Author Topic: 12.23.2132 - Interview in Church  (Read 2526 times)

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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« on: May 23, 2008, 10:12:30 PM »
12.23.2132 - Interview in Church

It was 9 dawn-hand and Temmit and Renee stood in the open foyer of the east wing of the church. As Emma had warned, the guards didn't allow them entry during the morning sermon, even though the pair were indeed informed of Temmit and Renee’s arrival. So they simply waited for Emma to arrive in the frigid, high-ceiling room that was open to the winter elements on three of its four walls.

The fine crystals of snow, that had fallen the previous night, carried in on the freezing wind into the foyer. A vortex of white intermittently spun around the huge status of Kaine at the room's center. A guard with a push-broom worked hard to keep the snow from gathering too long in any one place on the floor.

The cloudy day was very cold.

Finally, the door opened from the inside and Emmanuelle stuck her head out. A swathe of warm air flowed past her and the guards and teased them with its welcome.

“Ah good, the two of you have arrived on time,” Emma stated in a condescending tone. A show for the guards lest they be suspicious. “I hope you have brought all that I require.”

Renee had told Temmit of Emma’s alibi[/i] behind their visit while they sipped coffee at the Nutcase this morning. They were school friends assisting her with a difficult chemistry homework assignment.

“Yes Miss Keepsake,” Renee replied. “But I am afraid the assignment could take the better part of the morning, perhaps longer.”

“No matter Renee, let’s just get it done,” Emmanuelle stated shortly and opened the door the rest of the way.

Temmit and Renee passed the two guards and went inside. When the massive doors closed behind them no one spoke. They simply followed Emma down corridors and up stairwells to many to count as she lead them to her room.

The beauty of the Church was not lost on Temmit who had never been there (since the place isn’t one frequented by orphans). Marble everywhere and not a bit of it untouched by a sculptor or painters hand. A dark red carpet ran the length of all corridors, a myriad of patterns mostly depicting battles with Karh‘Thul was expertly sewn within it. Arched ceilings were not exempt even in the corridors, like the foyer the stone and wood of the upper floors were held with marble trusses with mosaic paintings in between.

Gold was everywhere, not a single lantern, sculpture or chandelier was not made of it. Even the arched double-door to Emma’s room was banded with it.

Beyond the pair of doors was a small corridor which passed bye a massive private marble bathroom and a large walk-in closet. When they reached the bedroom Temmit actually stopped in his tracks, amazed at its size, for it was as big as a house.

The same luxuries they had passed throughout the church were not spared in Emma’s bedroom. A canopy bed large enough to sleep four had posts holding up drapes of heavy white cloth. The mattress almost looked too tall for a person to get up on. Dozens of white satin covered pillows that had been beautifully embroidered with gold thread were neatly arranged on the made bed. Underneath them was the same bedding that matched the draping curtains, neatly tucked and folded.

A sharp memory of home hit Temmit unexpectedly as he recognized an object he had burned his fingers on as a very little child. The object was to the side of Emma' bed,s a mattress pot[/i], made of a heavy iron that was nothing more than a pan with a removable slotted grill cover. But the one Emma had was huge and Temmit wondered if it took two servants to heave it up and under the top pillow mattress after they filled it with coals from the fire.


Throughout the room was more furniture than one person could need. Three bureau’s made of ancient Outland Pine and inlaid with gold and platinum stood at various places in the room, each large enough to most likely fit the clothes of all seven kids that Temmit shared a room with at the orphanage. A massive writing desk (of the same expensive pine) was on the wall between two curtained windows. The heavy white curtains of the windows had the same gold-thread embroidery matching the pillows on the bed. Each was a was a work of art, the left an exquisite depiction of the holy symbol of Kaine (shield and sword resting on a knapsack), the right a depiction of the God himself (a tall Herculean type of figure). On the desk, writing materials and various instruments (some recognized from school) made of nothing but polished silver.

    A harpsichord covered with the paintings of butterflies,
    *a dressing bureau with silver combs, brushes and make-up kit,
    *a rug that almost reached wall to wall it’s ornate pattern depicting a meadow of flowers,
    *paintings,
    *tapestries,
    *sculptures,
*a fireplace taller than a man and made of a solid piece of black marble,
*a wall of bookcases full of books bound in leather,[/list]

...the room reeked of wealth.

But what caught Temmit’s immediate attention was the exquisite dining table between the bed and another curtained (embroidery capturing a battle scene with demons) window. Three of the four chairs were set with fine ceramic plates and polished silver utensils around an amount of food that would be a challenge for the three of them to eat. Hot sausages, eggs, pancakes and a large carafe of coffee enticed him beyond the small piece of raisin-bread he had had two hands ago.

