Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Greebs on Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:51 pm

Molly stood firm off to one side, riding the adrenaline roller coaster as Ramona made her move, comfortable to loom disquietingly in her peripheral vision rather than make a move.

She was a Rookie.

She was Out of her league.

Piss off.

Gideon had this.

And if he didn't, he could always cry out for help.

Heh...

The pissed off, out of her league rookie, awkwardly jerked her head to one side, tossing a trail of long white hair out, as the domino that had set off this chain of events righted itself behind the Summer Courtier.

Weird. For all her almost adolescent proportions - all gangly arms and legs, Molly normally managed to move with a deliberate, eerie grace...
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Saeyer on Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:56 pm

Mercurial as the wind, Sylvia's interest in Kevin, and his card game, plummeted as soon as the words 'my dear' passed his lips. Her motley mates could get away with that shit, each to their own degree, but it rankled from the man in the suit. But he was right about the show, things between Ramona and Gideon hadn't shaken out the way she had thought they would.

She got what Ramona was doing. Or at least, she imagined she did. Power dynamics were fucked all over the place, since the attack: folks who had allowed the structure of life in the Freehold to help them come to a kind of equilibrium were adrift, violently reminded that the past had long arms. Nothing was ever quite as far away as they hoped. Some took control where they could find it, flexing the power they had to comfort themselves at others' expense.

Whatever Gideon's deal was, he was obviously successful at being a dick. He'd drawn a weapon on their motley mate, too, which the Fairest couldn't imagine Ramona would be quick to forgive. What Sylvia herself found hard to forgive, was the lack of Summer solidarity. They weren't chasing the Ogre off, but they weren't backing her up either: they were letting Autumn walk all over them at their own event, proving that the seasonal balance really was askew. While it technically wasn't any of her business, that had never stopped Sylvia before. And besides, before Ramona had been her motley mate and obnoxious voice of duty, she had been something like a friend.

"Thanks for the advice," she said to the pit at large, nonchalant, "But unfortunately, don't think I can take it." Saluting Kevin with the card, she handed it back. Sweet Sylvia stood and stepped out of the pit, avoiding Kyle's eyes lest he interpret a look as a call to back her up; it was equal parts desire not to pressure him, and thinking about how cool she would look if this worked out solo. Well, maybe 40/60.

Her pace was sedate, the half-finished beer bottle dangling from her fingers as if she were merely headed for a new cluster of friends. "Y'all have a weird concept of party games." Ignoring Hailey completely, Sylvia rested her forearm on one of Ramona's shoulders, trusting that her words a few steps earlier had been enough of a warning. Even then, she picked the shoulder that wasn't attached to the gun arm. "I know it's the first time we've all been together in awhile," she continued, smiling wryly up at Ramona, "But I was hoping we could have a beer, catch up, and then get in a fight. You don't mind, right?" Almost as if she were only just noticing him, her eyes moved innocently to Gideon. "'Cause, like, if you want her to just shoot you and get it over with, that's cool, I can wait."
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by InvertedMonkey on Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:52 pm

The shot has the true feeling of one you know is going to hit, and the probes smack dully into Gideon’s chest, and what happens next… is something that falls somewhere between jack and shit. Oh sure, the electricity surges through the thin wires, crackling the air, but the asshole doesn’t seem to care much. Ramona frowns, but doesn’t flinch, at this development, unwilling to be distracted. Except that the moment is apparently enough for someone to sneak around behind her back. She had tried not to allow that, but apparently she had not succeeded. Ramona can’t see Hailey, but if Ramona had been engaging this situation the way Hailey is, it would indicate that she had a weapon leveled. Or in an Autumn courtier’s place, maybe a contract, or some other magical brouhaha.

Too late to spot Hailey anyway, she keeps her eyes, and gun, on the simian man. If nothing else, to buy time. She’s still trying to work out a way to safely get out from between two potentially hostile Changelings when another motley-mate makes her presence known. It gives Ramona enough time to check the reflex to treat the sudden physical contact as an attack and respond appropriately. Thankfully, Sylvia isn’t interfering with Ramona’s gun arm. Her eyes flick aside to the Fairest, just for a moment, before returning to Gideon, as Sylvia’s words land.

