Characters: Micah, Celeste, Amy
Location: Seedy Hotel Room - Damsel's Rest - Amber City
--[ Damsel's Rest ]---------------------------------------
--[ Seedy Hotel Room ]--------------------------------------[
Centuries ago, this was a relatively pleasant part of the city,
devoted to industry and trade for the working classes, and noted for
its breweries. Canal Street runs straight through this ward, and
although the road itself is in poor repair, the buildings along it are
supported by pride. Some fluke of geography often blankets the ward in
rolling fog off the sea on chill nights, causing the glow of the
lamp-globes to diffuse eerily. But it is on the side-streets that the
true common profession of the ward becomes apparent, in the red
lanterns displayed in front windows, the condition of each building
and its signage an indication of the social class served therein.
Laughter and liquor alike spill out into the narrow streets, masking
the misery of poverty that lurks beneath.
On one of the streets in better repair is the tired-looking marble
facade of the Mandrake Charity Hospital, and opposite it, the
converted townhouse that does service as the City Hall. To the south
lies Fishcutter Square, and the fishy odors disguised with many a
perfumed handkerchief. A makeshift barricade to the west does little
to cut off the stench that assaults the nose as one nears the Dredge.
To the east lies the Great Lift, and the harbor district. Before
reaching the lift, one has to pass the great Parthain Hall, its
pennons fluttering over an iron-bound door.
Celeste is where Corwin said she'd be, laid on bed seemingly unconscious and sporting lesions and glistening with a feverish sheen.
Micah got the note from Corwin, though why it had come to him and not one of the better established members of his House is beyond him. None the less, Micah is here. The goes to the room the note had specified, and inside. Where he pauses as his eyes fall onto Celeste. "Cousin?" The haze of his eyes lightens to gold as he steps closer to her.
Celeste turns in bed, breath rattling wetly in her lungs. The normal super nova brilliance of her aurora is mottled and blanketed with signs of illness-far more ill than anyone should have been able to get in mere hours.
Micah steps to the bed and looks over Celeste. "What the hell happened to you?"
Celeste is on bed feverish and riddled with lesions.
"Celeste, can you hear me?" When one question doesn't work, try another! Micah reaches down to touch her shoulder, trying to rouse her a little bit.
Amy got a note, and that's enough to bring her to find out what is going on. Cause really - family. Enough said. She raps on the hotel room door, and yes, there's a guard or two, cause they go every where. She pauses hardly at all and then opens the door, looking in. "Hey, what's going - Celeste?" That gets Amy's eyes glowing purple immediately as she heads over to look at her cousin.
The moment the door is knocked on, Micah's looking back at it. His eyes have lightened to a paler shade of hazel, almost gold. "Oh Amy, thank the Unicorn. I got a note from Corwin. I don't know any more than you do." He turns his eyes back to Celeste.
Celeste hisses, "Dooooon't!" she turns and coughs wetly, a big globe of mucus flying from her lips to land with a wet splat on the floor and she wheezes. To Amy's gaze the normal super nova of living energies that is Celeste is mottled and dim, as if draped in curtain of sickly hues.
Amy pauses, as she looks over Celeste. "What happened?" she asks. She moves over, examining to see if she can find a probbable cause. "That''s nasty."
Micah pulls his hand back at Celeste's hiss. He glances to Amy and shakes his head. He has no idea. "That's why I called you. I've read a few books, but I still have no idea what I'm doing."
Amy just shakes her head. "Alright, we can cope," she says, easily. She does have her medical pack, and she moves to look at Celeste. "How much of that gunk is stuck - in your throat, hmm?" Ew, not again. There are two purple scales on her right arm, between wrist and elbow. "Celeste? Going to clear this out. If you bite me, I will bite you back, clear?"
Celeste bares teeth, which might look menacing if she didn't look so sickly, or if the motion didn't just cause a large cross mucus bubble. she then falls back into the straw-stuffed bed wearily, eyes rolling a bit.
