|Scene Title||Colonel Mustard in the Hall with the Knife|
|Synopsis||Scrivner, Vette, Dee, Marius and Simone are invited to a random, fancy cocktail party in upstate New York. Then… there's MURDER. Dun dun dunnnnn.|
Eccentric socialite Ella Rubio does not host parties at her upstate New York mansion often, but when she does one just does not turn down the invitation. The invitations tend to be exclusive and odd, chosen only for her purposes and usually, it's said, simply because she's become interested in someone or another. With her fingers in many pies she happens to hear about an awful lot of people. Her invitations never allow for a date or a guest, which means everybody at this party, no matter what their station or profession in life, got their own, personal, engraved invitation to be here.
The party ranges across all three levels of the mansion. There is a pool out back, glimmering with elegant paper lanterns which shine and wave over the waters. The ballroom has a live band in there. There's a library with just about every book you've ever heard of, an elegant living room, dining hall. The second story of the mansion seems to be devoted to all manner of ancient artifacts and museum quality things. There are only 16 guests here to enjoyall of thishowever, of which, among them are Dee, Scrivner, Simone, Marius, and Vette. And the hostess herself makes for 17. This makes the party elegant but a little bit empty, giving it the air of some sort of dim, hollow social ritual that shimmers just under the surface of the bright lights and the exclusivity.
Marius has come in a black suit this evening, his hair perfect, he still wears tennis shoes that kind of clash with the rest of his outfit. The suit jacket does not come off, hiding what is tucked into the back of the waistband. He checks his watch and makes sure to show up just a touch on the late side. fashoinable late, not truly late.
He almost turned down the invitation. Rich and eccentric she may be, but Rufus Scrivner is disinclined to take up an invitation from a strange woman whom he does not know and does not allow for him to bring his date. He changed his mind when he realised that Vette had her own invitation, and although wary, he made the RSVP. Now strolling across the first floor towards the library, a flute of champagne in hand and wearing a sleek, black tuxedo, he warily eyes the walls and the artwork. "It's emptier than I expected it to be," he remarks, so quietly. He's been here for all of twenty minutes or so. Of course he's carrying that slim, nylon case across his back. No way in Hell did he leave his sword in the car.
Simone has her hair pulled up for the evening, showing off dangly diamond earrings in a silver setting to match her necklace and bracelet. She's wearing a strapless cocktail dress in black satin, the bodice fitting closely with the skirt flowing to mid-calf. She's carrying a small clutch purse that's barely large enough for a cell phone, and walks comfortably enough in the strappy pumps. For her part, she just assumed this was an obsure friend of her mother's, and she somehow managed to make it to the guest list based upon that. Working her way through the party, she's sipping champagne when she spots two familiar faces and heads in their direction.
Dee, too, almost passed. An invitation out of nowhere makes a thief a little nervous, even when that thief was raised on the better side of society. She finally decided she couldn't resist, especially with it being an opportunity to wander the inside of a wealthy home. Curiosity, of course. She's all dressed up in formal and black, her hair arranged up with gold combs and her ears, neck and wrist decorated with gold and emeralds, an immense change from how she's usually dressed. It didn't allow for her to wear her winged boots, but her clutch is large enough for her lockpicks among other necessities. You know, just in case. She too has a flute of champagne, and her bearing is that of someone who belongs in high society. She's made note of the others here that she knows, and certainly hasn't missed that there's an awful lot of Scions here, for such a small guest list. It's put her on guard as she watches the band.
Vette, dressed in a brand new green dress and green high heels, along with her ever present puzzle box necklace, has her hair swept up into an elegant bun and walks with Rufus as if afraid she'll soil or break something if she touches anything. She hasn't touched any of the food either, though there are foods from all over the world pretty much everywhere. She murmurs back, "It's creepy," but spots the rest of the familiar faces not long after that. She raises a hand in greeting to them.
Flowing down a staircase, the hostess herself is resplendent in a gown of red. Her soft blonde hair falls in fashionable waves to her shoulders. She wears just enough make up and a smile to match. Her green eyes sparkle as she comes down to greet the new arrivals. Ella says, "Welcome, all of you, to my home. I hope you have a pleasant evening tonight. Please, take the time to mingle with the other guests, and let me know if there is anything I can do to make your evening more comfortable and fun for you."
Flicking a glance off to one side, Rufus soon catches sight of familiar faces and smiles. "Doctor," he murmurs to Simone, as she approaches. "You look radiant this evening." There's a nod to Dee when he catches sight of her as well, and going still, he turns his head to study the hostess with suspicious eyes and a tight but polite smile. He found it odd that he and Vette had been invited. Seeing two other Scions straight off the bat? Now he /knows/ something is amiss.
Marius 's eyes scan the room, he takes careful note of his three beautiful cousins being present and frowns just a little, he then moves to the hostess, to greet her, a big smile on his face, "Thank you very much for the invatiation Ms. Rubio"
Dee turns when their hostess appears, of course, and properly raises her flute and smiles towards Emma when she's done speaking. She does, of course, study the woman as carefully as she's been studying the house and grounds, looking for anything that stands out as a reason for concern. She then makes her way towards Emma and Marius to likewise greet their hostess. She adds in her voice to Marius', saying "Yes, thank you so much. It was most kind, and you have such a lovely home."
Simone wanders casually, gravitating towards Rufus and Vette as he greets her. "Good evening, Rufus." she replies, holding the champagne more than sipping it. Glancing to Marius as he greets the hostess, she has warning bells going off in her head as well. But she just gives Rufus and Vette a knowing look. "Interesting party, isn't it?" she remarks casually.
Vette nods in greeting, rather shyly, to the hostess, and nods to Simone and Rufus. She smooths down her dress and tries not to look like a cat about to jump out of her skin. She asks, quietly, "Do you think we should—I dunno. Mingle or something like she said?" That's pitched in a whisper to Rufus and Simone alone. Unlike her somewhat grumpy mood of the other day, she's back to her much more happy self, even under her nerves.
Ms. Rubio smiles and extends one hand to Dee and one hand to Marius. "Oh think nothing of it," she says. "Where else could I meet so many interesting people? My home is often rather lonely so it pleases me to share it with you." If they take the hands she'll just squeeze them lightly, in a sort of old world, friendly fashion.
Rufus continues eyeballing the blonde woman, watching Marius and Dee speaking with her, before he turns his eyes back to Simone and smiles thinly. "Interesting indeed," he murmurs. "I cannot help but wonder who the other guests are." He rests his hand atop Vette's, patting and nods his head in silent agreement. Time to mingle.
Marius nods and returns the little squeeze, then slides away, moving to chat up the guests he doesn't know, to find out just who is joining him in this odd little adeventure.
Dee takes Emma's hand long enough for a squeeze, still studying the women without giving any outward sign of it. "I'm flattered that you find me interesting, of course. I was not aware that my reputation had reached so far." Which reputation, she doesn't say. For the moment, she remains nearby their hostess.
Simone looks from Rufus to Vette, smiling warmly and giving a discrete wink. "I, for one, am going to check out the house first." she replies. In a lower voice, she adds "And keep an eye on Dee…" Figuring she'll meet their hostess sometime throughout the evening, she wanders off in search of the library.
Marius decides to take a tour of the house, heading to the top floor, which of course is the smallest he starts there and works down, lookingto see who all is on the fourth floor and looking into the rooms that are not closed off.
Vette nods to Rufus and Simone, and then says, quietly, "Lead the way then, Ru, I don't know what I'm doing in a great big house like this."
Ella's laugh is soft. To Dee, she says, "Well. Reputation is relative. In truth I hear about all sorts of people. Interest, to me, is not found necessarily by the greatest amounts of overt fame, and fortune. There's a quality, a certain je ne sais quoi, about various people that interests me. When I find it, they get invited."
