2010021114 - A Warning is Delivered

Mon Feb 14 00:40:34 2011 - Winter


1001 Nights: Courtyard — Clarke Street: South
Following the decadently Persian theme of the club, the lighted courtyard draws attention whenever the weather allows its doors to open. The floor is tiled with ceramic in ivory and gold, a large mosaic in the center of the area depicts a group of women moving seductively over a bare-chested man completely at their mercy. The walls are adobe and high, preventing anyone within from seeing the street beyond and vice versa. Strings of golden lights brighten the area, assisting the many brass torches that flicker in even the faintest breeze. Brass-trimmed tables with ceramic tile tops in mosaics depicting seductive scenes reminiscent of the Kama Sutra. Darkness comes early as thick clouds block the fading light of grey day. Freezing rain and sleet fall, coating everything with ice and making the ground slippery. Raw winds blow from the east. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop. There is about forty-four and one quarter inches of snow on the ground.
Speakers are hidden carefully throughout the courtyard and pipe in the heavy beat of the Arabian-based music that plays inside. Four large brass braziers are carefully arranged throughout the area, providing tantalizing hints of warmth on chill nights, and the heady scents of frankincense, myrrh, and labdanum. The mixture is pungent but not at all unpleasant, and at times can be almost dizzying to those near enough to seek the heat of the braziers.
Women and men of all races and a wide range of ages - though with uniformly attractive - move around and serve refreshments in their sheer ensembles, showing as much skin as they can legally manage. But however uncovered the servers may be, each costume is elegantly designed to accentuate their attractiveness, from color to material to cut of fabric.



Early evening, and Valentine's day at that. In the Main Floor of the Night's, there are dancers on stage. Out here, however, there is just Lexine. The staff knows where she is, of course, and the Skulk Queen sits upon a table, smoking a cigarette, drinking a glass of wine.

Robert is not the Valentine's Day type, and he looks suitably awkward and uncomfortable, focusing on the bar as he arrives. He glances over when directed towards her and turns his footsteps in her direction. "Lexine." The single word greeting is given with a nod of acknowledgement, the man offering a hand, polite but awkward. "I wondered if you have a moment to speak."

Lexine snuffs out her cigarette in a small mound of snow on the side of the table. "Robert," she greets, and offers him the hand that she hadn't been smoking with. "Lovely to see you. What can I do for you, luv?"

Robert takes her hand, shaking it, his own calloused, warm but the grip not turning it into a contest, and he makes a briefly polite gesture before he sits, a request for permission. "There are two things." His face is serious and he lowers his voice to keep it between the two of them. "The wolf that is killing these people used my name to attempt to lure the Oba last night. I wished to warn you to avoid trusting someone who introduces themselves as me."

Lexine gestures for Robert to sit, and the flirtatious demeanor is dropped for a more serious one. She's angled, so only Robert can see this, her Fox Business face. "I've heard of the murders…horrid things. And they call us the monsters." Bitter, there. "I'll let my people know who you are. What you look like. A word that can be given, along with an introduction on your part. Something simple."

"I spoke with other leaders, and we agree that "how now brown cow" seems an unlikely password for proof." Robert's reply is serious, and there is a hint of weariness about him as he leans his hands on the table, lightly meshing the fingers. "The murder details are such that …" He shakes his head, biting off the end of the phrase before he lifts his gaze back to her face. "I wished to ensure that my name is not used."

"How now brown cow," Lexine repeats. "Easy enough to remember. Not likely to come up from most people." Lexine leans foward slightly, and her lips twist down into a frown. She places a hand on Robert's shoulder, a little squeeze given. "You don't seem the kind of man to do such things. It's not in your eyes. I'll let the foxes know. I've already got them on alert."

The unexpected touch brings from him a wry smile, a black humor in his eyes. "I am grateful for your words, Lexine. I have never been glad of meetings overnight before but it gave me witnesses, and the Oba and I shared a coffee the day before, so she knew me." He sighs, reaching up to lightly touch her hand, his face serious once more. "Lexine, as Ulfric of my Pack, I offer you both friendship and alliance in these troubled times. I seek to make this council where we can gather and speak of these problems neutrally, even if you wish no alliance."

There is a long moment of pause before Lexine replies. It is not a quick decision, one with thought in it. "The Skulk and the Lukoi were once allies. Back when Yiska, rest his soul, was Ulfric of the pack. Since his loss…I have been not of the heart to make an alliance with another Ulfric. Especially ones that would not even return my calls." She shakes her head. "But these are troubled times. I agree that a Council should be made…a place of equal respect on neutral ground. Friendship, I happily take. An Alliance, I will have to think on."

Robert nods slowly, accepting her words with both understanding and a measure of sympathy. "Friendship may be the best starting point. I will begin the process of arranging the Council in a neutral place." The taciturn man avoids the emotional side of the agreement, giving her a steady, impassive nod. "And take care, Lexine." Those words are softly spoken. "If me or mine can do anything to aid you and yours… not protect, you understand, .. then ask me."

Lexine smiles, faintly. "Consider it an offer given in kind. If there's something the foxes can do for you…" She lets her voice trail off there. "Good luck, Robert. I'm sorry for your many losses, in such a short time."

"Thank you, Lexine. It has been…" He hesitates, a flicker of a smile without humor in it before he finds the right words. "Interesting times." He rises though, offering a light touch on her shoulder as he turns to face her. "All this shall pass." He speaks the words as if he often repeats that.

Lexine chuckles dryly. "May you live in interesting times. I've heard those words were supposed to be a curse, and the older I get, the more I think it true." She shakes her head. "Take care of yourself, and yours, Robert. Be well."

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