We fade into an exterior shot of the Searcher’s sanctum. Through the window we can see Sinon talking to the rest of the cabal, his hands moving in a pantomime of an elaborate action sequence. Our view cuts to the interior of the sitting room, focused on the other members of the cabal.
insert disbelieving looks/responses to a story involving parkour, speed boat chases and Jones having posed as a cabaret singer. SInon is so serious all the time, that I like bringing him back down to earth in vignettes like this
He then passes a file folder over to the others. “This is the item in question. Part of my soul—including my legacy—is currently locked away inside of it. I have reason to believe it was stolen from my former sanctum by Mr. Llewellyn Shaw, the vampire also known as the ‘Red Prince’. I’ve setup a lunch meeting with one of his… servants… tomorrow.”
The next day we see Sinon preparing, transforming his visage into that of a frail elderly man with a cane who bears an eerie resemblance to Blackjack.
Blackjack is packing the S&W Governor SInon gave him into an undercover holster and places a pair of road flares in his pocket.
Elithora puts up a note on her door and bails on office hours. The undergrads get an excuse, she can meet her mage friends, everyone ends up happy.
Aurelia is sitting at her desk in the CBSA, looking undecided about something. The restaurant is only two blocks away, so she decides to just grab lunch.
The restaurant is one of those very private places people find in ethnic enclaves – it’s off the commercial strip, the windows are covered with heavy curtains, there’s no sign or lights, just very modest lettering on the door, and it doesn’t even have a name in English. It’s very much a LOCALS ONLY kind of place.
Sinon enters the restaurant slowly, aided by his ‘son’, Blackjack. Elithora, posing as an antiquities expert, Dr. Susan Malveaux, follows behind them.
The young man who is serving as maitre’d only looks astonished for the barest second before his face becomes impassive. He offers a very slight bow. “…Ah. You must be Mr. Shaw’s assistant’s guests. Come with me.”
Sinon follows the young man slowly. He half leans on a cane, half on the Arrow’s arm.
Blackjack walks slowly with him, assisting him patiently.
Elithora keeps pace, a few respectful steps behind.
From outside, Aurelia opens a telepathic link with the Guardian. “Let me know when I can come in”
The young man leads the three mages out of the front room – which, despite having a somewhat hushed atmosphere, is surprisingly busy – through a heavy maroon curtain into a private back room. There are many tables here but they all have their chairs up. All but one, near the center. At its end sits a tanned blonde woman; trim and angular.
Quite attractive, but with hair pulled back into a really severe bun. She looks up as you enter through her cats-eye glasses, but does not stand. “Ahh, here you are.” She gestures toward the chairs opposite.
Blackjack helps Sinon into his seat before taking his.
Sinon looks up at his ‘son’ and mouths “Thank you.” quietly. To the woman “Thank you for agreeing to meet with me. This is my youngest son, John.” He motions to Blackjack. “Dr. Malveaux is an antiquities specialist I keep on call.” He moves his head toward Elithora.
Elithora nods and sits.
Blackjack its back in his chair, crossing his legs and folding his hands over his lap.
She nods at each of you in turn. “Anna Sakova, collections manager for Llewellyn Shaw. I’m surprised I haven’t heard of Dr. Malveux’s work. You must keep her on a short leash.” She chuckles grimly.
Dr. Malveaux offers a pained smile and looks back to her employer.
“Ha! Indeed. The very wealthy, though can provide in a way that academe cannot.” Sinon coughs a bit. “Besides, her research is a bit outside of the mainstream.”
Aurelia, in Sinon’s head “I’m coming in. I’ll keep an eye on the restaurant.”
The maitre’d smiles and bows as Aurelia enters. He guides her to a booth in the front section.
Anna’s eyes narrow with interest. “…outside the mainstream?” She tilts her head to one side and almost purrs. “Perhaps the good doctor and I could speak on this at some point.”
She produces a laptop. “You mentioned you were interested in…Antekytheran objects.”
“Yes.” he coughs. “I had heard rumors that some had recently… come to light. Given your employer’s reputation, I thought he might know where one might obtain such a relic.”
Sinon bites his tounge and coughs again. He wipes a small amount of blood away with a handkerchief.
She frowns. “I will be blunt. Mr. Shaw has such an object in his possession, which I believe you know as well as I do. I am interested in two things only; the nature of your interest in it and what that can do for Mr. Shaw.”
