"We'll stop at the University first. It won't take too long. Well, honestly, it might take a little while." Rashida eyes Ysillith. "I can drop you off at a shop. Actually, I don't know of one that might have a tricorn... except... that's it! There's a costume shop near the theater that will have all sorts of hats, any kind you might want. Nobody will ask a question about it, either, like they might in the regular stores! That, or you can wait for me to do my running at the University and then we can go."
Ysillith shrugs, "Well...considering ye want me around fer takin' care of interests whut have an unhealthy interest in yerself, I wouldn't think ye'd want me to wander off?" Ysillith asks.
"Asides. Never been in a...'Uni-versity'...afore. Heard about th' ones in th' bigger cities back home, but...well...never been in a position t'be visitin' such a place." Ysillith smiles.
"I suppose we can both look at this as a learning experience." She smiles.
"Ah, straight to the business then," Vorian remarks as he follows Hartley into the room. Sweeping his coattails aside, he settles himself on the remaining chair, leaning against its back. He releases his cane, propping against the arm of the chair. Bringing his hands together, he nods to the gentleman before him. "I understand that you've spoken to an executive of the Van der Graff Corporation. An executive who recently vanished after an... accident. My benefactors have ascertained that this man held a connection to one Baron Eichorn von Ryuko. We are very much interested in learning more about their dealings."
Ysilith shakes her head, though she smiles finding something amusing.
"Nay luv. All I can do is change me clothes and such. I can't do more than the major cosmetic changes, as in me horns." Ysillith pushes at her corset.
"I can't even effect me accoutrements..." She explains, then looks at Rashida.
"Why? What happened with this amount of years yer talkin' about?"
"Well, you see, I was supposed to return here about three decades ago," says the woman who appears little older than twenty. "I was unexpectedly delayed. It is something we did not factor into our calculations. So maybe... yes. I'll just go see if they left something, some way for me to contact them."
She stops the rickshaw and pays the driver, then proceeds through the gated wall onto a shady green campus dotted with old stone buildings. Young people little older than Rashida dash by with stacks of books, all of them nicely dressed and a few with trailing men in dark garb who were in all likelihood bodyguards, by their stance. "This is the University where I went to school and... well, I don't know if I graduated. Maybe I should find out." A worried look flits across her face, but she shakes her head and tries to wave away the concern. "No... why would it matter, Ysillith? I am who I am, right?"
Rashida points to various buildings as they stroll by. "That is the political sciences building where I spent most of my classtime. To be honest, it is only a year ago to me. I guess everything is different, though." She grows quiet as they reach a courtyard sprinkled with benches and statuary, meandering down the gravel paths until she finds a carved stone bench, where she takes a seat on the left and waves Ysillith to the right. Glancing around to see if they are being watched, she bends over to adjust the heel of her shoe. She straightens back up to quietly slip a piece of paper into her purse, then nods at Ysillith.
"On to the store and let's get you a hat, shall we Captain?" Smiling, she leads the way off the campus and to the theater district, full of little cafes and playhouses large and small, studios, schools, and strange little shops. At "Frau Hetscher's Theatrical Costumes", she nods to Ysillith. "Does this look suitable?" The dingy front window is jam-packed with a variety of outfits, in addition to wigs, jewelry, boas, scarves, shawls, and footware of all sorts.
Ysillith remains quiet and observant as Rashida wanders through the University. Her eyes catch every new person to cross their path, sizing them up from head to toe to asses their possible threat. The bodyguards she watches carefully, though as the men seem dismissive of women, she does show a tad amount of disdain.
When Rashida settles Ysillith remains standing, her long legs set in a relaxed, hip wide stance. The brass stave being casually held against Ysillith's shoulder.
When Rashida walks to the theater area and stops before a costume store Ysillith arches an eyebrow,
"So...yer sayin' me style is a tad...different...?" She looks at the assorted items proffered in the window with possible disdain. She shakes her head,
"I'll wait. A bonnet of fashion doesn't mean that much at the moment. I can wait until ye can point out a proper place whut makes hats t'order." She suggests, her large, deep dark amber eyes still casually scanning the street and the people moving about.
"So? T'were d'ye need t'be headin' next then?"
"And that's pretty much what happened, and now I'm here," says Mittens, finishing up the summation of her adventures. She sits on a pillow, kneading her claws into it.
"It all makes sense now," decides the Duchess. "And here I thought it would make none."
With business settled, both helmetcats get on with the napping.
"As you wish, though I did think you would want to keep a rather low profile. But a moment..." She fishes in her purse for a second, withdrawing a creamy folded paper which she unfolds and scans quickly, then again. She jams it quickly back into the purse and looks around the town, blinking a little. "Yes... yes we should go to the fashion district. I need a new dress or two and we can visit a milliners for you."
She flags down a pedicab with a shaking hand and directs the driver to the Spielplatz, where children play on a tiny model of the first Zeppelin airship. Strolling down one of the sidestreets lined with tiny shops, each painted a different shade of pastel colors, their woodwork all in shining white, she selects a shop with a sign in the shape of a hat.
She pushes the door and immediately accosts the first shopgirl she sees. "You, girl. My friend here requires a hat. Please see to it, and I will pay."
She sits in a chair nearby and watches the proceedings, apparently deep in thought.
Ysillith actually baulks a little. She takes Rashida aside,
"Here luv." She takes Rashida's hand and lets her 'feel' the horns which are simply 'covered' by some sort of illusion. Ysillith arches an eyebrow,
"Now, I in't sure how much pull ye have, but I do believe I am what might be called 'Passing strange'..." Ysillith grins.
"Really, I can wait fer a bonnet. Heck, I might have one about me person, I just don't have time t' open up me box of tricks at the moment. So, come on an' lets go meet up with yer pals, hey?" Ysillith suggests.
Sorry to change things...but...
