06.03.3013: Meat And Meetings
Summary: Several nobles meet and talk in Gregor's Strange Meats.
Date: 03 June 2013
Related: ...And Prey
Victor Agnes Anabethe Sophie Helena 


Gregor's Strange Meats, Blue District, The Ring
This diner and butcher shop is nothing more than a narrow, rectangular outlet off the Blue District's bazaar. Based on its near-constant state of busyness, it could do with an expansion, but Gregor Petempke couldn't be bothered with such an idea. It is typical of every other hole-in-the-wall restaurant in history. The floors are plain tile that might have been white a long time ago, but have settled into a comfortable yellow. The walls are naked metal, decorated with a few holographic travel posters from various tourist spots in the System — all places that Gregor has been and has lots of stories about. Running along half of one of the side walls is a standard deli cabinet filled with what Gregor specializes in: strange meats. Frog legs, stuffed sheep stomach, chilled monkey brains, grasshoppers, shark fin, pigs feet, and other oddities fill it. Not only does Gregor sell fresh meats, but he also has a rather exotic menu where they can be braised, fried, baked, sauteed, and anything imaginable. It is honored as some of the best — and unusual — food in the system.
3 June, 3013

Victor can't sit in the Intent's troop bay or train all of the time, so he's taken some time to himself and come down-Ring to Gregor's. He's got a rather large patty of some meat on a giant roll, and is working his way through half of it, interspersing large bites with pulls from the bottle in the little brown bag that is carefully tucked at his feet. Gregor's, after all, doesn't have a liquor license, so it's BYOB.

Sir Agnes Peake may be a noble, but at her deepest core she is a soldier, which means she is used to eating terrible food during long campaigns. What residents of the Ring might consider a hole-in-the-wall is practically haute cuisine after all her years as a Knight. She clanks her way into Gregor's, looking for a quiet place to hide and stuff her face. Damn Emund, now she's emotionally eating, trying to decipher between the lines of that message she received. The towering woman looks troubled as she clomps up to the counter. "Can I get an order of braised sheep stomach please?" she requests. Typical, for someone living inside a mountain.

Anabethe may have no intention of fighting in space herself if there's any chance at avoiding it, but she also doesn't intend to let her friends and family go off without even a farewell. And so, she's been asking after the ones who're stationed here on the Ring at the moment and tracking them down. The bell at the door rings as she steps through, then takes a look around before she catches sight of Victor. "Should've looked here first," she says, smirking as she slides into the booth across from the Knight. "Sir Agnes," she calls over to the other woman, raising a hand.

Victor looks up at the double-arrival from where his seat looks out over the rest of the room, raising up his half-sandwich in a bit of a salute to the smaller woman, then giving the taller a nod. Her choice of meals causes him to chuckle, a low, rumbling sound from deep in his barrel chest. "That's mountain-food if I ever heard it." The gravelly bass voice is filled with amusement even before he looks over to Anabethe, "Damn straight you should've, Beth." Setting down the half sandwich, he reaches under the booth to pull out another bottle of heavy, dark beer, offering it out to the Young Lady.

Agnes turns her head with a creak of armor, seems she's taken to wearing it in her off hours since the latest incident on the Ring. She raises a hand in return to Anabethe. "Milady Khournas." Victor gets a respectful nod as well, Knight to Knight. "Yes, it's a common meal in Khar-Mordune, Sir." She eyes the bottles in bags with a slightly raised brow as she waits for her futuristic haggis.

Anabethe takes the bottle from Victor, raising it in a salute. "You're welcome to join us, Sir Agnes," she invites the other knight with a flash of a smile before popping the cap off of the bottle on the edge of the table. She and Victor are in a booth, while Agnes is waiting at the counter. "I figured I'd stop in and check with anyone heading out with the ships. Make sure there wasn't anything you needed, that sort of thing. Last minute escape," she adds with a wink.

Victor nods his head at the response, reaching under the table to pull out a third bottle from the six-pack under the table and offer it to Agnes. His teeth flash white against his smirk toward Anabethe, "Wherever there's one Crimson Drake, other's always show up." that's the explanation for having that much beer under the table, and he's sticking with it. "Sir Victor Khournas." Looking back to Anabethe, he shrugs one broad shoulder, "All I need is a Hostile in front of me. I'm a bit fucking pissed that Asher ran that message up to the Young Lord Orelle and got involved with the runaway. Could've been me." A chuckle shows that he's just griping, not actually pissed.

"Thank you kindly," Agnes replies to Anabethe's invitation. Gregor hands over her tray with the sheep stomach on it, and she carries it to their booth, sliding in beside the female Knight. She holds a hand up to decline the bottle. "No thank you, Sir Victor, I have duty after my meal. Sir Agnes Peake, are you also assigned to the Intent?"

