Oak paneled walls, dark burgundy carpet, and brass fixtures give the
Smoking Parlor a sense of comfortable darkness. The furniture is
carved of smooth angular lines from the rectangular bar to the tall
backed Ingram chairs grouped into private seating around square
tables. Glasses have been hung and stacked before a mirror frosted
with geometric shapes. Decanters of cut crystal fight for space
amongst labeled bottles. A wine cabinet guards the right side of the
bar, and on the left shelves of polished wood boxes holding a variety
of cigars and cigarettes. Two billiard tables gleam as if new. Tables
for cards and chess fill the rest of the space. Heavy velvet curtains
are often drawn across the iron paned windows. What few paintings
exist are elegant oils of ladies in various stages of dishabille.
Caine, Jhavid, Sullivan, and Zaya are here.
--[ setting ]---------------------------------------
Setting by Kincaid at Wed Apr 2 13:25:14 2014: A new painting rests on one of the walls. It depicts a beautiful woman of dark hair and a nobles baring. She is wrestling with a silken line hooked into a massive storm in the sky. Her clothes ripping at the seams as her voluptuous form strains at the mighty effort of pulling back the lightning soaked black cloud above to reveal the suns light. Several other figures dot the landscape around the mighty bearded lady. Wait, What? Yes! Beyond the storm tattered blue and gold attire, she sports a darkly trimmed beard.
And Caine does, swiping two of Sullivan's solids into pockets as he's distracted, and a stripe, too, because princes don't need to bend over to do such things. "You were funn..." he starts, then light from Sullivan distracts. He watches, frowning slightly.
For those just joining, the smoking room is indeed kind of smoky with the sweet smell of opium. Nothing is on fire, there is no blood anywhere to be seen, only people. Living. And there's booze.
Bizarre, isn't it?
One of the people might not be easily seen upon entry, but as Sullivan walks away from a chair, there is a white woman standing up suddenly, blue eyes wide in surprize. Zaya stares after Sullivan as he returns to the table. She then slowly comes around the chair to it's front and climbs up onto it. But she doesn't sit normally. This time she perches on the high back, sitting easily as she watches the billiard table from a higher angle.
Sullivan looks at the tablespread as it currently stands, observing that two of HIS balls are also down the pockets, aswell as Caine's. He stares at them a moment, then at the dark prince. "Can't keep your mitts off my balls, eh? Yes. Funny. I'm funny. Positively a comedian, or possibly a one-man circus of complete and utter stupidity..." -- and then? Then something seems to process as he's chalking his cue again, and he looks at Caine's left leg fixedly.
"What was that, a remote orgasm spell?" Caine asks curiously, clearly intrigued by Zaya's sudden perkiness. "And you looked like you needed help." Something occurs to him, and he also looks over the table, then shrugs. "Uh, your turn." The relaxation of the opium works still, though the underlying emotions have obviously shifted.
Loud singing can be heard from the hallway, rather deep, somewhat off-key, and definitely out of place for the palace. "We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot./Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!/We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot./Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!" The door opens and Jhavid's somewhat large frame fills the open doorway. He's not quite what you'd call drunk, but definitely not sober. "Oi, this definitely in't Flora's chambers, but ye've all got a party goin' on in here." His eyes brighten when he sees Caine, "Oi! Captain Shadow!"
Zaya does manage to blush slightly at that question, but not as much as she could, "I'm not /that/ easy a drunk." She complains, then considers, "I'm not even drunk right now." She pouts at Sullivan, "That takes all the fun out of it." She considers going to get a new bottle of Vodka and start over, but that sort of defeats the purpose. Instead she just stays where she is, just perched atop the chairback.
"Yes, patent pending. I don't even have to touch you, guaranteed to get anyone hot and bothered," Sullivan doesn't miss a beat, drolly replying to Caine's inquiry with one that doesn't even sound remotely facetious. Considering his options, he aims for another solid off the left corner pocket, somehow misses that one, pings back when he leans back from the table and sinks a COMPLETELY different one, including the white, with a vigorously noted: "Aaaaaaaaaaugh, crap." Pause "Foul ball. Your up." -- Looking to the door, the dark-eyed man nods toward Jhavid, retreating a little further from the door into the haze of opium smoke. Where he stands, the air seems to clear of it.
