auspex_caelo: (Honour of the Legion)
Stratos Caelus ([personal profile] auspex_caelo) wrote2016-01-17 05:55 pm
Entry tags:

Concerning Diplomats, and Other Venomous Fauna [for Samus Aran [personal profile] onemorebounty]

This trip isn’t strictly a mission, but there are just as many rules to observe, as many precautions to run through beforehand. Cover stories, dress codes, a brief rundown of Tamrielic geography. The fact that the Thalmor wizards will check for weapons and may well sense any of the electrical devices so popular among Nexus-goers. But then, Stratos has laid down his own polite ban on PINpoints. (Polite, because he’s quite sure playing on Samus’ sense of courtesy, if not friendship, is the most reliable approach.

Visits to the Thalmor Embassy are usually dull, dangerous and silently unpleasant. Stratos wonders if he hasn’t made this one too interesting for himself. He’ll find out, one way or the other.

He’s waiting at his door to Skyrim come the appropriate day, attired in his formal clothes - mostly dark blue, but there’s a Legion-red cape draped over his shoulders lest anyone forget who he’s representing.
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-18 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
*Samus hasn't been waiting idly for this invitation, and she rather hopes her preparations meet with approval. The request to leave her PINpoint at home is a little disappointing, but one to which she accedes.*

*When she arrives, a little earlier than the invitation specified, she's wearing a dress that ought to fit in with the Skyrim crowd ("fit in" here being more accurately translated as "shine among without seeming utterly alien"), and brooches to match, linked by a string of polished amethyst pebble-beads. A ring glitters on the middle finger of her right hand, while a silver bracelet gleams on her left wrist. Peeking out from under her hem when she walks are some stylish boots which she has been assured the queen of Skyrim also wears. A shawl of fox-fur is draped around her shoulders, the heads and tails intact, the latter forming a distinctive fringe behind her while the heads have been positioned to look as though the creatures were still alive and cuddling cozily where they drape across her shoulders. Her hair has been given more than a little attention to seem appropriate, as well (Verity helped).*

*To be fair, some of this is a little difficult to see, as she's carrying three parcels--a small wrapped package, atop a larger, rounded, soft-looking one, carried atop something square, two feet to a side and about four inches deep, that's been wrapped in white silk and tied with a gold cord. Even so, she's watching Stratos' reaction carefully as she approaches.*

You look nice.
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-19 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
*Who better than a bird to ruffle feathers? But maybe she can preen them down again for him, too. She smiles at his reaction, quite pleased.*

Thank you. Would you believe I'm trying not to be intimidating, tonight? I just wanted to fit in at the fancy party.

*Again, the Samus definition of "fit in" is probably not quite synonymous with the Stratos definition of "fit in."*

I have a pair of presents for you, one for before the party, and one for after, and a little hosting-gift for the embassy, in the guise of the cover identity I've got in mind.

*Setting the packages she carries on that table that stands permanently beside Stratos' portal, she picks up the small box in order to hand Stratos the middle bundle. It's fox-fur, like her own, although without the heads and tails.*
onemorebounty: Judge not, lest ye be shot. (Lady)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-20 03:11 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, I haven't even gotten fully into character, or told you my cover story yet.

*There is no magic to the furs, apart from excellent craft, but closer inspection shows that the garment is of a new design, departing from the wraps traditional to Skyrim. Two fox pelts have been sewn together partway along the long side, leaving space for them to accommodate the wearer, one pelt falling in front of the arm, the other behind, with an unseen chain of woven copper holding them to each other against the wearer's side.*

I'm glad you like it. I wanted to thank you for this, and perhaps strengthen our joint hand a little.

*She opens the smallest box just a little--it seems the body and lid were wrapped separately--and reaches a finger in to do something hidden.*

When you have a moment, could you cast your spells and look over these two gifts? I'd like to know if they seem magic, or lively, or anything, as far as people in your Facet are concerned.

*The smaller box has a small power cell of some kind in it, and is currently emitting radio waves on a specific frequency. The contents of the larger package are resonating to those radio waves, but it contains no power source of its own.*
onemorebounty: Judge not, lest ye be shot. (Lady)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-20 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
And I'm keen to tell you.

*Samus waits patiently for Stratos to finish his examination, though. She wants to know what, if anything, he finds.*
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-21 02:43 pm (UTC)(link)
*Her smile is bright and warm. She reaches into the little box again, still keeping it secret, and does something so that the tiny resonance goes away.*

Well spotted. Is there much of a difference now?

*Since he knows what he's looking for, now, she'll start to explain--not about the packages, but about her cover identity.*

I thought I'd present myself as an artist, primarily a sculptor, who's gone traveling--officially in search of inspiration, but I'll let hints slip that through the workings of age or creative differences, my wealthy and secretive patron is patron no longer--thus, why I can afford such a fine outfit while being a relative unknown--and I am searching for a new sponsor, one who won't keep my work all to themselves. What do you think?
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-23 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
I'll explain all about it when I give you your other present, after the party.

