OPEN The Meeting Hour

Divia LaCroix

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767
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Sunset Boulevard
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5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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Female
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#1
Tick tock, tick tock...

The sapphire face of the ridiculously expensive Patek chronometer gracing her left wrist drew Divia's gaze briefly as she checked the time: 8:58 with seconds racing onward. The Tzimisce was sitting at the bar, not too worried who might see her or worse yet, recognize her. She did not expect her Childe to be on time (he rarely ever was), but Ballard Braun likely would be - and the proprietor of this Poe-esque venue would certainly be around tonight. She never did hear back from him via text, but had a distinct feeling that he would be here.​

With any luck, he would appear without his bloodbag-girlfriend.​

Leaning across the bar as she shifted her posterior on the swivel stool to attain some level of comfort, she stared at the bartender until she got the man's undivided attention.​

"O-negative, make it a double."​

When he turned to fulfill her request, Divia pulled a small silver compact out of her purse and began surveying her peripherals under the pretense of checking her flawless complexion...​
 

Ballard Braun

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#2
Ballard Braun, perhaps by providence or coincidence, was checking his watch as well as he exited the cab. His watch on the other hand, was decidedly not at all like divias very posh Patek. Instead, something far more pedestrian and far less expensive.

An old loony tunes timepiece was his preferred method of telling time. The old bands had to be replaced after years of use, but the rascally rabbit still happily told the correct time. H was walking into the bar early in fact, 8:59 and 50 seconds.

The truth was he was not looking forward to seeing divia agian, he owed her everything, but yet still everytime he entered her presence he knew he was entering the demons den. and what divia could do was beyond his comprehension. The fact she only ever seemed to despise his presence was also very worrisome in and of itself.

But now was the time. taking a look around the bar he saw her. straightening the cuff on his shirt before going over to take a seat next to her.

"Good evening Lady Divia. Than you for taking the time to meet with me."
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#3
Suppose it was high time Marcus started tending to some business. The Raven did not generally run itself, but Erica was always there and she did an admirable job as the night manager. Suffice it to say, it was generally enough if the proprietor of this swanky, exclusive Erebos club (and sometime Elysium) showed up to look things over once or twice a month. And now was as good a time as any, considering that he had a couple of other things to take care of, on the side.​
After having dealt with the 'necessary evil' of checking books and signing a couple of checks, Marcus pulled away from his desk and buttoned up his dinner jacket before strolling out of the office and heading back upstairs. He wasn't exactly sure when LaCroix would show, but he knew she would not be late. Given that it was only a minute prior to 9, he would check upstairs first to make sure she wasn't trying to taste his newest employees - which would make Marcus incredibly vexed. He did not like to do interviews. He did not like re-hiring people. He did not like to explain things to the police and eventually ending up dominating the shit out of the poor bastards.​
Ugh. Divia. Code name: Trouble.
Still, she filled out a lace corset like no other.
Well, turns out he could smell her before he saw her. The unforgettable scent of Fracas.... pure sex in a bottle for mavericks and intellectuals alike. He could hardly recall a more seductive, more sensual, more flirty, more daring scent. Marcus' nostrils flared, taking in the carnal scent of tuberose, a head and oozing scent in its butteriest, most inviting form. You had to, eh? Couldn't have simply worn some Shalimar. Nope.

"Milady LaCroix."

Suddenly shifting behind her, Marcus turned the swivel stool with one hand, the other claiming her hand for a quick kiss to the outer palm. The man in her vicinity (Ballard) was acknowledged, just barely. "Good evening." And then, "Shall we relocate to my office for more privacy? That is, presumably, if everyone is here that needs to be."
 

Matthew Edick

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#4
Matthew maneuvered through the back alleyways, and streets of the previously proposed meeting place, keeping silent and aloof. As he neared the back entrance of the establishment, he quickly turned his merit in Serpentis to realization.

His jaw becoming a ferocious, and malleable thing he could control in a variety of ways, though few were new to him at this point. His jaw distended to his chest, his fangs growing to the size of small daggers, and his tongue forking at the tip extending out a meter long. Simultaneously his throat expands in size, so that he can consume anything he might get his mouth around.