Sophie comes rushing in beside her guard, Caedmon, having an intense and somewhat audible discussion. The man declares with a voice tinged in worry, "I could have sworn it was around these parts, my Lady." Said Lady sighs heavily, "it is obviously not, or else we would be there by now. Perhaps we can ask-" Caedmon shakes his head, "no, I am certain it is close. We just have to look around some more…" Sophie shakes her head back, "I doubt it, but if you insist. For now, please, let us just get a bite to eat? I am parched and starving." Caedmon bows, "of course, my Lady. As you wish." Sophie sniffs the air, "by the Six! What is that ghastly smell?"

"You and me both, brother," Anabethe laughs to Victor, taking a drink from the bottle. "Past time we took on some Hostiles and showed the Valens what training is actually for. Johana got a piece of it too, I think," she adds. "Almost starting to feel left out. Guess that's what I get for going after that old man-eater in the mountains. Sir Agnes, Sir Victor," she adds in a brief introduction. "Vic's a Crimson Drake and a good man to have at your side if you all run into Hostiles." She looks up at Sophie's arrival, quirking a brow and taking another drink.

Victor shakes his head at Agnes' demurral of the beer, "It's 3.2. Not likely to give any of us more than a little tingle." Still, he doesn't press the matter, slipping the beer back into the six-pack at his feet, and picking up his ground-something sandwich. "'Vic's just fine, and yeah, I'm on the Intent. Tight ship, I can respect that." The hubbub at the door causes him to look up, frowning just a bit as he takes another bite of his sandwich. He chews, swallows, washes it down with a pull of his beer bottle, then adds, "Yeah, but I can put up with her bragging…" and here his face splits with a broad grin, "But my gods-damned baby brother getting blood before me… I'm never gonna live that down."

"I'd be happier if no one needed to get blood at all," Agnes says quietly, "But such as it is, I look forward to wetting my blade. They've arrived what, six months early? Rude /and/ deadly. Such things I will not abide." She huffs, cutting some of the haggis as her eyes flit to the commotion. She stands, and bows her head, briefly. "Milady Sophie, are you all right?" she asks.

Sophie heads worriedly towards the counter, a permanent frown on her lips and a slight crease in her brow. When she realizes what the 'restaurant' provides, she scoffs, "I did not realize people ate such a thing. Are stomachs and livers and kidneys not simply thrown away?" She sighs, amber eyes abruptly catching sight of at least one familiar face. Her head cranes heavenwards and she replies, "quite alright. Lady Sir Agnes. It is a pleasure to see you again. Did you receive my drawing? Oh, I do hope it is to your approval?" She glances towards the server and says, "I…would like a glass of juice. Apple, I should say…with nothing special added, please." Caedmon has a much easier reaction to the ingredients in the food, purchasing a small sandwich and a bottle of beer to take the edge off of his aggravations. Once the requests are completed, Sophie shuffles towards Agnes and takes a sip of her juice, "so, might I ask why you are visiting Orelle, Lady Sir Agnes?"

Anabethe chuckles at Agnes, dipping her chin in agreement. "Rude is right. I had another six months or so of freedom coming to me, and now I get to sit and wait for them to finish showing up instead. And I'm not sure Asher's going to press it too hard," she adds to Victor with a smirk. "The way I heard it, it took five or seven people to deal with the one Hostile. Not really something to get bragging rights out of." She looks up as Sophie approaches, smile crooked. "Liver and kidney are delicacies, Lady Sophie," she notes. "Saved for pregnant women, lots of times."

Victor shakes his head at Agnes, "No point training if you're not going to use it. Our generation, we're supposed to be up here between the Hosses and the Cits." Chuckling low again, he takes another pull of his beer and responds to the comments about timing, "I don't know. I figure they saved us the time waiting around. I thought maybe I'd give 'em a nice warm welcome in thanks." And his right hand pats the axe somewhat awkwardly hanging from his hip inside the booth. He lifts up his own sandwich at Sophie's query, "It's not all odd, Milady." He caught that bit in there, "This is just snake." Looking past her to her guard, he adds, "Won't get any beer here, friend." Despite the bottles on the table, "They don't sell it."

"I thought my brother received it, to hang in the seat of House Peake, but it appears it has fallen into the hands of your cousin, Sir Alexis," Agnes replies to Sophie, with a flat, humorless look. "I do not know if Trentin gave it to her, or if she ordered it with his name in the first place. Either way, I am sure she is up to no good with it," the lady Knight bemoans. Her expression lightens a bit as she looks to the two Knights at the table. "Young Lady Sir Anabeth and Lord Sir Victor Khournas, may I present Lady Sophie Sauveur." She gestures between them. "She is quite a talented artist."

