Another trip to Vesper for Natsuki, this time with a Crown Prince as her escort. A Crown Prince, a transporter and a Cyborg. She’s not sure who she’s supposed to be meeting, just someone that Stella had found to do a demonstration.
A demonstration of how Vesper might able to help Dogwood – with a view of allying to fight the war that is brewing.
It’s a long shot but Natsu is fairly certain she bring Kai around at least.
They arrived not long ago and the part-elf is being helped from the vehicle they were travelling in by the Prince. “Fair Natsuki, I hope this isn’t another competitor for your favours we’re meeting.” Kai smirks as he holds hand out.
“Prince Kai …” Natsu chides as she checks on the others. “Baldur, Miss Bridger, I believe we’re a few minutes early.”
Trips out here always make Baldur anxious. The very city sets him on edge and he’s not sure if it’s just some weird offshoot of PTSD or something else entirely. So he does his best to ignore it, as usual. It’d be easier if he didn’t attract so much attention from the locals and those passing through.
He hangs back a few steps from Natsuki and the Crown Prince, where he can keep a better eye on things around them. His gloved hands brush his holstered guns with each step, occasionally touching the grip just short of grasping it. He’s wearing his less worn-out leathers and a newer hat to match. None of his stuff stays new for very long, but at a glance one wouldn’t be able to tell too much, at least, and Baldur likes to look respectable when he’s accompanying Natsuki on a professional outing. Whatever that means. Don’t hurt none that they’re also with the Prince as well.
“Early’s better’n late, ma’am,” he comments, glancing over at Natsuki with something of a smirk, or at least the suggestion of one. Keep it calm, keep it cool.
Cutting the truck’s engine, Stella walks around to where Nat and Prince Kai and Baldur have all already disembarked from her truck. Getting the vehicle SERIOUSLY detailed before this little trip was an event. In fact, Baldur might have never seen the vehicle’s interior this completely clean and spotless… ever.
She nods briefly at the trio when the comment was made about being early, then turns and looks around at the various passersby as if searching for someone. “You paid me to get you here on time. You’re on time.” Because early is on time. On time is actually late. A long-standing rule of the Transporters Guild.
They might be early but it seems like someone was expecting them all the same. Striding through the crowd is a tall, grey furred canine man in a red leather duster that sweeps down past his knees. It’s open at the front and people can see the six-gun that’s belted on his left leg. They can also see that his left hand is metal from the elbow down. Cybernetic replacement.
“Bridger.” The Wolfen greets Stella with a sharp smile. “You called? Who are your friends?”
Wait. Stella knows this guy?
Natsu smiles at the pair they’d traveled with “There was no criticism implied in my observation. I’d rather be a few minutes than late, to be honest.”
Kai smirks as he glances around. He really is quite good looking. Blonde haired, blue eyed and for the moment, he looks more like your standard mercenary than the Crown Prince of Dogwood. “Indeed your correct, Miss Bridger. We are right when we need to be here. Now how was it you arranged for us t–”
The Prince’s words cut off as the Wolfen strides through the crowd “That’s a big one…” he murmurs to Natsu. The others will hear him – not Hunter, of course.
“Yes … it is…” Natsu responds, her face a mask of composure. A mask that only falters a little when the Wolfen addresses Stella. There’s a pause as she waits for Stella to do the introductions.
For Natsu, there’s an order to things.
Baldur’s orange gaze shifts towards the tall figure approaching them, bringing a hand up to tilt the brim of his hat up with a finger. Sizing him up, perhaps. It’s only when the Wolfen speaks Stella’s name that the cyborg glances over at their transporter friend, head tilting just a touch.
“You know this guy?” he asks her, and not unkindly. More curious. It’s not like it should be a surprise after all, Stella’s stomping grounds are this city after all, aren’t they?
DUH. Stella nods to Hunter then gestures the people with her. “Hunter Greymane, remember the people from Dogwood I said would want to meet with you about consulting for some specialized weaponry?” She doesn’t drop names, not out here in the open. She knows better than that. “Maybe we can step inside for a drink and a quiet place to talk?”
Please follow her lead, she mentally tries to convey to the three Dogwoodites. It’s not worth kicking up a fuss.
