2017-10-07: The Handover

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  • Log: The Handover
  • Cast: Cecilia Adlehyde, Lily Keil, Loren Voss, Seraphita
  • Where: Bledavik - Royal Palace
  • Date: October 7th 2017
  • Summary: Cecilia surrenders herself to Aveh, just as various parties had been hoping she might be induced to do, and arrives with her maid. But is all as it seems...?

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Now that it's happening, it seems sudden. But Kahm Yugh and Loren Voss have been working on Cecilia Adlehyde for some amount of time, attempting capture via Kent Hauch, working their way into her circle with sweet-sounding lies and promises of great support. The girl is a princess; she could only be out here because she didn't have a choice, such as for instance if her army was ravaged and then a bunch of jerks took over her sweet castle.

Which leads us to now, as Cecilia Lynn Adlehyde is led from a Smith & Luio convoy (or whatever that would be called by Gebler...) into the entry hall of the Royal Palace. She doesn't look much the princess, right now, with her hair cut short and her blue traveling outfit dusted by the desert sands. She's clutching a single red suitcase in both hands, and looking around with an openly worried eye. She has placed herself in the hands of unknowns. Now, to earn her trust.

Prime Minister Shakhan will be along shortly, presumably.

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Cecilia Adlehyde, looking like a Princess or not, is not alone. There is a tall woman just behind and to the side of her, deferential, clad in black and white, a maid's attire. Of course such a girl would have someone to serve her needs here.

Why would she be completely alone?

She has been led with the smaller young woman and is wearing only a small satchel of necessary objects. She is blonde, with very long hair kept back behind her shoulders, with a single golden eye visible; there is an eyepatch covering the left, and the remnants of a wound down the same. It is not healing well, by the looks of it.

Her hands are bare, completely smooth, though a keen eye will spot some sort of makeup. She is smiling once to try to be reassuring, but overall seems to be... fretting.

Iris comments, "Please, Your Highness, I wish you would let me carry that for you." The brace at her left wrist may not allow that so well, but she seems terribly sincere. "You have enough to occupy you without your things."

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

The plan had been simple, as far as plans of this type were: attempt to bring Cecilia Lynn Adlehyde, noted wayward princess and a political piece left unattended on the somewhat upended chess board of Ignas politics into their confidence, and from there, their control. Naturally, the particulars were somewhat more involved, but when you strip it down to its basics, Loren thinks...

He just hadn't expected things to turn in their favor so quickly.

They had received word ahead of today that the princess would be relinquishing herself into their -- well, and the Prime Minister's -- control, and thus the appropriate preparations have already been made.

There are of course soldiers present in the hall -- not enough to be an arresting force, they're largely for show -- but the soldiers aren't merely from the Aveh ranks.

It's a little regretful, but this is about where the charade ends for 'Thomas Blackwell, innocent medical student' -- his presence as Gebler support staff, standing alongside more senior officers, makes that an impossibility.
At least, for the women entering the hall here. Save for his choice of uniform, 'Thomas' is... otherwise the same.

His gaze flickers from Cecilia to her maid. Lingers on the maid for a moment or two.
...Lamb women certain have a knack for terrible injury. Maybe there's more than one reason why Cecilia had wanted to relinquish herself to Aveh's care.

A soldier approaches and indicates that the maid, 'Iris', should hand over her belongings... and the suitcase. "Standard security, miss," she says. "We must check your bags."

<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

Seraphita had been told she would have to ensure the safety of the princess and her entourage at all costs for the duration of her stay in Bledavik. Put in such simple terms, even the hyperactive rabbit beastwoman could understand and perfectly execute such actions.

The problem was the memo attached to the orders.
The princess must feel as comfortable as possible and actions must be taken to ensure her cooperation and prevent hiccups.

And so it is that the approaching soldier isn't alone as he prepares to examine the princess and her maid's baggages. Seraphita - dressed in her standard red and pink outfit, sans skirt, the uniform of the Elements - approaches, holding in one hand a glass of water and, with her other arm, holding up an almost two foot high fluffy rabbit with beady, creepy yellow eyes. It isn't a plush toy, given its occasional whisker twitches.

"Hiiiii! While mister checks your bags you should take this water in case you have hiccups! Make sure to drink it upside down, it always works for me!! Also you can pet Mr. Shoutshout if you want, he's fluffy and will cheer you up!" If Cecilia accepts the glass of ice cool water, Seraphita craddles up Mr. Shoutshout with both arms, the Shriekbun staring intently at Cecilia and trying to determine if she's a provider of pets or a jerk.

