07.29.3013: Hostiles Over Dinner
Summary: The Larent family discuss Hostiles and marriage matches over dinner.
Date: 29 July 2013
Related: Tea For Five
Ancelina Antaeus Ariana Densoric 

Grand Atrium — Sky Palace, Summit
The Grand Atrium is accessed through one of the six evenly spaced entrances, guiding visitors through hallways that cut through the rest of the palace without interruption before opening up to the expansive and beautiful sprawl of an interior greenhouse and foyer. The ceilings soar high above, completely crafted of composite panels that allow the sun to shine in, and directed by a system of mirrors to fully illuminate the atrium below. The floors are fashioned from high-shine marble that compliment the stone pillars that stretch from floor to ceiling around the exterior circumference of the room. Traditional stairways are evenly spaced around the exterior of the atrium and lead up to lifts that grant access into the upper levels of the palace.
29 July 3013

Entering the Grand Atrium after yet another trip to the lab, Densoric casually heads towards his personal quarters in his typically 'mildly formal' attire, arming sword at his left hip is always. He really should think about alternatives to making sure he keeps the contents of the lab on the Ring to himself if his research efforts continue to be delayed or put on hold.

Deciding that he needs a break from what was called 'much needed' rest after his injury, Antaeus closes the door to his personal quarters as quietly as he can, and then starts to walk down the hall. His goal is simple, he needs to go and get some air in a more open space. He is currently carrying a book on naval strategy under the crook of his right arm, his right hand holding a half-empty bottle of wine.

Lady Larent is speaking with one of the servants about the conditions in the grand atrium. It seems lately the climate is not quite perfect for the particular flora that is growing and Ancelina is noticing some drying leaves. "We cannot have this happen. I have had Francois check the thermostats and it seems all is in order, but there is something wrong. Perhaps it has to do with the amount of moisture in the air." The petite lady of the house traverses the garden in a regal gown of blues with brushed gold details. The corset pinches in her waist while the skirts fall gracefully, ethereally to the ground. A soft charmeuse scarf in the same blue of her dress gently wraps around her neck and billows out when she walks. "Please see to it that Francois checks the settings again, Magda. Thank you." Once the servant is dismissed, both Antaeus and Densoric come into view. "Oh there you are my little chickens!"

Waiting for her brother's arrival, Ariana is there to greet him just as he enters. More or less drifting in the background behind her mother, her cold eyes quickly narrow upon noticing Antaeus in the distance. Dressed in a pale yellow gown with white embroidered trim and a full set of skirts, the long hem billowing at her feet, she steps forward towards Antaeus, all but ignoring Densoric's presence, "Are you not supposed to be resting, Dearest Brother? I'm glad to know that a few of my patients tend to take my advice, but it's disappointing when it is my Lord Brother who does not. If you wish for your wounds to heal in a timely fashion, I would suggest resting with limited movement."

Densoric stops in his tracks and nods politely to Ancelina and says, "Greetings Lady Larent." in his typical formal tone. Continuing without a pause, "Was there something you required?" in a helpful tone. He doesn't address his cousins as yet, his aunt takes precedence.

Taking it easy as he is moving along, Antaeus halts in his tracks when he hears the words 'chickens'. A moment later he hears his sister berating him. Glancing up, he feels the urgent need to shrug, but sadly his left shoulder would probably flare up in pain if he did. "Mother, how good it is to see you. You are well I hope?" Please no antelope, please no antelope. To Ariana he says, "Sister, I am moving in a limited fashion, I simply was hoping to go outside for a while and take in the air. I hear that fresh air can help speed up the healing process." Okay, he might be making that last part up, but it sounds good. To him at least.

Ancelina chuckles as she overhears Ariana taking over the role of enforcer. It gives the mother a chance to enjoy the company of her family without nitpicking. She moves towards her golden boy, ruffles his hair and gives him a peck on the cheek. "My sweet boy, it is good to see you up and about. But heed your sister's caution and do not over do it." There is much love in her eyes as she speaks to Antaeus. "My little Ant-elope." The same cheek is pinched ever so lightly before moving on to greet her nephew. "So proper and formal today nephew? I hope you were not scurrying about to avoid us." The petite woman loops her arm in Densoric's and gives him a bit of a squeeze. His cheek is far too high to reach. "Tell me, are you fairing well? Recovering, too?" Jogging her memory for a moment to recall if Snores was injured as well. "I'm quite proud of all of you."