Hunter nods and gestures for Stella to lead the way. He’s got his hand resting casually on the butt of his weapon, which leaves his elbow a bit cocked out.
Indoors looks like it’s one of the many wine bars that dot Vesper. Or, well, it is. This one had been chosen specifically for the prince. It’s rather nice inside.
Hunter looks kind of out of place.
“So what brings you fine folks into town?” He gets that Stella wanted them to meet him but actually in town? These look like rather fancy folks. “You didn’t tell me you’d be bringing the prince and princess and the royal guard.”
That’s clearly a joke, since he referred to Natsuki as Princess. People don’t really know Kai’s face and Hunter would have no reason to recognize the man. But he knows heavy Artillery when he sees it and that’s Baldur.
“Nice to meet you Miss. Sir.” That’s to Nat who gets offered a furry hand. Then Kai. Then… Baldur.
“Armored Infantry, yeah? How long you been in service?”
“We would certainly like a drink.” Kai says amiably, holding an arm out for Natsu as they walk. The part-elf rests her hand on his elbow as she looks at Hunter. She’s been here before, but it’s still jarring to see D-Bee’s like this.
For herself, she would pass as a citizen – if her clothing didn’t betray her. It’s probably noticeable to both Stella and Baldur, the part-elf is looking more elfin lately.
“My apologies, Mister Greymane, for the lack of information we could give about our arrival. I am Natsuki Taniguchi and this is Kai Bennett.” the part-elf takes Hunters hand, which makes hers look small, he won’t miss the bracelets she wears and might forgiven, if he recognises their significance, for making an assumption.
Kai chuckles good-naturedly at the comment “You almost have that right, Mister Greymane but fair Natsuki here is far more than a princess, she is a Queen don’t you think?” He shakes the Wolfen’s hand, watching Hunter warily. “We are here, I believe, to see a demonstration of fire power. One that might lead to … something more between Dogwood and Vesper.”
Hunter shouldn’t miss the last name, Natsu gave. The Bennetts are the ruling family of Dogwood.
More than willing to follow someone else’s cue, mainly because everyone except maybe Prince Kai’s got more experience in this city than he does, Baldur waits for the others to step in after Stella’s lead. He casts a passing glance at Hunter before entering the bar, and by far it’s more fancier than any place he’s ever been in himself.
Baldur may look just as out of place in a bar like this, but he doesn’t seem terribly put off by the posh surroundings as he emits a whistle in admiration, glowing gaze roving the premises. His attention circles back to the others as Hunter makes his quip, a snort of amusement escaping him. He can’t help but chuckle a little as Kai responds in typical Kai fashion. When that furred hand is offered he reaches over with his gloved one for a solid handshake.
“Name’s Baldur. And I’m guessin’ that’s what I amount to these days,” he confirms, giving a nod at the question of being armored infantry. He’s definitely armored and acting the part of a soldier seems to be permanently ingrained into his being. His orange optics flicker just beneath the brim of his hat, a crooked smile suggested with the slightest angle of his head. “You familiar with the Hinterlands War, son?”
And, while introductions are being made, Stella becomes the odd person out. She VERY clearly does not fit in with the typical clientele of this particular establishment even though she’s wearing her cleanest outfit. It is a bit of relief when Natsuki and Prince Kai introduce themselves more informally than they are likely used to, and Hunter and Baldur start sounding like they’re on the verge of swapping war stories.
Yeah. Don’t mind her, she’s just a has-been race car driver turned glorified taxi service. Maybe she can get away with sneaking back out to her truck and waiting there.
Hunter doesn’t seem to be about to let her get away with that. Not when the name ‘Bennett’ is mentioned. “Bennett. Bridger, you brought the ACTUAL prince of Dogwood here to meet a dog?” Well, wolfen. “I’d laugh if it weren’t quite so concerning. Did I short you for one of my bot parts are something?”
The way Hunter’s voice turns dry and the way he looks at Stella it’s clear he’s seriously concerned that he’d done something wrong and this is her way of getting back at him. And it’s a hell of a way to do that.
“You could say she’s queenly yes. Especially in that outfit. What did you say your name was Miss?” Hunter’s focus on Natsuki for the duration of that question might be slightly… uncomfortable.