*That statement has the air of a promise, and Stratos has some idea of how careful Samus is in upholding her given word.*

And if my politics are a little strange, I'm an artist, we're expected to deviate somewhat. It also offers you the prospect of some cover, and protection.

*She takes a moment to let a hint of her concern creep into her expression as she explains. This, at least, he gets to know now.*

From what I've seen of you, I'd guess you've stayed alive in politics largely by being forgettable, anonymous, and efficient; indispensable to your own side, but easily overlooked by other factions. You're about to walk into the enemy's den with me on your arm--you're going to be noticed, and that notice will become scrutiny.

*There's a note of apology in those words. She recognizes that she's trashing part of his op, and she regrets the damage done, but she's offering something to make amends.*

The problem with being the forgettable functionary is, you make a great candidate for planting a spy. A scandalous disgrace or, more likely, an unfortunate accident removes you from your position, but because you were good at your job, someone needs to step in and fill it, quickly. Naturally, your enemies have a candidate poised to do just that. If you were good at being forgettable, it now works in their favor, as your superiors accept that the work is again being done, and are content as long as the situation no longer demands their attention.

*It's a bleak picture she paints, she knows.*

But. Where Stratos the clerkly Tribune is forgettable and disposable, Stratos the Tribune who's fallen for a girl with expensive tastes is memorable. You can excuse being caught almost anywhere because your crazy artist sent you on some bizarre errand, you can ingratiate yourself and deflect suspicion with amusing stories of your struggles--and a Tribune who looks like he's driving himself into debt keeping up with an expensive consort looks like a ripe gift to your enemies' spymasters--they can make your money problems go away, and all you have to do is a few trifling favors. Favors which, because you aren't actually going into debt and your loyalty isn't actually for sale, you can report to your superiors and otherwise subtly subvert so that you seem a loyal agent, yet the services you provide always lead to bad ends somewhere down the line.

*She caps that duplicitous scheme off with a guileless, wide-eyed smile, tilting her head slightly to one side to invite comment.*
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

Samus is part bird, she might be related to raptors.

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-26 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
*His expression--recognition of her play, and amusement as the leading response--are a source of relief. She'd been half-afraid that he would discard her idea and dismiss her predictive model, as so many in the Nexus do. But he's listening, and taking it seriously, and asking intelligent questions before he decides his course.*

Well, it would help the cover, but there's an out: since I would be claiming my visit to Skyrim was in search of inspiration, anytime I'm not available, I can be "out exploring" or "studying local motifs and methods," "sourcing materials," or some such. The operative point being, excusably at an undefined elsewhere.
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

But can he handle these raptors?

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-27 05:24 am (UTC)(link)
*A long-term cover does preclude a certain amount of societal destabilization, certainly. At his question, her smile grows. If he's working out the details, then he's probably accepted the broad strokes.*

You tell me.
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-29 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
*That answer earns Stratos a warm, bright smile.*

I look forward to meeting them. Ah, on that note, are there any current events you'd like to fill me in about, that as a resident of your Facet of course I would already know?
onemorebounty: What?! (Bzuh?!)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-31 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
*She listens, nodding thoughtfully as she gathers the remaining gifts.*

Murder, vampires, and dragons. Should I be on watch for any of those at the embassy?
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-01-31 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Just as well. I'm not really dressed for dragons this time, anyway.

*She smirks a little, moving to stand near him, although hopefully not so close that she causes problems dealing with the door-wards.*
onemorebounty: Judge not, lest ye be shot. (Lady)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-01 12:56 am (UTC)(link)
*Samus watches the wards come down, quietly impressed. She doesn't know much about magic, but she's noticed that when powerful things are subtle, it's a sign of great control. She'll take it as given that Stratos put all the power he could into protecting his door.*

Something tells me that fresh, steaming dragon entrails aren't quite party-wear in Skyrim. Wouldn't fit my character, anyway.

*Looking around as she listens, she smiles at his forethought.*

I have to admit, horse-riding isn't one of my talents. I know just enough to know that if you aren't used to it, you get embarrassingly sore from riding even a little while.

*Balancing the larger package in one hand, she picks up the smaller one.*

Do you have somewhere I can put this that it will be safe until after the party?
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-02 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
Or do anything else bright and noisy, I'd imagine.

*She is patient while he resets the wards, looking around the cave and speculating what might have sent Stratos into it to look at a weird door in the first place.*

I promised to tell you all about it, after the party, and I am always good for my word.

*Her tone is mock-stern, but softened with a smile.*

And I wouldn't want someone nosy opening your present before you could.
onemorebounty: What?! (Bzuh?!)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-04 01:43 am (UTC)(link)
*She'll have to ask--when they have a moment. She relinquishes the package, but with a warning. As for whether she believes him, she prefers to think that when it's just the two of them he is honest to the extent that his loyalty to his government allows.*

Thank you. Be careful, it's heavy.

