Post by Steinerman on Apr 26, 2010 20:34:58 GMT -5
"So, if that concludes today's business?" Her voice was soft, cultured and melodic. The owner of the voice matched it quite well, strikingly beautiful, arrayed in a resplendent golden outfit that seemed to shine of its own accord.
She currently sat at the head of a large oaken table, surrounded on all sides by men and women in military dress. The man opposite her on the other end of the long table nodded his head in agreement, "We are, lady Arvestus." He intoned in a deep baritone.
Gillian smiled and stood gracefully, "Then, ladies and gentlemen of the Empire, I take my leave. Until next week." With that, she turned and exited the simple doors behind her. She exited the room to find herself in the Imperial Citadel, busy and bustling on this sunny and beautiful day. Two Knights of the Blade stood guarding the door, fully armored and armed in the traditional plate-and-steel of the Order's finest armorers.
With a smooth motion she waved her hand and the two Knights fell into step behind her. She checked her watch as they traveled down the hallway, Yes...I have a few more hours before the time. She thought back to her schedule, unsure of what to do until her very clandestine meeting that evening.
Even thinking those thoughts gave her goosebumps, here at the heart of the Empire. If they find out, they'll hang me in an instant. She thought, with more than a little harried excitement.
But no, she wasn't a traitor, not yet at any rate. Just a traitor in heart.
Last Edit: Apr 26, 2010 20:35:51 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by sentranicia on Apr 26, 2010 21:15:21 GMT -5
Light footsteps sounded in the long hallway of the Imperial Citadel. In brown, worn leather pants and a gold silk shirt, a long red coat with gold thread over the top of it all, a woman in black boots walked down the hallway, eyes staring straight ahead, shoulders steady in their posture. Her long red hair fell gently over the back of her coat, flowing in the breeze of her momentum. She was walking briskly to say the least, steps creating a high tempo for a beat.
Around her, knights snapped to attention and saluted, recognizing the knight for her power and renown. Still, she never stopped, never looked to the side, never eluded to even hearing the clang of armor as heels clicked together and gauntlet met helmet. Finally, the woman turned a corner and spotted someone in her direct path, two guards behind her, coming out of a room that this particular commander knew quite well. Stopping in her tracks, gold gloved hands clasped at the small of her back, the woman stared straight ahead.
This was who she'd been looking for. Gesturing to the knights, she spoke firmly, "I'll take her from here." They nodded to her and stepped away to guard the doors again. Bowing as was proper, she spoke more respectfully, "Grandmaster." Rising again, she gestured ahead, silently requesting that they continue on their way.
As they began to walk, she kept her blazing blue eyes straight ahead, keeping steady pace and in step with her Guild Leader, "I presume you have completed the task you've come to complete? Would you then be willing to share with me what exactly that task was?" She kept her tone respectful and calm, sure to guard her gestures with posture. Commander of the army or not, Alyssa Lightshield had an allegiance to this woman, and one she would not soon waver in.
Post by Steinerman on Apr 26, 2010 21:33:44 GMT -5
Gillian inclined her head in acknowledgment of Lightshield's approach. She walked in silence as the Knight-Commander voiced her question. Gillian pondered her answer and the woman next to her for a moment, contemplating how to answer. Lightshield was relatively new to the order, but a legend in the Stamarian military. When she had applied to enter the order, Gillian had jumped at the chance to gain such a renowned warrior.
And yet...Gillian was unsure of the woman's loyalties, she seemed honest and loyal. But to the Order, or to Stamaria? She cast her eyes to the side, looking over the Knight-Commander, And then there are the rumors. She thought, her mind clouding with the terrifying idea that if Alyssa could really do what it was rumored she could, then Gillian was as good as dead. No, don't think like that. You're not a traitor, you'd never betray Stamaria, and he'd never ask you too. He promised. And his word, you can trust. She thought calmly, gently soothing the frenzied waves her thoughts were creating.