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Cecilia's eyes are on the soldiers. Only slowly does she half-turn to look at her maid. "Ah....Iris," she says, quietly. "I can do at least this much." Her lips purse together, keeping an eye around. She finds 'Thomas' amid the crowd, and it takes her a moment - it's been a while, and their acquaintance was not terribly deep - but her brow creases as she recognizes him. For a moment, there's something in those eyes, but--the soldier approaches, and Cecilia lets him talk to Iris, like proper royalty.

"Oh, very well," she says, attempting to remember the way some of the snootier girls at school had acted, and releases her suitcase to examine. "Do try not to have too much fun," she mutters.

The suitcase contains a few outfits - not many, all ruggedized for travel - and a fair bit of gear, including a few sorcerous Tools, and four stone plates that serve no apparent purpose unless one happens to know that they are Mediums.

Cecilia motions to Iris, first to indicate that they likely won't get anything from resisting this moment - and then with more open confusion as she is ACCOSTED BY A WEIRDO

...Cecilia's hand rises up involuntarily, more in alarm than anything. "I'm...fine?" she says, slowly, and now the look she gives Iris is a little closer to open confusion. what sorcery is this. oh no they let weird people into the palace now...

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Iris Becker, beleagured maid, looks wide-eyed at the various soldiers, lingering only briefly on the Aveh ranks to admire(?) the Gebler ranks ahead of them. She even spots 'Thomas Blackwell', but sticks close to her mistress amidsts all of this.

She looks away quickly as 'Thomas' studies her, studying him shyly in return. It is a triumph of her poker face that she maintains the same little fretting smile as she takes in her acquaintance's uniform.

That is, as an ordinary maid, she doesn't know him clearly. Instead, the soldier approaches her, and Iris blinks a wide eye at him. "Oh yes!" she replies, "Certainly." She dips her head and pulls her satchel from her shoulder, offering it out to the soldier quickly.

"Ah," Iris announces, "Mr. Shoutshout is so cute!" A pause, "Please be careful. My medicine is in here." She looks terribly embarrassed to mention it. But when her bag is investigated, a variety of well-packed items will be included: a bag of apple candies, a first aid kit, a sewing kit, a set of small bottles and syringes that can easily be identified as painkillers, a tub of heavy-duty skin cream (burns? scars), makeup, a single change of clothes, and a dog-eared romance novel that assuredly stays far away from the princess.

This close it becomes a bit more obvious that she's wearing a necklace as well, which she moves to put a hand over. It's a Nisan cross.

"They're so kind, Your Highness. You know how I worry..." Too much fun? Of course not. "But please do be careful," she says to Seraphita. "If that isn't too impertinent of me..."

<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"He is! I saved him from an awful tower full of killer robots!" Seraphita explains to Iris, holding out the Shriekbun for the maid and princess to see. "Normally Shriekbuns are really loud! Mr. Shoutshout only yells when he isn't being taken care of though!" One of her gloved hands frees itself from carrying the large rabbit and pets it on the head. Pat pat pat.

Oh, how rude. Seraphita is reminded to say hello proper.

"I'm sorry, I didn't say my name! That was impolite of me, oh no, oh no! I'm Seraphita, I'm in charge of your security! That means if someone attacks you I'm allowed to set them on fire!" She seems rather honest, for a lack of being calm.

"But hopefully no one will do that, of course!"

Don't you feel so much safer already?
At least, missing skirt aside, the emblems on her uniform certainly imply she's above the file and rank by a fair bit, if either Cecilia or her maid have the slightest inkling of how Gebler and Solaris ranks work.
It's probably something to do with shoulderpads and collars.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

If he had any doubts -- the eyepath might have, under different circumstances and without the level of garb and concealment a certain woman has applied, prompted some -- they're assuaged as she regards him the same way most surfacedwellers do the Gebler officers. Wide-eyed, uncertain admiration, vague fear.

Seraphita trots up to greet Cecilia. Shriekbun in tow.

Oh no, Loren thinks, his expression impressively not so much as twitching an iota, she brought that thing with her.
There have been nights, terrible nights, where the shriekbun has, true to its name, shrieked seemingly endlessly. There's been more than a few reasons why he has all-but-embraced his fieldwork lately.

For now, the blasted thing is blessedly silent.

"Thank you, miss. We'll be careful with it."
Taking the baggage, the soldier is joined by another as they begin the process of sifting through the princess and her poor beleagured maid's belongings. True to word, there is indeed medication in the one bag -- but little else of note -- while the other has more interesting but not, considering Cecilia's education, unexpected items.

A distance away, Loren's gaze settles on the stone tablets as they're lifted from the suitcase. Aren't those...
He's certain they are. They're Mediums, though to what use she could put them remains uncertain. He lifts a hand, readjusting his glasses.

