Rachel Alucard - Bystander's Log #2: The Bargain[Toggle Names]
Description: "It hardly seems fair for me to change the course of events, an editor striking through the playwright's script, embellishing and changing it with her own lexemes and phrases. But when the actors can no longer countenance the doggerel their story has become, can I scarcely deny their requests for revisions? I haven't called upon its full potential since the Day of Sequestration. Even now, I wonder if it will answer. Or, will I find I have gone too far, that my inkwell has run dry?"
The medical centre was a hub of activity still in Southdown, more so than she liked or the building was rated to contain. Bandages and groaning or faint sobs couldn't mask the smell of blood and urine. Power walking through the main floor, past the automatic door with a waft of cool night air and a brisk heel-toe clacking, continues almost right past her beleaguered receptionist. Slowing by a hair to pick up a part of the strained conversation over the phone, a rather poignant one to the situation at hand; deliveries which had not been received.
If the closure of a major city and restriction of travel didn't end soon her clinic would be overrun by more than they had the room to treat. Fantastic for business! ...it would turn ugly when supply levels dropped past a point they had to begin picking and choose from amongst only those who were worst injured to treat. With the sight of the Mishima Zaibatsu building still fresh in her mind she would wager she knew where those missing medical supplies had been redirected do.
The elevator up to administration opened out into a vacant series of small offices and her own, seldom used. Opening the door she makes a beeline straight for the liquor cabinet, weaving between two stacks of cardboard boxes, they were starting to use her office as storage once again, simply because she wasn't making use of the space was no reason to disrespect their employer. Handbag left sitting on the corner of the desk beside an inbox piled high with paperwork Trish targets an older bottle of whiskey and straight pours into a glass that hasn't been cleaned since the last time she used it.
Drinking from the glass straight, both hands occupied with glass and bottle she wanders closer to the window and opens the venetian blinds to get a better look at the city in turmoil by setting the neck of the bottle against them and drawing down. Somewhere out there, but where would he be? Quickly enough she tires of peeping at this mess she goes back to drinking.
"Honestly, I don't know what anyone expects me to do about it!"
It was a bitter medicine; she liked this city this was where she kept a lot of her stuff. But when the chips were down and times got tough!! ...maybe it was time to jump ship and set up again somewhere else.
Not many would have the power to to feel it - that tingle of energy, that impression of a disturbance in reality, that subtle but precise application of an energy foreign to this world and accessible to only a few. Not many would feel the pulse of the arcane, but the beleaguered woman surveying the war torn city of Southtown is one of the few that would.
It happens fast. She would barely have time to perceive something was amiss at all before the shadows in her office would come to life, surging out from the corners, from beneath her desk or shelve, swirling and coalescing into a pane of pitch black. Like a window to the space, countless twinkling stars can be seen sparking in the flat surface before the woman finds herself joined by another stepping into her office from the shadow door. Behind the girl in the layers of black, gothic attire bearing long twintails, the portal collapses and the room's shadows return to their proper positions as if nothing amiss had ever happened.
"Ms. Nathair, I must insist that you accompany me." the girl speaks up without the slightest interest in saying hello or introducing herself. Crimson eyes settle on the spellweaver, and though the child-like trespasser looks almost bored, there is a certain intensity to her gaze, one part resolve, one part menace.
"Bring whatever accoutrements you may need in order to ply your craft, healer." the girl continues. "And be prepared to perform your magnum opus. Nothing less will be sufficient for the opportunity I am about to grant you."
Eyes the color of blood narrow slightly, "But do be quick about your preparations. If I have reason to believe you are stalling, or if you make any effort to avoid accepting my invitation, things will go quite poorly. For you."
Golden blonde hair shifts and tumbles falling from its position. Ms. Nathair stands paralyzed in a moment of indecisiveness' making no movement, some threads of the gold still coiled and trapped against the white fur collar fanning out and falling away like sand in an hourglass.
The offending arm that reflexively raised to defend or perhaps counterattack wilting quickly in response to the pressure on her, falling to her side and hanging limp as seemed fittingly submissive.
Trish had time enough to digest some small portion of what was happening and she did not like her odds, nor think much of her position to bargain from. The young lady had skipped over the formalities of introduction it rankled, Trish was half tempted to rewind the conversation and force such a thing simply out of spite or playing airheaded and cheery as was her usual ploy.
Instead of playing for time or position she gently swirls the glass in her hand. The florescent lighting of the office giving the small amount of remaining whiskey a gold-to-yellow hue as she remains silent and listens for the reasoning behind the intrusion before downing what remains in a gulp.