She’d been prepared to escalate this, until Sylvia and Hailey became involved. Having Sylvia here complicates matters. She isn’t a fighter, and has never wanted to be. If this comes to violence, she’d be at risk, Ramona would be split between fighting off her opponent and protecting Sylvia. And with Hailey involved, Ramona’s opponents may be newly plural, and outflanking her. Yet Sylvia’s presence also acts as a break on the steadily rising tension, her relaxed and unconcerned posture totally at odds with the potentially mortal conflict Ramona and Gideon are engaged in. It wouldn’t be hard exactly to pull the trigger on the monkey-man with sweet Sylvia hanging off Ramona’s shoulder, but it would be… uncomfortable.

“Tasing you seemed preferable to shooting you,” she replies to Gideon after a long breath of silence. She holds the weapon’s sights on his center-mass for a long moment before slowly lowering the firearm. “If you ever draw a weapon on my motley again, I won’t repeat the mistake. I’ll shoot you on the spot.” The last sentence is implied, but she adds it in anyway, in case he’s as stupid as his previous actions suggest. Though somehow she imagines that malice is more a factor than ignorance, here. Still, it pays to make one’s self clear. ‘Set yourself on fire,’ one teacher had told Ramona, ‘That way it’s their own fault if they get burned.’

Ramona pops the useless spent cartridge out of the taser gun, letting it fall into the grass trailing the wires still connected to the probes in Gideon's chest. After holstering the empty taser she snakes her free hand between herself and Sylvia and around Sylvia’s waist and steps to the side, moving both of them out from between Gideon and Hailey, and a few steps back. It might look like giving ground, but she’s sure as hell not going to put pride above safety. And it finally lets her get eyes on Hailey. She hasn’t holstered her gun yet, but it is pointed at the ground. All she aims at Hailey is a hard glance, and a few steely words. “It may benefit us both in the future if you remember;” her voice deepens, taking on a growling quality, and hoarse like slabs of rough stone grinding against each other, “A smith is not all that I am.”
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by ST McDude on Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:33 pm

Gideon let only a small smug smile touch his face as he wordlessly made a point of casually fixing his suit. Once finished he re-assumed his position prior to the entire altercation and went back to slowly scanning his surroundings.

Hailey for her part didn't even flinch at Ramona's words, once she'd said her piece and began to walk off she chimed in with: "It was never about your capabilities, Smith." Without another word she stepped back and to the side a little, a wordless dismissal.

**********

Kevin flashed a smile at the others in the pit after the summer courtier left. Mischievousness abounded in that one look as he still seemed to only be holding one card. "So....The Blind Pauper ruleset?" he said while twirling his one card in the air.

Bob let out a long sigh. "Dude, this is why you have no friends. Can't you come to these things just once and not be a dick?"

Kevin just waggled his eyebrows as he took a drink from his beer.

***********

After seeing the figures across the clearing begin to break up, Dominic stood back up and slung his weapon across his back. Today was clearly going to be one of 'those days'.

As Silus perused the food area he heard someone exclaim next to him, "WOW! I've never seen anyone stand up to Gideon like that! From Autumn as well no less! You must be a powerful sorcerer or something....right?" Amy had left behind the drink stand for the moment and had fixated on the Autumn.
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Saeyer on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:07 pm

Gideon's smug face was obnoxious, but Sylvia let the fact that he didn't seem capable of mustering a sufficiently smug comeback to comfort her a little. A very little. She allowed herself to be moved by Ramona and exerted conscious effort not to let her head sag or her eyes roll at the exchange between the Smith and the Autumn emissary. They were both so... much. Giving a flourishing handwave, halfway to a sarcastic bow, as Hailey dismissed them, the Fairest steered Ramona away at an unhurried pace.

Going to meet Sylus would bring too much attention back to him, especially after they'd done such a good job of drawing it to themselves. Besides, he already had someone to talk to, unless they were also about to pull a knife on him. And if they were, honestly, it was probably his own fault. Heading back to the Winter's pit was also out of the question, mostly because her last exchange with Kevin had pushed the enire affair into the 'boring' column, with the exception of Kyle. So toward the edge of the gathering they went, somewhere they could talk for a moment before she slipped away.

Finally disengaging from Ramona, Sylvia's head pivoted slowly to look at the Ogre with a deeply disgusted expression. "Some people." Which people? All of them, every single one that was making this more unpleasant than it needed to be. Leaving it at that, the heaviness seemed to lift from her face and a more familiar air of casual disinterest arrived in its place. "Who was the tall one? The really tall one." A small jerk of her head indicated Molly, though she tried to keep it subtle.