Ariana has that skeptical look in her eyes at her brother's reply, but she turns to her mother when it is Ancelina who offers such sage advice. By now, she is already used to hearing her mother's nicknames being mentioned, especially, when it is only the family present, so once this 'Antelope' is uttered, there is no change of expression at all on the youngest Larent. Her gaze then flickers in Densoric's direction and she lowers her head in polite greeting to the man. "Lord Cousin." For now, she will simply hover around allowing her mother to assess all of her little… chickens.

Densoric looks to Antaeus and says, "You just don't want to be stuck in bed the way I was. There are worse things then boredom and being stir crazy my lord Cousin." smiling softly. He then looks down as Ancelina embraces him and returns the favor, leaning down a bit for her comfort saying, "I'm far from injured, but thank you for the concern. Fortunately my research hasn't been that dangerous yet." smiling softly. He then shrugs at the formal comment saying, "No more formal then I normally am My Lady." smiling once more, the boy really does need to learn to loosen up, but then Arith did have a pretty hands-on style of raising him and he went through a fair number of tutors of different types as a boy. But at least Densoric never seems to complain about his nickname or being called a chicken, but then he may also just be too polite to say anything if he does. He then offers a polite nod to Ariana as Ancelina finishes her embrace and says, "My Lady Cousin." once more formally.

Antaeus pecks his mother's cheek as she pecks his, and the hair ruffling is fine, but really? Did she have to keep calling him that nickname. Well, at least it was around family. With that thought in mind, he comes to a sudden and horrible realization that his mother might very well start nicknaming the spouses of her children. Oh boy. At least Ariana can get to experience -that- first.
Gazing over to Densoric, Antaeus gives a slight smirk, "No one wants to be stuck in bed, dear cousin." Unless, of course, it's with a sultry young vixen who has an insatiable appetite. "Unfortunately, those bloody Hostiles couldn't be more accomidating and not put a crossbow bolt through my chest."

Ancelina gives Densoric a little pat on the arm before slipping beside her long legged daughter. "I'm glad everyone is mostly up and about. Shall we all convene for something to eat? You can all share some stories with me since I missed out on this last mission."

Her chin lifted ever so elegantly, Ariana looks ready to follow after her mother, but she does add, "Yes, I would love to have an update on your research, Lord Cousin. In fact, I have a bit to share regarding Lord Aidan Peake's plans regarding the Hostile… and this new dream which the Awakened seem to have received. I may be speaking to Lord Valentine very shortly to learn what his interpretation of this dream is."

Densoric looks to ANtaeus and says, "For all we know a bolt through the chest could be their way of saying you're pretty." winking teasingly. He then looks to Ancelina and says, "I wasn't there for the battle of course, but an update wouldn't hurt. He then looks to Ariana and says, "My research is on hold till I am able to acquire additional code, which is unlikely. As to Awakened dreams, i know little of them, my experience with the Awakened is still just as limited as ever. Why I thought about asking Lady Talayla about her own experiences, but i've not seen her since her betrothal."

Nodding to his mother, Antaeus motions as best as he can. "I am rather hungry, mother. I would be happy to regale you with tales of my valor in combat." A slight smile quirks his lips, but Ariana's comment peaks his interest. "A plan to deal with the Hostiles? I would be interested to hear this." Shifting, he takes in a breath and then steps over to his mother, ready to follow her and Ariana. Towards Densoric, he offers a grunt, "I suppose they thought Cousin Valentine was pretty as well."

Ancelina leads the small flock towards the dining area where they can all sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. "Lord Valentine has always been rather good looking. I suppose he gets that from his mother." The woman may be teasing as she takes a seat and fixes the skirts of her gown. She motions for Ariana to sit beside her. "And not to jump completely off topic, but how wonderful is the news of my beautiful Nanner's betrothal?"

Ariana settles herself down besides her mother, though she does look toward Antaeus when he inquires about this plan. "There may be more about the Hostile than meets the eyes. But then again, his is merely based off of some Awakened's dream and could be interpreted in different ways. Even now, as we continue to study our enemies, I suppose, we are not getting the full picture on our enemy's society or practices." Looking across the table, she then states, "In the most recent dream of the Awakened, as per Lord Aidan, one of the Hostile that still resembled, well, us, in appearance, grabbed onto Lord Aidan and begged to be… Released. That is the word he used." When her betrothal is brought up out of the blue, she can only smile very very faintly at her mother, even if her lack of enthusiasm may be noted.

