10.27.3013: Storm Meeting
Summary: Brother Shadow brings a new party interested in helping with the efforts to alleviate the condition of the poor.
Date: many many days and nights
Related: None
BlueSister Cyrielle Nitrim 

An old apartment
See second paragraph
27 October, 3013

If there is one thing Nitrim knows how to do, at least with varying degrees of success, it's sneak around…

It's a simple move. He wants to introduce Cyrielle to the Blue Sister, so he uses money to make the connection work. Finding an old apartment complex, he makes a fake name and requests to pay cash to rent the furnished apartment for an evening. The cash is wired and the keys are left at a drop box, allowing Nitrim and Cyrielle to collect the keys and shadow their way to Obsidia. Suggesting that she go hooded, or masked to some degree lest Blue Sister learn who she is, though Nitrim's cover is already blown, he leaves a note for the Blue Sister on the wall just inside the door to use the covered space to mask herself.

Nitrim thinks of these things.

Now, with a bag of groceries and a horror movie playing on the InfoSphere box, Nitrim enjoys a cigarette on the old, beat-up sofa with Cyrielle as the hard part, the continued wait, rolls on…

Though she may not have Nitrim’s skill at being stealthy, Cyrielle is benefit by the fact that she’s not quite the celebrity the Khournas lordling is. Never mind a Hollolas is as of little import in Obsidia as a desert rose is upon Niveus. The woman is content to have absconded for the night; for though Nitrim made it clear there was an ulterior motive, she is fortunate enough to spend the time with him.

The young woman is tucked into a corner of the sofa. She wears snug-fitting leggings that have the look of leather and the snug jacket that wraps around her, up to a low-lying hood over her head is a soft grey. She looks like she could be dozing, the way it falls low. At the moment, the filter-styled mask one might wear out in the wilderness is pulled down, allowing her to grab fistfulls of popcorn to eat as they watch the film.
“I’ll never understand the idiocy of some of the people in these situations.”

"For the record, we're eating popcorn with hoods on." Nitrim monotones, grinning as he pops a kernel past his teeth and offers a set of knuckles for Cyrielle to bash. "Team Nitrim and Cyrielle are pretty fucking awesome. Mysterious popcorn and all."

She doesn’t have a date she can’t break for the evening, but her shoulder does smell rather… minty, along with other herbs, as apparently someone has a sore shoulder. Blue Sister pauses outside the door, listening to the sounds from within, and waiting for some silence that might mean a pause in gore, before she knocks ….

Rising from his seat with a squeeze to Cyrielle's knee, Nitrim leaves the popcorn behind to cross over to the front door. He pulls his head back enough to reveal his face as he looks through the wall-eye to see who is on the other side. Seeing blue hood, he slides a knife out of a sheath to hide it against his forearm as he cracks open the door handle and looks outside. Seeing who it is, he slips the knife away and opens the door for her, motioning her into the room.

"Congratulations, we are residents of Obsidia for the next twenty hours." Nitrim murmurs sarcastically. "We brought drinks, food, and ourselves. Feel free to make yourself at home. Blue Sister meet…" Nitrim slows. He didn't think about this. "I don't know what she wants to go by yet."

When the knock comes, Cyrielle shifts only slightly. The mask is lifted to fit snugly over the lower half of her face. Between lowered hood and the black fabric of the breather mask, she’s fairly well hidden. Feet remain tucked up on the sofa as she reclined into the corner of it. Dark eyes study the woman that is revealed by the door’s opening. Not to try to identify, but just to take in and gauge.

“Let’s say Storm,” she decides, the mask shifting as her features form the vague outlines of what must be a smirk. “Corny seems on order this evening due to someone’s machinations.”

“One can expect little else from a Khourni,” Blue Sister mentions, standing just inside the door, almost like one would stand at attention during roll call, the invitation to make herself at home doesn’t seem to be heard at first. Her head bows, deeper than a simple nod to a citizen, but not as deep as a bow from a citizen to a noble. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Storm. I appreciate any help I can get, even it does seem to cause a little extra headaches at times.” she turns what seems like a sardonic grin under the mask towards Nitrim. “Or come with one.”