"How bad is it?"
There were clues, for someone to come to her like this and firmly project strength, so forcefully asserting that there was no time to be spared and that this would be the great work of her lifetime. Either the work was grave indeed or she had never seen the like or the threat to her own life, perhaps she would be 100% used up by whatever deed awaited. Meaning this would be one of her final acts.
It fell flat in her ears when someone offered opportunity or threaten death when the fate of someone important to them was on the line, either or both tended to fall through when relief or grief settled in. Promises were as nebulous as intangible as air.
She did need to know how bad it was. Performing a Magnum Opus without the right tools would be a challenge. What person with any modicum of pride would accept their greatest work to be far form the best they could do.
A thick canvas roll, bound by wound straps removed form a lower drawer in the desk and striking the surface with a heavy thud, yanked out of a drawer a cigarillo case which lands and rattled around. The strong smell of cloves and old herbs emerging form the package. Those two things tossed into her handbag which was suddenly near filled to busting, the bottle of whiskey corked once against and rather than returned to the cabinet she tosses it into the bag as well.
It was kind of fortunate she kept so much of her old crap hidden or stored away in here. There's a faint expression of surprise as she drags a pair of binoculars into view and then leaves them sitting on the desk. She knew she had a pair somewhere! appears this was where she'd left them. All prepped then, for what good it would wind up doing her.
"You know, I can't promise they won't die anyway. I'm not against doing what I can to save a life. I'm merely warning you any bill will be proportional to the work done."
Her usually jovial or dramatic voice is low, melancholic and dreadfully serious. She didn't trust anyone to truly honour and understand the value of a life unless they were made to pay for it. Trish shoulders the bag by both straps and dressed in a light fur collared jacket and evening dress with strappy heels hardly looks ready to make a proper or dignified house call.
"Catastrophic blunt force trauma throughout his body, severe lacerations bordering on evisceration, and arcane reinforced venom quite beyond anything you have had the misfortune to see." Her voice is controlled but a touch hurried, the elegant composure of a lady concerned but not hysterical. Her right hand lifts, fingers resting against the side of her head, her eyes seeming to focus on nothing as she speaks softly, her tone still aloof.
"He really should be dead already. But he is a stubborn man with too much pride to succumb to his wounds just yet. He is also a lycanthrope, so do please factor that into your preparations." The statement that the magical healer is being taken to render care to an actual werewolf is rendered with the same matter of fact tone the rest of the young woman's declarations are made.
She waits quietly as the woman goes about her work, and though her eyes occasionally flick to watch her a bit more closely, for most of the intervening moments, the girl's gaze seems to linger in the distance, fixated on nothing actually in the room. Only when matters concerning a bill are raised does she seem to notice the magician at all, a narrow eyebrow raised just slightly. "Tch." is all she offers by way of reply, as if the topic of remuneration was beneath her to even discuss.
Her right hand lowers, her sleeve draping loosely over her arm as she sweeps it over and in front of her, as if drawing a cloak into place. Over Trish, shadows fold, her world becoming black. And then it isn't.
The sight awaiting her on the other end of the teleportation is a far cry from the overly busy office in the besieged Japanese city. The chamber is large, its furnishings elegant and antique. And quit damaged. A breeze moves through the room through the shattered window in one wall and out through the gaping hole adjacent to where the door used to be. What used to be the door is likely the tiny wood chips scattered along the rug covered floor near the doorway proper. There is an abundance of blood, much of it drying on one of the walls in the ghoulish approximation of a crimson cross not unlike the crimson crosses on the shawl worn by the little girl about her shoulders.
A bed befitting royalty occupies a significant section of the room and resting atop it is the man most assuredly Trish has been brought here to mend. The summary her insistent patron gave barely does his condition justice now that the healer gets to see it in person. Hovering over it is what is best described as a crimson bean shaped blob with tiny wings that, while fluttering, can't possibly be responsible for keeping the little sack aloft.
And then the item that may be noticed last though would assuredly be of the greatest concern would be the black steel sword hovering in the air directly over Trish's head, a literal Sword of Damocles except there appears to be no thread keeping this one aloft.
"Stand down, Nago," the little twin-tailed blonde remarks calmly with a dismissive wave of her hand and the gruesome weapon pivots to the side, falling to the floor at an angle that will not threaten Trish in the slightest. And upon impact, it unfolds, expanding significantly, into the rotund form of a massive black feline with crimson eyes.
The floating jellybean whirls to look at the two, his white beady eyes fixed on Trish, "Oh, Princess, can she help? Can she?" Nago flicks his tail once, large eyes shifting toward the prone form of Valkenhayn, then back toward Trish, "Goodness, it would take quite the miracle worker to pull that off. I hope you can do it, darling."
