05.28.3013: A Moment Before The Dawn
Summary: Ellinor, Nikomachos, Cedric and Lyrienne all take a moment to enjoy life.
Date: 28 May 2013
Related: None.
Nikomachos Lyrienne Cedric Ellinor 

Orelle Residence, The Ring
The topmost pole of the central sphere of the Ring is occupied solely by the seat of House Orelle. It looks like a small domed city, sprawling with a diameter of several kilometers. Sleek and graceful buildings have been erected within this spacious area, allowing for actual thoroughfares instead of the typical walkways and corridors of the rest of the station. These structures include the Guest Residences and the House Library. At the center of the dome is the Spire of Leonara — named for the first High Lord of House Orelle, Leonardo Orelle. It is almost luminous with a pristine white exterior interrupted by panoramic windows and the occasional terrace.

Surrounding the Spire is the Grand Courtyard. Each quadrant of the Courtyard supports its own unique garden and seating. Fascinating, if not a bit strange, pieces have been gifted to the Orelles for their courtyard, including the hovering Fountain of Erra, whose geometric shapes float above a round pool, spilling water over their unique facets with mathematical precision.

May 28, 3013

On the grass close by the Fountain of Erra, a blanket has been spread out, a pair of picnic baskets weighing it down. Also weighing it down is a Cindravale. He's unbuckled his swordbelt, although it remains within easy grasp of either of his hands. In deference for his location, he has also removed his spurs, which allows him to balance the heel of one boot atop the toe of the other, laying back atop the blanket with a second blanket rolled up under his head. His left hand rests up on his stomach, a recent kids holo-flick playing in the air above it for the enjoyment of those he brought up from Imperius with him.

Given recent news, and Cedric's request, one might expect Lyrienne and the children to be safely ensconced somewhere in Landing. Apparently, though, it's just a little too early for that yet. And besides, Lyssie's favorite teddy got left on the Ring, and that just wouldn't do. So the children have been bundled up, and word sent to Ellinor and Cedric alike that they'd be stopping by if there was a chance to meet. Lyrienne is doing her best to pay absolutely no attention to the holovid, taking full advantage of Niko and having a drink while the children play and watch.

The Captain did indeed get the message that his wife would be stopping by, and it might've taken some pulling and prying by Ellinor to get Cedric to leave his bridge without the fear that everything would just fall to pot without him. The in wrapped up in his work, peering over his datapad of condition reports, security checks, and engineering statuses to make sure that the Shadow of Intent is running at top peak efficiency, even though the Admiralty hasn't giving them orders to leave port just yet. Which has made him pace his bridge like a caged tiger, just waiting for the oppurtunity to get underway. But, the Intent, for the moment, is still left in the docking ring. Given all that, he's still here, heading out for the spot that he been asked to meet at.

Ellinor has been in meetings most of the day with the Knight Captain Jeb Khournas who has been part of organizing most of the marines into the strongest possible companies and then assigning those companies to various ramships. There have been training sessions assigned, tactical meetings mapped, and other steps to ensure that the moment the defense of the Ring is called, they will all be ready to scramble and launch. She has not expected to hear that Lyrienne and the kids would be stopping by, but when she did get the news, she indeed managed to pry the Captain of the Intent off his boat. Guilt was probably a key factor there. She walks alongside Cedric as they head to the desired spot, her hands buried in the pockets of her greatcoat. "I made sure the Sir Jeb assigned me to the Intent. He almost had me assigned to logistics. Your mother-in-law's encouragement, I'm sure," because Lyrienne and Ellinor's mother has hated thinking about any of her daughters on the front lines from the moment Ellie requested she be squired.

Nikomachos looks over at the approaching figures, careful not to let the bracelet and its holoprojector waver. He reaches out with his right hand, pointing toward one of the baskets, "There are some peanut-butter-filled pretzels in there. They go great with wine." Really. Looking over to the kids, he murmurs softly, "See there, bubbas? Daddy and Auntie Ellie are coming to join us. Why don't you go say hi?"

"It's a good thing I'm already married," Lyrienne notes to Niko, leaning over to dig through the basket for said pretzels. "Otherwise there'd be a terrible fight, I'm sure. Go on," she urges the kids, grin flashing as Marus and Lysandra stampede toward Ellinor and Cedric. Julien, for his part, is rocking happily in a carrier, endlessly amused by the flash of light through the dangling toys on the handle.