“Hinterlands War yeah. I’ve heard of it. Was a bit before my time though.” It was seventy years ago after all. Hunter knows that cyborgs live a long time but-
“GREYMANE! I KNOW YOU’VE GOT FILTHY DOGWOODERS IN THERE WITH YOU!” That comes from the street and makes Hunter groan slightly.
“DON’T TRY DENYING IT! I RECOGNIZE THIS TRUCK!”
Oh no. Do NOT touch Stella’s truck.
Natsu waits quietly as the rest of the introductions are done before continuing “Miss Bridger was kind enough to …” She looks out to the street where the yelling is coming from. “Don’t … ” that’s to Kai, very quietly but firmly.
Kai’s sharp blue eyes turn out to the street “Sounds like trouble and it sounds like you know them, Mister Greymane.” There’s the faintest of smirks in Natsu’s direction “Fair Natsuki, I wouldn’t *dream* of it. But don’t you think we should have a look?” There’s a look to Baldur by the Prince. The cyborg can check, at least.
Stella should be thankful that Baldur hasn’t looked to make himself comfortable at the bar or ask for an empty mug. Or glass, probably, it being a wine bar and all. He’d probably break it between his fingers. But no, Baldur’s on the job and he seems fine enough remaining on his feet while the pleasantries are passed along.
The cyborg nods knowingly at Hunter. He’s an old soul, assuming his soul’s still somewhere included with all the wiring and plating that makes up his body. He’s heard that the mind and the soul are linked if not interchangeable in some lore, and his mind’s the only real bit of him left from who he used to be, his only proof in the fragmented memories and his dashing personality. It’s not something he’s ever thought to question otherwise, clinging so stubbornly to what he has.
The sudden shout has him whirling instantly, a pistol in his grip like it’s jumped automatically into hand for how smoothly it’s just appeared. There’s a couple of seconds before he holsters it again, deciding that it’s probably in their best interests not to shoot anyone right off the back.
“If it’s not one thing it’s the other,” he mutters, seeming to scowl towards the doorway. He catches the look from Kai, glancing towards the both of them before he fixes his hat and strides towards the doorway and on out to have a look.
“All right, who all’s out here makin’ that racket!”
Okay, a bit more than a look.
Stella looks like she’s regretting this already when Hunter recognizes Prince Kai’s name. “No, you didn’t. Prince Kai spoke the truth.” That he’s wanting a demonstration of technomancy-enhanced weaponry.
And then someone’s bellowing outside, and they just mentioned HER truck. She turns as well — but not as fast as Baldur — and pulls her sidearm though she keeps it loosely at her side for the moment. “Stay with your charges, Baldur. I’ll deal with this.”
She doesn’t bother yelling out the door, she just goes out there, raising her sidearm in her left hand the moment she’s outside. Anyone daring to so much as TOUCH her truck is getting shot. And she’ll be completely justified in doing so, since her vehicle is officially registered with the Transporters Guild.
“Well you come at a good time. Matthew…” That’s to the barkeep who grabs something from behind the bar and tosses it to him.
“Doesn’t Vesper have very good law enforcement?” Kai murmurs as Stella goes out. “That looks a bit like a small mob.”
It is. Well maybe more a gang than a mob. A number of very obvious D-Bees. A few of them are armed. Some of them just look really tough. Three of them are standing by Stella’s truck and one of them has a club.
“You gonna miss the fun there?” Hunter says as to Baldur as he steps outside.
“That’s a transport guild truck. I wouldn’t.” The wolfen warns.
“Doesn’t matter.” A dark elfin looking man retorts. “Dogwood folks ain’t welcome here. And I want a talk in private with THAT one when it’s done.” He points to Natsuki whom he can see past Stella and Hunter.
Hunter rolls his eyes. “No need to go easy on ’em.” He says to the less metallic of the two cyborgs.
“Taniguchi…” Kai adds to Hunter. “Her name is Taniguchi. The fairest elf in all the land.” Natsu rolls her eyes, her face still composed not giving any indication of the tension that she’s feeling.