Rachel lifts her right hand to rest at the side of her head again, "She'll get nothing done with you two imbeciles providing no help to the situation at hand. Do not distract her."
Her eyes come to rest on Trish then, "Healer, I am Lady Alucard, and this is my butler. Save this man, and you may request a favor of your choosing from House Alucard. In addition to whatever recompense you feel yourself due for your standard services stipend." Her eyes become half-lidded once more as she stares in Valkenhayn's direction. "I assure you, we can be quite generous to those who prove their worth."
The little Alucard girl keeps her distance for now, seemingly content to give Trish all the space she needs in order to work. "If you require anything further to perform your labor, please do make it known. This is not a time for delays."
The transportation was more than disorientating, having shadows creep up toward and around her with a gesture would normally provoke a panic. Instead the moment in ensnares her she is fussing with the cigarillo case and on emerging in this new and foreign place. Has one of the mangled and odd looking cigarette pinched between her lips and the displeased grimace was the only significant sign she wasn't thrilled with the method of travel.
The warm flash of flame in the empty cupped hand she was cradling the end of the cigarette in, she didn't even notice the sword at first. Her face paling and recoiling comically with a jump at the suddenly impact.
A golden heel stamping down into and stoving in the face, right between Nago's eyes as the creature reveals itself to be a familiar of some kind, not some misfiring or obscene trap which had come down so close to her. The little bastard either missed her or was trying to intimidate her. She was still getting over how nerve-wracking this all was and this ...little! Knee bent in an unladylike manner and still shoving down harder on the thing like she was repeatedly stomping.
"WHAT the HELL IS IT!"
The smoke around her continuing to blossom and expand, the cancer stick flaring with each breath and draw as she reaches a hand up to steady it; the other checking her bag. Dropping the liquor bottle would be bad, and time was of the essence.
A 'tch' of her own as she removes the foot and for the first time starts taking stock of the room, the blood-soaked wall and the patient before anything else. Wandering closer all she does for a moment is watch, eyes roving over lying figures body and taking stock of wounds. She didn't want to move him, what wounds had closed and fluid remained inside his body were already strained.
Spoken around the cigarette she keeps her words precise and tone clipped even while speaking out the side of her mouth.
I'll close what wounds I can but he needs fluids... not water! Whatever you have that's richer than that. Wine and spirits are okay, a tea or milk preferable."
Kneeling beside Valkenhaylen she doesn't ask for permission to touch him or deal in niceties or politeness, not even of his master this was her patient now. Completely invading his space to peer at him like her was a puzzle to be completed. She leans over his face and very nearly brushes his face with her bust all while puffing furiously on a cigarette that was clouding the area around him.
Taking a seat right beside the butlers head, needs pressed together and dress soaking into the red stain surrounding him she lifts his head and sets in in her lap. Trish herself blows a steady stream of the smoke she's been cultivating out, onto and over Valkenhayn's once immaculate attire so he might now smell of .. nutmeg, cumin, cloves? and tobacco. The smoke gathering and staying close to his body.
"Very fine particles that are attracted to a healthy flow of chi, If any of his organs had died yet there would be holes in the veil of smoke, as it's drawn away."
Her eyes were looking at deeper patterns within the veil, where the flow moves quickly or sluggishly, spots where it was crawling to a stop. Softly enough to speak just to the patient she leans in case he can still hear her.
"There's none of that nonsense about gritting your teeth. But try not to move about still with a poison in your body."
That was always going to require a lot more finesse and study, worst come to worst she would have to bleed it out of him.
The command calls forth the framework of magical formula bound around her body to appear. Rather than remaining it begins to fall away and leaving Trish exposed and undefended, her life's work worn on her person and safeguarding her was now rapidly spreading across the ground as though poured into a new container. A magic circle, It expands with her at its centre and until it contains them both, wiping away the smoke as though parted by an eraser and wiped out of existence.
"Lets' begin shall we!! And hope it's not called Thaumaturgy for no good reason."
The healing is by no means quick but she maintains a steady enough flow and constantly shifting focus to match the diagnostic information. With each two repairs there was something else being damaged the poison, it was two steps forward and one step back kind of battle.
In desperation she increases the flow of her own energy and attempts to restore the lycan's natural healing to what it should be capable of, trading her strength for his. Then perhaps she could abandon some of the problems areas while hoping his natural abilities would handle over time; time enough for more strides forward to be made before she inevitably ran out of stamina or magic reserves.
