An Invitation to Madness

An Invitation to Madness

Postby CherryStatic » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:08 pm

The man behind the stall shrank away from the tiny brunette girl, his pupils dilated and his breath catching.

She lowered her gaze and walked away with the apple she had taken, casually examining it before biting into the crisp red fruit. Her bored gaze wandered across the throngs of Myrkenfolk that filled the marketplace, chewing the apple thoughtfully as she contemplated how easy they were to manipulate. She heard a chuckle behind her.

"Something funny, Selwyn?" she asked drily.

The slender man behind her, dressed in a red uniform similar to hers, smirked, pushing hair the color of wheat out of his face. "You're a living terror, do you know that?"

The girl, no more than five feet tall, chose not to answer him. She continued to watch the people around them as they walked aimlessly around the marketplace. The orders they had been given were lackluster at best, but the two of them had learned long ago not to question their sister. She knew what she was doing, and that was all that mattered.

"You've certainly made yourself at home." he continued. "I mean, Frightening a man just so you wouldn't have to pay for a piece of fruit? That's terrifying."

She rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Sister said that we won't have to keep looking now that Alcara is with us again. Why shouldn't I be comfortable?"

He raised his hands in mock surrender. "I wasn't criticizing you, Venette. I'm impressed. Just don't get cocky or you'll end up like Molleine--"

"Molleine was a fool without a leash. I was getting tired of her, anyway. I'm glad she's dead."

"And Bale?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"He's even more of a fool to fall for her the way he did. Love is such a disgusting concept."

Selwyn fell into a fit of snickers behind her. "Yikes. I'm almost afraid to hear what you think of me."

"It's a long list." she muttered, tossing the half-eaten apple away. It rolled out of side in a lopsided fashion, disappearing between the feet of the market goers as they milled around the bazaar. After a moment, she announced: "I'm bored."

"Yeah, me too." he agreed, regaining his perpetually casual demeanor. "But Sis said that we could expect company today, so maybe things will start to pick up soon."

"I hope it's the Kestrel." Venette mused, mostly to herself. "Or the half-elf. They'd be fun to Frighten."

"Nuh-uh-uh." Selwyn chided, smiling. "We aren't allowed to Manifest unless they make the first move. You know that."

"I was just thinking out loud." she said, tossing a dirty look his way. "And just because you can't do anything until someone moves to gut you doesn't mean that you're an obedient little pet. You break rules all the time."

He shrugged. "Nothing big. At least none of our guests have died while I was taking care of them."

She stopped, turning to face him. "Are you implying something?"

He bent at the waist so that they were eye level. "Just that you've got a nasty temper. You should do something about it."

Her eyes glinted. "Giving you something to be afraid of would definitely help me cool off."

He smirked, eyes lidded. "Go on, then."

They faced each other without blinking for several seconds, the world continuing heedlessly around them. Eventually, Venette sighed, turning away from him.

"We have a job to do." she said simply, dismissing his challenge. "Stop bothering me."

"With pleasure." He grinned over his minute victory, glancing around them. "I hope this important guest of ours gets here soon. I'd like to finish before you end up killing someone out of boredom."

She didn't reply.
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A fool without a leash

Postby Glenn » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:18 am

A hack. A cough. The sort of mucus that seemed to permeate from the eyeball all the way to the littlest left toe, all inhaled back in with a long, pained, inhale. One more cough for good measure. This was, to the more innocent of onlookers, a beggar hanging about near the teahouse, looking for some handout from men, sated and well-to-do. He had one leg, one and a half at best, a cane, ratty clothes that had probably never seen better days, and an unkempt, mottled, white beard. It was hard to place exactly how many teeth he had, because one of the few remaining seemed to move around in his mouth. The act of swallowing some of the lost might have explained the cough. Yet this man was in good spirits indeed, for here was his very best customer, back after far too long away.

"You mean for an old man to starve! I am a cripple. A cripple! I had my leg back six months ago and then came your betrayal. I am forsaken!" He waved his hands about, a fine imitation of a lazy madman.