"That's what I was asking before, Captain - how a hat would fit over your horns," Rashida whispers emphatically, "And I can't meet my friends. I can't give the signal because I'm too young to be as old as I need to be." She sighs in frustration, then smiles at Ysillith rather wickedly.
"I need to pick up a few dresses, several of mine having been ruined recently. You might wish to do the same. After all, if we go to a ball or the Opera, how will you be our bodyguard if you don't fit in, hmm?"
Ysillith smiles back...with perhaps a few too many teeth,
"You mean 'How will people stop me from being people's body guard'?" Ysillith replies. But then shrugs,
"Still...I'll not begrudge some one who says they are willin' t' offer shiny t' assuage me wardrobe?" She asks hopefully. (^_~)
Ysillith pauses in thought,
"Here..do ye have t'be yerself t'pick this thing up? Can ye be yer own relative, type thing?" She suggests.
Enjoying the teasing banter, it's been a while since she has been around the common people. She shudders at the thought of coming in through the jakes, it had been a while since she had broken in that way and it was never a favourite method.
She drops a note onto a silver tray set upon a polished side-board and rings a hand bell for service. Then walks on with Ralph, until he reaches the bathing area.
"I wasn't suggesting I clean you, just that it'd be a good disguise." Cassie looks at him appraisingly; "You could even pass for a noble? Well, a mute noble!" she jokes.
With a shake of her head; "You don't wear clothes in a sauna, that's what towels are for." she winks. She moves quickly towards the area to bathe, at the end of the corridor.
Cautiously pushing open the door it appears silent in there, a soft trickle of water echoes throughout the tiled expanse. She motions for Ralph to follow her; "Now we wait..." she looks around wide eyed "I haven't been in a men's baths before." she says to herself.
The cream tiles on the imaculately kept room, describe a soft lake-side scene. Almost like you were bathing by the shores outside, except a darn sight warmer. Already her satin dress has slight beads of moisture, and clings to her body.
To main area, leads onto a changing area with lockers; this then splits into 2 - a Sauna & a large drop pool for washing.
Cassie walks over to a screened locker area, slipping her clothes off. A soft fluffy white towel covers her modesty, large enough for portly gentlemen. As she moves back towards the main area, the doors open and in steps a pair of rotund, moustashed Gentleman speaking loud German.
Cassie hisses hide and rushes into the sauna, as the door closes behind her she remembers her clothes in a dark pile by the lockers.
A suited servant hearing the bell walks down the corridor and picks up the paper, looking around for the sender but sees no-one. He recognises one of the names on the cover and moves off.
|The Teller of Tales|
Vorian & Drake
At the mention of Von Ryuko's name, Hartley pales and you can see his hand shake slightly. He picks up the wine glass and it sloshes uncertainly, taking a sip of it some spills onto his shirt.... a pink strain just above his heart.
He picks up a napkin and dabs at the stain spreading it out upon his shirt. "We have to be careful, he has spies everywhere. The boat - it crashed. Now as for what he told me..." he is interrupted.
A poilte rap on the door, startles Hartley and he barely squeaks. "Come In." He coughs; "Come In." he repeats in a baritone. A smartly dressed porter comes in head respectflly bowed and places a note on the table before you.
He then bows and leaves. The note upon crisp white card is folded sharply and bearing your names in exquisite calligraphy.
I am have managed to enter this auspicious building!
I await the pleasure of your company in the sauna, so that we may talk more about Von Ryuko's plans.
Cassandra du Sollier
Ralph grins knowing Cassie probably hadn't really meant a bath together, but choosing to take it that way anyway. The dirt was already a sort of disguise, but the woman did have a point these people recognized him as a grime covered miscreant showing them a clean face may very well throw them off. He thought about it, they were already in the baths "Alright Minx, ya talked me inta it."
Ralph shrugs his shoulders when Cassie states she's never been in a men's bath "Ya me neider, nice place dough." He looks over at the woman as she moves to the changing area, but doesn't try to peek instead goes to find a towel of his own, and get changed as well. He's not really sure why he needs to wait with her, he lead her to the steam room she could just give him his money and be done with him, but sharing the steam room with her didn't seem like a terrible idea.
When he hears the german voices he looks quickly around for somewhere to hide, seeing Cassie duck into the sauna he follows after her it did seem like the best hiding place at the time. He bumps into Cassie as he comes in not expecting her to be in front of the door. "Minx, move towards da back, da steam'll cover us... and hope dere ain't no other joes in here, it ain't exactly hard ta tell ya don't belong." He probably looks very odd in this getup, his face and hands are very dirty, but everywhere his clothes had been covering is much less so. "I take it da joes yer lookin ta meet ain't large round and mustachioed." He left his clothes in a locker, if they started searching them it would be easy to tell his clothes didn't belong with the rest.
Quickly her hand goes to her towel as the now slightly less grubby youth bounces into her, ensuring that it's not dislodged. In her hand is her clutch bag, quite conspicuous in the room. Nearly as much as her with her long tresses.
"No, the men are fit and hansome." her other hand goes to her mouth and the humidity and heat of the sauna must be doing it's job as she is crimson. "I mean it's not like that, it's business." she stammers, realising she never told the youth why she wanted to be here.
Cassies eyes widen; "NO! I am not one of those ladies." she says indignantly, quietening her voice after the initial outburst. Fortunately the steam muffles the sound.
She totters backwards towards some wooden benching, clearly rattled by her faux-pas.
Reading the note, Vorian lets out a chuckle before slipping the small piece of parchment into a coat pocket. So she's already inside... resourceful, as always. Raising his glass to his lips, he drains his wine in one draught before standing. "It would seem that our friend does not wish us to discuss these matters without her," he says with a grin, reclaiming his cane, "If you do not mind the heat Mr. Hartley, shall we continue this conversation in the sauna?"
