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Chosen 03b: "Revelations"


Dave ST
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"Ms. Parsons," Sable said calmly while shifting her gaze from the mirror to the road as much as she was able.  "The key thing here is to remain calm.  You are out of danger, and I, nor Mr. FitzCoventry have any desire to place you in further jeopardy.  In truth, we were asked to rescue you from those Agents.  With us, you are safe.  My employer, Miss. D'Sombra wishes to have a word with you."

"That answers none of my questions."  Amelia's sarcasm was evident as she huffed at the reflection in the mirror.  "Agents from where?  Of what?  CIA, FBI, DIA?"

"True.  Very well," Sable closed her eyes and politely nodded in acknowledgement.  "The short answer is 'yes'.  The long answer is: they are the product of an organization known as The New World Order.  Illuminati?  Bilderbergs?  The Free Masons?  Sweetheart, to some extent it's all true.  Except aliens.  Sorry."  She let that sink in for a moment, took a careful left and proceeded on towards their destination.  "Have you ever seen the movie Underworld?  Remember Michael?  One day he's just an ordinary nurse getting off work from a double shift and then all of a sudden he's a key player in a war between vampires and werewolves."  Amelia's glare at her allowed Sable to notice the gears turning and all the bolts sliding free to the more locked portions of her already rather open mind.

"No." Sable said softly before Amelia had a chance to ask.  "I'm not a vampire.  I'm a ghoul.  A mortal who has ingested vampire blood, and I've done so for nearly three centuries ever since Miss D'Sombra first arrived in 'The New World'.  It keeps me eternal, but my immortality has limits.  As for Ravi, frankly, dear, I've nary a clue.  If he was a shifter he would have changed by now, I'm almost sure of it.  They can't heal as swiftly in their human forms.  You, love, I have no clue about either.  All I know is the cosmos either really likes you, or really hates you... depending."  She shrugged.  "For now, take some measure of solace in the fact that you're still alive and... let's face it, this is all pretty damn cool.  Am I right?"  The raven haired beauty smirked and winked at thoroughly confused young woman.

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"I'm not drunk enough for this," Amelia complained weakly. "Things don't usually get this fucked up until I've had least three shots."

And while it was true that she'd sobered up an upsettingly large amount since the Terminators (disinformation; showing us the truth in ways that make us dismiss it as fiction) had shown up, her thoughts were still slippery enough not to clump together in perfectly coherent ways. Underworld (vampires and werewolves but she didn't say werewolf she said shifter...more than one kind?) reference...lots of pop culture references too, for a 300 year old. And now a vampire wanted to 'have a word' with her. A vampire named D'Sombra. Because obviously a vampire would be named Of Shadows (they hide in plain sight, secure in our disbelief)

This had all started when she'd started digging around that bootleg footage. It couldn't be a coincidence. That's when Ravi had first started sniffing around. And when she'd started augering in to try to breach, that's when Arnie and Dolph showed up with their Phase Plasma Rifles In The 40 Watt Ranges. Or...maybe just regular guns. She didn't really know how guns worked. If 'Miss D'Sombra' had wanted, she could have plucked Amelia off the street anytime...maybe even out of her apartment. Instead she'd waited for the other side to show their hand. That was the tipoff...that's how she knew Amelia had hit some dirt.

"Those guys at the club," she said, "the ones that came after me...is it just ME they're after, or...fuck..." Amelia looked up at the car's ceiling. There was a scuff on it. Maybe someone tall had bonked their head on a bump. That brought a little chuckle to her. "...exactly how suicidal would stopping off at my apartment be, is what I'm asking. I left something cooking. I'm pretty sure it's what your boss is after."

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"Apartment isn't a... good plan."  Ravi's voice contained an audible wheeze, rendered breathless as he was by both pain and a collapsed lung.  "If they're hunting you, it's the first place they'd look."  He coughed.  "Hell, they might even have friends there watching the place."  Sable's eyes sought him out in the read mirror.

"How're you holding up, Ravi?"

"Fan-bloody-tastic.  I'll be dancing a jig in no time." he replied hoarsely, the taste of his own blood coppery in his mouth.  He wasn't feeling very good, despite Sable's assurances that he wasn't in immediate mortal danger from his wound.  She didn't even know what he was, the young Englishman grumped silently, how could she know how much danger he was in, for crying out loud?!  He reached up and tapped Amelia's arm where it rested next to his head on her lap.

"D'Sombra implied to me that what you think you know isn't important." he told the scared woman, then coughed again before adding.  "I rather get the impression... that it's you who is important, not whatever you're working on.  We should go to D'Sombra."

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"Just so happens," Sable said in that sultry accent of hers.