“Sit my friends. Lets have some late breakfast, for we still have about half a hand before we can go down to the room Marcus is in,” Emma said motioning them to the table. “I figured since we don’t have occasion to allow you two into the Church often, we might as well take advantage of the moment, so I had this prepared.”






Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 08:33:05 AM »
JOHAN had made a very good comment about the lack of an HVAC system in the room, so I made some changes to heat the place up. Thanks!

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 08:06:06 PM »
Step by step, Temmit slipped deeper into confusion. He couldn't comprehend the purpose for the display of abundant wealth. Ostentatious came to mind. So did heinous. If the funds that it took to make but a single one of the huge chandeliers was instead used for the needy, he felt sure that there would be a lot fewer needy in Our Commons. It might even eradicate poverty. Why keep it here? Who were they trying to impress? Certainly not the commoners, since they were never there anyway.

Kaine? Would this truly impress him? Temmit thought not. In Temmit’s mind, it was vitally important that everything make sense, and he had no way of understanding why the church was so flamboyantly built.

He was sure that his eyes must have been glazed over when he espied the giant breakfast that had been laid out. And the huge carafe of coffee. His stomach rumbled noisily at the site of the table.
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 08:42:59 AM »
As the three friends sat down at the table, Emma began to lay out the morning's mission for Temmit.

"We don't have too long," she started.

"In a few turns, I have River coming up here to escort you to the Waiting Room[/i] Temmit. As you know, he is an acolyte here when not at school, and it won't raise any suspicion as escort duty is a typical responsibility for him," she said and nodded to Renee who had silently offered coffee to all at the table. She poured Temmit's first and then filled Emma's cup before her own.

"You and Marcus should be the only two people in the Waiting Room from 10 dawnhand to almost mid-day. The holier-than-thou medical clerics usually like to keep their appointments waiting so there shouldn't be any issue in regards to time," she said and reached for some toasted sweetbread.

"Renee and I are going to be waiting here, as there is nowhere nearby we can wait for any great length of time without looking conspicuous. So River will be standing outside the Waiting Room, his standing orders[/i] are to escort you to me when I call for you. However, your so-called appointment with me isn't on any recorded schedule. No-one will be the wiser if you both simply just come back to this room when you are done with Marcus. If we need to interview him further then we can attempt to do so at that time if the situation permits, or we can always try to get to him later."

Unlike Renee and Temmit, who simply wore their school uniforms on the snowy Restday, Emma was dressed in a ceremonial-looking white silk robe. It was embroidered with red-threaded patterns that donned the robe in various places. The recognizable symbol within those patterns was shaped like a torch-head, which Temmit recognized as belonging to the Circle of the Flame[/i]. He wondered what Emma's responsibility was to the Convent[/i].

The Vestial Virgins aren't our concern today, get back on topic. Smokey coaxed him.

"Any questions or concerns before I voice mine?" she asked.

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 01:08:44 PM »
No worries, Dray. I haven't offended me. Just elsewhere.

Temmit listened attentively as Emma spoke. He greatfully acknowledged Renee's proferred cup of euphoria. As he listened, he also helped himself to the bounty that laid out before them. As he took eggs he offered to spoon them for the ladies too. He did as much with the suasages and muffins as well.

Although Emma never really revealed how this interview was going to take place, about mid-way through her narration he figured it out: Marcus was scheduled to be alone in the waiting room, and she had arranged to have Temmit there simultaneously; he would interview Marcus alone, then he would be escorted back to Emma, since that was the appointment that Temmit would have been in the waiting room for...ostensibly.

"No." He answered, now that he felt that he properly understood. "It's all clear. We only need to make a signal to River that I can use to indicate that I'm done...a loud sneeze or something. That way, he can come in to get me instead of me going to get him."
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 05:39:18 PM »
"Agreed, I was thinking that a nice sneeze would indeed do the trick," Emma responded offhandedly to Johan's idea.

"However, here is my concern..." she said. As the muffin on it's way to her mouth paused for the drama, she looked back and forth to Temmit, then Renee.

"I wasn't the one who had cleared the schedule of the Quintescant (medical clerics) for this morning. And last night...thanks to Kristen, I found out who did."

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 06:14:21 PM »
"I guess you'll have to take that bait." Smokey said.

"I hate playing these stupid games." Temmit observed back to his friend and mentor.