Without waiting for an answer, Vorian nods to Drake, before moving to leave the room. Returning to the smoke-filled party room, the noble scans the area, almost second guessing his decision to take the lead. Fortunately however, he quickly spots a passageway branching out of the room, with the word Saunabereich embellishing its wall in elegant letters. I see that they spared no expense here, he thinks as he passes the sign, noting that the letters were indeed made out of solid gold.
Sure enough, the passage leads directly to the sauna's changing rooms. Fortunately, the room proves to be more or less empty. Entering one of the stalls, Vorian promptly slips out of his clothing, folding it all into a neat pile and leaving in a slot on the wall. He hesitates briefly at the prospect of leaving his flask behind - he settles on taking off its cap and taking a quick sip, before depositing it along with his cane. Just in case.
After wrapping himself with a towel, Vorian slowly enters the steam-filled domain. As the heated water vapor envelops him, his memory falls back to that night just days ago. When his men were burned to death by the Virago's redirected exhaust. Feeling the bile in his stomach rise, Vorian leans against the wall briefly, shaking his head. Pull it together! Peering through the steam, he moves onward, searching for Cassie...
As Cassie sits upon the bench the metal of her silver pistol touches her thigh; causing her to stand abruptly. She gasps in pain! And carefully reaches under her towel producing the weapon, to place it on the bench beside her bag.
Whilst she is stood she notices the three men enter, Vorians prescence is recognisable. The man she almost murdered...
Cassie reaches up one arm to hail him, and on the way down twists her long hair into a bun. The towel meant for a gentleman's waist easily wraps hers twice at least; however it's width is quite scandalous as it falls mid-thigh. She quickly puts her hand down and is glad for the cover of the steam.
Ralph chuckles softly at Cassie's indignant exclamation, and follows over to take a seat on the bench as well "Relax Minx, I ain't take ya fer a harlot. I figure it's da two joes ya came in wit. 'sides dere're much easier ways dan dis if all yer lookin fer is a fling in da bath."
Ralph looks a bit confused as to what the gasp of pain was about when Cassie sat down the smirks knowingly as she produces the pistol. Then as she waves her towel falls to mid-thigh and his eyes widen in surprise greeted with certainly more flesh than Cassie intended. It's his turn to flush, if anyone could tell through the dirt and steam, and turns his head allowing her to replace her towel without him ogling her. "ahem... I uhh take it dems da joes yer waitin fer."
Drake gives a slight upraised brow as indication of his interest in the situation but is quiet as he sips his drink then gets up to follow the others to the sauna. When there he goes directly to Cassie's side and sits beside her in his own towel and whispers in her ear, "You are a resplendent vision in the mists. I would love to take you to the moors where you would make the most wonderful sight of demure beauty and mystery." He looks to the man who helped her and mouths a thank you to him, truly meaning it for he got her in there safely.
Ralph watches Drake come over and sit on the other side of Cassie whispering in the woman's ear, he couldn't make out all of what the man was saying, but the demeanor seemed to indicate he thinks there's more than just business. He can't help but chuckle at the man, and in truth doesn't really try. When Drake mouths a thanks to him he quirks an eyebrow "Y'know ya can talk ta me Charlie, I ain't deaf nor nottin." He shakes his head hoity-toity types were so weird "Well better watch yerself wit dis one." He nods towards Cassie sitting between them "She's more dame'n you cin handle fer sure. I ain't named her Minx fer nottin." He winks towards Cassie "We had a purdy good time tagether din't we sweethart? Oughta do it again sometime. If yer as much fun as ya were dis time I might even take ya on da next caper fer free."
Catching Drake's words, Vorian resists the urge to roll his eyes into the back of his head. Well isn't he a Casanova? he thinks to himself, figuring that it should have been obvious from the start, Well, I suppose I wasn't any better back in my days of yore... Taking a seat a comfortable distance away from the others, he leans back and takes in a mouthful of steam. Only then does his gaze avert to the extra fellow among them - his concern is met in equal parts by his dire amusement over the younger man's remarks.
"And who might you be?" he asks, looking him in the eye. Circumstance withholds that his usual practice of sizing individuals up is a no-go.
"Oh, Drake you are a charmer. Your words like honey to my ears, here I am not dressed to receive such compliments." she smiles whilst twisting her hair around a finger. She turns to Ralph obviously enjoying the attention; "Yes we got into a few squeezes, even in the scarce moments I was away." she winks at the draconic Vorian blowing out the steam.
"Well I know you pair are men of discretion, as well as wit. I hope nothing you see or hear will go any further?" she asks innocently.
"A woman....? At the club?" Hartley says shocked and primly before noticing her state of (un)dress. He then abruptly turns his back on her.
Drake winks at Cassie then smiles at the helper, "Minx sounds like a perfect name for Ms. DuSollier. She definitely has that shine to her eyes that say so. I am glad the two of you had fun and that you kept her safe, sir."
He looked towards Hartley, "Oh give it up, my dear man. It is not like you have not seen more flesh than this. We need to talk about that situation and you are the one with the information. It risks us all including the lovely lady here if you do not speak so please refrain from your incredulous attitude." For once the doctor talks in a commanding tone none too shabby even if it were not Vorian who'd done the talking.
|The Teller of Tales|
"It's just women in the club! It's not done, this is a haven." the man is shocked his eyes downcast he moves to the bench next to Vorian sat perpendicular to the trio.
"Alright, I was talking to this man. He was working for the Van der Graaf corporation, one evening after a few snifters of brandy we were having a discussion." the man pauses he looks up, glancing at the group before looking away.
"We were the only ones at the club... he was talking about this Von Ryuko fellow." A shiver goes down Cassies spine. "He said that Von Ryuko had some insider knowledge and was funding new weapon research. There was mention of robots and clones..."
After a nice refreshing catnap, the Meowselsworths awaken, both stretching and seeming quite rested up. After a bit of grooming and enjoying taking their conversation at a feline pace rather than that of those rushing humanoids, Mittens decides to speak.