The former governor didn't yawn; that would be giving Old Hollinger too much credit. "You live better than most in Myrken, when you're not working, and maybe when you are too. The leg's been like that for as long as I've known you. You didn't pay back a debt in Heath fifteen years ago and they took a few pounds of flesh. Everyone knows it and it has nothing to do with my time away." He finally raised a hand. "Do I have to start counting off more things?" One finger started to wiggle ever so slightly.

"Gads no." The coughing stopped. The wizened tone gave way to something more vigorous, if not younger. "I've been punished enough in life without having to hear one of your inane speeches. I swear you breathe out your ears. You don't use them to listen."

The smile was cool, distanced. it didn't reach Burnie's eyes. "I've got this urchin that hangs out around the Dagger. Lovely child. Will be cutting people's ankles off in a few years. I could listen to Cat instead of you."

Hollinger's nose crinkled in disgust. "No respect anymore. Youth, pah. I'd spit but neither of you are worth it. You're up and about then? Truly? Fine. My usual fee. What do you want to know?" He knew impatience when he saw it.

"No," the hand finally lowered, though his gaze did not. "This one's free because I'm back only if I get good enough information now. Otherwise, I'm still sitting about, reading books, staying out of trouble, being kept out of trouble. It's in your interest to tell me what I want to know."

The flailing began anew. "You always think that, you arrogant little whelp," this a pained groan from the old man. "Even after everything that happened. Where's your humility?"

"I left it at home with the books. There's work to be done." One's company helped define one's bearing, perhaps. This was a Glenn Burnie who had spent most of his recent time with Egris, and it showed, be it an act or not.

It showed just enough that Hollinger wasn't going to press farther. No, instead he swallowed, that mucus nowhere to be found, and he nodded. "Back to the start, then? That how it is? Fine. First one's free, but I expect great things. What do you think I've heard, then?"

-----
Burnie's connections had withered; no, they had atrophied through lack of use. There were a few things, a well placed Constable, members of the Inquisitory, quiet as it was now, a guard at the wall. He once knew mostly everything that happened in the province. Now, he only knew what came to him, what stood out the most. It was undignified to stoop to using Hollinger so directly, but Glenn had something of a gap where his dignity used to be; it just hadn't been replaced by humility.

So it was, then, that less than twenty minutes later, the time of a brisk walk and a bit of watching, Burnie would walk right up to the two people in their red, leather uniforms. "The sparrow flies crooked after supping on the brandy of life." He whispered to them, conspiratorially. Even as he did, he'd push aside the light brown coat (for it was always with the earth-tones) that he was wearing, to reveal no sword at his side. He'd come in peace after Egris had come at them in a very different manner.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby CherryStatic » Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:22 am

"I'll be sure to let any sparrows I see know." Selwyn said, turning to give the man a once over. He grinned in recognition after a moment, and the girl at his side narrowed her heavily mascaraed eyes at him, her golden irises seeming to peer out at him from a dark tunnel.

"These are dangerous times to be without a weapon, Glenn Burnie." the slender blonde said softly, flexing the fingers of his right hand in the ebony gauntlet that encased it, the fingertips tapering off into sharp points. The back of the glove featured a daunting spike. "A man could get hurt if he doesn't have a way to protect himself."

He offered Glenn a warm smile, placing the armored hand on his hip. Beside him, Venette was far less gracious.

"The former governor. You're the reason I've spent all day out here?" She issued him a dark look before turning to her companion in exasperation. "We need someone with pull around here, not some has been government dog."

Selwyn clicked his tongue, rolling his eyes good naturedly. "Does a government official ever really stop being a government official, Ven? I'm sure Mr. Burnie here still has friends in high places." He cocked his head, one side of the grin turning up a bit. "In fact, I hear his 'special' lady played a part in Molleine and Bale's final act."

The girl scowled, first at him and then at the former governor. "Is that supposed to impress me? Those two were child's play." Her lip curled, dissatisfaction heavy on her voice. "What do you want?"
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:11 am

"I wouldn't suggest talking to sparrows; someone might think you're crazy. Or, you know, that you hear voices." Burnie responded quickly, perfectly content to lead with banter. The problem was, of course, that he was perfectly content to continue with banter and to end with banter as well. Thankfully, there was an ill-tempered and impatient girl kick enough dirt into the nice, smooth pond of the conversation, creating ripples enough to drown out such pleasant things.

