07.12.3013: What Makes a Gentleman
Summary: Nithya playfully misleads Michael and Demos
Date: 12th July 2013
Related: None
Nithya Michael Demos 

The Heartwood
This is perhaps one of the largest promenades of the tree city. It spans between the large trunks of three elderwoods, branches used to support the heavy circular plaza. Residing in this promenade are dozens of stores and shops, as well as access to the lower levels of the city. Peddlers of goods move easily through the plaza, trapping visitors and natives with a hopeful sale of their unique and usually handmade goods. At the center of the promenade is a large, sprawling basin where rain water has been collected for generations creating a natural and yet manmade pool. This is a popular place to cross paths with other residents of Arborenin and maneuver through the tiered city.

Another day amongst the trees of the Heartwood, today has seen intermittant showers above the canopy, leaving little droplets to run down through the leaves, gathering where they naturally want. In, part, the design and layout of the city means most people probably stay dry while water gathers where the civil architects wanted it to. Still, it comes with the light sprinkling spatter of water falling from the leaves into pools, some places giving a warm echo of water droplets falling into the pools and streams of runoff.

Between the sounds and the people, Demos is once again within the tree city, this time he has a small cylindrical device in his hand that looks like a magnifying lense. Where, in place of a glass piece, there is a swirling cloud of purple, blue, and green in its place. He watches it with some fascination, which means he's not paying attention to where he is going, his feet finding some of those puddles along the way that most citizen's know to avoid. It also means he doesn't realize he has become a target of a local pick-pocket that has picked up his tail, watching and observing him, calculating the right moment perhaps, or simply marking him.

With quick, practiced steps the pickpocket closes in on his prey; the old razor-bladed ring trick to quietly slice a pocket during an "accidental" collision. A collision that takes place in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

"Oof!" Demos collides briefly with the passer-by. "So sorry, dude!" the shifty young man says as he rebounds and hurries on his way.

Just as he would do otherwise, Demos offers a hand to steady the other man, "My fault entirely." The geologist thinks nothing of it, still looking at the small plasma window, as if it is telling him something. Much like the Awakaned might look at something magical to ascertain a truth, he looks into the plasma for a geological truth it would seem. Though, as he ponders it, he reaches for a pouch as if to add something to his equation. His hands begin to pat himself down as if he had misplaced something. There is no realization connecting his misplacement to the young man that rebounded off him with a slight bump though.

A somewhat strangled-sounding squawk, sounding for all the world like an oversized seagull having its feet stepped on, makes itself heard behind Demos.

"Demos was it?" a vaguely familiar feminine voice says, albeit with a harsh edge to it that isn't familiar. "I believe this gentleman has an apology to make."

"Yeah, man, yeah!" the earlier pinball man exclaims, raw terror in his voice. "I'm really sorry, dude. This … uh … thing … it kinda fell into my hands and I think it's yours."

Turning to the sound while still patting himself down, Demos doesn't really take much notice of anything, until the unfamiliar familiar voice calls to him. His eyes look as if gaining some familiarity and yet, pausing to take in all the unfamiliar that goes along with it. To the man, he reaches over to accept the pouch and its contents. In fairness, there was indeed money in it, but he'd joined something else with the money that was more important to him.

"I guess it did, my, um, thanks for finding it," as if he is being kind or doesn't leap to any conclusion that pick-pocketing was afoot, other than a knife at his throat. Letting it open, he reaches in to take out a tube that looks empty even though its properly sealed, one may suspect gas is contained within, if one had to. "This is what I needed." Though, he still looks ponderously at the situation between the finder and the knife carrier.

"Time for you to fly away now, little birdie," Nithya says, pulling the dirk away and replacing it into something under her cloak. "Better luck next time; try and pick targets who aren't protected, OK?" There's almost something fond or warm in her facial expression as she deals with the sneak thief. Her tone is one of genuine advice, not of anger at catching a thief.

"I was right, wasn't I?" she asks Demos while the ashen pickpocket flees as quickly as possible. "It was Demos, right? Nice to meet you again. I was thinking about some of your observations from the last time we talked and I actually did some interesting work on my light sculpture. Not good. Interesting." The harsh edge of her voice has vanished, leaving an almost stereotypical girlish mannerism in its wake. A mannerism harshly at odds with her attire.