"Sir Jeb is good man. I asked for him personally to be the Intent's Knight Captain." Cedric notes absently, still reading over one last report. "Not the most spotless record, but too shiny and I begin to question. I don't like suck-ups, I want officers and Knights that speak their mind." Pause. "Even if I have to throw them in the brig for insubordination." That last bit carries a decent amount of sarcasm with it. "I'm going to lose my damn mind if we don't get out there. And I swear, I know how you feel. Maybe my grandfather and your mother are conspiring to keep us out the front." Looking forward, he offers a wave before putting his datapad away. "I heard something about wine. I think I could use a drink after today."

Ellinor softens into a smile for her niece and nephew as they race toward them, and she casts Cedric a look as she murmurs, "Yeah… well… all we need is those two starting to work together against us." Beat pause. "We'll talk more later." And then she brightens. "Lysie! Look at you. Always bigger." She swoops down to pick up the girl, swinging her around to sit on her hip. She smothers her with loud, smacking kisses. "Didn't I tell you if any strange men try to take you and your mom out for a picnic, you were suppose to dial my comm?" She smirks toward Nikomachos as she approaches, bouncing the girl up slightly.

Nikomachos may look like he's fully at his ease, but as the children scamper off, he shuts down the projector and rolls up on one side, putting both feet on the ground and watching them run off. Once they reach Cedric and Ellinor, he rolls up to sit cross-legged, bobbing a nod, "Captain Ric, Sir Ellie." A bit of a smile touches on his lips, "Indeed, there's wine, and cold chicken, and about four or five different snacks. I thought since you couldn't exactly leave the Ring, but I could safely bring family to you. After all, ground forces are liable to have a bit more warning than you up here."

"Put down the tablet, Ric," Lyrienne calls over with a wry smile as Marus starts jumping at his father, trying to climb right up him. "There's little enough time to spend here before you'll be called back there again." Not that she isn't enjoying her wine and pretzels, courtesy of Niko's desire to impress Ellinor. Sisters are great. "Niko's not a stranger!" Lysandra declares, giggling at Ellinor's kisses. "And he has new vids!" More important than whether or not he's a stranger.

"Hey little man. Keeping your mom and siblings safe, yeah?" Cedric smiles, taking a knee to hug his eldest son and ruffling his hair a bit. Always encourage the kids, and Marus is the man of the house while he's away. "Not giving them too much trouble." Another kiss on the cheek before he stands back up, taking Marus' hand and leading him back to Niko and Lyrie. "Sir Niko. You'll forgive me if I don't kiss you first." Coming around, he leans down to give his wife a hug and kiss. "Looking beutiful as always, Lyrie. And thank you sister for getting me off the bridge. She needs to work on her salute, though." Finally, he turns to Niko as he unbuckles his falchion. "Thanks for bringing them here."

"Uh huh," Ellinor says to her niece. "That's how they get you. New vids." Then she looks up toward the Knight and her sister now, looking half-way suspicious. "I don't like seeing you two conspiring together." Then she sets Lysie down so she can also drop down onto her knees on the grass. She then gestures Nikomachos to hand her the wine and one of the choice snacks. "You better make sure my niece and nephews off this hunk in space—" She says that affecionately, really. "I don't want to have to worry about them. Oh, and Lyrienne too." She casts a smile toward her sister as she pours the wine into a cup. She smirks toward Cedric. "Oh, don't you start… Sir Jeb was already giving me shi — 'mores about that already."

Nikomachos points at Lysandra's words, grinning up at Ellinor. Cedric's threat cause him to laugh, waving it off, "Please, you're totally not my type, Ric." The thanks draw a nod, and he responds to that and to Ellinor's own threat with a simple, "Here and back again, on my honor." He leans forward to grab the wine bottle and pass it over to Ellinor, and following it up with a flash-heat s'more-in-a-box. "And now I'm giving you s'mores. Can I get you anything, Ric? I've got some french fries in here, some choco-candies, plus the peanut-butter-filled pretzels." He looks over to Lyrienne, "Aaaaaand carrots, celery, and grapes."

Lyrienne tips her chin up to Cedric's kiss, reaching up to cup his cheek with one hand in a tender touch that holds him just a breath longer than a normal greeting. "Thank you, Ellinor," she calls back to her sister, though it's her husband who gets most of the force of her smile for another moment before she looks away. "I'm impressed. You even managed to get all of his fingers off the helm and here with him." The kids, set free, set off to run and shriek again.