As Simone wanders to the library, which actually takes up nearly the entire west wing of the first floor, she will indeed find a guest. A rather large red headed, bearded man dressed in a suit is perusing the titles. His nose is red and a great big glasslike nearly a damn carafeof wine is in his massive, beefy left hand. He's got one of those leather patch things on the left elbow of the suit, rather tacky, not that he seems to recognize it.
The fourth floor proves to hold a massive shark acquarium and a planetarium. He'll find a black woman in an elegant golden dress bent over the telescope, fiddling with the dials as she watches the night sky. Her mouth is drawn into a thin, tight line, and she's abandoned a plate of carrots and dip nearby.
Marius smiles softly, "Good evening, anything interesting up there?" He goes for the full charm on the woman in Gold.
With Marius heading up to the top floor, Simone wandering into the library and Dee with the hostess, Rufus quietly turns away to meander towards the dining rooms and kitchen. They may be able to get an idea of what the woman intends through the selection of her guests, but he figures he should take a look at the /staff/ and what they're up to. He smiles as he walks at a leisurely pace, though once out of sight picks it up to a brisker gait.
The staff are all in black and white, like wait staff at any restaurant. They seem to consist primarily of college kids. They are cooking, rapidly moving empty plates out of the kitchen and clean plates back out. The spread in the dining room is by far the most elaborate of the buffets, with savoury smells rolling out in every direction. There is a rather timid looking woman with mousy hair in a shimmery blue pants suit and glasses putting together a buffet plate there, as well.
Dee ahhs quietly to Emma. "Yes, you have invited quite the interesting mix, I must say." There's a very slightly pointed element to the comment, suggesting she knows what at least some of them share. "I was very surprised to see several I know here." She continues to watch for anything more than words that she can glean from the woman's reply.
Simone looks around the libarary, glancing over to the red-bearded guest with the large glass of wine. She smiles over at him, offering a polite. "Good evening." Looking over the titles herself, she also tries to get a sense for any rhyme or reason to the library's arrangement. As well as the red-haired man's tastes.
The library is arranged in card catalogue order just as if it were a professional library, and the big red headed man is perusing the history section. His voice carries, seeming to roll from stack to stack as he turns to greet Simone. "Well good evening! And aren't you a beautiful lady." He offers his hand, sweeping the carafe out of the way as if to partially conceal it. He smells of wine, quite a bit, but his light blue eyes are clear and inquisitive.
The lady in gold straightens from the telescope and regards Marius. Finally she gives a slight smile with a hint of warmth. "Well. A television weather man. /Your/ presence here at least makes some sense. I am Elianore Harms, pleasure to meet you." One slim brown hand reaches out in offering.
"Ah, well, as to that," Ella says, with an almost embarrassed social grace, "I do like to try to invite some whom my beau might be comfortable with as well as people who intrigue me." A shoulder rises and falls.
So far, uneventful. Rufus glances at the staff for a long while, slowing upon seeing the woman at the buffet. He pats Vette's hand again, and very quietly, he murmurs, "If you see anything suspicious, pinch my wrist." Then, mustering up an impeccably polite smile, he ventures forward to come to stand by the Mouse Lady's side. "Good evening, ma'am," he says pleasantly. "I don't believe my companion and I have had the pleasure of meeting you before."
Marius smiles and takes the hand, kissing it, "Well Ms. Harms, what is so…strange about your presence here? What exactly do you do when not haunting my dreams."
Mouse lady jumps, and almost fumbles her chicken wings. Vette nods, and she's got a sympathetic grimaceit's like she knows how the Mouse feels. Mouse pushes up her glasses and looks at Rufus, then says, "Nono I don't expect you would. I'm not—not terribly important." She clears her throat a little bit, and looks almost disappointed to see the lady on Rufus' arm. She gives a very rueful sigh, quiet enough to be barely perceptible, and says, "Deanne. Um. Blunt, Deanne Blunt." She smiles brightly, summoning up all her friendliness even though the social interaction seems to be not at all something she's easy with.
Simone returns the man's smile with a warm one of her own, meeting his gaze evenly. "Thank you very much. Please, call me Simone." she replies, reaching to accept the offered hand. Formal titles can be dispensed with for now, as far as she's concerned. "It's a beautiful house, isn't it? Do you know our hostess well?"
Dee chuckles quietly to Ella's reply. "Yes, it can be difficult to ensure that two, each with their own interests, are comfortable with a guest list." Every part of her body language is designed to put the woman at ease. After all, if you want to know what's really going on, go to the source. "I don't believe that I've met your beau as yet?"
Scrivner, of course, pretends he noticed nothing untoward about the lady's reaction to him. Rather, he offers her his hand for a shake, saying mildly, "Rubbish. I scarcely believe there's /nothing/ at all important about you, Ms. Blunt. At least… nothing less than any of the rest of us with the possible exception of Marius Forest who is some sort of celebrity." His voice lowers to a more conspiratorial pitch as he speaks with the two ladies. "And I am of the opinion that he was invited because the hostess has taken a fancy to his Spiderman ensemble." Then, far more conversationally. "The name is Rufus Scrivner, and the lady here is Miss Vette Adams. What is it you do for a living, Ms. Blunt?"
Elianore's smile is amused, though a touch cynical, but she lets Marius kiss her hand. "I'm a teacher," she replies. "I teach Middle School English at PS 5. I confess surprise to having time to haunting anyone's dreams. I must have done it unconsciously. Terribly sorry."
"Harry Wynter!" The man booms to Simone. "And not worth a damn! Never met her before in my life!" He seems to feel every single thing he says warrants or needs an exclamation point. "But you know, I /am/ a history professor. Wrote a damn fine paper on the point in history where various gods and things seemed to fade from consciousness for awhile. She probably read it and thought—now there's a damn important man who needs to be at this party. Have you tried the wine? Damn fine wine!"
Indeed, Ella seems to relax a great deal, and she offers a smile to Dee. "Richard is up in the museum," she says softly, her eyes still very hooded in spite of her relaxation. "He is in a bit of a Mood tonight, and seems to prefer to spend time among the collections. Yet he will tell you such stories about them."
"I'm awell I make candles," Deanne says, seeming to warm up and relax a bit. She smiles at Rufus and Vette both, a left over from her giggle at the Spiderman joke. "I mean I have a little catalogue so maybemaybe she buys my candles? I did think I spotted one or two. Soy candles, you know, the nice scented kind."
Simone grins broadly at the bold explanation, even giving a soft laugh. "Me neither, Professor Wynter." she replies, not trying to hide her amusement at the red-bearded man's enthusiasm. "I'm a medical doctor, myself. Though too fresh out of my residency to have done anything remarkable like cure cancer, I'm afraid." She raises her glass, showing the half-full champagne flute. "I may catch the wine on my next round, thanks. Tell me about your paper, if you don't mind? I'm something of a history buff myself, where mythology is concerned."
Dee ahhh quietly. "Yes, well. We all know how men can get when they're in a mood, don't we?" she says with a smile, making it a private joke between women. "I do love museums. What manner of collection is it? Do you prefer a particular theme?"
"Oh yes, I know the kind precisely," Rufus says with a brisk nod of his head. "I was once acquainted with a woman who bought those for her flat, insisting that they were the only /ethical/ kind that should be bought. Better for the environment, less oppressive for bees." He exhales rather a long breath, then smiles, glancing at her plate of chicken wings. "Well, I can assume you and she do not share that devotion to freeing the little buzzing things."
"Ahh! Well." Harry says to Simone. "I focused on what must have happened in the human collective unconscious when the Greco-Roman gods seemed to disappear from favor, only to be replaced by the monotheistic, Christian way. The spread of such a thing had to have represented some sort of shift in the needs of humanity, the way they thought and saw the world. And now," he chuckles. "Now of course, a look at the television shows us the shift has come full circle doesn't it?"
