04.04.3014: Tea and Hostiles
Summary: Kassie and Solon sit down for a little chat about Hostiles and the Valen efforts to remove them from the Vale.
Date: 18 December 2013
Related: 'None'
Kassandra Solon 

Solon's Penthouse
The first thing that one may notice as they enter the sitting room of this private penthouse is that it is lit only by several ornate-looking wall-mounted lamps positioned around the room in such a way to provide adequate lighting no matter where one may stand. The walls of the room come in two sections, with white wainscot panels crafted out of fine wood and bearing gold trip taking up the bottom third of the wall while dark blue wallpaper with rearing horses coming in a blue several shades softer cover the rest of the walls. The wooden floors are made of a dark wood, but are slightly overshadowed by the large colorful rugs that seem to be positioned in key places.

To both the left and the right, paneled doors lead deeper into the apartments. On the opposite wall, in the center is a fireplace with a fine wooden table positioned in front of it with two separate chairs on either side with a divan in between. On either side of the fireplace there are shelves that hold books and other small items of a personal nature. In one corner, a desk and chair have been placed, almost as if it were an afterthought, and in its opposite corner, a table and four chairs have been positioned in a manner similar to a dining room.

Going through the door to the right leads into the penthouse's bedroom, the walls, flooring, and lighting scheme identical to that of the sitting room. A massive four poster canopy bed stands as a silent sentinel over the other furnishings in the room, with elegant carvings of the Cindravale coat of arms on both the headboard and footboard. Other items in the room include two nightstands, a vanity, and a reading chair with a small table to the side. Another set of paneled doors lead into the private bathroom.

The door to the left leads into an artists studio that is extremely well lit by the several windows in this room that provide a breathtaking view of Phylon and its surroundings. The actual decor of the room is far more plain than in the sitting room, with a plain wooden floor and white walls. Hanging around the room are various scenes from the Plains of Ares or of Phylon. Unlike the other rooms, this one is bare of any real furnishings save several easels and stools.

04 April 3014

Moving across his sitting room, Solon carries a tray that contains a teapot, several cups along with sugar and spoons. Finally reaching the table that is positioned in front of the fireplace, he winces as he places the tray down before standing back up. While most of his wounds have healed, the more serious chest wound from that blasted Hostile spear is still giving him a little trouble. Getting ready to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea in front of the fire, he pauses as he hears someone at his door. Curious as to who it may be, he moves over to the door before pausing and considering his current state. Dressed in a rather loose-fitting white shirt and black trousers, and his hair a mess, he isn't exactly up to his normal standards. Shrugging and letting out a sigh, he goes ahead and opens the door. "Yes?"

Kassandra is, as usual, garbed in black. She leans against the door jamb with one arm over her head and stares somewhat insolently at Solon as he answers the door in a less than brotherly fashion. "Well fine, I can just go find someone else to bother," she replies flatly, and not even the corners of her mouth twitch to belie the jest. "Unless you want to invite me in to your - oh by the Six, did you paper your walls with horses? And is that a fireplace? I should have been born the Heir, then I could have as swanky an apartment. Invite me in so I can accidentally break your antiques and spill tea on your priceless rugs."

Solon quirks his lips in amusement at Kassie's response. "No, no, you can bother me anytime, cousin. Come on in." He steps away and holds the door open so she can step in. "I was just about to sit down and have some tea. Would you like some too, or do I need to open up my cabinet I keep for guests?" While one hand holds the door, he gestures towards the chairs and divan that are situated around the fireplace. "I was considering a floral pattern to the papering, but that did not feel very Valen."

"Hmmm, tempting, but no. I have a patrol in about six hours, and I don't want to risk being even remotely inebriated for that." Kassandra sweeps past Solon when the door is opened wide enough to admit her, and she lingers in the foyer with her hands on her hips. She rotates slowly on the spot, taking in the room for what it is before she finally faces her cousin and offers a brief grin. "Floral would have been stupid. I think you made the wiser choice. I went with 'white paint' for my walls, and it seems to suit my needs just fine. Well, lead on to the tea things. How are you feeling today? You're moving like an eighty year old man with fifteen year old cybernetic joints."