Caedmon can be heard letting out a heavy sigh, rubbing his temples in annoyance, "what do you mean, you do not have any alchohol? Just…just give me some water." He soon arrives beside his ward, one hand full of stomach sandwhich and another hand holding the measly clear glass of water. For Sophie's part, she laughs and proclaims, "well, thank the Six I am not pregnant. And will remain so for some time, I am sure." She nods her head, "greetings again, Young Lady Anabethe." Her amber eyes flicker towards the other occupant at the booth, "I do not imagine I favor snake either…and who might this be?" When Victor speaks to Caedmon, he hesitantly replies while motioning towards the beer bottles on the table, "you do not think…I could have one of those? I have an annoying little headache." Sophie frowns at her guard, turning towards him for only a brief moment before Agnes offers a response to her words. She blinks, "Lady Sir Alexis? Whyever would she want a drawing of you, I wonder?" She lightly tilts her head at the introductions, though her gaze mostly falls on the only person she has yet to meet, "greetings, Lord Sir Victor. That is quite a large axe you have there…" Caedmon bows to Victor, perhaps in part hoping to curry favor for a beer. Sophie sighs, waving a hand in his direction, "this is Sir Caedmon Barrow, my guard." At present, Agnes stands at the counter of the curious 'restaurant,' while Sophie and Caedmon stand beside her. Anabethe and Victor relax in a booth, easily close enough to converse with the trio.

"Speaking of." Anabethe leans back in the booth, raising a hand to whoever's taking orders behind the bar. "Can I get a plate of the liver and onion special? Thanks!" She looks between Sophie and Agnes at the talk of portraits, curious. "Portraits, huh? Have you gone full Reversion with them, the whole sitting for days at a time, or are you going for something a little more modern?" she asks, taking another sip of beer.

Victor nods at the introduction, reaching under the table to pull out the beer he originally offered to Agnes. It's a dark, Khourni brew, but perhaps surprisingly light on the alcohol. "Always happy to help a fellow chew-toy, Sir Caedmon." And then he pulls down the collar of his shirt, showing the start of a scar where his neck joins his left shoulder. Something big has certainly either chewed on the Khourni knight or at least clawed him. Letting his collar fall back into place, he offers a shrug to Sophie, "The better to chop a Hoss with, Milady." His voice is deep, gravelly as if he were talking around a throat full of pumice. Beyond that, he lets the ladies talk about portraits, going back to working on both his ground-snake sandwich and his beer.

"I am sure your cousin has all form of amusement to derive from it, Milady," Agnes grumbles to Sophie. "She seems to have taken up meddling in my social life, or lack thereof, as her latest hobby." She digs into her sheep stomach with gusto, unsure of how soon it will be before she has a meal that doesn't come from the stores on the Shadow of Intent.

Sophie shakes her head, smirking mildly at Anabethe, "nothing of the sort. She simply came one day and posed for a few scant minutes. I took a number of pictures of her and did a quick sketch, before drawing her thereafter." Caedmon smiles as the wonderful sight of a beer is brought before his gray eyes, though those soft orbs betray a certain sorrow to Victor's words. He gently places the glass of water on the table and runs a calloused hand across his scars, "y-yes…quite a literal chew toy, in fact…" The both of them glance curiously at Victor's wound while Caedmon is passed the bottle of beer, until Sophie places a gentle hand on her guard's arm, "he protected me from a pack of wolves when I was young. He has felt like an uncle ever since." Caedmon has the drink nearly to his lips, before hesitating and even going so far as to offer the vessel back, "on second thought, I think I will pass. I am on duty, after all." He looks to his ward, gray eyes getting a bit misty. Sophie smiles up at him, nodding lightly to Victor, "I must admit to wondering what the Hostiles are, exactly, though. I was considering visiting the lab and taking a peak for myself, but I was told by a friend that it might be improper to do so." She arches a brow at Agnes however, voice swiftly changing to one of bewilderment, "I cannot imagine how. If I do say so myself, I am at least as skilled as most other artists that make a living with their work. And I am proud of what I drew, Lady Sir Agnes."

"Now, now, Sir Agnes. Friends meddle in each other's social lives," Anabethe grins to the other knight, setting her elbows on the table. "Ask Victor how many times I've pointed him toward the girls who like his sort of ugly mug. And he and a few of the other Drakes've made sure no one bothered me when I wanted a night on my own, too. That's what friends do for each other."

Victor shakes his head at Caedmon, "Take pride in 'em, Sir Caedmon. Shows you've…" He stops, then shrugs his broad shoulders, "I was going to say 'seen the wolf,' but that's a bit fucking literal in your case, eh? And don't worry, it's 3.2." Light on the alcohol, that is. "Sex in a canoe beer, but I don't think any of us want to get buzzed right now." He nods to Anabethe, then laughs, that low, rich sound resonating in his deep chest, "I let that drakemother chew on me to distract it from you, Beth," That might not be quite how it actually went down, "how come I don't get to be an uncle?" Nodding over to Sophie, he smirks faintly, "Might be a bit late for a visit, Milady. I'm pretty sure they've taken the bastards apart by now. After what happened."

