05.29.3013: Brothers Blackspyre
Summary: Michram and Nitrim bond in some ways…lament in others.
Date: 29 May 2013
Related: None
Michram Nitrim 

A long, sweeping balcony - The Blackspyre
A balcony that overlooks the city of Obsidia
May 29, 3013

The tower of Blackspyre rose tall over the city of Obsidia, so tall that from any given balcony the inhabitants could look over the twinkling lights of the city below. Night had fallen, and Lord Nitrim Khournas was standing one a wide balcony with a thinly rolled cigarillo in one hand and a glass of brown liquor in the other. A table, not too far away, contained glasses for any others who would join him, but given Nitrim's habits the bottle may very well be empty by the end of the evening.

…and still as a statue with his wrists against the balcony, Nitrim stared down at the city below, lost in thought.

Michram wanders in, and while he is not /quite/ limping he does seem to be favoring one side when he moves. That movement for the moment consists of edging a chair back from the table with a foot so that he can plop into it a moment later. "Looks different already, doesn't it" he offers by way of a conversation starter, "even from up here. The glow of the factories pulling extra shifts, streets light that would normally be dark. Even from here you can see the city tensing it's muscles, coiling tight and preparing to spring."

"I was talking to Asher earlier, brother, and we briefly touched on this, that this moment really is what they've been prepared for some way or another for years." Nitrim replies, turning his slightly glassy eyes to Michram. A few drinks into the bottle, he drops his eyes to Michram's leg out of appraisal, and then turns his gaze back to the city below. "But yeah, it looks different already. By this time of night that neighborhood over there would have been dark." He pauses for another sip. "Did Thalo do that to you?"

"A rack of spears" Michram says wryly, "If I were sparring with Thalo it no doubt would have been in full armor. Instead I found myself moving about weapons for some militia practice and the damned thing topples over." A lift of the noninjured shoulder in a partial shrug, "And years? Centuries. It's what I've been preparing for my whole life. I suddenly feel like a sword half drawn from it's scabbard, not yet primed to strike and yet no longer at rest. How are you, in all of this?"

Nitrim turns to face Michram, bracing an elbow across his stomach to hold his glass of bourbon to the side. His thumb flicks the ashes away from the cigarillo and he takes a drag. He holds the smoke in and sighs it out slowly with a shrug of his shoulder. "I'm Awakened. Things are going to be different for me in the days going forward. It seems like myself and every other fucking Awakened had the same series of dreams, which raises all sorts of questions." Nitrim frowns to his brother. "I've got this feeling that you, Victor, and Thalo are going to speed off in one direction and Asher and I may very well go in another. Our days here having cigars and drinks might just be coming to an end, at least temporarily."

"Asher is still a knight" Michram says with a chuckle, "Dreams do nothing to change that. I believe he is planning to volunteer for Marine service, be one of the first to get himself some blood." A moment is taken to ponder that, a brief smile crossing his lips. A moment to shake off the happy pondering of bloody violence and he continues, "What sort of dreams? I've heard bits and hints from Asher about his showing events that have not yet happened."

"Sometimes they're easier to remember than others, but at the Feast we all found out we had the same one. Lots of electrical humming, clawing off our own skin to see wires beneath, rain, blood, and the dream that's got us all bothered may have been a dream foretelling the Hostile attack on that ship from the perspective of the Hostiles." The younger Khournas brother turns back to the balcony and stares out over the city with echoes of the dream laced into the look on his face. "That dream was from their perspective, and it felt like I could understand their thoughts and feelings; watching as it ran a lance through a human." His lips flatten.

"Michram, add Asher to the list then. I'm no knight, so when this starts I'm going to head off in a different direction. If we can dream what they see, then the Awakened might be a secret weapon."

"Might be they are trying to turn you into /their/ secret weapon" Michram offers in turn. "They are a step ahead of us so far. They landed scouting parties here well before we expected any to be possible. They are coming early." He motions towards the city a hand, "And the awakened dream. This is not the best and most talented sneaking a peek after much trial and effort. I cannot see what you see or sense what you sense, but be careful brother. I get the sentiment people somehow feel an advantage has been given, handed out of nowhere. I more fear that such dreams are yet another surprise they are springing on us when we should have been prepared."

