Post by The Rising Dragon on Feb 18, 2012 14:46:21 GMT -5
The three commoners quickly stood up from their seats upon seeing the elven man approach their table in greeting, though Kalia managed it far more gracefully than either of the two teenagers. They all bowed in respect to the man, as was proper. Under the bow, Mesia and Rayne gave one another pointed looks at finally seeing Lady Laramie's esteemed brother--neither of them had quite expected the man to be an elf.
Kalia graciously smiled back at Francis' remarks, and shook her head--her eyes remained startlingly cool, unlike most commoner women dealing with handsome elven lords. "I'm afraid my sister is far more troublesome, my lord," she said.
Mesia glowered at the taller brunette.
"But I'm glad she and her friend were of some small help to your family," she continued, bowing again.
Post by Steinerman on Feb 18, 2012 16:07:29 GMT -5
Francis noted with interest that the Knight kept her cool in the presence of an Elven lord, and a handsome one at that. While he didn't particularly care that he was thought to be quite handsome, he did use the knowledge to his advantage in many situations.
It was, he thought, a testament to the Knight's experience that she didn't exhibit any signs of awe or great interest in him. This woman could be problematic, if things took a turn for the worse. He cast a brief glance down to Laramie, still sitting in her chair. Yes . . . with her uncanny way of finding trouble in the picture, things probably could get worse, and quickly at that.
"Well, I'd almost suggest we see which of our respective siblings could get into more trouble, but I fear that would leave half the city in a dazed confusion." He replied with a smile and a polite bow of his head.
With a languid movement, he stretched out his lengthy frame and snagged a nearby unoccupied chair, pulling it closer to Laramie and then sitting down with a wry smile upon his handsome lips.
"Come come, sit, please." he admonished lightly of the others, "No need to stand upon formality. I am done being a lord for the day, now I am just a brother enjoying the company of his little sister and her new-found friends."
Last Edit: Feb 19, 2012 20:15:39 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by The Rising Dragon on Feb 22, 2012 13:36:44 GMT -5
Kalia did as ordered, taking her seat once more, without any of the nervousness displayed by the other two girls present. A waiter approached the table, seeing the two new customers, to take their orders. Kalia glanced through the menu provided and ordered a small, mostly inexpensive meal before turning back to Francis.
"I hope the Imperial City has been fair to you today, my lord," she remarked. She knew he made the offer to drop the formalities between their two stations of class, but she also knew her position in the military could not allow it for herself.
Post by Steinerman on Feb 22, 2012 14:32:06 GMT -5
Francis let another bright smile escape his handsome lips, "Indeed it has, lady Knight. My family's business interests in this glorious city are progressing quite well."
He cast a lazy glance at the menu the waiter held in front of him, and then with a few murmured words ordered a light meal.
To his side, Laramie's frazzled nerves had calmed down a great deal, now that her comrade was here and nothing had exploded, she allowed the worry she'd held inside to simply drift away. Replacing it was a comfortable smile instead.
She smiled up at Francis, expression curious. "I suppose you being here means we have to leave, doesn't it." She stated with just a touch of sadness.
Francis glanced down at his partner, eyes narrowed in interest. She was really enjoying herself with these others, it seemed. "Well, little sister. We do have a meeting in a little while." He conceded, not unkindly. "But we can stay for a few more minutes, I need to eat, at the very least."
Laramie nodded gratefully, any more time she could get was a good thing, at the moment. She knew her next meeting was with the man that had left Francis at the edge of the food court, and considering what she'd read of his emotions and mind . . . that had the potential to be a truly disturbing meeting.
Last Edit: Feb 22, 2012 14:58:08 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by The Rising Dragon on Feb 22, 2012 15:26:08 GMT -5
"We should exchange numbers," Mesia said to the noble girl, looking over at her. "Might be a long time before we see each other again after today..."
"But we can at least stay in touch, hopefully," Rayne finished.
Kalia glanced between them the three younger women. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt if you two could pick up some good mannerisms from the lady," she said, then looked over at Francis for permission. "Would that be within reason, my lord?"
Post by Steinerman on Feb 22, 2012 15:36:36 GMT -5
Laramie tried to hide her sudden nervousness, she didn't have a contact number that she knew of. But Francis came to her rescue with a gracious smile, "Well within reason, lady Knight." He responded with a quick bob of his head. A moment later a pair of business cards had appeared as though by magic in his hand.
He extended the cards to Mesia and Rayne with a smile, "My sister is quite a bit older than most of the other children in my mother's house, and has precious few friends as it is. More would always be welcome." He nodded towards the cards, "Her contact information is there, though don't be surprised if it's not her who answers. As she travels with me quite a lot, it can take a little while for the message to catch up."