Cedric makes a raspberry noise at Ellinor. "I'll stop harassing you about your salute when you stop poking jabs at my station." Pause. "But really, you break your wrist too much. But." Turning over at Niko. "French fries and wine? Sounds downright classy as hell. Sign me up for some of that." A glance at his hands. "Yeah, they're all still there. Wouldn't be able to draw a crossbow if I couldn't. Speaking being off here, how's living with your parents again going for you, dear?"

Ellinor looks at the s'mores and then looks at Nikomachos, and she narrows her pale green eyes, though there is a warmth there. Then she smiles over toward Lyrienne. "Come now, Lyrie… your husband loves you. He wouldn't miss an opportunity to see you and the kids." So, yes. She guilted him. As she takes another swallow of wine, she reaches for some of the peanut butter stuffed pretzels, popping one into her mouth. "I'm not use to saluting, you know… I'm use to stabbing and slashing, but not saluting." Then she glances toward Lyrienne at Cedric's question. "Oh yes, how is that going?" She smirks to Nikomachos. "Have you tried to meet them yet?"

Nikomachos laughs at Cedric's commentary on his food choices, "I don't have the faintest idea what kids like to eat. I went with a wide variety." He shrugs helplessly at Ellinor's narrowed eyes, a broad smile spreading across his lips, "Come on Ellie, it's not that hard…" Even though he has a hand behind him to brace him up, he's still able to bring his right arm across his chest in a clean, crisp salute. Of course he knows the right way to respond to a salute coming his way, and he knows how to do so with the proper style. Ellinor breaks him down neatly, however, and he clears his throat, looking around to spot the running kids — and to buy himself some time — before he responds, "Tried to meet your parents, Ellie? Not at all. I'm sure they're too busy to meet some minor Cindravale in a mere social visit…"

"Again?" Lyrienne arches a brow at Ellinor and Cedric both, then shrugs. "I hardly remember living with them the first time around. Mother might smother me, though," she admits. "It's like she suddenly got her baby back. On the up side, she's thrilled to watch the kids whenever I want to get out. I'm sorry, Rid, but I'm sacrificing our children to their grandmother to save myself," she confesses.

"Oh goody, so they'll be spoiled rotten by the time I see them again." Cedric rolls his eyes a little. "I can't say I know your mother very well, but if I know grandparents, they like to fill them with sugar before handing them back to their parents. So…y'know.." he pauses to drink some of that wine he got his hands on, "..good luck with that." Now the fries, an odd combination with wine, but hey, naval men usually eat worse things. A glass-laden hand acknowleges Niko. "See, that's how you salute."

Ellinor grins toward Cedric before she glances toward Nikomachos and smirks. "I was just making sure…" Then she sticks her tongue out at him in a slight belated response to his correct salute. "No one is going to care if I have a lousey salute when the war starts." She then offers out her cup so Nikomachos can refill it with wine. She releases a sigh. "Yeah, well… none of us have given them any grandchildren, so…" And she joins Cedric's sentiment. "Good luck with that." And she winks to her brother-in-law.

Nikomachos nods to Cedric, "We do everything with style in the Vale." He pauses, thinking, then admitting, "Except dancing, at least in my case. That, that's just not pretty in the slightest." He gathers up the wine bottle on cue, pouring out another measure for Ellinor and twisting the bottle rim dry and sticking his tongue out in response to Ellinor's like gesture, "And just how is it that you were able to avoid learning how to salute, Ellie? I grew up doing it, and Uncle Andros made sure I knew how to do it right in my first week as a squire."

"Sauveurs don't have to salute people," Lyrienne declares with a flash of a wicked grin, leaning back on one elbow to lounge with her wine and her snacks. "At least, Sauveurs who have the sense not to go into the military don't. I can't speak for the ones who like to throw themselves at dangerous things."

"When your father and grandfather are life-long navy men, saluting is about as normal as breating." Cedric nods at Niko, tipping back his glass. "Hell, I remember approaching his desk as a kid being made to salute. Practice. Think it was already arranged I enter the Academy as soon as I was able. I don't think the old man could've tolerated a son that wanted to play on the Comets." Turning to Lyrie, he waggles a french fry at her. "Sometimes, a Sauveur grows some balls goes military. It's a rare occasion to step down from the ivory tower, but it happens." A grin at Niko.