Antaeus first sets down his bottle of wine and book before he attempts to sit. He is slow to take his seat, and there is a soft grunt during his efforts to sit down without causing himself any great pain. Leaning back in the seat, he lets out a soft gasp. "I'm undecided on how I feel about my baby sister going to live in a tree." He snorts in amusement before adding, "I have gone ahead and secured a present for her though, for the wedding of course." Isn't he a good brother. Ariana's comments about the Awakened and the Hostiles do interest him though, "Maybe the Hostiles are begging for us to kill them, that's why they keep attacking." He offers a small smirk, "I say we deliver death to them at every opportunity."

Densoric nods to Antaeus and says, "It at least gives us an idea what they consider sexy." winking teasingly once more. As they reach the dining room Densoric takes his customary place furthest from the seat at the head of the table as he takes on his customary perfect posture as well.Densoric nods to Ariana and says, "I'll need to speak with some of the Awakened then, given what Lord Brgham and i discovered about the structure of the Hostile's programming code… Still it only seems enough for a philosophical debate based on suspect evidence."
He then loosk to ANtaeus and says, "Seems you and your sibings are falling short of your duties my Lord Cousin, should the lot of you be betrothed before Lady Ariana?" grinning teasingly. Adding to Antaeu's words about the Hostiles, "I think its more complicated then that base don my own limited findings."

Ancelina is only disrupted for a moment by one of the servants. During this time the others discuss current events revolving around the Hostiles and the Awakened, as well as tossing in a dash of social news for flavoring. The lady of the house puts to order a few items from the kitchen for everyone to enjoy before joining into the conversation once more. "I for one was certainly intrigued by Lord Aidan's dream and would very much like to follow up with some of the others who might wish to share their experiences. To compare and contrast similarities and see if there is some larger connection to it all." Before she jumps into weddings and all, Ancelina reaches out and places a warm, kind hand on Ariana's. "While it is true my children have not married as young as I did, that does not mean I wish to shoo you all away from me. I would prefer to sit and discuss options because it is somewhat more than merely political. At least, in my opinion I believe it should be. Nanners, are you friendly with your betrothed? You know, your father and I met when we were very young and he did not like me much. I was a bit of a Tomboy, but we had many things in common as far as musical tastes and hobbies go. We wrote letters to each other and I would get so giddy to receive notification on my datapad. Goodness, those old things are so obsolete by now. I would swear they are ancient artifacts. But I have a record of all the letters we sent to one another and truly became friends over the years." Ancelina stops herself before rambling on some more.

"I believe that what Lord Aidan thinks is that underneath all of the technological pieces, there may be an actual person trapped there." Ariana says to Antaeus now, before adding in, "Thus, Lord Aidan is planning to lay out some traps between the the Arborenin woods and the Peake mountains. Pit traps, to be precise. The spikes within the traps will be coated with a strong anesthetic as he wishes to keep some alive in captivity. I, for one, am not comfortable with keeping any Hostile alive, as one did break out of the research lab on the Ring and slaughtered several of my colleagues. I am hoping that this doesn't backfire on us, but I am glad that the Hostile will remain at Khar-Mordune this time." To the talks of her betrothal, however, she considers, "Young Lord Declan and I have met a handful of times in the past several months. I rarely know him, but I suppose that is what this betrothal period is supposed to aid in." A curious glance is given her mother when she goes on about her letters to Percival. Ariana, herself, is never one to feel 'giddy', so all of this is quite bizarre.

Denoric remains quiet on the matter of Ariana and her betrothed, though he smiles slightly at Ancelina's recollection of her youth. He then looks to Ariana and says, "I believe he's right." As she mentions the slaughter Densoric nods saying, "That is where the cybernetics I was studying came from. Well what was left."

