|Scene Title||The Petition|
|Synopsis||Wherein Nestor seeks out Ripper for the return of his birthrights and receives a homework assignment.|
The famed Central Park, an area that at times, has come to be known as the oasis of NYC. One of the great pleasures New Yorkers and tourists enjoy is getting away from it all inside Central Park. Stretching 51 blocks between 59th and 110th streets, this 843 acre, green rectangle has served its city well since 1859. From famous statues to castles, there is so much to see within this pastoral landmark. One of the more famous stops is The Dairy, built in 1870 as a milk bar, it now serves as the main Visitor Center. There is also the posh Tavern on the Green restaurant nearby. On the more romantic side of the park, Hansom Cabs can be found lined up across from the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, offering a romantic journey through the park. To the north lies a large, fenced-in body of water. with walking and jogging trails offered along the perimeter path.
It's night in New York, and Central Park is cast in shadows, lending it an eerie, sinister air. In the semi-darkness beneath the trees, Rupert lurks. He's a pro at lurking, and he's been pacing himself, so he could lurk all night and still get in an extra burst of lurking before dawn.
Nestor is also good at lurking, but he isn't tonight. He's walking down the street, dressed in 'street' clothes, which is to say that he took his coat and silk shirt off and replaced them with a t-shirt and a light jacket. He is still wearing the baggy black pants and black boots, and he has a bag over his shoulder that presumably carries his shirt and greatcoat. He notices Rupert standing beneath the trees. No, pardon me. /Lurking/ beneath the trees, and heads over. He stops in front of him, dropping the bag at his feet. "Good evening, sir. I found you at last." He grins a little, pleased at himself.
"It took you long enough." The voice that answers is empty, hollow, and somehow dark. The man's trenchcoat flares out and shifts into a cloak of pure shadow, blacker than the shade around them. "Speak your piece."
Nestor bows, a little awkwardly. "I have learned, in my week in the city, that the stunt I pulled wasn't worthy of the power I have been given. People were hurt, and almost died, because of me. And that is unacceptable. It was foolish and rash, and many people will probably never forgive me for it. I've already seen evidence that supports that. We are supposed to help and protect those who are unable, and my actions were not those of a protector." His mouth twists in self-derision. "Since then, I've matched myself against a gigantic menace of a Titanspawn, twice, the first time alone, in order to protect those around me who were unable to stand up for themselves. I even stood up to a powerful Scion who was using his powers to bully people around, even though he could have killed me. I'm donating my money, my time, and my body to the service of this city, and hoping that it's enough to make a difference." He opens his mouth to speak more, then lapses into silence. Then, quietly. "I would be able to do a better job with my Relics. Sir."
The shadow-cloaked figure ponders Nestor for a moment. "So you would. The last time you received these toys, they were gifts from your true family, bestowed to you in a moment of pride and in a time of need. You proved unworthy, and they were taken from you." He stops, and disappears entirely into the shadow of a tree.
"Now you claim that you have earned what was once freely given. Very well. I am no judge, and they are yours to take. But there is a price, and a consequence."
Nestor nods at once, only a swallow showing his nervousness. "I'll pay it. Tell me what it is."
"Lesson on, boy. Never agree to pay until you've heard the price. It makes you look desperate, and there are worse things than I walking the night, preying on the desperate."
"Lesson two is the price. I will return your birthrights, but you must take more responsibility with their use. I want an essay on what each of them means to you, and how you could use them to better the place of us, the gods, and the mortals in this War. If I don't get these, and they aren't both honest and of highest quality, I will take your birthrights from you and make them as my own. Is that understood?"
The voices seem to circle the park around Nestor, never coming from the same place, but with no movement to give away the cloaked man's position. It is undeniably his voice, though.
Nestor swallows audibly at this pronouncement. "Yes sir. I understand. Where can I find you, to bring the essays? And how long do I have?"
"You have as long as you need," the voice answers from directly behind him. "Or until I get bored. Whichever happens first."
Suddenly, Ripper coalesces out of the shadows directly in front of Nestor, holding some familiar items. "What are you missing, boy?"
Nestor takes a deep breath to avoid jumping in surprise. "I'm missing 12 toy pistols and a bag of pieces of eight coins, most replicas, a few real. Also, my saber, but I don't know if you have it."
Ripper begins to remove small items from cloak pockets. First, the toy pistols are laid upon a sheet of shadow that suddenly seems to serve as a table. "Describe your weapon to me," Ripper orders as he produces the items one by one.
Nestor spreads his hands, encompassing about 3 feet between them. "It is long, slightly curved towards the opposite side as the edge, with a silver basket-type hilt in the shape of the American Flag. Bronze wire wraps the handle, and the pommel is silver as well."
Ripper doesn't acknowledge the words. and continues bringing items out of his pockets until all 12 guns are on the table, next to a bag of coins. "Which is your greatest treasure? Which of all these things would you most hate to lose?"
Nestor replies, "The bag of coins, I would say. Hard to replace that, for sure."
Wordlessly, Rupert pushes the toy guns across the table and motions to Nestor. He picks up the bag of coins and looks at, as if studying an interesting bug.
Suddenly, he tosses the bag up into the air. Before it travels far, Ripper pulls a solid black sword, swirling with wreathes of shadow and slices open the bag with deft ease. The sword is seemingly casually tossed aside, but it lands blade-first in the ground next to Nestor. "Your items. boy. I return them to you, and one of mine to replace what was lost." The voice gets colder now, more empty, less human. "But I will watch you, and know this, Captain. There is nothing you have that I cannot take away with the slightest effort. And if it comes to that, you will thank me for doing it.
Rupert once again fades completely into the shadowed, invisible to all senses. The coins are scattered on the ground. The strange black table seems to twist, fade, and fold in on itself until it is just an unusuall shaped shadow on the ground. The black sword, however, remains and is a perfect replica of Nestor's lost cutlass, useful for all the same things, but is always solid black. Further examination may reveal stylized claw marks on the hilt.
Nestor darts forward, struggling to catch as many of the coins as he can, then sets about picking the rest up. He tears a piece of his shirt off and uses it as a temporary bag for the coins, carefully putting it into the pocket of his jacket. Then, he opens the bag, revealing a cheap store-bought katana, his greatcoat, bandolier, and shirt, and pulls the bandolier out, placing the guns back into their slots on the leather band. He replaces that, then stretches out a hand, reverently, for the sword. He runs a hand down the outside of the blade, stunned, then grabs it by the hilt, flourishing it. He stares. Perfectly the same. Reverently, he pulls the sheath from his old sword out of the bag, and slides the sword home, nodding at the 'click' as it locks. Then, he puts everything back in the bag and puts it back on his shoulder. "Thank you, sir, for your generosity!" He speaks a little louder than normal, but not yelling. Just projecting his voice, to make sure Rupert hears it. Then, with a last look at where Rupert vanished, he heads off, walking more jauntily, whistling an upbeat tune.