A World Without End (Inactive)

Game Master pinvendor

Free-form RP in Alternate Earth.


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Cassie and her date had been joined by an older man and Joey! since her last circuit of the ballroom with a tray of pickled echidna tongues in gazelle-butter puff pastry. They were all looking at the new arrivals in the foyer and speaking quietly together. This might be the perfect time, during the distraction.

She slipped up behind the group and examined the clasps on the waterfall of jewels cascading down Cassie's back, then caught a glimpse of the newcomers through the crowd. It wasn't just that horrid Darkov man. No, he had a princess on his arm!

Something is going on here, something big. Her eyes flicked to Lady DuSollier's tempting display and her fingers twitched, but she bit her lip and turned away. I can't afford to screw this up. There's too much here that bears watching.

Gliding around them to offer the canapes to Cassie's group, she bows to them and turns away to follow the newcomers up the stairs, proffering her tray to all as she passes.


Dance-oholic Minx

Cassie murmurs to Ralph, her hands slightly shaking whether in fear or anger. "Rabek Darkov, he has been responsible for genocide across the globe. Personally ordered the rapine and torture of St. Petersburg..." her words are whispered in dark tones. As Vorian comes over she looks to him.

"I hoped we'd seen the last of him. Who is the Lady...Princess?" she queries, "I saw her at a Ball in Madrid." Brushing the gentleman's arm Cassie adds. "Politics...interesting."

Eyes finally moving from the General as he moves from her sight, she breaths again deeply. "There is also an Inspector here....incompetent but fun to play with." She winks at Ralph; "Not that way."

"I barely beat Darkov, last time he under estimated me. This time I'll need every edge I can get, if we were to fight again." Cassie says almost introspectively. Cassie turns to Drake raising an eyebrow. "So, my harem is here again."

Raising an arm she calls over a waitress and places a piece of card from her fan upon the silver tray: "Could you deliver this to Lady Massri? Discretely, I will be very grateful." the French-woman flirts.

Rashida upon Pale Linen Paper:
Ms Massri,
You wished me to be bold, well I have a trio of delightful men. Do you wish me to join you? Or have any other plans?

Darkov is here!
Mimi's Sister.


Lord of Serv-Bots

Waking:
Taraz the Wastrel wrote:

Taraz watches the Rashida leave. As the door closes, the paralysis he felt drains from him, and Taraz explodes into action. He mixes the chemicals and sets up a crude detonator that can be transmitted by short wave signals. Picking up Andrezi he leaves the lab and moves down the hall. He has to get far enough away that it's safe to detonate. He allows the mitochondria to continue to enhance his vision. The black darkness begins to have some shape and he is able to keep his footing.

Soon he hears someone walking next to him. For some reason, he is not surprised by this.

"You can't stop me, Lord Taraz." Baron Eichorn von Ryuko says with amusement. "My plan has been eons in the making. All of your family's meddling with time has seen this possible. Our little game will finally end."

"You're right, Baron Eichorn," Taraz replied calmly. "Our game will end. I will destroy you and my family so completely, the world will finally be free of both your machinations."

Eichorn laughed that cruel biting sound when he was sure he spoke to a fool. When he was sure he spoke to Taraz. "If only you could see that what I plan to do will benefit the world. Break the cycle of Rorenson time. Clean up the rifts and eliminate the threat of the Massri forever." Taraz plodded on in the dark, the weight of Andrezi seeming to become heavier.

"Then tell me of it, Baron. If you are so proud, why not tell me this plan, so we can celebrate the end of danger together."

Eichorn chuckled. "Taraz, Taraz, Taraz. I know I cannot trust you. Much better that I could. But why not go, take your precious Rashida, and hide from the world. If neither of you try to stop me, I need not try and kill the other of you to teach you a lesson."

At the word lessons, the voice changed. Taraz knew Eichorn was gone, and the deliberate footsteps belonged to woman.

"Tsk, tsk." Ulrikke Rorenson said. "You never mind your lessons, Taraz." Andrezi was becoming heavier.

Taraz sighed. "And why are you here, sis?"

"Why must you question such things?" Ulrikke said exasperated. "Why must you always question these things? What were all my lessons for if not show you that the Rorensons are and always will be. Here. There. Wherever we are, so we are. Time is ours to correct."

"You mean it is the helmetcats' to correct. Our family's to break."

"Ah, but if time was correct the genius of the Rorensons would not have lifted themselves from a poor family of cobblers to a brilliance which has control of the greatest powers mankind can achieve. If time was correct, why have we been allowed to alter our course for the better 437 times," Ulrikke's voice filled with passion. "We have lived the same lives 437 cycles but better each time!"

"Better? How can you say this is better? Look at the damage we have done to the world, sister!"

"Tsk, tsk," Ulrikke clucked. "Do not forget that what we have done, we did for you." A rich baritone finishes the last sentence.

Taraz finds the weight of Andrezi is causing him to struggle in his walk. The mitos seem to be fading and the his vision once again goes to blackness.

"Father..." Taraz's voice is hoarse and comes out as a croak. "You didn't need to save me. I made my choice to stay."

"Come now, Taraz. Don't be a martyr. Your death at the hands of those foolish villagers was merely a mistake. I corrected it," Roren's voice said smoothly. "You are truly the more wide-visioned of my offspring. Your brothers and sisters have their uses, but only you see things the way I do. I know that is why you lost yourselves in cards and drink during our first lives."

Taraz remained quiet. He knew he had to keep going. He had to get the Russian noble out. It didn't matter that he couldn't see where he was going. He needed to find Rashida. He needed to tell her he loved her. He had to protect the nobles, get them off this island. Von Ryuko had plans for them. Something was wrong.

"That wily werewolf girl who manipulated those villagers really fascinated you after we were able to reset our destiny the first time. I always assumed you would pursue her for one of your conquests. Pity you never did."

Taraz nearly stumbled. "Leave me alone, father." He grit his teeth as the weight of the body on his shoulder caused his steps to become staggering.

"As you wish, but you are my blood, Taraz. You will always come home. You..." The last word was cracked, a voice ruined by smoke and fire.

"You...you think you can...carry the weight alone?"

Taraz stopped. With a groan, he dropped his shoulder and the weight disappeared as the body fell to the floor. The spirit-gas lamps in the hallway flare to life. Taraz looks down and sees himself as he once was. A dirty villager, a wastrel. His dead eyes look up at him, blood from head trauma burnt into his scalp. The corpse's cracked lips move.

"Was the death of the world worth your life?"

Taraz cries out. The darkness roared at it consumes him.

The darkness laughed and whispered. It sounded like frightened villagers. It sounded like the howl of a werewolf. It sounded like Death.

Taraz eyes fly open. Something is grabbing him. Someone is grabbing him! Taraz's whole body tenses as the power of his biology floods awake in an instant. As his perception accelerates, he realizes within a few milliseconds, the someone is Mimi, the replica of Cassie DuSollier. He forces the clamoring mitos down, down. It's like being dunked in a pool of cold water, and he shudders.