"So... Von Ryuko. He's dangerous. There's something I don't understand though... and based on my review of your information, neither does grandmother. Why were you at the party? It doesn't make sense. You know that I do not need the estate. Boots is just impossibly intelligent, not contingent upon any fortune. Give him a fork and a helper, and he will build you a rocket ship! Kittingsley is... special. But that's just it. None of us required Von Ryuko's fortune, yourself included, the guy is as crazy as a sack of bats that's been rolled around in thumbtacks, and you know it! You've always known it! But even when I received your death records... your reasons, your intentions in those moments, I was still blind to them... I pulled your consciousness, I combed over the details, it was a void of information! I needed you alive... I needed to ask... why?" wonders Mittens, watching her mother intently.
The Duchess von Meowselsworth green eyes scans over her daughter slowly and she says, somewhat amused, "You waited until after a nap so that I would not use tiredness as an excuse, didn't you? My dear kitten, I do not want to get into that right now... I had reasons of my own... But every cat must keep her secrets. I hope you understand. There was a reason that those parts of my memory are inaccessible... if what you say is true, if I had truly... died... It is still a bit to absorb that by the way. Along with your other ventures... My reasons may come to light, but not now. Just know that I only had the best of intentions."
Rashida looks at Ysillith as if the tall woman had landed a solid uppercut on the divine chin. "Be my own relative... Maybe. Maybe. But... yes, I need a dress first, and you've been stranded with very little. Surely you need all sorts of things. We don't have any loot yet, but here's an advance." She opens her purse and digs out a little pouch that jingles. "That's a thousand marks in gold - 'marks' being the operative currency here, but these piastres will spend just fine as they're solid gold. Nobody will quibble. There's a little plaza here with all sorts of women's shops surrounding it. You can come with me while I look for dresses, if you like, or shop around on your own. The place is enclosed so it's easy to keep an eye out."
She looks extraordinarily excited about clothes shopping.
Ysillith smiles, though it is unclear as to whether it's the prospect of shopping or the bag full of shiny she's just been handed.
"Nay, t'is all right luv. I'll stick close t'ye fer now." She tilts her head slightly as they head towards the shops Rashida wishes to peruse.
"As ye've already pointed out, me current tastes in style be a tad...different...so I'll be looking towards yer self fer pointers in the right directions fer that." Though something does cause Ysillith's features to sour.
"Though I must admit t' be a tad unsettled at seeing' no women walking about in pants at all....Not a one, besides m'self..." She ponders her revelation to the other woman, who herself seems to have no worries about either fashion consciousness. Not the difference between skirts and pants, as the brass staff tip clinks lightly in counter point to Ysilliths high-heeled boots tapping across the cobble stones. .
"Oh! That's just this part of town. I'm surprised you didn't see a few near the air-port or notice some at the University. When the weather is this nice, skirts and dresses abound. When winter rolls in, all but the most determined dressers will wear something warm, believe me! We'll go to another part of town to shop for trous for you." Rashida babbles nervously as they enter a tiny plaza lined with fancy shops, fine-leafed trees fringing the streams of sunlight.
She reads the shop signs and finally hesitates near the door of Madam Rossier's Clotherie. Glancing at Ysillith, she takes a deep breath and plunges in, diving straight to racks of dresses and burying herself in them. A middle-aged salesclerk drifts over to Ysillith with great dignity, bowing slightly. "If I may assist madame in making a selection or fitting, please speak a word and I shall appear," she says in oddly-accented speech.
Rashida grabs a handful of dresses from the rack and waves them towards the pair. "I'm trying these on." She vanishes into a short corridor in the back and looks uncertainly at the doors.
"You are in Room One, Lady Massri," the clerk calls helpfully, and Rashida ducks into it hastily.
Ysillith stares down at the shop keep...then her eyes slowly move towards the racks of frilly dresses.
"Indeed...." She drawls back at the matron, before slowly moving over and beginning to carefully sort and pick through the items on display. All the while the brass staff stays within Ysillith's grip or tucked into a shoulder as she uses two hands to examine something that catches her interest.
Gradually Ysillith works her way back towards where the changing booths are. She taps lightly upon the frame of Rashida's 'closet'.
"Here. I must admit t'be expecting a 'closer' service than whut ye're getting here." And Ysillith sighs,
"Of course, back home I'd be having the haberdashers come to my cabin to do all the fittings personal, like..." And Rashida can hear the faint tone of loss in ysillith's voice as the taller woman's mind turns toward the destruction of her vessel.
Ysillith eventually has a collection of shirts upon their hangers collected in one hand. She turns to one of the younger assistants lingering about within the shop's clothing, curtained isles.
"Here luv, I'll be needin' some one t' loosen me gussets fer when I want to try these on."
The young lass nods and curtsies politely to the tall woman, following her into the smaller, tighter space of the changing room.
After a few moments, and the soft rustling of fabric, those close enough to the cubby-hole might hear the young girl utter a gasp of shock or surprise at something, and hushed and muttered conversation follows, the deeper tone obviously Ysilliths.
"Er... of course, that's how we do things at home, but here I prefer my privacy, Captiain." Rashida's voice comes hastily and somewhat muffled from her little closet, along with a great deal of rustling. She lapses into muttering to herself quietly as Ysillith goes to her own room to change.
It takes quite a while for Rashida to finalize her choices, though she emerges a couple of times to show the owner (or Ysillith if she is out by then) a particular garment or to check the fit, then retires to her room again.
Eventually, she appears and hands one of the shopgirls an armload of dresses. "Put those - and whatever Ysillith chooses - on the Massri tab and have them delivered to our airship. Ysillith, if you're ready, we can proceed to get some more casual wear." Her eyes shine with excitement.
An equal amount of rustling and murmuring can be heard emanating from Ysillith's cubical. After a moment Ysillith pokes her head and bare shoulders out, clutching the curtain to herself.
