Description: It's not too rare that an up-and-comer on the fighting circuit is... 'summoned', but usually the reason is more explicit than that stated by one Amy Johnson, Knight Templar. Fresh from a series of recent battles, including one against a twisted being more madness than man (and another with Urien that didn't involve Sada), Gertrude Verhangnis finds herself accosted by an odd woman who claims to have her best interests at heart. This goes about as well as expected. So much for a first impression.
In the modern age, knighthood has evolved. No longer bound by ancient technologies, the rise of the Holy Order has seen a broader grasping of contemporary principles by even the crustiest of the many sub-factions within the greater whole. Knowledge is no longer constrained to fragile tomes, but stored in vast datahouses staffed around the clock by experts within their field. Agents of the good and just they may be, but the knights of this new age are also agents of knowledge and masters of pursuit.
It's all too easy for a knight of sufficient rank to abuse their power, turning cutting-edge tools to their own purpose under the vestige of a higher purpose. Knight Officer Amy Johnson has done exactly that, responding to a priority-flagged incident involving a high-profile target of the Order. But she's not after the strange and mighty Urien; rather, the far more obscure beneficiary of his brutal whim.
Contacting Gertrude Verhangnis won't have been hard. Information sells, and it rules a market black to the core. Few remain entirely shielded from the camera's eye observing their every nuance, and most are naked. Phone number, e-mail, whatever...
The hard part for Amy was finding the perfect meeting place. At this moment, she's seated amidst the pseudo-European finery of a bizarre little hotel in Southtown's business district. A few pulled strings have arranged for the establishment to be empty for a couple of hours in the afternoon, the building heated and lit but otherwise void of any presence but the Templar's. The tight lobby leads into the expansive ground floor lounge, all mounted animal heads and polished ceremonial swords with sumptuously-tailored seating and old oak tables in the midst.
It's not rare for Amy to seem strangely anachronistic, but today she's dressed in a way suited to the outside environs; dark charcoal slacks and a matching button-up shirt with broad-cuffed sleeves, her long dark hair pulled into a loose bun with falling fronds splaying out across her shoulders. One foot is up on the table in front of her, the low heel of her polished formal shoe sitting in a rich whorl of oak.
One hand lays across her knee, but the other clutches the faintly glowing screen of a smartphone. The tool of a modern knight. She's drifting her thumb across the screen, stormy blue eyes alternately tracing over spooling text and flicking to watch the lounge entrance - a dozen feet away, with Amy herself out in the open.
There was nothing particularly inciteful in her challenge to Fraulein Verhangnis; it was concise, formal and packed only with critical detail. Place, time. Important. Amy includes her own curiosity as exactly that; very, very important.
She's impatient as she waits, but she'll wait as long as it takes.
Many of the lessons that Gertrude's family had beaten into her over the years have been studiously forgotten. One habit that she has never really been able to break, though, is studious punctuality. She arrives precisely when she was meant to; not a minute earlier or a moment later, she opens the door to the place she was supposed to be meeting this 'Amy' person, and adjusts her glasses as she peers into the empty hotel.
"Yeah, well, if its a trap I'll deal with it." She mutters to herself. In truth, she was vaguely surprised to get the request - it wasn't for the Neo League, and typically if it wasn't for some structured tournament, she's the one who has to do the contacting. Then again, her career is starting to pick up, slowly, so maybe other people will start getting in touch with her more often than they used to.
The tall German woman steps into the space. She can only see one other person here, and that's also quite surprising. She was expecting, you know, other guests, hotel staff. But she's not going to keep Amy waiting. A few paces place her looming over the table, and she clears her throat. One elegant eyebrow raises at the fact Amy has her foot on the table... but she doesn't say anything, she only pulls out the chair opposite the other woman, and after slinging her backpack onto the floor, she sits down.
"Good day." She says, "You are Ms. Johnson? What may I do for you?"
Getting right to the point, it seems! Then again, Gertrude has had a pretty rough week - really, she looks pretty tired. Too tired to mince around with pleasantries. She's got her room paid up 'til the end of the day, and this is cutting into valuable 'having a bed' time.