She smiled, a sunbeam of expression to match her tone."Ah, Knight-Commander, fancy meeting you here. But to answer your question, there have been several odd happenings in far-off areas of the Empire. Several Order convoys have been sent to investigate under the lead of Michael Saint. I promised those military leaders to keep them updated as to his progress in the investigation. The Order has come far, since our fall. But we are still something of a pariah in the Empire, any help we can provide to the regular forces will go a long way towards lessening our somewhat sullied status."
She then deftly turned the conversation back to Alyssa. "But what brings you here? I doubt you came into the Citadel simply to find me."
Last Edit: Apr 26, 2010 21:35:39 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by sentranicia on Apr 27, 2010 21:35:39 GMT -5
With a soft sigh, Alyssa accepted the so-called "information" she was given, nodding her understanding. The Knight-Commander knew that she had yet to earn the Grandmaster's trust. Apart from that however, she could still expect to see into the woman's eyes at some point in the future, and that would be enough to clue her in. Hands still clasped behind her back, Lightshield listened intently, her mind focused on the situation at hand. Why was she here? A snort of laughter was barely suppressed beneath serious words and even tone, "I have been in the city training new recruits for the Empire. I thought it would perhaps be wise to check in with you."
Her mind flashed back to the instructive combat she had engaged in a few days before and she smirked, "The knights are quite skilled. Unfortunately, the new soldiers have much to learn before they will be prepared. As of yet, the Emperor does not have a combative army to deploy." A soft breath whispered through her lips, her eyes flickering to the side without movement of her head, her gaze falling on the Grandmaster, "M'lady, things are secure for now on that matter. There are, I presume, other things you would ask of me within that position? I would greatly appreciate an assignment to keep my mind working. Swordplay can only keep me engaged for so long in a day."
They reached a door and Alyssa swung her arm out to push it open for Gillian and gestured her forward into the next passage, "However, if there is little to be done at this point in time, perhaps you would like some inside information to aid your task." She narrowed her eyes, "How may I serve you, Grandmaster?"
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2010 21:35:57 GMT -5 by sentranicia
Post by Steinerman on Apr 27, 2010 22:33:33 GMT -5
Gillian pondered how to answer LightShield's loaded question. The Knight-Commander knew something was on her mind, and was probing to find out exactly what that something was. To break now would be to die, she knew that with a cold certainty. Michael wasn't here to protect her, to be that calm immovable presence in the back of her mind, she had to do this by herself. So, she can see your life by looking into your eyes. Then the memories I could show her might not be damning, not immediately.
Gillian forced her wildly beating heart to slow, and turned to take in the Knight-Commander's eyes. What a striking blue, She thought absentmindedly as she took in the sight of the Knight-commander. She really is quite beautiful. Time to see if her ability is all I've heard of it.
She had a solid idea of what Lightshield would see. For the most part she'd see Gillian's life. The well-bred learning and schooling that her parents had given her, her work as a clerk in the order. Her parent's execution, that would most likely feature prominently in whatever Lightshield saw, as would her time as the GrandMaster of the Order.
But those memories weren't the ones she was worried about. What could possibly bring her to the executioner's block was something far more recent. Those memories, of a man. A gentle hand against her cheek, brushing through her hair. And a few more memories of a more...intimate nature. She reddened slightly at the mere thought of this woman seeing those memories.
Maybe she'll just get the highlights...
Simple as they were, if the identity of her lover was discovered, odds were good she would be executed as a traitor. And seeing as how she was to meet him tonight, odds were equally good that he'd be caught and killed as well.
"My task? Why whatever do you mean, Knight-Commander? I have nothing to do for the rest of the day." She paused and rolled her eyes in amusement, "Except for some paperwork at the GuildHall. But I was thinking of getting some lunch, and searching for a dress." She winked conspiratorially, "I have something of a date, tonight. You see, that's why I'm acting a little absent-minded right now."
Now, assuming she has this ability to see others' past, she'll not realize I locked eyes with her on purpose. And think I'm simply nervous about a date tonight. He says he's never been caught on camera, so odds of her knowing him by sight aren't good. Hopefully she'll not realize who I'm seeing tonight is quite possibly an enemy of Stamaria.
