06.04.3013: "I'm Going To Regret This..."
Summary: Ellinor and Sophie have a tense conversation.
Date: 04 June 2013
Related: None
Sophie Ellinor 

Grand Hall, Royal Towers
Through doors that are three stories high and which open with quiet grace is the Grand Hall of the Palace Towers. It is a cavernous antechamber that truly embodies the wealth and grandeur of the Royal House of Sauveur — which is why it is also the foyer. The floors are polished marble inlaid with violet metallic accents that could be described as Old Earth Parisian. Luminous chandeliers that resemble white suns float midway between the floor and the ceiling, and they dim or brighten depending on the desired mood. Enormous, floor-to-ceiling pillars are evenly spaced along the outer edges of the room, keeping the center free for feasts, dances, and other events. When the hall is still, it can feel too large and empty, and noises can echo too easily.

Toward the back of the Grand Hall are a pair of mirrored staircases that sweep up either side of the room toward a mezzanine that looks over the grand hall and gives access to the turbo-lifts, and thus the rest of the Royal Tower. Beneath the mezzanine are various doors that lead into the kitchens and Royal Dining Room, where most of the Sauveurs and their guests take meals when there is not an event being held.

It is rare for this room to be empty, as there are at least guards standing watch and on patrol.

June 4, 3013

Sophie decided to draw this evening in the decadent Grand Hall of the Palace Towers, setting up an easel with pastel sticks arrayed out along its bottom. A large canvas square has been placed atop the easel, while the young Sauveur royal sits on a cushioned bench beside it. Of course, she purposely faces towards the Hall itself, nothing but the back of the canvas apparent to any onlookers. She cheerfully hums a little tune, slowly divulging a particular imagery into reality. Her hand flicks casually back and forth across the canvas, while her guard stands with a small frown behind her chair. His gray eyes flicker worriedly towards those that may pass them by every so often, though Sophie herself is in a world all of her own. Her own lips quirk in a little grin across her face, enjoying the pleasant atmosphere as she continues toiling with her craft.

Despite the fact that Sir Ellinor Sauveur has been assigned to the Shadow of Intent, she steps through the magnificent doors of the Royal Towers without a care in the world. Her dark crimson hair has been pulled into a taut ponytail, and a recent cut on the apple of her cheek is an ugly and red line against her otherwise wintry skin. She does not notice her younger sister immediately as she sweeps toward the back of the hall, but when her pale green eyes alight on her sister, there is an obvious pause there. She glances between Sophie and the stairs about three times before she releases a bit of a sigh. Despite the frequent confrontations the pair have faced what with their different views on the terrible Crescent Drakes, she is going to war. Squaring off her shoulders, she starts toward the easel and its artist.

"Hey Soph," she announces as she closes the gap, hands shoved into the pockets of her greatcoat.

Sophie hardly even reacts to the sound of someone's voice, too intent on decorating the canvas with her many pastel crayons. She only reacts when Caedmon, her guard, sets a heavy hand on her shoulder and declares, "your Lady sister -Ellinor- has called for you, my Lady." Sophie blinks, glancing up, blinking again as though in disbelief. She rises quickly from her chair, an expression of fright momentarily washing across her pale features, "o-oh, Eli. Good…g-good evening." She clears her throat, placing the pastel stick back on the easel and striding to stand directly in front of her drawing, "it has been much too long since I have last seen you. I presume you have murdered many more drakes since last we met?" Finally, she notices the strange cut on Ellinor's face, a glance that could -almost- be construed as worry passing over her amber eyes, "it seems your last victim marked you, I imagine?"

Ellinor inclines her head respectfully to Caedmon — soldier to soldier, it would seem. She looks as if she is about to say something even as Sophie starts to return the greeting — a fearful one at that — though she is immediately stalled by her sister's exclaimation. Those vibrant crimson lips purse a bit under the weight of the questions, and she allows a moment of silence to lapse in their wake. Then she breathes out the breath she had been holding in a steady exhale. "No, actually," she says in a thick, almost plainative voice. "There has been any recent… drake murdering…" That word seems to stick awfully on her tongue. How can you be accused of murdering something that would eat you as soon as look at you, but… "It was actually a training exercise."