Flick. Screen. Flick. Entrance.
The glance is as perfectly-timed as Gertrude's incursion into the hotel lobby, measured with her first step as the door is flung open. Ordinarily, such a response might carry with it some aggressive edge - a tightening of the brow, a narrowing of the gaze - but Dame Amy remains relaxed, her thumb ceasing its smoothing tap upon the screen and only a faint nodding of the head rising to replace it. Amy watches as Gertrude crosses the thickly-shagged carpet, and waits for her to take a seat...
Whereon a quick scrape accompanies the shifting of her foot from the table.
Sitting upright, and only very slowly moving to relinquish her Smartphone, the Templar ekes out a small smile. It's genuine, if somewhat cold in the manner of its delivery, setting an oddly mischievous gleam to those stormy blue eyes.
"You're very tall," is Amy's first comment, the syllables clear and measured, no rapidity in the enunciation to betray a flustered or foolish approach. The smile grows a notch, and then relaxes as the knight takes in a breath and offers her hand across the table, the other finally setting down the phone's burden upon the oak.
"I'm glad you came, Fraulein Verhangnis. But please, don't stand on formality." Her head briefly bows, her gaze shading and lifting with that same glint from earlier, "You can call me Dame Amy." Delivering it smoothly, in a way that couldn't seem less than friendly, the Templar is equally as capable at moving along. Retiring her arms from the table, she leaves the glowing screen of her Smartphone open for the eye, no attempt made to conceal the fact that it bears Gertrude's image as part of a database file. Instead Amy, too, drives for the point: "I believe we should discuss our histories."
"I prefer to think that other people just haven't put the effort in to catch up, yet." Gertrude says with a faint smirk at the comment on her height. "But if we're not going to stand on ceremony, I will call you Amy. And you will call me Gertrude, or Gert. I do not like the title Baroness."
The blonde eyes the smartphone and its ostentatiously displayed file with a raised eyebrow. Part of her realizes that she shouldn't be surprised there are groups who would keep such records - Fighter Terrorism or whatever it was called being what it is, it is likely that all manner of people have written things down about her. But she's never really stopped to think about that before, and she's certainly never seen the evidence of it until just now.
Her arms fold over her chest as she leans back in her chair, brows furrowed as she looks Amy square in the eye. "Alright then." She says, at last, nodding her head, "I'm not sure why we couldn't meet somewhere like Starbucks to do that, but if you want to talk about history, we can do that. Why don't you start? I'd like to know why it is you are interested in mine at all."
Although, just yesterday, there had been that obnoxious fan shouting 'show us a Terror Wave!' And no sooner has she said that, defensiveness written all over her body, than she looks away sharply to the side, jaw tightening with frustration.
There's no seeming insult taken at the jostle for authority. Amy merely breezes on, though the rapidly-lifted fingertips pawing briefly at the fronds of her hair betrays an emotional response of *some* kind. It's possible she appreciates the verbal show of force more than she'll let on; in any case, she doesn't hate it.
"Starbucks lacks... a certain flair," the Templar responds with a lazy roll of her shoulders, "If there's one thing I've learned about the Almighty, it's that he appreciates pomp and circumstance; through the drama of our lives we give praise." The sentence stops cold, no apparent awe in the gentle smirk of the Templar as she tips her gaze heavenward. When it returns to Gertrude, she leans forward with quiet eagerness.
"My grandfather was named Wilhelm Koenig. One of the finest fighters in Germany. He trained with Herr Krauser, even knew him personally. He served in the Reich. He did..." Her hesitation is true now, not intended for melodrama. Her teeth gently close on her bottom lip, before she rejoins with a bittersweet twitch of the lips. "Things. Things we may or may not speak of, later, but I assume you at least know his name. My family clashed with the Verhangnis', and that's all I know. We may have fought alongside one another. We may be related more closely than we realize."
She spreads her hands, an idle gesture of futility.
"I want to know more. You're descended from the same stock as I, and I believe that you are; you look the part, and you're strong. Even if you may feel..." Another pause, and she enjoys this one, drawing it out with the ghost of a laugh, "Inadequate, right now. Nonetheless, I want to know you, Gertrude Verhangnis. I have to say," she inclines her head, stormy blues curious, "I especially want to know what will happen, when I do."