Mimi is startled by the sudden motion of his body, and she seems uncertain almost guilty by the look on her face.

"Sorry, Mimi," Taraz whispers. "I didn't mean to wake you." He gently turns her to face away from him, then places an arm as chastely as possible over the sheet covering her stomach. He hopes she didn't notice his expression or the feeling of hopelessness that seemed to ooze from him.

A single tear slowly slid down Taraz's cheek into Mimi's golden hair.


RepliCassie

She feels his body tense, starting to move in aggression. Mimi feels a sensual tingle run up her fingers and jumps away. The excitement being too much for her. Taraz can easily read the guilt upon her face; 'Is that how he always looks waking up? Even more handsome in action. And the quiver; la petite mort? Massri is a lucky woman...' she thinks regretfully to herself.

Finally trusting her voice; "I never really sleep..." she says thickly. Closing her eyes and enjoying the warm comforting hand of Lord-Protector Rorenson, even if it was just his duty. He couldn't feel as she does.


Daughter of Gods. Gods! or possibly of aliens.

Rashida sits alone in silence, able to stop and think for the first time in what seemed like forever. Unfortunately, gratitude for the opportunity does not translate to discipline required to make good use of the moment. She finds her thoughts drifting back...

Yet Another Flashback:

Memories wrote:

Sleep threatened to overwhelm after the long, busy, disastrous day and night, but Rashida didn't want to sleep right now, not here, curled up with Taraz and a glass of Massri wine, looking out at the sea below. She set her glass down, fearing to nod off and spill the rich, precious fluid, then snuggled even closer under Taraz's arm, laying her head on his chest. She began to drift away, barely managing to whisper his name before she dozed.

But he was not asleep, not yet. His hand slid down her hip in a gentle caress. "Rashi, dearest." The reply rumbled beneath her ear, barely audible over the steady beat of his heart. She smiled at the endearment. "Nobody's called me that before," she murmured, tightening her arms around him and smiling again at the feel of a kiss atop her head.

"Rashi, I... there is something I must tell you." Even in her dreamy haze, she noticed the hesitation in his voice. She managed to tilt her head to look up at him, cheeks still flushed and glowing as she smiled. "Right now?" she chuckled, then a coldness grew in the pit of her stomach when the smile was not returned.

He nodded. "We haven't had a chance to talk since... well, ever, really. There's something you need to know."

She nuzzled against him softly, closing her eyes again. "I know of your reputation already, if that's what you mean. I don't care. I know you, body and soul. I love you, my Taraz." The tenseness didn't leave his body. Sleep withdrew somewhat as she looked again on his troubled face, noticed his eyes avoiding hers by studying the vista out the great wall of windows. "Taraz, beloved, what is it? You can tell me anything. I know... we have a lot to talk about." She sighed, feeling a bit guilty. "A lot. But we'll have time, and plenty of it."

"I hope so. With all my heart, I hope so. But what might Von Ryuko have in store next, hmm? This is something you need to know." He rolled onto his side and shifted so they lay face-to-face, deep brown eyes making her melt despite his serious tone. After a deep breath, he began. "Rashida, you saw your brother's double."

She nodded, lowering her eyes and bringing a hand to touch her throat. "I destroyed it," she whispered, "It was terrible." His arms tightened around her for a moment, comforting, and she shook off the horror of the memory. It was past. It wasn't human. It wasn't. Was it?

"There were more, you know." There was that tension again, around his eyes, in his voice.

"I heard the Baron's announcement about destroying his replicas, but... but I never saw more...?"

"Fortunately, it was I who found and recognized them. I... I also destroyed them. It was horrible, as you know. But there was one..." He took a deep breath, knowing he had to explain more fully. "I found them in their storage niches, hooked into their support equipment. Though skilfully hidden, they do have areas where cables can connect. But there was one that had no connections, though somebody tried to make it appear hooked to the machines, perhaps so I would destroy it, perhaps not. But you saw the one, no, two - you have seen Mimi. Could you tell the replicants from your brother, or from Cassie?"

Rashida shook her head slowly. "Not at first, no. Gahiji's was very much like him, but freed from the restriction we not destroy one another. Mimi is like Cassie in looks, but eventually differs in action. But right away? No. I thought their replicas were the real thing."

Taraz nodded. "Exactly. And this one, well... I thought it could be you."

Cold shot through Rashida's stomach. I should have seen this coming. But how? "How... impossible. How could they replicate me? It is impossible, I tell you. But you thought it was me? It was that close?" Astonishment blasted her mind. Gahiji she could understand. He was much older. Cassie, the same. Any of the nobles there made sense. But her? Impossible! Unless...

"Almost." There was a flicker of a near-smile. "With one important difference. That Rashida didn't love me."

Mind reeling, Rashida barely heard the next statement, then it sank in. "Wait, what... you don't think I'm a machine," she cried, "How could you, after... after what we've shared?" She struggled to get away, and Taraz's arms tightened around her.

"That's not what I said. Listen. Rashida, listen to me. I couldn't tell if she was human or not. I can't tell if you are or not. But whatever it is you are, I love you, dammit! You! A medical scan could tell, but frankly I don't care whether you ever get one or not."

She stopped struggling and stared for an unbelieving moment before burying her face in his chest, arms tight around his body. "Oh, Taraz, if only we were the only two people on Earth, how happy that would make me," she said nonsensically, "But there is so much more to this than you know. So much I need to tell you. The Massris are compromised, for good or evil, by more than just me. I need to explain." She swallowed hard and cleared her throat. "It's so much easier now, after what you said, but I still want to know what I am. I believe I am real and that other Rashida, if she is a replicant, either knows she is not me or will figure it out shortly. If she has my memories, I have an idea of what she may do next. Freeing her may not have been the worst thing in the world, beloved." With a small smile, she stroked his dear face and began her story.

She shakes herself mentally. That was past. Now she needs to think of where to go from here, how best to use her new freedom. There is no question but that the Clan will come to get her when she doesn't return, but she has no idea how long that tolerance will be. Certainly not much longer than it will take Ament to be repaired. But the mechanics hadn't been able to give her a good estimate. Dammit!

Allies, she needs time and more allies. But who? What is Von Ryuko playing at? Perhaps she can trust him to aid her if he only knew what was really going on. He will certainly accept a visit, she has no doubt. Perhaps the Rorensons. Is that where Taraz has gone? She dares not contact him directly and risk betraying him to their enemies. Maybe the League, but what do they want? The Masons -- bah! They are preservers, too hounded and afraid to act. Maybe there really are remnants of her old conspiracy, but she can't get in touch, not yet. Then who can help?

She thinks for a long, long time, mulling over options and rejecting each one, until at long last, she comes up with a plan. It may not be a good plan. But it's better than sitting around waiting for things to happen.