Caedmon inclines his own head, though more deeply and a good deal longer than his effective superior. On the other hand, Sophie blinks again and uncertainly glances away, "o-oh…well, you should get that looked at. You wouldn't want it to get infected…" She licks her lips, turning to meet her sister's gaze once more, "Eli, I…" She presses her lips together for a moment, before softly sighing and slowly admitting, "I have been considering for some time. I think…I think I would like to join the military. Or become a squire. Or do…something in the face of this war. I don't want to sit at home any longer. I know we haven't much gotten along in the past, but…"

For a moment, Ellinor's expression starts to soften at her concern — even uncertain concern. She even starts to step forward as if to get a look at the artwork her sister is working on, but her admission freezes her midstride. She blinks over at her sister, glancing toward her guard as if to ask: Did you know about this? And then she clears her throat, tongue darting over her red lips. "Ah… Soph…" She reaches up to rub a bit at her jaw, pressing her thumb against the pressure point of its hinge. "Mother will never go for that." She settles on after a couple moments. "I had to almost run away to Khournas to become a squire, and… you don't want to face the things I'm going to have to face, Sophie… just ask Lyrienne…"

Sophie looks up frightfully when Ellinor moves to take a glance at the artwork, deciding to attempt at a semblance of casually blocking her by stepping forward as well. When Ellinor glances his way, Caedmon offers a reluctant little nod, as though replying that he did indeed know of her wishes. Sophie smirks gloomily, "I know. Mother would rather build a fortress within a fortress around me to keep me away from war. But…I cannot simply stand idly by while soldiers fight in my stead. At night, when I try to sleep, I always imagine myself sitting in my room while Hostiles come walking in. I do not want that to come to pass, Ellie." She shakes her head, "at least you and Lyri know you're doing something for the people…"

Ellinor puffs out her cheeks a bit, reaching up to rub at her forehead thoughtfully. "Sophie… you're too old to become a squire," she says with a bit of a frown. "I mean… learning some weapon skills would not be a bad idea, but… Soph… are you sure you know what you're asking?" She shoves her hands back into her greatcoat once more as she observes her sister with a careful tilt of her head. "There's so much you could do that doesn't mean you on the front lines…"

Sophie lets a small scowl come across her lips, "I don't care. I want to help. I can almost shoot a bow better than Caedmon. And I've had a few lessons with swords and staffs…" She furrows her brow, "what am I asking? Why is it so terrible if I join the war, when it's no question that you will?" She steps closer, though this time in a maneuver to press her point, "you know I'm not the delicate little sicky girl I used to be." Her hands raise up in indignation, "what else is there that I could do? Drawing won't help k-kill Hostiles. And I've never had much talent with the sciences…"

"I need to sit down," Ellinor announces as her sister continues onward on this topic, though a seat does not instantly materialize despite being in the Royal Towers of the Sauveurs. She does breathe out a sigh, looking up toward the ceiling for a long and thoughtful moment. "Sophie," she says after a moment. "I know you're not the delicate little sister you were before, but… I have spent years preparing for this." She puffs out her cheeks a bit. "And don't think that there haven't been questions… Mother almost fainted when I told her I had signed up on the Intent." She then frowns a bit.

Sophie glances behind herself at the chair before the easel, amber eyes silently giving Caedmon a command. The guard picks up the chair and brings it around the easel, before propping the seat down beside the royal Knight, "a chair, my Lady." Sophie motions towards said chair, "please, sit." She shifts back and forth on her feet when an awkward silence falls through the Hall, partially relieved when her sister speaks once more. She shakes her head, "I know you've prepared. But who can prepare for war, truly? Uncle Symion has not even experienced one for himself." She blinks, suddenly coming on with an idea, a small and hopeful smile curling along her lips, "bring me with you onto the Intent. If you spoke with Mother, surely she could not stand up to us both together?"