Micah remains close to both, but steps up a bit and out of the way. "What do you need me to do?" If anything. Micah doesn't seem bothered much by the mucus bubble nor by the bared teeth.
"Yup, you're sick," Amy says. "C'mon, Micah, you can learn about the dirty side of the job. Celeste is having trouble breathing. We're going to clear out that mucus the good old fashioned way. Cause in Amber - there really isn't any other way." As she talks, she gets the equipment out of her bag, items she carries in Amber as part of routine. And then Amy moves to get Celeste into a less-likely-to-choke position. "Here we go," she says, warning Celeste before she starts. "Micah is going to help, Celeste."
Celeste grunts and wheezes, looking keenly uncomfortable as her eyes begin to cloud over.
"What does she have?" Micah sounds curious and worried at the same time. He moves to the opposite side of the bed, up close so he can help Amy. He's ready, and does as directed.
"Stay with us, Celeste," Amy says. She looks at Micah and shrugs. "Some kind of poison, not sure what exactly. She's having trouble clearing it." Now she starts to work, essentially sucking the phlegm out of Celeste's throat. Icky gross disgusting stuff as it is. As she works, she explains what she's doing to Micah. "If you can keep her from moving too much, that'd be great. But if I ask you to let go, please do."
Micah puts his hands where he's directed, and holds Celeste to keep her from moving too much. "Poison." He growls a little. "If Corwin did this to her, I'm going to sick Aio on him. He's the one who sent me a note saying she was unwell." He's ready, holding Celeste steady as Amy does her thing, but he's alsy ready to let her go if Amy tells him to.
Celeste whimpers and growls and sputters wetly. NOT a happy camper.
"I don't know if anyone did this to her," Amy says, after a moment. "It's not the first time I've had to do this." She works patiently, deftly. And she does make sure to let Micah see, as she explains what the tools are that she's using, what they're used for generally, and so on. She also keeps watch on Celeste's life force, as she gets more and more gunk cleared out.
Better an unhappy camper than a dead one. Micah doesn't let her move. And he's strong, though the strength is restrained. He doesn't want to hurt her, just keep her still. He nods to Amy, relaxing at her words. "Probably not poison, then. I wonder... could it be related to that idol thing I saw in that vision I had?" His eyes are still that pale hazel color, so he's keeping watch on Celeste's life force too. And, incidentally, seeing Amy's as well. He watches what Amy does, paying attention. Maybe there's going to be a quiz after.
Celeste's life force is steady but the darkness and miscoloration is darker than any one person should boast, not faint like something in the process of dying. There's a seemingly endlessly supply of mucus and snot but finally she's mostly clear and draws a deeeep breath, coughs which ejects more frothy snot from her lungs...and breaths deep again-and instantly her condition improves. Her eyes clear, and the dark blodges covering the usual overwhelming brightness of her life energies begins to evaporate-much like the pea-soup color mist that leaves her mouth.
Amy's? Well, Amy's pretty healthy right at the moment. Nice solid and healthy Mandrake/Royal yup. Life force steady and even. She gets out of the way as Celeste coughs, taking a moment to clean up her hands and tools enough to be clear of the goop. "That's better," she says easily enough, still watching as Celeste purges whatever it is out. There's a bit of satisfaction in her voice at the same time.
Micah watches, and once Amy relaxes and Celeste starts getting better, Micah's hands ease back and he releases her. He glances to Amy then. "How'd she get so bad as to be unable to purge it before it got so bad?" As though poor Celeste isn't laying /right there/.
Celeste is silent, focused on breathing, exhaling, drawing in another sweet clean breath.. then falls back into the bed wearily as her fever breaks and her skin heals before their very eyes.
"I'm not sure, but maybe once she's feeling better, Celeste can tell us?" Amy says. "I have to guess whatever it is comes on fast, and blocks her breathing."
Micah watches Celeste, but nods to Amy. "That would make sense. What kinds of things come on fast like that?" It's a learning experience, of course. And now that Celeste is getting better, one he intends to take advantage of.