Ralph leans in close to listen to Cassie, the man that just came in is some kinda bad news, he's really not clear on what his connection is with Cassie and the others. He glances towards Drake when the man comes up and asks about plans and keeps to whispered tones "I 'unno Chuck, dis guy dat jus' came in is sum kin'a bad news, but if we starts sumetin here 's gonna be lik lettin a cat loose inna dog pound. Where's cap'n? Ain't she s'posed ta be watchin out fer tings like dis?" If she's gone does that technically put Ralph in charge being first mate? Considering how little he knows about the situation that might not be the best idea.

Did Cassie just say she fought this Drakov guy? He leans back towards Cassie rather than Drak "Ya fought wit dis guy b'fore? Well... if ya took him alone b'fore den we oughta be able ta take him wit all of us right? 's just him an' dat dame, but 's gonna be hard ta fight here." He watches as the waitress comes over and takes the note from Cassie "Ya know da Massri? Ne'er a dull moment wit ya is dere my Minx." He winks at her then sighs softly "I guess dis means da date's over."


Dance-oholic Minx

"We have to careful, sneaky like." she says taking in Ralph's mannerism; "Any open violence, it can be traced back to us. And Darkov is a favourite with at least one of the hoity-toity League families, who potentially put him together with Von Ryuko."

Still upon the balls of her feet; ready to fight or evade. "Why is he here?" she wonders aloud.

"The only way for us to gang up on a trained combatant like him, is some intensive team training. Or else we will get in each others way, I suppose we could wear him down. The last person alive may be able to stop him..." Cassie moves from this melancholy though in her usual abrupt mood change; "Fancy some intensive training, guys?" flirtatiously she sticks out the tip of her tongue.

"I ended up with his knife in my gut, one blink later and his gun would have taken my head." she shivers rubbing her arms.


Lady Alyce takes the note from Cassie DuSollier, hoping that her intentional mimicry of the Frenchwoman's sleek and sophisticated look is not evident. Once she'd hoped for notice but now, when actually face-to-face, she felt breathless as a small child meeting Sinterklaas for the first time.

She bobs a brief curtsy and wends her way through the crowd towards the first balcony stairway, following the path of the Divine Massri. Before she reached there, she slips into one of the broom closets and opens the note.


From high up, tucked into the angle where one of the wall's colour-steam columns meats with the over arching roof supports, the Mysterious Figure watches those below. Deftly they move along the hidden service ways, being careful to avoid the very occasional human technicians and safe knowing the adjustments worked into their own devices will shield them with clever interference from the houses roving servo-eyes.

After covering the space of the grand hall in three dimensions, the Mysterious Figure comes to alight above and behind the gathering of Drake with Cassie, Ralph upon her arm. The entrance of yet more Nobles has the figure pausing for just a moment, then quickly they use the distraction to access one of the hidden service panels.


In a certain Broom-closet:

Alice is bent over, using the sliver of light entering via the crack of the still partially open closet door to read the Noble's note she's been asked to deliver.

So intent is she on trying to decipher the potential hidden meanings contained withing Madam Cassie DuSollier's florid script she does not hear the access panel behind her slide open on exceptionally well maintained armatures.

A looming presence behind her whispers in the darkness,

" 'Ello Poppet. "

I eagerly await your reply. (^_^)


Closet:
Alyce jumps and claps hand to her mouth to stifle a shriek. "Oh sir... ma'am... sorry, you startled me. I was just taking a little rest. I must be back to work now," she babbles, heart pounding as she reaches for the door handle and hastily hides the note under the tray with her other.


Closet:
Ysillith grabs the lass and drags her back into the service hall. The taller Satyxian primed and ready to spring her trap.

"Oh no ye don't, ye little snippet." The Satyxan's greater height, strength and experience with similar gutter snipes taking a firm hold upon the girl's shoulder. Enough force being applied to make said arm go numb for a moment.

The panel slides closed behind them and the girl is suddenly aware of a large and wickedly curved knife has appeared in the tall woman's other hand, deftly pressing against the skin of her throat.

"Now then, lets you an' me have a little...parlay..." Ysillith purrs. "And don't be thinkin' at gettin' the better of me nature, missy. I've a long hand at dealin' with people scuttlin' about in th' dark. Who are ye? Who might ye work for? Talk well and perhaps we can come to some...accord" Ysillith purrs.

As Alice eyes slowly grow accustomed to the gloom of the service way as she desperately thinks of what to say...She notes with a chill that the eyes of the tall woman accosting her seem to give off an faint eerie green glow all of their own in the dark.

I have her exactly where I want her...*Laughs menacingly* >:)


Closet:

The girl takes a deep breath to calm her nerves. "My name is Alyce - Alice, around here - one of the younger daughters of House Kórógyi, come here to school and working my way through here, at the Opera House. So I can hear the music," she replies steadily, "That's why I wear this little apron. I'm on the level, ma'am. Now please let me go. I'm hurting no-one."

She closes her eyes and freezes as the cold steel touches her throat.


Closet:
Ysillith's eyes narrow, "Yer name may as well be...But yer actions? They be speakin' of a whole different skein." The knife flat presses ever so slightly more against Alyce skin.

"Agin I ask ye t'speak of what yer're up to, who ye might be associated with...What were it that had yer attention so wrapped up ye din't hear me sneakin' up on ye self, hmmmm?" Ysillith purrs.

"I be an old, dab hand at filetin' and th' disappearin' bodies, so don't think yer pretty-ness is some charm t'over come me...better nature." Ysillith leans closer,

"Me patience and time fer gabbin' be almost up...and so, almost, be yours. Talk. I were watchn' ye fer quite th' while afore ye stole in't yon cupboard. I seen yer shiftin' ways an' flutterin' hands. When Ysillith Mearlleux catches the scent o' something askance, she's not often wrong. Or else she'd be dead an' them's whut might have wished me harm would not be."

"Last chance Missy. Talk t'me now, or ye'll never talk t'any-one agin..."" There is menace in the taller woman's words, but no passion nor malice. The possible lethal actions being threatened seem a calm and second nature to the tall woman.

Who will be left to 'come out of the closet'?


Closet:
"I... I was reading a note written by Cassandra DuSollier. She's... she's my hero, my idol. I always wanted to be like her." A couple of drops splash onto Ysillith's hand where it is clamped around the girl's throat. "But I'm not brave like her. She'd figure a way out of this or wouldn't have been caught in the first place. I know it was wrong to do it, but I wanted to see what the great ones write about."

Nobody in their right mind would kill me over reading a note not meant for me, not unless it was really important. And this is just gibberish.


Closet:
So...forgive me in my writing style and Ysillth's hard arsed character portrayal. *Bows*

First.