"Oiy? Whut 'dye mean 'Get more casual t'wear'? I though all th' stuff in this shop were casual? T'is nothin' but lace and silk. There's not a piece of leather t'be seen." Ysillith replies.
Rashida raises an eyebrow. "Leather, hey? Then let's get on with it. Hurry up, woman!" She saunters into the plaza to look at the other store windows until Ysillith completes her selection and emerges. "On to the fun store, Captain." She grins at the other woman and hustles off to the nearest street, where she pulls up short for a moment, tugging at a shoe. "These stupid things aren't made for walking. Do you mind if we take one of those bicycle cabs?"
Once aboard, she gives directions to a street that turns out to be quiet far away. She looks out over the lake and airfields with interest, making small talk about the town and pointing out spots of interest to the newcomer.
As they pull up to a narrow street in a much dingier, dirtier part of town, she pays the cabbie and alights. As they move up the street, Rashida peering at the shop numbers, several men step out of a store in front of them carrying odd devices. Footsteps behind give evidence of more. "Miss Massri," the muttonchopped leader says, "The Baron invites you to share his hospitality once again. Bring her. Kill the other."
The men advance menacingly and Rashida says nervously, "Captain, I think this is your show?"
Ysillith nods with interest at the places, people and scenes Rashida points out to her as the peddle-cab trundles along.
"These stupid things aren't made for walking. Do you mind if we take one of those bicycle cabs?" Once aboard, she gives directions to a street that turns out to be quiet far away. She looks out over the lake and airfields with interest, making small talk about the town and pointing out spots of interest to the newcomer. They pull up to a narrow street in a much dingier, dirtier part of town, Rashida pays the cabbie and alights. As they move up the street, Rashida peering at the shop numbers, several men step out of a store in front of them carrying odd devices. Footsteps behind give evidence of more. "Miss Massri," the mutton-chopped leader of the men in front says, "The Baron invites you to share his hospitality once again. Bring her. Kill the other."
The men advance menacingly and Rashida says nervously, "Captain, I think this is your show?"
Ysillith grins openly, the brass staff swinging and twirling in one hand, even as she reaches around behind her back with her other.
"Lass? Unless ye're bullet proof? Then stay real close t'me. I in't never been in a fight where I've had t' molly-coddle some one 'afore and I in't sure of the niceties." She remarks, even as the first two are upon them.
Ysilith lifts her staff to block the knife pulled by one, even as her foot lashes out and the heel punches nastily into the calf muscles of the second, causing him to collapse in a howl of pain clutching at the wound.
The staff spins and just as quickly the first knife wielder is stunned by a glancing blow of its bulbed end, even as Ysillith rears back and slams her horns powerfully into the fellows face, dropping him senseless as well.
Ysillith glances over a shoulder as the other group closes, the narrow corridor of a lane causing them to scuttle two abreast as they advance with arms open to grab and clutch at their prey.
"Enough!" Their leader declares, swatting at one of the thugs next to him. "Shoot her! Shoot that thing NOW!" He waves a hand imperiously in the horned creature's direction.
Ysillith stands, rising tall, even as Rashida crouches down, minimising the target -throwing her arms around Ysillith's waist. The Satyxis reaver swings her staff in such an arc as to keep the rear group at bay for a second. Those, however, upon seeing their comrades who stand before Mutton-chop's actions stop and keep their distance -instinctively seeking safety from what is about to come.
The pair behind their fallen comrades lift their weapons, sight and shoot. The silenced guns making little more than faint 'phutt' noises as they discharge. Zipping through the air, the tiny projectiles actually make a 'ping' sounding chime as they ricochet harmlessly off the 'something' that shimmers around Ysillith. She turns and grins at her ranged assailants.
"My turn..." She gloats, even as a click is heard from the end of the staff and a crystal orb is revealed by the retracting of the brass petals. The staff rises, juts forwards and a scintillating green beam lances out to touch one of the foe. Who simply seems to wink from existence.
"First rule!" Ysillith calls, "Always bring a CANNON to a gun fight!" She switches her aim and a second beam leaps across the distance and reduces the second shooter to but a flash of memory.
All the toughs slow, two women in an alley they were paid for...this situation of some horned hellion is something very different.
The three toughs before Mutton-chops look to the fellow, who's face grows redder by the moment.
"Take her, you curs! MOVE!" He bellows, pushing and shoving them towards their target. "Get HER! Triple pay for the one who brings the harlot down!" He shoves and the thugs, shoulder to shoulder, take incentive from the increase moneys offered and barrel down the narrow lane intent that one of their number will crash through any fusillade the horned creature can throw.
Ysillith laughs again, fury and joy mixing in the sound, even as she clutches Rashida and shoves herself to the left side of the alley, brass staff lowered and thrusting right handed into the middle of the tough barreling down upon her on that side.
With her feet planted and Rashida's extra mass helping to anchor her Ysillith is an immovable object down which the tough crashes onto the jutting staff head. He simply 'Oooofs!', eyes bulging, and falls doubled over. The central tough caroms along the extended staff and glances off Ysillith's shoulder. The momentum of the remaining pair carrying them past into the mob behind, causing a complete tangle of falling men and thrashing limbs as those toughs meet their oncoming foes head on instead of one helpless woman and a harridan being caught in the middle.
Ysillith steps forwards and lashes a boot into the newly fallen, keeping him gasping in agony and writhing upon the ground amongst his two previously dealt with allies.
"Bugger playing nice..." Ysillith purrs, her eyes never leaving the blustering fool who's giving the orders, even as she reaches into a coat pocket and withdraws a small metal orb. Raising it to her mouth she grabs the small projecting ring between her perfect teeth and yanks it free from the orb.
"Lass..?" And Ysillith counts silently under her breath "Ye may want t'cover yer ears..." She quips and seeming absently tosses the grenade over her shoulder into the clotted mass of men behind them. A mad scramble begins as those amongst the jumble see what's been tossed into their midst. Others continue to try and untangle themselves, mainly with threats, cursing and grunting.