Celeste pants raggedly and glances between the two, "Held my breath." as if this somehow explains everything.
Amy considers that for a moment. And then she says, "You held your breath on purpose, which made you sick- but why did you hold your breath?" She's got an idea, perhaps, to judge by the look on her face. "That almost makes sense now, Celeste." She pauses and then looks over at Micah. "Not much will come on that fast, really. Unless, of course, one holds their breath."
Micah blinks at Celeste. "But... Why?" He looks back and forth between the two women now. "If Amy hadn't come along, you could have died." He sounds like he really believes that. He glances to Amy and nods, at her answer. "That makes sense. But.. I still don't understand why she held her breath."
Celeste looks abashed, "I'm sorry, I...hrrm. I didn't want Corwin to see... I couldn't leave fast enough by the time I realized I was in trouble." She frowns, "I probably wouldn't have lived but I could have...nevermind, just. I'm ok now." She exhales, "sometimes it gets bad, has me coughing and leaves in visable mist. I didn't want corwin to see and get nosey since he's in settle the score mode."
"Well, since Corwin sent a note, I think maybe he noticed?" Amy says softly, glancing at Micah and then back to Celeste.
Micah frowns and looks over to Amy. "That man is trouble," he says. Obviously, he means Corwin. He sits on the edge of the bed and offers a hand to Celeste. He glances back to Amy again and nods. "It would seem he noticed something, at least. He said you were apparently unwell," he says, looking at Celeste.
Celeste looks abashed, "I passed out in the hallway I think. I KNOW I got out of here before I did."
Amy moves to pat Celeste on the shoulder. Those two scales are starting to fade, but they are there, sort of visible. "It's okay, Celeste. It seems uncle Corwin decided to help, rather than let you die." She shrugs a bit, not sure what it was all about.
Micah looks back to Celeste and catches one of her hands with his. He glances over to Amy. His eyes rest on those two scales for a moment, and then he nods. "But why did he send /me/ the note, rather than one of the Mandrakes that's more well known here?" He glances to Celeste and smiles to her. "It's okay. I'm just glad he decided to send the note."
Celeste exhales, "You my have been the only one home, Micah, did it have your name on it?"
Amy shrugs, cause she surely can't answer that one. "No clue," she admits. "But I suppose I could go ask him?"
Micah shakes his head to Celeste's question. "No, it didn't, now that I think about it." He pats Cel's shoulder. "Feeling better now?" He must not be looking with his sight anymore, since his eyes are back to their normal warm hazel color.
Celeste pats Micah's hand, "i'm sorry for the fright. I'm ok. Truely. It...uh. Happens...time to time."
Amy now moves to finish cleaning up the gunk so it doesn't stick around to infect anyone else. "Not pretty, that. But I'm glad we could help." Once she's done, she comes back over to give Celeste a hug.
Micah shakes his head to Celeste and smiles at her. "It's okay. Nothing to be sorry for. I'm family, I'm allowed to worry about you." He glances to Amy and then back to Celeste again. "Both of us are, and are allowed to be worried about you."
Celeste blinks at the hug and pats Amy's shoulder, "Yeah, gross, I'm sorry. I...might need your help. you've had some practice walking?"
"Shadow? Maybe a bit," Amy says with a laugh. "What do you need?" She looks at Micah and then back to Celeste.
Micah seems to have no ideas, here. He settles his hands on his lap and is quiet, listening.
Celeste exhales, "Not sure but. I...have to make some progress on my studies and testing in shadow is easier. Let me review my notes and I'll...crap. Nevemind, it'll be a bit. I'm to manage....er. I promised your brother I'd help with...things."
Amy looks at Celeste, and then she says, "Martin, I assume? Alright. I have a few things on the go, as you can likely imagine. But if you need me to take you out into Shadow, let me know. I never object to working on my hellrides."
Micah looks between the two, curiousity visible in his expression. His eyes settle on Amy. "Hellrides?"