Ysillith will kill Alyce on the provisos of,

1) She thinks she can get away with it. (And currently she most definitely does)

2) There is nothing at all to gain from keeping Alyce alive (Currently just having the name of some minor family is not enough)

3) Ysillith thinks she is being lied to (And given young Aylce's furtive motions about the people Ysillith is being paid to protect? Ysillith kind of does want Alyce to explain some things)

Ysillith sighs, "I know who she is. There be an arraignment a'tween ourselves." ysillith seems to not care about the tears now leaking from the girl in her grasp.

"I seen yer there behind yer so called idol an' that were avarice, not Hero worship, clear as day. I've been far too long in th' buisness of takin' what I want an' killing anything what gets in me way t' easily spot th'..." Ysillith pauses, her head tilting slightly. She adjusts her grip upon the girl, the knife disappearing as swiftly as it had appeared. Flipping the girl around and clutching her in a deft choker-hold the taller woman closes and locks the panel through which she's dragged Alyce then fumbles about in her great cloak pockets for a moment more.....

"Make so much as a squeak an' I'll kill ye afore them's what's comin' can kill me." Ysillith growls threateningly to Alyce, even as the taller woman raises an arm and there is a soft 'Pafph' from the object clutched their-in.


*Bront slides over to the small closet where the maid had disappeared into. The girl might have been adjusting something about her dress...but she'd been taking far too long at something like a simple wardrobe malfunction.*

*He absently tugs again at the stiff, starched white collar constricting his bull-neck, even as he 'pats' the door open with the heel of a boot, his eye sliding to glance into the space from the corner of an eye.*

The waiter, empty tray tucked under one arm as they deftly catch a moments breath between serving the genteel clientele, blinks in surprise as the cupboard besides him swings open. He turns, steps in to check that all is as it should be.

*Bront's gaze notes the service way hatch hidden within the space of the cupboard and he sneers. Reaching out a thick finger jabs the control button molded cleverly into the facade and the hatch slides up, opening the space beyond. He looms into the empty space...eyes scanning the deserted catwalk, thence down for any tell tale scuff marks...*

*He notes the fallen tray, which he bends down and retrieves. The his eyes alight upon the scrap of paper dropped beneath it. His thick fingers quickly sweeping this morsel up and tucked into a sleeve space.*

*The girl had disappeared...probably taken by some Theater technician for trespassing back into the colour-steam works...Or maybe not...Bront steps back and secures the service hatch before stepping back out and closing the cupboard's door.*

Satisfied all is as it should be, the waiter moves back towards the serving table to refile his tray and returning his service to the clientele.


Closet:

As Alyce is spun around and pulled into a choke hold, she reflexively grabs Ysillith's arms for balance, dropping both the empty tray and Cassie's note onto the floor of the little broom closet. She does as ordered and makes not a sound as she is manhandled by the giantess.


Closet:
The powerful spring loaded winch whisks the pair of them way up into the lofting ceiling. With a quick and experienced foot Ysillith snags a ledge and pulls them both into the darkness of a transverse air-shaft as the service hatch below opens and a large man peers into the darkness. Watching the fellow's actions Ysillith growls as he retrieves the girl's dropped tray, muscles in the taller woman's arm contracting and causing Alyce to wince and pat feebly at the offending limb.

Ysillith waits a moment more as the waiter? Guard? Mercenary? Goon? loiters a moment too long before stepping back outside and closing the hatch. Ysillith flings the girl across the space were she comes to rest gasping and wincing at the rough treatment.

"Yer little accident has caused me some vexation." Ysillith warns, even as she goes about retrieving and re-winding her grapple-gun.

"That feller's been snoopin' about almost as bad as yerself." She comments absently, "But, unlike yerself, that one's got all the marks of a proper threat." Ysillith continues to look down the shaft, "Did ye see th' size of 'im? Make a right amount of work in'a tussle." Ysillith notes absently, then she stares intensely at Alyce.

"So then, luv. Explain t'me why I shouldn't gut ye and hang ye up by yer giblets?" And there is a weird calmness about the taller woman's manner which one might find disturbing.


Air Vents?:
Alyce stands and brushes herself off, tidying up her clothing before she faces the much taller woman, chin tilted up defiantly. "Why shouldn't you? Why should you? I've been doing my job, walking around serving drinks and canapes. I was asked to deliver a note from Madam DuSollier to Lady Massri - who is not receiving it, by the way - and stopped to read it out of curiosity. That was wrong of me, I admit. But I was on my way to deliver it when you stopped me. You think the two ladies will be happy about that? And who are you, skulking around the innards of this place? I've never seen you here before in my life! Besides, there are security men all over this place tonight, with all the nobles here. I don't know who you're trying to assassinate, but to settle for me because you can't get to your target is stooping pretty low, don't you think?" She looks absolutely furious by the time she finishes her hissed diatribe.


Air-vents indeed:
Ysillith actually grins, then gives out a little chuckle.

"Who am I?" She rhetorically asks the girl who's suddenly full of spit and vinegar. She leans back against the large vent's wall, tucking away the pistol within her coat as she folds her arms. She shakes her head,

"Well, since ye've been so forth comin' with yer own particulars," And Ysillith gives a slight bow, "The name be Ysillith. Ysilith Mearlleux in the speakin' of your kind." She sniffs "The language just don't do it the proper inflections..."

She stares again at Alyce, "And now that we've such formalities out'a the way, where in I might remind ye we've reached no parlay, nor have we come to any accord, I am th' one who's got yer life in me hands and am sore pressed as to whether it be worth havin'." Ysillith absently glances down the shaft.

"I've noted ye've not been sorely missed as yet...." She stares at Alyce again, "I know ye be playin' games, I just want t'save m'self some time and have ye explain whut they be." Ysillith shrugs "Or we can go back t'me much simpler plan of guttin' ye and thence leavin' ye hangin' by the giblets." The taller woman offers, "And I do so like simple plans...'


Air vents:
"That would kill my parents," the girl says softly, looking at the strange glowing green eyes in the near pitch darkness of the transverse vent, "And they've no money for ransom. That's why I'm working my way through school. I don't know what you want so I can't possibly give it. And I don't want to be gutted." She shivers. "You're a monster."

She stands a bare moment in silence, then darts the other way, pounding through the blind dark of the airshaft at a speed driven by panic and adrenaline. A few brief strides and the floor disappears from beneath her feet. She scrabbles at the metal walls as she drops, but there's no purchase, and she disappears into the depths towards the great boiler room of the Clockwork Opera without a sound.


...a young man in a military dress uniform approaches Master Reginald Ichorven, Officer of His Majesty's Service, Department of Otherwordly Citizens. Reginald stands talking to some important citizens and minor nobility making small talk as the soldier patiently waits to be acknowledged. After a moment of smiles displaying perfect teeth, Reginald extricates himself from the conversation and moves to the side of the soldier.

"Lt. Kurtz?" Reginald said.

The young lieutenant nods. "The otherworlder did not emerge from the box. Only the actor Drake Khoth was seen coming out. Should I deploy the sniffer teams, sir? The Jelar hounds will find her for sure."