"Which is…something else I'm being realistic about." Nitrim retorts with an understanding nod of his head. "Which is also why I fully expect that until that is proven otherwise there's no fucking way they're going to be keeping too many Awakened near your fighting forces." He tips the glass back and downs the bourbon, and then turns to head back to the table. Turning over another glass, he pours two fingers worth into each glass and then offers one to Michram. "I haven't exactly been the most stable of all of the Awakened. In fact, I think Father holds Asher in far more esteem than I. I can't hold that against either of them. But still, whatever comes, I'd like to toast to my brother's safety and…" Nitrim's lips curl into a grin. "…may he find glory in battle in the form of ten-thousand dead Hostile at his feet?" He raises his glass, eyebrows aloft with question.

"You are father's son" Michram says sternly while giving Nitrim a reproving look for a moment before reaching over to accept the glass and finally breaking into a chuckle, "But a good toast. I'll take it. Ten thousand seems a most reasonable number, but do feel free to toss in.. oh.. one thousand swooning women. too Not at my feet, of course, a safe distance back from the mountain of dead hostiles where they won't get splattered with blood or oil or.. whatever it is that Hostiles have pumping through their veins."

Baring his white, grinning teeth to Michram, Nitrim raises his glass in a salute, and then downs the liquor. As he swallows, his neck muscles tense and he lowers the glass back to the table for a refill. He casually sidesteps his brother's stern look and comment about being his Lord Father's son for a change in topic. "Speaking of swooning women…" He finishes pouring and looks up to Michram. "…I did spend some time with Lady Ariana Larent on Nubilus. Apparently my suggested offer of hospitality for a visit may be taken seriously by her and her sister, the Young Lady Veryna Larent." His look bears no lack of suggestion. "I hear Veryna took the foot melee, and Ariana is…" He trails off, trying to find the right word to describe her.

"She truly did take the foot melee. Over me, Thalo, and Victor all. Of course it helps she spent the first half of it with nobody taking her seriously enough to swing a weapon at her, but even so, it was an accomplishment she can take pride in. I truly expected Thalo to have her there at the end but she went toe to toe with him and came out on top." Michram responds, even while eying his brother at the innuendo. "And she is quite clearly attractive or your mind would be working well enough to actually describe her. How did thoughts of war turn your mind towards thoughts of romance?"

"Because I'm a little drunk and I'd rather think about women than the Hostile. Don't let Father hear that I've said that." The laugh that lept from Nitrim's chest was practically a snort. Once again, he salutes Michram with his glass, but this time only takes a small sip. Even Nitrim knows when to slow down, and he isn't drinking to hide tonight, he's drinking to relax. "It's not like I'm not ready and willing to crush a thousand Hostile myself, but my role in all of this is yet to be defined. Besides, you should fucking see this girl, Mich. She's…fucking ridiculous. Still, she's so proper and even she's buried in her lab work. I doubt she's thinking about me. In all fairness, you know I've been through my share of women. Still…" He places his palm with the cigarillo in hand to his forehead, wiping away a bead of the Volkan-heatbound sweat. His tone changed to dark, half-serious humor. "…if we're all going to rush off to fight or die as we are honor bound to do, you're a liar if there isn't the name of some girl you'd kill to fuck before going off to war, right? Or am I the only person in Volkan that thinks about this shit?"

"Our family is wealthy. I'm next in line to a Paramount house after sis. I'm a Knight, read hero. Getting women isn't exactly a challenge." Michram says with a laugh at Nitrim's words and he lifts a shoulder, "Course it is more fun when you're feeling something. That happens, though I'm pretty flighty. None of /those/ at the moment so.. no.. I am not sitting here pining like that. I'll have my fun after my work is done but it's not eating up my thoughts. That is reserved for the Hostiles. Dreams of taking the fight to them, of landing on their world and razing the whole damn thing. Of hacking them apart until my arms are exhausted, of rivers of blood. I'm ready for this.. I've been preparing for this the whole of my life. I don't want to distract myself from the fighting to come, I damned near ache for it."