"Yes," he responds, his own recollections coming to him. He was thinking it was striking coincidence between features and voice, but the warmth or mannerism that replaces the harshness from moment before seals the recollection in his mind. Affirmation further comes at the discussion of the light sculpture. "It is I who am lucky Nithya," says the man, with a pause, perhaps acknowledging that she noted the other man was picking targets and she helped with the return of something valuable to him. After that short pause of inneundo towards real thanks, he smiles warmly, "To see you again. A bright spot on my day to say the least. I'm curious of the interesting work on your sculpture, good or bad, perhaps insight was gained." It is clear he's still more curious about the ensemble for the day, but is reserving asking questions out of respect even though his eyes can't help but roam. It might be some of the right curves in the right places that help them roam too.

Having just come off duty from training, Michael cuts an impressive display in his armor. He takes to a casual stroll through the umbrella'd kiosks, stopping to look at book titles and read flyleaves for a few moments here and there.

Almost unconsciously upon seeing an armoured person strolling nearby, Nithya wraps her cloak to conceal that which Demos was appreciating only moments earlier. "You really do need to be more careful in crowds though, Professor…" it appears a nickname has already been acquired "…because that guy wasn't even really good at it. I think he's more desperate. I was going to give him some money but I think that would have mortally wounded his pride." She eyes the incoming trooper suspiciously, frowning a bit before suddenly splitting her face in a wide smile. "Oh, my goodness!" she exclaims. "Two in a single day! SIR MICHAEL! OVER HERE!" She waves enthusiastically, although keeping the cloak wrapped around her.

"I know that guy," she adds, by way of explanation to Demos. "I was a little drunk and he helped me with a … um … broken payment chip."

Grinning a little, Demos seems non-the-put-out by the nickname acquired from Nithya. There is a nod, accepting the man was a pickpocket, perhaps thankful he wasn't so good at it, not that the scholar would know the difference really. He didn't notice the pouch taken the first time, would hate to think of how a godo pick-pocket could of taken him, and what they could of taken him for. Noting she sees Sir Michael and his approach, he grins more, "You seem to know all the right people Nithya, I'll have to keep that in mind should I ever need to find someone." As if, he might ask about broken payment chips later, but not so open in the middle of everything as this location seems to be. He gives a bow of his head to the other, "Sir Michael," he calls out in greeting just the same.

Michael glances up at the sudden call of his name, blinking at the title attached. He nods to the source, and then moves closer a casual smile on his face. He seems more hale, calm, and something else… confident? "Why hello there Twitchy, it has been a while. I believe you owe me a drink?" he nods to Demos, Mister Rockdude good to see you again. Anymore of those games happen?"

Nithya looks from one of her acquaintances to the other. Relaxing again, she loosens the front of her cloak (Demos rejoice!) and extends her hands, one to each. "So I guess I don't have to make introductions then," she chirps. She sends her eyes roaming to find a place for the three to sit and talk. "A drink over there, perhaps?" she suggests to Michael, gesturing to one of the tent cafes. "It's on me for both of you."

"I can't argue a free drink," says Demos, still holding the plasma device in his hand, and the test tube and pouch for that matter. "Aye, Sir Michael. Quarterfinals have passed, Haven Cup is around the corner here, so long as nothing goes wrong." Without having to say, should Hostiles make such a fuss to change the dynamics of the system, its implied in there. "My punter is long out, but he's more of a long oarsman, so no harm no foul." Though, there was a foul, a clear infraction and poor judging. "How about complicated friendships, things are smoothed over I should hope?" He finally puts pouch away, but connets the vial to the plasma device, the purple, blue and green swirls start to be accompanied by a red swirl.

Michael looks at the device, but says to Nithya "Sounds good, you uh get that cred chip fixed?" he looks up at her, speaking now to Demos "Sounds promising. Also… I need to point out, I am not Sir Michael. Young Master if we are being formal, I am still a squire. Just Michael is fine though." he smiles and makes his way to a chair at the cafe under the tent.

