Kill the Messenger

Bayswater Road - Westminster - London

Home of the 'West End'. Here, the famous Hyde Park sits, as well as Hyde Park Corner. This area has pubs, shops, and restaurants. Marble Arch and Lancaster Gate undergrounds service the area.


Characters

aidanboyle08.jpg da02.jpg ms01.jpg
Aidan Elspeth Sean

Getting into the Undercity after Dr Watson — and there are just so many jokes asking to be said on that front — returns isn't all that hard. The sentry at the inner tunnel puffs up his chest a bit, his eyes going repeatedly to the professor as though he's trying to figure out whether or not the man is dinner or something else. Aidan doesn't offer him any explanations or any words to wipe the puzzled frown from the other Vampire's brow.

"He's with me. That's good enough," Aidan says. He's shorter and less muscular than the no-neck and barrel chested sentry, but the other's size means nothing to Aidan. He stands, seemingly casually, with his hands tucked into his coat pockets, his blue eyes sharp and piercing.

But it's not at all casual; it's a show of will and force, and Aidan knows he's the older and the stronger. Evidently after a few moments, the sentry clues in to that as well and gives a sharp, brusque nod. "He's squishy, innithe?"

"Not your problem," Aidan says, his words sharp as knives and honed with warning. The sentry steps aside and Aidan motions for Dr Watson to cross into that place where few sane humans would dare to go. "After you …"

-

Sean's heard quite a few of the jokes regarding his name, both first and last. It was a long time before he heard the end of 'Sean of the Dead'. It lasted well until after the movie was out of theaters. Now, only a few of the 'well read' actually make the connection with 'Dr Watson', as far as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is concerned. He's even had a few people ask 'Dr. Watson, I presume?'. (If they were students, they immediately failed. Lack of historical knowledge.)

The necromancer is somewhat distracted as he works out exactly why the young, unidentified woman would know of alternate routes into the Undercity unless.. well.. he's no expert on all the flavours of the supernatural. If he didn't know Alex was a witch, he'd never have known. He's only got 'that knack' as far as vampires are concerned because, well.. that whole 'dead' thing.

Coming back to where he'd left Aidan, the pair started their path towards the vampire section.. and once he's given the all clear, Sean glances at Aidan and smiles tightly at the offer to go first. "Yeah.. about that.." Still, the necromancer ducks his head and begins to make his way in. The corridors are dark, lit with gaslights here and there, and some electric lights. It's not one of the Roman sections of the city, not quite yet, but Sean knows that'll be coming soon enough. Well, after a good walk..

Closing his jacket against the slightly damp chill, and turning up a collar (never can be too careful around vampires!), he drops his hands into his pockets. "You know he's not happy." Chances are good that someone will feel the sentry's annoyance.

-

Aidan follows behind Sean, nothing in his stance or movements belaying that he takes a measure of the change between the city they left and the place that they've walked into. Aidan has been here so many times over so many years (centuries) that it doesn't warrant anymore attention than walking into any other public place.

"And I should care about his displeasure because?" Aidan asks, the boredom apparent in his voice. The sentry is a non-entity now that they've gained entrance. Besides, there are Vampires and other things far more dangerous than the sentry for which he'll need to be ever vigilant and watchful.

He falls into step beside the archaeologist and watches as the man adjusts his collar. Aidan snorts, "Yeah, about that? Don't flatter yourself. I do have some standards." Like the tasty little red head that had to be sacrificed for what Aidan hopes will be a more interesting endeavor. Speaking of the little red head, "Did you get her safely to her vehicle? Get a phone number? A license plate?" Aidan can't help but poke at Sean's shining armor just a little bit.

-

"Well, I'd rather—" Sean looks to his side at the vampire and lets his words die, shaking his head. "Never mind."

Taking a deep breath, he lets it out slowly as they progress, hands still in his pockets, except for that adjustment of his jacket. It's quite probably an unconscious action as he blinks, his expression one of quick confusion before he realizes.. "Ah.. got it.. and no. I didn't even get a name, actually." He smiles bemusedly, knowing that he's getting poked. Still, he's pretty sure there's a détente, and there's no reason not to be civil.. if not reasonably pleasant and friendly. After all, he's getting in, and potentially getting some questions answered.

"I did get an 'I can take care of myself, thank you..', however." He shrugs, the action one of simply straightening his elbows before they bend naturally once again. He casts his gaze forward, his voice low, "I don't even remember if I got 'thank you'.."

