There’s been a fairly big to-do in the city today. Something about smoke and explosions near the Academy. That can be… fairly normal but the way people have been talking it wasn’t a simple magical accident.
Aiden Frost is – coincidentally – just recently back at Grans from the Academy. Well, the Academy by way of the Restorium. He’s got a little bandage around his throat that he’s just unwrapping as he walks through the door.
“A bandage isn’t going to keep me from choking Slaine. I’ll be fi-”
The psychic warrior cuts off when he sees who is in the room waiting for him. A feline woman, impeccably groomed. The last time Aiden saw her she’d been looking rather weak but Sanka’a does seem to be doing better.
Physically that is. Her mood looks rather sour. “Mister Frost.”
“//I// didn’t tell ye to wear the bandage, Aiden…” Slaine grumbles as she eyes the psychic. The Crown of Command, a beaten metal band with celtic knotwork engraved on the surface and a green gem set into the front of it, is still on her brow. Aiden should be a little relieved at least, that the gem isn’t glowing.
Though that’s probably the least of his concerns as the feline woman speaks causing Slaine to look at her and immediately smooth her top and pants down.
Even now, with the Crown, Sanka’a can still make her feel like an urchin.
“Sanka’a yer lookin’ better than the last time we saw ye….” She’d addressed Aiden, not Slaine, so the Mystic falls silent.
A big to do is fair enough as a thing that, sooner or later’d, get the gorgon to check it out. Hey, maybe she’s worried about Ingherhast?
Either way, she’s turned up downtown and she’s stopped when she’s noticed Aiden and Slaine because they’re /here/.
“Oi,” she calls to them.
Perched on her usual shelf in the dining room of Grans, Miss Frizz has been a bit more quiet than usual, likely because of Sanka’a being there. It’s not that she has a problem with the felinoid woman, she just has trouble getting past her prey instincts sometimes, and cats or cat-like beings usually do that to her more reliably than anything … except perhaps snakes.
Mr. Vargr is a different story, though, and she quickly skitters to the far corner of her shelf to get a better look at him.
Are those… bruises?
Those are indeed bruises. Aiden looks like he got punched, hard, in the throat. He’s also got blood on his clothes… probably not his. Hopefully not his.
“Miss McClellan.” The Feline woman’s eyes twitch first to Frizz – might be prey instinct or something like that – and then to Elpida.
“To what do we owe the visit?” Aiden thinks he knows.
“I understand that someone blew up part of the Academy trying to kill you.” She says flatly.
“Ah yes. That… Um. Yes. They did…”
Sanka’a sighs and leans forward to rub her eyes.
“Oy. Can someone tell me what happened? Were you there Slaine? Or you, Gorgon?” Frizz the Armsman captain is fairly sure was NOT there.
“Hello Frizz …” Slaine holds out a hand so the mouse can run up it and sit on her shoulder if she wants. “And Elpida …” It’s a tired smile the pair get. Her other hand tries to smooth her hair, which is kind of everywhere after their earlier excitement. There’s splotches of blood on her clothes as well.
“I was, Capt’n. An’ ye can’ blame Aiden for wha’ happened. Blame the CS an’ their treacherous ways.” She grumbles. “Those were Juicers an’ they knew where to look for him. I was goin’ go to talk to the delegation abou’ it.”
“Say what now?” asks Elpida, blinking her eyes. “No, I didn’t have a damn clue. I heard about it, though. Was gonna go check it out and see if… everyone was okay, really.” She eyes Slaine. And Aiden. Openly. Definitely eyeing them. She is somehow not surprisd that they were involved. Especially Ms. Slaine The Trouble Magnet.
<~ Hello, Miss Slaine. ~> Suss accepts the offered hand and scurries along the mystic’s arm to her shoulder, but then clambers along her shirt’s neckline to get to where she can stare at Aiden some more.
<~ Mr. Vargr? You have… spots. ~> Fur. Bruises aren’t something she’s used to seeing. She does turn to look at Slaine again, though, and actually moves back stand up on her back legs and try to help with the hair smoothing. Grooming is something she grew up with and hasn’t really done since she got here. <~ Juicers? Like, people who make juice from fruit? ~>
“Spots? Oh. Bruises. I got hit, Frizz. We’re okay. Lindsey’s okay.” Aiden says. “The Juicers are not. Ingerhast has them… tied up.” And at this point… probably hanging upside down.
“Juicers are… people who use drugs to make themselves superhuman, basically.” It’s a bit more complicated than that but Aiden doesn’t know that Frizz wants to hear the ins and outs about biocomps and drug cocktails or how it inevitably kills the juiced individual.