The dark-elfin looking man has Natsu pausing behind the group. She hasn’t forgotten the ‘contract’ that’s on her. It’s the it’s though that finally gets to her. She tenses, breathing in sharply.
Kai’s eyes narrow as well. “And you think we could reach agreement with Vesper still, Natsu?” He doesn’t leave her side, at least not yet, though his fingers curl over the hilt of the pistol that he carries.
Despite his limited facial movement Baldur certainly pulls off a look of annoyance rather well. He glances from Stella to Natsuki and Kai, as though seeking silent permission. And then he seems to think better of it as he figures it being his job to keep them safe, taking care of the problem outside one way or another falls right into it.
Besides, they should all know him well enough by now that he’s not one to just stand by and do nothing, and even Hunter’s got the right of it. “Hell no!” he snorts, stepping out shortly after him.
He glares at the elven man calling out Natsuki, even as he calmly slides his right pistol from its holster, giving it a lazy spin. “Don’t know what you mean by ‘done’, boy, but I doubt you’ll be much for talkin’ soon enough. You gotta get through me to get to them, and that’s only if you get past -her- first,” he says, nodding towards Stella. “You done dug your graves an’ didn’t even know it.”
Hunter said to not go easy on them, so Stella doesn’t. Using the targeting system that links her left arm to her cybernetic eye, she snaps off a shot at the dark-elf while walking steadily toward the mob and her truck. “The people here are under the protection of the Transporters Guild.”
“All of you. Leave. Now.”
The shot gets the dark elf to blink, stumble and fall back on his butt. Three of the group peel off and decide this isn’t worth it. That still leaves nine or ten of ’em.
“You wanted a demonstration? Just you watch this.” Hunter says to Kai as the guy near Stella’s truck raises the club.
It sounded like one shot but the three nearest the truck are all near simultaneously shot in the knee with shards of what seem to be hardened ice. Magical weaponry? This is it. And a finer gunwolf you couldn’t ask for in Vesper.
That sets things off to the races though. Baldur, Stella and Hunter all get rushed. But the dark elf? He slips around the side of the scrum and makes straight for Natsuki with a wicked looking knife.
“Awfully sure of himself isn’t he?” Kai murmurs to Natsu. He seems to be *almost* enjoying this and perhaps he would if he wasn’t quite so concerned for his companion. “You’re awfully sure of yourself.” He grins when Hunter fires “And I can see why.”
His pistol is drawn and he nods to Baldur. “I have the fair Natsuki, go… and trust me, I’ll treat her like the treasure she is. I do not want to fight a duel with her intended if any harm should befall her.”
He positions himself in front of her, putting her back to a wall, but not before Natsu looks around and picks up a length of metal from beside the door.
Baldur hasn’t gone too far from the doorway. With Stella intent to prove a point and doing exactly that, and Hunter backing that up with his own demonstration of his skills with a gun, the cyborg hasn’t seen any reason to crowd it up. Besides, he’s got a job and he’d said it himself; they have to get past him to get to Natsuki.
Kai’s assurance gains the prince a salute, and perhaps a hint of a smirk. He wouldn’t want to face down an angry Jericho either. There’s that whistle again, this time at Hunter’s being a crackshot. “Nice!” he shouts, but that’s as much as he gets to as it sets everything in motion almost instantly.
His own pistol goes off, and he fans the hammer as he fires a volley of shots at a respectable speed, taking a step back. His internal systems track the quick movement off in his peripheral, and he breaks off his attacks to intercept the elven man–
By snaking out an arm to clothesline him as he makes for the doorway.
Okay, warning shot given. No more chances. When the mob rushes them, she switches her pistol over to her right hand and fires at the thugs while she punches left-handed at anyone who gets close enough. She doesn’t notice the dark-elf still trying to make a break for Natsuki, but then, that’s why Baldur is there.
She’ll of course have to report this back to the Guild, and reports don’t typically get ignored.
There’s no one here who is especially skilled at anything. Stella issues a thrashing, well a shooting. One does get close enough to get punched but no one else does. Hunter punches a couple out almost with a roll of his eyes and Baldur, well, he clotheslines that elf.
The elf glares up at him, then shadows swirl around him and he disappears, and does not return.
It’s all over in about thirty seconds. Hunter looks almost disgusted. But Stella’s truck? Totally untouched.