Sighing, Reginald takes a moment to consider this. He taps one well manicured finger on his chin. "No. Frau Stuptsman would never forgive me if people fled the theater at seeing the Jelar prowling the halls." Not to mention the need to not interfere with the Grimveldt's wetworkers. "We will wait to bring in the Jelar teams until after the opera has let out. We'll track her down in the night away from the theater.

At that moment a small Serv-Bot darts out from amongst the many people and approaches Lt. Kurtz with a sealed note. The soldier accepts it and reads it, an eyebrow raised. Wordlessly, he passes it to Reginald.

Reginald scans it and then lets out a delicate huff of irritation. "It would seem my liaison with Master Ingervan's new bride will have to wait for another night. I must return to the Registry." Looking at the lieutenant, Reginald said, "Go then. Track the devil woman down. But only deploy the Jelar hounds after the opera lets out. Dismissed."

Lt. Kurtz snaps his heels and salutes. Striding away into the crowd, he's already formulating orders for the soldiers and civil servants in the opera house.

Reginald received his coat and signaled for his coach. It was looking to be a long night at the Registry. So many things needed to be seen to. So many things.


Ralph sighs and nods at Cassie "Mil'tary type huh? Dems are a pain." He takes a quick glance towards the box the man went to. "Ma'be he's jus' here ta enjoy da show? As ya know Minx I'm purdy famil'ar wit sneakin around in sum tight places, I could slip inta da vents and see if I cin over'ear sumtin from dem. Might give us a be'er idea 'v whut dey's doin here."

He grins at Cassie "My Minx you know I needs sum intens've trainin, but I pr'fer mine one-'n-one." He winks towards her "'ll see if I cin make shure y'ain't end up with any knives in ya, 'r any pieces missing. I kinda like ya as y'are."


Dance-oholic Minx

"I couldn't force you to squeeze into a tight space," she teases brushing some lint off his arm. "Seriously though, be careful he is cunning. I don't know why he is here, but it could be important."

Cassie looks to Vorian for confirmation; "He should still be recuperating, I broke both his arms. For him to come here so soon it must be important." With a quirk of the eyebrow she asks the Adventurer; "So Vorian are you enjoying your date? Would it inconvenience you terribly if you were to join us?"


Daughter of Gods. Gods! or possibly of aliens.

Spoiler:

In the end, it hadn't taken long to figure out. Running through the dark corridors, she knew every twist and turn and where to find her destination. Her fingers sought instinctively for the pressure plate at the dead end that opened to her room. Her room, where everything was familiar but she could not recall unpacking.

She hesitated a moment, then packed swiftly, taking everything precious. She slipped from the room and fled to the hangar, avoiding everyone and everything. The first garage was empty, but the second was not. She tossed the bag into the ornithopter's storage compartment and fired up the machine. How did I learn to fly? Why would I need to? I am a goddess, not a pilot. Yet fly she did, and well.

Where was the acclimation period they warned of? Why do I only remember waking here, not at home? Lord Rorenson spoke of another like me, and there were destroyed machines on the floor. This makes no sense.

Her course, set without purpose or intent, soon brought her within site of airship lights. And why am I here so unerringly? Is this the Baron? How far can I make it on this 'thopter's fuel?

She slowed and thought. Taraz Rorsenson was not in the nobility I studied in school. So how did I know him? How long has it been since school? And what of this other Rashida, whom he loves? Does she love him? Has she touched a goddess? Whatever the case, she may be compromised. Now what? I need more data. The thought of being part machine was in no way horrifying to one who was raised expecting to be a construct eventually. This was merely a different vessel.

Her decision was swift. She pointed her craft's nose at the dwindling airship and hit the throttle.


...the current owner of the opera house frets over the reports of readings from the steam room. Some of the spirit integrations were still erratic without any reasonable explanation. Gretel Stuptsmann shook here head. Whatever was planned for their elimination better not prevent the procurement process. She needed the emotional energy from the audience to be collected without incident.

She glanced up at the pair of technicians and the eerie construct next to them. Their simple overalls and belts of tools belied the fact that they were not just simple engineers or empathizers. The man and woman showed little emotion visibly, but Gretel could see the sweat trickling down their faces. They were worried she might send a unfavorable response back with them. It was a long walk through the tunnel under the lake to reach the research facility, and an unfavorable response would probably see them both killed at the end of it. Running would be pointless. The strange construct next to them made sure of it. It was their bodyguard of course, as well as de facto jailor.

It was humanoid in shape, nothing more than a brass skeletal structure. Except instead of organs, the construct housed several deadly looking weapons tucked inside the "ribcage" or grafted to the limbs. It was rumored they could even self-detonate, though no one had lived to confirm the truth of it if so. The constructs went by a rather uncharacteristic name: ViSpers. Gretel had never found a technician who was willing to explain its significance.

Gretel wished she had a few of the facility's constructs here. That would keep those unruly singers and actors in line. She chuckled at the notion. The male technician before her desk swallowed nervously.

She raised an eyebrow. "What happens at the facility, hmm? You technicians allows look like Death is standing over you." There was a moment where no one in the room looked at the ViSper so pointedly, it was the obvious elephant. Delicious. Gretel so enjoyed that discomfort.

After another minute, she could tell the technicians were starting to wonder how they could answer. The woman parted her lips, "F-Frau Gre-..."

Gretel waved a hand. "Forget it. This report doesn't look too different than I expect even if it is disappointing." She signed her name to the psychotropic page and then kissed it. The paper's contents vanished. The ink would only resurface once the correct reemergence gas was applied. She slid it into the message tube and held it out to the pair.

"Make sure you advise Herr Doktor Mancini I want him to find out what is upsetting the theater's engines. If he can't solve it, his ability to open those rifts he's so fond of will fail disastrously." Gretel smiled sweetly. "And we wouldn't want my next report to say that my wishes were being ignored, would we?" Gretel knew full well if she suggested such a thing, Luciano Mancini would merely blame the couriers for not providing him the correct documents which would result in the couriers...disposal.

The man took the tube carefully, and said, "I will convey the message myself, Frau Stuptsman." Quickly the pair left. With a small puff of soundless steam and spirit gas, the ViSper followed them. Its joints somehow quiet even if its footsteps were not.

Watching them depart, Frau Gretel frowned. There was an odd feel in the air, and despite the steamfire she shivered. Something was going to happen, and she feared it would disturb the performance. Gretel eyed a button on a panel of her desk. After a moment of hesitation, she pressed it and began to speak.

"Gretel Stuptsman. Code Beta Drei Einz. Initiate..."


Gentleman Adventurer

“That is Princess Veritas, a key member of the League,” Vorian explains to the others, watching the two newcomers carefully. The crowds continued to clear out of the way for them, a mixture of fear and awe in their eyes. “She is certainly in a position to hire Darkov as a personal bodyguard, but for them to be here of all places… it seems far too coincidental.” He shakes his head, having only confused himself further. So are both Veritas and Wolfkrone with the enemy? Or is there something that we’re missing… Looking to the Cassie and the others, he nods. “Yes, perhaps it is best we stay together for the rest of the opera.”