“My interest /little girl/ is in the fact that the item was /stolen/.” Sinon keeps his disguise up, but his voice has lost some of the wavering quality—anger is creeping in. “The prior owner would like to be reunited with his heirloom. He may be willing to help Mr. Shaw with some of his interests if the item were to find its way back home. If Mr. Shaw is not so inclined, then perhaps Maggie Fang would be.”
Sakova’s eyes widen momentarily with genuine surprise. “You….?” She leans forward. “Mr. Shaw might be willing to entertain an offer. The item proved to be…not entirely what he had desired. But he paid dearly for it all the same and would like to know what it is you can do for him.”
Sinon turns toward Elithora and Blackjack. “I think the two of you might want to wait outside for a moment.”
Elithora nods almost imperceptibly and rises. “Of course, sir.”
Blackjack nods to him. “As you wish.” Rising and walking outside.
Elithora glides in sync with Blackjack to the exit.
Sakova looks at Sinon with wary anticipation.
Sinon reaches out to Pandemonium and links his sight to Aurelia’s connection. He thinks to himself, “If you can read the location from her, I may not have to agree to kill anyone here.” Aurelia can sense a well of anger welling up in Sinon’s mind.
Aurelia can read that Sakova is a ghoul. She’s been Mr. Shaw’s collections manager for forty years and still looks like a sexy librarian (JUST THE WAY HE WANTS, she catches). Shaw doesn’t think much of the artifact – it wasn’t the religious relic he’d been led to believe – so rather than keep it in his vault, he has seen fit to use it as decor for his penthouse office (SUCH LOVELY TASTE HE HAS, UTTERLY WITHOUT FLAW).
Sinon looks at Sakova. “There is much that someone with my talents could do. I trust the time is in a secure location? That it has been kept safe? I would want to know it had not been damaged.”
Aurelia to Sinon: “He keeps it in his penthouse. I doubt we’d be able to just waltz in and take it, and even still I don’t like that idea.”
Aurelia knows the location and her password to get in, although it also requires a keycard. The display itself is locked and alarmed. She has a key for that (she sometimes takes things out to show to prospective buyers). She has only met Maggie Fang a few times and fears and hates her (THE WITCH, and she doesn’t just mean that as a synonym for “bitch”).
“She has the keys. I don’t want this Shaw as an enemy, though.”
Sakova is worried that Sinon represents the people Shaw had killed to get the artifact in the first place. Government agents, she heard. (HOW DARE THEY?) She hasn’t had sex in ten years. Shaw makes her model for him, dress up in different outfits and turn around, but he never touches her.
Sinon to Aurelia: “I’ll take care of it. You should go now.”
Aurelia frowns into her otherwise terrificlunch. “I’m not going anywhere, Sinon. Sorry”
Having received confirmation that Shaw’s lieutenants were directly behind the theft of the mask and the death of his retainers, Sinon decides that Shaw should receive the same. He raises his left hand in a steeple mudra, intending to force the ghoul into silence before fraying her pattern.
The spell fails.
Sakova nods. “The location is…quite secure, yes. Mr. Shaw’s personal offices. The display glass filters UV, it’s all strictly climate-controlled. The artifact could last another five thousand years like that. If you wish to simply purchase it outright, our starting position is thirty million dollars US.”
The spells failure only angers the Guardian further—he decides to assault the Ghoul’s life force anyway.
This spell fails as well.
Aurelia is shouting in Sinon’s head “What the fuck? Quick give me visual back! What the fuck is wrong with you?”
Sakova looks at Sinon. “…Are you having some kind of seizure?”
Sinon grips his head as though in pain.
The ghoul stands up quickly. “Doctor…there’s a problem!….”
“It’s okay, really.” Sinon’s rage has subsided somewhat. He will have to make Shaw pay another way.
Blackjack comes running in at a fast pace, looking around. “Are you alright father?”
Elithora follows in at full speed, clearly alarmed.
She looks at Sinon. “Are you sure you’re well enough to be doing this?” She looks at Blackjack. “Your father seems to have had some kind of attack…”
“What I can do for Mr. Shaw.” Sinons voice has lost any ‘age’ it had.
“I can make sure that Maggie Fang is blamed for the death of the Prince’s childe.”
She slowly backs away, keeping her eyes on your group, and sits down warily. “What – what are you? You’re far too mannered to be Hunters….”
Blackjack casts dampen sound.
“Assuming. That this is something Mr. Llewellyn Shaw would approve of. How do you propose to do this?”
Sinon drops his disguise. “Appearance is ephemeral. My friend here can even make one of us indistinguishable from kindred. I can be /anyone/.”