Only then does Matt open the back door, and proceed into the innards of this forbidden meeting, with his Typhonic appearance set to frighten. As he rounded the corner and came through the back into the bar area where all of its current patrons were meeting, he waved a hand to them all. He quickly took a seat on the stool immediately on the left of Divia, slapping down a fiver and looking at the bar tender with a nod.

And so, Matt Edick arrived, as fashionably late as ever...

Typhonic Maw: Serpentis, Lv. 2
 

Divia LaCroix

Duchess
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Messages
767
Location
Sunset Boulevard
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4
5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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Female
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25
#5
"My lord Valerian," she nodded with a graceful dip of her head, acknowledging the Autarch of Erebos. Handsome and sleek, he was sporting his customary black silk attire - how entirely unexpected! And he smelled of sex. Divia felt like she was going to pass out from sheer disgust, if it wasn't for the appearance of her Childe. Just in the nick of time. The sudden sight of Matthew Edick's reptile face made her palms itch. If he thought it to elicit a smirk or a chuckle from her, he would be sorely disappointed.​

He knows I can't stand that shit and he still parades with it proudly.
Oh well. Better Edick's face than Valerian's stench.
Just... barely.

"Perfect timing, Matthew. As usual."​

It was no compliment, although by Divia's standards it might as well have been one. Looking sharply to Ballard, then the Autarch, she shrugged her slim shoulders in mild indifference. She came as she was asked, but it wasn't up to her to move the meeting to a more 'desirable' location. Valerian's office was probably a good idea, though. Safest place in the club, and the most secure. "Relocating would probably be wise. Unless Mister Braun is still waiting on someone else to appear?"​

In the meantime, she would pay for the drink that was promptly placed before her. Sip one. Sip two... Shall we get on with the show?

 

Ballard Braun

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#6
He only mentally sighed as he watched a sudden amount of people appear as if from nowhere. Well, so much for a private conversation. he guessed he would just have to keep things he didn't intend to under his hat for now. as two strangers just appeared one of which kissed the divias hand. that either meant he was supremely powerful or supremely stupid.

the other man, Matthew and Valerian huh? well, he decided to skip the "I heard so much about you", introduction with the rest of it. deciding instead it was probably best to not speak unless spoken to in this case.

Instead, he just nodded divias direction. "No we can proceed, I did not invite company." ~I didn't think you were etiher...~

So he stood, waiting to be lead by Valarian to his office.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#7
"Mister Braun, And mister...Edick." Valerian's head tilted in acknowledgment of Ballard and Matthew, respectively. The former intrigued him, although he did recall seeing him somewhere once before. Must have been the Masquerade Ball? Yes, indeed... Ballard Braun was not Divia's Childe but someone close to her, nonetheless? Ah, he must be an informant, the Lasombra clued in, following Braun's response to Divia. Well, let us see if he has anything interesting to say.

"This way, if you please."

He wasn't about to waste anymore time; had already spent most of the day at The Raven and was most eager to return to his proper haven.

"Watch your step."

There were stairs up ahead - a spiral staircase, in fact - leading down to The Cellar where Marcus' office sat concealed behind a camouflaged brick 'wall'. Marcus wasted little time in pressing his thumbprint into one of the bricks then watched the wall recede, revealing a spacious office decked out in a somewhat 'goth' style but with a touch of Bohemian aesthetic to it.


"Take a seat anywhere you please," Marcus invited his guests and waited for everyone to file in before securing the door. Pointing to various decanters spread throughout the chamber, he offered a refreshment for anyone desiring one. Once they were all comfortably seated and with drinks in hand, he would take up a seat on the piano stool and wait for the meeting to commence.​
 

Matthew Edick

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#8
Matthew acknowledged each of the individuals in the room, yet said nothing, it was hard to with the current form of his jawline - whether that was obvious or not, he was unsure...but he hoped this lot had the common sense. Though he did chuckle aloud, but to himself, when he picked up on the German accent of the man that was Ballard Braun.

Following after Valerian, when he had finally decided to take the meeting elsewhere, only passing into the office after everyone else had entered ahead of him, he took a seat on one of the plump and cushy chairs, simultaneously pulling up an ottoman, and reclining in the wonder that was Marcus Valerian.