"You see," Nitrim sighs as he swings the door closed with a rattle and reaches past Blue to lock the latches closed. "I'm sensing sarcasm here, and I saw what you did with that word, Khourni. Now, for a complete bit of awkwardness I'm going to keep my hood on so that we can feign anonymity." A smirk to his words, he steps over to the fridge and pulls out a six-case of bottled beer and heads back to the sofa. Offering one to the others first, he takes a seat.

"So I've told Storm about some of my side-work, and Storm?" Nitrim looks to Cyrielle at his side as he drops to the center cushion of the sofa. "Blue Sister here is doing a lot of work with keeping underprivileged people safe and healthy here in Obsidia. I've been graciously given security clearance, but the truth is a lot of this smog comes with black lung, and not everyone can afford treatments."

“You know, it’s not the first time I’ve heard him referred to as a headache,” or similar, “but I can’t say I see it. Maybe I have a superpower and it is immunity to Khourni bullheadedness.” Cyrielle — Storm — gives a faint chuckle as she adjusts for Nitrim’s settling on the sofa. She accepts the beer, opening it to take a long drink. There’s a glance towards the man as he explains the issue and her brow furrows.
“What about protective masks?” She tugs slightly at the one she’s wearing. “These are multi-purpose. I’m sure it’d filter smog just fine. Or would that be too expensive as well? Or too little too late?”

“I am trying a new theory,” after a moment’s hesitation, the Blue Sister takes a beer from Nitrim, and finds a chair at an angle from the sofa where the other two recline. “It is an observation I have made, that among men, the more you approve of one, the less respect you show them.”

With her hood pulled down, she risks pulling her mask down enough to take a swig from the bottle. “As for the breathing masks, all drone operators are issued masks, but the smog itself is pretty pervasive in the air, period. The masks can only do so much. I don’t know if we can get masks for everyone, or if it would help enough.” She gives a small grin. “Academ and being a doctor are not on my agenda.”

"You know this is excellent news," Nitrim begins, pulling open his coat enough to reveal the vest he wears for a shirt beneath. He tries to get his arm around for the beer, the coat catches, and he sighs and just gets rid of his hood. There's no point, they both know who he is. "This means that the majority of society really, really appreciates me and that I can go to bed at night with the understanding that I'm beloved and that I'm just getting my pigtails yanked on by the kids that really like me."

Throwing the coat to the arm of the sofa, Nitrim brushes his hand over his tattoo as he takes the first swig of his beer and settles back into the cushions. One of his heavy boots comes to rest on the coffee table. "The problem, though, is that most of the noble sector is fed reports by pit bosses and local politicals that don't really explain what's going on with the poor. So since I'm a fan of the underdog, I want to be involved in this." He pauses. "I have that Hallow's eve mask still maybe I should put that on after this beer. It'd be rather Khourni of me."

“Ah, don’t tell me you hate men,” Cyrielle says to Blue Sister, considering her can and the mask she wears. It is a tricky matter- how is one supposed to eat junk food and get a nice buzz going, while keeping their identity? The heroes in the ani-holos never run into this sort of difficulty. She ultimately follows the other woman’s example. The wide, voluminous hood certainly makes it easier.

“Oh, Nitrim, you just want to wear that mask again. I bet you run about your apartment at night in it, frightening poor Dahlia.”

“Hate men? No ma’am,” the Sister replies. “I just don’t have time for men, in that capacity, right now, but I do spend a lot of time around men. They are hard to understand at times. What you think would be offensive makes them laugh uproariously, and what seems polite or courteous somehow offends them.” She shrugs, her head still down slightly to keep the shadow of hood over her face.

At Nitrim’s word’s she raises her beer in his direction. “This war makes it even worse. Hawks want the money to go to creating the next greatest weapon, Doves want the money to go to shoring up our defenses… and all of them will tell you the citizens shouldn’t complain because if the Hostiles aren’t stopped, they won’t have to worry about whether or not they have enough money for food anymore.”

"Dahlia isn't afraid of me, even when I'm angry. Anyone who knows me, truly, knows just enough to know I'd never hurt someone I love, even if I sometimes might look as if I might." Nitrim replies after a sip of his beer, leaning out one long, muscular and tattooed hand to set the beer back onto the coffee table. With no mask, smoking is easier, so he lights one. "And I refuse to believe men are confusing to women, as so many of us telegraph out moves. On a date I'm sure half the shit we say is construed as some preliminary thirty step plan to separate a woman from her clothing. I refuse to believe women are naive to that."

