CAST OF PLAYERS:
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
Alseyne smiled. “Wynne and I may not see eye to eye in most things, but one thing I am sure of – she is loyal to Pip. While I could see her potentially throwing her lot in with an enemy if it was just me involved, it would take something catastrophic to make her betray Pip. And what is happening right now…well, I just could never see it happening. But I will mention your concerns to Pip. He knows Wynne much better than I do and should know if there is anything to be concerned about.”
“I don’t want to stir up trouble between friends,” Casey said. “Wynne just looks…very dark to me. But I’m new to all of this, I could be misreading her.”
“I want you to feel comfortable too, Casey,” Alseyne explained. “If you have doubts then it could cause problems later. It is better for us to take the time to make sure there’s no problem now than to risk it at a crisis point later. For example, your feelings on Wynne could cause you to hesitate at a crucial moment and end up with someone getting hurt. Whereas if we can reduce your feeling of mistrust then there is less likelihood of that occurring. In addition, you actually COULD be reading Wynne correctly, in which case we need to be aware of the problem now so we watch her. I really doubt that is the case but it is always better to be safe in such difficulties as we might have this evening.”
“Well…I don’t know that trust is really an issue here, as far as that goes,” Casey replied with typical candor. “I mean, the stakes are pretty high in all of this; I get that we can’t afford to be too fastidious about who’s fighting alongside us. That Mr. Plicare for example…I more or less assume that if there’s trouble tonight he’ll see to his own survival and leave me to see to mine. Obviously I’m not here because I ‘trust’ you guys…we barely know each other. I just want to help. If you tell me that you’re sure Wynne’s on the same side as us, then I’ll take your word for it. I’m not crazy about ghouls either, but I can see that Trevor’s enemies are the same as ours, at least in this particular skirmish, so I’m perfectly willing to believe the same about Wynne. If you’re sure of her.”
Alseyne grinned impishly. “I would say that I’d trust her with my life, except that in my particular case Wynne would be just as likely not to save me, given our past history.” She sobered somewhat. “I will say that I would trust her with Pip’s life, and I consider that a much more valuable commodity.”
“Good enough for me.” Casey turned back to the rows of accessories she’d been idly browsing. “You won’t have to worry about me hesitating and getting one of us hurt. I know we’re outnumbered enough already in this thing without being careless with each other’s lives.” Suddenly she brightened, picking up a metal-spiked leather bracelet. “Hey, I actually like this! Looks like it could come in handy in a fight, doesn’t it?” She buckled it on and made a few experimental swipes at an imaginary assailant.
“Looks like it, but I doubt it could stand up to much. Unless the spikes are welded through the leather, of course. But usually those things are just glued on. If it is welded through you’d be able to use it in a pinch.”
Casey removed the bracelet and turned it over to look for rivets or welds.
Alseyne frowned “You know, I think I had better pick up a coat to wear over this get-up until we get to the bar. We’re going to be stopping by the Cake and Ale to wait for Plicare and I wouldn’t want anyone there to see me in this.”
“Probably not a bad idea,” Casey smiled. “It’s a little chilly out tonight anyway, reputation issues aside.”
She chuckled. “I’m going to look like a flasher, clutching my long coat to keep from exposing myself prematurely.” She went over and browsed through the coats. Once she’d made her selection, she picked out a small strap purse that could be sling over the opposite shoulder
“Maybe Wynne and Claws will dress so flamboyantly that no one will notice the rest of us,” Casey said hopefully.
“Oh, everyone will notice Claws, if only because of his size. But Wynne? She’ll blend in like she’s in there every night.”
“I meant at the Cake And Ale. I get the impression that’s not the sort of place where people usually dress like this?”
“Sorry, I misunderstood. The Cake and Ale…well, it is not a leather bar by any means, but it is a place where a lot of different types congregate. Assuming Wynne doesn’t get too creative we won’t truly stick out like we’re wearing flashing neon signs but the attire I am wearing would definitely be abnormal for it so that’s why I want the coat.”
Pip came out of the dressing room and paused before Wynne and Claws’s curtain. “Ya’ll almost done?”
“Well, hustle it up!”