His jaw suddenly began to recede in size, though it most assuredly kept its fangs in place, only so far enough that he could actually manage conversation. "So..." He started, looking over to Braun, "From what I've heard you have something rather...intriguing, and prudent to divulge." It wasn't a question, merely a statement of intent...to hurry it the hell along.
 

Divia LaCroix

Duchess
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Messages
767
Location
Sunset Boulevard
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5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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Female
Apparent Age
25
#9
Divia did not look to her Childe but smiled inwardly at his prompt given the Toreador. "Indeed, mister Edick is very intrigued by all that you have to say - although I do understand if you feel somewhat ...irritated at the presence of extra individuals in this room. But Ballard, you should be aware that there are two people I never keep secrets from - no matter what they might be - The Autarch - and my Childe. Further, I do not recall you specifying that the meeting was to take place without anyone else present. Thus, I urge you to proceed as we are. If there are things you must say only unto me, we can hold that exchange some other time. But now, I am assuming we are here for the security of Erebos - or because the delicate balance of power within this city is on the line? So please. Do not keep us in suspense any longer and just say whatever it is you came here, to tell me."

@Ballard Braun
 

Ballard Braun

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#10
He took a seat on a bar stool since Valerian took a seat he would be far more comfortable in, the piano bench. But he didn't let it get under his skin too much, his permanent smile staying where it was as he listened to Divia.

~Well, I suppose I better have stumbled on something worth the time. ~

"Of course lady Divia I never intended to suggest you would hide the information. I just had no idea anything I did happen to fish up would be important enough to loop so many people in on. Let alone Lord Valerian. I was honestly surprised to get a personal meeting with you." He nodded in appreciation her direction.

"Well, let's get on with it. I owe Lady Divia a great debt, and after the masquerade ball, I thought I at least start repaying that debt by trying to make a bit of sense out of the night. Do excuse me for saying but that night was either a desperate gamble or a throwing down of the gauntlet. I thought that it was a good enough place to start to figure out which."

he looked to Lord Valerian. "I have reason to believe there are at least two factions, they are both just getting started, and one of them is named the Brotherhood of Orion. I believe them to be the mortal faction. Their leader's name is David Stern."

He waited for questions at this point. Hoping that at least some of what he said was news.
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#11
Marcus rolled his neck, cracking a couple of vertebrae as he did so. His eyes never left Ballard Braun even as he sipped a refreshment that had somehow found its way into his hand.

"I am aware of the Brotherhood." He nodded his acknowledgment in the neophyte's direction. "They nearly wiped us out during the Plague. But I was not aware of who their new leader was."

David Stern. Having committed that name to memory, he nodded at Ballard Braun once more.

"What can you tell us about Mister Stern, if anything? And do you know who the other faction is?"

The Lasombra had a vague idea the others were aligned with one of the prisoners Vindicta had taken the night of the Limbus Inauguration.

"They wouldn't happen to brandish crossbows with napalm projectiles?"

He did not expect Braun to know the answer to that one, Marcus was merely thinking out loud here - but it would be interesting if the young Toreador did. Know the answer, that is.

Looking around the room, he searched the gathered to see if Ballard's information had any visible on anyone... or if they had their own two cents to offer. Either one was welcome - at this time...
 

Matthew Edick

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#12
His demeanor and facial expressions held no surprise in the name brought forth, David Stern. Relaxing further into the plush and comfortable seat, throwing his hands behind his head in leisurely calm, his visage returning to its normal feature set without the monster of Set's accompanying malformations.

He then allowed Marcus his questions before he would give his view on the matter.

"Very well done Ballard, and which of the two factions do you think are the culprits behind the night in question? Furthermore, what are your intentions behind the gathering of this information? Genocide? Espionage? Sabotage?"
 

Divia LaCroix

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767
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Sunset Boulevard
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5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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#13
Divia looked to the assembled with a small smile before glancing back to Ballard. If looks could speak, they would simply echo the message of 'what they said', as she nodded in agreement with every observation uttered thus far.

For her part, she could only say this.

"How did you come by your information, mister Braun? Who is your source? This is very important, before any credence is actually given to your words. For all we know, he or she might be setting you up as their own inside mole into the Erebos organization."

Having added in her 'two cents', she waited patiently for the Toreador's reply to everyone's insignts and concerns.
 