She swallows. “Astonishing. I’d heard stories, but never thought….well. Mr. Shaw knows better than to make enemies of…well…people like you. Is this a service you are prepared to render? He would consider a decorative mask a light enough charge for it.”
“The mask /and/ the machine. Like I said, I’m sure Ms. Fang would be willing to deal if you are not.”
“….this is….something I will have to get clearance for. After sunset, of course. Is there a way I can get in touch with you?”
Sinon pulls out a pen and writes down the number of a burner on a slip of paper.
Aurelia speaks into Sinon’s head “Just so you know, I won’t be helping you murder that girl. And don’t bother lecturing me on her being already dead.”
She takes it almost wonderingly. “You will hear from Mr. Llewellyn Shaw tonight. I wouldn’t wish to presume, but…I anticipate his answer will be yes.”
Sinon to Aurelia: “Duly noted.”
Sinon stands, looks to Elithora and Blackjack and signals his intention to leave.
Blackjack nods to the woman and shifts towards the exit. Dispelling his silencing spell on the way.
Sakova nods as you leave.
Elithora looks from Sinon to Sakova and pauses a moment, looking her up and down before turning to leave.
The three mages pass by Aurelia, who’s is going to finish her meal before heading back to the office.
Sinon strides out of the restaurant. “By the way, I /do/ have another plan.” he thinks to Aurelia on the way out.
Aurelia smiles at him as he leaves
Elithora’s parting open question/observation to Sinon and BJ is an open, “So about this hornet nest kicking thing we’re into now,” while pointing back to the restaurant.
Sinon turns to Elithora. “I know it’s hard to understand. If they had killed your… grad student… you might. Shaw had two of my retainers ripped apart.”
“Woah. I … see. I’ve never really crossed paths with … vampires.” She seems almost hesitant to actually say the word.
The Arrow grimaces with disgust. “Parasites with delusions of culture.”
“In the meantime, we need to figure out how to get in touch with Ms. Fang.” Sinon gets behind the wheel of the car.
Blackjack rides shotgun. “That I have no idea. Maybe find that young punk?” Taking out the pair of road flares and putting them in the glove box.
Elithora slides in back, sending a text to Aurelia.
“HEY. You need to answer my texts k? Like real answers. What’s going on?” An image of a cat tilting it’s head follows.
“Later. In person.”
Sinon hands his phone back to Elithora with a list of addresses of different ‘traditional’ medicine shops he has pulled up. “Do you think you might be able to see if any of these are particularly fortuitous?”
Following Elithora’s Spider-Sense, they find a traditional Chinese apothecary and grocery store, basically a corner bodega. The proprietor is an old man, nervous, but clearly knows what they’re asking after.
“Okay, crazy man,” he says. “You go botanic gardens around midnight, maybe find what you looking for. Maybe even live through it, who knows?” He turns away and diligently ignores them after that.
(he is referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VanDusen_Botanical_Garden)
Sinon looks back at the others and shrugs before heading back to the car. He drives them back to the Sanctum.
Elithora texting a few friends and family members cryptic messages of love in case she ends up an hors d’ouvre, not much else.
Blackjack going to go back to working on his paper.
Aurelia coming back to the sanctum and heading toward the library.
Sinon setting up recording gear.
The Sitting Room
The sunset is late in the middle of summer, but it happens eventually, and Sinon’s phone rings generically.
Sinon answers the phone. “Mr. Shaw, I presume?”
“Indeed. And to whom do I have the pleasure?”
“The members of my community know me by the name of Sinon.”
“The traitorous Greek. A name to put a business partner at ease, ha ha ha. Tell me, what would your…community think of your consorting with the undead, eh?”
(hey! he’s only traitorous if you are a Trojan! or a Roman orator!)
“Not many would appreciate it. The members of my particular following are known for being more… pragmatic.”
“If you’re a businessman, Mr. Sinon, we can do business. Miss Sakova brought me your offer. For not anticipating the possibility that you were Mages – a possibility I have ways to prepare for – I had her lashed. It keeps them…ductile. If I say yes, when can I expect satisfaction?”
“I would expect the job could be done tonight. In order to apply my /talents/ I will need to see the object of your ire—preferably from a distance, but I may have to get closer. If there is a delay on that front, then tomorrow night at the latest.”
“Maggie and her knitting circle will be dancing under the moon somewhere tonight, as is their wont. They like city parks and the like. Go softly, though – they have a bad habit of killing those who wander by. As for the brat, I expect fairly conclusive evidence that the deed is done. A body part, should you keep it from being ashed, or the terrified testimony of those idiots she travels with would suffice. Do we have an understanding?”