There's a faint grunt from Gertrude at the mention of the Reich. She stays leant back in her chair, studying Amy with rather more interest after the disclosure. She's usually pretty easy-going, really, but Amy has managed to push enough buttons to put her in the defensive. Now she's actually concerned. She's also far too tired to worry about getting herself in trouble.
"The Verhangnis family are proud of what they ... what we, I suppose ... did in that period." She says, "And we have fought many of the other families in Germany over the years. Wolfgang as well. His family's style appealed to my grandmother, I think, but... his philosophy, less so."
She reaches up, then, and adjusts her glasses so that she can peer over the rims. Leaning forward in her chair, one eyebrow arches upwards quite severely.
"I despise my family, Amy Johnson, but I will not apologize for them. Their crimes were - and are - their own. I have no part in it. Whatever strength I have, I have earned myself. It is not theirs. They have no claim to it. None. Do you understand?"
Despite the impish presentation of Amy's interests, she shows nothing more than absolute regard for the other woman when she speaks. It doesn't quite border on fascination, but she's clearly not lacking the interest she purports, crossing her hands but otherwise barely shifting. Her stare may linger a little long in places, and there's the quirk of a brow as Gertrude corrects herself.
That's going in the file, says the Templar's eyebrow.
When the German heiress continues more forcefully, Amy meets her lean with an implacable wall, the stress of the moment drawing only a slight pursing of the lips from the lady knight. A gesture of passive-aggressive defence, perhaps? When the final demand is made, those same lips soften into a smile that then begins to smoulder. The Templar quietly unfolds her hands and lifts them before her breast, slowly drawing them apart and bringing them together in slow, moderately-stated applause.
If it seems mocking, she's soon to counter-balance, bringing her hands together to state a bow of martial respect. The smile's gone, her expression solemn yet relaxed.
"The words of a fighter who's learned her worth, Fraulein." It's softly-spoken, that, Amy's head still bowed and with a suitably low cadence. When she looks up it's with a toss of her head, a gesture likely normally used to sweep back her long black hair. So bound, the gesture is nothing more than that: a display, a small communique of self.
"I understand, and I bear you no ill will for your past. We've all been dealt our circumstances, and we all suffer for them. We rise above them, don't we?" Disarmingly, the question does not sound rhetorical. The cock of Amy's head and the plaintive chime of her voice is soon gone, though, replaced with the familiar grace. "For one so unmarried to her past, you must draw something more than hatred from it... when I asked about you, I was asking about that. I want to know who you are and *why*."
She tosses her head again; this time it's approaching aggressive, defiant.
"Not why you aren't what you're not."
Gertrude does bristle at the applause, and a light flush of embarrassment comes to her cheeks. She's certain that Amy is mocking her - though why, she couldn't say. She's about to protest when Amy carries on, and had leant forwards to do just that... but she still listens, and hrmphs. The question draws a faint shrug from her shoulders, and her body language shows that she's tempted to get up - agitated, part of her just wants to leave... but she doesn't. There's more to this than she knows, and that is ... frustrating. Perhaps this woman works with Krauser; its possible. If the House of Strolheim are paying attention to her, it'd be churlish not to repay that kindness.
"I don't know if we rise above it, or just carry it with us." She says, irritably. "A smart girl recently told me that when we fight, our experiences are woven into our styles. There is truth in that, I think."
Gertrude sighs, and pushes her glasses back up her nose as she leans into the chair. One hand waves lazily in the air as she finds the words. "In my family, you are not afforded the luxury of choice. When you are old enough to make a fist, you are old enough to take one. Verhangnisburg - have you ever been there, incidentally? - Is a peaceful place. Peaceful because order is kept through fear. That is the heart of my family's style. You discover the fear in the heart of a person, and you can crush that heart without resistance."
That fatigue has come back to her full force. Her eyes are half-lidded, and she sounds... tired, as she continues. The hand not gesturing loosely in the air comes to rest on her jacket pocket.