Ballard Braun

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#14
he nodded along with all the questions, crossing one leg over the other as people spoke. Attempting to remain calm and collected, even though all the information heh ad was relatively sparse, he was able to make some logical inferences from it.

In truth, his main concern was getting more information out of Rubi than he was giving away. Just so he could maintain his safety. But he still ended up getting more, even if it wasn't precisely confirmed to the level he would like.

Hopefully, he could sell it. He looked to Valarian first. "From provable intelligence nothing, truly. But some logical inferences are capable of being made. He lost more than he thought he would, I assume that because the mortals probably faired the worst out of anyone at the Masquerade, and because my source happens to be one of the hunters recently under his employ. Which means he is recruiting, recruiting people he shouldn't, people who would much rather work with us than work with him. This could mean a lot, but at that point, I am only speculating. Though I don't think they are working in a direct or indirect manner with the second group who attacked us. Otherwise, they would have far more questions about my identity and who I worked for than they had. As to my goals I had only one, to investigate. the fact I was able to get a contract that could be nurtured was pure luck by all accounts."

He then turned to Divia. "It could be, but the how this person intends to do that is a mystery to me. The only thing that was true that they left with was my face, and my nature. With no way of contacting me directly, it would be a trick to get something out of me."

He shrugged softly, honestly not seeing the danger to him or others with what was revealed. other than maybe he was a vampire, but that was bound to be revealed talking to a hunter so he didn't feel too awful about it. "Which leads me into their motivation, and why I don't dismiss this person entirely. They want David Stern and the Brotherhood set aflame, and to use their words, "David Sterns head on a pike." Which is why I bring this to you now. My contact is desperate by my estimation and doesn't really care who they ally themselves with to see their goals reach maturity. This opportunity is timed. I got them busy doing something potentially pointless for now but that won't last. I was able to pull out of them that they have other allies, now it could well be someone from Erebos, it could well not. Either way, I got my contact to put my job first, so we have time."

"The reason I trust them, on the other hand, is rather simple, they revealed their orders to me from both their mysterious ally and from the brotherhood rather willingly in fact. For the brotherhood, they are to infiltrate and spy in the Cyber machine, particularly on Laguardia himself. the second, infiltrate and spy in the Crimson, on Ursula Bellefleur, particularly." He turned back to Valerian. "My first action would be to find out who it is exactly who is also seeing if they can cultivate this person into an agent. But I wouldn't dare be that bold, so instead, I just humbly suggest the course of action."
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#15
Provable intelligence? What in nine hells did that mean, exactly?

"I respect the fact that you probably went to some trouble obtaining this information. However, you cannot expect us simply to take you at your word, mister Braun, is it? The fact is, there are many out there who are only too eager to supplant our influence in this city. Planting false informants with information that may be misleading or entirely false is hardly beneath them. You are taking a Kindred enemy's word at face value - and I asked for the name of said hunter - so I can verify if your information holds a shred of truth to it. I'm not simply going to believe anything you say, just because you are convinced it is the truth. There are thousands of lives at stake here. Name your source and I will consider further action against the Brotherhood or whoever else is working against us. Wanting David Stern's head on a pike is not enough to have me on board this bandwagon. The only other alternative would be to have her meet with me, or Divia. Could you arrange this?"​

The final idea pitched by the young Toreador did seem to hold water, and he merely nodded at that, acknowledging that he did not disagree or dislike, Ballard's suggested course of action.
 

Matthew Edick

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#16
Matt controlled his urge to burst out laughing when Ballard finally got to the bit regarding the Mrs. Krauss spying, and was able to hold not only his laughter but his tongue. He would then listen to Valerian's inquiries before deciding it was best to keep quiet, for now. He said nothing instead, he merely looked between the three other individuals present to see who wanted to go next.

Inwardly, he wondered how Divia felt about Ballard, having rescued him and all from Tristan's attempts to put him in a permanent state of torpor, and now he was not only alive, and well but informing on the very organization's she wanted alive, and prospering.

Bedeviling little bastard that Braun was.
 