"I had a mother who never wanted any of her children to go into knightly training. Father was the one who convinced her to let Advent go into training, but I had to be the one who sold the concept to her." She shrugs her shoulders a bit. The Sauveur Knight casts a glance toward her brother-in-law with a wry smile. "Come now, there are a few of us who happily step out of the ivory tower…" Though she does accept that not every Sauveur is quite so willing to make that plunge.

"Grows some balls, loses some sense," Lyrienne winks back at Cedric. "One or the other. And there's only so much room in the world for various military appointments and the like. Sometimes it's best to let the people who are suited to a thing do it. Or people who don't have the freedom to choose to do something else." She takes a sip of wine, grin flashing. "You see? I'm a wife and a singer so that some poor Khourni can have a military post."

Nikomachos laughs easily at Lyrienne's commentary, arching his eyebrows at Ellinor for her response. Cedric's commentary on ivory towers causes him to wink and draw in a hiss of breath, "Ooh, don't talk about ivory towers. So many of the Awakened folks from Phylon head on up to that drab old heap of white stone up in the swamps. Aunt Lulu, Cousin Ari… always sounded like a boring place to me." He points over to Lyrienne at her commentary, "She's got a point… how many teenage boys have any of you known with an ounce of sense in their head?" As he speaks, he pulls out the cold fried chicken and plates, passing them around and leaving the basket open for people to pick the pieces they want.

"Hey," Cedric defends to Niko. "I was going to be a football player. That's where the easy money was, and I'll be damned if at the time I could've gone in at least the second round of the draft. Buuut…then I got shoved into the Academy. So I had sense, but the old man decided that serving on a ship would do me better than kicking around a ball. As for the rest of them, dead on, I'd say. A teenager? No, I think sense usually leaves us for a couple years, though most would suspect if we ever get it back. Having a kid will sober you right up though." A glance over at Lyrie. "And all for the better, I say." A pout. "A wife and a singer, life must be dreadfully hard on you, eh?" But he holds up a hand to Ellinor. "Fair enough, some get the right idea, I'll say that much."

"Football player," Ellinor scoffs. She finally leans her shoulder up against Nikomachos's now that she has had a couple cups of wine and she's feeling some of the tension drain from her. She does reach for one of the pieces of chicken before she glances over toward Lyrienne a bit. "I heard you're about ready with your new album," she says, speaking of musical careeers. Then she glances over toward Nikomachos. "You know, that White Tower of yours is some of the most secret places I've ever heard of. Uncle Symion doesn't even know what happens up there."

"The sacrifices I make for the realm," Lyrienne intones grandly to Cedric, though it's rather ruined by her grin afterwards, and the warmth in her eyes as she leans over to give Julian's carrier a nudge. "The album should be ready soon, though," she nods to Ellinor. "Another month or so, most likely, so long as nothing any more interrupting than the Hostile invasion comes along in the meantime."

Nikomachos shrugs at Cedric, chuckling easily, "I lucked out that my sport of choice counts toward House service. And sense, I've found, is quite overrated, unless it's fashion sense." Okay, so he's mostly joking about that. He sets down his wineglass between his legs, leaning back into Ellinor and snatching up a drumstick, "Not even the White Tower knows what goes on up there, Ellie." Niko raises his eyebrows at Lyrienne, "Another album? To boost the war effort or to distract people from it?"

"And what exactly, Sir Ellinor is wrong about being a football player?" Cedric huffs a little dramatically. "It's a perfectly good career choice. Granted, iI woudln't trade the one I have currently, and yes, before any of you say anything; yes, I know, the Comets suck. But damnit, I'd still play for them knowing that." Reaching over to refill his glass, eyes move over Lyrie. "Hopefully something distracting. Sometime positive. Maybe her producers will actually let her make some music that she -wants- to make instead that of teeny-booper…stuff."

"Sacrifices indeed," Ellinor comments before she takes a bite of chicken, chewing on it idly as she reaches for her wine cup to wash some if down. Then she nods toward Lyrienne's words about her album. "You'll have to send me a copy when its ready." She turns a grin toward Cedric now at his dramatic huff. "They smell." And she takes another bite of chicken. "Gods, I wish the Comets would start winning so you would say something other than them losing." She grins a bit before she glances back over toward Nikomachos. "Mysteries, mysteries."

"A little bit of both, I expect," Lyrienne answers Niko, watching the kids as they romp through the park. "And a little less of the teeny-bopper music, as Ric puts it. Music may not be much of a military affair, but someone has to see to the health of people's hearts, and music is very good at that. Besides, I'm not exactly going to be useful on the front lines."