The black sedan pulled into the garage of the massive NYX Imaging building and Amelia took note of how they were going in through a private entrance, one that bypassed all the public parking spaces and elevator accesses into the towering dark skyscraper that dominated the smaller businesses in the immediate area.  Thankfully Ravi could walk, although he was in a great deal of pain and could feet the bullet in his body moving around, like organs were constricting it and and pushing it around.  With her secret out, Sable assisted Ravi as best she could and he found the attractive, albeit averagely built, woman to be surprisingly stringer than she originally let on, supporting him easily, if not awkwardly to the elevator.

"Ms. Parsons, I must warn you: Ms. D'Sombra is capricious."  The aide to the undead mogul pulled aside Ravi's shirt and took her first real look at his injury, speaking to Amelia while she conducted her examination.  "What passes for wit in the streets will not avail you to her good graces.  I urge you to remain, at the very least, as polite as possible.  She was born to the aristocracy and even now belongs to the aristocracy of the night.  Please, keep the shenanigans to a minimum.  Speak, please, and of course, be yourself, just do it with the understanding that everything from the moment you leave this elevator, to if you leave here tonight, is a test."

"If I leave here?"  Amelia looked to Sable her eyebrow raised inquisitively.

*boop*

Amelia walked out into the huge open office and museum of what Ravi had put together as the keystones of D'Sombra's unlife.  Was such a thing possible, or were they just participating in some rich woman's weird fantasies?  She noticed the two broad shouldered obsidian hued men standing by the double doors that appeared o be the only exit from this large chamber.  It was dimly lit with low wattage white light, but well enough to see fine if she wasn't trying to make out any real details.  All along the walls were the displays and portraiture that qualified as relics in this day and age.

"Ah!" Ravenna D'Sombra stepped out from behind her desk, taking care on the few steps that led to the landing to it, and approached Sable and her guests.  She stopped and craned her head back at the sight of Ravi and Sable covered in blood with holes in their clothes.  "Oh... well... do mind the rug, please.  Go around."  She twirled her finger in an 'around the sofa and rug, please' gesture.  "Sable place him on the vanilla one, with the flowered filigree, it's a knock-off."

"Miss Parsons!"  Her host smiled wide.  No fangs... maybe this was just rich weird people doing rich weird people shit.  "Welcome! I've snooped so much about you!"

"Marqueasa," Sable interrupted with a lowered head.  "I have told her what was needed to pacify her panicking."

"No matter," the raven haired woman nodded once and swept a hand to dismiss Sable's words.  "You have served me astonishingly well, I will take it from here.  Hope Sable wasn't too hard on you, she sometimes has to get her hands dirty."  Predatory eyes settled back into Amelia's field of view.  "You want to know things.  You thirst for the truth.  Amelia Parson's I," Amelia jumped as D'Sombra suddenly whispered almost seductively in her ear.  "Am the truth."

How did she?  Amelia just blinked, or did she?  How did she move nearly thirty feet and get behind her in the span of a single eye blink?  Where did the time go?  The curl of D'Sombra's playful smile as her guest leapt away from her and turned to face the woman in a business suit hued to total darkness, Amelia could feel a sudden measure of worry and fear settle into heart.  Sable quietly cared for Ravi on the small sofa, making sure no more harm had been done or another bullet didn't sneak it's way past the shock.

"Oh," Ravenna pouted.  "You're no fun."  Her lips curled up again playfully.  "I have something to share with you, the both of you.  However, to digest it, you must first hear the truth.  In good faith I offer you answers.  Let us get to know each other, hmm?  I know you're dying to ask something, Ms. Parsons.  Please, as they say amongst the Rabble, 'have at it'."  She swept her arms out, inviting Amelia to take her best shot, verbally or physically... she didn't think D'Sombra really cared either way.

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Dying to ask something. Leave it to a vampire to have that sense of humor. She wasn't wrong though. Everything from 'who was the highest ranked vampire in the country,' to 'had vampires assassinated any world leaders' to whether or not they used chemtrails to keep the humans pliable... Vampires were a game-changer. All kinds of things that would have been impossible suddenly weren't. The sudden realignment of belief and disbelief made her head spin like a stiff drink. And more, because Sable had implied 'shifters' too. Were vampires and shifters allies? Or did they war endlessly for control of the world? Were there other factions?

But no...there was no telling how long D'Sombra would indulge a Q&A. Start with the most pressing. What would she regret not having asked the most?

"Vampires," Amelia said, nodding at Ravenna. Then she glanced over at the couch. "Ghouls. Shifters?" Her eyes returned to the looming vampiress. "And me. Where do I fit into this, and why does it involve guys attacking me in nightclubs?"

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Ravi had blinked at the sudden disappearance and reappearance of D'Sombra, even coming as it did on top of an evening that was best described as 'interesting'.  He settled back on the admittedly fancy looking knock-off chaise, with Sable helping him get comfortable.  "She loves doing that to people." the lovely - what was the word? Ghoul? She didn't look particularly ghoulish - murmured as she placed a cushion behind the young man's head.  He smiled slightly through his pain at her.