"I do not need such," Agnes huffs quietly, "entanglements interfering with my duty as a Knight." Also, she's The Bear. There isn't a whole lot of interference outside of Alexis' machinations. She continues eating, rapidly, as if someone might take it away any minute, a testament to long service. Or perhaps to avoid further conversation about her portrait.

Sophie frowns at Anabethe, and then Victor, when the exchange of favors is mentioned. The faintest pink blush flushes her cheeks when she realizes the meaning, eliciting a softly spoken, "o-oh…" Caedmon forces a smile and nods his head, "of course, my Lord. I was foolish to ever feel embarrassed by them. Indeed, I acquired my scars in the protection of my ward. A ward that feels like a daughter to me." Sophie smiles up at him, squeezing his arm, though the man nonetheless places the bottle back onto the table and hoists up his glass of water, "I think my headache is gone, my Lord. But thank you for the kind offer." Sophie nods her head at the response to her suggested visit, "ah, the attack. I am shocked that it could kill so many. Were these Hostiles always known to be so dangerous? I had thought from past histories, that they were little more than brutes. Now however, I feel as though they use tactics, and intend sabotage, and appear wholly different from what we have known before." Glancing momentarily at Agnes, she lets out a sigh and comments, "part of me wonders if I should join you in battle, Lady Sir Agnes. I hate feeling useless, and I am nearly as skilled in a bow as I am with a drawing pen." She frowns lightly at the mention of drakes however, looking almost accusingly at Annabethe.

"You let that drake mother chew on you because you wanted the kill," Anabethe laughs to Victor, shaking her head with a smirk. "And you don't get to be an uncle because you're already my cousin. That would be awkward." She leans back to make room as someone brings over her plate, still sizzling from the grill. Agnes gets a look as she takes a few bites, a slow smile spreading with amusement. "That's exactly why she's doing it, you know. I'm resisting the urge right now. For the record, resisting," she adds, taking another bite.

As always, Gregor's is a hoppin' place. The growl in Helena's belly has drawn her to her own favorite haunt filled with the scent of, well, meat. With her head bowed over her datapad, the doctor allows habit draw her into the restaurant, neatly dodging around obstacles before she arrives at her 'usual' booth. She glances up, and her eyes widen; apparently, the idea that her seat is already occupied had not occurred to her. "Oops, my apologies, my ladies, my lord." Backpedaling, the exhausted-looking doctor scans the rest of the diner to find a seat, but a beep from her datapad draws her attention once more. At this rate, she might spend all night standing in the diner and typing away.

Victor takes the beer bottle back from the bodyguard, nodding his head and slipping it back into the six-pack. Anabethe's response causes him to laugh again, lifting up his bottle to clink it against hers — although the paper bag around his makes the clink distinctly muffled. "Too right I wanted the kill. And I would've had it too, if it weren't for Garrem leaping out of fucking nowhere with that spear of his." The discussion of the Hostiles, however, sobers his amusement, and he takes a slightly more sour pull from his BYOB. "Not brutes, Milady. Never that. And yeah, the scouts are new, but this one struck from ambush. It's hell of a lot harder to ambush a shield wall. I'm sure we'll be — " and then someone is almost sitting on him. Looking up, he blinks slowly, chuckling again, "Easy there." He glances over to the others, then shrugs a little, "Pull up a bench. You look like you're about ready to fall over, and if you've been working that hard, you're welcome to sit with me any time you want."

Agnes finishes scarfing down her meal and she dabs her lips with a napkin, blinking at Sophie. "Milady, the battlefield is no place for a gentle soul like yourself. You are-," she cuts off to give Anabethe a /look/. "I am grateful for your restraint, Milady," she grits out. "If everyone will excuse me, I have drills to run with a group of Marines." She stands, plucks up her tray to return to the counter, and hustles off before Anabethe's willpower weakens and she makes an attempt to fix Agnes up with Gregor or something.

Anabethe watches after Agnes for a moment, pensive. "That's a woman who needs to have more fun," she decides, though she's still restraining herself. Mostly. For now. "Heya, Doc," she greets Helena when the other woman comes up to the table, sliding down to make room in the booth. "Plenty of room here," she invites. "As for the Hostiles, they're not Drakes. They are, or were, or parts of them were, people. No reason to assume they're any less smart than we are."