Antaeus calmly listens to his mother go on and on about her betrothal to father, seeming attentive. At the same time, he receives a glass from a servant. Excellent. Taking up his bottle of wine, he fills his glass. Putting the bottle down, he takes his glass in hand and proceeds to put down a good third of the wine. "Mother, I'm quite glad to hear that you don't want to shoo me away. I was worried father might be trying to set me up with some shrew." He offers a sidelong smirk to Densoric, knowing that the man will have some sort of comeback regarding duty and all that.
Regarding the Hostiles, he says, "I think that's a marvelous idea. I wish him the best of luck in his plans. If he can capture a few live Hostiles and research can provide us with better means to kill them en masse, I say that those options should be explored. Antaeus goes ahead and takes another long sip of his wine.

It is Ariana who may be the one to respond first to Antaeus' mention of a shrew, "A… shrew? I do have to wonder what you consider to be a shrew. I mean, are there any examples that you can give. A mutual noble peer, perhaps? I know far worse noblewomen you could be betrothed to." Far, far worse. And Far, far many of them. To the discussion of Hostile capture, though, she does note, "I've seen that he is supplied with enough anesthetics for this endeavor, though he wants me to work with Lord Brigham so that we can come up with a proper dosage."

Densoric looks to ANtaeus and says, "Living Hostiles would certainly be of help to me, especially if they can be reliably restrained. But to my understanding the last time it was believed disabled and it surprised those on the Ring when it reactivated. As long as lord Aidan is aware of this and takes steps against it, we'll see how well it turns out. It might even be worth pursuit if i can convince them to allow me access, but that can wait." As he takes up his own fruity wine, taking a sip then adds, "As to killing en masse, I 'd imagine that would require either the cybernetics or the organics to be targeted, and if my opinion proves true the organic isn't viable. Or at least it'd be too dangerous to try." He then looks to Ariana and says, "Lord Brigham has helped with my own research and he seems to have varied enough skills that he might be able to help. Just try your best to keep him focused on the task at hand, he is easily distracted."

Antaeus glances at Ariana, his right shoulder moves up and down slightly. "I'm not sure I should name names. That would be quite rude would it not?" A sweet smile is given to his dearest of sisters before he takes another sip of his wine. "I can't really talk about all of this research or medical jargon the two of you are talking about. All I care about is… is there a better way of killing Hostiles? Yes, than let's implement that as part of our overall strategy. The faster we can win this war, the faster we can get onto other things."

"Lord Brigham is something of an anomaly, isn't he? Densoric, you should see about formulating some kind of sedative for him that will not make him sleepy. Perhaps he was just excited to see his brother was doing well." Or at least Ancelina hopes. "I'm am blessed none of my little chicks had frenetic oddities." But of course, Antaeus' comment on shrews draws curiosity from his mother. Her dark brow rises slowly and her attention settles on the golden boy. "Yes, I am curious as to know whom you might not consider a suitable match, Lopey? It saddens me to think you do not have faith in your father's findings for a proper wife for you." Oh, and she knows Percival loves to keep an eye open for fine young things. Ancelina merely does not admit it, ever.

Rude? Ariana is known to love intrigue and dishing out dirt on specific people is her specialty. So no response is given to Antaeus and she merely shrugs. "As for killing Hostile? I'd say that is the department of those who have fought against them often enough. I, myself, have merely watched them from the distance of a videoscreen." Hearing her mother speak about Brigham does bring out a nod. "No, My Lady Mother, Lord Brigham is always like that. Once when I ran into him on the Ring, he found one of the citizens pushing a cart filled with electrical gadgets and broken generators and practically dived into the pile… I believe he may have hugged said citizen as well for bringing him such a bounty. I once did a reading on him as well… he has these eratic peeks and lower then spike again. I would almost say that he was on AMP, despite the lows."

Densoric looks to ANtaeus and says, "Well if I had enough code that we could try translation, it might be possible to hack them, or at least access their systems for the purposes of intelligence or counter-intelligence, though that would be more useful with intact terminals then Hostiles, if they even use the same code. But Lord Brigham and I have managed to find a strong enough connection that we might stand a chance to translate it with access to enough code. He then looks to ANcelina and says, "I'm better with electronics them chemistry. As to lord brigham, he seems to be more of an… Eccentric from my observations. He has the type of mind that is working out a thousand things a second, but with suitable motivation he tends to stay on the task at hand well enough, even if I had to keep reminding him of it. To be blunt, I'm hoping to never have to go to his lab again, it looks like a scrap heap, fortunately I was able to get him to come to my lab for reserhca dn with enough talk kept the place reasonably sterile, he seems to like to eat no matter where he is standing." Then to ANtaeus he adds, "Though it might help to give some standards, it might yield a more beneficial match my Lord Cousin, though might help not to be overly strict on your standards as it allows flexibility." He then nods to Ariana and says, "Fits what i know of him. The biggest trick is keeping his mind on the task at hand."