"Also: what even was that?"
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Greebs on Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:44 pm

It was easy to imagine yourself dismissed when your presence had been barely acknowledged to begin with, so Molly paid the representatives of 'her' court the respect due to their stations with the barest bob of knee and inclination of her head, then turned on her heel and, as silently as she had appeared, stalked away.

Clearly she wasn't wanted for any matters pertaining to the court, as she might have imagined at such an occasion - it was apparent that whatever station the Angry Monkey held, he was considered strength enough to display to the Iron Spear that they were not to be pushed around, which left Molly free to indulge personal curiosities.

Molly ground the ball of her foot into the dirt with the last footfall, a conscious gesture from someone accustomed to moving as silently as possible, as her shadow, bulked up by the broad parasol jauntily resting on one shoulder, fell across the Motley mates she loomed over from behind.

Her head canted to one side, an affected demonstration of puzzled scrutiny to make up for the lack of strong cues in expression or inflection, Molly turned to telegraph that Ramona was the subject of her attention as a chipped and scratched smartphone in her free hand, clearly not as well shielded against the effects of the Hedge as those of her superiors (that, or she had consciously downloaded some sort of SHODAN text-to-speech app), chirped and warbled "Was that really necessary?"
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by InvertedMonkey on Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:15 pm

Capabilities? Hailey's parting shot is puzzling. Ramona hadn't been refering to her capabilities either. Her emphasis on Ramona's job title, as well as one part of the larger role she'd played during her Durance, also remains a mystery. Still, both her and Gideon's retreat is as close as Ramona's going to come to a victory in this, at least at the moment, so she doesn't push it. Much as she'd like to. Much as she'd like to feed the monkeyman his knife.

Sylvia put a stop to all that, and while Ramona is agitated, she imagines what she should be feeling is grateful. Ramona's whole intention here had been to remove a potentially lethal hazard from this court event, and to educate sufficiently so that it never happens again. Instead, she'd ended up escalating it, however righteous her intentions were. With the heat of the moment fading, it occurs to Ramona that Sylvia just stuck her neck out to neutralize a tricky situation that was at least half of Ramona's own making.

I save Sylus, Sylvia saves me, and we're halfway through a mutual motley rescue rotation.

With everyone back to their corners, the ogre finally engages the safety on her pistol and slips it back into the holster at her hip. She also draws in a deep breath, filling her lungs with air, and lets it out in a steady rush. She loosens her jaw, aware now that she'd been grinding her teeth at some point. Sylvia's expressive disgust startles a quiet bark of a laugh from Ramona, more a small release of tension than anything else, she's sure some of that disgust is reserved for her. Despite what this rescue would suggest, Sylvia and Ramona... haven't exactly been the best of buds lately.

"The tall one?" She echoes, glancing around towards where the conflict took place, which combined with a politely loud footfall allows Ramona to notice the person in question is suddenly right behind her. The ogre's step back is entirely instinctual, as is turning her body to fully face this outrageously tall and creepy looking person. Her hand doesn't land on the grip of her pistol again, but both hands do ball into fists for a split second. Though startled so soon after a moment of life-or-death conflict, after a breath she lets go of that tension, and her fingers loosen. Their visitor's... body language seems to telegraph inquisitiveness rather than aggressiveness, despite her fearsome mien.

She blinks for a moment at the text-to-speech app's voice. Partially because it is necessary. Partially because, damn, she is fast on those keys. And partially because there weren't any autocorrect mistakes. Then she archs a brow, "Necessary? ... Which part?"
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Greebs on Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:11 pm

Molly did not counter-flinch when the Ogre spun and balled her fists; she coolly stood her ground, watching, waiting for that final cue that fright was turning to fight...

It didn't come.

Molly had a lot of experience at making people jump, she considered herself rather good at reading the response... which was for the best really, as uncertainty would adversely affect her own responses, which could be... messy.

Freeing up her hand from the phone, she extended two long, bony digits into fingerguns and mimed the action of shooting into the air, flowing into a roll of the hand in the universal gesture for 'and so on' as she lowered it again. Taking up the device again, she began to type, a hard 'tap' marking every touch of her thumb to the screen, a sharp whistle of air between teeth marking that perhaps autocorrect was as much her adversary as her ally after all.