In this case, it meant that he just smiled at the mention of dangerous times and walking about without a weapon. That was the point, of course, and they all well knew it. Well, maybe Venette didn't know it, but if she didn't, that might have been a choice to be obtuse; nothing to do with the former Governor's impeccable symbolism.

What did he want? What an interesting question. The smile remained, though it was more something he was in the grip of than something he honestly wished to present to the world. "I was going to hire you to stage a coup but she'" a nod to Venette, "would probably hurt too many of my people just by snarling at them and frankly, I don't want to be associated with that. Attitude is everything, don't you think?" Was there a punch here? He was half expecting a punch though, one would never know it from how relaxed he seemed.

If not, he'd continue on. "Bear with me a moment. Power is a funny thing. It's rare and it's finite. You send a small group of powerful beings a far way to fulfill a task because you cannot afford to send a large group. If you can afford to send a larger group, you do, because there are eventualities in travel and in the unknown, and if you have a limitless number of disposable resources, you go about and dispose of them. You revel in it. Now then, away from the general you and onto the specific. Your group. You're not endlessly powerful or else you would not have suffered losses. Yet, you're sufficiently rare or there would be more of you. So you may not care about your comrades, but I bet someone, somewhere does, and this person would be loathe to suffer more." The logic was slightly crooked, but then again, so was his smile. His gaze had moved on from Venette and back to Selwyn, almost tempting the man to call out contradictions and fallacies instead of getting on with business. "you don't want to be here any longer than you have to. Tell me the whole of it and we'll see about drawing this to a mutually beneficially conclusion."
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby CherryStatic » Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:10 am

"Smart man." Venette muttered, folding her tiny arms across her flat chest. Her expression suggested that she had been somewhat looking forward to confrontation and, discovering that Glenn had nothing of the sort to offer her, was displeased. Selwyn, on the other hand, looked almost happy that the man had come to them on peaceful terms. He smiled down at him, sincerity on his lips.

"That's an interesting theory." he offered. "It is rather vague, though, and it leaves out a few of the...specifics." The word hung between them significantly. "Luckily for you, our orders are to give you information. Not all of it, but enough. You understand, of course." he smiled warmly, conspiratorially.

"The Bloodletters are far from commonplace foot soldiers." Venette supplied testily, following up on what Selwyn had said. "Numbers are meaningless in the face of ability. Don't spew that drivel. It doesn't apply to us."

"I wonder, Burnie, how do you define power?" Selwyn's smile remained, but his eyes were abruptly hard, marring his almost effeminate face. "We all have a different opinion, you know. And that's fine; power is a multi-faceted complex. So complicated in theory, so simple in actuality. But I think that power is being able to do what you want to do."

"To stand tall and answer to no one." Venette said, lifting her chin haughtily.

"To understand and influence the workings of the world." A glinting gold piece appeared in Selwyn's unarmored hand, his smile turning to a knowing smirk.

"To watch as others kneel before you in Fear." the girl said quietly, her golden eyes flashing dangerously, an almost physical force accompanying it.

Selwyn spread his hands and shrugged, the smirk changing back into something that could be considered friendly. "But, of course, you need other things to live a good life." He counted on the fingers of his gauntlet, tapping the dark metal. "There's family, of course. Belongingness. There's a place to call home. Very important." He touched a third finger. "And, naturally, there's purpose."

"No one wants to drag themselves through a meaningless existence." Venette muttered. Her eyes dropped from Glenn's own.

"Now that Alcara is with us once again, the matter of family has been taken care of. 'Home' is complicated at the moment, but I don't doubt for a second that it will resolve itself. It always does." His smile slipped a notch. "And purpose? For now, we do what our sister tells us to do. Even if we lose one or two along the way, everything turns out for the better in the end."

"She makes the decisions." the girl said. "We don't so much as breathe without her permission."