Ella's laugh sounds a little forced and she takes a deep drink of her champagne. "Norse artifacts, primarily," she says. "Weapons,shields, some household goods. Though there are also some Anglo-Saxon and ancient Celtic artifacts as well—Richard won't pass a good one up when he sees it."
Deanne flushes as she looks down at her plate of chicken wings. "Wellwell no. Not really. I just like soy. It holds scents better and it burns better. I hadn't reallyhadn't really given thought to the environment. I think if the environment falls down and goes boom it's going to be about a lot um, bigger, um, nastier things than um. Oppressed bees."
Marius smiles softly, "maybe it was your identicle twin then? English teach hmm? More on the grammer side or the literature side?"
"Literature," Elianore replies. "My class just got finished with a study of Beowulf. Are you familiar with the epic, Mr. Forest?" Her brown eyes reflect amusement more than anything else, but there's a certain passion for her work there.
Dee smiles. "They were particularly interesting civilizations." she agrees. "Even apart from the fascinating myths and legends. Are you interested as well, or are ancient legends and civilizations mostly his passion?"
Simone raises a curious brow, nodding as Harry describes the situation. "I'm afraid I've been spending too many late nights working in Emergency Rooms to watch much television, Professor. But you mean that for some reason, humanity needs the Greco-Roman gods again after centuries of monotheism? I find that… remarkable."
Ah hah. Rufus' eyes narrow for a second or two, and his smile falters just a touch. "You believe so?" he murmurs quietly. "It will turn out something more like … the Apocalypse or Ragnarok, perhaps? Clashing battles and fire?" He glances askance at Vette for a moment, then back at the lady.
"Oh that's all him," Ella says with a lofty laugh. "I'm far too much of a socialite, darling, to be much of a scholar. But I have devoted space here in my home for his interests. I've heard him go on about them of course, and he likes to give me jewelry covered with runes and such, but it's not really /my/ cup of tea."
Harry booms, a twinkle of mischief in his eyes. "Well of course it's remarkable! That's why my paper's been critically acclaimed, of course." He takes a long swig of his wine. "Of course now I know who to ask for when my academic rivals give me the Death by 1,000 papercuts, don't I!" He laughs at his own boorish joke.
"More like, um…Khnum's final descent with the sun," Deanne says with a faint smile. "Oh—I'm sorry, this is a depressive topic isn't it? I'm really sorry. I do go on. I just um. I just read a lot."
Simone sips her champagne, laughing at the joke anyway, boorish or not. "I'll see that it's not converted into Death by Peroxide or Mercurichrome." she quips back. "And I will certainly have to get my hands on a copy of your text, I think." Tilting her head, she asks. "So why now, after all these centuries? Surely in our recent history, we could have found it useful to have the Old Gods back in the saddle again."
"It is awfully kind of you to humor him in it, of course." Dee replies to Ella. "Perhaps I will make my way there in a bit, and try to lift his mood by enjoying his collection? Men always feel better when a woman praises their assets." she says then in a joking manner.
Marius smiles, "Oldest known piece of literature, as I remember. Lots of long stanzas about putting on armor, and such, I personally think the movie didn't do it justice though. It is a seminole piece, with some very emotionally rousing parts.
"That's quite all right. Lovely though this manor is, there's something about it that lends itself well to these sorts of discussions," Rufus briskly says. He hesitates, then he glances at Vette, then back. "Ms. Blunt, I would like you to join my companion and me this evening. Once you've filled your plate, would you care to join us on a walk to explore the remainder of the house?"
"Well look at how damned screwed up the world is today," Dr. Wynter says, his hands moving expressively even as he stains his sleeve with a dark flow of wine. "Waste and disease and environmental problems everywhere, damn towel heads running around everywhere blowing things up, weird sightings, UFOs, castles in the sky and all that sort of thing. We need heroes, don't we? Yes! We need heroes. And the faceless monotheism only really provides heroes for the next life, doesn't it? The pantheons, now, they provided heroes for right here! Right now! Things we're really concerned about! Food and wine and where to sleep and what to wear and," he gives a booming laugh. "Mating!"
Ella lets out a soft laugh. "I think he would like that, yes," she says softly. But there's something that changes in her manner. Where she'd been soothing along in a very easy going rapport with Dee, her body language now /intensely/ changed, though her face never alters from its socially pleasant expression.
"Indeed," Elianore replies, smiling slightly. "But then the movie is never as good as the book, is it Mr. Forest? Most people, however, don't have a patience for the older language, the older things."
Ms. Blunt looks /very/ relieved. "Yes. Yes I would. I'm finished now in factI don't want to hold you up from any mingling you'd like to do but yesyes I would certainly like the um, the company. I don't feel very comfortable here but it's," she gives a little laugh. "Kind of the first party I've been to all year."
Marius smiles and offers his arm, "Well when I was a kid I liked shakesphere a lot so I got use to some of the middle english ….and well…I will admit sometimes I still need a good translation for the old stuff. Perhaps yu would care to join me in seeing what other interesting people have been invited here?"
Rufus sets down his champagne glass, without ever having taken a sip from it, and then he offers his left elbow to Ms. Blunt. "Then shall we be off, ma'am?" he inquires. Two ladies to escort makes for a rather cheerful-looking Scrivner, even in such a grim environment. "Have you met anyone else about here who caught your attention? Struck you as rather… mmm…. out of place as well?"
Simone glances to the wine-stained sleeve only briefly, her attention mostly on the man who's doing the pontificating. "Perhaps we -do- need heroes, Professor." she agrees. "Although I could offer a counter-argument that we human beings have the 'mating' part figured out pretty well. But what would heroes do? Kill all the bad guys so the good guys could sleep easy? I don't think the lines are so clearly drawn."
Continuing to study their hostess, Dee's eyebrows arch just slightly at something unexpected and hard to see. There's a casual glance around them so that she knows how quietly to speak, then she says in a concerned tone "I've said something to offend you, and entirely unintentionally."
"I think I'd like that. I've seen some fairly odd characters here this evening." Elianore takes Marius' offered arm, just leaving the plate of carrots to be picked up by one of the help staff later.
"Well some seem to make perfect sense," Ms. Blunt admits, taking Rufus' other arm amiably, blushing like mad. "I meanthe county drain commissioner is here. Some bigshot internet marketer, and a bigshot shrink. But there's also likea professional juggler? And some female Army Ranger? Well I guess a female Army Ranger's rare enough that it's interesting."
Harry just blinks at Simone and says, "Hell if I know. Hercules took down bad things and the world was a better place. I think there's some sort of ripple effect when heroic people do heroic things. It changes the very fabric of history, of reality, when such things happen. You should read the paper, I'm far too drunk to explain it right now." As if to demonstrate, Harry belches.
Ella starts, and then smiles. "No, not at all. But I'm afraid I must see to my other guests. If you'll excuse me, please?" She's already trying to move off, a bit of sweat forming at her temples.
Marius smiles and leads his little teacher down stairs to the third flor, where he begins to check to see who might be in the right wing of the house.
Dee mms quietly. "You should, yes. I would not wish to monopolize our lovely hostess." She adds then, more quietly, "And when you are ready to ask for help with whatever is wrong, please let me know." Tact? Sure, when it's needed.
Simone manages not to snigger at the belch, but only just. "I see. Well if I run into any heroes, Professor, I'll be sure to pass that along. And I'll try and keep up with the news better, as well." She glances at his wineglass, then adds. "Enjoy your drink." She doesn't seem in a terrible rush to leave the library, all the same. And she eases closer to peruse where the professor was looking.