Ysillith hunches forward, as much to reduce her area from the blast as to protect Rashida, whome she's pulled in front of herself. Rashida 'gasps', though her exclamation is drowned out by the wave of force and sound which washes over the pair of them. Mutton-chops and his two remaining goons stagger back, though whether from the dissipating force of the blast or Ysillith's seeming casual disregard for life is unsure.
"Alfredd?" Mutton-chops calls to one of his two remaining goons in a seemingly bored tone as he recovers. "Please kill her...?" He even sighs as he picks at the dust settling upon his coat.
Ysillith glances over a shoulder and switches Rashida back behind her.
"Should be safe fer ye back there now, luv." She comments. "Just hit any of 'em who look like they're in'a mood t'get back up." Ysillith quips and Rashida can see that the grenade has simply expended a concussive force such that the large group of thugs has been rendered senseless instead of paste. As Rashida stumbles slightly behind her, Ysillith casually and cruelly stamps down on one of her previous victims who's struggling to rise. Even as Alfredd steps forwards with an equally evil smirk upon his lips.
"Oooh...I'm gon'a enjoy this..." He chortles as he steps forwards, slowly drawing a wickedly curved and gleaming knife from somewhere deep from within his coat.
"Izzat so..?" Ysillith drawls, even as she simply raises her staff, points and clicks...
And blinks as her beam simple fades as it almost touches Alfredd.
"What? Yer gimmick is 'sposed t' scare me? I got some flash as well, Bint." He flicks the coat open a little more to reveal a small brass box from which wires and tubes snake out into the fellow's clothing. Ysillith's grin actually grows a little wider as she steps closer, narrowing the gap between Alfredd and herself,
"Here, Rashida? Hold this..." And she tosses the brass staff back to the other woman...who catches and staggers under the things not inconsiderable weight. Almost in the same motion Ysillith has shrugged off her coat, spinning it over one of the closest thugs heads to where she kicks him again where he can no longer see. A mewl of pain escapes from under the enveloping leather.
Alfredd slinks closer to the unarmed woman.
"Guns for show...knives for the pro..." He begins to weave the blade before himself, deftly flipping from fore-hand to back-hand grip. Only the width of the alley prevents the pair from beginning to circle each other.
"Oh aye luv." Ysillith purrs back, "But I've gone and left me favorites behind, so I'll not be matchin' yer skills with that little piece of metal." And she chuckles. Alfredd's eyes flash wide as he works out her innuendo. He snarls, stepping forwards, blade flashing and glinting.
"B*$#%!" He growls, driving a low thrust wickedly forwards, even as she deftly steps and feints to the right. Ysillith matches his motions, deftly raising and twining her left arm about his blade wielding right limb. Their motions melding them together for a brief instant, even as Ysillith straightens, rising and revealing she's a good head taller.
"No....Satyxis..." She breathes back in reply, straightening her arm with a quick, savage amount of strength, leverage and force. A soft 'crack/snap' is drowned out by Alfredd's scream of pain as his knife falls from nerveless fingers, his arm twisting and jerking into whole unnatural angles. Ysillith lets him go, her eyes looking past his slumping figure to where Mutton-chops and his last crony stand. Mutton-chops does grimace a little at Alfredd's fate, though he continues to glare now at Ysillith.
"I don't know what you are, but you may die with some small satisfaction knowing you have vexed me." Mutton-chops points [b]"Guntherr? Now."
Should the writing continue...?
Ralph smirks to himself at Cassie smoothly taking Drake's compliments, then looks towards the man and grins widely "Yeah sure did, 's not every day I gets ta meet a nice firey dame like her let alone end up in the baths wit 'er. 'an somethin tells me Chuck she ain't need nearly as much keepin safe as ya seem ta think."
He leans in to whisper in to whisper in Cassie's ear
He teasingly winks towards Cassie as he moves away
"Clones?" Vorian asks with a frown, staring at the ceiling. There was something relaxing about the scalding water vapor. Maybe he should have stayed on his ship after all. "Were the two technologies related, or were they separate projects?" he asks Hartley, looking back to the clearly reluctant gentleman. Whitey had mentioned that he collected our genetic material... was it used for the replicas, or did Von Ryuko take it even further...?
Drake's eyes widen a moment at the word "clones" but then he goes back to his nonchalant, almost bored countenance while seemingly not watching anything. His eyes move as Ralph whispers to Cassie then back towards their host.
He almost seems to be going to sleep in the warmth of the steam room but his eyes continue to watch from under thick lashes.
Mutton-chops points "Gunther? Now."
The tall, solidly build man steps forwards from his position of standing at Mutton-chop's left hand. Ysillith watches the fellow advance with a tilt of her head and a small smile on her lips. Gunther continues to step slowly towards the pair, knuckles flexing into fists, causing the leather of his gloved hands to creak.
"Here luv. Hand me back my toy fer a minute, will ye?" Ysillith asks, reaching back behind her towards the other woman. Rashida looks up from where she'd been liberally applying one end of the heavy metal pole to the goons who'd started to groan. Gunther advances , seeming unperturbed as the strange arcane weapon is brought to bear.
And again the narrow street is lit by the flash of the green beam. Rashida peers around Ysillith, blinking to clear the after glow of the light from her eyes...to see Gunther continuing to stalk towards them, though the leather coat he wears is tattered and singed.
"Oh...that in't good..." Ysillith murmurs even as she steps forwards and strikes. The end of the staff slams into the side of Gunther's head, doing no more than ricocheting away. Gunther does;'t even flinch.
"Oh...this is really not good..." And Ysillith begins to back away. Behind Gunther, Mutton-chops rubs his hands together with glee and slowly follows.
"You seemed to have forced my hand." And though Mutton-chops mouth moves it is a disturbingly different voice which emanates from between his lips. Though familiar enough that Rashida gasps in surprised recognition.