Sophie blinks, her cheeks heating some more at Anabethe's words, "oh, you were still talking about…o-oh…" She shakes her head in an attempt to dash her thoughts to the side, before replying to a different comment altogether, "I have mentioned this to Lady Sir Anabethe, but I dislike the thought of killing drakes for sport or fun. They are the most beautiful creatures in all of the five worlds, and should only be killed if they must. And for duty, at that." She notices a curious woman staring at her datapad zooming by the table, frowning in curiosity, "may we help you, miss? You seem…like you want something." She glances towards Victor and nods her head however, "exactly as you say. Ambush. And here I thought the Hostiles attacked individually, and without much strategy at all." She blinks at Agnes and replies, "perhaps many think me a gentle soul. But I wish to help. I really do. I do not -want- to sit in my palace drawing things. I want to -help- however I may. I have been told I was weak and fragile all my life. And I have attempted to overcome such…overprotectiveness the entire time." She sighs when Agnes moves to go, "well, it was good to see you again, Lady Sir Agnes. Perhaps I shall speak to Lady Sir Alexis about whatever she means to do with the drawing." She decides to take Victor up on the offer when she turns to Caedmon and says, "Sir Barrow, would you bring me a chair?" The man bows lightly and replies, "yes, my Lady." Soon enough, she is sitting at the edge of Victor and Anabethe's table, offering, "parts of them may be people, but history tells of very…blunt people. At least, the history I can remember from my tutors anyway."

Helena has the good grace to blush at Victor's remark, but this slip in her normally composed demeanor can only mean she is, indeed, exhausted. She accepts the invitation gratefully, however, flashing a smile to the group before sliding into the seat recently abandoned by Agnes. The group's conversation is such that it goes right over her head, so she is pleasantly distracted as a waitress appears to take her order: coffee, black, and a lot of it. Also, dragon-on-a-stick.
Only when she is settled does Helena finally tear her gaze away from her datapad for longer than ten seconds. She lays it flat upon the table in front of her, however, and is clearly intending on taking it up the minute she receives another message. The conversation eventually breaks through her daze, and her eyelids flutter as she listens to the chatter. The friendliness of the gathering causes her to smile without even realizing it. "Hey there," she answers Anabethe — perhaps a bit belatedly. "I have been missing some interesting diner talk, I take it."

Victor nods to Agnes at her words to Sophie, then smirks back to Anabethe, "Tell Asher about the blonde knight who's about his height…" He pauses, then laughs, "Or hell, tell The Wall." This seems to amuse him greatly, as his broad shoulders shake with suppressed laughter, "Gods-damn but they'd have big babies." Looking over Sophie, he gets his mirth… mostly… under control, and he shrugs his shoulders, "I'd say that honor goes to the human female myself, Milady. And drakes…" He shrugs again, "You get anywhere near a drake, and you're going to have to fight it or become dinner." Or run and hide, but that's not a very Khourni thing to do. "They didn't need strategy in the first System War. The second, they adapted some, but you're right, they started out just going for the nearest human, at least on the battlefield. They're not mindless brutes though. They'll be pushing for a Waygate as soon as they can, and if they can hold one, it's all over." He gestures around the table, "Sir Anabethe Khournas," since the 'Sir' is more important to Vic at least than the 'Young Lady,' "Lady Sophie Sauveur, Sir Caedmon Barrow, Sir Victor Khournas."

"Just the usual, of late," Anabethe smiles faintly to Helena, taking another bite from her plate. "Hostiles, what they're going to be like. How it's going to go. How're the patients from the last run-in, by the way?" She doesn't seem inclined to pick up the topic of drakes again. "You know, some people might say we Khourni are rather blunt when it comes to combat. Doesn't mean we aren't dangerous."

Sophie peers at Helena for a moment, "what did you just order? Dragon-on-a-stick? That wouldn't be…" She sighs heavily, folding her arms about her chest and sullenly laying back against her chair. She blinks at Helena, "if you did not realize, you are in the presence of a royal, an heir to a Paramount House, and a noble of House Khournas." Then she harshly looks towards Victor and she replies, "not Matthias. The drake in the zoo is good company, in fact. Besides, why approach a drake at all, if you know one of you must die?" When Victor introduces them to Helena, Sophie watches to see the woman's reaction, while Caedmon offers a respectful tilt of his head before crunching down for the first time on his stomach sandwich, "this is delicious. You should try some, my Lady." Sophie laughs, "no thank you. You are more than welcome to savor the entire…whatever it is." Caedmon smirks, "yes, my Lady." He takes another bite while Sophie adds in, "true, Lady Sir Anabethe. Especially after hearing how many people a single Hostile has killed…" She at last favors Helena with another glance, "you helped take care of the wounded from that bizarre awakening?"

Helena flashes her waitress a brief smile as her order is delievered, and she curls her fingers around the mug of coffee with a happy sigh. As each member is introduced, she bobs her head to them respectfully, and follows it up with a proper: "Lady Helena Dalton, although most around here just call be 'Doc'." Her attention returns to Anabethe while she sips, and she nods and 'mms' in reply to the woman's question. "The patients are doing well, all told, my lady. Most are well enough to be grouchy about the clinic, so they should all be released in the next few hours. I only wish I had the sense to recover that shrapnel from the aftermath, the one that inflicted Sir Erik's wound. It would have been an interesting study."
When Sophie speaks to her, Helena's sharp gaze slides toward the girl. She arches an eyebrow, and her expression takes on one of great amusement. However, her response is a deeper bow of her head in acknowledgement. "I am aware, my lady, but I am grateful for the reminder. I hope the Young Lady does not feel that I have offended her in any way, for it was not my intention. As for the dragon - no. It is a colloquial name for a rather large and intimidating lizard that prowls the deserts on Inculta. I do not make a habit of eating drake." She pauses to take another sip of her coffee before nodding to Sophie's question. "Yes, I did, as did several in medbay."

