Guessing Games, part 2 ((attn: Ambrose, Amberelle))

Having finished holding the door, Dawn stepped into the Cathedral, and immediately stopped.

Hooo Lee Nice effen digs!

Unable to proceed for a moment, she looked at the building. Swanky didn't quite cover it.

Amberelle DeEspionne 16 years ago
Entering just in time to hear Dawn's comment on the clan's meeting place she chuckled a bit and stepped aside to allow Ambrose to enter. Taking a moment to soak up a bit of the peace and tranquility that seemed to radiate from the building, Amberelle felt content. These walls had stood for decades, maybe centuries even. And inside it was not only beautiful, and timeless, but also e testament to the Clan's longevity. 'I really should look into the history here and learn more.. soon' she promised herself.

Glancing at the oddly empty area where a missing pew had yet to be replaced, she smiled. It felt like a lifetime ago when she'd first entered these doors a scared and weary thing, afraid of being rejected or worse, forced to return to New Orleans. That it was less than a year ago was a suprising thought.Thinking of that made her wonder if Dawn was nervous and this was all a big act to cover it.

Well here we are.. Turning to Ambrose, she smiled. This place is magnifique, non?
Ambrose 16 years ago
Ambrose was properly awed by their new surroundings. By rights a place like this didn’t belong here; it belonged seven or eight hundred years ago and a few thousand miles away, and it would take some time for him to feel comfortable in it.

“Its more than a little impressive.”

And large enough that they could have a very hard time finding one person. Although, even vaguely leery of the grandeur, it was easy enough to see why someone would chose to spend a great deal of time here

Not bothering to hide his curiosity or who impressed he was Ambrose openly looked about and began to realize this wasn’t your every day church. It also seemed to be the history of Anantya. Apparently, he would have to spend some time here, he might learn a thing or two.
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago
Walking slowly and quietly down the center, Dawn looked from side to side, spinning slowly. It was like the pictures of all of those famous churches from her European history courses...with little changes. The saints looked different, but all of the detailing and artwork and story of the persons depicted were very similar. Strange. It was the first time she'd felt the presence of a church. She wondered a moment how people justified their faith against their vampirism...she knew some did, but she wondered what that internal conversation must have been like. Until that moment, it wasn't something she'd even considered.

In a small voice, she whispered, Wow.

"Maybe Ko was onto something sending me here. Maybe the old man knew me better than I do." The idea fucking creeped her out, but there it was. Maybe he knew exactly what she needed, and maybe Mai could drive it home more effectively than he could. Could he be that humble with his own student? Quite possibly. But could he care for her that much? Harder to answer. Maybe it was duty.

Continuing to absorb the scenery, she kept half an ear open for the others...and if there was anyone else present.
Mai 16 years ago
She had planned to leave but Mai had gone back into the small side chamber where the stones of her ancestors rested and put away the incense before turning her mind to other things. There were other people approaching the Cathedral. She waited as they entered and listened.

The first voice was young sounding and unrecognizable. At least she assumed the words were a part of the dialect of the present day youth and not some foreign language. Hou something shi? A city act perhaps? If the voice was speaking Japanese in some form then their accent was deplorable and was nearly an insult to the language. Had it dissolved into sounding so harsh and mixed? She should travel back home and see for herself. Poo-pee ...Puchi? Her brow furrowed as she tried to make sense of it. She needed more of the conversation to piece out the context in order to understand the strangely pronounced words.

Mai shook her head and stopped trying to understand the statement. The next speaker was familiar and the American French lilt of her voice was clearly recognizable, her English words also easily understood. Another new voice spoke and thankfully not in the strange Japanese dialect that was so disturbing.

She rose and changed into a stoat, now low to the ground, Mai moved around the corner and then began to make her way up columns and statues to find a better niche before they came closer.

((OOC: Helpful isn't she? ))
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago
Turning back to her conversational companions, she threw her arms wide.

Can ya bee-LEEEEVE this place?! This is! Who're all the statues, though? I dun know'm. There a vid somewheres that tells you about it? Or a book or sumthin'? I guess with all th' time in the world y'can figure out how to make a perfect church...still weird t'see it! I can totally see th'Elders kickin' it here for some peace an' quiet.