The satyr wandered out into the store. Pip was dressed in black leather pants that flare just below the knee, allowing a full view of his magnificent calves and hooves. He wore an ash grey long-sleeved shirt with banded color, buttoned at the neck. The sleeves were rolled up. A black leather vest tied it all together. The attire made him appear rather rakish.
He saw Casey, looked over the young woman. “Make your selections?”
Casey looked self-consciously down at the outfit she was wearing — black, skin-tight leather pants, matching leather bodice and little black leather jacket. “I think so. I was going for the stealthy look.”
He squinted. “I can barely see you.” Laughed.
She grinned, surprised out of her embarrassment. “Guess it’s working, then.”
Wynne emerged from the dressing room with Claws. The Sluagh was wearing a red lace bra with a fish net crop top, over which was a short black leather jacket riding just under her chest. She wore denim cut-off short-short low-riders, revealing her navel, bare hips and the french cut waist band of her red thong. Fishnet stockings and black combat boots rounded out the ensemble.
She was uniquely captivating.
Claws wore rather tight blue jeans with black boots. A wide black leather belt with silver studs cinched his waist. His pecs threatened to burst forth from the black t-shirt tucked into his britches. His hair was gelled back, providing a certain slickness to his appearance that was not there before.
Wynne smiled up at him, running a hand across his abdomen, “Me likey.”
“Well,” Pip asked over his shoulder as he settles up at the counter. “We ready to roll?”
Casey nodded, feeling nervous and eager and a little silly all at the same time.
Alseyne was still standing by the chains, “Chains or no chains, Pip? And believe me, this is the only time I’m ever going to voluntarily make that offer to anyone.”
“Chains,” Pip nodded. “Definitely.”
She indicated the selectiond “Silver, do you think? Or just standard?”
“Silver!” Pip answered. “Nothing but the best for the Lady Jasmine!”
Alseyne chose a set of wrist and neck restraints made of finely wrought silver, testing their diameter to ensure they fit loosely enough that she could wriggle free. Once she’d made her selection, she removed the price tags and handed them to Pip before dropping the chains into the pocket of her long black coat.
“Let’s do it then.” He held the door for the others.
As they exited the store, Alseyne looked over at Claws. “I’ll try to be sure and keep my distance from you while wearing the chains, Claws. I
don’t want to risk injuring you.”
The Khan seemed distracted and couldn’t focus on Alseyne’s comments. His attention was drawn to… Wynne.
As they climbed back into the vehicle, the malamute snuffled at Casey. :: Aren’t you a sight? :: There was a tone of amusement in the dog’s mental voice.
“I know, I know,” Casey muttered under her breath. “It’s a disguise, not a fashion statement.”
:: I have got to get a picture of this :: She snorted.
**I hope you mean a mental picture. ‘Cause if I see a camera, it’s getting incinerated.**
Pip leaned forward, muttering directions to the driver.
Claws’ attention was intently focused on Wynne. As if he was trying to puzzle something out. She smiled, patted his hand.
The SUV motored away.
“Next stop,” Pip announced, “Cake & Ale!”
Casey looked up. “So, anything I should know about the Cake & Ale?”
Alseyne settled back into the seat and smoothed down the thin material of the belted coat over her thighs as she answered.
“Don’t be surprised at anything you see there and don’t stare. This late at night it could be taken as a provocation and we don’t need to get into a fight there. It’s not the sort of place where a lot of fights take place but let’s not borrow trouble.”
“Got it,” Casey nodded. “No staring, and don’t react to weirdness.” She wondered if the Cake & Ale could possibly show her anything weirder than she’d already seen today. Her leather garments felt stiff and strange, and they creaked a little as she shifted restlessly in her seat. Probably needed some breaking-in time to get really comfortable, she reflected; not that she was ever likely to wear them enough for that to happen.
The Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole feeling was back again, but now it was tinged with more curiosity and eagerness than fear. The Cake & Ale…it sounded like something out of a Tolkein novel. She pictured dark, polished wood and a stone fireplace, with patrons wearing long cloaks and speaking in low, hushed voices about mysterious business matters. Her smile returned as she absently lifted a hand to stroke Pana’s shoulder. Life had been anything but dull lately; there was no denying that.