Pretending he doesn't notice any blushing, Scrivner turns to walk the ladies out of the dining room and glances about as he comes out of the wing. "A female Army Ranger? I didn't realise that women were even allowed into their ranks," he idly remarks. Now he's going to lead them towards the parlour, but he keeps an eye open for anything that strikes him as unusual.
On the third floor of the house, primarily, there are bedrooms. However there are quite a few rooms that are dedicated to art as well. Standing in front of one of the paintings there is a tall, storklike man with wire rimmed glasses. He has wirey strength though, if one looks very closely at him through his blue pinstripe suit. He's also wearing a pocket protector of all things.
Ella picks up her skirts, flashes Dee a sickly smile, and goes hurrying up the stairs towards the second floor. A man seems to have appeared right at Dee's elbow. Huge broad shoulders and great green eyes peer from above a bushy beard. His skin is dark, rich in that Middle Eastern way, and his suit is all black. "Jumpy little thing, isn't she?"
The parlor holds a black man in a gold silk shirt and black trousers. He's perusing some guns that are mounted on the walls—historical rifles and the like that are there for show.
Harry smiles at Simone and wanders down the stacks aways, draining the rest of that monsterous carafe.
Simone smiles back, easing casually closer to the stacks. And when he tips back to drain his carafe, she casually plucks at something she saw on one of the shelves.
Dee watches Ella go, her forehead furrowing just a bit as she continues to study the woman until she is out of sight. She looks then towards the man who has appeared to her side, and mmms quietly as he has his turn being studied. "Quite so." she replies to him. "I cannot help but wonder why."
Not the hostess, certainly. Rufus pauses for a moment to study the man from a comfortable distance. He glances briefly at Vette with a reassuring smile, then offers one of the same to Deanne Blunt. Walking slowly forward, he quietly puts some cheer into his voice when he says, "Good evening, sir. Quite an interesting collection there, isn't it? Though I can't profess to know very much about firearms myself."
Marius smiles and clears his throat offering a hand, "Lovely piece, Marius Forest, this is my beautiful escort Elianore Harms"
Harry, for his part, sort of wanders off, mumbling about needing more wine, and maybe some sushi, and maybe a turkey leg. He gives another belch as he heads out of the library, singing, I kid you not, "John Jacob Jingle Hammerschmidt."
The man holds out his hand. "I'm Arthur Moore, and I'd be quite curious to know that as well. This party seems full of questions and I am a man in search of an ally. You're the first person I've encountered who seems willing to admit that something is wrong here. I understand however that Mr. Rudnickthe mysterious Richardintends to unveil some sort of piece d'art here in about half an hour. Perhaps that has something to do with it."
The black man turns to regard Rufus. "It is," he says. "And if you want to know about firearms," he flashes a grin with white, white teeth. "I am your man." He has a thick, Haitian accent. "Though it might bore the lovely ladies. Ladies are often intimidated by such conversation."
"Ah, pleasure to meet you both," Pocket Protector says with an amiable smile and a tip of his fedora hat. The brown battered thing bears no relation at all to the rest of his outfit. His bright green eyes twinkle merrily as he sweeps a bow to the two. "Shawn Devitt, pleasure to meet you both."
Simone waits until Harry slips out, then she deftly opens the envelope she found. Keeping her back towards the doorway, she pretends to be looking at one of the books on the library shelf.
Dee takes Arthur's hand briefly in a shake. "Dee Floros. A pleasure to meet you, Arthur." she replies to him. "Do you believe that the guest list is as random as our hostess might suggest?" he's asked then. "Or do you think there is a common thread here?"
"Perhaps another time when the ladies have been suitably distracted," Rufus says. He glances apologetically at Vette for a second or two. "It would, after all, be poor form to carry on a discussion without at least inviting them to join. With whom do we have the pleasure of speaking?"
Marius says, "Well please to meet you Mr. Devitt, we were just thinking of heading down toward the pool, to see what is going on, would you care to follow along? What is your expertise by the way? I am a meterologist, and Miss Harms is an expert on ancient literature.,"
Simone glances over the paper she's found in the library, then slips it back into the envelope. Bending casually to adjust a strap on one of her shoes, she tucks the envelope up under her skirts to slip it into a garter. Right next to the 9mm ammunition clip. Arranging everything once again, she takes a deep sip of champagne and heads off in search of their hostess.
"No, of course not," Arthur says with a faint smile. "Of course, whether that's the intent of the hostess or the intent of the hand of Fate I do not know, my dear. I'm an internet marketernot a philosopher. StillI have my guesses. And I suspect you have your guesses too." In spite of his size he has a mild, soothing voice, like a honey coated tiger's purr. No accent at all, really, in his impeccable English.
"The name is Humberto Whiteman," the gun enthusiast tells Rufus and his escorts. He flashes a self-depreciating grin. "Don't think I don't feel the irony every time I say it, either. I'd shake your hand but it would be a crime to distract them from their current past time." He sounds a bit jealous.
"R&D," Mr. Devitt says cheerfully. "I work for a plastics company, trying to make bigger and better plastic things. Dreadfully boring to anyone who's not a plastics enthusiast. I wouldn't mind jumping into the pool myself. There's some guest swimsuitsI think I will after this unveiling that's supposed to happen on the second floorsomewhere. We're all supposed to guess I suppose, or dear Ella left it out. In…" he checks his watch. "15 minutes."
If Simone bypasses the servant's quarters as a place to look for Ella her path will by necessity take her back around to the foyer where Dee and Arthur are speaking at the base of the stairs up to the second floor.
Simone approaches the pair, certainly recognizing Dee, and offers a warm smile by way of greeting. "Hello there. Excuse me, but I'm trying to find our hostess. I'm afraid I've been negligent and missed her on my way in. Have either of you seen her recently?"
There's something juuuust a bit smug in the way Rufus smirks at Humberto. "I imagine any jokes you've heard on the matter have grown old and tired by now. No worries, sir. I'll refrain. Are you acquainted with our hostess? I haven't even met her myself and have begun wondering just /how/ she came to know of me. Is it much the same for you?"
Dee arches an eyebrow, when Arthur speaks of Fate. "Are you a great believer in the hand of Fate?" she asks him. "And yes, I do have some thoughts on the matter. But then, I know several of the other guests. Are you already acquainted with any of the others?"
Marius hmmms, "Plastics, how interesting" he leads his two sattelites down past the third floor toward the pool area, "I see well likely no time for a swim then if there is a big annoucement soon.
Arthur turns a smile on Simone. "She went upstairs," he says. "Which I think I'm going to want to do shortlyto the second floor. That's where this mysterious announcement is." To Dee he adds, "Not directly, though I have known members of Mr. Rudnick's family before. Perhaps that is the connection. But yesI do believe in Fate."
Humberto scratches at his chin. "Well, I know one of the guests from elsewhere. Me and Althea go pretty far back because she likes custom weapons made for her and that is what I do. We've also worked together, here and there, on other things. I think Althea might have known Rudnick from before somewhere. But—she'd never mentioned him to me. Are you going upstairs to hear the announcement? It's in a few minutes."
"Yes, it'll be here on the second floor," Devitt says, peeking into a museum like room with a ton of old runic stones on the walls. "In one of these rooms. I do wish I knew where."
Simone smiles to Arthur, giving him a nod. "Thank you. I'll see you both upstairs, then?" And with that, she makes her way upstairs to nose around a bit. She's looking for other guests, certainly, as well as anything else unusual.
Dee smiles to Simone, and nods to Arthur's reply. "I believe that I will go there shortly as well. I'm very curious to see what this is all about." she says. To Arthur again, "Have you? Can you tell me a little about them? I know that he has a fascination for ancient northern civilizations."