Elithora peeks her head in to see what Aurela is up to during the Tense Phone Negotiations.
Aurelia: “Hey Eli. What’s up?”
Elithora strolls in and leans against a desk next to Aurelia. “Not much. That was going to be my question, actually. Just wondering how you are doing?” She taps her finger to the tip of her nose. “My fate-sniffer says something’s been up and I think I can only guess at it in the most abstract.”
Aurelia leans back in her chair and sighs. “I don’t know! Sunday night was a blur. A good blur but… I don’t know what’s next or what I’m doing or what. I mean, I get that just because… um… things happened… I mean, I haven’t even talked to her since.” Aurelia pulls at her hair. “Oh god I mean… I thought it was supposed to be like, really special? Or something? I mean not that it wasn’t, I guess. I just don’t know Eli. I mean god it was great but now what?”
“Well, I’ve never hooked up with the most famous woman on TV so I’m not a hundred percent sure what the protocol is. Wait, listen … on the dancefloor when you said “never” did you mean, you know, you know what or you know where don’t count legalese never or … Never never." Elithora moves her fingers in vague circles. “I mean, with what you said: You have really for real never been with anyone before? Period, at all?” She catches herself and glances over her shoulder at the doorway but clearly there’s no one there.
Aurelia looks around nervously. “I mean, Valentina, obviously.”
“Right. Huh.” She ponders for a moment. “Cool!”
“Yeah. Good for you. It’s part of who you are. Maybe it was in your fate. You didn’t just let it happen with some creep when you were 15 after you drank a Lite Beer. Now you’ve taken the reins on your own. You’re tying your own knots in the strings.”
In the background, we see Sinon enter the room briefly. A look of extreme discomfort forms on his face as he quickly ascertains the nature of the conversation between the two mystagogues. He leaves silently, without either of them noticing.
Aurelia just sort of leans forward and slumps on the desk. “Eli, I don’t know what’s up. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never even really dated anyone before. I don’t know if I even am now! Am I really in charge here? I mean, I don’t even know if I’m into… you know… am I? Am I a lesbian now? Is that how this works?”
Eli touches Aurie’s back. “Um. I don’t know if you really even need to worry about it like that. If you’re interested in V, see what happens. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t, maybe checkboxes are for sleepers.”
“Maybe I guess.” Aurelia sighs wistfully. “God it was incredible though.”
Eli raises her eyebrows and smirks a little. “Sounds better than my first time. I … hmm, did you get her number or anything? How are you supposed to get in touch with her? Or was it just …” She shuts herself up midsentence.
“Was it just what?”
“Just, you know, spur of the moment. I mean, we all move in the same social circles such as it is, so … Doesn’t everyone just Facebook now anyway when they hook up?” (“Don’t say ‘e-fueled booty call’ don’t say ‘e-fueled booty call’ don’t say ‘e-fueled booty call’…”)
“I don’t think the Guardians would like me talking about that on facebook, Eli. They’re such squares” She sticks her tongue out playfully and smiles.
“That’s certainly true. That’s why she sends them all up the wall. Valentina, I mean. Huh.”
Elithora is clearly musing several competing thoughts. “Listen, you have my address, right?” She fishes her phone out of her pocket and sends the map point to Aurie to be sure. “Stop by this weekend? Let’s talk.”
“Okay. I’ll be there.” Aurelia smiles
The Arrow turns off the computer after saving his file and begins to prep gear. Isn’t sure how Sinon wants to play this so is preparing a small selection from the Governors to some pump action shotguns. And like Eli suspected, they are all very neatly laid out.
He looks at the collection in front of him and gets out his cellphone, calling Traceur.
Traceur picks up. “….BJ. It’s getting late. What’s going on?”
“I have a weird request. Do you know if the armory has a pair of derringers chambered in .410?”
“I….that is a weird request. I’ll have a look.”
Hangs up the phone at the no. Making a mental note to get some at some point. “Sinon, you around?”
Sinon leans out from the sitting room and softly says, “In here.”
Walks in to the sitting room. “I think I am going to add some guns for our Mystagogues.” Takes a seat, rubbing his temples.
“I can see why you have a headache, then.” Sinon notes dryly. “I think they’re having a girl chat in the other room.” A five second pause. “I may need to build another entrance to the attic.”
“Ah. I am guessing about last sunday. It…was a night.” Tilts his head as a question in responce to the attic comment.
“Yes. I hope everyone had a good time.” Sinon sits down with a drink. (that means they stayed away from Janis and out of trouble!)