"Also, he didn't touch you, which takes a *lot* of the fun out of it," Caine remarks. Then the loud singings, it speaks to the prince, and he straightens, looking to the door. The anticipation is rewarded, as Jhavid bursts in. "Captain Flay!" he replies, in ringing tones better suited for shouting between fleet ships. "They let anyone in the palace these days." He glances to the game as Sullivan makes noises that indicate things are not going well for the man, and shakes his head. "This here is a foul ball." And, with a glint in his eye, he bends, shifts, aims at Sulli, and cracks a low, mean shot. The marble orb takes flight off the table, right at Sullivan.
Jhavid announces to the room, "Me stores are low. More rum be required for a venture such as this." He proceeds directly towards the liquor cabinet, and promptly trips over a footstool. After righting himself he declares, "Sneaky little git probably laid that trap out for me too. Lied to me about where Flora's chambers are, and then mined the waters 'e sent me to." On the second try he makes it to the liquor cabinet as if he knows exactly where it is, rumsense. Having acquired a bottle he puffs himself up a bit. "Do not impugn me station captain. I be Minosian nobility." Try as he might, he can't keep a straight face after that remark and bursts into laughter.
Zaya is watching the game intenty. She looks over at the Pirate as he enters, looking over Jhavid before returning her attention to the game just in time to see the ball go flying. The white lady drops off the back of the chair again, making a full rotation in the air as she lands face down, then rolling to her feet behind the chair, "Chaos' Ass!" She declairs as she straightens off, "I really am not drunk enough for this." She makes her way back to the vodka she left beside another chair.
Intent is something that can sometimes be telegraphed -- there was a head's up, which was all that was needed. Sullivan's right hand darts out, catches the fastball in his palm, twisting gracefully with the move and spins his arm about, using the momentum and laws of physics to lob it right back toward Caine, "Body in motion tends to stay in motion..." said AFTER it starts heading back, aimed high, not low. Shoulder or chest area, most likely. "Captain, Flay." His own greeting given with a little salute of the pool cue to his temple. Donk.
And then there's those who just can't be ambushed, as Caine's right hand snaps out to catch the ball just in front of his chest... as he's watching and laughing at Jhavid. "Minosan nobility my ass. I sense... yes..." He holds the billiard ball up to his temple. "I see boarding by the Southern Fleet in your future. For no reason whatsoever." He sets the ball back on the table, giving Sullivan a bemused look.
"Better the Southern Fleet than the Northern Fleet." Jhavid mutters as he uncorks the bottle of rum and takes a healthy swig. He salutes Sullivan with the now open bottle, spilling a couple of drops which he looks at wistfully for a moment before heading over towards the pool table. He now notices Zaya after her acrobatics and declaration of drinking. "Oi lass, ye know what kind of scurrilous racals ye be hangin' about with?"
The pale woman takes a long look at Jhavid as he addresses her, then takes a full swig of Vodka directly from the bootle. "Far better than the one who just entered I am sure." She moves over to one of the couches and drapes herself luxuriously over one arm. "So this is the notorious Captain Flay I have heard mentioned."
"Hey, I resemble that remark, Jhavid..." Sullivan replies with a sniff, again his tone very even, calm and sweet, even as he's looking at Caine and giving one slowly raised eyebrow. What? You threw a ball at me. Someone's throwin' stuff.
"Trouble with Gerard again?" Caine asks absently, then mouthes, 'Notorious Captain Flay' as if the words gave him a funny taste. He then catches Sullivan's inquisitive facial gestures. "What? My turn?"
Jhavid takes another healthy pull from the rum, stopping briefly to eye down the neck of the bottle and look at both Sullivan and Caine with a paranoid eye, only to continue drinking. "Oh, nothing more'n the usual kind." He puffs himself up and shakes his finger at no one in a rather credible imitation of Gerard. "Now look here, son. Ye're being a bad boy. You've got to do something good with yer life. When I was yer age I'd already saved the world four times. An' I used to have to walk through ten feet of snow to save the world, uphill, both ways." He gives Zaya, and what she's drinking, a critical eye. "Notorious eh? All I can say is that child is definitely not mine."