“Idiots. Sorry Bridger. Most folks know better than that even here.”
“Are their highnesses ok-” That’s to Baldur but Hunter gets cut off as literal hoofbeats precede a squad of centaur justicars clattering into the square. “What the actual…” One look at Stella and her guild truck is all the police need to start arresting the morons that just got shot and punched. Their day isn’t getting any better.
“Well not the kind of demonstration you wanted Bridger, but maybe that’ll work?”
Or did they want him to do it… for an audience?
“Well played, Sir! Well played.” Kai is having entirely too much fun here though, he is standing rather protectively just in front of Natsuki. “And I think I’ve seen enough for a demonstration but I’d like to talk more about specifics. How big and how far those things will work.”
“Good job, Baldur. I’ll be sure Baronet Trent is aware of what you did. Fair Natsuki, are all the lovely hairs on your head unharmed?”
Natsu sighs and puts the rod back by the door where she found it. She’ll let Baldur answer the question that Hunter directed to him. Will they be able to do this? Or will Vesper be just as toxic to Dogwood as Dogwood is to it?
“Are you unharmed, Miss Bridger?” She asks instead.
“How d’ya like that! Didn’t even say good-bye!” Baldur snorts, rolling his shoulder as he holsters his gun, and that only after looking around to make sure the elf didn’t try for another sneak attack. He glances at Stella and Hunter, and then back towards Natsuki and Kai before giving the prince a nod. Then he turns his head back towards Hunter. “They’re all right. Nice job Bridge. Greymane.”
The commotion that follows has him looking past the Wolfen as the Justicars arrive, and it’s only because they’re in uniform that he doesn’t go for his gun again. Instead he folds his arms, watching as they set to work before he steps back inside to rejoin Natsuki and the prince.
“Fine.” She sounds, well, annoyed. “I’m gonna talk with the Justicars about this. You should go back inside.” Her eyes include Hunter in that statement, and then she turns to go deal with the local guards. She has every intention of making sure these morons get everything coming to them for attacking her and threatening her truck.
Hunter nods to Bridge. Oh no one wants to piss off the Transporters. In order to keep in their good will Vesper will be more than happy to make sure they get what’s coming to them.
Hunter turns to head back in side. “Who didn’t say goodbye? I don’t think I caught your name by the way, soldier.”
Once inside he tosses the weapon back to the barman and looks at Kai and Natsuki with a lupine smirk.
“A sufficient demonstration of Vesper Prowess for the royal pair?” Pair. Yes. He did call them that.
“I am not a royal, Mister Greymane.” Natsuki says calmly as Kai leads her back inside and to the table. She’ll let Baldur answer the other questions, or get them after. “And Kai and I are not … a pair. Or a couple or … anything like that.”
Kai returns the Lupine smirk gesturing for Baldur to join them at the table. “Alas no, fair Natsuki has broken my heart and given her affections to another. I must pine for her beauty from afar.”
“Kai. Stop it.” Natsuki says quietly. She’s still a little shaken. By the dark elf and what he called her.
“But yes, Mister Greymane.” Kai touches Natsu’s arm consolingly. “That was an effective demonstration. Are you able to do similar things when you have a horde of demons falling on you?”
She might not catch it for her intent to speak to the Justicars, but Baldur tosses a wave Stella’s way as she excuses herself. He glances at Hunter. “Eh, the idiot who thought to take a knife to my employer,” he says before chuckling a little. “Guess you missed it. Maybe your fancy gunslinging’s hard on your hearing. Like I said b’fore, the name’s Baldur.”
He strides over to pull himself a chair at Kai’s invitation, his gaze shifting towards Natsuki. He’d like to reach out himself, but maybe it might be thought improper and besides, she’s got the prince trying to comfort her, at least. Kai can do his part and Baldur will stick to his guns, figuratively and literally, if anyone else decides to give them, and especially Natsuki, trouble.
“I didn’t realize afar was two feet.” Hunter says, sitting down rather heavily and signalling for a wine. No he doesn’t look like he belongs in here but right now he wants a drink and no one in here is going to say no.