-

The Vampire looses a low, genuine chuckle at the response. He has to admit that he has a certain level of … respect for those who are willing to try and hold their own with him when they know very well his true nature. It raises them a bit above the ordinary and typically boring humans who really aren't anything more than a meal that hasn't been sampled yet. Watson has earned a certain … dispensation, at least for the interim.

"Wish I'd realized what a firecracker she was before it was too late to do anything about it." He lifts a hand from his pocket and holds up a finger, stopping the man before he can interject. "I wouldn't have killed her. That would have been a waste. I don't like waste." It's always better when he can come back for more later.

"Of course she didn't thank you. She's not a 'damsel in distress.' " The second hand comes free to form the appropriate air quotes before Aidan slides them into his coat again. "I remember the days when chivalry was expected, women pretended to be damsels even when they weren't and … don't believe everything you read. It was boring as hell."

Aidan leads Sean down the familiar tunnel, his cool blue eyes darting around every now and again to mark their location and progress. They've got a bit of a walk left before they reach the person that Aidan is taking Sean to see and he doesn't mind the conversation. Also, it's interesting to note that the man really doesn't seem at all shocked or phased by the sights and sounds around him.

-

"Trying to help them when they don't want to be helped is so much more exciting?" Sean shakes his head, warming to the conversation. While still on guard, he's very much aware that vampires out-do him on speed, strength, and pretty much everything. The only things vampires can't do to him is glamour him, so he gets the joy of experiencing everything that could be done to him. Knowing all that, Sean has a choice; either go with the flow and find out everything he can, or be afraid to go out his door for fear of those creatures that go *bump* in the night.

After all, should people discover his abilities, he's lumped in that bump.

"I'd rather not be pulled under while saving a drowning victim. See, I don't see that as boring. I'd actually call that refreshing."

As for the vampire's eating habits, which the necromancer assumes to which he's referring, he really doesn't want to touch on that. He's aware there's that demon inside that loves fresh blood, human blood, and essentially it's no different— the way to a man's heart is still the stomach, regardless of what form that 'man' takes. "Well, that's good. Killing isn't very productive. Makes a mess, and then their ghosts end up haunting people and places.."

-

"Spoken as one who has never had the pleasure, and I am using the word pleasure very loosely here, of sitting through an evening's discourse with a simpering noblewoman or her spinster daughters." The only pleasure Aidan derived from those necessary evils was the satisfaction of a feeding after the fact. He's also exaggerating, as well. There's been good and bad to every century, it just depends on what Aidan is in the mood to focus on.

"The worse part of killing is that it's horrible on the wardrobe. Word of advice: blood really doesn't like to come out of silk." An affable smirk accompanies the words, the light of laughter dancing in Aidan's eyes. He's deadly serious, naturally, because he's ruined enough good shirts. Fortunately, he's also good at what he projects, and his manner is intentionally mischievous, meaning to imply that it's up to Sean to infer whether Aidan is being honest or is messing with the other man's head.

The electric lights give way to gas, and Aidan dips his voice, "The … person we're going to see is a bit … eccentric. But she tends to know a little bit about everything and a lot more that she doesn't let on. She's also creepy." Given the location, and the current company? The last warning probably really wasn't necessary.

-

The more the conversation moves towards historical roles of women and today's, the more even Sean realizes that he's a little more of a male-chauvinist than he'd care to admit. Opening his mouth to interject, he simply can't really argue that conversations with today's 'liberated' women is any more interesting. If anything, there are times when it's tiresome and just annoying. Of course, his female friends are exceptions, after a fashion. He hasn't heard Alex claim superiority because she's a woman.. or even demanded equality. She simply.. is.

In that, then, Sean actually chuckles, the sound once again bemused, "I can't say it's gotten any better, as bad as that sounds.."

As for exactly how difficult it is to get blood out of silk, Sean clears his throat and looks forward. "Can't say I've ever really ruined a silk shirt over a paper cut." He deals with souls and usually already dead corpses.. but what really garners his attention is the vampire's admission of being a touch on the concerned side.

