, don't worry. It's good to have a support system when you're first out, though! You doing okay?"

*"The Big Ben," March 15, 1951
**Boris Johnson's alcohol use ban on public transport, effective June 1 2008

Lauren

The vampire looked at her for a moment, either in confusion at being so approached or in serpentine appraisal. He took her hand and shook it once, his face breaking open into a smile. "Ms. Darrow! I have heard of you, the woman who unseated the Sher--" The pudgy man suddenly realized that Anna was standing right next to him and broke into a coughing fit. Vampires did not, as a general rule, cough. "Er... my pardon."

"Mr. Winslow Lake, Scholar of the Elysian Flesh, Sheffield Academy, Ordo Dracul." He introduced himself. He paused. "Have you seen the Kogaion this evening?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Erin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"I might say one would hope one leads to the other. And, after all, the knowledge of the Kindred is not learned from books, yet instead earned through experience."
"I am always disappointed in how rarely this is the case." Niall murmured, then laughed. "But then I'm an old, world-weary cynic. Or a professional paranoid, I suppose, though my profession is sadly lapsed at present."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Listen to me. How I must sound to you. Ten years! Such a long time!"
"Primarily, Mrs. Lamothe, you sound charming." Niall said urbanely. "Time is in the eye of the beholder, I feel. When some of the truly ancient Methuselahs speak of forgetting a century here or there, even one such as I feels a certain queasiness. Blessedly the Lady Abonde is the only such worthy here in London, though one hears of truly ancient monsters dwelling in Rome and Cairo."

"They exist." Rajani confirmed. "I have seen them and spoken with them."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin
"Things are not so different, I think... just faster," Erin mused. "Perhaps more different in places where the culture is changing. But perhaps not so different. And when one looks at the pictures that come back from Haiti*... perhaps not that different at all."
"A very wise fool of my acquaintance -- sadly dead now -- has been saying that the Kindred are all doomed to discovery and destruction, for mortals change too swiftly. The other Hidden Folk would follow not long afterwards." Rajani said, her dire pronouncement framed in the same tone as she used for most things. "His was an apocalyptic mind."

"The song may change, but it is always played upon the instrument of human experience." Niall said, sighing. "Which, regrettably, is so often tragedy."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Underwood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Hey, though, if you're ever in New York, call me first: I know a guy who does sewer tours. Didn't even know 'urban caving' was a thing until I got out of stir…"
"Oooooh, I want to... but I can't." Lydia made a pout, and Underwood caught a glimpse, for just a moment, of the flat expanse of skin where her eyes should have been. "I can't go on planes, they'd never let me in through security without, uh... noticing that something's wrong."

"Flying, Jack, is for the birds." Scratch proclaimed.

"...maybe if Squick and I save up for a cruise..." Lydia was thinking. Squick would be hearing of this later, no doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"But yeah, you kick Johnson in the pants, I'm not going to say no. 'No drinking on the subway,'** my eye…"
"I loved that law. Course, what I'm drinking is non-alcoholic." Scratch grinned, his deformed face twisting into a gargoyle's madcap smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"So, apart from yourself, who here would you say keeps the wheels of communication turning?"
"Easy, partner. See that swell?" Scratch pointed to a well-dressed vampire with the dark, sun-bronzed skin. An (unlit) cigarette holder dangled from his lower-lip, and he was staying near the door while he chatted up what could only have been one of the most improbably gorgeous women Underwood had seen in some time, dressed in an unmistakably faerie-made gown of shimmering black water. Birch had mentioned her, Cynthia. "That's Louis ibn Haroud, the Sheikh of Edgeware Road* and the local Herald. He's the fellow who makes sure that when the Prince says 'Jump!' we all hear about it so we can ask 'How high'?"



Quote:
Originally Posted by Underwood
"Pleasure to meet you, Irina -- and your coworker here's calling you a spirited young woman, so you're good, don't worry. It's good to have a support system when you're first out, though! You doing okay?"
"...Oh. Why didn't he say that?" Irina said, tossing Scratch a glare.

"Too much info is bad for you, doll." Scratch snarled, though Underwood had the suspicion that his bark was (at least with these people) worse than his bite.

"Well, I'm okay? Clan Nosferatu's taken me in, and I have a Sire, and I have Michael... uh, he's a friend." Irina said with an angelic smile.

"The little rainbow bird here is the Childe of our local clan big shot, Hizzoner Royston Montjoy." Scratch said, then cackled a laugh. "Course, so am I. What do you think, Jack, see the family resemblance?" He leered. A less angelic face was difficult to imagine. Unless one was discussing fallen angels, perhaps.

*A heavily Middle Eastern neighborhood in north-west London.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake
"Er... my pardon."
Lauren had done her own throat-clearing as well. She'd rather abruptly dropped Lake's hand and looked away from him. The perils of postcognition where that you never really knew what you were going to get. You just knew it would be dramatic, or... passionate. And of course, this had to be one of the rare times when the vision was crystal clear. Lauren quietly contemplated asking Sophie for a favor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake
"Have you seen the Kogaion this evening?"
"I saw her earlier." She stared at him, but... nothing out of the ordinary in his aura, either. Maybe she was wrong to suspect him... but if he was... "Over there, somewhere." Lauren looked towards the other end of the room.

Lauren waited for him to leave, then went back to Anna. "Do you know much about him?" she asked quietly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"I am always disappointed in how rarely this is the case." Niall murmured, then laughed. "But then I'm an old, world-weary cynic. Or a professional paranoid, I suppose, though my profession is sadly lapsed at present."
"When one makes paranoia a profession, it does not seem like the thing to lapse," Erin commented. "I confess, I know not of what you do. I see you at church, but as a layperson?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"Primarily, Mrs. Lamothe, you sound charming." Niall said urbanely. "Time is in the eye of the beholder, I feel. When some of the truly ancient Methuselahs speak of forgetting a century here or there, even one such as I feels a certain queasiness."
Erin giggled lightly. "Charming," she said, letting it roll off the tongue like a snobby society lady. Cha-ming. The tone of voice conveyed the coded meaning: boorish, uncouth, quaint. "I will confess to be unenvious of immortality, if one spends it forgetting the centuries. Of what point is it, then?"

"Yes... I have heard of such ancients as well," she murmured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"A very wise fool of my acquaintance -- sadly dead now -- has been saying that the Kindred are all doomed to discovery and destruction, for mortals change too swiftly. The other Hidden Folk would follow not long afterwards." Rajani said, her dire pronouncement framed in the same tone as she used for most things.
"Discovery? Yes, perhaps," Erin replied, wondering if the Hidden Folk would indeed follow after vampires, to be acknowledged as truth, or was it their great curse to never be so. "Destruction? Some, certainly. All? That I wonder. One thing will become certain, soon, however. Change, or die."

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoTiamat View Post
"The song may change, but it is always played upon the instrument of human experience." Niall said, sighing. "Which, regrettably, is so often tragedy."
"Tragedy endures, and is oft recalled - but when life is naught but tragedy, it loses its meaning," Erin said. "Joy, contentment... so much of life, so often forgotten."





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Myth-Weavers Status