“The delgation is at the Government hall right now, Slaine.” Sanka’a says. “Which is why I came to speak to you before they got here. I’d prefer if there wasn’t a diplomatic mission. We’re already in an awkward spot since Kailastia has gaurenteed Mister Frost sanctuary in this city…”
She sighs. “What was it you were going to say to them anyway?”
Frizz has got her work cut out for her, trying to ‘tame’ Slaines hair. The Mystic snorts softly in appreciation though. “Thank ye, Frizz….” Aiden can explain about Juicers. It’s not something that Slaine understands beyond ‘enchancements’.
Slaines eyes flash a little as Sanka’a mentions the trouble with Aiden, the gem flashing angrily as well. “After all Aiden ha’ done for this town, so she should. What has the CS done for us? Nothin’ an’ they’d wipe us out if they coul’.” It’s said softly, ominiously, there’s heat to it – but the flash of anger that many would associate with her.
The question though gets a look from her and she sighs as well. “I was goin’ to pin their ears to the wall an’ ask why they had sent an assassisation team to take ou’ Aiden when they had guaranteed his safety as well.” There’s a sideways look at Aiden “He didn’ think it was a good idea that I did. An’ he migh’ be right. But General Sawyer also wanted to meet them, to talk to them. So there’s that.”
“..oh good. Steroid monsters,” mutters Elpida at the explanation of juicers. She pinches the bridge of her nose.
“Well, if there’s anything I can do to help, I’m ready to help. Also, so are my snakes.” The snakes hiss. A few of them do, anyway. She can’t really make them hiss. Okay, they’re always hissing.
There’s no way Miss Frizz could get all of Slaine’s hair under control, not unless the mystic were to either lay down and let Suss faff about in her hair or something similar. But, she can at least smooth out the little bit she can reach. It’s just … a lot more hair that she’s used to dealing with.
<~ The delegation? The frowny people who don’t like anyone but the human servers coming near them or talking to them? ~> She’d been warned not to clear tables when those individuals were about, and it’s just a bit frustrating. <~ If they sent someone to hurt you, Mr. Vargr, I’m tempted to throw them like an ugly mouse doll. ~>
“Those are the people…” Aiden mutters. And yes. They’re probably the ones who arranged for the hit. “Hopefully there won’t be any more assassins Elpida but the Coalition doesn’t look like it’s going away. They’re dug in to the ruins of Washington DC and are scouting something out in the Mountains so we’re most assuredly going to need help with THAT…”
“I’m tempted to put you into protective custody until they’re gone, Mister Frost…” Sanka’a says. “But I don’t have the people for that anymore and I understand you’re working on something for Kailastia. You and I both know that there won’t be any evidence to connect the juicers to the Coalition perhaps beyond the bounty that they’ve put on you. No evidence that the delegation arranged for the hit. I of course rather doubt that this will matter to most of you. If you really wish to confront them it can probably be arranged but it is still rather important to the city that there not be an incident. They’ve got a delegation in Dogwood as well and we don’t need to give them anything they can use to drive a wedge between us and our northern neighbors…”
Sanka’a burshes her hair back and looks up as if considering something. “If you want revenge though I do have an… opportunity. Two of the CS troopers are behaving as if they’re considering trying to defect. It could be a trap but one of them was apparently fascinated with the Miss Gorgon here and Miss Frizz. We’d like to explore options. Any intel we can get might be worth the trouble of shielding a defector… if the offer to leave the CS is genuine, of course.”
“Maybe we should just go, Aiden. Stay somewhere else while the CS are in town.” Slaine mutters as well “With the threat agains’ Gran though, I jus’ can’…” She looks at Sanka’a balefully. “Tha’s wha’ Aiden was sayin’ that they’ll disavow bein’ involved an’ it will jus’ cause problems for ye. Bu’ I’d very much like them to hur’.”
The news that someone might want to defect has her brows rising, lifting the Crown slightly as they do.
“Sounds like Frizz and Elpida would be the best to handle to tha’.” She’s probably labelled for consorting with Aiden as it is.
“…oh good,” groans Elpida.
“I’m not exactly great at diplomacy, you know, but if he wants to talk, I can offer to let him talk.” She puts her hands in her hair. It bites her as usual.
“But yeah, sure, we can do that.”
While Suss is accustomed to people addressing Aiden by conflicting names, she’s never fully understood why. But that doesn’t stop her from wanting to help the others any way she can.