Ralph smirks at Cassie "Why not? Ya paid me sum purdy good m'ney ta do jus' dat din't ya sweethart?" He winks at her "Well I don' wanna makes ya wurry, dough it does make me warm an' fuzzy knowin yer concerned."

"Tru'fully I'd radder jus' keep dancin wit ya, but if I might be more useful ta ya elsewhere maybe dats whut I should do. 'sides what kinda Joe would I be if I find such a nice dame and jus' stand by when dere's a joe who shanked 'er right o'er dere? But y'ain't havta wurry dat much I been hidin from autority fer my whole life, an' I ain't gonna do nottin stupid, but I cin prolly han'le a lil snoopin."

He glances towards Vorian "Course dat means we can' all stay tageder like Ringo says, but if we jus' stay inna group how we gonna know what da Joe's up to? Ain't dat also make it eas'er fer him ta spot us?"


Dance-oholic Minx

Smiling wanly; "Of course I am concerned....you are..." she shakes her head ruefully; "You will be careful, won't you?"

"Veritas!" she exclaims having heard her reputation from other courtiers. Even some libertines quailed at an invitation to her parties. "I'll see what I can do with your lady friend, then you and Drake can join me?"

Putting her hand on Ralph's arm softly, she looks into his eyes as if by force of will she can keep him safe. "Now I would ask you to send a Servo-bot to me if you get in trouble; but there's something else I can do..."

Pursing her lips, their full crimson sensuality opens slightly as she closes her eyes and moves closer to Squirrel. Putting a hand to either cheek she concentrates slowly bringing his head towards her face.

Placing her lips upon his 'third eye' Chakra and whispers softly; "Speak to me." Her body trembles slightly as she feels something flow between them. A special connection is formed, a low binding...

"There..." she murmurs to Ralph "If you get in trouble, call me I'll be there." Cassie stumbles backwards slightly resting an arm upon Drakes shoulder. Her knees feel weak and legs tremble slightly, obviously this has pushed her psychic powers.


Air vents:
Instincts have Ysillith giving chase to the moving prey, even as her mind begins to catch up with her powerful strides.

Even as Alyce is scrabbling desperately for a hand-hold in the dark, Ysillith's preternatural 'Dark-vison' highlights the vents and the shaft the waif is losing her battle with gravity to resist plummeting down.

As Alyce drops into the abyss...Ysillith simply extends a leg against the far wall, the other on the ledge behind her, braces and points an arm downwards.

'Pafph'

(^_^)


Brigadier of Ferrus Lupus

“Please keep that on your person at all times, your Highness,” Darkov says politely, holding out one of the pins that the ticket taker had provided him with. Gently placing it in the Princess’ palm, he elaborates, “It will delay the response time of the opera house’s Tesla defense grid – a safety precaution, of course. I do not believe anybody wants to see you electrocuted.”

“Actually, I can think of quite a few people who would enjoy that spectacle,” Alexia says curtly, bringing the small pin closer to her face. Calmly examining it with an intense gaze, she lets out a sigh when it abruptly blooms into a pale lotus, the letters ‘D’ & ‘G’ nestled amongst its petals. With a giggle of satisfaction, she sets the flower in her hair. Smiling, her eyes wander across the foyer, before finally, something catches her attention. “Oh!”

“Hm? Is something the matter?” the Brigadier asks, raising an eyebrow.

“There are some interesting people are over yonder,” she says playfully, pointing across the room with a glance. “That is Cassandra DuSollier, no? She has quite the harem there. I must say, they all look rather ravishing… I am a little jealous.”

Refusing to acknowledge their presence, Darkov scowls, turning his head away. “They are of no concern to me,” he mutters, struggling to suppress his rage. The decimation of the First Hunting Party had been a complete humiliation. Never before had Ferrus Lupus been forced to retreat from a battle; that they had to do so against a mere band of aristocrats was downright pathetic. That damned dragon… he must have known that it would be there! Was he trying to set me up as well? “You are my charge now, your Highness.”

“Oh, my dear Rabek, what is the matter?” Alexia asks, delicately stroking his cheek with the backs of her fingers. “Your heart reeks with rage, surely you are not trying to hide that from me!” Taking his arm, she begins to pull gently, stepping towards the quartet. “Come now, let us acquaint ourselves with them.”

“Your Highness, this is most inappropriate,” Darkov says sternly, moving along with the princess so as to avoid accidentally harming her. You bastard, is this why you sent me here? What good can possibly come of this? “You must not associate yourself with them, they will only cause you grief.”

“Nonsense,” Alexia replies with nonchalance, a path forming through the crowd as though to lead her directly to her quarry. “They are already quite intriguing, and if they are as dangerous as you say…” A haunting smile creeps onto her features, anticipation filling her mind. Much to Darkov’s dismay, the pair find themselves before the four, presuming none have fled.

“Cassandra DuSollier? Why, this is a pleasant surprise!” she says with familiarity, when she was in fact better associated with her own guest list than this particular woman.

All the while, Darkov remains placate, quietly brooding yet betraying none of his rage. Nonetheless, the urge to strangle the woman was palpable.


Dance-oholic Minx

'There. Until sun-rise; if he needs me he can call out and I'll hear him.' As she starts to recover from the trauma of the psychic imprinting, her hand resting upon Drakes masculine chest. Eye's turning to observe Princess Veritas and Rabek sweeping majestically down the staircase

It seems the whole room falls silent, watching the two groups come together. Then the volume returns to normal; although the palpable tension indicates that many are still observing behind their mask of civility.

Sliding into a subtle fighting stance, the French-noble await their approach with bated breath. Cassie's low bow keeps her vision firmly upon the duo, in body tense for any action.

In his eyes she sees a touch, the merest of hints of trepidation. 'I know it was the dragon that drove him off; but I need to make him as tenuous with me. For another combat could kill us both.'

Her heart pounds against her rib-cage; the stance easing as it takes too much strain upon the body - however her mind ever alert for signs of conflict. "Your Highness, General Darkov. I know, to find you here in town. Simply Divine" the tone light and soft as if old acquaintances meeting.

"That's a gorgeous black dress, elegant and simple. Really brings out your eyes, you Highness. And that stole is magnificent." she says honestly complimenting the Royal. Hoping that her slight anxiety was normal around the Princess, breathing shallowly the French woman reminds herself of her own hereditary and drawing confidence from that.

Proudly stood, she gently remarks; "Don Giovanni, one of my favourites. Over-confidence leading to a fall." she awaits the reply, a pleasant mask upon her face.

"A lady should be judged upon the quality of their escort." she says with a small arched eyebrow to Darkov.


ad hoc mechanics:

Because isn't that the way all good GM's roll?