"I hadn't realised there would be an announcement," Rufus says with some mild surprise. "Well, yes. I certainly wouldn't wish to miss it. If it's only in a few minutes, I suppose we'd best be making our way up there." Stepping back and gently guiding the ladies with him, he inclines his head to the black man. "Well, enjoy your explorations." And off he goes, intent on departing to get upstairs and look around for the hostess. Very quietly, nearly beneath his breath, he murmurs, "Neither of you have noticed anything, have you?"
Vette shakes her head, but Deanne says quietly, "I notice there's something really wrong. It's making my skin itch."
For those who head upstairs they will see most of the other people poking around the rooms the same way Devitt is. There's a Japanese man in a brown suit and tie looking into one room, and a woman in a backless black dress that almost proudly shows off the very odd looking raised whiplike scars on her back. A woman with a tight bun in black slacks, a black suit vest, and a white shirt is standing at the end of the hall with a grim expression on her face, wiating for someone else to figure it out. A man, slightly overdressed in a tux, is looking into still another room. The rug on the hall floor is one of those runner things in brown and gold, with runes worked into it. The most common rune marching along is Tiwaz. Everyone's murmuring and muttering amongst themselves. Neither Ella nor Richard appear to be in immediate view, but the other guests have all found their way here.
Well, he's not the only overdressed person. Rufus notes that with a wry smile and glances around. Where /he's/ from, gentlemen dress properly for cocktail parties at gorgeous manors. Oh well. Thoughts of his attire quickly leave him when Deanne speaks, and very quietly, he murmurs, "Yes, there's something dreadfully wrong. I just haven't figured out /what/ it is." His eyes linger upon the Tiwaz rune, recognising it immediately and just what it means. But he continues venturing forward, glancing quickly around.
Marius has stopped with Shawn, he still has Eleanior on his arm, and he looks over the runes, "I am afraid those are beyond me." He smiles at the other women who have begun to crowd around, offering hands to them, "Marius Forest."
Dee studies all those in the hall who she does not yet know. Her lips purse, and she says to the others "Does anyone else have the feeling that this will end badly?" For herself, she stays off anything that looks odd or Runic.
As if someone had said, "Let there be Darkness," Darkness falls. The lights don't flicker out or blow so much as darkness comes rolling through as if someone or another had shattered a glass jar and lets it out. A woman's voice screams, "NO!"
There's a very wet sound, then the sound of something snapping which rings through the air like /thunder/. Another wet sound, like something falling right to the floor. Moments later the darkness is just gone, leaving people's eyes to adjust.
A man is on the floor, dead. A long, non-descript knife has been plunged into his heart through the back. He has fallen right into the hallway between each and every one of the guests, who all appear just as shocked as can be. Ella is pressed against the wall some distance from her fallen "beau," her face pale and tears running down her cheek. Two snapped halves of an ancient looking Norse spear are in either one of the dead man's halves. Power crackles and radiates along his blood, which soon forms into dire words:
"None shall leave before I am avenged!"
Simone arrived upstairs in time for the light show… and the murder. As soon as the body is discovered she strides briskly forward. "Excuse me, please. I'm a doctor." she declares, crouching down before the dead man. Not that it will help much, seeing as the signs are fairly obvious.
On guard immediately upon the onset of the darkness, Dee's memory fills in for her where everyone was before the lights went out. Her senses sharp, she strains for anything that might otherwise be missed in the chaos (Telescopic Senses). When the lights return, she's having to fight off little purple dots like the others before reacting to the body among them. She frowns as she digests what's gone on, then says "Careful, Simone. There's more going on here." She waits for whatever might happen next.
Oh, bother. Rufus tightens his grip on the ladies when the lights go out, then firmly guides them to the wall and puts their backs to it. "No one touch anything," he firmly calls out. "No one move!" He reaches into the pocket of his jacket and hands over a slim, black cellphone. "Vette, call the police." Then he breaks away to go walking forward, to get a look at the body and at the blood himself.
Marius squeezes the hand of the woman on his arm in the dark, while opening his own senses up to pick up any signals at all, including radios, cell phones, or any electronice interference
Vette starts to make the call, then rips the phone away from her ear as it shrieks at her. "Um. I can't make a call." Others are reaching for their cellphones as well, to similar non-results.
Ella looks up and fixes Dee with a grim stare. "I /knew/ it was you," she hisses. "I /told/ him." She attempts to go for a little gun she has strapped to her leg, apparently with intent to avenge her lover right here and now.
"Um, what?" Dee just looks at Ella for a moment. "You're kidding, right?" Not that she just stands there waiting to be shot. She's watching the woman, to know when to not be where she's aiming.
Simone no sooner crouches than she rises swiftly, watching the body and easing away as step. "No one move!" she calls out loudly. "There's poison on this knife. As well as fingerprints, no doubt." Glancing to ther hostess, she points a finger. "And you, Madame. How much did you stand to gain by your husband's death, I wonder? Be very careful before you start pointing fingers. Or firearms."
Vette pages: The blood is trying to whisper to you.
Marius smiles and steps a half step forward, "Look we can handle this like adults, not jumping to conclusions, and no need for violence, It seems the storm I mentioned earlier tonight has come through and put out sme emp interference.
Vette pages: The blood whispers: "Brothermy brotherI knew you not but avenge me, avenge me well—"
The man acknowledges the lack of cell-phoneage with a sharp nod of his head. So they're well and truly sealed in. Seeing that gun drawn, Rufus lifts his head and sucks in a tight breath through his teeth. "No!" he yells, his voice sharp and piercing, ringing through the hallway. "Do not touch her! She is innocent!" He steps forward and carefully over the body, reaching for Ella's wrist, but he looks back at the blood on the floor, eyes narrowing.
Rufus' hand closes around Ella's wrist and a bullet flies. It richochets off of an invisible shield that seems to have closed around Dee, and it looks like she fired it by accident. "It had to have been her," Ella weeps. "It had to have been. She asked so many questions about him, so it had to have been." The lady is clearly hysterical, and she doesn't seem to hear Simone's question about what she stands to gain at all. She's addressing all of this at Rufus who is, after all, the closest.
Dee was all set to move when the bullet was fired, but fortunately the shield made it less likely that she'd be hit regardless. "If I meant to kill someone, I wouldn't be acting overtly interested in him, I assure you." She notes, though it's hard to tell whether Emma's paying any attention. "Does anyone know anything about that spear?"
Marius hmmms softly, "Well we could send someone for help, the only problem is, if we do so, the person sent could easily be the person who did it. We have to assume that someone here is involved in this.
Simone's nostrils flare, then twitch. She looks around the room, turning her gaze on each one in turn. "No, it wasn't Dee." she declares almost casually. Pointing to Arthur, she declares. "You, sir. Would you mind turning out your pockets, please? And I strongly suggest we leave the spear alone for now. It's practically -buzzing- with power of some kind."
Reaching for the gun, Rufus scowls and quietly states, "No, it was not her." He looks about to say something else, something probably not altogether too pleasant judging by the dark expression on his face, but he bites it back. "Now, if you please, madame, before someone else gets hurt." Then he turns his head to fix his eyes on this Arthur fellow.
Arthur's eyes widen a bit, and the big man stares around at the gathering. "I?" he asks quietly. He holds up three of his fingers. "Scouts honor, I have done nothing to harm anyone here. Still…" he turns his pockets out, revealing empty pockets. "Satisfied? I hardly know what's caused you to target /me/. Are you sure whatever it was that caused you to think that is accurate?"
Dee's sharp eyes scan slowly over those she doesn't know better, looking for any sign of something hidden on them. A slight bulge that isn't where it should be, or perhaps just someone standing in such a way as to protect or make something less visible. Meanwhile, she says "Does anyone know how the darkness was done?" She searches her memory for who was near a switch when the lights went out.