Stopping his pace for a heartbeat, Sean pulls a hand out to halt the progress of the vampire, blue eyes on the other man. "Wait.. define 'creepy'.."
-

What a lot of people don't realize is that the Undercity isn't just a place for black market trade, human (and demon trafficking), and a forum for illicit activities. It's also a nexus point for all sorts to gather and make their homes and their contacts, and there are some who attracted to it because they truly belong. Nikola is one of those. She's human, as far as Aidan has been able to determine, but she's a breed apart. She's old, older than most humans could ever hope to be, and she's blind but she sees more than any blind woman should. All that goes through Aidan's head at Sean's question, and even then, the Vampire realizes how hard it is to answer.

"It's not quite quantifiable," Aidan settles for after a long beat. "But I've yet to meet anyone, living or dead, who wants to be alone with her for any length of time."

It could be the feeling of the constant eyes on you, no matter where in the room you are; it could be the feeling of phantom fingers that sometimes push and pull and tug at clothes and skin. Bloody hell, it could all be my imagination and I have a phobia of little old Russian ladies.

-

Not a telepath. However, to see the hesitation, and is that discomfort? that strikes the vampire is certainly as telling. For what is admitted, Sean's the first person to agree; if it discomfits a vampire, it must be something almost Lovecraftian in nature. And, with creatures that are regulars in the Undercity? Says a whole lot.

"Okay.. that's not good." It gives him pause, and looking down the corridor that does come out in a cavernous room, there is that moment of is this trip really necessary that plays through his brain. Sucking in a breath between closed teeth, he exhales in the same manner. "Right. I did want answers.. and time is actually growing short." -er.

-

"Answers," comes a hushed voice from a nearby alcove, "Do not come for free."

Unlike the darkness that seems to generally loom about the Undercity, the woman who steps out looks completely out of place. Blonde hair pulled into a casual ponytail that's set over one shoulder, pink sleeveless minidress with a frilled bottom.

"Dr. Sean Watson. I had heard you were trying to gain entry. As much as you like to annoy Erik, even she will be unable to provide you the answers you seek."

A slow glance is given to the vampire escort, but there is still little expression upon her face. "Aidan Boyle, bringing a necromancer down here? Will wonders never cease." She sounds completely, utterly bored.

-

Aidan quirks his brows, not at all startled by the sound of the voice. This is the Undercity after all, and it would be stupid of him to not keep on guard. Nothing about the Vampiress appears to tweak him in anyway — other than the increased rise to his brows at the sight of that atrocity of a dress that even she can't make look good. His voice is filled with its usual charm, "Elspeth. I would say that you are lovely as always, but —" he pauses to move his eyes over the dress and back again, "I really hope you're trying to make a statement." One that will hopefully end in the burning of the pink creature trying to devour her.

"I take it you two have met, then?" Aidan asks casually, though a slight furrow does work it's way into his features as he takes in the remainder of Elspeth's words. He cuts a glance at Sean, putting all the important pieces together — thorn in Erik's side and necromancer and This is why I really don't get involved in these types of things.

Aidan's shoulders rise in a light, casual shrug. He seems completely at ease, as though Elspeth hasn't just shared a wealth of new information with him. "You know me, I like to make my own fun. Unfortunately, nothing has tried to eat him yet."

-

Stopping short at the sound of the new voice, his head turns to hear his name, brows rising, his mouth opening in something of surprise. This blonde, he doesn't recognize. Pulling his hand from a pocket, he rubs the back of his neck, and peers, trying to recall where, and if he's ever seen her before.

Exhaling in a long, drawn out sigh, he straightens at Erik's name, his mind running faster, trying to place her— best not to dwell on the old vampire (that's Charlie's job, to tweak vampires and get them really pissed off).

"Really?" Here comes the work-laced bravado; the ability to push through, keeping his attention on the topic at hand. "I don't know.. it sort of sounds like she may know of comings and goings.." He does cast a glance towards his escort, uncertain now how the announcement of what he is will be taken. Did Aidan even know? And if he didn't, how will he react now?

This could be good.. or this could be very, very bad.

Sean lets a breath go that caught in his throat; still alive. Always good. "No, not yet.. As Aidan says, 'unfortunately'." He smiles tightly, "Though, I suppose that could really change, depending on whim."

-

"That can change," Elspeth replies to Aidan as she gives the necromancer a painfully slow once over. "After all, the night is young." There is only the faintest sight of displeasure at her name being given.

"Comings and goings, perhaps, but nothing on Imef. Even those who would gladly give you information would be incorrect." Playing up the pretty-in-pink-blonde-ditz thing, she twirls the bottom of her ponytail around her finger. "I would have thought that a necromancer of your supposed caliber would have more luck digging up the information in another manner."

