05.24.2013: Awakened in a Bistro
Summary: Elspeth and Lucretia meet to discuss matters and Hostiles.
Date: 24 May 2013
Related: None
Lucretia Elspeth 

Blue Stallion Bistro — Phylon, The Vale
This particular bistro is credited for being one of the best eateries in the Vale. The waiting area is accessed through a pair of tall, glass doors that have been frosted with a pair of rearing blue horses. There is the customary host desk where men and women in neat, dark azure attire see to those waiting for a table. Reservations are almost a must for dinner, but lunch tends to be a bit more loose. The hard, concrete floors have been washed in blue acid and etched with whorls and spirals that create a dizzying effect across the expansive main dining room. Tucked along the walls are large, circular booths that can house two to twelve patrons comfortably, and the ceiling-high glass dividers offer a sense of privacy. Tables with high-backed and well-cushioned chairs are methodically scattered around the rest of the room. The tables are not dressed in linens, but instead left bare to show off the natural blue wood that has been cultivated for their construction. The kitchen is neatly tucked away behind three sets of swinging doors, leaving the goings-on back there a mystery. There is a long, traditional bar along one wall that provides an abbreviated menu, but a full choice of drinks. The final dramatic feature of the bistro is its ceiling, which has been constructed from darkly tinted glass and inset with lights that can dim or brighten based on the time of day or desired mood.

It's cloudy, warm, and beautiful here in one of the fancier places in the Vale. Elspeth sent messages inviting Lucretia to lunch to discuss certain dreams, and she's arrived precisely five minutes early, as she tends to. It's AMAZING how mention of her dining partner will clear up a table, and because of the crowd, she's willing to use it, even if it results in a wry, resigned shake of her head as she takes the table. She has a tablet with her, and is idly working on something as she waits. She also looks a bit tired, and not in that hard-tournament-partying sort of way.

Happy to accept the invitation, Lucretia glides into the Bistro, a few moments late. She pauses to chat with the hostess for a moment, who brightens and smiles upon recognizing the Lady. The young woman nods and turns to lead Lu towards the table Elspeth is settled at. The Witch has her hat on, but her staff is absent, and she smiles at the scholar, "Elspeth, darling. Wonderful of you to come looking for me. I'd have likely come to see you myself in a day or two. I just keep getting tied up with other matters." The hostess takes drink orders after Lu sits, then wanders off, and the sorceress comments to her companion, "And I just had tea in private with Princess Janelle yesterday, to discuss the other dreams, and..now this."

Elspeth stands as Lucretia approahces, offering Lucretia a bow and a warm smile. "Lady Lucretia. I'm so pleased that you were able to indulge me." She sits after Lucretia does, and closes down her tablet. "I apologize for interrupting the tournament week for such unpleasant things, but I thought it best to confirm that we are, in fact, seeing the same things. Especially when the dream is so violent. It doesn't bode well, I can't help but feel."

"Of course, Elspeth. Especially with everything going on, I will always make time to speak with a fellow Awakened about these things. It helps to hear what others thought or felt, what conclusions they drew." Lucretia remarks, taking her glass of wine when it arrives and sipping, "This one..I fear I am still considering it. Beyond the fact that we have a war coming..The words mean something, it is obvious, but I am uncertain precisely what. Did they mean anything in particular to you?"

Elspeth purses her lips. "And in the night, you'll hear me calling and all the stars recall your goodbye, your goodbye. Breathe in the light and say goodbye." She sighs. "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it, but it's not exactly what I'd consider a call to arms." Her fingers tap out the rhythm of the song, as if it's been stuck in her head all this time and she can't help trying to get out. "What worries me, Lady Lucretia, is that I don't believe I was seeing that…battle or scenario from OUR side. Did you?"

"I do not believe so, no. To my understanding, there is nothing..soft about Hostiles. They are cybernetic, robotic. It felt like I was piercing flesh, not metal." Lucretia's voice is low, but clearly audible to her companion. She frowns, "It is a catchy little few lines, isn't it? But I can not really say I have any who or what it is, or what it is supposed to mean. Something to hint at the reason for the Hostiles attacking us? A hint at where they originated?"