"It would seem I must bring forwards the testing of the Mark III a little early." The voice of Baron Eichorn von Ryuko calls to them. Ysillith continues to watch Gunther, though she glances over a shoulder to check the entrance to the alleyway, as does Rashida. The clear, sun lite street seeming so inviting.
"You can try and run, but Gunther won't tire. He will keep chasing you. He will catch you." Von Ryuko's voice gloats. "You can't match the stamina of the Mark III..."
"Ah bugger." Ysilith exclaims as she stops and sets herself before the advancing figure. She levels the staff and fires the beam again...and again...repeated shots doing little more than singing Gunther's hair and marring his clothes until the blond juggernaut simply reaches out and grabs the staff.
There is a brief tussle and then the staff is wrenched from Ysillith's grasp. In response Ysillith drops and spins, even as Gunther simply tosses the brass item away, to glance down at where Ysillith's metal reinforced heel slams to a halt against his leg. She grunts as the shock travels up her limb, Gunther reaches down for her but Ysillith deftly rolls away and stands.
"Aye, but I do wish Meera were here." Ysillith comments absently to herself. "She'd love tussling with things like this..." Ysillith brushes a strand of hair from her face with one hand as Gunther steps forwards again. Ysillith slowly backs away, keeping Rashida protectively behind her as the tall, sable haired woman fiddles with the small item which has been humming away quietly there since the beginning of the fight.
"Okay...here's the deal. Lass? I really need you t'get to Alfred's clothing and rip out some of the wiring there. Okay?" Rashida nods in reply, deftly stepping over prone figures until she finds that of Alfred. Glancing up she sees Ysillith throw herself at Gunther.
Her horns smash into Gunthr's face and skull, doing little more than tilting the blond fellows head back. His hands quickly reach up and grab Ysillith by the shoulders, to which he drives his brow back against hers. There is a mighty 'crack' of bone against bone as the two met and Gunther releases Ysilith, who staggers back dazed. Rashida nimbly kneels down and begins to sort out what items on Alfred are 'wires' and which are just clothing. For a second Gunther stops, looking from Ysillith to Rashida...
"No, no, no! Kill that one. Capture that one!" Von Ryuko orders, huffing closer to the fight as Gunther turns his gaze upon Ysillith and begins to advance upon her again. Ysilith shakes her head clear as the solid wall of man takes his step.
As Ysillith twists and drives a foot piston straight into Gunther's nether regions. He does nothing more than glance down at where Ysillith's boot meets his pants.
"Yeah...didn't think that would work." Ysillith says, even as Gunther gabs her limb and simply lifts her off the ground.
"ANY TIME NOW LUV!" Ysillith cries as she's swept up, over and then down.
"THUMP!" And Ysillith meets the ground. The Satyxis' impact being softened as her momentum is driven into the prone forms of the goons who've been rendered senseless only a few moments before.
"Good, good!" Von Ryuko chuckles, rubbing his hands together in glee as he watches the fight. "You are putting up an most excellent display! It shall be such a pleasure dragging your lifeless corpse back to the lab and working out what made you tick." He gloats, even as Ysillith groans and sluggishly rolls away from Gunther's reaching hands. Rashida gets a handful of...metallic things...and, bracing her legs, reefs hard upon them. The wires come taut, but do not snap or tear away from Alfred's prone form.
Gunther steps towards ysillith, who manages to pick herself up, leaning against the far wall of the narrow street. She sweeps her hair back from her face, blinking and glaring at Gunther, then Von Von Ryuko.
"Y'know? When I found m'self here, I didn't know what to expect. But, since meeting yerself and yer mechanika friend? I've decided I have m'self a hobby." Ysillith nimbly ducks a sweep of one of Gunther's arms even as Von Ryuko seems to blink in surprise.
"What? WHAT!? You're bluffing! You're just making wild baseless guesses! You can't know anything about the Mark III! NOTHING! Who are you! Tell me! I demand to know!" He snarls, even as Ysillith, cat like, rolls under yet another attempt by Gunther to grab and corral her against the streets walls. With three long, powerful strides she comes to stand before Von Ryuko, even as Gunther turns and moves to grapple her.
"Sthuck!" And Von Ryuko gasps in surprise or pain as Ysillith drives Alfred's retrieved blade in deep. He looks down at the weapon buried within his abdomen.
"Hah! Something as small as...HURK!" And his snide comment is cut short as Ysillith, with both hands, pulls the blade upwards to slam against Mutton-chops sternum.
"Heh...not enough...not soon enough. Gunther will finish you and then he'll return to the lab!" Von Ryuko's voice warbles as his and Mutton-chop's vocals flickers in between the two. Ysillith pulls the knife free, leaving Mutton-chops/Ryuko to stagger away. She spins, dervish like -her arm lifting high- only to step into Gunther's reaching arms as she slams the blade down hard between his collar bones.
Gunther makes no sound and more disturbingly nor does he bleed. Ysillith looks at the knife handle,
"Yeah...didn't think that'd 'HURK'!" Her words are cut short as Gunther wraps both hands about her throat...and slowly begins to squeeze. Rashida yanks and tugs again, this time there is give and she straightens and staggers, skipping over a couple of prone figures as her efforts are rewarded with handfuls of trailing, coloured cloth wrapped, copper and brass cables.
Ysillith snarls and grimaces silently, even trying to seemingly spit in Gunther's face as the man inexorably begins to crush the life from his target. Ysillith glances towards Rashida, frantically waving a hand and motioning. Rashida nods, stepping nimply forwards and handing the mess of cables to the still struggling woman. Ysilltith grabs the wires, reaching behind her back and under her vest-undercoat. There's no finesse in her actions, just simple desperation as she jams one handful of ends into the small humming device there. Then, with her other, she grabs the other ends and shoves them onto the knifes handle.