Settling back in, Nitrim folds his arms across his chest and makes some room so that Blue Sister and Cyrielle can see each other from their perches as he gets comfortable. "The war will claim more Citizens than nobles, and that's not just because the numbers are skewed. For the moment, Citizens are likely considered acceptable losses so long as production continues."

“Men are confusing. Don’t you doubt that.” Cyrielle chuckles softly, opting finally to set her beer down so she can nestle back into the couch. The mask is replaced and she takes the opportunity to drape her legs over Nitrim’s lap. No, he doesn’t get any say. She folds her arms over her stomach, letting her hands disappear into her sleeves.

“We’re at the beginnings of a long age of war. The last generation only had warnings and myths. Too many grew up in privilege and comfort, imagining no harm would ever come to them. They believed in the might of Haven and her armies too well…” She huffs softly, blowing back a bit of hair that came loose and fell across her face. “So it is left to those of us who have suffered ourselves to bring understanding.”

"I'm not confusing." Nitrim interjects quickly, blowing a ring of smoke towards the ceiling. "Just complicated and troublesome."

“Tomayto tomahto,” Blue Sister mutters to Nitrim. She finishes her beer and sets it down. The legs going across Nitrim’s legs are noted with slight interest but nor recogntion. She pulls her breathing mask back up and leans her elbows on her knees, considering.

“I do think that if we could look into these air filtration systems for houses that Talia spoke of, that would do the most good? I haven’t had a chance to meet with Talia and speak with her, yet. Speaking of Talia, have you had any luck with the necklace, Brother Shadow?”

"Oh, that." Nitrim blinks, gently lifting one of Cyrielle's legs at the ankle to give him access to a thigh pocket on his pants. Reaching in, he pulls out a black-wrapped with a cylindrical buldge inside. Hefting it, he tosses it to Blue Sister in an underhand throw. "It took me a while to find a buyer that wasn't sure I was hocking stolen merchandise, but I got a good price for it."

Settling back into the sofa, Nitrim drapes his forearms over Cyrielle's shins and suddenly opts to rub softly at her ever-sore tissue just above her ankle. See? How confusing is that? Nitrim being helpful, he offers his cigarette to Cyri as he digs into the impromptu massage. "I will kick Talia into moving but she's been busy. Someone close to her has taken ill. Still, a filtration system maintenance sounds like the real answer, far less of some kind of stop-gap measure."

The cigarette is useful, because the work on her ankle sends her into leaning back into the couch a bit more. Cyrielle buries herself further in her hood as she lowers her mask to take a long drag off the cigarette. “So odd to me,” she murmurs, almost distantly, “to live in a place where the very environment seeks to destroy you.”

The cigarette is finished and she reaches out to place it in an ashtray just for that purpose. The smoke curls away from her hood as she exhales slowly. “What’s needed for the filtration system?”

“It had to have been a man that came up with the idea,” The Sister offers in answer to the oddness. “Show me a man who’s ever been resist trying to something he’s been told he can’t do. Nature says, ‘you can’t live here’ and so of course a man has to look at that and think, ‘there has to be a way’.”

She shakes her head with a chuckle as she leans back. “I’m not completely sure. I saw something that might be part of a filtration system when I was working on the wiring for the security and electricity. I tried to get it going, but I think it’s missing some pieces.” Her eyes flicker back and forth between the two underneath her hood.

“I think you should probably be careful dicking around with that filtration system without the local lords being involved,” Nitrim replies, pressing his thumb into Cyrielle’s ankle and rubbing into her tendons. “I imagine a filtration system could go either way, right? It could be used to do something good or bad, and there’s enough sabotage taking place at Volkan that you should at the least keep an eye on the thing. If you see anyone suspicious near it, call it out, because chances are it could be saving a life.”

The pressure on her ankle causes Cyrielle to bite her lip. The mask over the lower half of her face shifts. It’s a good spot to work on, but it aches. She looks back and forth between the two, brow furrowed slightly. “It’s sad that when the whole of humanity is at war… people want to fight one another.” She sighs slightly, shifting her back in that hollow of the old sofa she’s settled into.
“So it’s a conundrum. A filtration system would be good for all, but it’d be a risk. for being used for ill, or even for being scrapped by people desperate enough to harm others to benefit themselves.”