Celeste shakes her head, "heeeeelll no. You can go and call me, once I've been somewhere I can walk there myself." She lets Amy expain hellrides.
"Chicken," Amy tells Celeste. Yes, she is Random's daughter, and sometimes it shows. "Micah, you've gone out into shadow, right? Travelled between the two? A hellride is when you shift the shadows really really fast, usually but not always on horseback."
"Ahh. That was actually kind of fun. Only been the once. With Syeira and Prince Gino. On horses. It was the /last/ part of that trip, after we'd already stopped, that wasn't so much fun." Micah looks between the two.
Celeste looks to Micah, "it's unpleasant. Thus hellride. Bad weather, hostile creatures, rough seas, and abrupt transitions. Not recreational."
Amy grins a little roguishly. "Well, depends on who is doing the shifting, but yeah. It's usually a lot of unexpected things on each shift." She takes a breath and says, "We should probably get you home now, Celeste. You okay to walk or should I get some of the cute guy squad to help you?"
Celeste smirks, "Depends, how much of a pain in the ass youj really wanna be?"
Micah looks to Celeste and shrugs a bit. "Oh, I don't know. The ride was great. I had a blast. But getting splattered with black, gungky blood that smelled horrible wasn't so much fun. That was after the shifting was done." He glances to Amy and then back to Celeste again. "If she can't walk, I'll carry her. The cute guy squad needs their arms free to do their protective duty." He smiles sweetly between the two of them.
Celeste lifts an eyebrow, "that's downright responsible. I'm not gonna make you carry me, kid." she offers a hand, "Could use a hand up, though."
"Well, when you put it that way, Celeste," Amy starts, with a wink. "No, but Micah - there's shifting, and then there's a hellride. Not all shifting equals hellride, my friend. Not by far. Usually there would only be a hellride in an emergency." She moves to the door to get the guards. "Lady Celeste needs your help. Please be gentle." She snorts at Micah. "They can go one on each side of Celeste and help balance her, and still probably beat most things one handed."
"Who said anything about 'make'?" Micah looks at Celeste, entirely innocent. He narrows his eyes at Amy. "Are you saying I'm not capable of helping our Cousin?" He rises from the bed and gets out of the way, though.
Celeste rolls her eyes, "OH good lord just give me a hand and I'll walk for the love of all that's holy."
Amy laughs. "Are you saying you're not capable of protecting me?" Hah. Ahem. "But I want to be more of a pain in the ass, so you know, two guards, all nice and formal to help Celeste back home. Ought to go over really well, if anyone sees us." She laughs again, as the guards do help Celeste to her feet. They then stick close while they make sure she's not going to keel over.
Micah snickers and grins at Amy. "That is kind of what I was referring to, yes." He winks at her. Then grins at Celeste. "You'll survive, Cousin."
Celeste eyes Micah, "You try anything I'm shifting, see you carry a dragon."
Micah laughs outright this time. "I'm sure between them, Amy's guards will still be able to figure out how to carry you," he points out. He lets the two guards do their thing, though, and them help Celeste as Amy's requested. And back to the manor they go!
--[ Grounds(#3840RJ0) ]---------------------------------[ Mandrake Manor ]----
Behind the gated wall, the grounds of Mandrake Manor spread out in an
even carpet of green. The path from the gate to the house is paved
with flagstones, maintained well but not perfectly - a few places
looking to have been recently relaid with new stone. The entire
expanse of the sprawling lawn on either side of the stone-laid pathway
is well tended with a thick carpet of grass. About the manor are seen
recent signs of renovations and repair. Freshly laid stone along the
walls, newly planted landscaping which are careful to leave little
cover from the eyes of guards in black and gold who regularly patrol
the grounds. The house itself is a wide, two-story affair, spread low
across the land and marked by a portico around the lower level, and
balconies up above, topped with a clay tile roof of earthy red. The
house too looks to be recently restored to it's former glory, fresh
carpentry, plaster, and paint make the house look nearly brand new and
speak of loving restoration.
