08.22.3013: Dangerous Thoughts
Summary: Nitrim explains his worries about the Chantry to Rook, so paranoid about it he'll only talk in telepathic messages.
Date: 22 August 2013
Related: None.
Ithaca Nitrim 

Nitrim's Apartments — Volkan, The Crescent
A small two-step set of stairs lead into this recessed room that is lit by hooded, indirect lighting that casts a somber, golden glow over its mostly red and black features. Various pieces of art, both photography and moving hypervisual, line the walls. Darkly shaded marble flooring stretches out to a small seating area with a pair of sofas in front of a mounted InfoSphere videoscreen that serves as the centerpiece of the room. To the left of the entryway is a comfortable chair seated next to a table and bookshelf that rest near a wide balcony that overlooks Volkan below. Along the far right wall is a snake habitat on a raised platform tht is protected by a mostly transparent energy shield.

The rear of the room supports another small two-stair reach that leads up to a lavish bedroom setting with a draped four-post bed in black and red dressing. Lastly, a small double door off to the side of the bedding section leads to a washroom with a walk-in shower and a large soaking tub set next to a window.

22 August 3013

With the full use of his leg restored, Nitrim Khournas has made the most of a rainy day at Volkan…in his room. Working over his tablet, sending messages, receiving messages, and spending a day with Dahlia wrapped around his arm, he's been deep into his conspiracy work. With a simple, white tank top untucked over his black pants and ornate swordbelt, he paces back and forth his room in the late of night with the blue-sheened constrictor wrapped over his arm just above the tattoo that she resembles. Coming to a stop near the corner of his post bed, he hrmms at the tablet and taps the light pen against his teeth as he considers something he's read. "What do you think, Dahlia?" He looks to the snake as her tongue licks out to smell her master's breath. "Eat and leave all of this behind to find a safe place to live? Excellent."

A guard raps on the door of Nitrim's apartment. "A visitor, Lord Nitrim." The door opens just enough for a slight figure to slip inside. Rook is back, with his jacket on over a black tank top and leather pants. She lowers the hood once inside. "Hey."

In a moment of comedy, both Nitrim and Dahlia look up towards Rook at the same time, and neither seem surprised at the sight of her. "Hey Rook," Nitrim says to her as he slips the light pen back into its catch on the tablet. Dahlia goes back to resting on her master's shoulder. "I was just thinking about the message you sent me and trying to do some homework on the same thing. Come in, get comfortable, stay a while." Nitrim pauses, tilting a brow. "Or…do you have information already?"

Rook heads to Nitrim and Dahlia, while digging in her pack. She comes up with a data disc she hands to him to put into his tablet. "Not much. Current assignment high security. Would have to hack in. Dangerous. If it's important, will."

Taking the disk from her, Nitrim slips it into the tablet and starts to go over the data. While he does so, the cobalt-colored snake lifts her head and starts to inch towards Rook, lashing out her tongue to take the scent of her and investigate on her own. It's a slow, curious process. "I don't want you getting in trouble over this, Rook, but this is some really high-profile shit." Nitrim looks up with a cocky grin. "Pop quiz. Why would a person with a psych degree -and- an expert on Hostiles be appointed as the psych-handler for a prisoner?"

That is a question Rook doesn't even understand, let alone know the answer to. She shrugs, and offers her hand to Dahlia to scent. "Why?" she asks.

Nitrim's head cants and gives Rook a sarcastic look. He turns his shoulder towards her, giving her more access to Dahlia, who seems intent on transferring from Nitrim to Rook. The Khourni lordling closes his eyes, and as they open they cloud over into white. He looks to Dahlia, who looks to him with a strange understanding, and then returns to her transfer to Rook. "Let me show you, then. It's too big for words."

Reaching out to Ithaca's mind, he sews in a flash of his own memory for her. It's a memory of him passing through hallways of stone and security checkpoints until he comes to a cell…where inside is a Hostile female with short, red hair, glowing blue eyes, and her cybernetic arms immobilized. From Nitrim's perspective the two begin to speak, but the actual dialogue is muddled as the image fades.

"A Hostile?" Rook asks. Only his mental connection lets her know that is what it is, since she's only seen the ones on the news. She shrugs out of the jacket so Dahlia can transfer to skin instead, and seems perfectly at ease with the reptile. "They have a Hostile."

"They do, and I've met her. This isn't information that's to be spread around, but there's a problem," Nitrim pauses, placing his hand upon Ithaca's upper arm as the last bit of snake starts to curl around her shoulder. "That priest I was looking for is dead, and I have reason to believe the Chantry has a soft spot for them. I think the reason why we're looking into this woman is to see whether or not she's connected to this…trend." Nitrim steps over to his fridge, pulling out two beers. "I think all of this weird shit going on rolls up to someone selling us out from the inside. Fuck, Rook, you have no idea how deep I've dug myself on this."

Rook coos softly to Dahlia and lets the snake do as she pleases. She frowns at Nitrim thoughtfully. "Maybe I should risk digging," she murmurs. "But, who will believe hacked info?"