If nobody interrupts her while typing...:
With a final tap, the device began to warble again as Molly tipped her head squaring her featureless red eyes once again on Ramona  "My feelings on the subject of your ire are clear, but you interfered with an internal disciplinary matter - Is what strength remains in the Iron Spear truly best spent fostering internal strife?"
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by InvertedMonkey on Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:04 pm

The ogre looks like she might have responded to the hand gestures until Molly's attention returns to her phone and the tapping begins again. Instead, she draws in another steadying breath, and waits with what she hopes appears at least to be polite patience. During the tapping she glances aside at Sylvia, just to get a read on her reaction, before looking back to Molly as the synthetic voice reads out her question.

"Sylus is a member of my motley and someone was attacking him. I've got no problem with intra-court discipline, but nobody gets to just outright assault him like that if I have the power to stop it." She shakes her head slightly, slowly, for emphasis. "And even if he wasn't a member of my motley, the man drew a knife during his attack. That's a lethal weapon, you can't just fucking do that. So yeah, if you're asking me if it was necessary to draw down, I think it was. I'd rather have shot him dead than have let him stab, maybe kill, a fellow Freeholder, let alone a member of my motley."

She pauses, taking another breath. Her voice had raised a little over the course of her response, starting to sound defensive. That's not how she wants to be, not right now. "I did see you getting in the middle, though, and trying to stop it. Thank you for that." She raises her hand and rubs the back of her neck, "Can't imagine you're thrilled with how things went, but thanks."
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Greebs on Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:28 pm

A tiny crease furrowed Molly's brow as she cocked her head to one side at the logical backflip required to consider the risk of lethal violence as so abhorrent you'd straight up murder someone to prevent it... Not that she was any stranger to violence, or remotely squeamish about it. There was even an involuntary twitch in Molly's fingers as the Ogre railed against the use of a Knife. Something that had barely registered with the Razorhand, seeming positively reasonable and mundane, because deep down, only a whisper of glamour away, every single digit was a blade, a 'lethal weapon', and yes, she could fucking do that.

Which is why she said nothing. So far as was reasonable, Molly tried to keep her pot keenly aware of their black-ness, and her glass house free of stones.

Besides, the whole 'Motley' bond was squarely outside her frame of reference. Maybe they were sworn to protect each other at the expense of all others... which would be a rather unfortunate stipulation, but good luck finding someone who has never sworn a pledge with at least one unforseen and inconvenient twist.

"Thanks to our intervention, the second punishment may yet prove worse than the first." Molly 'said', throwing a little shade on Ramona's no-knives-ever philosophy, "But for my part, I am prepared to face the consequences of my actions."
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Saeyer on Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:49 pm

Her words had seemed to summon the tall person herself, though the object of the Autumn's interest was clearly Ramona. If the text-to-voice question had been aimed at her, the Fairest would've had a much more succinct answer. But as it was, she listened as the two discussed the previous events without interrupting; partially because she couldn't be bothered to interject, and a little because it seemed educational. Besides, she had asked Ramona almost the same thing only moments before.

"Congrats," she drawled on the heel of the Darkling's last pronouncement. "You've very noble." The sanctimonious statement hadn't been directed toward Sylvia, as far as she could tell, but wasn't about to stop her commenting on it. Nobody had said they weren't going to face the consequences, and the fact that the strange, toothy woman made a point out of it irked her. What was it even suggesting, that Ramona and Sylus weren't prepared? That they might try to dodge whatever happened?

Lifting her almost forgotten beer bottle up to take the last drink, the jewels on her fingers winked up at Molly. Bottle empty, it tapped gently against Sylvia's thigh. "I need a refill, and y'all seem well enough on your own, but before I go-" Her hand extended toward Molly, long fingers delicately arranged. "Sylvia." Her tone and expression were charming, the healthy glow of her skin radiant in the Summer light and the scent of the flowers in her hair caught the breeze.
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by Greebs on Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:57 pm

The micro-expression brow wrinkle deepened, and a sharp hiss of air passed between interlocking teeth as Molly was reminded that the unusual capacity to proof-read before you speak doesn't always protect you from saying something dumb.

"I do not regret my actions, even if I suffer blowback for contradicting an officer of my Court." the phone warbled her correction, after a series of particularly hard clicks from a jabbing thumb.