Post by sentranicia on Apr 30, 2010 14:26:29 GMT -5
The Grandmaster made sudden eye contact and Alyssa straightened and tensed ever so slightly, her eyes glazing over as flashes of memory rushed through her head. Everything was normal for the first moments, schooling, first job, a fairly normal childhood. Right up until a curtain of red washed over everything and screams muffled her hearing. She felt within her a pang of loss and realized that her parents had been murdered. Tears welled up in her eyes and she suppressed a cry of sorrow. There was little more in her mind than anguish and fear for what seemed an eternity.
And then suddenly a heat came over her entire body, and she could feel a certain lust within her, clawing at her stomach, creating strange feelings among her nerve endings. The room turned and before her was the face of a man. Nervousness came then, but not of the act that was commencing. Nervousness of what could happen because of what they were doing. There was a certain amount of knowing stress.
Alyssa turned her face away as warmth began to grow in her face and more embarrassing regions of her body. Instantly as the eye contact was broken those feelings dropped away and her mind was her own again. The Grandmaster had spent the night with a man that could put her in jeopardy. But for what reason? Who was he? This was a delicate matter, and the Knight-Commander had to be careful to treat it as such.
In reality, it had been only a few seconds. But Alyssa had seen a lifetime of memory, avoiding only the memories she did not need. Now, knowing everything Gillian had seen in her life, but not knowing at all what parts of it had meant, she knew what she needed to find out from this woman. She knew what mattered now. This man had importance to them, but in what way she did not yet know. It would be easy enough to perhaps get some information with a little civilian activity.
"Dress shopping?" Thinking for a moment, Alyssa dropped her orderly appearance and smiled, looking at the Grandmaster's forehead instead of her eyes and let her hair fall over her shoulders, "Perhaps we could take a few hours off and I could accompany you to the shops? I would be more than happy to assist you in your decision on date attire."
Post by Steinerman on Apr 30, 2010 15:32:25 GMT -5
Gill's heart calmed a few beats after she heard Lightshield's words.
She smiled nervously, the emotion quite real. There was still danger, but not as much as a moment before, not now. "Would you?" She asked, her voice a shy whisper. "I'd much appreciate it. I used to date guys all the time, back before I became Grandmaster. But haven't really had time for it lately, I'm at a loss for what to wear."
She turned down a hallway that would eventually lead to the outside world, where the official Grandmaster's vehicle would be waiting. From there she supposed they would head off to the markets, in search of a dress.
Her thoughts froze when a horrendous idea slunk it's way into her mind.
What if she asks to meet him? She's still suspicious, and even if she's not suspicious of me she might want to meet him to make sure some random punk isn't pulling a fast one on her Grandmaster. If she looks into his eyes...
She mentally shook herself, her mind was running wild with crazy ideas again.
She's not going to ask that, you just need to answer any curious question and spend some girl time with her. Act like it's a normal date, that's all.
She kept her sweet smile upon her face, unsure of how to handle the coming talk. It had been a long time since she'd had another woman to talk to, she reflected in a slightly-glum fashion. Not many women were found in the military, especially the Order. It felt...relaxing, to be in Alyssa's presence. And that could be dangerous, for both her and her lover.
Post by sentranicia on Apr 30, 2010 16:03:42 GMT -5
As the women reached the end of the hallway, Alyssa opened the door for the Grandmaster, smiling kindly as Gillian passed through, the false grin fading as soon as her commanding officer's back was turned and falling to a frown and glare. Yet again, however, she smiled as she opened the black door of the limo, the gray handle clicking in her hand. Two flags on the front of the limo held the nation's symbol as well as the Order's.
As the Grandmaster slid into her seat, Alyssa hurried around to the other side, slipping quietly into the next open place. She crossed her legs and turned her body toward the other woman, no longer a commanding officer so much as a companion. For now. "So what are you thinking you want to wear?" She grinned boldly, "Sexy or subtle?" She gave a wave to the driver and told him to head to the markets. As the car sped up onto the road, Alyssa began to ponder what was next in those memories.