"Always fun to keep people off-balance now and then."  The handsome Englishman murmured back before coughing spasmodically for a few beats.  Sable patiently held his shoulders as he coughed, preventing him from moving around too much, and as the fit passed and he took a ragged breath she poured him a glass of water.  He took few swallows as she held it for him, then the dark haired woman set the glass aside and reached for the front of Ravi's shirt.

"We should take a look at it."  Sable kept her voice low, plainly not wanting to interrupt Amelia and D'Sombra's conversation.  Quickly and efficiently, she unfasted the buttons and peeled back the blood-soaked shirt, her gaze finding his as he watched her.  "If you say anything about me not wasting time getting you out of your clothes, I'm going to poke the bullet hole." she warned him, eyes narrowing even though her lips curved in the faintest of smiles.

"Perish the thought."  Ravi replied, giving her a charmingly lopsided smile, then gritting his teeth and hissing in pain as Sable gently probed around the wound.   "Jesus!  That hurts." he groaned.

"Bleeding has stopped."  she informed him, tearing a clean scrap of his shirt off and dipping it in the water before wiping away the worst of the blood around the hole.  She watched his face.  "How are you feeling?  Other than in pain."

"I can feel the damn thing inside me."  he muttered, acutely aware despite the pain of how gentle her touch was.  He studied her expression, golden eyes half-lidded as he tried to relax.  "My, my.  Is that concern I see there?"  he asked teasingly.

"Concern that I don't get any more of your blood on me."  Sable retorted, but she smiled a little as she dipped another clean scrap of Louis Vuitton shirt into the glass of water and swabbed away more of the blood on his chest.  He smiled back, letting his eyes close as he just listened to the conversation happening not too far away.

Edited by Ravi FitzCoventry
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Amelia Parsons said:

"Vampires," Amelia said, nodding at Ravenna. Then she glanced over at the couch. "Ghouls. Shifters?" Her eyes returned to the looming vampiress. "And me. Where do I fit into this, and why does it involve guys attacking me in nightclubs?"

"Well," she seemed taken aback a bit by Amelia's choice of words.  "An informed query and directly to the heart of the matter.  I like that," she cooed and took a few steps towards Amelia who instinctively took a step back.  She didn't consciously mean to and realized that something deep within her was screaming like all get out about how 'wrong' and 'unsafe' Ms. D'Sombra was.  "You know that last fool who was here prattled on for an hour begging me to tell him what world leaders, if any, we Kindred, that's what we call ourselves, dear, 'vampire' is so gauche so do be polite, had assassinated over the years.  Can you believe it?"

"Whaaat?"  Amelia chuckled nervously.  "No way.  Wow.  That's like... man, who would open with that?"

"I know." She smirked.  "Such an awkward icebreaker.  Anyway, dear," she waved away the present topic and dove into the matter at hand.  "Full disclosure, as I told Mr. FitzCoventry before he started trying to seduce my retainer," she cleared her throat and looked in the direction of the chaise.  Sable didn't look at her, like a daughter being both scolded and embarrassed by her mother at the same time.

"I'll, um, get something to at least clean this with properly," Sable said to Ravi as she stood and dismissed herself towards the giant onyx guards.  It was the first time Ravi heard her words not flow with confidence.

"I'm not a hundred percent sure." Ravenna continued.  "You've been Chosen for something spectacular, unfortunately we in the Shadows don't know what, yet.  I am a Watcher," she gestured to herself then exposed a small pinkish mark on the inside of her right wrist.  It looked like a rune or diagram in some diamond pattern.  "This mark says as much among my people.  I am the only undead Watcher ever, normally, since we stand outside the natural cycle, we are not privy to the games played by the beings of the other worlds, yet, here I am.  Tales tell of us Watchers finding people like yourself and Mr. FitzCoventry, and you go on to do great things, with our guidance.  The snag at the moment, sweetie, is we Watchers don't know what that thing is, or better yet, why I have been made a Watcher.  We are, as you say, in a pickle."

Amelia looked down at the perfectly polished black floor as Ms. D'Sombra's heels echoed ominously in the spacious room.  "As for your predicament, Ms. Parsons, there are people out there who would desire to keep our secrets, secret.  People like yourself, those who yearn to expose the truth, while noble, generally do not think of those you are hurting or could possibly hurt while on your personal crusades.  There are mortals, like yourself, who rely on people like you to feed them the weird, the unexplained, the boogie men and the front page 'bat boys'.  Because unlike you, they know the truth: that we exist and they hunt us and they destroy us, because they don't understand us."

Their kindred hostess turned and faced her guests, holding up crystal decanter.  "Drink?"  She poured drinks for Amelia and Ravi, her heels offering that dramatically ominous clack on the hard floor.  She offered it to Amelia.  "Go on," she urged the teenager to accept it and smiled when she did.  "It might taste strange, dear.  That's because it's not from a box."  D'Sombra leaned over the small sofa and handed Ravi his drink.  "Now, when people like yourself get 'to close' to the truth, there is an order of people who show up and make them disappear.  When people, like yourself, who possess a particularly powerful destiny, well, they send the Men in Black."