Marius looks around, watching everyone carefully, looking for tells or anyone looking overly nervous, or to easy for the scene, he bites his lips and smiles reassuringly to Eleanor, as he lets Simone do her thing.
Simone's eyes narrow a touch and she regards Arthur's empty pockets. Giving him a single nod, she offers. "Yes. Of course you haven't done anything wrong." And doesn't elaborate further. But she -does- sniff him closer once more. She turns to their hostess once more. "You didn't answer my question, Madame. Tell us about the state of your beau's affairs, if you would?"
Rufus' eyes narrow. "You're lying," he says softly, taking a slow step towards Arthur. "You killed him. Simone, you were right. He's lying, and he must have simply dropped the poison somewhere else." Keeping the woman's gun, though, he flicks the safety into place and stashes the weapon into his pocket.
At this point an awful lot of things are happening. Elianore has snapped an answer to Dee's question: "Oh for God's sake. It was a power. All of us here are God children aren't we?" She waves a furious hand at Ella. "Except her of course. She just huffin' her hubby's blood."
Ella's trying to answer Simone: "He knew! He knew he was going to die today and he knew it was going to be one of you. The Sibyl told him so! So he arranged this so he could have /vengeance/…"
Arthur looks coolly at Scrivner. "I tire of this," he says. Abruptly he brings his hands together. Symbols tattoo'd on his palms briefly flash. Everyone is erupting into shouts and accusations all at once. All at once it's impossible to /see/ the killer. But softly, Scrivner, Simone, Dee, and Marius can hear him. A soft chuckle. "His plan was imperfect you know. All I have to do to break his spell over this manor is to kill /all the rest of you/. And you'll never see me coming." Mockingly: "Catch me if you ca-an!"
Marius blinks at Elianor, and as Arthur dissapears he frowns, "Well now it comes down to how we are going to survive this. I think we need a plan, and some introductions."
Dee's eyes flicker towards Elianore, and she smirks. "I was wondering who was going to say something fir-" And then there's Arthur and his tattoos, and Dee jumps to make some space between them. "Hm. But what exactly is he?" she asks then, before setting her senses to try to find him that way.
Snarling, Rufus pulls off his jacket and withdraws his sword, tossing the clothing and the carrying case at Vette. Flushed in the face from his temper, though he's struggling to keep it under control, he briskly says, "You do that, Forest, but I'm going after the son of a bitch. This man was my brother. Justice will be done here, so help me God. Ms. Rubio, where is the focus of the spell? If he is going to try to break it, then he will have to attack it at its source."
Simone purses her lips, bending to reach boldly up under her own skirts. She produces the envelope she found in the library, as well as a clip of bullets. She hands the envelope to Ella. "He left this in the library for you, I believe. Keep it safe." Touching her moon medallion, when she pulls it away from her throat and it becomes a Glock automatic. She slaps the clip into the pistol, jacking a round into the chamber and switching the safety off.
Vette "oofs!" as she catches all the stuff. She fumbles it but manages to quickly get everything together. Ella takes the envelope and takes a deep, shaky breath. "Nobody can leave the manor until his killer dies," she explains. "You can try, and it may be that some of you have the abilities, but it's a powerful binding. Once his killer is dead, the spell that's wound around this place will be broken. That was his intent."
Then, quietly, the woman in the man's suit with the dark bun speaks up. Her nostrils have flared themselves, but they seem to have provided her different information as she pulls out a long, slim rod which she begins flipping around like a Transformer. This reveals a long sniper rifle. "Demigod."
Marius says, "His plan is pretty simple, and he is enough evil overlord to have told us, he can't get out till we are all dead, so taking the fight to him, while possible, might not be the smartest thing, as long as we stay together, he has to come get us.""
Dee mms to the woman with the Transformer. "Great. Well, there's enough of us, if we're smart." And she calls after Rufus then "And running off alone is *not* smart. Get your ass back here." To the rest again, "Whose senses are particularly keen?"
"Not necessarily," Scrivner states as he hefts up his sword and looks both ways down the hallway. "If he's a demigod, he has enough power to break through the wardings on his own. And let me inform you, if /all/ of my enemies were together in one central location, I would drop a bomb on them to wipe them all out in one fell stroke." His eyes narrow briefly at Dee, and he states, "We need to split up and hunt him down. The only way to win a game of cat and mouse is to /not/ be the mouse."
"Ahhgroups of four or five, perhaps?" Dewitt asks, taking off his fedora to scrub his fingers through his hair and then plopping it back down again. "We could each take a floor of the manor that way. He can't hide from all of us. As the lady saidnearly all of us have some manor of sensory powers don't we?"
Simone nods, holding her pistol at ready and sniffing about. "I agreed that we need to stay in groups, at least. Scampering off alone is a sure way to die. My senses are keen enought smell him, Dee. And he still smells like the curare he put on the knife. Nobody touch the knife, by the way. I might shoot you by accident, and I'll feel really bad about it later. What else do we know about him?"
Marius nods, "It sounds like we need to pick teams." He smiles, "there are 15 of us, sounds like 3 squads? Who is armed, who has the ability to track him?
Dee mentally runs through her brief conversation with Arthur. "He said the party seemed full of questions, and he was in search of an ally. I'm not sure now, what he meant by that. He also could tell that there was a theme to those invited, and believes in the hand of Fate. As do we all, I suspect. He claimed to be an internet marketer, and to have known members of Mr. Rudnick's family before. Not much of use, I'm afraid.
Rufus contemplates it for a moment or two, and quietly, he says, "Three squads should be sufficient, yes." He glances at Dee, listening to her, then he nods his head. After looking over the group for a moment, he starts pointing fingers. "You, you, you, you and you… Then you, you, you, you and…. Doctor, would you please join Mr. Whiteman's team? Forest, Miss Dee, Vette… let's stay together." Then he points his finger at the Army Ranger lady. "Would you come with us?"
"Althea Kinney. Yes, I will," the woman says. "As to knowing members of Rudnick's family…" her smile is dark and humorless. "I don't doubt it. He reeked like one of Set's children. Intel says Set and Tyr don't get along so good."
Dee ahhhs, and shakes her head. "It's sickening, when a Scion goes after others. There are more important things for us all to focus on than killing one another." She seems to accept the grouping.
Simone nods and gathers her team around her, introducing herself to those she doesn't know. "Apparently not, Dee." she replies simply. "But I do agree with you. We'll stay here close to the body, if no one has any objections. There may be something else in here that he's after." And she doesn't want to leave the spear unguarded, just in case. For that matter, Simone has already decided that when this is over, she's going to take the spear for further examination… probably by Vette.
Marius slowls disengages himself from Eleanior, "You think you'll be ok?" he smiles softly, and looks amongst the others, "Look everyone need to stay frosty and ready, he could be showing up at any time." he looks at Scrivner, "So how do you plan to find him?"
Rufus turns briefly to Deanne Blunt and smiles faintly at her. "Stay with the doctor," he tells her. "She'll look after you." Then he pats the woman in a friendly fashion on the arm before he turns his attention to Vette, approaching her and gazing down at her face for a moment or two. Without saying anything to her, he turns to Marius and scowls, then he settles his eyes on Althea. "You said you could smell him," he says. "That he stank of Set. Can you follow a trail back to him?" He glances back and forth between the rest of his teammates. "Unless someone has a better method."
Vette has since put on Rufus' jacket and strapped his sword scabbard over her back, making her look awkward and a little odd. She gives Rufus one of her vague smiles as if /she/ is trying to reassure /him/, but it's certain her mind is working at a mile a minute.
Deanna wanders towards Simone and gives her a little smile as the rest of the group assembles around them. The other group goes up the stairs, apparently thinking the third floor is the way, without much word.