Selwyn chuckled bitterly at that. 'If you want to reach some sort of diplomatic arrangement with the Bloodletters, you'll need to speak to her. Unfortunately for you, she isn't receiving visitors at the moment, which is why we're here in the first place. So it goes."
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:27 am

It was no small gesture to arrive without a sword at his side. The world was a dangerous, dangerous place. If you didn't die from tripping or falling during a cloudy, pitch black night, your fellow man would often be glad to assist. Arguments ended with blood and violence and a little infection could go a long way. That's why Burnie was so good at what he did. He led with words and shielded them with actual interest. He cared enough to ask questions, to listen and react accordingly. Not many others seemed to. Look at how far he'd gotten already!

Now, for instance, Glenn, slight but athletic, younger than thirty but ten years more weary than that, trying very hard not to smile as he looked from one to the next, listened. This was a rare honor for them. He listened the whole way without interrupting. There were things he wanted to say, little quips, general theory. When you don't have the specifics toss about generalities and see what happens. Either you're right or you'll offend. One way or another, you'll know more than you did before. No, there was no reason to go into that in the face of their words.

"You're done, then? May I sum up?" Something else was bubbling underneath but he had just enough self control to press it down for now. "Power is being able to do what you want, and, of course, to answer to no one," his voice rang strongly, even as he shifted his eyes from one to the next, building to the all important line. "...except for your sister! She makes the decisions after all." His rousing, serious look turned into something a little more incredulous. "I'm just having fun, of course. Information is power, I think, and with it, you gain leverage, freedom, options. That freedom is a currency and you can spend it on the things that matter to you." He'd sold his freedom to help Calomel in running Myrken, to best protect the things he chose to care about, that gave his life meaning, that being the path that eventually led him to Governor and more. Now he had lost all of that though, and that made him dangerous, sword or no.

"Apparently, freedom is also finishing each other's sentences. Do you practice that? Stand in front of a lake to watch your reflections and work on it? There's a small Treadwell hand puppet back at the inquisitory that we had specially made. I think it might help were you to wear it." This to Venette. "And maybe a little dance. Could the two of you spin in unison as well. You'd have to change your name of course. Bloodletters is the sort of thing that scares away mothers and children. Merry minstrels, maybe? I have to admit, though," back to Venette, because he simply couldn't help himself. The bubbling had reached the surface with a vengeance. "You look like if you tried to hold a tune, it'd mainly be so that you could use it as a blunt weapon." Would he make it through all of those words? He usually didn't before something hard or sharp came flying at him. He could talk quite quickly though.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby CherryStatic » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:35 am

At his words, Venette's nostrils flared, her lips pressed together and her eyes widening. Her pupils seemed to dilate, more and more until they swallowed her golden irises completely. The inky darkness swam to the corners of her heavily made-up eyes, leaking around her lashes and crawling across her face until it splashed across the surrounding marketplace, drawing it into a murky void that yawned before the former governor like a great and terrible maw.

He was cut off from the world, imprisoned in the shadows of her eyes. Before him, where Venette had stood a fraction of a second before, was Egris Verreaux.

She looked at him with a mixture of emotion before turning her head and refusing to meet his gaze for a second longer, a small noise of disgust issuing from her lips. "You really are worthless aren't you? I don't know why I put my faith in you."

She turned on her heel and began to walk away from him, but paused to look over her shoulder and--


The world blinked back into existence, bright and loud, the chatter of the marketplace returning all at once. Selwyn stood between the two of them, examining his nails in a nonchalant fashion.

"Try to control your urges, Ven."

The girl exhaled slowly, her eyes the same as they had been before. She looked at Glenn warily, as if he didn't trust him. "He's been ruined. Someone has already touched him."

"That's wonderful news! Now you can't kill an unarmed man in the middle of the street over a handful of petty jibes. You should thank the powers that be." His eyes turned lazily to Glenn. "Mister, I don't pretend to know all of your tactics, but that one in particular won't get you very far with anyone in the organization. Except maybe her." He jerked a thumb at his comrade. "I personally don't fight with unarmed men, so if you want to dance, bring some toys next time. We aren't allowed to go around painting the town red, but we are allowed to defend ourselves. Seem fair?"