Amelia snorted.  "Like, flashy thingie and all?"

"No," Ravenna's suddenly serious tone lassoed Amelia's undivided attention.  "Augmented, genetically modified and sometimes cybernetically enhanced, vat grown clones designed for one purpose: to eliminate anyone who sees through the lies and is capable of brining truth to the masses.  That person, in this case, Ms. Parsons, is you.  Something about who or what you are caught their attention, not your internet projects or saucy 'the truth is out there' blog.  Yet, the problem here seems to be the same as Mr. FitzCoventry, and that is I don't know the what behind the who."

Edited by Dave ST
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Amelia was excited on hearing it, and wouldn't deny it. This was exciting. Too exciting? Like, was it a little glib? Why send only two assassins? Why would they only shoot the people who wouldn't die from getting shot if they were super-engineered mega-assassins? They were, however, the reason that Amelia was now basically at D'Sombra's mercy. No matter what, they represented a threat she couldn't deal with alone. Their existence made Ravenna indispensable to her, so it could be thought of as convenient they'd shown up at the nightclub, and not just sniped her through her apartment window.

That went on the back burner. Asking that might close off more questions. She wasn't ready for that yet.

There were a lot more questions. ALL the questions. The 'Watcher' thing for example.  Was that weird? Did D'Sombra just arise one night from her slumber of death and find that she'd been stamped for re-entry to Disneyland and then realized she was a Watcher now? Or was there another Watcher who swooped down and gave her the spiel and did some kind of Masonic ritual and then stamped her wrist? And...if she was supposed to Watch, how did that work with 'guiding' the Chosen? Wasn't there usually a non-interference clause for this kind of thing?

That was about the point where Amelia imagined she could actually smell the burning rubber scent being emitted by her brain. She was veering around, out of control, bouncing from topic to topic. She needed to focus. What was the next most important question? What would keep the spigot open?

"All right," Amelia said slowly, "so...that is a lot to unpack...but if you brought me here to guide me then I'll bite. I have super-assassins hunting for me and I don't know who they are or why they want me. I can't go back to my apartment, apparently, and I'm guessing my job's basically out too. So yeah, guide me. There's a quintillion shit-tons more I want to find out about all this, but I have to survive the night first. What the hell do I do next?"

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"Seconded."  Ravi raised his glass in a salute, then sipped his drink, appreciating the taste that masked the taste of his own blood in his mouth.  He took a labored breath, then set the glass aside and regarded Ravenna D'Sombra soberly.  "I've taken a lot on faith, which so far I do not regret."  He paused, considering his chest.  "Which I realise may sound strange considering I am sitting here with a bullet in my vitals."

Looking back up at both women, the one barely out of girlhood and the other one... well, much older by far, he continued.  "But I'd really like to know what to do now, what is expected of me for being 'chosen', and what the benefit package is.  There's got to be something to counterbalance getting shot at, after all.  If all this is true, and I've certainly seen some amazing things to suggest it is, how do we discover what we are?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Their hostess listened to her guests, poised elegantly with her blood red lips concealed behind her curled fingers in a standing ''thinkers' pose.  "For now, Ms. Parsons," she pointed a digit upwards and took a few steps towards Amelia, her shoes echoing on the hard marble floor.  "We'll do nothing.  It's not uncommon for your kind to have to hide in the shadows and skulk about in plain sight of the kine."

"Kine?"  Amelia asked with an inquisitive eyebrow in her hosts direction.

"A word we kindred use for your people.  Mortals.  Humans."  The derisive tone in her accent reappeared briefly as she explained.  "Our little shadow has gone on for millennia, those agents won't make a second attempt any time soon, but I've taken the liberty of relocating your apartment, you're welcome.  You job, honestly, is probably quite safe.  My people are working against them now so a direct assault on you again is not wise."  Ravenna offered Amelia a matronly glare before turning her attention to Ravi.  "But let's not tempt Fate, shall we?"

"Let my people do their jobs, besides," her eyes locked on Ravi and he'd seen the expression of hunger in a woman's eyes numerous times, but nothing like what he saw in D'Sombra's.  "Mr. FitzCoventry is not yet in any condition to be galivanting about the city, sleeping with it's estranged female populace while simultaneously completing a journey of self-discovery, now are you?"  She leaned down and traced her finger gently up his abdomen with centuries of careful, practiced and erotic precision.  A touch from her was like nothing he'd experienced and in the back of his mind he wondered if it was her, or just the nature of her 'condition'.  She stopped at his wound, her finger tip smeared in half dried blood and withdrew it, rubbing it gently on her lips before indulging in a slow taste as her tongue traced the blood and cleaned her finger tip with a soft kissing sound.  "My," she smiled.  "You are a rare breed.  Delicious."