Althea purses her lips. "Perhaps," she says. She unbuttons her shirt to display a raven tattoo on the hollow of her throat, and closes her eyes. That tattoo begins to gently pulse as her nostrils flare yet again. It might take her a moment to get the scent, leaving room for any last minute comments or orders.
Dee notes "We don't know that he isn't listening. We need to split up before planning. Also, is the catering staff still here?"
Marius reaches behind him and draws a large old fashioned six shooter from behind his back, he opens and checks the chambers, all empty before clicking it back into place and and smiling, "Well then Miss Althea, lead the way."
Dee whispers to those near her then, who are on her 'team', "Kitchen."
He sucks in a slow breath through his teeth at Dee's question, and Rufus looks faintly alarmed for a moment or two. "Christ," he whispers. "They're a bunch of college kids down there, and they probably haven't the faintest idea of what's happening. You're right. We should go down to warn them."
Simone's team takes up a defensive circle around the body and the scene of the crime. She extends her senses, sniffing cautiously for any tell-tale scent that might give away the murderer.
Althea nods to Dee. "I feel him on that floor too, but he's a slippery bastard. I'm not sure what room he's in, but he's down on the first floor somewhere or another. Lets go."
When this particular Alpha team gets downstairs they'll note a few thing. The band and the kitchen staff, who were /not/ Scions, but mere humans, are all locked in some sort of deep, enchanted sleep. If they happen to catch a look out the window it will look twice as dark outside as before. That's because the entire house has been covered with winding, deadly, long curved thorns the exact colour of Richard's spilled blood.
Simone has disconnected.
Dee scans the unconscious humans and the vines. "Anyone else feel like we're trapped in Sleeping Beauty's castle?" she murmurs very quietly. Her senses may not be sharp in the way Althea's are, but they do extend well past the normal range. She puts those to their task, of course. Then, quietly again, "Flour, for footsteps and coating."
Marius says, "If he can move fast, and even teleport, the only real way to catch him, is to give him a target, which means one of us goes off alone."
"If one of you would like to dress up as Maleficent…" Rufus starts to quip, but he doesn't quite finish that thought. For a second or two he studies Marius, contemplating that suggestion, while he looks across the sleeping bodies and out the windows. "You might be right, Forest. I'll do it," he says grimly. "It's only fitting." He pauses a moment to bend and kiss Vette upon the cheek before he starts walking forward, looking back over his shoulder. "I'm heading into the kitchen."
Marius blinks, "Um I was thinking me actually……."
"Rufus, wait a second," Vette says. She leans over to murmur something to him, a slight frown on her face. It's the first she's really spoken up all evening, but she keeps it for his ear only. As the self-sacrifice train of this group rolls ever onward.
Vette whispers "UmI'm umwell I think I'm pretty much—really really hard to kill," she whispers. "Plus I look really easy. Maybe it should be me instead of separating someone, you know, actually useful from the group.""
Dee notes "This is not a stupid man. If he sees one of us on our own, he's going to think ambush."
Scrivner stops and then turns to look down at Vette, scowling. "Oh, Hell…. No. No, Vette. /Not/ you." He firmly rests his hands on her arms and glowers at her, shaking his head. "Absolutely not. Forest…" He looks at the man for a moment, again contemplative, then flicks a glance at Dee. "He may. Or he may be tempted into acting against a Scion of Tyr if he sees me alone. He remarked to you that he had known members of Rudnick's family before, hadn't he? That says to me he's got a particular interest in us. And Forest… It's either you or me, mate, but you may do better than me to protect the remainder of the group if we've miscalculated."
"He's close," Althea says in frustration, turning all around. "But I don't know /where/. I feel him all around on this floor but that's all I can do. Damn it!" She snarls in frustration, stalking around. "I'm with Dee here. I think /any/ of us going off on our own is a dumb ass thing to do."
Dee continues to watch around them slowly, using all her senses. "He uses poison. If any of us says to move fast, that will mean there's something in the air." she comments. "And let's move. Into the kitchen for supplies." She tries to herd them that way.
Marius keeps his senses, on all spectrums wide open, listening and watching, and prepared for anything as he walks toward the kitchen as Dee suggests.
To (Marius, Scrivner), Vette pages: Ok, Marius, you will get a chance to hear the command before Scrivner reacts, thus giving it a chance to turn out Less Bad! You hear Arthur's voice suddenly growl, "Stab Vette," and can see the strange sound waves in the air that reach out to attack Scriv's mind with the Overt Order power.
Marius moves quickly, pushing Vette to the floor, and stepping between her and Rufus he doesnt even try to bring the gun up, intercepting the blade with his body if nessacariy
He had been just about to turn and walk towards the kitchen, looking fairly disgruntled, but then Rufus suddenly jerks and stiffens as if touched by a live wire. "Shit… Vette, move!" Of course, he's yelling as Marius is reacting, and twirling the hilt of the sword he carries in his hands, he steps up against Marius. He snarls as he turns the blade aside, so that all that really happens is that it sliiiides against the man's shoulder and slices through his shirtsleeve, drawing nothing more than a scratch of blood, if that.
Marius closes his eyes, as listens <aim action 3 ticks> as he tries to position the invisible scion of set in the room by his bo and his breathing.
Althea, too, is using her perception powers to try to aim, moving backwards with her sniper rifle up. Her eyes are narrowed as she looks to get a clear shot.
Since they clearly cannot see Arthur, Dee instead relies on both her other senses and the actions of the others to try to track his position and movements. Her own attack isn't an attack, per se. Instead, using what she remembers of the man, she leaps in with wide arms to try to grab and tackle his legs and bring him down.
Staggering around, gasping for breath, Rufus tries rather valiantly to get his wits together enough to do /something/ useful, but he only ends up looking into Marius' face with some lingering distress. Something invaded his head! Do not want! He backs off a step and then turns to face the noise, looking for Arthur while he mutters under his breath.
Marius' shot rings through the air and hits soft flesh. Arthur roars as he's it, somewhere in his side. He reappears into sight, but right behind Althea, whose carefully aimed shot is abruptly interrupted by the fact that he attempts to pick the Ranger up and toss her right into the wall. What actually happens is they engage in a grapple and he's forced to break free. Bleeding, he sneers just the same. "You can't beat me," he says, panting softly. "None of you can."
Vette, from the floor, touches the floor and tries to Shape it right over his foot to hold him there, but he steps contemptuously to the side and shoots her a murderous look.
Marius lifts his gun and pulls the trigger dropping round after round of solar fire at the Setite, "None of us can, but all of us have a chance."
Althea staggers back and attempts her careful aim again—one is given to think that's somewhere in her personal paradigm. She backs up several more steps, trying to put some distance between her and the Setite.
Kitchen. Excellent! There's lots of useful things in the kitchen. Like knives. Dee quickly reaches for whatever's sharp and closest, to wing at Arthur. She can't grapple, but throwing? That she can do very well. And he has to be stopped.
Simone has connected.
Now that the enemy is in plain sight, Rufus strides forward. He draws up his weapon and takes a swing. Unfortunately, he's clearly broadcasting where he intends to strike and is not moving as quickly or as cunningly as he could be.
Now several more things happen at once. Althea goes to take her shot and suddenly Arthur just kind of /grimaces/ at her. All the Scions can feel fate shift a little as she hesitates for a brief moment. The shot is going off seconds later, but that moment of hesitation cost her dearly. It would have been beautiful. It went right where his head would have been. Instead it's showering plaster and a long, thin, poison coated knife is buried in her gut instead. Her eyes widen with surprise.
Vette, who figures she's about as useful as a stone figurine over here, leaps up. "I'll get Simone," she says, and she goes racing back up the stairs on her long dancer's legs, calling for her bandmate.
Marius grabs Althea before she falls, he draws the knife out and grabs a spoon from one of the tables, digging at the blood in the wound and scattering it across the floor, "Not on my watch."