Solon closes the door after Kassie has moved fully in, and gestures onward. "First of all, I am not moving like an eighty year old man." Okay, perhaps he said that a little too quick, and a little too defensively. "That spear I was stuck with is still aching a litle, but I think it will clear up in another day or two, and yes, the horse pattern really called out to me. Anyway, here, have a seat." He gestures to a chair and the divan, letting her make up her mind as to where to sit. Letting her do that, he leans over and pours two cups of tea, and places them onto saucers, "Would you like sugar?"

Kassandra moves immediately for the chair, as she is not the type to sprawl liesurely on a divan. She lowers herself into the seat, perching upright on the edge and glancing down to the array of tea things on the table. "No, no thank you. I take my tea plain." When Solon is finished pouring, she accepts her cup and saucer and immediately takes a sip. "In all seriousness, dear, I am glad it wasn't worse than it is. It is good to see you up and moving about; it will help work out the last twinges of a healing wound. I wish I were here merely as a social call to gossip about our inferiors, but I have a question to put to you." She glances up from beneath her lashes, her expression somber, and waits for Solon to situate himself before going further.

Smiling as he takes his own cup and sits down, "Given that it is the worst wound any of us received, I think that all in all we turned out to be rather fortunate in our first win over the Hostiles in this campaign. I hope that Mother and Uncle are both pleased by the results as well." Taking a sip of his own tea, he appreciates the taste a moment before raising an eyebrow at Kassie. "Oh, what question do you have? If I can provide any answers, I will happily do so, cousin." His curiousity is piqued now, wondering what Kassie might ask.

"We were extremely lucky, but it was also a very small contingent of scouts obviously out on their own patrol, because they were not traveling with any of their stronger types - priests and whatnot." Kassandra runs the fingertips of her right hand over her lips in a gesture of contemplation while cradling her teacup in her left. "That worries me. I do not want our knights and soldiers getting cocky about trivial victories like that. There was no real show of force, not like we have seen in the past. Do you really think that chiseling away at the occupation like this will be effective? I'm referring to the order handed down for us to launch this initiative in trying to basically sweep our lands from coast to coast to wipe out invaders. I wasn't aware we really had the manpower…"

"Of course, Kassie. I do not mean to say that we should become overconfidant, but even a small victory is a victory. I believe it is better for us all to get things going on the right foot, than not to be. I would not be worried, Uncle is the greatest military mind in all of Haven, he will not allow our knights to get cocky." Leaning back in his chair, he raises the cup up to his lips for another long sip as he considers her greater question. "Our patrols chipping away may provide boosts to our morale, and lower their own morale. Also, if we can interrupt some of their plans, that can give us opportunities to engage in far larger engagements. I do see your concerns, but I cannot help but have faith that Mother and Uncle know precisely what they are doing."

Kassandra sets her cup down before scooting back in her seat to lay out, resting her arms on those of the chair. "I did not mean to sound as if I understimate my father or your mother, Solon. I have the utmost faith in their abilities as well, but there is still the fact that a thousand things could go wrong at any moment. I worry that people will become complacent. I worry that the talk of our connections to the Hostiles will stay the wrong hands. I worry that people will start to feel remorse or hesitation. I worry that all the peace-loving idiots will start to garner real support, and that the network we've established will crumble out from beneath us due to forces outside of our control." Frowning, she glances away and shifts in her seat, obviously uncomfortable with this line of thought. "I am thinking of asking father to lead my own patrol at some point."

"I know, Kassie, I know. I admit that I struggle with understanding how there can be people who want to try and view the Hostiles as anything other than the murdering, conquering creatures that they are. I have heard things that make me question what people are thinking. Oh sure, there may have once been a connection between we of Haven and the Hostiles, but after all of this violence? What does it matter? The Hostiles certainly have made their intentions known through their actions." Solon sighs, shaking his head slightly. He has given these things some thought in the past, and each time he's come to the same conclusion. The Hostiles must be put down. "Why think on it? You should do it. I would ride in a patrol led by you any day." He then adds, "And I do not just say that because you are family."