He'll make a note, but they aren't necessarily better or worse a risk than the other tools she's carrying.

At some length, the soldiers complete their sweep of the baggage contents and, approaching the princess and maid once more, return them. "Here you are. Our apologies for the intrusion."
Their belongings aren't much worse the wear, if perhaps not left entirely as they were found.

Technically speaking, Cecilia is a 'guest', a 'guest' of royal lineage at that, and thus naturally recipient of a certain level of treatment.
For now, at least.

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Cecilia eyes the bun vaguely nervously, because she is in an unknown situation with unknown people and being presented with some manner of Bun Beast. But when Iris coos at it, Cecilia tentatively puts hand forth to briefly pat the creature when Seraphita demonstrates doing so does not cause her to combust. "Ah. You'll be my guard, then? That's lovely. It is good to meet you, Seraphita." Her eyes briefly slide to Iris, silently wondering her opinion.

It's brief, before she returns her hands to herself, quietly accepting the bags. She doesn't check them again, certainly not here. Her eyes slide back up toward Loren, but before she could say anything--

"Princess," rumbles the voice of a man who takes speaking lessons to make himself sound better. The Prime Minister strides through the main arch of the palace; Shakhan is a stern man, bald and berobed, but there is a smile playing at his face that betrays his truly sincere pleasure that the Princess has been safely recovered and no other subtle element. He briefly scans the duo. "It has been many years since I saw you, Princess Cecilia," he says, with the deference of a man who, despite power, does not belong to one of the Seven Families. "But you appear to have become a fine young woman. It is so terribly good to see you safely here."

Cecilia takes one look at him and something catches in her throat. Iris may need to cover for a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"F-fire?" 'Iris' asks nervously. "Oh, my..." She nods a moment belatedly, "Ah, yes, it's lovely to meet you. And Mr. Shoutshout!" She may faint, to look at her. Why does she have to do all of this? Though... She glances at Cecilia in turn. Her reassuring smile surely does not conceal anything else.

"My name is Iris. Iris Becker. I am here as a humble servant to Her Highness..." She bows lightly, "I'm sure we'll be very safe with you."

Iris is obviously fascinated by all the shiny emblems on Seraphita's uniform, downright dazzled for a moment. ...Iris, not being a special forces operative who has fought Gebler before, obviously has no idea of what they are.

As for Loren, the maid is all deference... Or almost all deference. She does stuck close to Cecilia. The soldier at least reassures her. Clearly the maid must know how to apply a syringe, but that's hardly unusual.

With her belongings returned, Iris takes her satchel back, obviously favoring one hand as she does. The Prime Minster steps in, and Iris watches him in return, always sure to look at him only out of the corners of her eyes. Looking directly upon him would be unseemly. He speaks... And she curtsies, despite the pain in her hand.

"Ah! If it has been so long, then please, allow me to introduce her again to you properly." She takes a breath, and steps to the side, curtseying again perfectly to present, "Princess-Medium Cecilia Adlehyde, of the Kingdom of Adlehyde, Daughter of Justin, Bearer of the Teardrop."

A faint, small smile. "She has had a terribly difficult journey up to this point... Please forgive her being somewhat overcome." Another deep bow of her head. Iris then... slips into her satchel, and slips Cecilia a candy. Dotingly.

<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

"It's nice to meet you too!!!" Seraphita responds with far too much enthusiasm. Is she really a soldier? Time will tell, surely, though it's certainly unusual to see a beastwoman in Gebler ranks, especially one who's neither blonde nor blue-eyed. "And yep, on fire!" she even confirms for Iris. "That way they learn not to attack you anymore!" You know, if they live. No promises.

It's at the sight of the minister that Mr. Shoutshout becomes agitated - having not budged an inch even as the princess offered it adoration. Seraphita squeezes the Shriekbun tightly. "No no, no shouting! Go back to the dorms, c'mon!"

She sets it down. Beady yellow eyes stare into the depths of Shakhan's soul in the way only a cat's eyes normally can, judging the man harshly for no particular reason. Mr. Shoutshout withdraws back into the palace interior, the guards having learned not to disturb the screechy beast.

"Hi mister minister sir!" Seraphita then says, chipper as ever. She's largely incapable of disliking people in the strict sense of the term, so she doesn't share much of the disdain that goes around regarding the bald man.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

It is unusual for someone with Seraphita's background to advance so high in the ranks... but perhaps that speaks most highly of her skills -- and of the Commander's own views of how hierarchy and promotion within the ranks ought to work.
There are certain things that can be said about Seraphita's nature, but what she does (setting people on fire) she is immensely talented at (there weren't even bones left the last time).