She had no need to, but the deep breath assisted her regaining control and restoring her poise.  They could both a certain unease coming from her, like they were suddenly trapped in a room with a vicious animal and a brief moment later that moment had passed.  "I hate to admit it," she said to them, turning once more to address them both.  "But we need Mourne.  My people are searching for him.  He's not answering his phone, so chances are he's... conducting business.  For now, Ms. Parsons, collect your thoughts, get cleaned up," Amelia noticed the way her arrogant gaze absorbed Amelia's appearance and she certainly caught the 'for the love of God', her hostess added a bit more quietly.  "And enjoy my hospitality for the evening.  Mr. FitzCoventry, these two gentlemen," she motioned to the ebony mountains that stood at the doors leading into the larger penthouse.  "Will take you someplace more comfortable and we'll see about getting that bullet removed, save you some pain in the long run.  Sable has an angel's touch, you'll be fine.  I'll join you two shortly, after all, I owe you payment, Ravi.  Do I not?"

The two men left their post at a gesture from their mistress and proceeded to carry out her order.  One gestured for Amelia to join them as the other assisted Ravi in standing and helping him along.  The penthouse was a like a maze, consuming the entirety of the floor it was a combination of office and living space divided into dozens of large and small rooms.  It was almost painful on the eyes how the color theme was so monochromatic, blacks and silvers everywhere with the only color being in the thousands of portraits that hung on the walls.  Every ten feet was a painting, old and dated and in one instance, Ravi swore he saw 'Madame Monet and her Son' brightly lighting up the dreary décor of a meeting room as they passed by.

The only white room they was a small infirmary, muted with grays and white, it didn't really surprise either of them that this room existed up here.  In truth, Amelia was half expecting a Wal-Mart tucked into one corners of her 'how the rich live' experience.  The man helped Ravi get situated on the table, lying him back and resting his head on a cylindrical pillow so he could see the room and still talk with Amelia.  Despite their size and gruff exterior, bot men seemed gentle and professional, not manhandling their charge any more than was necessary.

"Juffrou Sable sal binnekort by u aansluit." One said in a deep baritone as he and his partner left the room.

"What?"  Amelia asked.  She shrugged looking at Ravi confused.  "We- we don't understa-" The door closed, but it didn't seem locked.

"Something about Sable joining us, I'm assuming," Ravi said calmly, winching and grunting slightly at the pain of not having quite settled in comfortably yet onto his new table.  "Hints of Germanic... Afrikaans, possibly?"

"You understood that?"  she chuckled.

"I am from Europe, Amelia.  I know German when I hear it, not too hard to assume the rest.  As for what they said?  Not a clue."  He smiled, reassuring her that he was just in the dark as she was.

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"Right. Well. Frau Ackula did say Sable had the 'touch of an angel' so that scans," Amelia said. She folded her arms, then muttered something under her breath and got her phone out. Then she started up a speech-to-text app, repeated what the guy had said as best she could imitate it, and fed THAT into a German-to-English translator. And scowled.

"Not German. Or my pronunciation sucks. Or both. Probably both. What did you say? African?"

"Afrikaans," Ravi corrected, a little bemused. "But..."

"I know," snapped Amelia as she swiped a finger on the phone's screen. "I just...it's going to bug me. Oh. Hey, look at that. Afrikaans. Who knew." Immediately she turned and pointed at Ravi, "And don't say 'me.' I'm onto you."

With a chuckle Ravi held his hands up, palms out, jokingly signaling surrender. "Not yet, but give me a little time to heal up and you could be."

Amelia scowled again and stuffed her phone away. "So. I am not a hundred percent sure this whole thing isn't just her playing with her food, you should know. Sending you after me, staging an attack that she then rescues us from...manipulating our feelings, making us feel grateful, dependent...it's exactly the kind of thing I'd expect. And this whole 'you've been chosen' thing is simultaneously too vague to be plausible, and too specific to be plausible. Like...she knows it's US who's been chosen, but not by who or for what? Uh huuuh..."

She paced away, then back. "Okay. My head's exploding. I need a shower, apparently. I just."

For a second Amelia looked at her hands, then shook them as if they were wet, then looked back at Ravi.

"Is it weird I'm not freaking out more about this? I feel like it's weird. I mean...maybe it's just shock. Maybe it hasn't sunk in yet. There's definitely some...like...furniture being rearranged upstairs... This could explain a LOT, you know? Assuming it's not some kind of incredibly elaborate disinformation scheme."

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"Well..."  Ravi shifted slightly on the medical bed.  "Considering that I took a bullet in the left lung and I haven't drowned in my own blood and-"  he peeled back the bandage a little to check  "-the wound doesn't seem to be leaking much, something is definitely up."  He re-covered the wound and winced as he let his arm drop to his side.  "It still hurts, though.  Sort of an itchy burning ache."  The handsome young man still seemed to be finding breathing difficult, and his tanned features - which were the same light golden-bronze as his chest, Amelia noted without meaning to - were drawn and pale.

