Courtesy Call


amato_icon.gif lucrezia_icon.gif kazimir_icon.gif

Scene Title Courtesy Call
Synopsis In an attempt to mix metaphors, the Father calls on the Son and the Holy Spirit in order to assign them tasks that rightly belong to other people.
Date January 8, 2009

The Ritz-Carlton Central Park Hotel - The Royal Suite

Lucrezia's nest of choice is posh and befitting a woman of her reputation and fame, even if that fame does not extend across the pond. Welcome to the Royal Suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Central Park — it's fifteen hundred square feet of ridiculous luxury kept twenty-two stories above the ground. The view afforded from the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room lounge is nothing short of breathtaking in a very morbid sort of way. Somehow, the afternoon sun has a way of making the ruins of midtown look like modern art from here…

Meanwhile, in the master bedroom, someone's crawling out of their clothes and into something a little more comfortable. That someone is most certainly not Amato, who probably couldn't be any more uncomfortable if he tried. The suite is a little too warm to be considered comfortable by anyone fully dressed and a little too dark — the only source of light currently employed being the natural stuff filtering in through the gauzy curtains — to really ensure that there's nothing nefarious lingering in the dark corners of the room. (And, of course, there is.) From the other side of the door left ever so slightly ajar, Lucrezia calls out to her guest in their shared, familiar tongue: "«So… what do you think?»" Way to be utterly non-specific there, sweetheart.

One could argue that the monastic life of a priest is based on discomfort. Such as it is, Amato stands with his gloved fingers laced across his abdomen as he stands as crisp as the suit he wears, resisting the urge to loosen his tie. "«I have never understood the need to live so lavishly in a place where you will not be for very long.»" There is no dying that the suite is comfortable and classy - it is fit for a queen. It is simply not what Amato would have chosen, even with Lucrezia's personal wealth at his disposal.

"«Then again,»" he adds, "«you are a woman of the world, as some would put it. Such things as this are expected of you. I would never have imagined your finding comfort in the arrangements I have made for myself.»"

Apparently, in Lucrezia's little world, the term 'something more comfortable' somehow equates to 'damn near naked'… as Amato is soon to bear witness when she emerges from the bedroom attired in a black and red lingerie ensemble that comes complete with tartsocks thigh-highs and open-toed slippers that have two and a half inch heels. No, seriously. Thank GOD she's at least possessed of a generous soul enough to wear a robe — a floor-length, black silk number — which might serve to spare the man an instant aneurysm should he accidentally look her way. And, what's more, she plays off this entrance as if it were the most casual thing in the world; as if she was dressed in nothing more provocative than a turtleneck and a pair of old corduroys.

"«Can I get you something to drink?»" she asks, en route to the attached pantry hidden behind the separate dining area in a flourish of silk and spiced clove smoke, as the cigarette clutched between the fingers of her right hand were little more than a forgotten fashion accessory.

Really, it's Amato's own fault for turning and looking at Lucrezia when she re-enters the room. He looks away as quickly as he can, swallowing to relieve the sudden tightness in his throat. "Water, please," he asks in the more brutal English, struggling to keep the strain out of his voice. "With ice." Damn that devil of a woman.

Fortunately for Amato, Lucrezia isn't the only devil come to roost in this lavish apartment. A series of soft knocks come to the front door, sounding a bit too firm to have been delivered by knuckles. But far be it from this devil to enter a home uninvited.

And so the choice is this… either Amato can be a dear and see who's at the door while Lucrezia looks to fetching his water plus ice or she can make the detour herself and the sacerdote remains deprived of what small comfort she might have been willing to offer.

Let it not be said that the Black Widow is unnecessarily cruel. By all accounts, she seems to be proceeding in the course of Plan A, and even pitches a chin-jutting gesture to the sharp-dressed man before she rounds the corner into the kitchen. There's the muted sound of a pitcher being poured, ice and all crashing down into the throat of one glass and then another.

It is with the grace of a valet that Amato moves toward the door to open it, and it widens upon the revelation of their visitor. Amato bows his head, but he does not speak until the door is closed behind Kazimir Volken - closed and locked. "Master," he greets with a second nod. "Would you care for refreshment?"

Being greeted by Amato in Lucrezia's den seems to come as something of a surprise to Kazimir, his blue eyes lingering on his Conscience for a brief time before he steps in wordlessly, cane tucked under one arm carefully. "No, thank you." The rhetoric of asking for refreshment is an attempt to inject some level of normalcy into Kazimir Volken's very presence, for none among the Vanguard have ever seen him eat, drink, or even sleep.

"It's good to see that you're…" The choice of his next word might seem jovial, were Kazimir ever inclined to jest, "familiarizing yourself with the Lady Bennati." His blue eyes catch sight of her silken silhouette pouring the glass of water, only allowing Kazimir to turn and look back to Amato with one raised, gray brow.

Amato's own expression is one of incredulous innocence - a 'Who me?' turned righteous. "I am not one to turn down an invitation of such caliber," is his verbal answer, though it is as uptight as the look on his face. "Though I cannot say I approve of her hostessing methods."

She's just three steps away from being reunited with her master and their priest when she pretends to have her feelings pricked by words overheard just before her return. She affects a wince and a playful pout in retort to Amato's poking her hostessing habits. "Your water," Lucrezia croons, delivering the requested beverage in a long-stemmed wine glass instead of a tall tumbler. "With ice," she adds, noting Kazimir's presence with a deferential nod before slinking over to a Queen Anne chair and taking a seat as though she were assuming a throne. She crosses her legs at the knee, showing off everything from ankle to hip, yet remaining somehow just this side of indecent. She suckles her cigarette and eyes the two men taking up space in her den as if she might be debating which of them to eat first.