Walking forward again, Dawn came to Mai's recently abandoned nook. Sniffing, she looked around - someone had been burning incense recently, but the scent seemed to stay mostly confined to the area due to the curvature of the recessed space. Looking at the contents, Dawn was confused. This wasn't church stuff at all. Reminded her more of something she saw on the History channel on Asian ancestral worship or shrines or something from way back in the day and carried forward.

Hold that thought. Old Eastern tradition, little nook along the Anantya equivalent of the Avenue of the Stars...maybe she'd hit pay dirt. Maybe this was Mai's nook...and she'd been here recently. That meant the trail was still warm! Bouncing back, Dawn stopped in front of Amberelle.

Hey...who's spot is that that's so different? It still smells like incense, so they probably left just before we got here. Is it Mai's? We gettin' close? But wait, if it is, then why isn't there a statue like for everyone else?

Dawn was confused. She didn't know it yet, but she would be confused with greater frequency in the coming nights.
Amberelle DeEspionne 16 years ago
Hmm.. I really don't know much of the history of this place. I know who to ask to explain it all though. 'Speaking of him I haven't seen Thadeus in a while.. I do hope he's doing well..' she frowned and then shook off the thought for later.

Taken a little by suprise at Dawn suddenly stopping before her with rapid fire questions, Amberelle started a bit and just blinked at her clanmate for a moment. Turning her head to look at the niche Dawn had just vacated, she studied it a second before realizing that indeed, it must be Mai's personal area. While she had never seen her there it was rather obvious to her that it would be the Elder of the Hunt's. After all, she didn't know of anyone else living here who would be from such ancient Asian origins snd practice those traditions.

The blonde leaned in close to Dawn and sniffed several times deeply. The incense's smell was rich and carried faintly on her even after a brief moment of exposure. Straightening, Amberelle looked slowly around the Cathedral. If Mai was still here and had just come from the altar then she shouldn't be hard to track.

Ok.. Yes I think that must be Mai's shrine. I don't know why there isn't a statue, but you are more than welcome to ask her.. when we find her. Which I am guessing will be soon. 'Mon dieu I hope so..'

Do you want to find her or should I track her? I don't want to interfere in your appointed "quest" but.. I'm sure it would be faster if I tried.
Ambrose 16 years ago
Sometimes one’s surroundings inspired respect and awe, and while Dawn wasn’t –exactly- being disrespectful she still seemed inappropriate for the cathedral. Far to energetic, but he was certain it would be a waste of breath to say anything and so just let her go. And so just followed along with them listening to his own stiff gate create a muffled echo inside the stone walls.

“I’d like to meet them, I’m sure the history is fascinating.”

Apparently, they were on to something with the incense, which made him sneeze.

Tracking? Damned he’d wished for that gift several times, it would have been even more useful in his mortal life. Oh he’d done OK but wasn’t brilliant. He understood the concept of a ‘quest’ but was rather hoping to see a demonstration of Amberelle’s tracking.
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago
Dawn blinked a couple of times.

You're a tracker? THAT'S cool. Sorry. Library voices or something, right?

She'd caught a bit of Ambrose's wince, and maybe he was right for his traditions. Of course, having screaming whitey in a temple would kind of suck, too. But she was being good! No swearing! No standing on things to get a better view! No...well...almost no yelling. Frowning, she turned her attention back to the matter at hand.

How's that work? I didn't get any nifty tricks like that, and you're the first tracker I've met. Is it like taking up a scent or something, or is it like those people who can touch stuff and see what happened with it or what? Ko told me about the tricks others can pull on me so I know what to watch for, but there's no counter for a tracker except

Leaping into the air, Dawn snapped her knees up in rapid succession at an imaginary target - rightleftrightleftrightleftright - sciatic, kidney, lung, temple, throat, heart, kidney. That was one of Dawn's constant joys - she had always been wicked fast, but now she was like lightning. Made her feel a bit better about being a sitting duck, anyway.

...and that only works if the tracker tips their hand AND isn't a total badass! Oops! Sorry!

Putting her hands to her mouth, her eyes widened. And she had been doing so well!

Oh, but yeah, go ahead. I wanna see the Amberelle Tracker Action Figure!
Amberelle DeEspionne 16 years ago
Suddenly feeling like she may have over sold herself, Amberelle tried to explain what she'd meant by tracker but then Dawn seemed to have a spasm. Oh, no.. she was doing some kind of kicking thing. Very quickly. She filed that bit of knowledge away, to be ready for their sparring session.