"Yeah.  What's with that anyway?"  Amelia peered at him, then at the location of the bandage.  She wasn't an expert: most of her medical knowledge came from hospital depictions in movies, but most people who'd been shot there should probably be ventilated - or was that intubated? Fibrillated? - by now.  "Does De Sombra really think you'll be fine once her Girl-Friday digs a bullet out of you?"

"Buggered if I know."  Ravi wheezed a little, smiling.  "I'd imagine, though, that she at least believes that whatever I am, I'm more resilient than I look."  He made a face and glanced around for a mirror.  Finding none, he shrugged, wincing again.  "If I look as bad as I feel, I'd have to be."  There were a few moments of silence as he gazed at her, his golden eyes gleaming under the overhead lights of the infirmary.  When he opened his mouth, Amelia half expected another witticism, or perhaps some flirtation as he tried to distract himself, but instead his tone and expression were ones of earnest curiousity.

"Who do you think this Mourne fellow is?  I seem to remember his name being bandied around at some art gallery thing not long ago - the same one I met Ravenna at, come to think of it."  He frowned slightly.  "Some irate woman was storming up to Ravenna, demanding answers, then storming away again in a worse mood.  Mourne's name came up then."  He sighed, looking up at the ceiling.  "I remember her because she had spectacular breasts and seemed batshit crazy."  He winked one golden eye at her. "Always remember the crazy ones."

"Lovely."  Amelia rolled her eyes at him, trying not to smile.  "Just what I need on my obituary - 'Ravi remembered her because she was crazy'."

"No, you got upgraded to 'quirky'.  And 'looks good in a tight dress'.  And 'let me rest my head on her lap after I'd been shot'."  He added in a slightly chiding manner, one corner of his mouth twitching as he fought the urge to smile.  "Don't sell yourself so short.  I don't take bullets for just anyone."

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"Ever the gentleman," Sable's silky accent lured their attention as she walked into the small infirmary.  They could hear her footsteps echoing on the marble floors (seriously, who marbled their entire penthouse these days...) and it grew more and more obvious that D'Sombra kept everything running like a successful business, twenty-four-seven.  Her security were always in suits, with polishes dress shoes, and in the great deal of time Ravi have been in Sable's company she was never in anything that he would consider not 'business wear' with that hint of 'vampires make everything look sexier'.   It had occured to him that he'd yet to see her in jeans or sweats, or workout leggings, or pajamas... like she had no life outside her service to D'Sombra, and never in anything but black.  Now she'd settled on a pair of leggings that shimmered like satin and a form-fitting long sleeved top.  "Lie back and relax please, Mr. FitzCoventry."

She was holding folded clothes in her hand and offered them to Amelia, who quickly noticed they were actually her own clothes.  The two massive mountains in suits followed her in.  The fact that they had to duck to enter the doorway didn't make Amelia feel any safer.  "Ms. Parsons, these gentlemen will show you to the guest room down the hall.  There you may freshen up.  Feel free to use anything you need, it's fully stocked.  If you wish to return, be mindful I'll be in here wrenching a bullet from his lung, so should you be the squeamish sort, consider that your warning."

"Why black?"  Asked Amelia.  "Everything here is black, except this one room."

"Blood, dear," Sable answered honestly as she slowly peeled away the bandage.  "Doesn't show up on black as well as on other colors.  Also, and I'll use layman's terms, 'vampires' all possess different powers, some like what you've seen in the movies.  In the Marquesa's case, her bloodline, or 'Clan' as they call themselves, are masters of shadows.  The darkness is her home.  As her ghoul, I have inherited some of her power, but never have I been able to master shadows.  To see it is truly fascinating."

She collected a few implements from the drawers and begun setting them out on a finely-polished medical tray.  "Everything supernatural, however, comes with a price.  Often several.  In my Mistresses case you may have noticed by now that she casts no reflection, yes?  Finely polished floors, gold, silver, mirrors... she surrounds herself with all the things that no longer cast her reflection."

"So, the portraits..." Ravi quietly added.

"They obsess over portraiture.  When you go a millennia without seeing yourself it takes a toll, I would imagine."  Her heels tapped softly as she turned to set the tray next to Ravi and turned back to the counter to collect a few more things.  "Thankfully, it's been easier in the last few years.  For some reason digital photography is not affected and thanks to 3D printing and scanning technology she has been able to see herself for the first time in centuries.  Dare I say, you've caught her at a good time and in a fine mood."  She turned her head to look at Amelia.  "A word of advice though, dear.  Once you notice her lack of a reflection, don't gawk.  Her kind consider it impolite, and never speak about it unless she does first.  It's a grave insult."  Sable turned and looked to the two huge men and nodded.  They both opened their mouths, and revealed that they were missing their tongues before slowly closing them again.

"Supernatural society is not human society."  She shadowy clad assistant slid the cap off a syringe and inserted it into the bung of a vial.  "The laws and customs are quite different.  Mouthing off to a person on the street might get you into a shouting match, among these people it could get your throat ripped out.  I mean that for the both of you, but in fairness and no disrespect, Ms. Parsons, you seem to have a more direct personality.  I'm asking you to be mindful, is all.  However, she does have a use for you, so, at least your throats are safe, for the time being."