*Indeed, it is--thirty or forty pounds, a dense and not-quite-even weight, perhaps in some kind of chest--it feels like there's wood underneath that silk wrapping. She follows his lead up through the winding passages, carefully lifting the front of her skirt to keep it from dragging or getting stepped on, and since it seems they're going to be alone a few moments longer, she takes her opportunity.*

What is this place? And why was an officer of rank opening strange doors in its depths?
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-06 02:24 am (UTC)(link)
*It would be a pity to mar that fine wrapping. And who knows? Maybe the contents are fragile. She wouldn't fault him for a little clever use of magic, if she noticed.*

Quite a tip. I hope they're enjoying their reward for it.

*She chooses her steps with care, either following Stratos or keeping pace beside him, as space allows.*

So, do your superiors know I'm coming to this thing, or do they get to be surprised?
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

That's kind of perfect.

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-07 02:50 am (UTC)(link)
*She listens to what Stratos says in his answer, and what he doesn't say, and hazards a guess.*

Felix is the informant?

*Her gaze drifts around the tunnels, getting her bearings. Part of her itches to go explore those unknown depths, but there are treacherous social passages to navigate first, certain to provide their own sort of excitement. She makes a thoughtful sound as Stratos essentially tells her that his superiors have been left in the dark about this. It makes sense, though--if they knew, they'd be watching her with more scrutiny than her cover merits, and if the Thalmor noticed, then they would pay her greater scrutiny, as well. But the subject of superiors raises a question.*

I'm afraid I don't recognize some of those titles--general I can guess, but where do legates and tribunes stand in the chain of command?
onemorebounty: What?! (Bzuh?!)

"That outcrop kind of looks like a dragon. I should take a detatchment, go check. Just to be safe."

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-09 02:52 am (UTC)(link)
Good judgment. On both your parts.

*She follows his lead, taking care to place her feet exactly where he placed his, just in case it matters.*

Do you have a specialty? Logistics, data analysis, intel?
onemorebounty: Judge not, lest ye be shot. (Lady)

"Really, it wouldn't take a second, I could go and come right back. But to be thorough..."

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-10 12:39 am (UTC)(link)

*She notes the moving shadow, and tucks away any remarks that might not have fit her character. Instead, she softens her tone and widens her eyes, slipping into that character.*

No wonder you're so busy!
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

"Keep up the good work and brief me on how it went."

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-11 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
*Samus takes in the view, the air, and Sir Celann with a smile. There's something nice about visiting preindustrial planets; the air is still clear, and the skies tend to be amazing (although for truly spectacular sunsets, the rarefaction effect of certain pollutants tends to be the way to go). She clasps the knight's hand with a gentle squeeze, offering a bow from the shoulders even as her smile brightens.*

Sir Celann, it's a pleasure shared. What I've seen of your land so far is beautiful, and I'm looking forward to more. I do hope I haven't put you out at all with my visit.

*Out of the corner of her eye, she's watching Stratos for cues, whether to keep exchanging pleasantries or to move on to the carriage. She intends to keep herself closely attuned to his body language this evening.*
onemorebounty: All things come alive. (Springtime)

Rikke's spirit animal:

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-13 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
I'm just visiting from another province, to take in the sights and find inspiration--or perhaps a new patron.

*She offers Celann her "official" cover, or at least enough to answer any questions he or another of his camp might be asked. He seems a bright sort, she doubts he'll need more of a hint than that. Stratos' question gets a moment's thought.*

As long as you're not throwing lightning at it, it should be fine. And if it isn't, I'll fix it.
onemorebounty: Thinking is good. Try it sometime. (Thoughtful)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-15 12:05 am (UTC)(link)
A sculptor--but they rhyme, and I can't do this without learning a few things along the way.

*It is neither surprise nor disappointment that Stratos keeps company with other perceptive, intelligent people. It speaks well of his inviting her into said company. She offers another little from-the-shoulders bow to Celann as he goes, remembering to bend her knees and tug at her skirt a little in a hint of a curtsy; she's trying out and putting on mannerisms as she goes--if Stratos watches closely, he'll get to see her build a persona before his eyes. Even the tone of her voice is shading lighter, softer.*

In this chill? That would be too cruel, and I'd hate to be cruel. We must go at once, and I'll beg their pardon for making them wait.

*Samus' cover is indeed the sort of lady who takes an offered arm, and the Hunter herself might do so as well when being escorted to a fancy evening.*
onemorebounty: Just how I roll. (Roll)

Re: I want this mod now.

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-19 04:19 pm (UTC)(link)
((I sent you a message a few days ago, but if you responded to it, the response didn't go through. On a related note, is this thread cancelled? I realize a number of storylines are casualties of the recent divide, I'd just like to know if this is one.))
onemorebounty: I carry so many regrets. (Regret)

[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-21 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
((Okay, hint taken. This was fun, thank you for that.))
onemorebounty: Just how I roll. (Roll)


[personal profile] onemorebounty 2016-02-22 12:10 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the fun, and farewell.