-

The only agreement that Aidan had with Sean — The Necromancer — was to get him down here and introduce him to Nikola. Anything and everything else is just random fun and games, and Aidan is more than willing to include Elspeth in the random bits. He doesn't know a lot about necromancers, other than it's a good idea to avoid them, but he doesn't plan on showing his hand to Elspeth; he also doesn't plan on coming between the pair of them, and figures that if Sean is a necromancer, then he really should be able to hold his own. Maybe.

Besides, pissing off von Richter's right hand is just not a really smart thing to do. Aidan likes Elspeth, but her position in London changes the playing field between them, and he's old enough to know it. He may push a bit at the edges, but in the end, Aidan knows well to protect his own arse.

"Oh please," Aidan motions between the pair of them, "Don't let me intrude upon the witty banter."

-

Imef. There's the name, and sure enough, 'Elspeth' knows the name of the vampire he's looking for. Elspeth. Didn't Frank say something about 'seeing' a Beth? A new vampire in town? So certain the seer was that Charlie and Alex moved on his 'sight', only to come up blank.

But, there's that undercurrent of.. you're not going to get out unscathed, complete with the once over to deal with. Sean smiles tightly once again, and takes a half step back. While he's not afraid, no, he's wary.. and a little concerned.

"Yeah.. about that digging up information thing.. a little birdie told me the same thing that I already know. The great migration. Anyone up here, well.. after awhile, it gets a little boring listening to which Duke wants what land.. still." He glances at Aidan; it's a variation of the tedium that was described to him earlier in the evening. "They're not much on vampires."

Sean raises his brows, his tones turning theatrically.. helpful. "Unless you'd like to see for yourself. I could put a call out, introduce you to a soul…" He's pretty sure she could provide a dead body, preferably not his. One.. pre-dead, that is.

-

Elspeth may know something.

She may also just be playing games with what little information the guard felt like sharing before she came down this evening.

"As deliciously handsome as you are, Dr. Watson, the price will not need to be paid to me. I am not the one that escorted you here, nor am I the one that is going to provide you with the information you are so desperately seeking."

A mask of consideration falls upon her face. To move forward and keep the necromancer in place, or to allow him to be on his way. The former wins out, and she starts to shift herself into position that will put Sean between her and Aidan.

"That would be your problem, Dr. Watson. Discussing such seemingly important matters with little birds…"

Over his head, to Aidan, she grins. "Ah, but it was I who intruded upon your fun."

Then to Sean once more, "I care little for what a rotting corpse has to say, necromancer. Living history can provide much better information."

-

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is the place where Aidan's mind goes. The posturing, the riddles, the double-speak. Yes, certainly it's fun when he does it, but it's not at interesting when others are involved. It doesn't mean he's not paying attention or watching the soft, subtle signals. Despite his words to the contrary, he probably would intervene to stop anything happening to the White Knight Necromancer. If only to throw a wrench in the works and to have the man owe him a boon. There would have to be someway to use a necromancer who owed him a favor …

It's Elspeth's grin that pulls the full brunt of Aidan's attention away from complete boredom. The smile fits her so much more perfectly than the bored indifference. She is, after all, quite a pretty chit when she's playing her other roles. "What's that saying? No harm, no foul. It's always a delight to see your sparkling eyes and lovely —" Now the rogue comes to the surface as Aidan drops his eyes down her body and drags them back up again, "Countenance."

-

Damn.. at least on the score that she's not going to be forthcoming with any information. Sean sees it as good news that there is the possibility Elspeth may not linger in order to toy with him. Once again, it's not necessarily a good thing that he can't be glamoured. He gets to experience it all.

Oh, goody.

The necromancer straightens, once again very aware that he's under the scrutiny of the female vampire, and at the moment, he's not much more than a plaything. At least with Aidan, Sean has an idea that he can hold his own with the man. More even ground. As far as Elspeth is concerned, he's at a disadvantage, and it's not a good place to be.

Now here comes common ground, "Well, see, I figured 'living history' would work, too, which is why I'm looking for him." The smile that had faded into nothingness is rekindled, a ghost of what it could be. "But rotting corpses can be pretty interesting, if you find the right insides.."

Falling silent, Sean can learn a great deal in watching interactions, and while he holds his position, it's not an enviable one..

-

"It is good to know that some things never change, Aidan." Elspeth actually affords the other vampire a small laugh for his comment. "Once rakish, always rakish."