The entire time her magic circle gently pulses and shifts colour, the lines and written formula shifting and elements contained within the face of the circle shifting and moving gently to match where her focus goes, even though her eyes are closed. It's an exhausting quarter hour before Trish even opens her eyes.
"Did the patient want to tell us .. In his own words how he's feeling?"
As Trish kneels down and begins her work, the fallen servant feels nothing. He's past any limit of pain his wizened body might have been capable of - he simply lays, motionless. One might very well think that he was dead, beyond help entirely. Has the aid come too late? Was there ever any chance to save Valkenhayn from the savage assault he was victim to?
One might expect that the world of Valkenhayn R. Hellsing has been one of utter blackness since has was struck down by the monster from his past. He lays, unconscious and dying, on Madam Rachel's bed (and former decade-long resting place) - his usually immaculate clothes show the savagery of the battle that just took place. His white gloves, torn to shreds... the top half of his typically spotless work-uniform? Ruined and slashed.
The wounded butler's mind is not consumed by oblivion, but by memories, flashbacks, and nightmares - all coalesced into one terrible, continuing dream. Fighting alongside Relius Clover as an Immortal Breaker, his partner having to hold back the savagery of the Lycanthrope more than once... bloody melees, torn throats, geysers of crimson... and then, the encounter with his rival Clavis Alucard that changed everything, that turned the ferocious warrior into a loyal servant.
There are visions of Great Warriors; the Six Heroes, fighting a battle lost to time against a Black Beast... The victory, hard-won as it was, the blood spent on the battlefield with his fellow Legends, entire generations ago... a procession, laying his former Master Clavis to rest, and moving on to serve another, the Lady Alucard. But the memories, they're tainted by some... other force.
Indeed, blackness would be PREFERABLE.
Because amidst these recollections of the past, there is one figure, looming above every vision in the Lycanthrope's fevered mind... a being of hatred and lies... a spectre, an evil long thought forgotten. Those yellow eyes, that sinister smile, the whip and sting of Ouroboros... they lurk in every shadow, no matter what memory runs through his dying mind.
Even as Trish works her magic, the visage of Terumi haunts Valkenhayn as he lays motionless atop the thick, cushy mattress of the Madam's bedroom. That face, and the creeping knowledge of what happened - encountering that bizarrely familiar green-haired intruder, the realization... Valkenhayn R. Hellsing knows now, as the healing energies begin to course through his system and pull him back from the very brink of death, that what happened was no mere nightmare. No last terror of an old, dying man.
That evil he once banished beyond the Boundary, has returned to destroy everything.
With a snapping open of red eyes, Valkenhayn's hands - shifting almost instantaneously into the giant, clawed paws of a wolf - snap out and grip onto the edge of the bed. The savage snarl that comes over his face might fool one into thinking that Valkenhayn still believed himself in battle with Terumi.
It's only as the pain returns to his body that the lycanthrope realizes the battle is already over, the day lost... his paws have already turned back into the aged, wrinkled hands of a manservant when he releases his the mattress from his clutches... His eyes take on their normal colour, and the fanged snarl relaxes into an exhausted, neutral expression.
His head lolls to one side, vision still swimming - for a moment, he could swear he still sees the damned smug face of Terumi, lurking in the shadowy corner of ther room... and then, his eyes fall upon Rachel Alucard. And a smile curls up on the corner of his lips, and his reaches out one hand towards her - scowling as the pain still courses through his recovering frame.
"Madam Rachel... I'm sorry. I couldn't stop him..." His voice is sad, and genuine - gone are the thoughts that the Lady abandoned him... there is only regret, that he failed in his duties to protect the House.
There's a sudden, startled pause, as his nose sniffs the air... He manages to raise a single eyebrow, before looking towards the healer with as much of an incredulous look as his pained face can manage at the moment. The tone in the words to follow are ones of shock and disgust, despite being aimed towards the woman who most CERTAINLY saved his life.
"You're smoking?!" he says, then stops to wince in pain, before managing to continue on, "This isn't... a brothel, /ma'am/."
For several seconds, Trish is allowed to take out her confusion, her frayed nerves, and her frustration on the plump giant cat that has just appeared in front of her and then had the audacity to start talking as if that was perfectly normal. Her foot sinks in, the black cat's entire body remarkably malleable to pressure, as if he was instead a talking, oversized stress ball. And he seems to be complaining about it, a muffled sound coming from his currently stomped muzzle.