The two men stepped aside and waved their arms towards the door, ushering Amelia out.  "Now, this will hurt you a lot more than it hurts me," on Sable, a mischievous and sociopathic grin never looked so good.  "I'll try to be gentle, I swear, but I promise nothing."  Ravenna was right, she had the hands of an angel.  As she spoke she'd already injected him twice with the local anesthetic and he's not even felt it while lost in her full lips and the exotic almond shape of her eyes.

Spoiler

I know you two must have questions for Sable, which we'll get to once we take care of Ravi's lung.  So, gimme a post that just details your characters thoughts, actions, what have you as one get operated on and the other gets cleaned up.  Once that's done, the PCs will reconvene and we get to trying to clear some things up and give you two direction.

 

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Amelia held her hands up, palms out, "Hey, I'm on good behavior. I didn't try to pull any of her teeth, or shine my phone light into her eyes to see if she flinches and hisses...see? Good behavior." The two beefsteaks moved in on her then and she sighed and was...not quite pushed out, but was guided out. They weren't mean about it or anything, but she was under no illusions that they wouldn't become as mean as necessary to get the job done. You didn't work for a woman who tore throats and/or tongues out without developing a knack for 'job done, any means necessary.'

Which brought to mind a thought. Mutilating workers might have flown back in the day, but in modern times? It wasn't like guys like that couldn't get other jobs. Maybe it was fear of retribution, but fear wasn't loyalty. Ravenna didn't seem dumb enough to let these guys have the run of the place unsupervised if their loyalty wasn't assured. Mind control? Maybe some kind of addiction that she managed? Or did they owe her so big that even losing body parts wasn't enough to shake it? How? Why?

As her ghoul, I have inherited some of her power, but never have I been able to master shadows.

Amelia found herself wondering what D'Sombra had taken from Sable. Not her tongue, clearly...but something else?

She reviewed what she'd learned of this lady in her head, and it wasn't a big list. Sable had dropped something interesting though. Ravenna didn't cast a reflection. How that worked in terms of physics, Amelia couldn't even begin to work out. Light was light. Vision was vision. But maybe not? What if a vampire was more like a ghost, and could be seen through some kind of mental projection? Their solidity a manipulation of forces rather than anything 'real' there. Ugh...no, step away from that. The Sable thing. The fact that she didn't cast a reflection was something she was sensitive about...but then she filled her space with reflective surfaces. Why? Maybe to entrap people into that terrible realization, as an excuse to lash out at them? But...it almost had a feeling of masochism, didn't it? Was she punishing herself for something? Surrounding herself with mirrors she couldn't see herself in, and paintings that she could only see what other people saw.

But computers could see her. That was interesting. A digital camera worked, when apparently film didn't. Very interesting.

Someone like D'Sombra liked to pull the strings, Amelia guessed. Sable's, these two guys'...her own and Ravi's too. But something was pulling her string. This whole 'chosen' thing. To resolve it she needed someone named Mourne. Someone she didn't want to need, though she hadn't seemed upset so much as resigned. Someone she was having trouble finding. That didn't happen often, Amelia had a feeling.

"So who's this Mourne guy?" she tried asking the palookas as they offloaded her at the guest room. The two glanced at each other, then with the slightly overgentle movements of someone who could break things but didn't want to, one reached over and closed the door. Well shit.

It was a five star, maybe six star room of course...might as well enjoy it. Amelia threw her clothes on the bed...raided from her apartment probably...and went to go 'freshen up,' which in this case was code for 'lie in a bathtub for too long.' Then she took a shower, because baths...while comfy...always felt a little gross at the end. Like an Amelia stew. Then she went and got dressed in some clean clothes. Just another set of jeans and another T shirt. It wasn't like she had a fancy gown or anything, and frankly wouldn't have felt safe wearing one anyway, between vampire fangs and Ravi's eyefucking.

Finally she cautiously poked her head out the door and looked up and down the hallway, to see if the palookas were there. If not...perhaps she'd have a chance to nose around a bit...

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On 4/15/2021 at 9:34 PM, Dave ST said:

"Now, this will hurt you a lot more than it hurts me," on Sable, a mischievous and sociopathic grin never looked so good.  "I'll try to be gentle, I swear, but I promise nothing."  Ravenna was right, she had the hands of an angel.  As she spoke she'd already injected him twice with the local anesthetic and he's not even felt it while lost in her full lips and the exotic almond shape of her eyes.

"Funny."  Ravi commented dryly, taking a breath and relaxing back into the examination table's padded surface as Sable cut the remains of his shirt away.  He fixed his gaze on Sable's face as she worked, now and then tempted to glance down from some morbid fascination at what she was doing, but all things considered her face, even focused in concentration, was a better sight.