“I can, yes. Though I much prefer to use heavier weapons when I do. I was a rep for Northern Gun, so that’s my artillery of choice. But there are people here who can do that and so much more. And weaponsmiths here who can make that element gun like like a toy.”
Northern Gun. Baldur will know that name. They make guns, armor and bots. His kind of toys, really.
“Nice to meet you Baldur. I’d offer to buy a drink but it doesn’t look like you much do.”
Hunter gives Natsuki a rather searching look. It’s like he can sense her discomfit. Likely smell it. And having the big predatory fellow looking at her like that probably won’t help.
“Not a pair then. I see…”
Kai just smirks at Hunters quip. “Two feet is li–”
“Kai.” Natsu interrupts him.
The Crown Prince just smirks some more, nodding as Hunter orders wine. “The fair Natsuki has convinced me to consider allying with Vesper to … stand against the threat that is coming from the mountains. We don’t know much about it, but it’s driven entire psi-stalker communities to our borders.” Natsu gets a look for that. Hunter might be forgiven for starting to believe her name was “the fair Natsuki”. “And laid waste to settlements as well.”
Hunter’s regard of her, has Natsuki’s chin tilting upwards. No, she’s not happy – but it wasn’t him that had made uncomfortable. Until now that is. “No, we are not. I am … contracted… to the Baronet Trent of Guild House Trent.” Contracted. But hadn’t someone said ‘intended’. “And I’m the Estate Manager for my cousin, Lady Zelda Taniguchi, of House Taniguchi.”
Hunter’s rejoinder to Kai’s spouting over Natsuki gets a slip of a guffaw from the old cyborg. Baldur smothers it down to a snicker as he makes himself comfortable in his seat. His head and hat tip up slightly at the mention of Northern Gun, optics flickering in recognition of the name.
“Back at you, son. Yer solid- who taught you to shoot like that?” At the offer and subsequent supposition of his ability to drink, Baldur gives a rueful shake of his head. “Not so much these days,” he jokes, “-but the offer’s appreciated.”
Hunter grins and pats his side where his six gun still is. “My sales area used to be out west, past the Coalition States. That’s rough country and occasionally I had to demonstrate the goods. Or defend the goods.” Some of it is probably his cybernetic hand. Baldur will know that. But he’s got a natural talent for gunslinging.
“Contracted are you? I think they write romance novels about that. If you want to ally with Vesper though why are you talking to me? I mean, Baldur there can do everything I could do. And if he isn’t quite as fast I’m sure that’s nothing a hardware upgrade wouldn’t fix. Or did you all just want to talk with someone who had fur and a tail?”
“Is that why you dragged us out here, Natsuki?” Kai just can’t help himself as he winks at Baldur. “If only I’d known I’d have dressed up for you!” beat “I hear it’s rough out west, Mister Greymane. You are very talented, that I can see.”
Natsuki gives Kai an inscrutable look and doesn’t blush before turning her attention to Hunter “Baldur can, yes. But he’s only one of a handful that Dogwood has.” She takes her time, meeting Hunters eye and holding his gaze. “No one knows we’ve come here to do this. I wanted to convince Kai that Vesper could help us, before we took the next step or convincing the rest of the Dogwood nobility.”
She’s playing … politics. But strangely, she’s being very honest about their intent.
“Before we can even can mount a diplomatic envoy to Vesper, the Lords and the Crown must agree to do so. Kai, will help me do that, won’t you Kai?”
Kai nods slowly “Natsuki is correct. I wasn’t convinced Vesper might be able to help us. Now … I might be. Would you be willing, Mister Greymane, to do a demonstration in Dogwood if you were invited?”
Baldur gets a look from the Crown Prince. “You would be required too, Baldur.”
“That’ll do it,” Baldur nods understandingly, if not at least mildly impressed at what Hunter’s suggesting he’s capable of. He’s never been anywhere past the Appalachians but there’s stories enough about the lands beyond, and he imagines it only gets tougher the farther out you go. Truthfully he hadn’t even known there was anything beyond the Coalition States, not that he’d say so.
He might preen just a little at Hunter’s comparing of his skills, although his eyes flicker a little at the mention of upgrades. “You sayin’ I’m old?” he grumbles, if half in jest. He knows he could do for some upgrades. It’s a constant reminder every time something ends up locking up if he finds himself knee-deep in demon hordes or say, jumping on an ogre-sized one’s head.