"Oh," Ellinor blinks as the chair is delivered, and she stares at it a moment before she indeed sits. It is like releasing a great weight from her, allowing her to focus more readily on her younger sister. "No, but Uncle Symion… he's…" Old. She shakes her head a bit at the girl's abrupt request. "No… absolutely not." She raises a hand immediately as if expecting argument. "You don't even have formal training, and Cedric will not allow you on his boat without it." Then she hesitates. "But…" She grimaces. "I will ask Mother if she will allow you to come to the Ring to learn some basics…"

Once the chair has been placed before one royal, Caedmon waves for a servant to send for another. For Sophie's part, she replies, "old, I assume? Yes, Uncle is old. But even his great great grandfather never experienced true war. Who can say what will come of this one?" She deflates however when her sister wholly denies her a place beside her, a sullen expression falling across her face. Her lips indeed part to muster up some version of an argument, until Ellinor further explains herself. Once a chair arrives and she settles down across from her sister, Sophie sighs out, "but I do have formal training, I do. I could…I could be a scout. Sure, Lord Eadric did not officially announce my training system-wide, but I really am good with a bow. He's taught me more than simply how to use my powers." Then she blinks, hearing another offer, "but I do not wish more lessons in the safety of some simulator…besides, by the time I am ready, the war will already be over…"

"Sophie… you're my little sister," Ellinor explains with a touch of desperation in her voice. "I can't in good conscious put you in a military position when you aren't a soldier or a Knight… no one else will allow you on their boat either. This is not my call, though," she admits with a grunt. "But I can't imagine a Captain allowing someone who hasn't even been blooded on their boat." She rubs her palms against her pantlegs as she glances up toward her guard and then back at the young woman.

Sophie seems to soften slightly when Ellinor declares the young royal to be her sister, as though those words were long in coming. She glances down at her lap, fiddling her fingers idly about one another, "b-but…nobody is really…blooded…" She licks her lips, gazing at her hands as she falls silent and uncertain. Caedmon looks to Ellinor when her gaze rises to him, offering gently, "it is not my place to command her, my Lady. But…while I will go anywhere with her, I agree that such a proposition is wildly unsafe. Though we both know how she is…" Alluding, of course, to when she was younger and sneaked from the palace to visit the Arborenin Woods, despite being forbidden.

"Of course we've been blooded," Ellinor notes with a slight huff. "Why do you think Papa had me go participate in the House feud between Ibrahm and Caran?" Though that point seems truly moot as she rubs at the side of her jaw, glancing toward Caedmon. "I do know her, but she doesn't seem to understand that no matter how stubborn or dedicated she is, no Captain is going to let her join their boarding crew." She glances back toward Sophie directly. "You understand that, right? And if any Captain catches a stowaway onboard, you just end up in the brig."

Sophie smirks, "I can't say. I'm normally not allowed in on such discussions…" She shifts a bit in her seat, "maybe…maybe Papa will agree with me…" She lets out another sigh, listening idly to the exchange between Ellinor and Caedmon. Her guard nods his head, a bit firmly, "I agree, my Lady. But it is not my place to demand she act otherwise." Sophie chuckles softly, "I hardly imagine any Captain would dare lock a royal in a cage." Falling silent, she continues playing with her own fingers, looking on as if entranced. For a long while she says nothing, before heaving out another sigh and offering, "I understand, Ellie. I just…I feel so hopeless…" Her amber eyes begin to fill with tears.

Ellinor frowns. "You should talk to Lyrienne before you decide anything, Sophie… she was hospitalized for days after facing off against a Hostile." Then she drops her shoulders a bit as her sister starts to well-up with tears. She draws a hand to her forehead, rubbing at it and its neighboring temple. Then she grimaces. "Sophie… please… if you want Papa to even consider this, you can't… cry. You're half-Khournas… Khourni do not cry." Plus, Ellinor has no idea how to deal with a crying sister. This is what Lyrienne is for… Lyrie knows how to handle these things so much better than she can.

Sophie shrugs her shoulders, a bit harshly, "what's a few days of being in the hospital?" She begins to softly sob no matter what Ellinor tells her, a few trickling tears painting the pale surface of her cheeks. She sniffles and rubs the base of her palm against her wet face, "I doubt Papa will hear a word of it. I'm not like you. Not in his eyes. He is afraid that with one harsh word or light shove, I will fall into pieces. He must admire you. You're a Khournas more than I am, to him." She sobs some more, trembling miserably in her plush seat.