Nitrim walks past Michram back to the balcony. His always-lidded eyes fell back to a sentry position over the city below, and he falls into a long silence. Elbows on the railing, he holds his glass in two hands and considers his older, far stronger brother's words. He furrows his brow and slips his cigar back between his lips for a drag, which he exhales down to the city below. Something…is definitely on the young man's mind. He swallows and lowers his brows to a stern, restless position and speaks into the wind. "You ever think Father regrets me not squiring?" He asks, giving the question some time to settle in before he looks back to his brother. His shoulders push in, a hopeless shrug. "He's going to see you, Anabethe, Ellion, Victor, Asher, Thalo…you're all going off to make his name while I'm left to find my way into the war on my own. Fuck, he may even go so far as to marry me off and hope to gain a thousand more troops out of the deal like I'm some Arboren maiden." He scoffs with a roll of his eyes. "I can fight. He knows this."

"Of course he regrets it" Michram says frankly, remaining seated and taking another long sip of his drink. "To be blunt you are the youngest, you are supposed to be the /most/ disposable of all of us. You're supposed to be dying the brave, foolish death so the nation can mourn you and we, your siblings, can do even greater feats of heroism in your name." A look down into his glass and another of those faint shrugs is given, with a wince added in, wrong shoulder. "Can't say I blame you for avoiding that particular fate. Being married off might not be that bad, a new start and a new path. That doesn't seem like something you'd hate."

"Well, like you I've never had much trouble attracting women. Our parents were gracious enough to sire an entire motley of good looking children with a pair of rich, powerful parents. If being married off gave me opportunities I don't have now, not being a knight of Khournas, then it might be worth it, but the last thing I need is to get gridlocked into some sort of political marriage where the bride's family would steal whatever autonomy I've got now." Nitrim continued to search the flickering lights below, not sure what he was looking for. His fingertips tapped the top of his glass and he took yet another swig, which went down a little harder to swallow than the last. "We'll see." Nitrim adds with finality, tapping his ashes into the wind. "I intend to get involved with the Awakened and start communicating with them; trading knowledge and doing what I can to rule out that we're some sort of unwitting spies for the Hostile. If we're a danger to the Hostile, whatever scouts they've got could make us a target for assassination. I'm not letting down my guard and so help me if I do get married off this bride had better be worth it. So if Father asks for your opinion…think of your brother who loves you, aye?"

"Will do" Michram says amiably enough, "Although I really don't think it likely to happen soon. If father is going to do anything with you it's more likely you'd find yourself suddenly drafted into a uniform and sitting in some deep bunker doing accounting reports until the war ends. The rest of us he can't keep safe, I'd worry about the day he discovers that the same cannot be said of you." The glass is pushed aside, "Which your current plan may actually do. By all means, meet with people. Work it out. Spy on them, if nothing else, for they'll certainly by spying on you. Get a place in this whole thing before anyone else can decide on a place for you. I should go, however, my shoulder really does cry out for a long hot bath."

Nitrim turns to his brother and strides over to the table. The contents of his glass are downed quickly, and he sets his tumbler down on the tabletop with the hissing sound of glass over glass. He then presses the back of his wrist to his lips and coughs softly. "Lady Ariana has informed me that her Lord Father may be in need of marines and other combatants in his naval units." He says simply, offering a hand to his brother to help him from his chair. "As it stands now, everyone is busy mobilizing and very little is being released from the houses, but we may have friends in Larent. Possibly, at the least." He delivers an informal report to his brother, which he is sure will likely end up at his Father's table. "Come now. Let's get you going. You've got to get into fighting shape."

Michram works his way to his feet, rolling his shoulder just for a moment and tipping his head. "Well. Better than openly possibly enemies. Take care brother, and do let me know if we are going to have those guests. I'll try to pull myself away from whatever rack of weapons will have fallen on me then long enough to be hospitable." With that he is off, fighting shape awaits.

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