Laramie practically lit up with happiness, realizing that Francis had actually given the girls a set of numbers that could be used to reach her, in a round-about way. "But I'll get the message." She added on, smiling shyly at the other girls. "And I'll definitely call back."
Post by The Rising Dragon on Mar 2, 2012 2:24:23 GMT -5
Kalia watched as the two teenage commoners smiled in delight as they accepted the contact information from the elven lord. "I think it'd do them both some good to have some friends higher up in things," she remarked. "Hopefully they can learn a thing or two from the Lady Enign."
Francis nodded his head once, "As friends go, I imagine my little sister will be one of the best." He playfully tousled Laramie's hair, "Hear that, little sister? I've just set you up to be an amazing friend, now you have to live up to it."
Laramie smiled upwards at her partner, "I'll try, Francis." She said earnestly.
Francis glanced down at his watch and frowned, "Sadly, though. Our next meeting is soon." He looked to the others, "Ladies, I am very sorry to cut this short. But I need to drag my sister off to a boring meeting so she can start learning the ropes of the business world."
With unspoken agreement, Laramie pulled out the charge-card he'd given her and waved down a waiter to pay the bill for the entire table. "It's really been wonderful." She said a moment later, smiling sadly at the other girls. "You turned a dreadfully boring day into one I'll remember for a lifetime."
The two of them stood, Francis accepting the food he'd ordered and quickly putting it an offered to-go box. He bowed once more to the assembled ladies, then headed off. Laramie lingered behind, eyes sad. In the next week she'd be going undercover in a terrorist organization. Part of her said she could be dead within a month, if things went badly.
She waved to the others, gave them one last smile, (though this one was tinged with her usual worry) and then spun like a nervous top and headed off after her brother. On their way to meet a Korin.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Mar 3, 2012 21:13:11 GMT -5
The three commoner women all stood up from the table with the nobles, with Kalia bowing politely to them once more as they made their farewells. When Laramie glanced back at her newfound friends, she saw the three of them standing together; the older knight between the two teenagers with a hand on their shoulders. Mesia and Rayne were still smiling, waving at their friend.
"Well, it's never dull around you two, is it?" Kalia remarked as the two nobles disappeared from sight.
"Mmn." Her sister lowered her hand, still looking where their new friend had departed. "It was pretty fun... she's pretty unusual for a noble, but..."
"When she introduced herself, she slipped up and almost gave us a different name," Rayne remarked, looking a bit uncomfortable as she gripped her arm. "But I suppose that's because she's adopted."
"Hmm... I see what you mean," Kalia mused. "But her being adopted is pretty odd in itself."
"Why?" Mesia and Rayne asked at the same time, looking at the knight.
"House Enign's ruling family is elven, girls," she explained. "And elves don't adopt humans. It's almost an anathema to them; more than just a social stigma."
The girls considered it, finding it plausible. It'd make sense for long-lived elven families to not adopt humans. The difference in their lifespans were just too great. Anyone could come to love a child, despite the race. But no parent ever wanted to have to bury one of their children.
"So you think something's wrong?" Mesia asked, looking back up at the troubled face of her sister.
"Maybe. I'm sure adoption's been done before. It's probably nothing, though," she said offhandedly. "I'll look into it. But first..."
Warning bells went off in the girls' heads as Kalia hugged the two of them closer and steered them away; her strong military-made muscles ensuring they wouldn't go anywhere.
"What do you mean, the cover-story won't work?" Francis questioned of their new companion, the Korin Operative Martin Tiogar.
The dark-haired man shook his head. "Elves don't adopt humans." He stated flatly.
Francis rolled his eyes, though kept his voice low, as Laramie was sleeping just across the small room that made up their rented apartment. "Yes, they do. Alice Enign adopted several of them."
Martin nodded calmly. "Yeah, she did. Emphasis on 'did'. That was when you were still a kid, mate. Nowadays, Elves don't adopt humans. Not really. Too much stigma attached to it, the lifespans just don't work."
Francis was silent for a moment, his brow furrowed in sudden concern.
"Crap." He finally stated. "I talked with Alice just a week ago and she said the cover would work fine."
Martin shook his head again, his expression clearly uncomfortable. "Well, mate. Hate to break it to you, but 'yer adoptive mum is getting on in years, most Elves aren't really affected by that. But I've been hearing stories that she's not so lucid anymore."
Francis was silent again. He glanced to Bob with just a hint of worry in his eyes. "I think we should leave the city soon, then. That Knight seemed pretty sharp. And if she checks into our cover, it'll fall apart like that.” He snapped his fingers, “Blast but I should have done a better job of this."