The effect is immediate and, seemingly electric. Gunther staggers, jolting straight up. For the first time there is an expression, a grimace, upon his features. He drops Ysillith, even as sparks and flickers of power glimmer across his teeth, flickering within his eyes. Ysillith gasps, drawing in huge breaths, even as she staggers to lean against Gunther's frame. Gunther manages to grip the hilt of the blade, where the heat from the pwer running through the cables has melted them to the metal of the hilt. His grimace intensifies as his hand clamps shut.
"Oh...no...ye don't!" Ysillith rasps, even as she straightens and grips Gunther's hand with both her gloved ones.
"Once I stab a person? They stay stabbed until I unstab 'em!" She declares fiercely, holding Gunter's hand shut tight upon the blade as the light show arcs and shimmers over her fists. Rashida backs away a little, not sure what the strange power coursing through Gunther is, nor what exactly it is doing. Though she's easily aware that it is not good. She glances to where Mutton-Chops/ Von Ryuko leans against the far street wall.
"No...no! Not my Mark III! You...you can't!" He gasps, hands clutching his front where...strangely...no blood, nor other fluids leak.
Almost as soon as it has started, the lights dancing across Gunther flicker and go out. Ysillith releases her grip and the man, his face frozen in its rictus grin, slowly topples backwards like some great felled tree. With a solid 'Thwump' he slams to the ground. Nothing moving nor flexing as if her is flesh become statue. Ysillith turns and glares at Mutton-chops.
"You!" She snarls, voice raspy from Gunther's treatment. "You're next!" She declares and takes a step towards him. Mutton-Chops/ Von Ryuko gives a laughing wheeze.
"You... you have no idea...what you have done. You idiot!" He gasps out. Rashida, with a horrible flash of recognition, grabs Ysillith's arm and drags the woman from the alley.
"No! We have to hurry!"
M'Lady Rashida? I think this is now your show. (^_^)
"Run! I knew that wasn't him," Rashida pants as they dash away, "He's nowhere near brave enough to be here himself. But it's got very recent memories and I am positive is set to explode, or do something equally awful, just in case. I'd like to have grabbed it but..."
An enormous WHOOOMPH! interrupts the Egyptian noble as a great burst of blue flame and sparks erupts from the little street behind them. Screaming people dash from the area and Rashida darts into another alley, cutting through a block or two and emerging onto another lined with restaurants and a few adventurer-looking shops.
"This may do," Rashida comments, pulling Ysallith into a shop full of various leather and metal goods. A distant siren grows louder, sounds like it passes above them, and fades in the direction they came. [b]"We might want to stay off the streets for a bit. It sounds dangerous out there," she remarks loudly so the curious shopkeepers, now peering out the window, are sure to overhear.
A vast array of leather goods hangs on sturdy racks, some in natural shades and some dyed a rainbow of colors. Rashida herself picks up a few items and heads for the changing area, leaving Ysillith to browse for herself.
|The Teller of Tales|
Hartley stumbles over his words; "Clones? Well Van der Graf is one of the top companies concerning motor-engines, and their uses in the bio-tech industries. No match for Tesla, or the Rorensons, but...."
Realising he has got off topic; "He was going to try and find the island!" Looking in a paranoid manner at the others and into the steam. "Legend says that there is an island in the mists of the lake. That the 'Van der Graf corporation' have built a facility upon the island; near the perma-fog bank. And there are no airship masts, so it has to be accessed by boat."
Hartley continues; "That was when the 'accident' happened; his boat blew up!"
Cassie gasps, going slightly pale.
Adjusting the scarf keeping her hair conveniently from her eyes Ysillith stumbles a little after Rashida. Once they stop at the shop Rashida has picked out, she nods at the other woman's words.
Quickly picking out a long, leather great coat to replace the one lost to the actions in the alley. Once that small piece of 'shopping' has been dealt with Ysillith finds a chair upon which to rest for but a while.
"In Lake Constance?" Vorian asks skeptically, letting out a huff of steam. If so, then... with that perma-fog we could have flown right over it for all we know. It was a simple yet effective means of concealment. Without exact coordinates, navigation through such an obstacle would be next to impossible, even with modern technology. "So he was in an executive position, yet knew nothing of this secret facility? How could that be?"
|The Teller of Tales|
"I am not sure? He said it was a rumour of a Top-Secret facility, that few people may know of it other than the Scientists that work at the Nexus." Hartley recounts. "You'd need a good navigator to get there, I'm sure. And of course some secrecy, as my late friend obviously didn't have enough discretion."
He shakes his head sadly, the steam roils. "It might be that there is no facility and someone took the opportunity to kill him."
Cassie tries to compose herself, getting up and moving over to the hot coals where with a slightly shaking hands she pours a large wooden jug of water over them. There's a hiss and billowing steam cascades around her washing away the past from the fore-front of her mind.
She moves back and with a little wiggle sits between the pair of men; she leans to Ralph and whispers to him.
There's a wicked glint to her eye, [b]"You are enough of a big boy to wash yourself; but a quick splash could be fun."
Cassie's left hand taps her bag with the naked weapon beside.
Then you notice upon her left hand side mid-way between the ribs and hip a slight pink stain upon the towel.
Rashida emerges after a while dressed head to toe in black leather, jacket covering curves that might otherwise draw unwanted attention. Gone is the chiffon and gold purse and jewelry, apparently stashed in a bag slung over her shoulder. Even her hair is tucked up under a cap. She drops a small handful of coins on the counter and steps briskly to where Ysillith sits.
"Are you all right? Sorry I didn't ask earlier, but we needed to move. If you don't need medical attention, we should get back to the others, to the ship." She glances around the street and proceeds, satisfied.
"I don't think Von Ryuko is really here. I bet he has agents in each city with major airship repair facilities, expecting us to need them. It is helpful that they are also the major centers of wealth and society. We need to warn the rest. Unless you need some thing desperately, we should get back to the ship... the Phantom?"
"It's no surprise he knew I was here, with that blindingly obvious gold airship. It screams 'Massri', she says with some disgust.