Chance to hit/miss Alyce with the grappling hook from the top: 50/50.
1d100 ⇒ 88

If a hit, damage:
1d6 ⇒ 1

If a miss, the hook shoots past her in the airshaft and must hit AC 12 to hook.

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

If the grapple fails to hook, she takes 10 m (30') falling damage vs 12 HP (2d8 for expert): 3d6 ⇒ (2, 6, 5) = 13

At -1 HP to start:
Stabilization roll vs DC 11: 1d20 ⇒ 5
At -2 HP:
Stabilization vs DC 12: 1d20 ⇒ 13

Air vents:

Alyce hears the rattle of a grapple as it shoots past her in the dark, bouncing off the walls. She hits the bottom of the shaft with a sickening crunch and thud and lies in a crumpled heap, still breathing.


Male Human

"Your highness." Drake says to the woman while bowing at the waist then putting out his hand for hers. If she gives him her hand he will lift it gently to his lips, look up from under full lashes and gaze into her eyes with his deep chocolate brown before kissing her fingers tenderly, "I am pleased to meet you. Drake Khoth at your disposal. I do hope that your escort has been treating you to the best of everything available. He looks mightily sturdy and is probably well versed in the opera."

He lets go of her hand and stands fully, putting an arm around Cassie's waist, "What brings you here today? It is an unusual time for royalty to come to such a place as this."

Drake smiles at the lady but when he gives her escort a look he gives him a clear expression which tells the man to stay away from his charge then looks back to the royalty with his smile once again.


Ralph tenses a bit feeling something flow between them as Cassie's lips touch him, it's not unwelcome, but unexpected. He looks concerned when she seems quite weakened, but smiles at her "I wuz hopin fer a kiss fer g'luck but I din' know it'd take so much outta ya Minx." He takes off his hat and hands it to her "Wouldja take care o' dis fer me? 's a precious fam'ly heirlum."

Seeing that Darkov is heading out of his box, and is likely to see him Ralph looks for an excuse to be away from the group for a while. A waiter handing out drinks provides what he needs as Ralph arranges to 'accidentally' back into the man causing drinks to splash onto his jacket. After a few angry gestures at the terrified man Ralph indicates to his date that he must take care of this, and with an annoyed stride sets off to find somewhere to dry his jacket.

Once away from the crowd Ralph finds his way down to the boiler room. Looking at the staining liquid on his jacket he sighs softly, not only were these the nicest clothes he's had in a very long time they're currently the only clothes he has. He removes the jacket and rubs at the stain despite knowing it's pointless, at least the heat in the boiler room would serve to dry it nicely.

As he's hanging up his jacket to dry a loud thump in the vents causes him to jump. 'Whoa what was that?' He quickly moves over to the vent taking popping the cover off with a practiced ease, then slipping inside and replacing it before investigating.

Since she had fallen relatively near the furnace and he knew an approximate direction it didn't take Ralph terribly long to find the figure. As his eyes adjusted further in the dark he could tell it was a woman, and she wasn't exactly in tip top condition. He carefully moved over to check on her whispering to himself "Geez 's dat wai'ress dame Minx gave da note to, she ain't in good shape." He peers briefly up the vent she must have fallen from and sighs "Sorry Minx said I'd go spy fer ya, but dis dame needs help inna bad way." He's not really sure how this connection with Cassie works, and may just be quietly talking to himself. Either way he starts trying to get Alice out of the vents as carefully as possible trying not to worsen any of her injuries.


Brigadier of Ferrus Lupus

“Au contraire, Lady DuSollier,” Alexia says, leaning in on Darkov and giving his arm an appreciative pat. The mercenary remains placid, his expression earning a chuckle from royal noble. “It is the gentleman who is only as good as the one whom he is escorting… so it is a shame that some of them have to share.” As she says this she looks hungrily at Cassie’s two companions, wondering for a moment where the third ran off to. She bites her bottom lip lightly for a moment, before breaking out into another smile.

“It is wonderful to hear that you have such impeccable taste in the arts – Don Giovanni has always been a favorite of mine as well. That is why I am here,” she says, batting her eyelashes at Drake as she lends her hand to him. Darkov subtly shifts uncomfortably beneath her grasp. Seeming to miss this detail, Alexia then pouts. “’Tis a shame I missed the first act. Ah, no matter – it will conclude the same way regardless. The self-righteous sinner faces an end bathed in hellfire… an appropriate end for a man, no?”

“Your Highness, the second act will no doubt start soon,” Darkov interjects, offering those before him only momentary glances, as though he were still denying their very presence. “Perhaps we should get you seated…”

“Ah yes, perhaps that would be for the best,” the princess says with a sigh, a hint of annoyance upon her features. She then raises a finger however, an idea coming to her. “Oh, I know! Why don’t the three of you join us in my box for the rest of the show? I am afraid I do not have anything quite so exquisite as the Massris at this particular establishment, but I am sure we could all have a bit of fun together. Do you not think so, Rabek?”

Darkov seems to open his mouth to raise an objection, but beneath the royal’s intense gaze he seems to relent.


Gentleman Adventurer

"Your Highness," Vorian murmurs, bowing before the monarch as well. Unlike Drake however, he does not offer his hand, opting to let the younger gentleman go through the motions. Not that she would care, he thinks, glancing at the princess' lustful smile. He had heard far too many rumors about the ways her parties ended. Needless to say, many that left them were quite satisfied with the experience. Looking to Darkov, the noble frowns. He can't possibly be afraid of us, can he?

Remaining quiet as Alexia directs most of the conversation towards Cassie, it is only at the invitation to her box that he speaks. "Oh, I do not know if that would be appropriate, your Highness..." he starts, seeing nothing good from such a situation.


Dance-oholic Minx

"How kind of you to compliment the gentlemen so." Cassie replies to the Princesses first statement. 'I need to make him afeared of me, for if we are to fight again I need every edge.' she thinks softly trying her machinations.

"I would not wish to invade your privacy." she looks appraisingly and with faux-interest at the General despite the revulsion in her core. "I get very enrapt with the Opera, although you are too generous." she tentatively accepts the offer.

'Inside the lions dens Cassie?'


The dark figure watches Ralph's actions from where it has slid to a halt a few dozen feet above him. It shakes its head at the rough and ready nature the other urchin is crudely man-handling the prone girl's body. With not even a sigh, it waits until the puckish street hustler has hauled the girl out of the shaft and into the adjoining room's space.


"Privacy? Nonsense!" Alexia replies in earnest, resting her hand on her chest, "Some say art is a personal experience, but I prefer it when more than one person can appreciate it together. And besides, some of us can afford to be generous." The tail of her coat nearly sweeping the ground as she turns away, she smiles at the three aristocrats. "You do not have to join us, of course. I am not so crass as to present an ultimatum." With an exaggerated pout, she adds, "But I would appreciate the company."