Loren manages to keep his face expressionless throughout the exchange between beastwoman and princess.

His gaze briefly meets Cecilia's. There is no knowing look, no embarrassment or chagrin. Just a silent acknowledgement of a fact she has likely already realized: he wasn't who he said he was.
Is it possible they've been keeping tabs on her...?

The Prime Minister enters, to salute from the Aveh soldiers.
But not Gebler. Then again, they're not from Aveh, are they...?

The shriekbun flails in Seraphita's grip.
Loren straightens a touch, as if in anticipation of a very loud noise.
But perhaps to his relief -- even after a tense second once it's set down -- nothing comes of it. The creature scurries away. ...Hopefully without going off somewhere to scream, he thinks, slowly exhaling a breath.

Proper introductions take place. Blue eyes flicker over to the maid, linger for a second, then skirt over to Cecilia once again. He makes no move, instead watching for now.

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

Shakhan's presence is chilling, in a way. Surely this is the presence of a man widely respected, as people fall quiet at his approach. Yes...good. As they should.

Shakhan's eyes fall on Seraphita and stay there for a good four seconds, before he pulls in a quiet breath and returning his eyes to - Iris. "'Princess-Medium,'" he echoes, lowly. "A title you share with Alexia Lynn Elesius, as I recall." A low tsk, and a shake of his head. "The rumors of divine protection seem far away now, don't they? With Alexia gone, and Adlehyde..." He motions one hand in a small sweeping motion. No more need be said.

Cecilia clutches her suitcase tightly and looks him directly in the eyes as he speaks, her jaw tight for some strange reason.

He smiles, a thin curl of his lips. "But you do not need spirits to protect you now. The mightiest military on the planet will see your needs fulfilled." He opens one hand wide. "We will talk particulars later," he notes. "We will surely need to announce your return to safe hands to your people. They will wish to know that their Princess is found."

Cecilia stays quiet and just...watches him. When it becomes apparent that that was actually all he needed to say, she slowly draws in a breath, and says, with a voice like glass, "Thank you for your kindness, Prime Minister. I...Iris, and I, have had many long trials. May we see our rooms?"

Shakhan chuckles. "Ah, yes...surely you must be exhausted," he clucks. He glances to Loren, then to Seraphita, and with the voice of a man who thinks he gets to give these orders, says, "Kindly see these two maidens to their chambers. For now, I have business to attend to." He turns to leave, but stops short with a half-turn, glancing over his shoulder to pierce Cecilia with his gaze. "And Princess...we shall speak later. Welcome to my palace."

Cecilia's knuckles turn white as her eyes turn down. She says, "Thank you."

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

That is a lot of enthusiasm. Iris remains surprised by it, but apparently gratified to look at her. "I'm happy we have such a friendly protector...!" Gently she claps her hands together--very gently. It doesn't even make a sound.

But the shriekbun... Well, Iris looks very nervously at it. Until it's set down and goes away. That's... That's really something.

But regardless of the Shriekbun, or if Loren's face and the fact that the Gebler soldiers do not salute... Iris doesn't show much awareness of things except to glance around nervously here and there.

Her attention wavers, but in truth she's focused on Shakhan. His words about divine protection cause her to close her hand about where her cross hangs. But much of what she does is watching Cecilia in turn. Cecilia takes the lead this time. Particulars...

Iris curtsies again. "Mm!" She does not dare to speak up too much in this case. After all, Shakhan barey acknowledged her. The mightiest military in the world...

"Thank you," she says pre-emptively to their escorts.

She avoids making eye contact with anyone for the moment. She may be plotting beneath that facade.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

She seems tense, Loren notes in silence. It's easy enough to recognize it for what it is. Uncertain about this course of action? Discomfort with Shakhan? The military presence in the hall? The source is unclear -- when they had spoken, she had seemed dead-set on protecting Filgaia and the statues...
Perhaps that's the reason, he decides. Unhappiness over the apparently necessary -- to see the state of her attendant -- need to relinquish herself into their collective protection.

For all her talk, in the end it came to nothing, it seems.

He's only halfway paying attention to the Prime Minister's statements. This is normal, probably.

Only when he and Seraphita are indicated -- nearly haphazardly at that, or at least it seems to him, considering the blatant ignorance of rank and who he has the right to command -- does Loren first bristle (slightly) and then nod (stiffly). "Sir."

This is unfortunately also a situation where he cannot complain. Not with such a valuable person in their midst, and the need to make the right impression.
Not to mention his own decidedly negative reputation, and thus the likelihood of things going Poorly for him if he causes any trouble.