Victor glances over to Anabethe at the Sauveur's sideline about drake rights, taking his cue from the Young Lady and merely shrugging his shoulders, letting the subject lie. The note of who Helena is draws his attention up from the remains of his sandwich, and he nods to himself, "I heard some of them were hurt pretty bad, Doc." He takes to the nickname quickly enough, "Besides the ones that died. If you've been up helping them, then your meal's on me." The last comment about eating drake has the big Khourni shifting in his seat, looking over to Anabethe with a smothered smirk, but he keeps quiet, not wanting to say anything so incendiary as 'they're pretty tasty, actually, taste like snake plus chicken.'

"Hmmm? Me?" Anabethe looks around, blinking and turning to Victor as if he's supposed to know the answer. "Was I supposed to be insulted by something?" she asks around a mouthful of liver and onions. She's a real delicate flower, she is. Barring someone filling her in on it, she shrugs, taking another bite. "I heard it was odd stuff. Straight, then not. Wonder if maybe they're using a current of some sort to straighten it out, you know? Gets it stiff enough to penetrate, but if it's broken, no more current, bitch to pull out?"

Sophie blinks at Helena, "yes…I am sure the…Young Lady was not offended…" She smiles faintly however when relieved that the meat is not, in fact, of the drake variety, "good…I am pleased. Drakes are very beautiful, and it would be a tragedy to know that they were killed merely to fill someone's stomach." She would almost certainly cry if she knew that she was nonetheless sitting with at least one drake-eater, but instead simply replies to the topic of the Hostile's weapon with, "I would be quite curious as well. A pity my friend is not an Orellian researcher. She is very smart, and I would think she could assist with the examination…to speak nothing of offering her findings to my ear."

"Some were hurt bad, but thankfully were tended to in time," Helena replies to Victor in between bites of 'dragon' (not drake). She washes it down with coffee; it appears that the doctor is not particularly ladylike either when she hasn't eaten in over fifteen hours. "Is that what happened to the metal? It actually went limp when it hit him?" The thought is an intriguing one, and she pauses mid-chew to consider it. "Damn, that would have been interesting. I might have to see if they've bagged, tagged, and put the remnants of that fight under lock and key…"
Shaking her head, Helena resumes her meal, but Sophie's mention of a researcher friend has her raising an eyebrow. She swallows politely before addressing the young Sauveur. "Might I inquire as to the identity of this friend, my lady? It is quite possible that he or she need not necessarily be Orellian to partake of this research. It would help if they were fairly notable in the field, though."

Victor shakes his head at Anabethe, "Just me wondering how long you're going to be sitting across from me after eating all those onions, Beth." He grunts at the description of the Hostile weapon, "Damn. I might actually wish I was in Defender Armor before all this is said and done." That smirk is back quickly, however, and he chuckles, "Guess I'll just have to hide behind the people smart enough to bring hard light shields to the fight until they get lose enough."

"All I heard was stiff and then not stiff," Anabethe shrugs to Helena. "But I'm sure I remember some engineer talking my ear off in a club one night about how you could change some materials with electric currents. Given all the tweaking the Hostiles seem to've done to themselves, seems like the sort of thing they might do." With a pointed look at Victor, she takes another large bite of liver and onions. "Wonder if the engineers could find some sort of…circuit or something, from the power source or whatever they run off of to the base of the weapon thingy. I'd let you borrow my armor, Vic, but you'd just get it all stretched out. And you clearly insulted me," she adds with a wink.

Sophie softens to Helena at the prospect of actually offering her friend to the research, "perhaps you have heard of her. She is a scholar of the Academ, and her name is Miss Elspeth Adeyemi. She specializes in Awakened research, I admit. But I think she also is well educated with technology. Or else she would not dream of a day when Awakened powers and technology could somehow be interfaced together." Caedmon finishes his meal and bows towards his ward's ear, though he speaks audibly enough, "my Lady. We should return to our search, before it is too late for you to stay up." Sophie frowns at Caedmon, flushing lightly, though she slowly rises from her chair and nods her head, "it would seem I must be off. It was very good to see you again, Lady Sir Anabethe. And to meet the both of you, Lady Helena, Lord Victor."