Having smoothed all of Slaine’s hair that she can reach without crawling around on the Mystic’s neck or climbing on top of her head, she turns to face the others more directly and settles.
<~ If one of those people wants to actually talk to us and not just be mean, I’d be happy to talk with them. And if they want to help us in return, even better. ~> And then she’ll throw all of the OTHER people like ugly dolls.
Sanka’a gestures to Elpida as she groans. “This is why I was hoping you would be involved, Slaine. IF we do have a genuine defector on our hands it would help to have someone who knows the city and its ways. And if it’s NOT a genuine defector, it would help to have someone who can snap a man in half on hand. Not that I would ever condone that but you know, exigent circumstances and all.”
Aiden snorts. “Why do I think it can’t be that simple?”
“Because you’re not an idiot, Mister Frost. One of the potential defectors, we have discovered, is a relative to a high ranking expeditionary commander. One that we believe MAY be present in DC.”
“I’m no’ diplomat, Sanka’a and I don’ think they like me much …” Slaine murmurs. “… but I can be there.” There’s also the question of what the Crown is doing to her and whether she can actually control it.
“An’ what if they are related, Capt’n? They wan’ to defect for a reason. Maybe their relatives need to think abou’ that.” No, it’s not that easy but there you have it.
still rubbing the top of her head, Elpida glances torwards Frizz for a moemnt and then turns back to Sanka.
“I can definitely snap someone in two. Pretty sure about it. At the worst, I can make them statues, right? So, ah… anyway,.” She coughs once.
“Yeah. Well. Anything else I oughta know about this?”
Miss Frizz tilts her head a little at Sanka’a. <~ Are you saying you think the ones that want to stay here might be lying about it? And if they are, then can I throw them? ~> Because she is likely fully capable of more than just snapping a person in half, it’s not something that would occur to her at all. Well, unless said person hurts one of her friends and thus angers her enough to make her want to do something that extreme.
<~ I think I’m pretty good at telling when someone is lying. ~> She can smell things most humans can’t, at least. And if the person is lying, wouln’t they be uneasy with her and Elpida there? <~ I’m willing to try, at least. ~>
“Just that the two soldiers in question have been asking questions that lead us to believe they haven’t entirely bought into the Coalition party line on our city – to wit that it is a hive of scum and villainy.” Sanka’a says dryly. The locals would say much the same about Chi-Town.
“It’s not easy but I’m less concerned about their family drama than what it might mean for us. The father might take it… personally. Or believe that we’ve done something.”
They will have. They’ll have talked.
“If you’re willing I will try to covertly arrange a meeting. Best if Armsmen aren’t seen directly involved in this though.”
“I’m no’ sure why.” Slaine smirks “We are … a hive of villainy and scum, that is…” She doesn’t believe that but they aren’t they bright and shiny either. “If they haven’t bought into it, I wonder whether they have abilities they’ve been hiding …” She’s not sure that’s possible, but you know …
“If ye can’ Capt’n, we’ll engineer a situation where they can talk bu’ some assistance will make this go faster.”
There’s really not much more to say. They’re going to do this and … soon by the sounds of it.
“Ahahaha hive of scum and villainy ahahahaha,” is Elpida’s next response. “I can’t believe anyone still says that line.” A pause. She eyes Sanka. She’s guessing it may be a coincidence.
SHe does nod, though, adding, “I mean, I’m sure ya’ll can figure something out some kind of plan to deflect for the defect.” She coughs once.
Suss considers the others planning a meeting that sounds potentially risky. <~ Wouldn’t it just be simpler to invite the two people to a late dinner or an early breakfast here? It’s not like Elpida and I have to travel to be here at any time of the day or night. ~>
Heck, some nights her box bed stays up on that shelf and she sleeps up there. But only when she’s sure that Cohen the feline visitor to Grans isn’t going to be stopping by.
Sanka’a stands up and starts to move toward the door. She’s… not as fast as she used to be. Maybe she’s still getting over her injuries. “Very good then. I’ll see what assistance I can send your way. And Slaine, I’ll want to talk to you and Mister Frost later.”
What about? Good question. But she glances to Slaine’s crown before she leaves.
Aiden sighs and rubs at his throat. “Okay well… I’m… going to sleep while I can.” Because there’s a lot of things he has to handle and doing them tired will be bad.
“I’ll follow the doctor’s orders Half Pint. Don’t worry.”
“Sure things, Sanka,” says Elpida, giving her a squint. She is noticing the … stiffness, of course, but declines to say anything about it.
“I’ll be ready enough.”
Sanka'a comes looking for Aiden to discuss the attempt on his life.
September 08, 2411