"Yes, foul. Oh! Hangonaminute, no, you took a potshot at me, it's mine..." Yes, Sullivan's with it, he really is. Maybe this is an after-effect and he coughs, looks utterly like he meant to do that and approaches again, this time looking rather cluefully at the spread still left. "Four down, three to go," leaning forward, he aims with some care, narrowing his eyes at the yellow solid. Trick shot it ain't, but it does go straight when he cracks the white at it, knocking into the brown solid and sinking the latter as it itself, hangs there. He's not had opium, nor has he had alcohol. This makes a difference, you know. Leastwise, to him it does. And because he sunk one, he moves around, aims to sink the yellow he just used and fails to get that one where he wanted. "Now it's yours... And I'm watching you this time, Caine..." -- except that he looks at Jhavid for a long moment after that, snorts and bursts into low chuckles. Go ahead and cheat -again-, mac.
Zaya shrugs and takes a slow swig of her bottle, "No idea who's she is. I just live here." She relaxes and watches the conversation.
"Taking potshots is what I do best," Caine reasons, leaning a bit on his cue and paying some attention to the game and some to Jhavid. The latter brings a vague frown. "You know, when Gerard goes off like that, just tell him that even useless dunderheads can make something of themselves. I mean, just look at King Random." This strikes him, at least, as very funny, and the prince is overcome a moment in low, unkind laughter. "Uh, mine, right." Sullivan's doing well. "Watching? You watching?" He grins, baring teeth, and reaches into a pocket to pluck out two solids, letting them roll out on the table. His grin dares in full view.
Jhavid shrugs. "Youngest captain in Minos of any ship larger than a schooner. I'd say that bears significance in itself. That din't happen by accident." The bottle of rum is put down as Jhavid pulls out an oilskin bag and begins to roll a rather bright green colored weed into some brown rolling paper. He nods towards Zaya and Caine. "The two of ye 'aven't got any plans 'ave ye? I don't think poor Moxon could bear the strain of another sib."
"Plans? No I just got here. I haven't made any plans beyond trying to stay out of the Elder's way." Zaya shrugs, and grins, "Not that I am doing that great a job of that so far. Here I am watching Caine playing billiards. A frightening prospect."
"Oh, I see now. It's like -that- is it?" Sullivan looks back at the table and puts one hand on his hip at the fact that his balls are back on the table again. "That's not cheating, that's blatant!" And two it seems, can play this game. Walking up to Caine, which isn't necessarily a good thing to be doing, given what happened earlier, he looks the shorter man in the eye, smirks and waves his hand toward the prince's left leg. He then taps the butt of the cue-stick against Caine's butt and picks the balls up, dropping them -back- in the pockets. "Now pull your arse in gear and play the game, Caine."
Caine maintains a pretty smug grin for a while, even through Jhavid's question about he and Zaya. "I got married since you were in port last," he tells Jhavid, all kinds of casual, as if he was entirely the marrying sort. Then Sullivan sticks his foot in it. From the shift from smug to cold, there was a line somewhere, and someone just crossed it. The cue tilts and falls as Caine draws a dagger out of somewhere shockingly close at hand, takes a step for proper range, and attempts to bury the blade in Sullivan's shoulder.
Jhavid knows Caine well enough to know the reaction Sullivan's familiarity was likely to cause. His own response to Sullivan tapping Caine in with the cue is simply to mutter, "Shit." He drops the weed he was rolling and vaults across the pool table, a maneuver seemingly out of place for a man his size although it was fuled more on pure athleticism than any inherent gracefulness. His aim obviously is to grab Caine and pull him away from the shivving he's about to perform. However successful that will be is anyone's guess.
Third time is the charge. It might be Sullivan's fault for getting two familiar with the Prince, but Zaya is not about to let the Brandwhisperer get killed by Caine. She does not try to stop Caine. INstead she moves to knock Sullivan backwards and down by throwning the bottle at the back on one of his knees. The vodka bottle flies pretty true to where she aims.
Sullivan's imminent demise seems to be something he keeps on catalyzing. Just enough time to react and it's something to be said for the fluidity of his motion, where the dagger comes, that there's a dagger of his own sliding into his palm, brought up cross-blade and flat to the incoming -- the bone, for bone it is, catches the hilt incoming and with a twist of his wrist he locks his own with the prince's but this /does/ make him very open for being punched, groinsmacked and as it so happens, lobbed in the back of the leg by a vodka bottle. Le sigh. It makes him hiss and the blade slips a little bit, Caine's blade closing the distance to his shoulder as he lurches. The tip pricks silk.