Having one hand occupied with keeping her albino pallor shielded from the sun, the logistics of making introductions and shaking hands lacked a lot of the smoothness and charm with which the Fairest introduced herself. Because clearly it was the Parasol thing, and nothing else... "Molly." the phone's chirp muffled mid-syllable as she secreted it somewhere on her person with practiced ease and took Sylvia's offered hand, her own hand pale, cold and hard in sharp contrast during the firm, but fleeting exchange.
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by InvertedMonkey on Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:53 pm

She glances aside at Sylvia as she takes on that sarcastic tone, but Ramona holds her tongue. After all, who is she to talk about courtesy, about not making enemies, after what just happened. Though if there's more subtext here, something Sylvia is picking up on and mocking, she's outright missing it. Not an uncommon occurrence. And the reply that the tall stranger offers, is it conciliatory? It doesn't seem like it walks back what she just said before. Maybe she'll ask Sylvia about that later.

In the meantime, introductions are finally underway. Sylvia has this way of catching the light on her jeweled body just so, glinting and reflecting so bright yet managing not to blind you. Ramona's not sure if it's intentional or not, but it turns an offering handshake into a work of art. Art that Ramona's trade of steel and fire can't really duplicate. Art that, as with all Changelings, is a living reminder of a torturous Durance, and thus is tragic no matter how beautiful it is.

There is little question what the Darkling's torture involved. The way it left her skeletal and razor sharp. The ogre wonders, did it rob her of her voice? Or was she mute before being taken? It would be impolite to ask. Instead, when the handshake with Sylvia comes to a close, the smith extends her own hand to Molly. "Ramona," she introduces herself, giving a firm shake with a hand strong and calloused, weathered by years of ash and heat, oils and acids, and scented just lately with a light addition of cordite. Her knuckles emerge from the back of the hand as if they'd worn through old fabric, leaving the skin dry and pebbly around the bony prominences of stone.
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Re: Act 1: Chapter 1: Four Corners

Post by ST McDude on Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:47 pm

Annette stood with the envoy, he sat astride some deer-like  hedgebeast, his attire immaculate despite the relaxed setting that surrounded them. At least, as relaxed as the hedge ever got. She really wanted to punch this self-important autumn busybody, but didn't really want to seem like she was condoning that incident Ramona had been involved in. Or should she? Sometimes it seemed almost expected, particularly given some of the concessions this guy was asking for.

She settled on doing an inventory of the things she should really be doing instead of listening to this guy while giving him a flat stare. Without even needing to look, she reholstered her weapon and straightened her jacket and gear. A glance around saw Ramona backing away with her motley+1 in tow. Make that +2, the odd spring lady had been tailing them from a distance and the look about her showed she wasn't completely there. Mentally, at least. Dominic was back to working in the food area with that Snowskin Spring courtier. Krieg was likely in a mortal struggle with his alcohol supply. The Winter courtiers were having some kind of discussion in the small ring off to the side. She didn't know why Whisper was keeping them hidden but it didn't seem like anyone else had, or indeed could, even notice that group. The only winter courtiers socializing were the three in the firepit and the small wizened girl trying to pump the errant autumn for information.

Off in the distance she could make out the faint sounds of a small crowd approaching. She ground her teeth in frustration a little. Being rowdy in the hedge wasn't ideal in the best of times and she didn't have the manpower to keep people safe if these idiots got somethings attention.

It was almost with a whoop of joy that she held her finger up to the envoy, "I have something that needs attention. I'll give your demands due consideration..." ...like whether it warrants that aforementioned bout of fisticuffs.

While she had some idea who it might be, there was little surprise as the colorful group spilled out onto the pathway leading into the hollow. Leading the group was a tall and powerfully built dark-skinned man. A large pig carried effortlessly on his leonine shoulders. His large mane of dreadlocks framed the neatly groomed mustache that accented a face that could have been on a magazine somewhere. Were it not for the decidedly pointed incisors at least. He wore a forest green vest, and grey cargo pants with the legs stuffed into expensive hiking boots. She was able to identify enough of those approaching through the activity and noise that it seemed the bulk of spring had arrived.

She also noticed in the throng two who weren't supposed to be playing around. Though at least Jill had intercepted the group on the way in. Walking along extra close to the spring sovereign while zoning out the other hangers-on wasn't in the job description, however.  Jonathan was also caught up, though seemed to have met his match in the two ladies who were delightedly teasing the huge ogre.

"Pardon my late arrival!" Marcus' voice thundered out, "It's a little more difficult than I thought hunting down some food with this noisy gathering in tow!" He stopped in front of her and extended one large hand, "Glad to see I got here before all the fun was over with."

"I was hoping your early arrivals weren't going to be the extent of your court showing up. None of them seemed inclined to chat." Annette said as she took his hand. They shook, her thick clay-like hands were actually nearly as big as his clawed ones.
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