Rachel clearly doesn't seem to care, regarding the spectacle with a certain indifference that only seems to shift to mild annoyance as the spectacle carries on for far too long, the fingers resting against the side of her head tapping once, her brow furrowing slightly, bringing her thin eyebrows closer together as she starts to look just ever so slightly annoyed.
But the moment passes without her saying a word, Nago's head snapping back to form without any sign of lasting injury, the large cat lifting a meaty paw to rest over his forehead as he cowers in place, leaving the stomping lady to head over other bed. "I should say that is not adorable at all, princess. I must assume there were not more agreeable healing magic users to retrieve?"
Rachel glances from Nago over to Trish without deigning to answer the feline's question. Instead, she's already barking out instructions, "Gii, bring milk right away. I'm afraid the only one here capable of rendering tea that will do more good than harm is currently lying on the bed."
"Okay, Princess!" the flying jellybean proclaims, winging his way out through the hole in the wall even though the doorway is quiet free of obstructions.
Waiting for her familiar to return, Rachel merely watches Trish's work from a distance, her eyes half lidded, her expression bordering on bored or indifferent. Of course, for all the phenomenal feats of arcane mastery she is capable of, for all the artifacts sealed throughout the large castle, and for all her centuries of knowledge, the art of healing is simply one power thoroughly forbidden from the young vampiress. She can only destroy, not mend. Even her one last resort - of biting an individual to inflict them with the vampire's curse to avert certain death - is a destructive act even if it does deny the reaper his due.
She watches quietly as Gii wings back into the room, his tiny claws at the end of his little legs bearing a glass bottle of chilled milk swinging to and fro as he helicopters it over to deposit it on the bed. He's back a moment later with an empty tea cup dangling from his talon, and drops it next to Trish with an exhausted 'whew'.
After another five minutes pass by, Nago slips over behind the girl and without seeming to give it much thought, she sinks down into a seated position, his body conforming to her small figure to create a very soft looking place to sit that hovers inches off the ground. The exhaustion of dealing with Terumi, the efforts of teleporting another along with her, the violent storm she brought with her when she returned to the castle, and the magic expended in segregating the castle from the time stream as a last ditch effort have clearly taken their toll.
As more time passes, the child-like lady of the house's head lolls back against Nago's soft folds, her crimson eyes closing, leaving Trish to perform her work without being stared at the whole time as the little vampire princess takes a nap. Hopefully a short one this time. At last her eyes blink open when Trish speaks, and Rachel lifts her head. Nago raises off the ground slightly, allowing the heiress to get to her feet without actually having to exercise even the slightest effort, before he lands, becoming a large, pudgy cat once again.
As her butler comes to with an alarming if understandable transformation, she glances toward Trish briefly, "Do be careful. He is not himself just yet." she cautions but otherwise leaves the woman to chose her own response to the danger.
It's when Valkenhan R. Hellsing finally notices her and speaks to her directly, his old familiar, gentle if handsome face restored, that Rachel folds her arms over her stomach. "Do not apologize, Valkenhayn. No one could have stopped him."
"Yeah, even the Princess made a mis-"
Gii never gets to finish the sentence, as with a graceful flick of her wrist, Ms. Alucard sends the tiny bat-like familiar hurtling out the broken window into the distance.
The old wolf gets on Trish's case regarding her smoking and Rachel almost seems to smile. "I expect you to make a full recovery. Anything less will be unacceptable, Valkenhayn. Then we can discuss the situation further."
Eyes return to Trish then, "You have done my house - no, me, a great service this evening, Ms. Nathair. If you wish to name your price now, you may do so. Should you require time to think upon what boon you might desire of me, that is also reasonable. Either way, we shan't bore Valkenhayn with the details. Please gather your things."
The young looking sorceress extends her hand toward Nago and the large feline squishes, compresses, and folds into a closed umbrella, his tail hooking into the handle. The moment Trish has her healing supplies, Rachel's left arm sweeps over her and and both of the women are pulled away from the castle. The healer would have an impression that she might be able to fight back against the girl's teleportation spell with her own magic, but that it would be as a single breath trying to blow back a storm. Certain battles, she is not yet ready to fight. Not quite yet. Maybe if she experienced it a few more times... and had time to prepare...
The destination this time might be unexpected and require a moment of orientation for the magician. The night sky overhead is bright with stars and a full moon. And below them both, /far/ below them... is Southtown City itself. From this height, one can see it all. The blockades, the plumes of smoke rising from fires. The ships off the coast.
The air is cool and the currents brisk, but she appears to be in no danger of falling, Rachel hovering at her side as she looks down upon the city below. The small vampire is quiet, waiting for her companion to break the silence, her cat-eared umbrella now open and resting against her shoulder, propped up by her right hand.