She gave her companions a slightly embarassed smile and shrugged. I'm afraid you may be a little dissapointed. It's nothing flashy. And it's not the tracking ability you mentioned, Dawn.. some of our family has it but... what I do, well.. how I do it.. is a little more old fashioned. Sighing, the blonde knew there was nothing to do but just show them and well, do it. Except she'd never changed in front of an audience before. That part made her a little uncomfortable. I've never done this in front of people before.. Slipping off Ambrose's coat, she handed it back to him. 'No putting this off anymore Amby! Just shift and get started!' Stepping towards the alcove she closed her eyes and concentrated. As she rounded the corner into it the change was complete. She stretched for a moment, then turned to see if she was followed.

A lithe golden cat peered around the corner at them, large amber eyes blinking as she adjusted to her new vision. She let out a soft meow to draw their attention down, then turned and scurried into the shrine area. Sniffing around she could smell Mai here. There were many layers to her scent, this was someplace she'd been more than a few times probably. Finding one that seemed to be the strongest, she followed it out of the alcove and padded deeper into the cathedral, sniffing the air and a few columns as she went.

((OOC just assuming Mai's been there a lot =) ))
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago zowie. That's RIGHTEOUS!

Saying "Oh My Fucking God" in church seemed like a patently bad idea, beliefs or no. No reason to tempt the wrath of the possibly almighty or any lurking ultraconservative think tanks.

OhmygodthatissototallycoolI'dheardaboutitbutI'donlyseenitonceand WOW!

Following Ambycat around the corner, she watched as she did the kitty thing. This was WAY cooler than whatever it was that she'd been expecting! Looking to Ambrose, she winked.

Careful Tex, that girl's got claws! Rawr!
Ambrose 16 years ago
Apparently, Dawn had reached the same conclusion he had, but was considerably more vocal about it. Vocal or not he decided to steer clear of the girl if she ever got pissed off, it would hurt to get hit by one of those.

If Amberelle hadn’t been there, he might have made a polite and strategic retreat. Slightly confused he accepted his coat back. The few manners he hung on to kept him from staring blatantly at her new form. A shape shifter, that was sure unexpected. In short, holy shit.

“Claws and a lot of talent apparently.”

It seemed a little odd to be following a cat, but since that cat had recently been a helpful woman, he was willing to go with it.
Mai 16 years ago
Mai listened to the continued conversation in the Cathedral with interest. She watched the female stranger enter her ancestor's chapel and wondered if the girl was familiar with the customs associated with it. She did not seem Japanese,perhaps that explained her bad pronounciation earlier.

From the girl's words that were in English, Mai gathered that they were looking for her. Intriguing, she wondered why a stranger would come asking for her. There could be several reasons, many people sought her out. This girl did not seem to fit the normal mold for any of those reasons.

Amberelle was going to track her. The little stoat nodded its head back a few times in the equivalent of rodent laughter. This could be a fun game. She frowned at the thought of the Cajun having the ability to track as a vampire, that would be nearly impossible to deflect. Not very fun in a sporting sense, useful and necessary, but not helpful for keeping evasion skills to top form.

The other girl lept into the air and showed promise with a quick series of kicks. She was faster than most. The trio below her became more interesting. Mai wondered about the more quiet male in the group, he could possibly be the most dangerous of the bunch for keeping his talents and thoughts a mystery.

Amberelle was a shifter, a cat. Not surprising, with her affinity to the one she spoke with so often. It was probably a good thing Mai had not gotten around to chasing the woman's cat. He might complain about it. Watching the feline sniff about in the chapel and then out, she waited until Amberelle's head was down sniffing a particular scent, in order to leap and glide from her perch back to one the cat had already sniffed. She crawled down the backside of this column and changed form.

Stepping out behind the others intent on watching the cat, she spoke quietly.

"Konbanwa Amberelle-chan. And greetings to your friends."Â?
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago
Dawn was...floored. Out of nowhere, a tiny Japanese girl materialized. Radiating...calm? No...not quite. Peace? No, way off. Tranquility? No...