Setting the beer down on an end table for Rook, Nitrim turns and lowers himself onto his massive, comfortable sofa. He presses his back into the arm and stretches his legs out, watching her and Dahlia as he thinks. "Back to Cabal. No one needs to believe hacked info if it puts us a step ahead. But…there's some things you should know first. Come into my mind. I'll tell you there…" Nitrim invites, washing his eyes over into white again. "You might want to sit down for this."

Rook looks concerned, but she settles down on the other end of the couch, careful not to crush any part of the snake who is her passenger. "Ok." She takes the beer and gulps from it, because when Nitrim says you should sit down for news, it has to be really bad. Her eyes wash over white as she opens up to him.

Casually, Nitrim sips from his beer and slips into Ithaca's mind where they can talk in true privacy. "That priest I was looking for was dead. He had this. An image flashes in her mind of Nitrim looking down to a picture of a number of robed Chantry members -meeting- with Hostiles. "Tommas is currently hidden in a slab in the necropolis. It seems like someone is making King Emund think that really strange ideas like marrying Princess Janelle inexplicably down to my cousin Lord Magnus is a good idea. I'm…spying in Landing, Rook. There's danger there. People are disappearing and the Hostile have been capturing and dissecting. That RELEASE ME dream?" Nitrim pauses, flashing her a vision of the same electric blue eyes, this time the Hostile in the cell's as the girl says the same words to him. The dream was prophetic. "I'm trying to get answers. My father arranged the banns to Soleil to get me into Landing where I can…spy on the Hand and my cousin Magnus to make sure they're not the ones pushing this."

Rook's head tilts to one side as she listens telepathically. Her lips purse and her frown deepens. This is bad. Very bad. What do you want me to do with the research. If you think it will help, I'll do it. But if I get caught, it could be bad.

Then don't do it. I get the feeling sooner or later whoever's pulling the strings is going to want some people to take the fall, which is what I worry about Janelle moving here. If she gets hurt here, heads will roll. Nitrim replies with a matched frown as he reaches for a pack of cigarettes. Lighting two, he pulls one free and offers it to her. I don't want that person to take the fall to be you. What's worse is the Hostile think that -we- abandoned them, and are coming back because they're convinced that we're the bad guys.

Rook takes the offered cigarette and takes a drag, careful to blow the smoke away from the constrictor. Abandoned them? How could we… She grimaces. Are they the colonists? Our colonists?

I don't know. I didn't get that far with her. I left just enough for her to ask for me because I get the feeling I'm the only person trying to humanize her. Nitrim huffs a cloud of smoke, shaking his head from side to side. I think you'd like her. She doesn't mince words and doesn't apologize for who she is. She's not overcomplicated.

Rook arches a brow at him. She takes a long time to formulate her thoughts and what comes out is probably the most wordy thing she's ever vomited out. She wants to kill you and everyone you know and love. For something that may or may not have been done 1000 years ago. I do not think I'd like her.

They have emotions and attachments and aversions just like anyone else. What I worry about it is if someone has made deals with them either to secure their survival -or- to get a big piece of the pie after the main resistance is killed off. They call me paranoid. I'm just thinking about how I would do it if I were them. Nitrim sighs, rubbing the center of his forehead with the heel of his balm. So…I thought you should know all of this, because I'm taking on a lot of risk right now to protect my House, being my father's eyes. Very few know, and no one else should, but I'm telling you because you deserve to know.

Thank you. The thought is sincere and Rook reaches over to touch his ankle lightly, just for that moment of connection. Father. Trusts you with this. Must respect you.

I hope that's what it is. I think that's what it is. All I hope is that I find something that'll save lives and I think making sure Janelle is kept safe is the start of it. Nitrim leans forward to pat Ithaca's hand, giving it a soft squeeze. Releasing it, he leans back into the arm of the sofa to watch her with Dahlia. I'll look into this Figueroa myself. Keep yourself safe and enjoy your brother, Rook.

Rook nuzzles her cheek against Dahlia's head briefly. Still not used to idea. Brother. Family. Don't know what those things mean, she admits. She takes a deep swig of her beer.

If it's good it means you've got another ally, Nitrim replies, stretching his arms over his head until he feels a deep, satisfying pop at the back of his shoulder. If it means anything else that's really for you two to think about. That sort of thing develops with time. I'm closer with my sisters than my brothers.

Rook snorts. Now that they've dipped out of the Hostile chatter, she drops the telekinetic connection. "I have one friend. You. Brother is crazy." She smiles a little though. "Still, good to not be alone. Friend, family. More than I've had in a long time."

"Yeah, you do, you should be really happy about that." Nitrim's eyes uncloud, revealing his green eyes as he watches Ithaca from the other side of the sofa. With a smirk, he presses his ankle against her palm to get her attention. "So did you end up buying a new bedframe with that money I left you? You really should try comfier beds, get a new mattress for it."

"No. Look for one tomorrow. Mattress is expensive." Rook murmurs with a small faint smile. "Research distracted me today." She pokes his ankle with a finger. "Dahlia is nice. Like her."