Only after Shakhan takes his leave does he approach the princess and her attendant. "It appears we are to escort you to your chambers, princess. If you will follow us..."
He doesn't address or acknowledge Iris at all.

<Pose Tracker> Seraphita has posed.

Does Shakhan get to order Seraphita around?
She doesn't seem to question it. Or care! Actually, the bunny seems quite content to do what people say. She's simple-minded - and she knows it. She's happy like that. Smart people have no trouble impressing her, and impressing onto her the need to follow their plans.

"Yupyup, don't worry! You'll get a nice room with a good view of the city and all!" In a way, Seraphita was envious. It seemed that Shakhan's guests all got nice rooms in the upper levels of the castle. Suites, even. Sure, they're full of cameras and microphones, but she wouldn't mind! Compared to the bland, square Gebler dorms in the secret basement of the castle, the castle was beyond luxurious.

"Make sure you drink a lot though! With the sun out it gets kinda hot in the nice rooms, you wouldn't want to get sick because you're thirsty!" This helpful medical advice has been brought to you by Seraphita, who actually doesn't mind the heat due to her affinity with that particular element. But she cares!

"Oh! Oh! OH! We should pass by mister Vanderkaum's collection room thingy on the way there! He has all these super cool cannons from the past up on display!"

We'll never know why Shakhan lets him have such a large room for that.

<Pose Tracker> Cecilia Adlehyde has posed.

He gets to order around anyone who doesn't say no.

Cecilia slowly draws in a breath as Shakhan departs. His palace. HIS palace. HIS--

The guards step up; 'Thomas' and Seraphita. "That would be lovely," she says, vacuously, to Seraphita, and then turns her attention back to 'Thomas.' "Yes," she says, eyeing him thoughtfully. "It appears so." ... "You appear to be doing well for yourself," she says, finally daring to address the elephant in the room.

Seraphita's gushing gives her an odd look. "Ah, that might be nice to see, certainly," she says, with something resembling interest. Perhaps it's just playing nice with the guard she has to be close to. "I should quite like to--"


She stops walking abruptly.


She glances left and right, her free hand rising to her forehead as if suddenly afflicted by a terrible headache, but her gaze tracks off, breath slowing as she tries to focus.

I await you, Shaman.

"I," she rasps out. "...believe I would like to rest," she says, slowly. "It appears my travels were more exhausting than I expected."

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

Iris appears accustomed to not being directly acnowledged, simply falling in behind Cecilia at her flank, as per usual. ...She dos spot the stiff nod, of course. Hmmm.

Seraphita however offers more to say. A good view... And who knows how much surveillance. Probably a great deal. Shakhan is not forgotten, but he is gone for the moment. The gushing... "Ah yes, water is very important..."

She smiles to the soldiers who escort them, suddenly. "I do hope everything will be all right... It's been so difficult..." She glances between Cecilia and 'Thomas' at that, but says nothing about that. Instead, Cecilia looks to be afflicted by a headache, and her maid immediately steps up closer to her, setting the back of her hand against her forehead. "Oh," she says, worried. "Mm..." Fretting.

"Will we have to stay apart...? Her Highness's health after all these ordeals..." Though frankly, 'Iris' doesn't look so good herself. She might like to see the cannons herself. But that comes later. "Of course if it's necessary, then I... I understand..."

Time to test the limits a little.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

How much of the palace is technically wired up?

...All of it.

It probably wasn't included in the original designs, suffice to say.

His eyes meet Cecilia's. Acknowledgement that they've met before... but not much else. His expression doesn't so much as twitch; he holds that gaze with her for a long moment. "Mm. I suppose," is Loren's ultimate answer to her question, complete with a slight shake of the head.

Seraphita perhaps fortunately fills the gap his relative silence creates.
Though it's a safe bet that it's not so fortunate from his perspective.
His expression is perhaps carefully blank as his ranking officer chatters and chatters, the bulk of it tuned out -- at least until she brings up a certain topic.

A... tour of Vanderkaum's... collection? Visibly, Loren hesitates, crinkling his forehead. "Ma'am," and here's yet another clue that he and Seraphita are not of the same rank, "I'm not sure that's a good idea. That's--"

Though the issue might be pre-emptively resolved thanks to Cecilia receiving a sudden spiritual message, of a sort.

To his view, Cecilia comes to a stop as if suddenly stricken, which prompts him to pause in his tracks as well. "Princess?" he asks, leaning towards her as he attempts a sort of visual assessment. If she's fallen ill, that's a problem.

"...We can have medication sent around, if needed."