Naturally, this is all an act; a great deal of affection, even in close quarters, and nothing at all akin to what might qualify as the 'real' woman clad in such ridiculous clothes.

Stepping into the suite, each metered footfall Kazimir takes is precise and carefully chosen. As his eyes sweep around the room, there is a momentary stare out one of the near floor-to-ceiling windows, as if peering beyond to something or someone unseen. But his focus is stolen to the westward horizon for only a moment as Kazimir continues his meandering approach to the center of the sitting room, cane still carefully tucked under his right arm. "Your accommodations are most befitting of your image, my Widow." Settling his eyes on Lucrezia for a moment, there is a blank stare that Kazimir affords her, devoid of the interests of physical demands that so many others seek to restrain on sight of the seductress. He pivots, turning at the waist to regard Amato with a mild look, "We have a situation that I felt you both should be made aware of."

"Then it is Providence that you need only relay it once." Amato takes the glass of water with a subtle nod, draining it after his remark as been made. This indulgence is perhaps a bit ungentlemanly, for when Amato lowers the glass and subsequently his head, the contents are half gone. His eyes remain glued on Kazimir - a fault of interest and determination not to look at Lucrezia.

Lucrezia's interest in the 'situation' to be addressed is expressed not in words but rather in subtle, suggestive motion. She withdraws the cigarette from between her painted lips and employs to fingertips from the same hand to briefly pluck at something invisible on the tip of her tongue; some stray hair that found its way there or, perhaps, a piece of tobacco that worked its way free of the filter in order to be sampled raw. One pale shoulder pushes forward and she brings her unoccupied hand up from where it hangs at the end of her sheer silk-swathed arm and lays it to rest against her stomach. This is her 'you have my attention' pose… at least in so far as this particular scene is concerned.

"One of the Primary Vanguard Unit, Dina Murphy, is dead." Kazimir's blue eyes narrow, focused at a point on the wallpaper across the room, giving him a somewhat unfocused clarity to the way he speaks, as if divining the information from some other source. "The Covert Operations Unit was not responsible for her death," Turning around to fully face Amato, Kazimir's expression has clearly hardened. The creases at the corners of his mouth have downturned to a frown, brow furrowed, giving his gargoylish appearance a more disapproving cast. "Furthermore, one of the two freight cars filled with potential test subjects for the biochemical agent Doctor Knutson is developing were taken by this murderous party."

As Kazimir speaks, he is taken back to walking again, cane coming down to rest its steel tip on the hardwood floor, gripped by the snarling wolf's head on the opposite end. "Scouts who were positioned across the bay to confirm the pickup spotted several individuals responsible for Dina's death and the interception of the test subjects." One gloved hand reaches into Kazimir's suit jacket, retrieving a thin stack of surveillance photographs, thrown down onto the glass-topped table near the sofa. "Four individuals were clearly photographed. I need names to go with these faces, and corpses to be associated with those names once obtained."

Each photograph is shown in the muted green hues of night vision, depicting a young woman in dark clothing with a watchman cap on her head, most of her hair tucked up beneath it. A young man with high cheekbones in casual clothing — jeans and a sweater — carrying a bag over his shoulder. Another man of roughly the same age with scruffy facial hair in a hoodie. Lastly, a woman with shoulder-length dark hair in equally somber colors, carrying a duffel bag in one hand.

"I want them identified, watched, and dealt with." The adamancy in Kazimir tone is that of a disapproving father, something stern and frustrated hedging on raw anger. "We are too far along now for mistakes like this to cost us any more precious time and resources."

Amato bends down to place his water on the table and pick up the photographs, flipping through them casually, but taking time to emblazon each face on his memory. He remains silent, but the look on his face is both grim and resolute.

While the news that there has been a 'death in the family' does not appear to strike Lucrezia with any measured impact, for better or for worse, what does make her sculpted eyebrows arch is the unspoken declaration that her attention ought turn from internal affairs to external surveillance and possibly even, gasp, wetworks involving someone other than their own brood. This truly is the point in the game where she recognizes just how much has changed. After all, this ought to be something for Munin to manage, keeping an eye in the sky to survey their enemies on the wing; Freyja was always the one weaving her web and watching the watchmen. It felt… wrong.

Of course, this is not voiced; to do so would be swift suicide and Lucrezia so very much longs to live… as wickedly as possible. Instead, what she says is: "…and Rico?"

"Ellinka is keeping an eye on him as well. So far he is still operating in our best interests, however if that should change…" Kazimir exhales a put-upon sigh, "He will be dealt with accordingly. It is unfortunate that such a longtime associate of mine has grown weary of the cause, but time wears down all convictions eventually." His blue eyes linger on the photographs, then slowly upturn towards Lucrezia in solemn silence.

Moving away from the table, Kazimir walks towards the picture windows, standing close enough to peer down to the street level in a manner that can give many vertigo from the view. His reflection, muted in the glass, peers down as well, resembling a pair of men with their heads bowed, though whether in reverence or penitence is difficult to guess. "It will not be long now, before all our operations are put into order. Before the month is out, the final stage of the Work will come into effect. We are in a period of time where there can be no furthered mistakes."

Turning to look over his shoulder to Amato, Kazimir addresses his Conscience directly. "I played a gambit with Dina's life, having informed her via radio that the shipment was coming in. The sudden and unexpected attack proves, to me, that we are being surveilled — electronically or otherwise. There will be an attempt at setting a trap for these rats to come crawling to, and when they do…" Kazimir grows silent, looking back out the window to the streets far below. "They will crave death at the end."

January 8th: The Chicken or the Egg
January 8th: Fool Me Once
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License