Nikomachos starts to tear apart that drumstick with neat, precise bites, "Hey, I've got nothing against soccer. Just not for me." Twisting his head to look at the other knight leaning against his shoulder, he chuckles, "I hate to break it to you, Ellie, but I don't smell so good after a tilt, either." He hefts the remains of the drumstick, "And I'd make some comment now about the mysteries being like women or something like that, but I'm much smarter than that." He tries to stifle a grin as he proves himself not quite so smart after all. Nodding to Lyrienne, he inquires, "So what sort of music would you want to write, if you didn't have to do the teeny-bopper stuff?"

Cedric makes a slightly incredulous face at Ellinor. "Hold on. Let me get this straight. You don't like football players because they smell?" As if on cue, Niko speaks up, causing him to point at the Knight. "Right there. Exactly. And I've run into you just after training. You don't exactly smell like you've been rolling roses, you know. Like…drake musk or something." Drinking from his glass, he drink before adding. "She'd do something damn classy, that's what. Should hear the way she sings to Lyssie at night. But me personally, she needs more acustic guitar in her music. To be fair, he current music isn't -bad- by any stretch, but I think I'm starting to outgrow the club scene."

"I smell like fucking roses," Ellinor announces to the pair of men. "Like. Fucking. Roses. So, it must be a man thing." She flashes a grin toward Lyrienne before she sticks her tongue out dramatically at Cedric. Then she looks back over toward Lyrienne. "So, you're going into that heavy rock stuff, then, huh? Punk up your hair, dye it purple, start wearing ragged t-shirts?" She sips at her wine. "You know, classy." The wit, ah, the wit. Then she looks over to Ric. "My Gods, man, you're twenty four…"

"This one's going to have more acoustic in general," Lyrienne nods at Cedric's explanation. "Piano, guitar. Ballads. Less purple hair and screaming," she smirks back at Ellinor. "There will still be some upbeat pieces, but it's going to have a different sound, a little deeper meaning, a little more musicality. Anyhow," she waves a hand, reaching for a piece of chicken. "I think it should transfer well to a wider market."

Nikomachos points over at Cedric when he's pointed at, "And I'm pretty sure ramships don't smell so great either." He then looks a bit thoughtful, leaning slightly away from Ellinor, "I don't know, it's not so bad." Leaning back and grinning toothily, he goes back to picking the drumstick clean, listening to the rest of them talk on. "He's only 24? You're younger than me, and I still like the club scene. But acoustic is nice too. Something nice and quiet, calming."

"As long as you don't make another album about what it's like after your boyfriend dumps you." Cedric deadpans. "You know the kind of shit I had to deal with on ship for that. Everyone kept thinking I was the most horrible husband ever. And hey, ships smell…well, they smell…it really depends where you go on a ship. The bridge just has 'filtered and cycled air smell, which you'd think doesn't have smell, but it's a lie, it really does. The worst section on a ship I'd say would be the waste and water recycling portions nearby engineering." Shrug when the comments turn to his age. "I dunno, never really got into it, I guess. Too loud, droning music, and drunk people running into you all the time. But then, I'm just a hypocrite because I love football games."

"I was about to say," Ellinor smirks to Cedric. Then she looks back toward her sister. "I look forward to it, Lyrie… I'm sure it'll be a success." Then she finishes off her own bit of chicken as she seems to drop into thoughtfulness for a few moments. Then she glances over to Cedric as he mentions the worst parts of the ship. "Good to know," she mumbles to him about where the smellest air is. Then glances over toward Nikomachos. "Oh, that's right… you're the old man in this group." Terrifying.

"I like the club scene all right. But I've got kids to get back to when the night ends," Lyrienne points out with a small smile. "They sort of change your priorities. Though they don't make it any less fun to go out and have drinks." As Lysandra and Marus start to squabble over something, she sighs, smile crooked as she pushes up to stand. "Excuse me," she murmurs to the group, going out into the fray.

Nikomachos counts off Cedric's complaints, "Sounds like a soccer game. Or a tournament." He tosses the chicken bone into a second little basket, wipes his fingers on a napkin, and looks over to Ellinor, "Oldest of the group, and still plenty pretty." And the chattering continues onward, easygoing, light, polite. Just a nice picnic, a break from the press of work.

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