Behind him, Venette looked away with a scowl. She was done speaking to the man. Selwyn ignored her, his attention on Glenn.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:14 am

That was something. Had Egris put her faith in him in the first place or had this been desperation? It had seemed like she was there for a moment, and when she was gone, he wasn't gasping or keeled over. His mouth was slightly ajar, for that was a feeling he'd not had, even a little bit, in months. It was the very reason he avoided Genny Tolleson despite how she cared for him and he admired her. For someone who had lost everything, there was always room for temptation. That had been water to a man dying of thirst, and maybe the water had burrs in it, maybe it hurt going down, but it was still a drink, and he deserved burrs anyway, didn't he? For a moment, he looked to Venette with hunger, very likely a reaction she was not used to, something unsettling just for the one who plied her tried on being just that. Then, though, it was back to Selwyn.

"Ruined is a good word." Finally, a slow, almost sated, exhale, refusing to wipe at the sweat running down his brow. "I do admire your restraint though," this from a man who was currently awash in it. "It's nothing personal, of course. I admire your passion and your Belief. You live it. It's far better than the alternative." And he had gotten quite far by seeing just what she had to offer. It was his job to push limits, to test on boundaries and see what he could see. "You have who you came for. Family is whole once again. You have my congratulations. It's not a personal matter for me at least, though I think you might be impugning on her liberties, no? I suppose you have to be strong enough to protect them, right? That's how it works. Well, you have what you want. You can't quite go home, but here's pretty complicated too. You can't really tell me that you want to erase your tracks. No one that wears deep red and keeps 'Venny' here, on a far too long leash, cares about whether they're noticed or not. Why are you still here? What else do you want?"
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby CherryStatic » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:18 pm

Glenn's words brought about a second instance of that hard glint across Selwyn's smiling face. He stared Glenn down for a moment, as though studying him, before his good natured demeanor returned.

"Now, now. Your true intentions are showing." His eyes were merry, his voice dancing. "We've given you plenty to think about; who we are, the reason we're here, or at least part of it. I understand that knowledge is power, and the importance of reconnaissance, but try not to be greedy. We can't let you hold all the cards."

He trailed off as the sound of chains issued faintly from the air around them. Venette stiffened slightly, her eyes fixed on the middle distance, while Selwyn's mouth flattened into a line.

You've entertained our valued guest for long enough, my loves. Return to me.

The voice slithered through their minds like dripping honey, the words framed against a backdrop of white noise that blanked out the chatter and bustle of the marketplace. The surrounding Myrkenfolk went about their business, oblivious to the words that were spoken, the three of them alone sharing the experience. The voice faded, along with the clanking of the chains, as the noise around them returned.

"I'm leaving." Venette said immediately. She gave Glenn a dark look. "I'd advise against following us. I might not be able to Frighten you, but there's a whole nest of vipers that could poison you."

She moved past him, nearly bushing his side with her tiny frame, and disappeared amidst the crowd, vanishing completely. Selwyn, on the other hand, lingered for a moment, watching her go over the man's shoulder.

"You're a curious man." he said after a moment, his gaze returning to meet the other's. "I like that in people. They're more fun than the ones who don't ask any questions and choose to mindlessly accept whatever comes their way. They exist, but they don't live." He let the words hang between them for a moment and ferment. "I would honestly see you live through this. I suggest you remove yourself from the game while you still can."

He paused, just in case Glenn had anything to say, before continuing on. "My sister is not a forgiving woman. She is strong and diligent, and she looks out for our best interests, but she can be very...creative...when it comes to dealing with outsiders. That's her job. It's the job of every Bloodletter, and there is a reason that she leads us." His eyes shone with something as he spoke. "I have already given my life to her, to use as she sees fit, because I trust in her completely. That is what makes us so dangerous: our dedication to the cause, mind, body, and soul. In that we find our freedom. What we do is of our own volition, because our sister means so much to us."

He moved closer, slowly, giving Glenn ample time to step back if her chose to. But if he remained where he was, he would find the blond, a very pretty man by anyone's standards, close enough to smell his scent, a mixture of something metallic veiled by a trace of spices. One finger of the gauntlet would extend and gently trail down the former governor's cheek in imitation of an intimate touch from a concerned lover, as he leaned in so that his lips, devoid of any smile at this point, were very nearly touching Glenn's ear. When he whispered, it was a soft, soothing sound that belied the intent of his words.