Helena listens to the light, friendly banter being exchanged among the members of the group, and takes advantage of the moment to scarf down the remainder of her meal. She uses a napkin to wipe her mouth clean before chugging her coffee. The waitress arrives in an oh-so-timely manner to scoop away her plate and refill her drink. "Oh, well, if she is a scholar, then likely it's only a matter of very brief time before they will all be asked to provide assistance in Hostile research. The Orelles were given first pick, so to speak, but I doubt they will be the only scientists on the scene. I think perhaps because it awoke in their territory, it is theirs to investigate first - that is all."
Full and satisfied, Helena leans back on the bench with her mug in her hands and watches the exchange between Soleil and her guard. "Of course, my lady. The pleasure was all mine. Travel safely." Her gaze flickers back to Anabethe and she considers the talk of circuits and weaponry. "That is not my area of expertise, but I could perhaps ask my aunt about it. She might know something."

Victor polishes off the last of his sandwich, leaning back in the booth with his brown-bagged bottle of beer dangling from the fingers of one hand, "What are cousin's for, Beth, besides stretching out your stuff and insulting you?" As Sophie rises, Victor bows his head a little, "Just 'Vic's plenty fine. I'd stand on ceremony, but…" he gestures to the table currently pinning him into the booth, "Pleasure to meet you." He nods over to Helena, "I think most scholars and scientists are gonna be put to work on the Hosses soon enough. But I know we sent a couple of scientists up, and I heard there were some Dalton's involved too, and even an Arborenin."

"Pleasure, Lady Sophie," Anabethe says with a smile, though she pauses as a communicator on her wrist beeps and starts to blink. "Crap," she mutters. "That's Da. Gotta go. Nice seeing you, Doc, and I'll keep that in mind. Hey, Vic, this one's on me," she adds, tossing a few bills on the table before she's turning to make for the door.

Sophie smiles towards Helena, though the expression is a bit forced after watching the savage way the doctor eats, "yes, I hope you are right…" She glances towards Victor and smiles a little more sincerely, "Vic then. It was a pleasure to meet you as well." Caedmon takes his ward's chair and places it back where it came from, offering his farewells as well, "perhaps we'll share a beer sometime, my Lord." He glances to Anabethe and Helena, "it was an honor to meet you all, my Ladies, my Lord." Sophie and Caedmon soon follow Anabethe out, disappearing into the nighttime throng of citizens once more.

Helena slips out of the booth, in case she needs to let someone out, but mostly so she can stretch her legs and offer both Sophie and Anabethe a proper farewell. "Nice seeing you too, my lady," she says to Anabethe, bowing her head to both ladies before resuming her seat. Looking toward Victor, the doctor leans forward to prop her arms on the table while offering him an amused smile. "I guess I know how to clear a room, so to speak." This is, obviously, a jest judging by her dry tone and her expression.

Victor nods to Anabethe, "Just means the next one'll be more expensive, and on me." Still, it's said with a grin, and he nods to the Sauveur's guard, "After we've gone a few rounds with the Hosses, you're on, Sir Caedmon." Looking back to Helena, the big knight shrugs, "I think the Sauveur got a little tweaked at all the talk of killing drakes, and Beth… a Young Lady's always got too damned much to do." He drains off the last of the beer, then leans down to tuck it into an empty spot in the six pack, gesturing toward it, "You didn't want one, did you, Milady? I didn't offer 'cause I figured you weren't looking to crash."

"Of course, I am sure their reasons were entirely legitimate. I was just being silly." Helena traces the rim of her mug with a fingertip, shifting her gaze to rest on a point just beyond Victor lest she be accused of staring. "Hmm? Oh, no, but thank you very much. I don't drink. I feel as if in my profession I am never quite off duty, you know?"

Helena pauses, allowing for a moment of comfortable silence before shifting the conversation to another subject. "So, a Khournas knight hanging out on The Ring, drinking beer at Gregor's and in the company of some well-bred ladies. I'm going to take a stab and assume you're here to sign up for the Intent? Forgive me if I'm overstepping myself, but I didn't think the Khourni to be the space marine type."

Victor puts in, "Plus, Beth did just eat a shit-ton of onions." He nods at the mention of drinking, "Honestly, I figured more of the Crimson Drake would show up, so I brought more brews than I need." Snorting softly, he adds, "Gregor'll take 'em." The question and assumption draw a nod, "Already did. My brother and I both." One foot nudges the six-pack under the table, "That's why I only had one. And if strapping myself to the front of a fucking rocket engine'd get me into grips with the Hosties first, I'd be tightening up the straps right now, Doc. Whatever's getting me to the front first, that's where I'll be." He pauses for a moment, then notes, "I'm sure you're gonna be plenty busy soon enough. You're not gonna burn yourself out before then, are you?"