Caine is reasonably fast and massively determined, and as Sullivan draws his own blade and fumbles his way into not being punctured, the prince draws back, and is in the process of shifting his feet for another go when he's bodily and abruptly pulled back and to the side by Jhavid.
Jhavid continues to try and wrestle Caine backwards, a task which might not seem difficult given the size difference but it seems Caine is rather squirrely. He's not having an easy time keeping ahold of him. "Damn it man. I'm supposed to be bigger 'an you." He spares a brief backward glance to make sure Sullivan isn't pressing any kind of unrestricted advantage, and to shoot him a wry look that might be suggesting he apologize or something. Of course that point might be moot if Caine chooses that moment to take advantage of Jhavid's distraction.
Zaya follows through with the throw, rolling off the couch, scrambling under the pool table quickly coming up between Caine and Sullivan. "M'lord, might I suggest discression at this point." She's left her back to Caine, but is not completely ignoring him as she is urging Sullivan towards the door.
Sullivan does NOT press the moment. After all, he drew his blade only so that he wasn't trying to parry a bloody dagger with you know, his arm! Arms do not make terrifically good parrying things, unless you're all Wu-shu mastery, which he clearly is not. His black eyes watch Caine as he backs away further, placing furniture between himself and the prince with a nod toward Jhavid for his helpful intervention. His left hand darts into his sleeve, pulling out a trump as he does so which can ONLY be one person, from the red hair that's briefly shown on the card's surface. "Zaya, get out of here..." is called as he concentrates...
RPG: Sullivan studies a Trump.
Caine's attempts to throw Jhavid's grip seems more token annoyance than anything life threatening. He tries to look back at Sullivan, past the man trying to keep him away, and sees the trump action going on. "Delay this, do that," he spits.
Jhavid has to fight down an impulse to knee Caine in the groin. He plants his leg back and his foot even comes up off the floor as he makes the motion before he stops himself. It was obviously an impulse action as Jhavid is clearly more used to drubbing someone than he is restraining them. "Belay that lass. No harm's gonna come to ye." He spares Sullivan another backward glance and rolls his eyes when he sees the trump.
It's not like he's snitching, actually. Sullivan just looks at the middle-distance and then goes two-dimesional and vanishes. He didn't just trump, he got yoinked.
As Sullivan vanishes, Caine shakes his head and calms down, at least in terms of resisting Jhavid. The leg, apparently, was noticed, and he gives the man a Look, but leaves it. "Apparently Brand raises his adopted sons with no respect," he says, icily. "And also leaves out the longevity of my grudges."
Zaya waits for Sullivan to fade, not really expecting the yoink. As soon as he dissapears she rolls forward, picking up the now nearly empty bottle of Vodka. She stands, stands calmly, and walks out of the parlor, a slight sway of her hips as she takes another swig. She pauses at the door, turning fully and curtsying to Cain, then departs.
"That," Caine adds, nodding to Zaya's ass and bow. "Is proper."
Jhavid lets go of Caine after Sullivan fades out. He turns and looks as Zaya curtseys. "Oi, ye don't have to leave if ye don't want to." He nods at Caine briefly, "I wouldn't have really knee'd ye... habits."
Sullivan goes home.
Sullivan has left.
Zaya walks towards the north.
Zaya has left.
"And you didn't," Caine says. The rightous indignation is fading. "That really harshed my mellow." Replaced by terrible sobriety. "And I think I'm out of opium."
Jhavid picks up the bag and other items he dropped before the scuffle and returns to rolling. "I've got weed. It's better than nothing." He picks up where he left off with a practiced hand. "Ye know where Flora's chambers are? I think that page lied to me. Either that or I'm drunk, maybe a bit o' both."
Caine follows and drops into a nearby chair. "Yeah, roll me one, might as well. Of course they lied, they work for her. They have her list...s of toys, and if you're not on that list, they send you wrong. I know where it is, will show you. Or are you on her list?"
Jhavid finishes rolling the joint he was working on and grabs his bottle and also plops down into a chair before starting a second. "Not that I know of. I was gonna steal 'er panties and run 'em up the mainmast of the Witch. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Why? Does she put nephews on the list?"