“That puts filtration into a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ category, then,” Blue Sister muses. “Well, I’ll have to squirrel this away,” the wrapped money she had caught from Nitrim, but not counted, is tucked into an inside pocket somewhere, “and then see where to spend it… filtration, more oxygen/medicine… any thoughts, my lady?” she asks, glancing over towards ‘Storm’. The use of the courtesy seems quite deliberate.

“Were you interested in a tour,” her eyes stray to the ankle being worked on by Nitrim’s hands, “if you are up to a tour? Or were you just interested in meeting me? Asking me questions?”

“A tour…” Nitrim replies, eyebrow lifted as he looks up and over to Cyrielle, letting her be the judge of that. Her ankle is a tender thing, and the cane she walks with is a living identity give-away, but he definitely seems to defer to her on the are we walking today type decisions. “That’s more up to Storm than I, really, but in the end she said she’s interested in finding ways to make a difference, and if I end up disappearing into squiring once again, I’ll have to put aside some of my normal cloak-and-dagger save for when I’m free to leave on my own.”

Nitrim looks back over to Blue Sister, brows quirking to her. “What, are horror movies, popcorn, and beers not enough for you?”

“Just Storm,” Cyrielle murmurs in response to the usage of the title. Either she isn’t or she doesn’t care. There’s a moment of contemplation, eyes going to the screen where the movie has been playing on without minding whether they observe or not. Some poor girl is being eviscerated while the denizens of another realm passively stare on.
“A tour would be nice,” she decides, finally.

“Popcorn and beer are fine, Brother Shadow,” the woman in Blue replies, her face averted from the screen as she leaves the third of the three out of the equation. “However, I’m not able to spend as much time in this area as I would like, so I have to make every moment count. I still have some deliveries yet to make.”

The eyes from underneath the hood rest on Cyrielle as she makes her request, and there seems to be that hesitance that Nitrim encountered when the girl was asked to not refer to him with a title, as if fighting years of training to use proper titles. “Very well. Whenever you are ready?”

Letting go of Cyrielle’s ankle, Nitrim gently, daresay affectionately, helps Cyrielle take her feet back as he clears his lap for standing. The beer is tipped back and the last of its contents are swallowed and the bottle is set down on the table for later cleaning. “This is where the truth starts to come out, the things they’re not showing openly on the HNN.” Nitrim replies, nodding to Blue Sister as he escapes from beneath Cyrielle’s legs and stands. Reaching for his coat, he shrugs it on and pulls the cowl down low to conceal his face and starts to collect his things. “You should bring your camera, not for the facility but for what you see on the way.” He says to Cyrielle as he buttons everything into place.

There’s a slow, languid stretch from Cyrielle as she begins to rouse from her cozy spot upon that worn sofa. She adjusts both hood and mask once she’s to her feet. There’s a slight nod to Nitrim at his words and she does a brief pat-down of her person to ensure herself the camera is, indeed, in her possession. Finally reaching into a pocket, she surfaces with the small device.

“I suppose the HNN does not wish to show its viewers that what happens at home can be as bad or worse than what happens on the front lines of the war.”

“Perhaps,” Blue Sister agrees. “Or perhaps HNN broadcasts are influenced to some degree by the people who have the money. And the people who have the money do not want Havenites as a whole to realize how they are making their money, or able to keep so much money for themselves. People might start asking why the senators in the Crescent aren’t doing anything to help these people, since they are supposed to represent all citizens.” Her voice breaks off as she pauses at the door waiting for the two more darkly cloaked figures to follow her. “I’m quite certain those are questions they don’t want people to ask.” She leads the way out into the alleyways, waiting for them to secure their premises before continuing on.

Locking the door behind them, Nitrim slips the keys into his pocket and secures the good and mask over his face, opting for more smog-minded protection as they slip back out into the murk of Obsidia. Falling into line beside Cyrielle, his eyes watch the road ahead, relying on that plain, black hooded coat to keep his identity anonymous. "The H.N.N and I have a long past history that I'm not entirely a big fan of." Nitrim replies to them, voice frowning beneath his coverings. "They report things, I feel, politically of make a mockery out of people for ratings and political sway. One way or another you're either in the pocket or out of it. There's no way that they're going to report on these conditions."

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