There is much consideration of the necromancer again, then a frown. "Slinking about the Undercity, attempting to worm your way past the guard, to get to Erik?" Arms fold over her chest as she continues to regard the man. "There are far better ways to garner such information."

Her demeanor seems to change completely as she swings around in front of Sean again. "I know. Shall we play a game? I do so enjoy playing games. You run back to your little friends and tell them that if they truly want access to the information there is a price to pay. One which will be determined by your escort this evening. So you had best hope he continues to find you amusing, Dr. Watson.”

-

"Why ruin a good thing?" Aidan asks cheekily in response to Elspeth's laugh. His quirks and behaviors, rakish though they are, haven't hurt him yet.

Then, comes the heavier bits and Aidan does a remarkable job for someone who doesn't need to breathe, of drawing a low, slow breath and releasing it. How the bleeding fuck do I get myself into these things? Oh yes, he latches onto to those things that he finds curious and amusing. Celeste warned him once upon a time that his amusements would get him into trouble, and one would think he would have learned after so many years. Some habits are just hard to break.

Aidan can sense an undercurrent in the air, and decides that it's probably time to steer this ship onward before Sean does something to annoy or provoke Elspeth who has just given him her own personal version of a Get Out of Jail Free card. Well, not necessarily free, but close enough.

It's unnerving and unsettling being too close to the necromancer, and even more so when Aidan claps a hand on the man's shoulder. "I think he'll be a lot more entertaining once he meets Nikola. Even if you think she doesn't have anything to offer, she's always so full of information. And I'd love to see what Dr. Watson here makes of her."

-

Sean opens his mouth, and closes it again; ready to offer a defense, but it'd probably fall on deaf ears at the moment. He could get an audience with Erik in a more.. straightforward way. He just name-dropped on the sentry. Still, it's not a bragging point. If he says anything, there is the decided chance that he could get tossed in front of the old vampire in a worse position than he is in at that moment.

He straightens, instead, his blue eyed gaze watching the blonde carefully, watching to see if there's any indication of what may come next. That's the problem with these creatures. Very little chance of predicting them.

Letting his breath out at Elspeth's pronouncement, to be beholden to another vampire isn't a good place to be. Of course, who knows what Aidan will ask for for even this foray into the vampire 'sector'? At the clap of a hand onto his shoulder, despite the détente Sean believes they have, he jumps at the unexpected contact. The touch of the vampire is probably just as unsettling for him as he can imagine it is for the vampire.

Death meets death manipulator..

"Ah.. I'll take my chances then.." at remaining 'amusing' for Aidan. Twisting around to glance at the vampire behind him (not smart to take his eyes off the female, but it can't be helped!), he hopes that he can see something of a backup there. Not counting on it, though. Not by a long shot.

"I'm game to see the creepy Russian. And who knows? I might find out something that would be useful to everyone.."

-

It looks as though the blonde is happy enough to walk away, only she doesn't take so much as a step before grinning impishly.

"I am quite certain that Dr. Watson will be very amusing with Nikola, although I am uncertain as to how full of information she may be this evening."

Elspeth girlishly twirls the end of her ponytail again, giving Aidan a pointed look. "Bronksi broke her neck about thirty minutes ago. He disliked what she had to tell him, and he always was the irritable sort."

A sly glance is given to Sean. "You may be able to throw the soul back into the body, but unless there is a body to toss it into… you really are out of luck." Ignoring the necromancer after that, she sets her eyes on Aidan. "The scavengers already tore her apart. Body parts sell quite well for his type, as well as those practicing black magic…"

-

"Figures," Aidan murmurs, holding Elspeth's gaze and mimicking her affected boredom from earlier. He doesn't put it past her to have been responsible for the old lady's death and the fall out afterwards. Anything to make certain that everything goes according to von Richter's plans … Which are what exactly? A necromancer asking questions, and Elspeth as the obstacle in his path. It really smacks of something that Aidan should wash his hands of and turn away, but sometimes he just hates not knowing.

"Looks like we're done here," Aidan says cheerily, rocking on his heels with feigned giddiness. "Unless you want to read entrails or something like that?" The last is directed to Sean, accompanied by a curious sort of frown. Aidan doesn't mind death or gore, but some elements of the darker arts just seem … inelegant.

-

As Elspeth recounts the recent evening's occurrences, Sean is nowhere near as schooled, or bored, and the expression of annoyance and loss plays on his face with the creasing of his brow, the narrowing of blue eyes, and the soft yet audible swear. His cool is shaken and taking a couple deep breaths, works to calm himself down.