The nice thing about kitchens? There's a lot of knives in them. Dee does not pause for a moment before reaching for another to wing at the man. Especially while he's distracted with stabbing Althea. Another blade is sent flying towards the man.
Falling back after that really crappy attack, Rufus looks around at the group. "Come on!" he yells. "If we rush him at once he can't defend against all of us! Hit the bastard with everything you've got!" He draws back his sword as he shouts, voice hoarse and raspy.
When Vette comes to get Simone, she leaves the rest of her team upstairs with the body and the two women go racing downstairs to the kitchen. It's a bit of a run, but she arrives in the doorway just as Rufus is calling for a coordinated attack on the Setite. Pistol already drawn and ready, she takes aim and waits.
Vette sort of tumbles back past Simone, widens her eyes, says, "Oh gosh," slips into what looks very like a dance stance, poised and ready and waiting.
Arthur looks around at all of the group and sneers. "Even if you kill me, you will earn the emnity of my father. Know this." Then he produces a small weapon from his pocket—it looks almost like a gun only it's surely a relic. He is so close to Marius. He aims it, right at Marius' face, an evil smile crossing it. "You see him first, Weatherman." Since the man is /right/ there.
Knives, knives, and more knives. Dee doesn't let herself be burdened by whether she hits or misses. She just keeps putting everything she has into her throws. When Rufus inspires them all to hit him at once, she certainly plays in and another blade is thrown. It may not do much when it hits, but when you're fighting a demigod every bit helps. She looks quite satisfied then, when it sinks into him and the others all strike as well.
Marius has a bloody spoon he has been digging the poison out of Althea with in one hand and his other holds his gun which he fires multiple times sending glow golden orbs into the setite one after the other, he weaves to dodge the Setites own return fire.
With the others firing and throwing knives, Rufus dodges the incoming attacks to make sure /he/ doesn't get hit. Because friendly fire isn't. He's snarling as he lunges with his sword, drawing back his arm to stab again and again and again. He's muttering something beneath his breath as he strikes, and judging by the icy glint in his eyes, it's none too friendly.
Long distance to Vette: Scrivner mutters to Arthur, "/My/ father can kick your father's arse any fucking goddamned day of the week. See you in Hell, you motherfucker."
Simone is holding her aim, waiting for the others to all launch their attack. She adds a 9mm slug to the fray… aimed at the demigod's throat.
Vette whirls in a move that brings her to the back of the attacker for about the same reasons—friendly fire isn't. Her gorgeous high front kick says that if she were ever to take, say, capoya or something she'd be great. As it is, well. Her contribution is a kick that probably ruptures the evil Setite's crown jewels into a million mushy little pieces that nobody really wants to think very much about. When you're a novice fighter you go for the obvious, but it gets her job done.
So to recap: Arthur Moore the demigod is brought low by getting shot, stabbed, pierced, and ball busted, thus ending what could have been a very lovely career as a vicious God of poison and deception. Instead he listened to Daddy dearest and struck at a rival scion, and his story ends as a slightly greasy, nasty, bloody, disgusting lump of blood and /parts/ on the floor.
Vette, who is not exactly a hardened battle veteran here and who has certainly never killed a /person/ before, or even been near it, has a rather predictable reaction with a rather nasty sound in a nearby potted plant while her face turns interesting shades of gray and green.
While Dee certainly hasn't done a great deal of killing, she still isn't as green as Vette upon seeing the demigod cut, shot and squished. She is a little green, though. She gathers herself a bit though, and says "Anyone for coffee? Dessert?"
Pulling back, Rufus harshly pants for breath as he stares at the ruined body on the floor. He glances down at himself. The clean, crisp white shirt of his tux is /ruined./ He's a mess of blood and gore. "Damn," he mutters, as he flicks meat off of his sleeve. "How am I ever going to explain /this/ to the shop?" He bends down and just wipes the blade of his sword clean on a fold of Arthur's trousers, and he calls out, "Vette, are you all right?"
Marius throws the spoon in the sink and grins sheepishly, "Maybe I should go check on the other twoteams, make sure everyone is ok?"
Meanwhile the thorns outside are falling away and dying. The kitchen staff is waking up. Several of them scream to see this mess of a body on the floor and take off running, but hey—at least half a dozen mortals didn't get fatebound to every scion here. Vette, for her part, sinks down to a crouch and puts her head between her knees, and sort of gives Rufus a very weak thumbs up. Fine fine, don't mind her, just puking in the ficus here. Must have been a bad stuffed mushroom.
Simone moves quickly to the fallen sniper's side, setting her Glock down close and focusing on the woman's condition instead. "She's fading fast!" she cries out. Without hesitation, she rips a long strip of cloth from her gown and uses it to try and staunch the wound. "I need clean dish towels over here!"
Dee moves immediately to fetch whatever Simone needs, as soon as the doctor mentions it.
"Yeah, Forest. That's not a bad idea," Scrivner says. He starts to move for the towels, but Dee beats him to the punch, so he walks up to Miss Adams and crouches beside her. Briefly he touches her shoulder, then he digs around for his cell phone to take it out. "I'll call an ambulance and the police," he briskly says, as he flips open the phone.
Vette pages: Which is in fact working now.
Dee glances towards Rufus. "The police. 'Yes, officer. We all killed him because he was evil'. You want to rethink that?"
Vette struggles to her feet and sort of jerks at Dee's snap, but it's clear she's kind of in shock right now (welcome to the war, Vette?) and she's not entirely the most useful of people right this second. She sticks close to Rufus, looking dazed.
"As you can see, we have about twenty or so witnesses running screaming from the body on the floor," Rufus flatly states as he dials the numbers. "We have another body upstairs, did you forget? Either I can call the police and we can handle this honourably and honestly, which looks a lot less /dodgy and suspicious,/ or we can let one of these frightened college kids who just ran out call the police and try to lie our way out. I know which I'd rather. Althea there /needs/ an ambulance, and don't fool yourself into thinking the EMTs won't notice all the blood. This is too big to cover, unless you've a way to wipe the memories of the mortals here."
Dee mmms to that. "So… we're going to explain to the police why we're carrying all these interesting weapons and why it took all of us to kill him."
Simone stuffs whatever cloth she gets from Dee into the wound, using the strip of black satin torn from the hem of her gown to bind it in tight. There's blood all over the floor, the victim, and well up both of Simone's forearms by this time. But with a long sigh she settles back on her haunches and grins tiredly. "Okay, I think she'll live. At least if we can get an ambulance here soon."
"I'm not carrying anything illegal. If you are, I suggest that it get conveniently misplaced," Rufus flatly says. Then he turns aside for a moment, speaking quietly into the phone and urging the operator to get an ambulance out to the estate as soon as possible.
The ambulance shows up. The police shows up. And thus begins about 6 hours worth of delay, questions, and hoopla. However, everyone testifies to the fact that Arthur went insane. Everyone testifies to the fact that he went around attacking everybody here. He killed Richard, he tried to kill Althea, he tried to shoot Marius in the face. Most everyone here is filthy rich, including the party's hostess, or well known figures, or connected ones. The County Drain Commissioner, a Scion in his own right, certainly sees no reason for this to get "messy" and he starts calling in political connections left and right to make sure it doesn't. So does Ella. Nobody is searched and the story of self-defense and justifiable homicide and everyone trying to take down this maniac is believed well enough. After this exhausting run everyone gets to go home uncharged and unarrested, and Althea gets to go to intensive care.
Simone uses a piece of cloth to pick up her Glock (so she doesn't bloody it!). Dropping out the clip, she touches it to her throat and it's a pendant necklace once more. "Rufus, you're the lawyer here. I nominate you to explain this Shakespearean tragedy to the authorities."
This scene was GMed by Vette.