There was little she could do if the lycan butler turned on her. Those claws or fands would eviscerate or rip her into small pieces with very little resistance without her Virgo. An incredulous smile as the moment passes and master and servant exchange apologies, the light sheen of sweat on her skin and droplets forming on her brow, she very nearly barks a laugh rather than merely shifting the cigarette around and into the newly forming portion of a smile that was turning her lip upward.
"Well! ...you're in better condition and more full of life than I expected. To be thinking about brothels or sex so soon after regaining consciousness!"
It was a deliberate tease on her part. Whatever mood was passing between these two with these apologies weren't for her ears. She felt her role was simply to lighten the mood since it was getting a little too sombre and violent in here; the newly broken window a testament to that. All the while these events are in progress her magic circle contracts, crawling back onto her body. Barely illuminated lines of formula, gleaming dully but drawing across her skin at speed, a 3d framework model building around her and then folding back into the tattoo like sections as though she truly were taking her time putting on a multi-layered ornate outfit.
One arm rising to grip her left arm she uses the other to lift Valkenhayn's head and turn her knees to extricate herself. Kind enough to move a pillow to fill her vacated spot she doesn't bother to fluff the pillow. Drawing herself up she wobbles just the slightest amount weariness hitting her all of a sudden now the job was done.
"Don't mention it! I'm ever so glad to have been helpful to Milady."
She twists the knife by being both the most uncultured and least classy person in the room. Was she mocking him? Making commentary on his lack of thanks or, couching her dissatisfaction with these events in honest and forthright /sounding/ sarcasm?
Gathering up her things already Trish throws the handbag over her other shoulder and makes to move closer to Rachel. Her work was done here and thus she was ready to be kicked back to the curb so the nobles could get back to whatever it was they did, and whatever was in her power as a service.
Reappearing as they did Southtown below was a shock. The pain in her arm and her chest stabs and forces a visible wince, if she wished it now would be a good chance to escape the city entirely. She'd could be been deposited outside the perimeter set to catch the command gear and just vanish.
"That was a shock, you should maybe warn people if you're going to do something so amazing."
The tiny glyph under her clothing forms and opens beneath her clothes forming over her heart and channelling most of the power she had left. Foolish move, taking off her Virgo like that, age had a way of catching up on you unless you lived well or cheated amazing well.
"What I would want--"
What could anyone ask of such a powerful creature, desire from them. Immortality, riches, wealth or popularity. A djinn from stories but in this case even possibly more dangerous to ask the wrong thing of as such her voice is small, hardly audible until she snaps.
"What I want? ...I want you --to SUFFER. I want to BLEED and DRAIN you dry until you feel the price you paid is an agony equal to the wounds I restored. Just so I know you remember how valuable a life that was saved."
To wipe that expression off Rachel's face and ...Instead she collapses, sitting in the sky as she would be doing if she fell to the floor, palms flat and head bowing forward, part exhaustion and part appeal, the eyes she turns up are starting to brim with tears.
"I-- Can't you please save us?"
The cigarette that fell when her outburst began still continues to fall, a descending mote that occasionally twinkles as it spins in the air.
The quite legitimate complaint about not being warned is answered with silence. For a moment, the high altitude winds buffet the duo, but within a moment, the air around them seems to calm. It is as if an invisible sphere large enough to encompass them and then some was absorbing much of the blowing currents, leaving the two to feel nothing stronger than a gentle zephyr that plays at the small vampire's twin tails and lightly rustles her layered black and white clothing.
Her eyes remain trained on the city below. It would be a trivial thing, of course, to place the gifted healer outside of the city walls. Or to take her wherever she wanted in the world. One has to imagine the conditions in the Bahamas are vastly superior to the war scarred city below. Trish need but voice the request to make it so.
But it's when she speaks of what she wants that the tiny blonde finally looks up at her, umbrella tilted to the side as to avoid obscuring her view of the woman's face. She hardly seems offended at the words that she blurts out next, her expression almost taking on a hint of bemusement. "Oh? You want to be the one to hurt me? To inflict greater physical harm to me than any soul that has ever existed? Do you think it would teach me a lesson? That it would... change who I am? Even if I cannot be transfigured by the agony you hope to inflict, would it give you satisfaction? For your services rendered, Ms. Nathair, you deserve whatever would make you the most happy."
She looks back down then, crimson eyes resting on the city below. "It would be fitting irony, I suppose, to experience what it would be like to be depleted of my own blood. I wonder if it would be the same... the weakening of my pulse, my skin taking on an unpleasingly clammy nature... would my heart begin to race? Would I suffer the onset of confusion, the crushing agony in my chest? I confess that I don't have the slightest idea."