"I want you to live. Really, I do." With their faces side by side, his expression was hidden from view. "So I hope, for your sake, that this is the last time we lay eyes on one another. Because I have a feeling that my sister grows tired of interference."

The claw of the armored glove dug in the slightest bit, not hard enough to draw blood, but very nearly.

"But, if you insist on making a habit of it, then I will, without hesitation, extend to you an invitation to madness. Rest assured, Glenn Burnie, that it will be a banquet to remember, and I will save a seat especially for you."

He pulled away, abrupt yet fluidly, like silk being thrown back. He gave Glenn's cheek a pat for good measure with the gauntlet, smiled warmly, looking for all the world like he truly treasured the man before him, then turned and walked away in the opposite direction that Venette had gone.

"Nice meeting you." he called back over one shoulder.

In seconds, he was gone.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:14 am

Glenn Burnie was very good at his job, yes, but there was always some sort of a cost to information. Given his methods, it was usually in the form of violence and that had been attempted here. Had he not been so ill-used already, it would have worked wonders and he probably would have been a quavering mess on the ground or worse. Sometimes, though, it led to a different sort of manhandling. It was rather disturbing how many times over the years he'd been fondled in the process of greedy reconnaissance, by men and women both. He wasn't much to look at, not handsome, not ugly, perfectly forgettable were it not for the physical repercussions of the weight placed upon him by the world and that smart mouth. It meant that he was rather unflinching to Selwyn's advances, or retreat, as it was. Being touched by a gauntlet felt like something rather down Egris' alley.

In the end, those were words he had heard before. Hell, he'd used them once or twice, if the effect was necessary. He should probably play along or fight back, get one last piece of stimuli one way or the other, but he felt too old for all that now, too weary, even if this had awoken him to some degree; it had not, perhaps, awoken all of him. Instead, a different game then, for his farewell. "I know another strong and diligent woman, unyielding instead of unforgiving, persistent instead of necessarily creative. You can watch her crash headlong into your sister and enjoy the sparks, watch everyone get burnt by them for hardly enough gain, or you could head back and convince your sister to talk to me." It was said casually enough, immediately after that last warning. "I specialize in solutions more creative than interference, after all." And with that, he'd let the man go, providing very little outward reaction, save for a small exhale. It'd been far too long; far, far too long.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Kestrel » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:27 pm

And later, sitting in the comfort of his own home, the Lady he had spoken of with such conviction leaned forward from her relaxed slouch on her usual seat at his table. A table covered in maps and letters, but no food. Her spine went rigid and her features cold. She rested her elbows against knees spread in masculine posture and a storm gathered in the depths of her icy gaze. "You did what...?," she asked in a low voice that begged him not to answer her.

His task complete, she had arrived with the fall of night to question him on his task. She had wanted each and every detail. She fairly trembled with outrage as she stared at his features, incredulous.

Abruptly, she rose and her chair scraped against the floor violently. It very early was unsettled from its legs. "I distinctly recall pleading with you to be wary. I touched upon their abilities and the danger they posed in an eloquent-enough fashion," she paced, explaining her points with sharp gestures.

She whirled on him, those eyes snapping with danger. "And you stroll up to them as if to speak about the weather? Are you insane?," she roared, hands balling up into fists.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:52 pm

Could she throw him? It was a thought he held for most for most of his explanation, excellent at multitasking as he was. The good news was that she couldn't do it now. She was still hurt and if she could throw him across the room, it'd be much harder hurt. The explanation he gave was full of details, but not yet analysis. She hadn't asked for that yet and he wasn't quite ready to offer it.