"Who did?" He asked to appease Emma's desire. "And why do I care?"
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 07:16:15 PM »
(OOC: It was the muffin being dramatic, not Emma).

Emma looked back at Temmit and the slight frown she gave him told Temmit that his displeasure must have been written on his face.

“My father did,” she said plainly. “It was his order that the Quintescant’s schedule be cleared for the morning. Although the one appointment, Marcus, was not postponed.”

“Mate he did. Tell me you are joking,” said Renee in shock.

Emma merely glared back at her without the slightest hint of a smile.

“But why?!” Renee asked.

“Why indeed?” Emma answered back. “My father barely tolerates the Quintescant even operating in the Church and to my recollection has never even once meddled in their affairs.”

Emma forked a sausage and took a nibble while her two companions waited for more. She didn’t disappoint.

“When I had heard that the Quintescant had cleared their schedule with Marcus as the only exception I didn’t even think to check in to why. I merely thought they were acting like their holier-than-thou selves and simply couldn’t reschedule the boy to a later time.” she explained somewhat defensively.

“Thank the gods that Kristen had the sense to at least look at the records in curiosity, and there it was...his first assistants signature signing the orders to clear the morning. But for some reason, Marcus was left on it.” Emma then looked beseechingly at Renee. “I am really very sorry I didn’t catch this earlier, please forgive me.”

To Temmit’s surprise, Renee wasn’t very forgiving.

“You can’t make these kind of mistakes when I am gone Emma. Just because your comfortable walking around this Church doesn’t mean its a safe place to be,” Renee said sternly.

“Yes, I know,” Emma said with a sigh, trying to disarm the problem. “So what should we do now? I really wish I could tell you why Fresenius is involved, but I can’t.”

Renee looked at Temmit. “Any hypothesis Lieutenant?”

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2008, 10:00:06 AM »
Temmit swallowed a mouthful of food, picked up his coffee cup, and leaned back in his chair. He closed his eyes and turned his face to the ceiling. The two young women knew this to be his way of pondering a dilemma.

"We can't be sure that it was Fresenius, or his assistant working in his name." Smokey pointed out.

"A good point."

"Let's first acknowledge that it was actually the First Assistant's signature that cleared the schedule." He said, beginning his ramble. "It's possible that he did this of his own accord instead of in response to an order from Fresenius. This would fit with Fresenuis's history of non-interference. That said, we can - and should - assume that Fresenius issued the order."

He drew again from his cup. "Regardless of who issued the order though, the overarching question is 'why'. My first thinking is that the only reason that they would want his undivided attention would be to ascertain how he survived so long alone in the wilderness. Especially given the state of the Karh'Thul activity."

"Marcus survived one of three ways: He's ungifted and used up his life's supply of luck." He raised his right thumb as he spoke. "He was staying with someone, but doesn't want anyone to know that." His index finger rose. "He's gifted." His middle finger joined his index finger.

"It would be imperative to know which option - perhaps there are others that escape me at the moment - lead to his survival."

"We've been talking in class about the tenet of likelihood and repercussion. There is a likelihood that he survived from dumb luck. The repercussion of that is nothing. It is perhaps just as likely that he was staying with someone else in the area. The repercussion of that could be significant: With whom would he have been staying? Why? Why would he lie about it? Why would they? This speaks to conspiracy.”

“Then there’s the possibility that he’s gifted. This possibility is perhaps the most impactful. He’ll die if they find that out. Disappear, most likely.”

“So if I’m in charge of this pleasant dictatorship we live under, this child would be of great interest to me. It’s arguably worth a morning to find out how he survived the wilderness to either uncover a conspiracy or to squelch a new gifted person.” His tone suggested that he was arguing uphill; that he didn’t truly believe that these motives were worth the investment.

He sat up rather suddenly then as a new thought occurred to him. He looked at Renee. “You will recall our conversation last evening? The one about how the Karh’Thul are getting through the lines and hunting us? About the notion of how they know who’s gifted and who isn’t? If there truly is a list of the gifted, then they might be assuming that Marcus is gifted, and knows others who are. They might know that he’s gifted and he’s helping them. They may be looking to extend their list of names and faces to give to the demons.”

The thought settled upon him for a few moments. “They might use the full morning to debrief him. Heck, they might be using some kind of mind control on him too. Or they might be using the full morning to forcibly learn what they want to know.”

He looked between his two companions. “Any way that I see this, he’s a dangerous individual.”
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2008, 12:49:25 PM »
(OOC: That was one of the best posts by you to date, thanks for the very interesting and very well thought out hypothesis. Reply forthcoming....)

Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2008, 01:24:21 PM »
“Agreed,” replied Renee while Emma just looked upon Temmit with a bit of shock. Renee caught the dumbfounded look on her soon-to-be-replacement and intervened. “See?”, she questioned with a smile, “I told you he is a fine lieutenant.”

Emma broke out of her stupor and smiled at both of them. Regaining her composure she continued the conversation, meanwhile, Temmit and Renee kept eating, for a fine layout like the one in front of them occurred very infrequently.

“So, according to Temmit’s very well thought out ideas,” Emma started very graciously, “The worst case scenario is that Marcus is either in personal danger or is dangerous to Whisper.”

They both nodded, Renee’s mouth full and Temmit’s accepting coffee.

“There is only one way to find out, and I think it is worth the risk to do so...yes?” Emma asked them.

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2008, 04:02:09 PM »
"Knowing is better than not." Temmit responded simply.

"Actually, worst case, this kid is dangerous to folks who used to be in Whisper too." He amended. "As well as those gifted who aren't Whisper."
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2008, 08:02:51 AM »
"Then it's decided." Emma said. "Temmit will still go down stairs and talk to Marcus."

At that, the three leaders of the Resistance concentrated on their enemy's delicious food while lost in each of their own thoughts. Temmit was surprised at how full he was when River finally arrived at Emma's bedroom door. He was later than expected.

"All clear," he announced.

"I will tell Emma of our adventure last night in Lakeshore while you are gone Temmit," Renee said and Emma raised an eyebrow.

Leaving the girls behind at the table, Temmit walked over to the door to greet River. He was amazed at how out-of-place River looked here in the Church. He was accustomed to seeing River in his hunting garb, the wardrobe of choice on the weekends at Whisper meetings. Or even when Temmit occasionally sighted him at school wearing his school uniform with merely the symbol of "The clergy" on his cloak, he seemed to benormal[/i]. But to see him in the full garb of the Deaconess Circle gave Temmit a bit of a pause. It looked as odd on him as River did just standing here as a representative of the church. To Temmit, it just didn't fit his persona.

As he reach River at the door, he asked a quip in a hushed tone, "Exactly how does a guy get inducted into the Vestial Virgin Convent?"

River let Temmit through the door and closed it behind them.

"I have the biggest unit in the military," River quipped matter of factly. As the pair walked alongside each other down the corridor, River continued in a hushed tone.

"Seriously though, if I had a silver for every time I was teased by the wealthy kids in school about my station here then I would be one of them," he said. Temmit sensed from his body language that he wasn't chagrined however, but was rather very proud of his station.

"Wealthy kids?" Temmit asked.

"Yes. The only students from our school who are allowed to come here to take worship are the very wealthy ones," River continued as they started up a stairwell that would be one of many.

"Almost each PrayDay (Saturday), I hear at least one student whisper to another about me while they sit in the pews. It doesn't matter though, as I am secure in who I am," he said in uncharacteristic defense of himself.

Temmit raised an eyebrow at him.

"And the fact that I could kill each one of them in a blink, well...that always helps," River returned a slight smile to him.

River, not normally this chatty, then continued to give Temmit more information on his status at the church.

"For every virgin[/i] in the Circle of the Flame there is a man who protects her. I am in training for that protective group. And although it is an unnamed group and station in the Heartland Protectorate, it is a position that I can serve when I turn 18 because of my involvement with the Circle while being a student." He had whispered as they had turned up many flights of stairs and then down a few corridors.

"Think of me as an Acolyte Warrior, or an altar boy with attitude," he added with another smile.

Temmit had a thought but was interrupted.

"We are a couple of corners away from the waiting room. I will hide[/i] in an alcove nearby, which is in full view of the room's entrance. Should there be any sign of trouble out here I will merely come get you. Do you have a signal you want to use should you need me?" he asked Temmit.

Offline Johan

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2008, 01:14:59 PM »
Temmit smiled wryly. "Yes." He answered. "I'll sneeze when the interview is over. You know how sickly I am." He held his hand to his chest for emphasis. "If you hear a great hacking cough, there's a problem."

He chuckled a bit then. "I'll try to make sure that there are no problems."
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Offline Dray

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12.23.2132 - Interview in Church
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2008, 01:46:35 PM »
In my next post I am going to send Temmit into the waiting room to talk to Marcus. As River steps back and away to go to his hiding spot, you are currently alone in the corridor (in other words, no baddies are watching). Are there any preparations (casting of spells, focusing of mental energies, etc.) you want to do just prior to walking in?