Elspeth nods. "Yes, that's what I mean, my lady. It did not feel like I was one of /us/ fighting /them/. But rather the opposite. One of /them/ fighting /us/. The soft bodies, the sound of the crossbow bolts that my viewpoint wasn't firing." She shakes her head. "Along with the resonance of the previous dream about skin and what is underneath, it…disturbs me. It makes me wonder if…" she trails off. After a moment, she nods. "I think it might be. Maybe…is this mysterious woman and her voice a leader of them? Possibly an Awakened who has…other abilities than our own? It's not the first time we've heard something like soft words, or a distant call."

"It all fits, I agree. And your guess…Is a good one." Lucretia pauses, swirling her glass. "Had I told you of the figure I saw in the dream? The one where we clawed our skin away? The figure behind me, shrouded in an aura of white. Somehow..I do not know how I failed to think of it, but when I spoke with Princess Janelle yesterday.." Lu pauses, lips drawing into a frown, "She said that the first thing my description made her think of, was an Awakened." Sighing, she continues, "It is rather clear that we, and the Hostiles are tied somehow. Be it one Awakened who made or controls them, or be it that they want Awakened for something. The problem now is to determine -what- the tie -is-.

Elspeth frowns. "No, I don't think you did." She raises a hand to touch her own cheek, shivering a little as she remembers the feel of that particular dream. "But, certainly, someone with a visible aura…what else could it BE but an Awakened? Or whatever the Hostile equivalent is. If there's only one…" she grimaces. "We've never known what they want, you know. Aside from the fact that they drop on our heads every half a millennium and try to murder us all. Do you know if there are any records of Awakened trying to communicate with them?"

"I just assumed it was a bright light or something of the sort. Perhaps just the pain. But..It makes too much sense." Lu shakes her head, "I do not know. You are the one who lives in the Academ, aren't you, dear? You must have a few friends in the history arena, no?" Swirling her glass of wine, she pauses, then asks, "Do you think whatever it is, is trying to call to us? Or are our dreams trying to warn us?" The older woman frowns as she speaks.

"A point. Those kind of records may be classified, though. I can look," Elspeth says, thoughtfully. She picks up one of the breadsticks and starts nibbling her way through it. "And…well, rumor says that there's a live Hostile NOW, in custody. If it's still alive, I wonder if anyone has thought of having an Awakened try to contact it?" She waves the breadstick, as if painting the air with it. "It feels like a warning. At least the first two did. Rain of blood, fear, violation. This last one…I'm not sure. Putting us in the perspective of Hostiles…that could be suggesting that empathy is needed, or trying to make a connection with us? But if they wanted to make a connection, why not just send out a probe saying, 'Hey, this time we don't want to brutally murder you all?'"

"Take a look, and let me know. If needed, I can see about pulling a string or two," Lucretia remarks and then hmm's. "I will see what I can learn regarding the Hostile the Orelles have, and what they are doing." She nods at Elspeth, "Warnings, yes. And, who knows? For all we know, they're just a tool in someone else's war against us. We don't know -anything- about them. Which makes no sense, does it? All this fighting, and we know absolutely nothing." Flicking a hand in an annoyed gesture, she leans back in her chair, "I really doubt it has anything to do with us needing to make nice with the Hostiles, though."

Elspeth nods. "Of course, my lady. It will be interesting to see if there's anything at all…we don't tend to get up close and personal in combat, so it may very well be that none of us have ever been in a position to /try/ to contact them." Her smile is lopsided. "And what little we do know…it's been nearly 500 years, Lady Lucretia. On the worlds of our ancestors, empires rose, flourished, and fell in such stretches of time. Cultures died and were born, languages fell into obscurity. Who is to say what changes our ancient enemies have made…I have to admit, I would prefer to find some common ground with another intelligent culture, rather than a constant cycle of warfare." She flashes a grin. "That said, I'm not about to go walking about in the forest waving a 'hope you come in peace' sign."