She knew all too well that the two had slept together, those feelings had been very obvious, but the thing that she couldn't understand was the nervousness. That feeling of knowing that had made the Grandmaster so uneasy about the act she was participating in. Was the man blackmailing her into it? Or, more importantly, was he someone that could be used to blackmail her?
Had the leader of the Order of the Blade committed a crime?
Post by Steinerman on Apr 30, 2010 17:32:40 GMT -5
Gill looked away for a moment, glancing out the tinted window of the Limo into the city beyond. For a moment her mask fell and her face showed genuine fear rather than the nervous smile. As she'd entered the vehicle she'd seen...no, not seen, but felt a cold from Knight-Commander Lightshield. She wasn't positive yet, but from what little she knew of the Knight-Commander, the woman was very suspicious now.
If she realizes who he is...
She turned back, her expression thoughtful as she contemplated Lightshield's question on dress style. "Well," she began slowly, "Tonight's something of an anniversary for us, It's been a year since we met. And...I wanted to make tonight's dinner special for him." She smiled, her expression almost dreamy. "I think something sexy would work best. Of course...I'm not sure what the latest fashion is right now."
She laughed lightly, amusement clear in her voice."To think that I, who used to be the life of the party, has fallen so far as to not even know what the latest fashions are." She carefully unwrapped her golden silk scarf and placed it on the seat next to her, the air inside the Limo already growing warm as the sun shone down upon them.
She again attempted to steer the conversation away from herself, "So...is there a certain man? Who holds your attention right now. It seems rather unfair of me to be occupying your free time with dress-hunting for my date. You really didn't have to come along, you know. I don't want my Knight-commanders' to think I just laze around all day looking for dresses, I simply have a little free time on my hands."
Her cheeks reddened slightly out of what seemed to be embarrassment. It had taken her several months of practicing to be able to fake that look, but she found it came in useful. Feigning the slightly-ditzy twenty-something Grandmaster had its advantages when dealing with an unknown.
Post by sentranicia on Apr 30, 2010 19:04:14 GMT -5
Alyssa smiled girlishly as Gillian made her decision on style. She'd not been dress shopping particularly recently, but it had been short enough a time that she knew what to look for. She'd dressed up for Jason often enough in a fashion meant to arouse desire, and she was almost certain that was the effect the Grandmaster was hoping for. Returning the same light laugh that had emitted from the throat of the woman opposite her, she nodded, "It doesn't take long to forget them, and the current fashions seem to move on fast enough to keep even the most popular on their toes."
At the question next asked, the Knight-Commander winced and flinched visibly, a sorrow falling over her features, her eyes darkening with a sadness one could never have simply acted, "I was engaged, not long ago. Jason was his name. He was..." She stuttered for a moment, holding back the tears that threatened to fall, "He was killed in battle at my side. Even with my extensive combat knowledge I cannot protect the man to my left when he is so adamant that I will not be harmed myself."
Turning her gaze out the window and away from the Grandmaster, she regained her composure enough to speak in an steady voice again, "You need not worry about wasting my time. I have to much time to myself as it is."
Post by Steinerman on Apr 30, 2010 19:24:10 GMT -5
Gill's expression fell, "I apologize, Knight-Commander. I did not know." She inwardly cursed herself for asking. In her haste to draw the conversation away from her lover she had accidentally trod upon Lightshield's memories of her own, now-dead fiance.
She kept quiet for a few moments, not wishing to say something else that might offend the Knight-Commander. Now feeling genuinely embarrassed, she stared out the window again for a few moments. It appeared they were nearing the market district. She leaned forward and spoke to the driver, "Stop at Madam Guinevere's please, Franz."
She turned to face Alyssa, "Guinevere Talden was the finest dressmaker I knew of, half a decade ago. Hopefully she'll have something fitting and in my size." She ended with a wink.