"I never had any talent for power like that. Until recently, I did not believe I could wield it at all. So they beat me, they abused me, because they believed it would force me to rise up and become what they wanted. But the power in the family has been fading for a long time. In some ways, I think I was what they really feared - evidence that, all things, eventually, pass. Even the greatest legacies fade and are forgotten. That is why they hated me, and why I came to hate them, you see?"
There's always more beneath the surface; if it's not apparent, then it's to be feared all the more. It's a fierce integrity of sorts that drives Amy to be as she is. Whilst the rules may not present themselves too readily, there is clearly a game being played here, and the Templar herself makes no effort to chase victory. The game is more subtle. Perhaps that means it's not a game at all.
Amy continues to show ready signs of attention as the other woman speaks, even betrays a strong empathy despite efforts otherwise. A rapid blinking betrays her surge of emotion for Gertrude, a tight twitch of the lips seizing purview once more.
At the last, she nods, and settles back in her lounge chair, hands entwining.
"I've not visited your home, Gertrude. Often I doubt that I've visited my own. But I've seen enough of the world to know the importance of order; of control. Man is a fickle beast too concerned with progress at any cost - there are tendencies that need to be reined in. *Reigned* over. You'll not shock me with extreme politics, nor the cruelty of our relatives. Cruelty takes many forms, but it's still just cruelty."
A faint grin, and Amy shakes her head, that earlier spark returning to her gaze as she stares more deeply at the German heiress. Many would find it unsettling, and the lady knight seems not to care one jot. She speaks with confident verve.
"Your family believes you're the tearaway, that you seek to undermine generations of tradition by being something different. That with the loss of one strength you fail to gain another; you're lesser, ungifted, unwanted. There's a very real chance they're right, and at least an equal chance that they're wrong." Suddenly Amy laughs, a short bark that's brusque without being unfeminine, "*Power*," it comes fierce, then falls solid, "Takes as many forms as cruelty."
Softness descends, as Amy leans forward, "Who do you think you are, Gertrude?"
For a few moments Gertrude says nothing at all. She allows the question to hang between them, as though it were a cloud hovering above the two women, and by acknowledging it, it may burst in a damp and clinging flood. When she does speak, at last, some of the amusement has come back into her voice. Her eyes raise from the table, where they had settled throughout the heavy speech, and she meets Amy's eye with a more genuine smirk growing on her lips.
"You know, I've heard that sort of thing so much lately!" She exclaims, "Talk of power, and Gods, monsters and murder. You know, in the past week, two people have threatened to kill me for the crime of turning up to an entertainment event? And one of them, I think, really may have meant it!"
She laughs, to chase away the angst. Her hand falls from her pocket, and instead brushes through her hair, a loose, easy shrug is given. The seriousness of this talk; it only has power if she allows it to do so, and right now, she does not want to acknowledge the cloud, or the darkness that it might bring.
"I am a sportswoman. That's all I want to be. My family have tried to change the world; they have succeeded, too, in the most terrible ways. Am I beneath them for refusing to participate? For finding it, absurd, to believe that merely being able to hurt another person gives you the right to inflict your wishes on them...?"
Again, she laughs, and now she stands up. "Perhaps. Perhaps. But the world is a changing place. I hope, if I may win enough matches, perhaps one day I will have my own dojo. There, I will teach weak children that strength does not come from one's history, but is something you work for in the present... to have in the future. That, is what I hope."
And yet, she's not meeting Amy's eye any longer. Oh, the words come easily enough; they might even be true, too. But who is she? It isn't JUST about being a sportswoman, is it? She says in one breath that she wants no part in shaping the world, and in the very next, that she wants to teach her style - her hopes, her dreams, her philosophy - to the next generation. She might not be lying, exactly, but she is not sharing the whole truth.
A cloud. Amy lives inside a cloud, forever keeping at bay the drifting, looping tendrils of mist that betray her blessed power. That a fog should descend upon those around her just seems natural; the trick she has yet to master, is forcing it to remain up, or beyond. To drive away the invader. She has, at least, in time been able to support the weight upon her shoulders, the threat still present but held at stalemate. It's why she can relax, laugh, smile, and not rush to a conclusion.