Dawn had thought she'd seen some pretty impressive human forms, but they looked like so much flailing and wasted movement compared to...the animated statue before her? No...not quite right...ah! Conservation of movement...that's what Ko'd called it. Maximum output for minimum input. No graft.

Looking again, she realized that the Elder's eyes were way weird, too. Holy shit! Was she really actually blind? Dawn'd thought it was a metaphor for her infinite justice or something! Whoa! Hey...they were kinda cool looking, though.

Fuck! She'd been standing there like a glowing, gaping mouthed moron schoolgirl meeting their Teen Idol or something, and they'd been collectively addressed! And their spokeswoman was a cat! Shit! Do something!

Dropping to her knees, Dawn bowed completely to the Elder in front of her, paying close attention to annunciate correctly - it didn't do any good to come 3,000 miles and have the Elder of the Hunt look at you like you were speaking Klingon or some shit and kick you out until you learn your "big girl" words. Just one chance at this! Keeping her face to the ground, Dawn spoke.

Elder Teacher Mai, it is an honor to meet you! Please forgive my rudeness in addressing you directly, since my spokeswoman is currently a cat! I am Dawn Ratana, former student of Sensei Hyung-Minh Ko of Los Angeles. The man behind me is Ambrose Isaac. I was instructed to come to Nachton...

Quickly patting herself down, she found the letter she was supposed to deliver.

...ah...deliver this letter...

Reaching out her left hand with the letter, she left it at Mai's feet.

...and resume my instruction within this city. Thank you for your time!

"Shit! I bet I fucked that all up! I can't even remember half the shit I just blabbed!" Holding very still, Dawn waited for whatever came next, a response that might pull her out of her awkward position. Literally.
Amberelle DeEspionne 16 years ago
The scent moved erraticly. It puzzled her but she kept after it, sniffing from column to column. Every so often it would float on the breeze strong then fade. The little tawny cat's tail twitched with annoyance.. and excitement. Hunting prey could be great fun, but she had a feeling if the Elder didn't want to be found she was going to be wandering these halls for some time to come. And here she was with an audience, on whom she really did want to make a good impression. Her shifting abilty had never been appreciated by her sire since a housecat was not a very formidable animal. It always puzzled her how a Nightsman could fail to see the possibilities such a small and commonly overlooked creature had. But then again, she reminded herself, he was a snobbish, arrogant prick.

If cats could smile, she did at that thought and pressed on, leaning down to sniff a strong whiff of the incense tinged scent that blew over her. It seemed like it had come from... above? Right? While she turned her head upward and studied the shadowy rafters, taking advantage of her enhanced night vision, she failed to realize Mai had passed right over her and was quite suprised when she heard the soft greeting directed at her from behind. Emitting a squeaky mew Amby turned around with a stiff legged hop as she drew up her tail and snapped it straight several times to show her suprise.

A low rumbling purr emitted from the feline and she took a few steps towards the Elder, nodding her head to acknowledge the greeting. She was about to shift to human form when Dawn suprised her with a sudden, quite respectful, and rather out of character (from what the blonde had seen of her) clearly spoken greeting to Mai. Once she was done Amberelle shifted back and gave Mai a deep, formal bow of respect and greeting.

Good evening Elder Asahi.
Ambrose 16 years ago
It was hard to say which was more surprising, that the object of their search would appear or Dawn’s sudden and extreme respect and formality. It was easier to accept the fact that Amberelle could take the form of a cat than to accept the same girl who’d carried him up the stairs bowing and asking forgiveness for her rudeness.

It seemed the sudden arrival of Mai had surprised Amberelle too, even in a feline form she seemed taken unawares. And upon returning to human form just as respectful as Dawn, although it was less surprising to see that from their guide.

Between his cane and sheer ignorance in this kind of culture there was no way Ambrose was going to be able to properly bow. His own bow was modified, now where near as deep or as formal as the ladies but with no less sincerity.

“An honor to meet you.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai looked down at the female stranger as she bowed very formally in front of her. Teacher? She wondered who sent the girl to her but waited, as the answer was likely forth coming. She accepted the letter and slid it into the sash part of her obi before returning Dawn's greeting.

"Welcome to Nachton, Ratana-chan."Â?

She bowed slightly and turned to the others and gave them both a bow, each in turn.

"Greetings Ambrose-san, and Amberelle-chan."Â?

She favored the taller woman with a smile.