"As you say, it has been a very long time." Lu muses, "I will have to contact the Orelles. And the Princess if they do not respond quick enough. I rather want to see this hostile myself now." Her fingers tap against her wine glass, "It is nice to think we might make peace with them somehow, but I really fear you are being much too optimistic, darling. We did not start this war. They did. And as far as anyone knows, with no reasoning offered or attempts to discuss matters ever being made. That does not truly bode well, does it?"

"That we know of, we did not start it," Elspeth says, quietly. She shrugs, and spreads her hands. "I merely say that to point out that history is not a series of events, it is the /record/ of those events left behind. And such records are biased even in recent times - when we are talking millennia, who can say how much resemblence they bear to actual events." Then she waves a hand. "But I take your meaning. We must deal with the world as we know it, and that means assuming that the Hostiles plan to live up to their name. And…should you be allowed to see the Hostile, if there is anything you can share…" There's no hiding the wistfulness in the Scholar's voice at that. Even if Hostiles aren't her speciality, it's one of the greatest scientific events in the last several decades, and it clearly KILLS her that it's on Orelle, rather than the Academ.

"I fear I must admit, with the war on our doorstep, I really do not -care- about what actually happened. I want to be able to live out my life and die an old lady — of natural causes -after- the war. This is not the time to start wondering if the war is somehow our fault. It doesn't matter, surviving does," Lucretia frowns at the other woman for a moment. Expression smoothing, she shakes her head, "I don't know whether they will let me be involved, or tell me anything, but I intend to ask, and if they permit it, I will keep you informed, dear."

Elspeth ducks her head in the face of Lucretia's frown. "Of course, my lady. My apologies. You're quite right." Her tone is subdued enough that it's hard to tell what, if any, real emotion is behind the immediate reaction, or if it's simply an attempt at good manners. "And thank you. I appreciate the consideration." She clears her throat, reaching for her water. After taking a swallow, she smiles, "In less depressing news, are you enjoying the tournament thus far? I imagine you will be dueling?"

Lucretia lifts a hand to rub at her temple, "Forgive me, dear. It is just a very stressful time. I feel like the dreams alone are enough to drive some people to fits, factor in a dozen other things, and it is getting to me sometimes." She shakes her head slowly, a faint smile offered, "Amazingly, I've not even made time to attend yet. I was busy preparing for my discussion with Janelle yesterday, and then had some other matters to tend to, ensuring we have all the supplies we need, and arranging for a continuing stream of what we -will- need. But yes, I hope to find time to attend the duels. I do enjoy putting on a good show, and it should help blow off a bit of stress."

Elspeth shakes her head. "You've nothing to apologize for, Lady Lucretia. Living in the Academ as I do, I sometimes forget that not /everyone/ feels they have the luxury to stop for a lengthy and purely theoretical discussion on some obscure point when there's actual work to be done." Still, she does seem to relax a little. "And, if I might be so bold, I hope that you /do/ take some time to relax and destress. Even if it is only a few minutes or the course of the duel. It's not going to get less hectic any time soon. Besides," she grins, "I already told someone that I was going to root for you, and I'd be /devastated/ to be bereft of a target for rooting."

"I would hate to let you down, then, dear, so I shall do my utmost to find time to attend. And put on a good showing, of course. It's been a little while since I really went to town, as it were, we'll have to see who else shows up." Lucretia sets her glass down, "I fear that for now though, I -do- have some other matters of business to tend to. Please, feel free to call on me, Elspeth. If I have anything further to share in regards to our dreams or the Hostiles, you will hear from me." Smiling, the Witch rises to her feet.

Elspeth rises with her. "Certainly, Lady Lucretia." She offers a bow. "And I will contact you if my research turns up anything of substance. Have a good afternoon," she adds, with a smile. "And if there's anything I can do to make things easier, please do let me know?"

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