Something in what Solon says is a relief to Kassie, she relaxes visibly in her seat, slumping into the comforting curve of the plus backing and gazing at her cousin through half-lidded eyes. "I occasionally wonder myself at the possibility that someone would believe annihilation isn't our best option, but it doesn't do to dwell on that overmuch. I am not going to change any minds, and I don't need to so long as those minds remain in the smallest of possible minorities. I suppose I just wanted the comfort of knowing someone other than myself believes we are capable of this great feat." She taps her fingers quietly, drumming them on the arms of the chair while considering how best to phrase her next words. "I will do it when I am ready, and I do not think I am ready yet, but you are very kind in encouraging me."

"No, annihilation is not our best option, not when we can still fight. We have proven time and time again that we can kill them." Solon lets his gaze slip away from Kassie for a moment as he watches her drum her fingers, letting his mind contemplate several things to say before he finally settles on. "Kassie, you are not alone in your thoughts. Perhaps it is because I am who I am, but I cannot help but think that the Vale united can do anything. Maybe I myself am overconfident with thoughts such as those?" He offers her something of a shrug and takes another sip of his tea before placing the cup and saucer down on the table. "Encouragement is what I am here for, and while I may offer the occassional jest tha I would take one of you over any thirty Arborenen or Khournai, the truth is that there are no other people in Haven that I would rather fight beside than the members of this family."

Kassandra blinks owlishly at Solon. "Really? I am of the mind that complete annihilation is our best option, if we are to stop the endless cycle of violence. We may be so lucky to see them pushed back onto their homeworld before the end of our lifetime, Solon, but that would be wildly irresponsible. It means we've done a temporary clean-up and left the job to future generations. Our responsibility right now is to end it." Frowning, she sits up once more and leans forward to pick up her tea. She drains the cooled liquid in one gulp and replaces the cup carefully with a quiet clink. "I haven't the foggiest how to go about it, though, so like a good little girl I will listen to my betters and do what I am told."

Solon blinks at Kassie, and then groans as he lifts a hand to run it through the fluffy mess that is his hair before letting out a laugh. "By the Six, I think I completely misunderstood what you were referring to by complete annihilation. I thought, oh nevermind. You are right, of course. We do need to annihilate the Hostiles once and for all, I have no qualms about doing something like that, but the means to do such a thing are behind me. I am sure there are great scientific minds coming up with a final solution to our Hostile problem." Solon then sits up and leans forward, his eyes meeting Kassie's own. "Kassie, if you have opinions you want to share, you can always share them with me. I cannot promise that I will always agree with you, but I will always listen. Besides, since when have you ever been a 'good litle girl'?"

"I am occasionally, but it's usually by accident," Kassandra admits, not missing a beat despite the questionable nature of Solon's query. She flashes a brief grin before stretching her arms over her head, and her eyes go to the all-purpose device on her wrist. "Ah, the hour is such that I should go shower and get ready for my shift. I have to stop by and drop off something for father, first, before I go out. Thank you for the talk, Solon, and will you keep me apprised of your next missions? I want to go out with you whenever I can. Consider this a blanket request to attend any and all."

Grunting, partly in amusement, partly in knowing that he did go ahead and open his mouth and shove his entire foot in it, Solon can only simply shake his head as he stands up along with her. "Please do give Uncle my regards when you see him. As to any missions that I go on? Of course, you will be the first person I reach out to. There are plenty of Hostiles to go around, and I would not want to deprive your axe of its share." For the strangest possible reason, an absolutely absurd thought comes to mind for one of those public service ad campains about 'the family that slays together, stays together'. He struggles to keep a straight face, but fails slightly as a stupid grin quirks the corners of his mouth, and he knows it. To cover it up, he says, "You know, I was tempted to try to capture one of the Hostiles to use it as a practice dummy for some of our soldiers. Should your shift get too boring, perhaps you can give some thought over any new ideas you may have about fighting them. I have pondering over that and other things. Anyway, before I continue to ramble on senselessly, thank you for stopping by, and I wish you well, Kassie."

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