"That's an admirable dream, and I've no doubt you've dreamed it."
Unhurried, Amy all but breathes the words, drawing them from her thoughts with the patience of the saint she probably isn't. Clearing her throat, she allows her gaze to slip from Gertrude for the first time, settling on one of the swords arrayed just beneath the ceiling. Not on the edge, or the tip, but across the width of the blade.
"You're not just a sportswoman, Gertrude. I'm sorry, but you can't be. This world *is* changing, events are always unfolding just as they always have and always will, but the crux of that change," gently she rises from her seat, a relaxed gait taking her over to the wall, where she reaches up to run a finger along the object of her attentions. "The crux of that change is this: we grow and evolve, taking our strength and making it mean more, shutting away that which weakens us - destroying it, if we have to."
Her voice lowers on the last, and stormy blue eyes slip sidelong to settle once more on Gertrude. There's no real conflict to be seen in Amy, right now; but resolution, that's plain. She's as open as an endlessly mysterious tome can be.
"Do you know how I found you?" Her tone is stronger now, as she explains, "I found you because you're on the watchlist of more than one international agency, flagged as potentially threatening *entirely because of your past*. You're hardly alone in this - there are thousands on these registers, millions if you count the lapsed and presumed. Organizations like mine are informed whenever someone like you crosses the paths of one of our major targets, or comes recklessly close to such a thing. In short, you're not just a 'regular person'; you're interesting, Gertrude." She smiles in the beat that follows, her lowered arm now folding with the other below her chest.
"Tall, and interesting. A person like you can't run and hide behind dreams. One way or another..." Amy tails off, a hand waving outward before it returns to her midriff, "You're important. This... man," she has to reach for that word, "That you fought. Strange. Powerful. Almost... unbelievable." It's spoken with the air of one who has absolute belief, and scoffs at the idea of something impossible. "Whatever purpose he sought with you, you were clearly more important than the others he could have chosen."
Gertrude scratches behind the back of her head. Aside from the fact that she's a little embarrassed Amy keeps pointing out how tall she is, everything else makes a certain degree of sense. Her family past does mean that she's always going to be viewed with at least some amount of suspicion. In many ways, she'd rather that was the case than the alternative; when your ancestors are complicit in the torture and murder of millions of people, it is vaguely comforting to know that someone cares enough to make sure you won't repeat that particular mistake.
"That Man, though, I wouldn't say his power is... unbelievable."
Gertrude struggles to think how to explain it, but it is an important distinction to be made, in her mind. "My Father, you see, he would often crow about being a God. It was funny, because my Aunt could crush him with barely any effort at all, but he would always huff and puff about his divinity."
She turns to look back at Amy, then, and the sword she was apparently so curious about. Ceremonial weapons are so much a part of the decor that Gertrude grew up with, she hadn't even noticed them at all. It isn't as though anyone in her family ever actually used them, after all. They're hardly worth paying attention to!
"He is strong, far stronger than me... and his techniques are strange. But he's not a God. A God wouldn't need to continually rant about his divinity; he would simply BE divine. And I would not have been able to make a God bleed."
There is the faintest shrug of her shoulders. "But interesting or not, I don't aspire to such lofty heights. I should ask you the same question, though. You've alluded to the fact you work for some people... who do you think YOU are, Fraulein?"
Protecting mankind from themselves, that's the modus operandi. It's a task that Amy takes all too seriously for the lie teased by her evasive, teasing demeanour. Gertrude is not the proverbial dragon to be driven away or slain, she's another victim of circumstance too easily painted as something worse than she must be. How many are so inherently savage as to overlook casually-displayed weaponry? How can there be no fascination for the brutal but that one is so steeped within its deeper seas?
The Templar remains where she is for now, looking across the room - which, while it makes great use of space and appears impressive, is actually relatively snug - at the surprisingly forthright heiress. The greatest betrayal of her feelings lies in the revelation of her father-- at her defeat of him, even? The Templar is already enthused by the repeated mentions of her deity, and then she emits a dry snort.