Nithya is rather conspicuously not asking about the device. Her roaming eyes stop on the device frequently for a beat or two, but never a word crosses her lip. "I had to use another one until the … uh … problems with the first one got sorted out, Sir Michael." She cheerfully promotes Michael just as she did Demos earlier. "Oh, and I got a job shortly after we met," she adds. Her face darkens a bit. "Photo-journaling one of the large battles. I'm now composing the presentation. It's been a bit rough; I don't cope with blood well, it turns out."

"Young master is is, should formality be required," says Demos, "I shall try Michael, but it might be difficult for me I'll confess." Admitting that, he grins and nods to Nithya, with more curves that he tries to keep his eyes off. Giving a moment to look at some of the larger trees around them as the move to take seats at the small cafe, joining them and putting the device on the table to watch it out of his peripheral. "I would be in agreement with you Nithya, blood doesn't sit well with me, I am thankful for the opportunity to apply myself as a geologist, and barring that, as a stone mason. I have taken a few commissions in Detritus of late. Finishing a sculpture garden near a Light transfer point, I'll oversee modifactions to the walls around the city."

Michael doesn't pay Nithya's body even a slight glance. Nor does he continue to look at the device. Instead he divests himself of upper body plating leaving his chest bare and steaming slightly from now apparent heat of his gear. "Anything cold, nothing alcoholic please." he says to a waiter. He also places his scabbard over his gear.

"Nothing alcoholic?!" Nithya protests. "Where's the fun in that?" She throws in her order as a rebuke. "What was that drink Sir Kaedin introduced me to again? Nova. That's the one. Do you have any Nova?" A confused negative response makes her purse her lips. "OK, then, whatever you've got that's strongest, make it a double."

"Professor, I really hate to pry, but … what is that thing?" She flicks her eyes between her companions. "And what game were you talking about earlier?"

Inclining his head, Demos throws out, "I'll try the same." The alcoholic drink, not the one Young Master Michael is preferring. As for the device. "Well, its a fusion analyzer," he begins, "It takes an initial plasma field and, depending on compounds added, one could theoretically see how well fusion is maintained. Its mostly outdated, we know what works best for fusion, but if one wanted to test natural surface state of a gas planet, simply allowing chemicals from the atmosphere into a magnetic confiment chamber, this can theoretically let us know what we need to filter out to allow for the best state to maintain fusion and produce, well, energy." As if that explains it all, one might ponder why a geologist is looking at the atmophsere, but that's another story. Turning to look more at Nithya, letting eyes trail up off the table (to finish at meeting her eyes alone, not sticking to curves, mind, but her eyes). "As for the game, its a sport, the sport of Punting." As said by one person defending an activity as a serious sport when those in serious sport might find it laughable.

"I just need something to cool off, then a light drink perhaps. If I can snag a date for tonight I don't wish to be drunk." More of the sweat vapors steam off Michael's chest as he adjusts to be more relaxed. He glances at the device during the explanation. "Oh, Lorelei and I are fine… just keeping our distances and limiting conversations away from upsetting topics." a cold tall glass of milk arrives and Michael downs it. "Water, then an ale… a light one please."

Nithya scratches her head, feigning puzzlement. "Going on a date and not being drunk?" she asks, a twinkle in her eye. She then repeats, teasingly, "Where's the fun in that? Are you trying to be a perfect gentleman, Sir Michael?" She sits back and eyes her drink happily as it arrives with the others'. "Me, personally, I like a bit of chemical trauma when I'm not working."

She raises her glass to her companions. "To chance meetings and good times." The fiery liquid burns its way down her esophageal entrance with only a small twitch of her right eye to mark its passage. "Dry glasses, gentlemen!"

"That is good news Young Master, a new beginning with near perfect hindsight, I imagine things will be better this time about," says Demos regarding the topic of Lorelei, but letting it go there. Then at the insistance to drink, he takes his glass and down's it readily enough, no twitching of his eyes, but a small grimace, his drink not nearly as strong as Nithya's it would seem, but alcoholic enough for him. As he puts his glass down, with only some dribble that he wipes with a sleeve, he atones, "I should say now, I still have work to do today. But its field work … and I should comply with the locals." Saying he's good having a drink or three, and may even loose count, even though, he should techically be 'working'. Then a pause, he ponders of Nithay, "Are you suggesting you do not prefer perfect gentlemen?" At her tease of Michael trying to remain one should he have a date this evening.