Helena is taken aback a little by Victor's enthusiasm, but that is likely because she is more used the reserved nature of Dalton knights. Still, she cannot help but grin as the man announces with vehemence his desire to deliver the first blow to the enemy. "I am sure you will make a formidable opponent for the creatures, sir. You are someone they might not see coming, especially if their only taste of our planet in four hundred-and-some years is a bit of Aborenin wood and a tiny contingent of unarmored soldiers on The Ring."
When Victor questions her current state of 'overworked and underpaid', the doctor's smile falters just a bit. "No," she replies slowly, although the word is hesitant enough to communicate an underlying sense of doubt. "No, I don't think so. I have someone I trust watching my back, and I don't think he'll let me drive myself into the ground. I would be a disappointment to Lady Dalton if I perished from exhaustion before a week of fightin has passed. That alone will keep me from overdoing it. I hope." Her answering smile is a weak one at best. "I hadn't thought to check my reports. Do we have any idea when we'll start seeing — them?"

Victor spreads his arms out to the side a bit, chuckling softly at her words, "I think even the dumbest Hostie's likely to see me coming from a long ways away, and my baby brother's even bigger than me, and almost as eager. Really though, we were brought up to face this, yeah? I mean, the whole Generation of Vengeance thing is bullshit for the Cits, but there's also something to it, just that we've been raised from birth to be ready for this." The question causes him to shrug a little, settling back into his side of the booth and spreading his heavily-muscled arms along the back of it, "Could be here any day now, from what I've heard. They're comin' from 'up,'" that is, above the ecliptic, "So the fact that they hit the Desolation first lucky. Gave us some warning."

Helena signals for her third refill, waiting in polite silence as the waitress takes her sweet time pouring her drink. It could be because she's far too busy staring at Victor and flashing him a smile lined with too much red lipstick. Still, the doctor waits ever so patiently until the woman finally moves away to leave them in relative peace. Helena's smile is cheshire in nature as she takes a sip of her drink, but it disappears behind a wince when the hot liquid singes her lips. "Gah! I think it's a rule of all diners that their coffe has to be kept at a precise fires-of-hell-fucking-hot temperature."
Grunting in disapproval, Helena dabs at her lip with a napkin while listening to Victor, but his mention of their generation's label has her raising her eyebrows. "Oh, no, I think it is applicable to citizens as much as nobility. We all bear the burden of responsibility to our people in different ways. I would not discount their importance in the long-run." Her expression hardens, however, as she considers the truly imminent return of the Hostiles. "Some warning. I — I feel like no amount of work and training has prepared me for what is to come. Would that I could borrow some of your confidence, sir. Are you going to be on the Intent with your brother?"

Victor shakes his head, "I mean the label is bullshit propoganda. The Cits are going to have to kick just as much ass as we are. Hell, the men-at-arms are going to go through as much as us knights. More. They don't have the gear we do." He nods at the woman across from him, "You've already done your job though, Doc. You've dealt with Hoss-caused wounds. You know what you're getting into better than any of us except the couple of people who've actually fought them." The question that follows draws another nod, "Yeah. With all the stories about them going after Awakened, I'm not letting the little bastard out of my sight." He did say that the 'little' bastard was bigger than him before.

"Oh. OH! Yes, I agree with you there. Everyone — everyone — has a part to play in what is to come. I can only hope that the majority live up to the burden of responsibility being placed upon all of them." Helena sighs, glances down into her cup, and looks a bit grim at the realization that she has downed now three cups of coffee in the space of half an hour. Any more, and she might start pinging off the walls. Her hand shakes a bit as she places the mug on the table, and it only further proves that she has overdone it with the caffeine.
"Ah, another sleepless night for me," she murmurs, bemused, before looking up to Victor. "I wish you all the luck in the world on the Intent, and your brother too. He is lucky to have someone who cares that much about him." Before Helena can continue, her PDA beeps and blinks and vibrates to alert her to a new message. Pulling it up on-screen, whatever she reads causes the doctor to purse her lips in exasperation. "That would be my summons homeward. I'd better get back to Detritus before someone falls to pieces in a panic because they're just not sure if they have enough gauze." Cue eyeroll.
Helena slides out of the booth and pauses long enough to stretch her arms over her head, and a joint somewhere pops with the movement. "Ahh, damn, I've been waiting all day for that. Hey, it was really nice to meet you, Sir Victor. Maybe we'll bump into each other before you're called up into the wild, starry yonder. Thanks for my dinner. As added incentive for you to return in one piece, the next one for you and your brother is on me."

Victor looks at the shaking hand, chuckling softly, "You sure you don't want a beer, Doc?" The question is rhetorical, however, and is cut off when her PDA throws a hissy fit, which in itself draws a chuckle, "Good luck." He doesn't look away from the stretch, but it's not like he's leering, either, just watching from beneath those heavy eyelids of his. "You've got yourself a deal, Doc, but if you're still awake then, I might have to apply some Khourni anesthetic." One hand curls up and he mimes bonking someone on top of the head.

Helena shakes her head, laughing as she walks away.

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