Amy's not so devout as to quiver at any small blasphemy, but this is a grander claim over that realm; not just to blaspheme, but to commit the utter totality of hubris. Some things push her buttons more than others. She's unruffled only by contrast to the feelings she doesn't allow to surface, betrayed by her first scowl and a quickening of the breath. Her heartbeat has increased: it's hard to stop that.
"Please," she grasps for calm with the word and a deep breath, almost leaning against the wall before she checks herself. "I'm no Fraulein. I share the lineage, but I'm impure. My people put gravy in batter and call it a pudding." A return of the smile, fleeting but so humanizing. "Our paths have been very different; the only abuse I suffered was the absence of a father, and the misplaced actions of a mother unsure on how to express love. That's not torment, it's just... living."
Rolling her right shoulder, Amy pauses to search the ceiling for a moment, breathing a sigh before she continues.
"I'm going to be honest with you: I'm Knight Officer Amy Johnson, colloquially Dame Amy is the proper title, although some wrongfully insight on 'Lady' Amy." She laughs again, this time more of a merry tinkle than a callous bark. "I'm no lady, but I *am* a knight. For now I think that's all you need to know. My past, I... I was raised as another reckless youth with no purpose, then singled out for greatness in a way so few can ever meet and survive. I... survived, but I lost that purpose."
If she's greatly saddened, it doesn't show. She seems more thoughtful than anything.
"I found another." Her head raises proudly, with another hair-shifting toss that goes without effect. "We can build our destinies, Gertrude, but there are things we must accept when we do that. A ghost not laid to rest is a ghost that still haunts you. In your case..." Only tailing off briefly, Amy begins to walk back to her seat. "If you get tangled up in this, you could end up dead. Whatever end you believe in, it's not one to be rushed: and I *don't* want to see it happen."
She's sat opposite again now, leaning over the table with hands somewhere around her lap. Her eyes seem lighter now they're aflame, stormy blue waves reflecting the sun before the rainbow cascade comes to draw attention away.
"I was once tasked with claiming the Holy Grail. I failed. I was not the messiah. We cannot be as great as we claim to be - but what we can be, is true to ourselves and wholly powerful. In our own way. Be honest, Gertrude."
"As my fellow heir to emnity, as someone I should probably be fighting if I accepted what was thrust upon me... is it power that you seek?"
Gertrude listens, politely, as Amy speaks. But when she says the word 'Ghost', that is when she feels a shudder run through her unbidden. The color drains from her cheeks, and her hands come to rest on the back of the chair she had been sitting in. The woman is naturally quite graceful; surprisingly so for someone of her stature, but she grips the back of the furniture tightly to prevent her fall, and she has to steady herself with a few deep, heavy breaths.
She repeats the word to buy time, to bring her voice back under control; to compose herself. It is only a few seconds, but it helps. Holy Grails and Knights keeping tabs on her and Gods, Demons, everything in between... this is not what she expected when she struck out on her own, to carve a trail independent of the melodramatic and terrifying world she had inhabited until that moment.
"If I wanted power, now, I could seize it in a moment." There's actual anger in the woman's voice - a harsh edge which has been missing until this moment, and she rounds dramatically. Her flannel coat tails swirl behind her as though they were a cape, and her arm lashes out to the side, fingers flexing. "Do you think that the thought hasn't occurred to me?" She demands, facing away from Amy, glaring at the wall and all its weapons. "Do you think that I have no ambition? It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to seize it, now. To TAKE my birthright. I have tasted that power... I can feel it, sometimes, inside me. I could have it. I could have all the power I could ask for, all I need to do, is to WANT it... and it would be mine."
She's energized now, and she rounds on the woman, eyes flashing behind those thick-rimmed glasses. "But what good is power, if it dictates who you are?! If I take it, I will NOT be the person I am now. You can't have power without becoming corrupted. So no, Knight Officer, I have NO wish for power. None. NONE!"
She exhales, then. Her control shattered, she has to close her eyes, and when she speaks, her voice is still thick with emotion, quivering like an exposed nerve. "I wish, to be a sportswoman. I want the world to see me, to know me, and to accept me. That is all I want. Except, that is, when I am beaten so easily that I feel like I am nothing at all... in those moments, I wonder, would it be better to be the monster?"