Divia LaCroix

Duchess
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Messages
767
Location
Sunset Boulevard
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4
5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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Female
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#17
"I think what everyone wants to know, is who your informant is. Now, unless this is your Sire, you owe no allegiance to this person. Which makes us all wonder, why you are being so mysterious about the identity of this person? Unless the informant is .... human, in which case, you are wise to protect him or her. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a female; someone of... closer acquaintance, perhaps?"

The last bit was clever rhetoric on the Tzimisce's part; Divia was not so much interested in the gender of the informant as she was in the reputation of the source. Anyone out there was capable of tossing out information - whether any of it was actually worth its weight in gold? Now that was the real question that needed answering.

"To make the long story short, Ballard - we would all love to believe you - but I think most of us would like to meet your informant and see for ourselves the person who seems to carry the fates of us all... in the palm of his or her hand? Surely, you can arrange THAT, at least? No danger will come to him or her, I can promise you that. But no one in Erebos will enter into such a one-sided deal. Unless, of course - I'm wrong - in which case, the Autarch is free to deny me."


@Ballard Braun
 

Ballard Braun

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#18
He nods to Marcus and Divia. The same smile on his lips never twitching even at divias slight jab at him. He expected that. there is a reason Braun feared divia more than any other vampire. she always seemed to have a slight edge on others at getting to the heart of his feints and misdirections.

"Of course Lord Valerian. Though to Lady Divias point, I don't know their name. We were both willing to accept alias' so that neither of us was exposed to each other more than we already were. It is indeed a she, on the other hand. It's of little consequence. I know where she lives, and where she can be found. I can bring her to you, or you to her right now if that's what you wish."

He then turns to Divia. "I hope I am not overstepping my bounds in saying I am protective of this source because she is quite useful right now. after all, I am now talking to You Lady Divia, and Lord Valerian about her. But if she does prove to not live up to that potential, I will personally make sure they pay for wasting everyone's time." He pulls back an end of his jacket, showing off the long bowie there. "I always did want to try that Predator trick. and a polished skull for my Macbeth practice could be quite useful."
 

Marcus Valerian

Autarch of Erebos
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#19
Marcus shifted in his seat, then nodded toward Ballard. "Fair enough. It seems logical for the Kine to keep his or her identities hidden. Ah, a she... I see. So you have some information on that end. You are far wiser than I thought a Neonate to be, Mister Braun. I would have you meet with me after the Bloodletting ceremonies are done." He understood all too well, Braun's reasons for being protective where this 'informant' was concerned.

"See if you can have her attend the Bloodletting," he said to Ballard. "Her safety will be assured as long as I know who it is. "Otherwise, consider this meeting adjourned." Standing up, the Autarch nodded to all the assembled in turn before making his way to the door. "It was good to meet you, mister Braun. Keep me informed of any developments, all."

With that, he excused himself from his company and vacated the office.
 

Divia LaCroix

Duchess
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Messages
767
Location
Sunset Boulevard
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5th Generation Vicissitude Tzimisce House Vindicta Methuselah Kindred
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Female
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#20
"Fair enough."

Divia understood the reasoning behind Ballard's wanting to keep the informant's identity secret and as long as his own was also unknown to this person - all would be well. Otherwise, they could be a potential breaking of the Masquerade which would not go over well with anyone present. And poor Ballard had just gotten out of Torpor, too! Well, hopefully this new 'situation' would not call for him to return to it - or worse.

"Maybe you can arrange for her to come to the Bloodletting Ceremony? As long as she is Dominated, of course. We would not want to have any mortals there that are not properly... conditioned," Divia accentuated the last word in her statement, confident Ballard would understand what she meant by that. Seeing the Autarch take his leave, she drew to her feet as well and glanced to Matthew, expecting him to follow in her footsteps.

"I believe we all understand what is at stake here and know what to do in case the matter gets out of hand," she looked pointedly at Ballard and smiled at his assurance of retribution, should it become necessary.

"See that you do, darling. A lot of trust is being placed in you, right now."

Maybe he could just ghoul the shit out of this informant and save himself a lot of trouble that way? It definitely couldn't hurt, but she doubted if Ballard was prepared to take the matter that far... Having said that, she walked up to Braun, one hand lifting to caress the side of his face... damn handsome bastard, she thought, before smiling knowingly at him once again - and then taking her leave.

Divia exits scene.