They had to get past that other hurdle first. She could punch him. She might punch him. Instead, she balled her fists and asked him a question. "Maybe," because why not give her an honest answer. "But I would have done the same thing five years ago too. I did the same thing. I've done it plenty. That's how I knew it'd work. They were used to violence so I offered them something else and I chose a public place because they're obviously at least a little concer..." His voice faded off. In all the time she knew him, for him to stop mid word, even mid sentence was very very rare. "This is one of those talks where I give you reasonable responses that more than answer your questions and you get madder at me with every word I say, right? I know these talks. You don't want to know what I was thinking. You just want me to have not thought it in the first place."
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Kestrel » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:33 am

He was an observant man; he could likely see the brief hitch in her gait. Her injury had been far worse than initially suspected and until it healed enough that each movement tugged on ragged sutures, she would carry that slight limp.

He seemed to understand the situation well enough, since her eyes narrowed with each word he uttered. Though, he received a startled, incredulous look. "Reasonable respon --," she breathed, huffed. As if she weren't entirely certain how one could be so foolish. She sighed and braced her fingers against her temples. They massaged the skin there as if a headache were building, as her eyes fell closed. She attempted to gather her strength of character, her meager patience.

The final smile was strained. "What do you think about what they told you?," she questioned, voice trembling faintly in restraint. She did not reclaim her seat near him. She did not trust herself not to throttle him, if she were that close.
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Glenn » Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:05 am

He raised his hand, ready to tick off fingers, but that was a good way to lose them, trying to do that trick with her. He wasn't overtly deranged anymore, not like he had been before, so there was some element of restraint within him somewhere and he found it and called upon it now. To an extent. "One of us is wounded. One isn't. They're not right in the head, but they're not animals. Maybe the female, somewhat," and by all rights, she should have hurt him. The Kestrel was the sort of person who cared about results though, and the result of this was that he had survived when others might not have been able to. "I know this better than most, Egris. Everyone likes to talk. Not many people around here know how to listen. Lives were at stake; we needed information, and I made a tactical decision." Finally, though, he shook his head. "Frankly, I didn't get enough and I'm not going to lie to you and tell you otherwise. I know this from experience; when you have someone else's voice in your head, it's much harder to slip up in the moment," then, his face scrunching up slightly and only for a moment. "I'm out of practice too. I should have played one against the other better. There are ways." He had been a little drunk from the thrill of the moment, lost in the feeling of actually doing something again. It wasn't necessarily the danger that had moved him but the idea of efficacy.

"The contradictions were the most interesting bit, though maybe not the most relevant. Their nameless sister has a hold on them that belies the rest of their mindset." The most interesting bit of any of this was Egris' ever-so-slightly trembling voice, of course, but she had asked him a question and he'd try to answer it. "There might well be a cost to the power that they have. They give up part of themselves to claim it, which therein invalidates the reason to have it in the first place, freedom.
Perhaps the woman they sought after realized that and escaped here. Such things obviously can't be allowed lest they become commonplace. What do we know about her?"
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Re: An Invitation to Madness

Postby Kestrel » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:57 pm

"Well, keep it up and you certainly will be injured, Burnie," she growled, as he pointed out that his methods surpassed her own. She had deflated, somewhat, and reclaimed her seat with only a mild glare directed at him. She snatched up her glass to take another hefty swallow of alcohol, frowning to find that she had already drained it. Another accusing glare was sent towards the ex-Governor in reproach. "They know you, now. You've made yourself a target alongside me. Don't think your madness will save you from theirs," she shook her head.

Still, he had gotten results and she did not want to belabor the point. He hardly cared for her opinion, as it was. It was a waste of breath, especially for one who chose each word carefully.

"Voice in your head? You heard it, then? The chains, the whispers?," she asked, leaning forward. She was unable to smother the delicate shudder that raced down her spine.

"Caged freedom is sometimes more comforting, provided they trust the hand that has captured them," she seemed to speak from experience - and she would, given her station and familial ties. "I know little about the woman they have taken; I've not met her. I agreed to the task as a favor to Gloria Wynsee. Perhaps I will question her on the missing girl."

She rose to leave, brushing off her tunic. She turned and then paused with bent head. As if it were dragged out of her by a half dozen horses on unstable ground, she sighed. "Thank you for the help. You managed to gain some information that will be useful. But Glenn?," and here she glanced back at him with lofted brow. "Don't do it again."

Her spine was rigid as she moved towards the door.
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