Last Edit: Apr 30, 2010 19:25:03 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by sentranicia on May 8, 2010 10:32:52 GMT -5
Alyssa nodded at the apology, accepting it silently as memories flashed through her mind faster than lightning. She held back any desire to show just how much those memories were hurting her and simply sat in silence, listening to where they were stopping and why. She looked out the dark windows as they passed shops and people one by one, a couple here and there holding hands as they walked slowly along the sidewalks. The road was rough beneath the limo's wheels, stopping the Knight-Commander from being as firmly postured as she might have liked.
Finally the driver stopped the car outside a small shop on a street corner, the lettering bright but obviously old. Alyssa inspected it carefully for a moment before stepping out and hurrying around to the other side to open the door for the Grandmaster, "I hear that high slits are rather...appealing these days. Seems like the more revealing the better."
Gillian stepped out of the limo in a stately fashion, and then walked the few short steps to the store entrance. "High slits?" she asked, obviously unsure of what she wanted. She gave it some careful thought.
Yes, he would like that, wouldn't he... She nodded pleasantly, "Actually, I think that might work." She entered the store with Alyssa in tow, immediately they were greeted by a middle-aged woman, looking positively stunning in a sultry black and silver dress.
Gillian froze for a moment, unsure if the woman would recall her from those years before. Unsurprisingly, Guinevere Talden smiled and held out a welcoming hand to Gillian. The woman's voice was soft and silken, her grasp delicate. "My my, this is a shock." The dress-maker said, voice soft with a hint of surprise. "Gillian Arvestus, it is a joy to see your beautiful face once again, I had worried that after that horrible mess with your parents you might have forgotten how to have fun."
Gillian's face burst into a smile, "Guinevere, it is a joy to be back in your establishment. I apologize for being gone so long from these decadent halls." She turned and indicated Alyssa, "Knight-Commander Alyssa Lightshield, this charming woman in front of us is Lady Guinevere Talden, mistress of dresses. Her family has supplied many highborn families with the finest clothing known to man."
Guinevere curtsied in recognition, "It is an honor to have two such fine women in my establishment. Knight-Commander, you are most welcome here."
Last Edit: May 9, 2010 16:04:39 GMT -5 by Steinerman
The Knight-Commander provided a slight bow in return to Guinevere's curtsy, putting on a smile as she straightened, "It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss." Turning her eyes on the dresses in the shop, she began searching for something that might suit her companion, she spoke with eyes averted, "You certainly have a large, and fine, selection in your shop. I must commend you on it. It is a rare find." Her bright eyes fell on a sparkling blue dress on the wall, with a slit meant to reach the hip. Rather than straps for the shoulders, it was meant to tie around the back of the neck. The back was cut out, leaving the wearer exposed from the neck to the small of the back. A well-sized yellow flower was placed on the hip, where the skirt draped diagonally across from left to right.
Slowly, she stepped toward the garment, hands clasped behind her back, and looked it over, "Gillian, my friend, I would so love to see you in this." She reached up with her right hand and touched the fabric gently. Even with the sparkles, the fabric was silk smooth. Perhaps a magic charm, or perhaps just good tailoring. She looked at the inside where the color went from a rich sky blue to a dark sapphire color, "Goodness, even I would try this on."
Gillian's face lit up at the sight of the dress Alyssa was referencing, it was dazzling. And she was sure that "he" would like it very much. Guinevere smiled and led Gillian over to the dress, "A good eye, Knight-Commander, this is one of my latest creations, and one of my finest as well. Would you like to try it on, darling?" She questioned of Gillian.
Gillian bit her lip out of nervous habit, and then nodded her head. "Yes, I think I would. If that's alright?" The store owner made a tisk-tisk sound.
"Of course it's alright. It's what you're supposed to do." She then lifted the dress and handed it to Gillian, shooing her towards a backroom to change. Guinevere turned back to Alyssa, a smile upon her face. "Anything here catch your fancy, Knight-Commander? If you truly liked that dress, I can of course make a second one for you. Or perhaps something different?"