Bob checked the chambers of his gun nonchalantly, "Chill, my pointy-eared companion. We're leaving tomorrow, the Dragonheart girl won't have enough time to do anything about the cover. And that’s if, I stress if she even checks into it. Get some rest." And with that, the small magical creature holstered his gun and went to stand guard by the second-floor window.
The next day: Somewhere on the roads outside of Kallagulia
"So let me get this straight," Laramie stated from the back seat of their small four-door vehicle. (Which was bouncing far more than she thought possible). "You're Korin, but you’re helping us out because you used to work for Francis’s mother?"
From the driver's seat, Martin glanced up into the rearview mirror and made eye-contact with the younger girl, he winked once and nodded his head. "Technically I'm Korin, they like me because I do any job, no matter how crazy or suicidal."
From the backseat, sitting next to Laramie. Bob snorted once, "And they dislike him because he doesn't seem to care about their beliefs. Oh, and maybe because he's got a habit of seducing every female Korin that comes his way."
"I'm pretty sure the Harbinger himself put out a 'do-not-sleep-with' mandate to all of the Korin gals." Martin mused with a seductive smile. "Though there was that red-head a month ago . . . Lilia . . . guess she didn't get the memo." He chuckled fondly with the memories of said encounter.
Laramie shuddered and quickly locked down on her abilities, the emotions and thoughts coming from the Korin man were . . . uncomfortable to feel, for her. She wasn't used to anyone thinking about sex quite like he did.
"But they don't trust you, do they." She stated quickly, trying to draw his mind to a different topic.
Martin shrugged once, "Eh, not very much. As the little furry fellow said, I don't really give a flying flip about Korinus, I just happen to be blessed with the skills that make me a good trouble-shooter."
Laramie pursed her lips, trying to figure out the odd creature driving the vehicle. Finally she stated slowly, “You still work for Francis’ mom, don’t you.”
Martin flashed a brilliant smile at her and nodded. “She’s a sharp cookie.” He said, glancing over at Francis, who was sitting in the passenger seat, eyes hidden behind his sunglasses. The tall Elf nodded once, but otherwise was silent. He’d been quietly worrying since the night before, Laramie had noticed. Apparently worried that his plans weren’t as well-thought-out as they should have been.
"So if the Korin ever find out that you're not exactly their tool . . . " Laramie questioned with curiosity.
"I'm a very dead boy." Martin ended pleasantly.
From besides Laramie, Bob glanced out at the countryside. “So, how’re you getting our partner into the Korin?”
Martin shrugged casually, “Eh, no big deal. I contacted the nearest Korin cell-leader that I know, old coot of a human named Carn . . . something or other. Gave him a pretty normal story about running into a girl that seemed to fit the bill of the one all the Korin are whispering about. He’s supposed to be sending some boys to meet us, though I doubt from his cell.” Martin shook his head, “Old man wouldn’t risk his own boy’s necks out this far unless he really had to.”
Post by The Rising Dragon on Mar 13, 2012 19:21:41 GMT -5
"Man, what the hell was Carn thinking?"
Devon turned and continued his pacing in the garage for what was possibly the hundredth time, running a hand nervously through his hair. And for once in his life, Roas wasn't feeling terribly annoyed by Devon's panicky repetition of this single, simple but answerless question. What in the hell was that crotchety old bastard thinking, sending them on a fetch quest on the doorstep of Stamarian power? Sure, the Imperial City wasn't even in visual range now, but that hardly mattered if the Order of the Blade or the Paragon found them.
The town they now found themselves at was one of the many smaller settlements that acted as caravan checkpoints before the main Highways that led directly into Kallagulia, so there was little military presence. They had their transport truck parked in the lot behind the old motel Roas and the rest of the group accompanying him were staying at, waiting for their informant to drop off the package, so they could hightail it back to Verivia. The three days spent getting this far had not been kind on the lot of them, and by now, Roas found himself to be in a foul temper.
Before he could tell Devon to settle down, a knock at the room's door sent both on edge. Roas quickly drew a gun from his jacket as Devon checked the door.
"It's me," came one of their companions' voice. "Open up, I got news."
Hurriedly, Devon let Llane into the room and quickly shut the door behind him, locking and jamming it with the door chain again.
"They're gonna be here by evening," Llane told them. "Apparently we're meeting up with that nutcase Tiogar and some foreigner who has the package."
"Great. As if Carn shipping us this far north wasn't bad enough, now he's making us deal with unstable lycanthropes," Roas muttered. "I'll go make sure the Constructor's ready. You two can handle the diplomacy."