The flagstone path leads north to the manor itself, and one can also
stroll along the porch, or go around back to the gardens.
--[ lhelp ]---------------------------------------
Celeste amnles along wearily but determinedly. She makes it across the lawn to make it to the porch and just sinks down bonelessly onto the stairs, exhaling heavily.
Once they make it back to the manor, the company splits up. Amy and her crew head off to do Amy-like things. Micah remains with Celeste, hovering close and watchful. He's right there when she starts sinking down, and an arm goes around her to help ease her descent to the stairs. "Are you alright?"
Celeste nods and pats his shoulder, "I'm just tired." She leans her head against a pillar, "Do me a favor? Don't tell Lucian, or Quina about this."
Micah tilts his head ever so slightly, and nods. He keeps his arm around her shoulders, clearly worried about her. "Well, I can avoid telling Lucian if you like," he says. "I'm afraid I sent messengers to find Amy and Quina, though. When I got the note from Corwin." Whoops.
Celeste siiighs, "Well. This shold be interestering. She asked me last time if she could kill Corwin."
Micah tilts his head a bit and studies Celeste. "She's not the only one I know who doesn't care much for Corwin."
Celeste notes, "Corwin's cost every family in Amber, so much. No one in this city, not the citizens, not the peerage, not the palace, are without causualties because of him."
Micah nods to that. "I need to take some history lessons," he admits. "What did he do, anyway?"
Celeste exhales, "Well he was King of Amber, and what I understand he was a terrible king. He was king when I returned to Amber but I didn't give a rat's ass about anything or anyone or myself so I didn't have to put up with him. Then he abandons amber and dissapears, to create another kingdom-apparently to combat the black road and while there's some short term benefit it was just another ruse by chaos to perpetuate itself and gain a stronger toehold on reality-unlike everyone else who eventually figures this out or dies-corwin's managed to survive and hasn't figured it out. Over the course of the last decad he's tried to march on Amber several times, each getting more and more desperate. He even talked Deirdre, his most trusted family member into sacrificing herslf at the foot of the stairs that lead to Kolvir from Tir-solidifying a silver road in the sky for his armies to march on, he sacrificd himself. long before that, though he'd recruited knights to fight the road, conning people with lies and false pretenses. Benedict lost a son to Corwin, and many houses of Amber lost relatives. I lost a sister in law and a cousin-he is a puppet of a sentient force which TERRIFIES me..." She exhales, "And who's sibling, or counter sentient part-resides at this house and scares me no less than Gram does." She looks wry, "How do I condense a decade of wars, and realizations, a kingdom's struggles, into a nutshell? I'm orry."
Micah listens quietly, nodding here and there as he takes in her words. He frowns as she says she didnt' give a rat's ass about anything or anyone or herself, but doesn't comment. When she mentions Corwin's family and sacrifices, he stiffens, visibly. He listens quietly after that, expression very, very much troubled.
Celeste looks to Micah, "the me you know is very recent. For the last three hundred and fourty some odd years, I've been a pirate, and more recently a mercenary. There's a reason I was able to steer the house around all the petty and cut-throat politics of the royals and our rivals. As I squawk about other people's failings, it bears noting I've a long list of my own." She exhales, "anyway. Those loyal to him, those around him, are all acceptable causualties but somehow that charm of his means people KEEP falling for it. KEEP loosing their souls, their sanity, their lives-and for what? So he can still compltely fail and get drop-kickd to his festering sore of a kingdom? The silver road was a threat to Amber-it was literally sheering it's metaphysics apart-Fiona had no choice but to remove it's hold on tir-she didn't know that it would destroy Deirdre. It shattered Deirdre into a million peices. Her youngest son, a dear, dear friend of mine-mourned for his mother and spent more than a year gathering every last bit of her and miraculosly restored her-but only in part, she's still little more than a living ghost when I last saw her which was some time ago....and I /defy/ you to find anything remotely close to remorse for ...anything. the man simply...doesn't grasp accountability."