"I'm going to have to reopen the wound to get at the bullet."  Sable told him, her professional demeanour broken only by the swift glance to his face.  Her gaze warmed for a second as she noticed his golden eyes were on her, then the professionalism was back, and Sable's attention was once more wholly on what she was doing.  Ravi heard the metallic scrape of her picking up implements and then...

Well, nothing much.  Some tugging - vaguely disturbing but not painful.  Sable's expression was intent, yet calm, and Ravi watched the mild changes in the shape of her lips, the exotic shape of her eyes as they tightened or curved while she worked.  He felt something cool - not cold, but cooler than his skin, running down the outside of his chest to pool under his back.  My blood, he supposed, trying not to fidget, or even to breath deeply.  The uncomfortable tugging grew in intensity, becoming almost painful, and he was aware of a scraping sensation in his chest.

Talking would probably be a bad idea.  So instead he focused on musing.  What was he?  What was Amelia?  What was Sable doing later?  What would a woman pick up in terms of carnal knowledge over three centuries of extended life?  Or eight, for that matter:  what did Ravenna want with him - and why did the remembrance of her licking his blood from her finger send prickles of heat through his skin?  He tried to get his mind to focus on something other than his favorite past-time and instead pondered other matters.  Who was Mourne?  Were there other 'chosen' going through the same weirdness right now?  Was Amelia going to do something stupid and annoy their hostess?  Did the crazy extend into the bedroom?  What was Amelia doing la-  Dammit.

It's said that men think about sex once every five minutes.  Ravi wondered how they managed it so little.  Thank whatever gods watched over him that he could multi-task.  Sort of.

More scraping in his chest, and a steady pulling sensation that was over the line of discomfort and into pain.  Ravi let out a low hiss and closed his eyes.  "Almost done."  he heard Sable murmur, her voice reassuring, a balm on his nerves.  More tugging, more liquid pooling against his skin, and then - 

*clink*

"Got it."  Sable didn't sound triumphant so much as satisfied as she dropped the bullet into a small dish and then began to swab and clean the wound.  "Hmm.  A couple of stitches and a bandage should be all you need, given what we've seen of how you heal- Oop!"  She caught him as he half-rolled, coughing, blood flecking his lips as the fluid in his lung decided it was time to come up and out.  Heedless of the blood on her own dark clothing, Sable held a shallow bowl under his face with one hand as her other arm effortlessly supported his spasming form.  The paroxysms ceased, and Ravi sank back onto the bed with a weak groan as Sable took the bowl away.  Eyes closed, he was aware of her dabbing a cloth on his face and mouth, then going back to sewing him up.  He must have drifted off, because it seemed like he'd barely closed his eyes before she was nudging him awake.

One of the two huge men was present, and helped Ravi into a wheelchair before stepping aside, letting Sable wheel him out of the infirmary.  "Clean up."  she told the... guard?  Servant? as she left, nodding to the examination bed.  They emerged into the hallway, Sable wheeling him to a guest room similar to Amelia's.  "Let's get the blood washed off before you start feeling pain again."  she suggested, nodding towards the bathroom.  As being bathed by Sable went, it was a considerably less erotic experience than Ravi had imagined - she was gentle enough, but businesslike, having him sit on the edge of a bathtub as she wiped him down.  

"There's a robe and pajamas on the bed."  she told him as she helped him up and through into the bedroom - tastefully decorated in dark reds and golds and, yes, black.  She seated him on the edge of the bed, hesitating and stepping back as she considered him.  "Do you need help?" she asked almost caringly, then corrected "And more to the point, if I do help, will you behave?"

"No, thank you to the first question.  Hell no to the second."  Ravi managed a smile, causing Sable's lips to quirk in a grin and her head to shake momentarily.

"Good. Because I'd have one of the bodyguards do it."  she teased, turning to leave.  She stopped in the doorway, looking back at the half-naked aristocrat as though she had more to say, but instead left in silence.

Slowly, and with care to not pull at the stitches under the bandage around his chest, Ravi stripped off his by now ruined pants and socks and shoes.  Turning, he found there were indeed a soft cotton set of pajamas and a warm-looking robe on the bed, which he donned before laying back on the bed itself, staring up at the decorative canopy.  There was a sense, only a sense, that he was in danger here, but he'd been in dangerous situations before.  Panicking wouldn't help matters, and he was certainly in no shape for a heroic escape.  Besides, the danger wasn't so much one of intent on his hostess's part so much as just... part of her being what she was.  In his opinion, anyway.  Given her remarks about his taste, he did feel somewhat like a prepared side of veal.

And would that necessarily be so bad, to have her drink his blood?  What was it like?  Did she have to kill to gain nourishment, or could she just tap him like a maple tree?  Did it hurt?  These and all his other questions chased him down into slumber as he closed his eyes.  He'd completed what she asked of him.  He was wounded.  Surely some rest was in ord-

Reclining on a  luxurious bed, in a room of dark red and black, Ravi slept.

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