"You got it," Devon said as Roas left the room and made his way downstairs to get to their transport truck. He counted themselves lucky that some dwarven engineer had made a stop here recently, and having brought a komola apprentice with him--it'd allow him to justify leaving the Constructor out in the open with no one the wiser about its true purpose.
Post by Steinerman on Mar 13, 2012 23:22:21 GMT -5
"So what's Francis' cover?" Laramie questioned as their vehicle continued to drive down the highway. Though arguably a smooth surface to drive upon, their four-door vehicle seemed determined to hit every dip and give them the bumpiest ride possible. Jolting the young girl around in the back seat every few seconds.
Martin smiled again, a seemingly normal expression for him. Though in Laramie's mind, it reminded her greatly of Bob's alien smile, too many white teeth. Bob's may have been pointed, but Martin made up for his relatively normal teeth with a mad look in his eyes. "That is where something has gone right, for once. The Enign Syndicate doesn't normally help the Korin, but they'll do most anything for a price." He replied easily.
"Francis here is just a random Syndicate Lieutenant sent to ensure your safety. The Enign don't expect money from the Korin for giving you to them, they'll just expect a favor down the road. Enigns' do love their favors."
Next to him, Francis nodded. "So I'm just some Elven bodyguard meant to keep you alive, right now. They may think Martin's crazy, but they should take his word that I'm on the level. At least until you get into Korin territory. After which I'll leave their area and shadow you with Bob."
"And as an added level of authenticity, he can pull off smarmy-yet-lethal quite well." Bob interjected before taking a sip from an energy drink he'd had Francis buy for him.
"And what about Bob?" Laramie questioned, suddenly worried. She knew that Francis and Bob worked best in a pair, and had trained for it continuously. Yet, Bob was rather hard to explain away . . .
Martin shrugged, "We'll let him off outside the meet-up and he'll have to shadow us. An Elf I can explain. A crazy mutant badger monster? Not so much."
Laramie nodded, a small pit of fear growing in her stomach. With Bob and Francis, she felt safe. Their instruction and training had been hard on her, but she'd felt like part of their team. The only thing that kept her going at the moment was knowing that they didn't like this situation any more than she did.
"We're a team, right?" Laramie questioned quietly of Bob.
The small creature turned his expressive face to her, his orange eyes fierce and sure. "Duh." He answered before turning back to sip at his drink through a straw again.
Laramie smiled and sat back to endure the rest of the ride, at least a few more hours in length. The fear wasn't exactly gone, but added to it was the knowledge that she had at least two friends in this world that considered her a partner, and would literally burn down cities to aid her.
Post by The Rising Dragon on Aug 21, 2012 15:36:14 GMT -5
The wait for their delivery was excruciating for the undercover operatives. Anyone this close to the bloody Imperial City would be, and for the life of them, none of them could understand why they had to pick up the package this far into the Empire mainland--unless that crotchity old bastard Carn wanted them dead. That'd make far more sense... but Jerome seemed to think they could pull it off.
It was close to sunset when the subtly marked vehicle pulled into where Devon and Llane could see it. Devon made a surreptitious movement, brushing his hair aside--and also triggering the comm piece to allow their Constructor-piloting compatriot the ability to hear the transaction in case things went south. There was always the potential things could when dealing with questionable allies... not to mention that damnable werewolf.
Post by Steinerman on Aug 21, 2012 19:12:48 GMT -5
"Showtime." Martin muttered, pulling the vehicle to a stop. A few minutes earlier they'd slowed briefly and the black shadow that was Bob had speedily made his way out of the vehicle, the little creature was somewhere amongst the buildings, most likely the rooftops by now.
Martin jauntily oped the door and hopped out of the vehicle, making a point to stretch and yawn. "Stay in the car, Elf. I'd hate for my brothers to get all worried over some Enign punk." This comment earned him an icy stare from Francis, but no reply. Martin laughed and spun, heading for the waiting pair.
"My brothers, so good to see you!" He proclaimed loudly, eyes scanning the group. "Why the long, worried faces? I bring good tidings."
Post by The Rising Dragon on Aug 21, 2012 20:17:27 GMT -5
They'd decided ahead of time to let Llane do the talking--Devon was no good at this sort of thing and Roas... well, the less interactions he had with Stamarians in the open, the better. As it were, though, Llane only shook his head, causing his mane of black hair to flutter as he stepped up to the lycanthrope. "I'm sure you know why we're looking so under the weather," he remarked. No need to publicly reveal themselves as terrorists, after all. "We just want to get our job done and head on home. You brought what we came for, right?"