Sighing, Antaeus leans back in his chair and looks between his mother and his sister. "Okay, I admit that 'shrew' might have been the wrong word to use. It's just… I don't know, I would prefer someone who is easy on the eyes, so to speak?" Something that would make doing his duty as a husband quite a bit easier, after all. "I guess I could name names of women that I find visually appealing if that is what you would both like to hear." He gives an oh-so-sweet smile to his sister, but directs a rather boyish grin to his mother. As an aside to Densoric, "We are Larents, we should not be flexible in our standards, cousin."

"From what I've seen, most noblewomen are 'easy on the eyes' so to speak. Or I can only assume. Some are just trashier about it." Ariana says right before she takes a sip of her wine. "Let me see, Lord Valentine, perhaps Lady Talayla may offer her own… odd insight into these dreams. I don't expect much out of Lord Keanen, he's never been very forthcoming regarding anything to do with the Awakened or his abilities. Either way, it is known that the Awakened have been dissecting our own people and removing their organs. What sort of experimentation are they doing, I must wonder."

Densoric says, "Perhaps not." to ANtaeus adding, "However my concern is more whether or not you'd pile on an unreasonable number of them to avoid finding a suitable match at all. After all it was only a few days ago you were talking about never marrying at all, and unrealistic standards would be an easy enough way to avoid the issue. Unfortunately for such a plan I'm guessing my Lord Uncle would disregard your tastes entirely for any match he can arrange." Taking another sip of his wine he adds, "I was simply recommending avoiding such a plan and focus on what you view as 'deal breaking' requirements only, that way at the very list your Lord Father can find as many of those qualities as possible so you can do your duty. We don't pick our own betrothed after all or I'd likely have been married off years ago." Of course this is coming from the one who has never mentioned his own interests, or even discussed the matter in private with any here. But as most likely his mother would handle any arrangements for him, unless the potential match was high enough in status that it would demand the Head of the House to handle the matter personally. Given how close he and his mother have always been, they likely have already had the conversation about his preferences.
He then nods politely as Ancelina is called away for other matters. He then looks to Ariana and nods aying, "And oddity to be sure, but i'll see if i can get anything out of them to support or disprove my opinion on the Hostiles."

A soft laugh escapes him, he can't help it. Wincing in pain, he settles himself down and says to Ariana, "Perhaps, sister. Perhaps. Maybe I should run some names past you and see what you think about them as prospects, no?" Glancing over to Densoric, he smirks and shakes his head. "I'm sure my Lord Father will ensure that any choice he makes both benefits the family politically, as well as ensures the line remains strong." Grunting he goes ahead and stands up. "If you two will forgive me, I think I'm going to go rest. I don't want anyone to give me more grief about not taking it easy." He glances at Ariana pointedly before picking up his book.

Densoric smiles softly and says, "you don't want her hanging by your bedside keeping you company as she did me." as he turns his eyes to Ariana showing more gratefulness about the matter then humor. Course unlike Antaeus or Veryna Densoric has never really be badly hurt aside from the crash and he's always been grateful to his youngest cousin for that. After all noble or not, how many young teens would spend their time keeping an older teen company while they were bed-ridden?

Ariana seems pleased enough when Antaeus retires to rest, even if that bit of skepticism can be seen in her gaze as she turns to watch her brother depart. "I suppose, I should be sending out those messages now and hope to secure a meeting with at least one of the Awakened some time soon." Standing to rise, she looks towards her cousin, "It looks as if we both may be working with Lord Brigham now. Not that I believe I will need his expertise when it comes to anesthetics, but I suppose we will get those sorted out." Already, she is tapping away at her tablet, before she asks, "If you will excuse me now, however. The sooner we figure these things out, the better."

Densoric nods and says, "For his flaws he proves valuable when his mind is focused. Good luck in putting up with him my Lady Cousin, you'll need it." as he remains seated to finish off his wine before retiring himself.

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