Still, for the most part he believes himself to be outside of the main talks that Kai and Natsuki have come to discuss here, and so he’s a bit startled when the Crown Prince addresses him again. The cyborg sits himself straighter as though he’d been caught dozing. “Required for what now?”
“Just that you could use an oil change, old timer.” Hunter grins as he retrieves a coin – it’s round so it must be a Dogwood Crown – and walks it between his knuckles. His arm was designed for speed, dexterity and accuracy which is why he’s so good with it. Of course he was a good shot before then. It just took him from good to REALLY good.
“I’d be willing to come there yes. I can make it there on my own but are you sure I wouldn’t ruffle feathers there?” Hunter knows that it’s perfectly legal to be a D-Bee in Dogwood and that they have rights but he is CONSIDERABLY inhuman.
And it might annoy the knights when he shows up in a bot nicer and newer than anything most of the nobles have. Not that he’s mentioned that quite yet.
“I imagine, Baldur, they’d want you to protect me if things went wrong.” The wolfen grins.
“Baldur is very well maintained, thank you sir.” Natsuki says, the faintest of a smile tugging at her lips. She’s putting the fight behind her but she’s not forgotten there was another dark elf coming for her. Maybe it’s time she saw her grandmother.
“You’ll ruffle feathers, Mister Greymane.” Kai answers “That won’t be helped, I’m afraid. Dogwoods sentiments to D-Bee’s and Magic Users run deep. Some of us still remember when Kailastia sat on our borders with an army.” They’ll be old, but they’ll tell stories the young ones remember.
“I intend to convince them, that it’s Vesper or the Coalition. We can’t be fighting whatever’s coming from the mountains and either of you. I think the same will be true for Vesper.” Kai looks at Baldur “To show how the cities can work together.”
“Hah! -aw shut up,” Baldur snorts, looking for a moment like he’s searching for something to throw at the Wolfen, even if in good nature. However that works.
The orange glow of his optics go in and out like a blink, and he fixes Hunter with a look at the suggestion for protection. “Keep sayin’ that up and there’ll be no helping you,” he warns, head canting in that angle that makes it look like he’s smirking, even as he jerks a foot out to give Hunter’s chair a bit of a nudge.
The cyborg glances at Natsuki. “Thank you. See, I know who appreciates me around here.”
The silence that follows seems to fall all too quickly as Kai touches upon the events of the war over half a century past. Tracing patterns on the table with a finger, Baldur forces himself out of that rut of memory with a snort. “I mean, what can I say, even I still have problems with that. Just bein’ in this city makes me feel itchy- although I dunno that that’s necessarily from bad memories. It was bad, I can relate, but hey, I’m still here an’ just because someone made some dumb decisions in the past don’t mean everyone in the present needs to do the same thing.”
He pauses, wondering if he’s said more than he should as he glances awkwardly between Kai, Natsuki and Hunter. But as Kai explains his part in things, Baldur does offer a curt nod, even as his attention seems to be fixated back upon the table again.
Hunter’s seat creaks a little as it scrapes on the floor when nudged and he smirks again. “I’m told there’s no helping me now…”
The wolfen rolls his shoulder. “I’ll come. Set it up. Let me know. I’ll make an entrance I promise you that. Just remember I’m just a poor working wolf. I don’t do well with duels for honor and such. Out west we just settled those with…” He pats his weapon.
“Well, shall we drink to it? Is there anything else you needed?”
“You will be compensated, Sir.” Natsu says quietly, placing a hand on Baldur’s arm as he gets awkward. “And thank you. We have some work to do first and that might take a while….”
“It will. If we want this to work, we need solid foundations.” Kai agrees. “Let’s drink to that and …” the blonde prince smirks and looks unrepentant, “The fair and cruel Natsuki.”
They’ll stay for a bit but they must get back. The real work on this is about to begin.
Natsuki travels to Vesper accompanied by Baldur, Stella Bridger, and the Crown Prince of Dogwood, hoping to gain some footing towards an alliance between the two cities.
April 21, 2412