Scavengers already tore her apart. The words ring. If he was paranoid, he'd swear that it was orchestrated.. and even if he isn't, it still smacks of cover-up.

Erik. Or rather, at his command.

His gaze falls back on Elspeth, lingering for a long moment that is nothing longer than a heartbeat before he shakes his head slowly, his voice canted low but certain, the words enunciated slowly and carefully. "I want to see the spot. Where was it?"

"Morbid," Elspeth says to Sean with a somewhat amused smile. "I like morbid."

If it was orchestrated, it was certainly not the pink-clad blonde that did the deed. She really would not have had time to change into something so atrociously ironic between then and now.

"It does look like you are done," she remarks to Aidan. "Though you are welcome to continue on with our soul-enforcing friend if you wish."

Amber eyes drift in Sean's direction once more. "Five paces to the north, down the right corridor, through the door on the left." The directions are given as she's already heading in that direction. "Hurry up. You might just miss the dearly departed if you are not fast enough." Pausing, she smirks. "Watch your feet though, from what I have heard the demise was rather bloody."

-

Not my problem. Not my problem. Not my problem. Let the stupid human walk into the stupid trap and get killed, Aidan repeats the words like a mantra. The man can be read like a book - everything from the disappointment, to the annoyance, to the abject disgust at what has happened tonight. Of course, the man doesn't realize that poking into this more — now with Elspeth here — is just like bending over backwards and begging for it. Aidan has to take a moment and remind himself that he really just doesn't care.

Of course, Elspeth is going to give the necromancer exactly what he wants, which is probably exactly what von Richter wants and Aidan knows that there a million reasons to turn on his heel, throw up his hand and say, 'Siyonara,' and he will forever question why he's not doing just that.

Seeing that the human is set in his path, Aidan heaves another oh-so-human sigh. "This night just keeps getting better and better." He falls casually into step behind and slightly to the side of Elspeth. It's enough to keep the blonde vampire separated from the necromancer, but not enough so that it looks like he's doing something completely idiotic like protecting the moronic human. "Too bad I didn't bring the red head. I love dinner with a show."

-

With a tight-lined grimace, Sean begins to step forward in the direction given. Elspeth is already on the move, and Aidan seems game for coming in to line and continuing down the path that he's, yes, chosen for himself. "I'll remember that. Thanks for the warning."

It is a classic example of 'Come into my parlor,' said the spider to the fly, but Dr. Sean Watson is nothing if not single-minded of purpose. For all intents and purposes, perhaps the vampire, or vampires, are just curious as to what he'll do, given the opportunity as it presents itself? While it does occur to him, however fleetingly, that this could be a real problem, the potential benefit far outweighs the potential danger.

Potentially.

"Might as well see what it is I came for before I head home." His hands drop into his pockets as proof against the chill; he's got none of the items he would need to speak to an ensouled body. At best, he can find out how resistant the soul is, and at worst, he can see for himself that he's back to square one in his search.

Damn vampires.

-

"Oh? Are redheads more your thing now?" Elspeth seems to nod, though she doesn't actually make the movement in any pronounced way. "Too bad. Bronski left a frightened little brunette at the scene. I am quite certain she would love an escort out of here, as she cannot recall what she is doing down here. Bronski was never really subtle, if you remember."

When Aidan moves to her side to keep Sean from her, she can't help but laugh. "Really, Aidan? Really? The game would be far less fun if I snapped his neck or drained him dry." Sean is safe. For now.

"There may be a bit of hair left, some flesh. I sincerely doubt that will help you in any way, so I do hope you like the mess of blood you came to see."

-

Aidan snorts. "Bronski also has terrible tastes. Period." Or is that Bronski doesn't really have any taste at all? Just pick up the first bit available and dive right in. That has never really been Aidan's style. "His little nibble will just have to find her own way out … of course, our pal Watson here does have this incredibly misplaced notion that he's bringing his own bit of Camelot to the modern world."

There's not even a glimmer of a response to Elspeth's assumption, which Aidan is going to insist until the day he dies … again … is only that: a wrong and misguided assumption. His brows rise as he glances over at her, "Not a clue what you're talking about. Our deal was to get him to Nikola. Even if she's in bits, I keep my word and technically I haven't gotten him there. Beyond that," Aidan pauses and shrugs, "Whatever."