Michael nods to Demos, "We both hope so." he doesn't mention the tension he feels around her. His eyes light up a little, "I prefer to be a romantic gentleman, especially for this particular woman. However, her work may keep her too busy so I may end back in Obsidia tonight." he chuckles at Demos' question of her, and joins into the fray "Well?"

Nithya leans back in her chair, smirking smugly. "Well, aren't you two suddenly interested in my private life?" she asks with a chuckle. "You'll have to contend with a … well, rather strong friend of mine if your interests go beyond the merely prurient in thought, I'm afraid." She leans forward conspiratorally, her elbow landing unnoticed in a little puddle that leaked through the umbrella above her. "The truth is that perfect gentlemen are the best way to start the evening. They'll be very attentive, very flattering. They'll buy you the food, the drink. They'll take you to the concerts or theatres. They'll treat you like a princess."

She leans back again and grins. "After all that you ditch them and go home with someone who treats you like a woman."

Leaning forward just a little, Demos listens to that, pondering the philosophy underlying some of what has been said. "Ah, I may well borrow that anology. The correlation between treated like a woman, and treated like a princess." His device forgotten, as is the sport of punting. "Genius, but an enigma in itself. Perhaps the good guy does finish last." Perhaps in self reference, "Unless he knows how to treat a woman as a princess, while understanding her take on how to make her feel like a woman." Then half a smirk, "Wait, that's no answer at all. Its a great intrigue Nithya, more a mystery, but I like it all the same. I think I may end up being slapped over my misunderstandings, but who knows, I might like that."

Michael laughs, "I see, I see. What that then means, is a man who affords her the treatment and then affords himself her, wins you over. Sweet and gentle, and predatory." he grins at her, "Ah, if I looked at you that way… this would be a private drink."

The alcohol seems to be having a belated effect on Nithya's breathing because she's suddenly started coughing something fierce. It coincides with the words "sweet and gentle" oddly enough. She tosses a quick amused glance Demos' way before regaining her composure. "Predatory, Sir Michael? Me? Now how could you say such a thing?!"


"And Professor," she drawls, savouring the moment. "If you wanted to be slapped, all you had to do was ask!"

Blinking back a moment, grin turning his short whiskers up, Demos returns, "Wait, its that easy, really." Regarding getting a slap. "And I've made such a game of it, if only I had realized." Then grinning warmly, "Predator and prey, I don't know if I should be worried more of the turn of this conversation, or intersted. I think I'm happy to remain blissful prey, keeping my own scruples. Because my thoughts linger beyond prurient thought alone."

Michael shrugs at Nithya, "I would say you act innocent but get a little drink in you, build some intensity, and the ride will be one to remember." he finishes his drink, and stands up. Pulls on his gear loosely and bows his head, I need to go but I did enjoy seeing you both again." he makes his way down the street and up to the ways.

Michael leaves, heading towards the The Ways of Arborenin [Up].

Nithya too, stands up after Michael's departure. "I have some business to attend to, Professor," she says. She leans forward across the table discomfitingly close. "If you want to try your luck, sometime, on the princess/woman dilemma, feel free to call me. I'll be sure to wear my velvet gloves to spare your cheek some."

She winks and tosses a name card with her face in tacky 3D on it. "Call me. And if you have other services you think I could help with, feel free to call for that as well."

A grin that becomes a little more serious, or fades, between dilemma and the velvet gloves. He takes the card, finding strength in his smile once more, making sure to put it on a better kept pocket even. "I shall keep this in mind Ms. Nithya. You are a mysterious woman in more right ways than I can count," for what it is worth. Before he turns to his actually work, "Don't know how lucky I am, but I play the fool well enough." Then he tucks it all the way into that pocket, affording her, "It was good to chance upon you today."

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