Rachel shakes her head slowly, a thoughtful, distant expression forming on her face. "Imagine that, a vampire exsanguinated by a human. You won't find stories like that in the old legends... they usually say that we don't have blood, as you know. I assure you, that isn't the case." A soft Hah! of amusement follows. "If that is truly your wish, I would abide by it."
She glances toward Trish then, and her expression changes. Whereas the previous rant seemed not to phase her at all, seeing tears in the woman's eyes seems to provoke a reaction - perhaps this truly is the Long Night of Surprises. She's starting to regret wishing to be delivered a curve ball for once.
The earnest plea is given voice and Rachel is quiet, her mouth closed, eyes flicking away from unsightly tears to gaze at the civilization below - a city with a death sentence, the date of execution rapidly approaching. Her right hand lifts to resting against her temple once more, her left hand cradling the curved handle of her cat-eared umbrella.
"There are constricting dicta concerning that degree of interference... I am only to observe the pageant on the stage and not confuse myself with the actors who have parts to play."
Her left hand tightens on the tail-handle of her umbrella and above Nago makes a unpleasant mewling sound but otherwise voices no complaint.
A soft sigh escapes her tiny mouth, "I don't know if I would have given it all up to save him, you know. Perhaps, in a moment impetuous haste, I would have..." A small shake of her head, "So much hangs in the balance, so many characters scurrying about, attempting to change fate. Hand over the living weapon, or the city below will be obliterated. Stop the so-called Gears, or the world will drown."
The small vampire turns her attention to the sky above. This high, the lights of the city do little to interfere with the infinite starscape free for the gazing. "But you used your gift to change the fate of one man this night. Who am I to not use mine to alter the fate of so many more." Her eyes close then. "You are a bold woman, Ms. Nathair, to ask this of me. But I shall not answer such intrepidity with repudiation." Her right hand lowers to her side, partially disappearing into her loose black, lace-trimmed sleeve.
"If mankind's efforts to avert these catastrophes should fail, I will do what I can to intervene. But the performers must be allowed their chance first."
Lowering her face from looking at the cosmos above, her eyes open, focusing once more on Trish. "This is truly what you want? You could have asked for power, you know. You have in you a rare spark. I could make it bloom, if you would but leave these people to their condemnation..."
She is horrified by how calmly the tiny vampiress accepts her outburst, appearing to let it wash over her, Trish wanted to hurt her as a matter of course because she was so infuriatingly calm. The was no discernable joy or rush to the bedside when her servent was saved. If anything she seemed to be even toying with the concept of allowing her being bled and having such pain inflicted upon her.
Was Trish wrong? was it a penance or were there actually feeling hidden behind was was very nearly a bright and sharp eyed dolls expression.
She turns aside a little in that moment, she would rather look away than meet Rachel's eyes, her words had illustrated plainly how horrible and wretched the thing she had admitted to wanting was. She still had some shame. She was the one abducted, afraid for her life if trying to mask that fact and still somehow the worse monster of the two beings floating in the nights sky, so close to the pale full moon she felt she could touch it.
It cause an ache in her heart. What would her dear friends have thought of her as she was now? A literal sharp stab in the chest that felt like it would burst was the timely response. It was at that moment she collapsed.
Trish can't understand what kind of rules were in place that interfered with the actions of a being at his level. A two dimension being that had somehow encountered a being that lived in three dimensional spaces. Their levels were too far apart. So much she might learn! To study or ask for all she could get. All she really wanted was for her selfish life to continue and where there was just a little hope for tomorrow, not all her days being the same.
She wanted to be saved too...
but that would be meaningless if she was alone once again.
Down there, at least she had Brandon. Even when he thought he was alone and crazily standing up to madmen and tyrants like he were some invincible hero (which could not be further from the truth) or the problems of others he kept taking on as if his own. Trish was usually nearby or at least monitoring, watching over him or ready to whisk him away if he needed her protection. She worried when he did stupid things to save people and was angry with him when he lost or got hurt. He was a companion, and had all the things still in him that she had lost.
She wasn't a hero though. He simply wormed his way into her heart and she hoped to be there to see him achieve. She adored him and she envied him his power.
Her still flowing tears fall from hollow looking eyes as she stares down. She knew her heart better than anyone else, her excavated and empty heart would have her trade away that city for power, and Rachel's offer was the sweetest of temptations.
The loss would damage the infinitesimally small group of people she cared about.