The side of Nitrim's lips parts in a toothy half-grin as he nods upwards to the constrictor wrapped around her shoulder. "She doesn't feel threatened, but you were wearing my coat. I'm sure she smells me on you, if you haven't washed it since you got it." Nitrim sets his beer aside, letting the cigarette dangle from his lips. "I've started talking with Dahlia. She doesn't have much to say, but smell is important to her. She smells fear and all other things."

"Could talk to her too. But wouldn't unless she asked me to," Rook murmurs. She holds her hand out for Dahlia to get used to the smell underlying that of Nitrim's coat. "Smart girl. Pretty girl."

"She won't ask you to, she doesn't understand the concept. She knows her own thoughts, it's kind of surprising for her, but once you're in there she assumes you're just talking to her like this only she understands." Nitrim replies, scooting forward and bending his legs so that he can reach out to brush a fingertip under Dahlia's chin. "She's been calmer with me here. She has no idea I'll have to leave again soon."

"She will be sad?" Rook asks, looking concerned for the snake being left again. She strokes the reptile's back lightly with her fingertips. "Going back to Landings?"

"I don't know where I'm going, to be honest. I might leave here? I might float, drop by your place? I don't actually have a place of my own in Landing but…I need to do what I'm supposed to there." Nitrim frowns, shaking his head from side to side at the thought of it. A line of stress creases his jaw. "Six weeks ago I wanted this kind of action, badly, and sometimes I wish I could just go back to clubs and not giving a fuck, you know?"

"I know," Rook says, sliding over to wedge herself between him and the back of the couch, careful again of Dahlia, as she snuggles against him. "But fucks are given. Need to save everyone. Poor everyone if we're saviors." She chuckles.

Turning his legs to the side, Nitrim makes room for Rook as he slips an arm around her shoulders and looks down to Dahlia. The snake looks up to him and gradually starts the ascent over Ithaca's arm back to Nitrim's to claim her original perch. "I just think it's either luck or bullshit that this invasion dropped during our lifetime, and if the Chantry Elders are involved this is going to get ugly. Fast." With a grin, he lowers his head as Dahlia inspects his new tattoo again. "You sure you want to be a part of this, Rook? Even with Lincoln now in the picture?"

"Yes. We lose, no Lincoln either," Rook points out. Her shirt rides up lightly and the new tattoo is visible, not terribly unlike Dahlia herself. "Being good guys sucks," she admits.

"Speak for yourself I'm a viper. I do this for the lure of unlimited power and prestige." Nitrim jokes, a smile on his voice as he looks over her tattoo. Glancing up, he cracks another grin to her. "You know I meant what I said about your ribs. Zakk did a hell of a job, you should be happy."

"Thank you. It's perfect," Rook murmurs. "Has meaning. Important to me." She strokes Dahlia's head lightly, seemingly fascinated by the way the snake moves, and holds up her length despite seeming as if that shouldn't be possible.

"You're welcome, Rook. I don't have many actual friends outside of my family. At least, none that I don't get the feeling don't wish I was someone else sometimes." Nitrim replies, looking back down again to pluck her tank top, lifting it to get a better look. He glances to Dahlia, and that same dark-blue color has matched rather well. Hand slipping from her shoulder, he presses it to the center of her back and then leans back on his palms to look to Rook's dark eyes. "But you think I'm too hard on myself, don't you?"

"Sometimes. Sometimes not hard enough," Rook murmurs. "You are very smart, and very stupid. It's confusing," she mutters with a pout.

"How am I stupid?" Nitrim laughs, which causes Dahlia to lift her head in confusion. As if getting bored with the conversation, the snake slithers off the end of the sofa and with a sidewinding speed rushes over to her habitat to slip back inside where she can burrow. "I'm not that stupid. I've been stupid, Rook, but I've been getting better about it."

"Stupid about some things. Smart about most things," Rook clarifies in a very unclear manner. She watches Dahlia slither away. "Maybe get a pet," she ponders for herself. "So not alone when alone."

"I think you're giving me a lot of biased credit." Nitrim drawls, canting his head to the side as he watches her. "Well first, though, before you get a pet, get that bedframe back. This place is comfortable not because it's huge but because I've made it that way. Make your place comfortable for you. I'll see you again in a few days after taking care of some of this stuff, maybe visiting that red-head I showed you."

"Ok." Rook wriggles out from behind him. "I'll shop tomorrow. Have work stuff this weekend. Maybe Monday." She leans over to peck him on the cheek gently. "Be good. Careful."

Sensing the incoming kiss, Nitrim leans his cheek up to her and with a small peck of his own manages to get a few molecules of skin in a return peck. "I'll be careful. If I go out to do anything particularly stupid I'll drop you a line and let you know where I was going first. I'll probably just stay here for a few days, though." Reaching for his beer, he pincers his body back against the arm of the sofa and quiets to watch her walk away.

"K. Message me. I can answer those," Rook murmurs. She smiles, pulls on his jacket again and flips the hood up, before gathering her bag and heading out.

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