"You have a good eye and a useful talent. You will make an Order proud some day."Â?

To her knowledge, Amberelle had still not chosen an Order in which to belong. For some these things took time, others, like herself, knew immediately. Mai wondered about the affiliations of the other two.

She looked back to Dawn with an appraising eye.

"So, Pappi-chan, Are you wanting to be Order of the Hunt or did Ko-kun send you simply to learn our way?"Â?

Turning her attention to Ambrose, she lifted her eyes to him.

"And you, Are you Order of the Hunt as well?"Â?
Dawn Ratana 16 years ago
Caught somewhat like a deer in headlights, Dawn sat back on her knees, over the tops of her feet, hands lightly on her thighs. She hadn't expected to have Amberelle back in human form so quickly - she'd thought it took time between changes...clearly she'd not been paying enough attention again. Distracted, she'd missed part of what Mai had said. "Shit - I'm gonna needta bone up on the anime so's I can get what she's sayin', since I don't think she's calling me her little sugar daddy."

Lost for a moment, Dawn nodded. Focusing and internally translating, she said

Sensei Ko wishes me to learn more of the Order before I settle on a decision, but I feel that I've known where my calling is since I first heard of it. I'm...uhh...

"Fuck! I can't just say oh, my organizational skills suck Rupert's dusty ball sack and I'm subtle as a hurricane, and anyway I want to boot some head too!"

...not terribly skilled in intrigue that also reinforced my gut feeling.

"Yeah, that was smooth."

Looking over her shoulder at Ambrose, she wondered. Gunslinger had Hunt written all over it, but he seemed like he could have been any of the Orders, like Amberelle. With a thug like Dawn, she felt, it was pretty cut and dry.
Ambrose 16 years ago
Some days discretion was the better part of valor, that it this was Dawn’s hunt. So Ambrose felt it was more discreet to keep quiet and watch the exchange between Dawn and Mai. He was still perplexed by Dawn’s sudden change in demeanor and had a bet with himself as to how long it would last. His bet was not long.

Either way Ambrose was moderately surprised to be addressed by the small elder. Now how to diplomatically answer that question. Damaris had intended for him to join the Order of the Hunt as she had, but Ambrose had never felt qualified, not with his missing leg. Perhaps he was being overly sensitive about, especially with the prosthetic it was something he should reconsider.

“I’m afraid I’m currently unaffiliated ma’am. Something I need to rectify.”
Mai 16 years ago
Mai nodded once though she suspected that Ko was correct; Dawn needed to learn of the other Orders before deciding on one.

"Sometimes the way is set for us but if you have the chance to view all the roads before walking down only one then it is wise to do so."Â?

She pondered Dawn's description of herself and smiled. It could be said that she was not good at intrigue or organization either but then she -had- walked blindly down her path even as a human child, quite literally.

"Perhaps you have skills you did not know you possessed but the most important thing is to find the calling that calls you."Â?

Mai turned her gaze towards Ambrose and watched him for a long unblinking moment before smiling ever so slightly and nodding.

"Is there a path that calls you?"Â?
Amberelle DeEspionne 16 years ago
Mai's quiet compliment brought a faint smile to the blonde as well as a light blush. Praise for her skills wasn't something she was used to, and she buzzed with happiness. Nodding her thanks to the elder she simply stood and waited to see how the other two would respond to the inquiry directed to them. Ambrose had her curious, he was unreadable really.

Dawn's reply and explanation of her reasoning behind choosing the Order of the Hunt had Amby biting her lips to keep from smiling. It had been rather obvious to her the young woman was seeking the right path, she was far too energetic to be pictured pouring over documents or sitting silently at a stake out. But then again she had known some rough and tough types who worked with the Night in New Orleans. They hadn't been the most subtle, but sometimes gathering information was a 'contact sport', as she'd been personally witness to more than once. Pausing to consider that, it occured to Amberelle that maybe the newest woman to arrive at Heolfor could benefit from the same time to observe and contemplate her future that she had been enjoying. Having a choice, following a path that wasn't dictated to her by her Sire was a luxury to the blonde and one she was enjoying. Maybe Dawn should "view all of the roads" as Mai suggested

Now she was torn. Should she interupt and offer to help Dawn, or allow Mai to continue? She clenched her hands and bit her lip as she tried to decide.