She opens her eyes again, and her clear blues are piercing - staring challengingly into Amy's own. "So far, the answer has been 'no'."
As strong as Amy considers her emotions behind the veil, she's somewhat cowed by those exhibited in Gertrude. The passion is intense, enough to humble more than a few - of that she's certain, but equally so that she's able to match it. Scolding fire meets the calm strength of driven waves, and is extinguished readily. Those waves can keep beating against the cliffside, no matter when or how often the fire comes.
"Then make that your power."
Amy's gaze has descended during the empassioned speech, but it snaps up now, the hum of the ocean's might roaring somewhere in the subconscious. A hand rises to her brow, sweeping back hair that isn't there until it catches an outlying frond behind and toys with it briefly, before snapping it briefly taut. Her hand clenches.
"Only a fool denies the capacity to have and use the commodity that drives everything - that gives us a hierarchy, that brings order without corrupting chaos. Power is what we need, is what we seek no matter how quickly or deftly we turn. When you run, you're using it, and when you deny you use it in the *worst* possible way." The Templar hisses that word, as if tearing a piece of evil from the world with her teeth. "Make your relinquishing of one power source the same action that gives you a new."
She almost stands again, shifting her thighs on the seat and rubbing her hands together, as if she needs to use her body for something more expressive than merely sitting.
"Your birthright is a duty. A duty to control, and protect. Whether you use it or not, the strength of your lineage is a part of your very soul; it's always going to be there, staring back at you, until you confront it. I was once without control, I thrashed and cursed and lashed out, but when I had the chance to temper my own power..." She draws and releases a breath, shaking her head, "I took it, because how could I not? I wanted to know if you were like me, and I think you are. But you seem to lack what's come to define me. You lack mastery of yourself."
It's a bold claim, and one she doesn't seem concerned with defending; she moves on with a small flick of her head, relaxing her posture, tone losing its prior hardness.
"Believe it or not, I'd like to see you achieve that before the worst happens."
"It isn't mastery over myself which is the issue." Gertrude says, that dark tone not entirely gone from her voice. "Do not presume that your problems are the same as mine. I have always chosen, for myself, the road that I will walk. I didn't ask for your help. And I don't, want it."
Turning her back on Amy, the younger woman flicks her jacket as she smooths it out, and tosses her head back. "I will live by my own rules, or I will die by them. In either case, it will be MY decision. I am not beholden to my history."
She starts to walk away, then. The room really is very small, smaller than it seemed, and the tall woman grips the doorframe as she ducks to get through it - Japanese architecture always makes her feel even more like a giant than she did habitually.
"I will make my own legacy."
It is a statement which brooks no question. It invites no further comment, or challenge. As far as Gertrude is concerned, this conversation is *over*, and she has no intention of wasting any more breath upon it, as she intends to walk back out onto Southtown's streets.
There's majesty in any sense of purpose, even a deluded one. Gertrude's display is dramatic but appears true to her core; or at least, one part of it. That these two women have much to hide is plainly evident by the means of their interaction. Amy can't help but feel drawn in, like this odd little coincidence to bump at the course of her duties isn't part of something she needs to explore further...
In any case, it's clear that at least one of them doesn't want that exploration to unfold today. Amy leans back as she watches the other woman leave, stormy eyes narrowing in contemplation, her expression solemn insofar as it can be-- the effect somewhat ruined when the willow is forced to duck beneath the door, and Amy breathes her laughter into a smile, the action causing her to sit upright.
She doesn't call after Gertrude, she doesn't add anything wry to herself. What would be the point? What she does, very emphatically, do, is reach for the abandoned Smartphone and open a new page in her personal copy of the German heiress' files. 'Modern knight' she may be, but she hates typing on these things... some things just need to be said, right there and then. Her fingers fly as she writes the report.
The sun is setting when she's done, the hotel alive around her.
Tomorrow is a new day. Another chance. This chapter, is closed.
Log created on 09:31:15 12/14/2014 by Amy, and last modified on 14:10:52 12/14/2014.