Awkward… Ellinor just stares at her sister as she sinks into her own sobs, and she looks desperately for Caedmon for advice, guidance, anything. She twists her lips a bit as she scoots to the edge of her seat so she may reach out to pat her sister on her shoulder. "There… there." She winces a bit at the sheer idiocy of how that sounds. "You know Papa loves you… but… you're just…" Not like Ellinor? Safer here in Landing? She can't seem to decide what to say at this point. She just tries to offer her sister some comfort while she sobs…

Caedmon is even worse off than Ellinor, gripping the pommel of his sword as though the force of the act will threaten away any more frightening tears. Sophie glances up in mild surprise, past a tear-stained face, when her sister pats her on the shoulder. She blinks at her, sobbing softly, completely bewildered by the abrupt act of compassion. She tries to be brave, wiping yet more tears from her cheeks with the base of her palm, "I w-wish…I wish I wasn't born like this…frail and…a-and sickly. I still take vitamins every morning, you know. I wonder if Papa would let me go if I replaced this…this fragile body with cybernetics…"

Ellinor's ability to comfort appears to be a failing on her part, so she decides to try another tactic. "Sophie Sauveur… don't be stupid." She shakes her head a bit, looking stern at her younger sister. "First of all, no doctor in the System is going to replace your body with cybernetics because you think you are too weak to fight against the Hostiles… second, Papa will be so pissed off at you if he heard you sobbing about how you can't go swing a sword or shoot an arrow at the Hostiles. So… suck it up. You want to prove you are worthy of war, you have to stop… crying."

Sophie flinches when her sister's tone of voice switches from compassionate to stern. She blinks at her through murky vision, sniffling softly at the sudden insult, "w-what?" She lets out something between a sob and a laugh, "o-of course n-not, I…" Once she listens to the lecture in its entirety, she falls silent and simply works at rubbing the tears from her face. When she feels like her cheeks are not overly soggy any longer, she uncertainly replies, "I-I'm…I'm worthy for war. I promise. I just…I just want to prove myself. That's all. That's all this is. I just…w-want to…t-to prove myself…"

Ellinor straightens up in her seat. "Yeah, well… Uncle Byron boxed my ears the first time he saw me cry." Byron being, of course, their father's brother who had squired the young Ellinor. "Tears have no place on the battlefield. If you go sobbing every time something doesn't go the way you want it to, then you are just going to be a waste of space while the rest of us are trying to ensure we don't get a Hostile spear in our belly." She puffs out her cheeks a bit as she regards her sister. "No Captain is going to let you on his ship without someone they trust willing to endorse your presence…" She puffs out her cheeks a bit. "Fine, you want me to endorse you, you gotta prove you're ready."

Sophie chuckles softly, the sound wet from her tears, "I did not realize you could cry, Ellie…" She lightly nods her head to her sister's words, returning to fiddling with her fingers once her cheeks have been more or less dried. She glances down at her slender digits the entire time, chewing her lower lip and sniffling softly. When Ellinor declares she will endorse her youngest sister, Sophie's head shoots up and her eyes go wide, hopeful, "you mean it? Oh, I will prove it to you. Tell me what to do and I'll do it. Oh please, let me come on the Intent with you…"

Ellinor scoffs at her sister's initial comment. "I've cried…" Though then she shakes her head. "You are going to report to the Citadel tomorrow and we're going to spar." She crosses her arms firmly at her chest. "On the Intent, you won't be protected by the shieldwall, there will be nothing there to protect you from a charging Hostile… so… if you can at least give me a run for my money in the sparring ring, I'll endorse you." Then she holds up a finger. "But… if you can't… that's that." She stares directly into her sister's eyes. "Deal?"

Sophie blinks in wonder at her sister, listening curiously to the bargain. Thrilled at the chance to actually prove herself to her sister, she happily bobs her head, sniffling lightly, "of course, I understand. Thank you, thank you thank you thank you. I promise I'll give you a run for your money. I may…I m-may even beat you." A sudden shiver of worry runs through her when Ellinor stares sternly into her tear-cloudy eyes. Nonetheless, she nods her head once more, putting on the bravest smile she possibly can, "d-deal."

"Yeah… maybe," Ellinor says with a bit of a smirk. Then she breathes out a sigh as she rubs at her chin once more. "Dad is going to kill me," she mutters into the bridge between her thumb and forefinger. She glances toward her sister after another heartbeat.

Sophie is the very image of delight, smiling despite the red around her eyes and the twinkle of old tears upon her cheeks, "he'll forgive us. He always does…eventually." Behind her, Caedmon frowns deeply, his gray eyes filled with doubt as they flicker towards his ward's sister. Nevertheless, he keeps his lips tightly sealed and silently allows Sophie her momentary feeling of happiness throughout.

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