Celeste says, "He would spend a thousand lives for two empty minutes of showmanship, if that's what it took. Family or strangers-it never has made any difference to me." She frowns, "He threatened this family, he realized it was the wrong move but I think maybe, he could understand that a bit better."
Micah and Celeste are sitting on the steps up to the porch. Celeste appears to be leaning against a pillar. Micah is sitting next to her, half turned to face her so he can listen to what she's saying. His expression is troubled. More so than just the history lesson would account for. "You remember when I showed you those drawings, Cousin?" The ones of the Pattern, of course.
Celeste looks wry, "the pattern, yes." she's seated on the stairs, leaned wearily against a column.
Tessa enters the grounds, carrying a small box under one arm.
Micah considers her for a moment, and then offers her a lopsided smile. "There's a reason I got you focused on who my teacher was, that night. I didn't want you to ask after what my bloodline is. Mostly because I don't know who my father is." There's something to his expression, though. Like he might have an idea.
Celeste rubs Micah's back, "you're mandrake, that's all I care. Anything else-a bridge to cross when you come to it. Never you worry. If you're royal not a soul amongst them that scares me, least of all Corwin. This is the only family that matters, and you can stand with us if the skies get stormy." she kisses his cheek then Rises wearily with a grunt, tidying her hair a bit as Tessa approaches, "Tessa."
Privately, to Micah, Celeste is suddenly fussying and tidying as if wanting to look her best for Tessa. Odd.
Tessa pauses at the voice, pulling at the tip of her hat in respect to the two nobles.
Micah smiles briefly to Celeste and nods. "Thank you, Cousin," he says to her. His smile returns at the kiss to his cheek. And then he watches as she stands up, and glances to follow her gaze. He smiles. "Good evening, Tessa. How are you?" He looks completely back to normal. He looks back up to Celeste, and frowns. He looks back to Tessa, and then back to Celeste. He's looking between the pair of them, expression curious.
"Very well. Just making a brief delivery to the kitchen, as requested." Tessa says, before spotting Micah looking back between them rapidly. "What?"
Celeste beckons to Tessa then wearily eases back down to the stairs, beckoning, "C'mon, not allowed in the kitchen but the staff will take it. come hav a seat?" She looks between the pair, "You two know each other?"
Micah shakes his head to Tessa's question. "Nothing. Nothing at all," he says. He glances to Celeste and nods. "Yes, we do. Tessa watched over me in the hospital during the second phase of that nastyness I had." He looks back to Tessa. "If you have time, you're most welcome to join us."
Privately, to Micah, Celeste's cheeks color and her gaze is a sharp 'be cool, man, be cool!'.
"I'd like to, but I should retire." Tessa says after a moment's hesitation. "If you two will excuse me." She bows, respectfully, then withdraws.
Celeste squints suspiciously after Tessa, "Weird."She seems to make a mental note then leans back, "Ah well."
RPG: Micah declares that he has the Observation (SKL-OB) gift. Use '+gift SKL-OB' to view the gift description. Last edit: 48 months ago.
Micah offers a nod to Tessa. "Good night," he says. He glances over to Celeste and studies her thoughtfully. "You like her, don't you?"
Celeste blushs, "We were lovers once. It didn't end well. she slighted Quina to force me to end things-when I tried to reconcile she spewed venom revealing she'd slighted family to be rid of me." She shrugs, " I'm not smart, married still can't help...meh." she waves her stump, "You know how it goes."
Micah is quiet, listening, thoughtful. Finally, he nods. Now it's his turn to reach out and pat Celeste on the back. "Yeah. I now how it goes. I think I may have gotten things worked out with Fleur. I hope. We'll see." He rises to his feet and offers his hand. "Come on, Cousin. Let's get you inside so you can rest. I need to go think." His look says, 'Take the hand, or I will pick you up and carry you.'.
Celeste grins and takes the hand and gives him a sisterly kiss on his cheek and wanders inside.