Looking to the wary Brigadier, she smirks, having thoroughly enjoyed his inexplicable discomfort. Taking his arm in both of her own, she heads off, with or without the others. "Come, let us explore the sensorium..."


Dance-oholic Minx

"Yes, some of us can be generous..." Cassie replies enjoying the feel of Drakes hand upon her waist and she places a hand softly upon Vorian shoulder.

'Clever manoeuvring, to turn it down now would be to appear rude.' her mind calculations options. 'Or prudent!' a small voice says afraid.

Cassie moves after the Princess, her motions languid and not rushed but she still catches the royal up. With a roll of her hips; the tightly stretched satin clinging to the firm curves of her body. "No-one has ever accused me of being crass. I would love to join you. You honour me, your highness... which reminds me:" she leans into the voluptuary and whispers a little ditty.

♪A maiden met a handsome knight,
She proffered her honour;
He honoured her offer,
And all night he was on her & off her.♫

Before she moves away with a light gentle laugh, her whole body is tense with anticipation. "Slightly brut, but never vulgaire."

'Be very careful Cassie, she's as dangerous as Darkov in her own fashion...but what fashion.' The French-woman glides gracefully alongside the other pair, with her escorts (?). 'Now, at least this raises my profile - provided nothing happens to her. Is she a replicant and Darkov will attack her blaming it upon us? It's probably not an ambush?'

Whilst wearing a mask of civility her thoughts whirl, although Cassie does enjoy the verbal sparring. Cassie continues quirking an eyebrow to the pair of handsome men; in askance of what else to do without losing all civility.


Ralph stops for a moment peering up the air shaft he could have sworn he caught a glimpse of some movement. 'There's someone, or something up there I can't make out what in the dark. Maybe they're trying to help rather than the one responsible, I'd rather not stick around to find out.' Wary of the figure in the darkness above him Ralph moves with a deliberate pace but does not rush as long as the shadowy figure doesn't come any closer. Being extremely careful with the severely injured woman he makes his way back to the vent cover.

He grumbles softly to himself as he peers through the vent grating at some overall clad technician who is currently examining Ralph's jacket.

"Those nobles can be so careless... did this guy dump a whole glass of wine on himself? The one glass probably costs as much as they pay me in a year." The man sighs taking the jacket down from where it's hung "Why's it always on me to clean up after them, I'm just supposed to take care of the boiler, well maybe he'll give me a tip."

To Ralph it seemed like the man took forever to leave although it really wasn't that long. 'I guess I better tip that guy especially if I leave this poor lady for him to deal with too.' Once he's certain the coast is clear Ralph opens the grate and climbs down out of the vent gently taking Alyce down into his arms. With a quick look he finds a cot, if his mind wasn't preoccupied with more pressing matters he might wonder why boiler rooms always seem to have cots in them. He moves the woman over to lay her on the cot where he can finally take a look to see just how badly she's hurt.


The girl, for she's clearly not out of her teens, lies immobile where Ralph has arranged her, breathing raggedly, but breathing. Oddly, her hair seems the exact same shade as Cassie's, though cut a bit differently, and there's even a resemblance about the face.

As Ralph arranges her and checks for injuries, he easily spots DRAKE KHOTH written in large, dark letters across the top of the soft swells of her bosom.

Though bloodied and broken, she does not seem to be in any danger of bleeding out. It's difficult to tell how long she will be unconscious.


Male Human

Drake smiles, giving the other two a nod as they speak but his eyes turn to the large escort now and again as he tries to determine weak points in his "armour" for in case in the future. He truly is not thrilled with the man as he can now guess where Cassie may have gotten her wound.

As they walk away he puts his arm around Cassie's instead of around her waist and gives a tiny snort, "What pleasant company there is to see here." He says with disdainful sarcasm.


"A knight, hm? I am afraid I do not get the joke," Alexia says, tapping her chin with a finger. The princess clearly does not mind Cassie's close proximity. "Though, that little ditty reminds me of Lord Ritter here. From the things I have heard, it does present a rather accurate summation of his life story. The important parts of it, at least."

The small group continues toward the box corridors, approaching a flight of stairs.


Brigadier of Ferrus Lupus

Seeing the physical contact between the princess and the DuSollier woman, Darkov sneers, the desire to kill the woman on the spot intensifying. Within Alexia's grasp however, the desire quickly fades, leaving him feeling strangely empty. As the two continue to bicker, he simply remains quiet, moving along with them with a reluctance he is unable to properly express.


Gentleman Adventurer

Vorian resists the urge to twinge when Cassie sings the dirty limerick, wondering for a moment just what the noblewoman was trying to do. He pointedly ignores the princess' remark about him, knowing he could do so since he was not spoken to directly. Had the royal done so... he would not have known what to say. When Cassie directs a glance in his direction, he shakes his head but a single time. She is as dangerous as Darkov in her own way, he thinks, tossing the Brigadier a glance. The man has been strangely placate since they grouped together. I don't like this...


Dance-oholic Minx

'Rashida must not need us, else she would have replied.' Cassie thinks worried about her best, only friend.

A Gallic quirk of the eye-brow as the Princess seems to know of Vorian's past; although it's unsurprising that it might be quite lurid for the handsome noble. With her free-hand she taps him upon the shoulder reassuringly.

Slowing slightly Cassie lets the General and Princess go up first, keeping a trio of steps distance just to ensure Darkov couldn't turn and attack. The French dancer nods to the Princess as they start to ascend, keeping herself alert and eyes away from the waggling royal seat.

A heavy-set figure looks out from the shadows; 'What is he doing there with them. He's in danger! I'll have to save him, I'm sure he'll be grateful.' the person thinks lustfully.

"VORIAN! I thought you were hiding from me!" She squeals shrilly; "You are a naughty boy." The Dowager quickly moves from the landing down the shallow stairway, her ample bosom threatening to spill from the constricting dress as she bounces violently downwards.

Darkov and Cassie tense as the figure comes from the darkness, but assess the threat to be minimal.

Matronly is the kindest way to describe her figure, there is a definite wobble as she pounds down the stairs, causing them to creak. Whilst she descends at more speed than necessary; there shows some slight panic to her eyes. She nearly barrels Vorian off the stairs, just coming to a stop in his arms.

The Dowager looks to Princess Alexia she passed and curtseys; "Highness." she says in a very deferential and cursory manner before bringing her gaze to bear upon Ritter. "There you are, you naughty man. Not trying to escape were you?" she jokes before her eyes lock upon Cassies. Instantly her heckles rise as she coldly looks at the young Noble woman.

"Oh, dear Vorian have you fallen for some young hussy?" she tries to joke but there is venom in her tone, she grabs his arm; "Many a good tune is played on an old fiddle. And like wine women mature well with age, you don't want to enjoy the opera with a slip of a lass. Even if she looks just like me when I was younger." this leaves her Cassie open-mouthed at the lie. "You promised to attend my box! Come on." she takes his hand and virtually drags him down the stairs.

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