There's more to it than that, but Elspeth doesn't know him as well as she would like to think she does. He hasn't shown his full hand yet, and the bidding has only just begun. He's not certain what is going on, but he'll keep on at a pace for a while, at least until he gets bored.

-

Even without this talk, it's not hard to remember these creatures are monsters; animated corpses that, while they seem to have a spark of life, they are actually given the illusion of life by a dark force. With Elspeth speaking as if he were a play-toy, to be broken at a moment's whim, while it's expected within their repertoire, Sean isn't really happy to hear it spoken aloud. "Yes.." he says slowly, his tones on the dry side, "what fun would that be, hmm?"

Doesn't mean he doesn't straighten his elbows a bit to pull his arms a little closer to himself, ostensibly to salvage some body heat, or rather, to relish the warmth that comes off him for however long he has in the subterranean areas of the city.

"And that's all I ask." That he gets to Nickolai, in whatever pieces she may be in. He follows in silence for a few steps before he offers, his tones theatrically conversational, "You know, I don't necessarily need the body.." Do the vampires know exactly what necromancers are capable of?

-

"I am well aware of what you need, Dr. Watson. I spent a great deal of time with one of you back in the seventeen hundreds." Elspeth affects that bored look again. "Actually, come to think of it I believe he was one of your ancestors. Charming man. Interesting work." It sounds as though she's speaking with something akin to affection, but the moment passes quite swiftly. The sly smile reappearing upon her lips as though she's got an extremely well-kept secret.

"You do need a body, or at least a skull. You cannot speak to the dead otherwise." Unless he has the aid of the Whisperers, but he'll be hard pressed to find one of their kind in this particular section of the Undercity.

"I highly doubt a fingernail will do you much good, let alone a strand of stray hair and a bit of blood." Smirking, she adds, "If they have not yet torn her soul away from here. If Nikola had one to begin with."

Halting before the door, she moves to the side to allow the men to enter first. "I am quite certain the brunette will have no difficulties in finding an escort, though finding an escort that will allow her to leave without becoming a meal…"

Huddled in the far corner of the room is the brunette, covered in blood and rocking back and forth. At either side of her stands a stoic vampire guard, not allowing the frightened girl to move.

-

All it takes is one look at the tableau for Aidan to confirm that yes, Bronski does still have bad tastes — the girl is eighteen if she's a day, waif thin with hair in tangles and mats. Her skin is grimy and dirty, even beneath the layers of blood and gore and human body bits. Her eyes are haunted and sunken, and Aidan doesn't have to get close to know that she's probably coming down off a cocktail of illicit drugs. Bronski never was particular.

Aidan cocks his head and asks, "A bit of overkill, innit?"

He steps further into the room, and is grateful that he fed before coming into the Undercity. The scent of the blood is strong, and it takes a good measure of willpower to not let himself lapse. There's a moment when he can feel the beast rising, feel his eyes darkening before he snaps himself back into control with a discipline only mastered by years of being …unalive.

Pretending to pay no attention to the vampire sentries — but keeping a wary eye on them nevertheless because he would be stupid not to do so — the Vampire moves around the room. Nikola had a good portion of books and tomes, and he's surprised that they haven't been lifted yet. He doesn't linger in any one particular place, simply circling the den, not touching anything. "I mean, two guards, for that bit o' nothing? Unless there's something you're not sharing …"

-

Sean pauses in his step as Elspeth begins to offer up (just a little?) of her experience with necromancers. What brings a cold chill down his spine, however, and causes him to straighten is the intimation that perhaps the necromancer in question is one of his ancestors? A crease of a frown forms, and he shakes his head with some ferocity in denial and disbelief. He goes so far as to rumble softly, his tones decidedly.. irritated.. a nerve is struck. "I don't think so." Was there a family story that he hadn't heard that would point to this?

The door reached, as the door is opened, Sean has to bring an arm up to cover his nose; the stink of iron and effluence is overbearing, and makes his eyes water. It is pretty rank, and the necromancer has to swallow a couple of times to get the bile from his throat. He's not given the chance, however, to check to see if the soul is still able to be sensed with the lost bit of misery that is on the floor. Even the books that could hold the secrets of the universe are ignored for the attention given the waif. His eyes widen, and taking a step forward, he looks at the vampires; "Let her go."

Didn't Aidan mention Camelot?