Scrubbing away her own tears the white witch gives an ugly snort and for the briefest of moments wonders what it would be like to spit from this height.
"I hate war. No matter who is fighting or what it is over... aside from the Brass issuing orders and making their plans, nearly everyone involved or caught up in it, almost all innocent bystanders and people who didn't want to be there."
There is no rush from the incomprehensible monster at her side, no expression of impatience or sigh of weariness as Trish wrestles with the offer on the table. Instead, Rachel continues to gaze down toward the city below with half-lidded eyes, waiting in silence that drags on for as long as the woman needs. Now and then, sounds of explosions - like fireworks in the distance - can be heard rising up from the besieged city. But beyond the occasional pops, the two are left in relative silence to conclude their business.
When at last Trish speaks and the young looking vampire turns her head just enough to look toward her out of the corner of her eyes for the passing of a few seconds, before she goes back to looking down at the city.
"Very well, if that is your choice." Rachel finally says after a silence that lingers to the point of potentially becoming uncomfortably long. "I believe our business is thus conducted to both our satisfaction." From her tone alone it is impossible to detect whether she is disappointed in the spellweaver's decision.
Swapping her Nagobrella to her other shoulder and hand, she lifts her left arm up to sweep across herself. Again, Trish's world becomes black and the sense of overwhelming arcane manipulation washes over her.
And then the two are back in her office. Out the window, the first hints of the coming sunrise are visible. Normally, dawn would soon be breaking over another normal day in Southtown as people wake up and go about their lives.
But this day, like the others recently before it, will merely spell a continuation of the same horrors that continued without pause throughout the night, the same regrets, the same suffering that perhaps prompted the clinic owner to make the decision she did.
Rachel is with her as the two reappear, the girl lowering her umbrella to fold it closed, then dropping it to the floor where it lands in the plump shape of her large black cat familiar.
"Goodness, Princess, you aren't seriously going to intervene all because of one particularly mean human's plea, are you?"
Rachel lifts her left hand as if to backhand the large, soft, fluffy looking beast, which puts him to recoiling preemptively, "B-But what will Valkenhayn say?"
Instead of smacking the cat on the head, the twin-tailed blonde lowers her hand back to her side, eyes on Trish instead. "Well," she starts to lift her left arm in that familiar gesture of folding shadow to vanish away again, "I imagine you have a busy day ahead of you, Ms. Nathail. Those patients are not going to heal themselves."
A cloak of darkness moves over her from left to right, her voice audible as if from a great distance for a fleeting moment after she is gone.
"Such an interesting woman..."
Trish reappears, sitting in her office with her carpet culring between slim flingers as she curls them into fists. Plain and pale tan in colour she stands out against it as much as the creeping black while it's sluicing away to reveal her.
The acceptance of her request hardly fills Trish with relief. What the consequences of her asking were and the deal struck? She had been given a powerfully strong hint she was dabbling with forces she had no knowledge or comprehension of. Not that she couldn't develop an understanding, that offer had also been on the table. There were rules, rules she was unaware of what governed or restricted the movements of something so powerful, The vampiress was adhering to or remaining mindful of these rules, they affected how she could act and for her part she was watching or waiting for something.
Most notable of all. Trish had selfishly asked her for help, Aide from someone who already had powerful enemies! Her home had been invaded, her man crucified to a wall as well as ravaged by poison and covered with horrendous wounds. For all her worries, Trish's side of the transaction had been costly in terms of her mana stores but she seemed to be getting the better end of the deal by miles; if the lady were as strangely charitable as she seemed.
(And fitting with the claims of things she would accept have accepted as payment.)
She meant to apologize; instead she swallows it down and gives the familiar a last few joules of energy glare. The mean human the cat was bad-mouthing draws a knee up, climbs to her feet soon after.
"Milady agreed to it. ...that's fine enough reassurance for me."
What came of the request would come she had reason to have faith that it would be repaid even if she never knew the how and when of it. The jinni was out of the bottle now and still plenty of work to go around.
As the girl fades away beyond the point Trish can see or hear her anymore... she bows formally if not too deeply. In her exhausted state she would be lucky if she could make tea.
Which would hit the spot. she could certainly go for a nice recuperative or energy restoring tea. She was sure she had something applicable here somewhere. Her staff were sure to need something to keep them going and she could brew up a large batch in the kitchenette area.
Trish would make tea, get her head on straight and then see about refilling her spent stock of mana. She had a couple of good ideas how to do it, then an embarrassing affair to set right.
Log created on 15:40:27 11/26/2017 by Rachel Alucard, and last modified on 03:42:29 11/28/2017.