-

"Hmm, you think? That was my thought as well. Then again, as I said, Bronski was never one for being subtle." Elspeth herself does not actually enter the room. Instead she lingers in the doorway, keeping her eyes upon both men, not seemingly caring about the brunette or the guard.

"I did warn you that it was a bloody situation, and as I would rather not get my Louis Vuitton's full of blood…" She's staying back. It's not as though there's another exit or anywhere else for her to go at the moment.

"Perhaps you are correct, Dr. Watson. He may not have been an ancestor of yours. At least not one that you know about. Ask yourself this; ever find a branch of the family tree that just seems to fade into non-existence? A story that seems to be told in hushed tones? One that clams everyone up as being that story?" Is Elspeth merely playing with him, or does she know more than she is letting on?

"Tut, tut, Dr. Watson. I would not attempt to fight Thomas and…" A glance at the second guard, and she shrugs in a bored manner. "… whomever he is. You will very likely wind up getting the girl killed, and that would defeat the purpose of your gallant actions."

Elspeth rolls her amber eyes toward the ceiling. "The guards are for her protection on the off chance Bronski decides to blame her for his less than pleasant conversation with Nikola. Thomas will see her to the surface once his duties are done, unless our dear Dr. Watson chooses to take care of the task."

-

Aidan's meanderings around the room allow him to take in the conversation between Elspeth and Sean. He makes a few mental notes; there are certainly some things worth looking into. It may be a farce on the other Vampire's part and it may not. Any little bit of knowledge could be worth having considering that Aidan still isn't sure what the game is that's being played.

At her pronouncement though, Aidan decides to let his 'human' emotion show and whirls around to face Elspeth, surprise clear on his features. He's across the room in a flash of vampire speed, looking down at the vampire in the doorway with a smirk. "Well, then, that's new. Protecting the little human chit?" If anything, that suggests that there might be more here than meets the eye. Finding it out, however, is going to take care and subtlety … and probably can't be done with Mr Ham-fisted Necromancer hanging about.

He turns away from Elspeth only enough to gaze back at Sean, and directs his words at the back of the necromancer's head. "I hope you brought your sword, because you definitely forgot your armor."

-

The blood is almost as bad as the smell, and the smell is really rank. Sean has no desire to drop his arm from his nose and mouth, and his words are muffled. There's no mistaking the hint of anger that hints under the surface now as his family is .. impugned. Twisting around, he speaks backwards towards the door. "No, no stories like that." And at this point, if there was a little niggling thought in the back of his head of what if, he snuffs it out quickly and with great malice.

Facing back towards the tableau, Sean waits and listens, blue eyes lifting away a couple of heartbeats later, searching the corners, the recesses, the shadows cast by the makeshift bookshelves. Even if souls don't speak to him, or normally search him out, he can still feel them if they're present. Even without his gaze on the girl now, he chimes in after Aidan's taunting, "I'll take her up."

-

"Surprised? It makes far more sense to keep an eye on her at the moment, then to have her wandering the Undercity looking for a way back up, covered in blood and babbling about a murder. I would prefer that she be cleaned up before she goes free." Aidan may catch the undertones there — cleaned up, as in her mind essentially wiped of the night's events, more than her attire being cleaned of blood. "Unless you would rather I broke her neck? That is still a possibility of course, if you would care to do the honors."

There really is nothing special about the girl — she's simply a victim of circumstance. Promised a good time, and on the verge of going mad thanks to what she's witnessed and the drugs flowing through her system.

When Sean makes his offer, Elspeth nods. "Very well. Thomas? Take her down to the third door. Have Eva clean her up and find her something appropriate to wear. If she does not return within ten minutes, you will not be around come tomorrow's nightfall."

Thomas nods, and goes to do her bidding. Roughly escorting the brunette to the door and down the hall before anyone can protest.

-

Aidan pauses a moment to consider that he might be just as spoiled as Kim has said he is. He doesn't typically allow things to escalate to this level of messiness, and on the oh-so rare occasions that he does, he cleans up after himself. Or has others clean up for him. Of course, that sort of clean up usually involves body disposal. But it is oh so fun and satisfying. He's almost tempted by Elspeth's offer to snap the girl's neck, but shelves the urge. He's playing his own game here, and the necromancer is clearly onto something if all this trouble has been gone through to keep it quiet. It's always good to have various avenues open.

Planting himself in the doorway as Thomas drags the girl off, Aidan gives a casual look around. His words, however, are not casual in the least. "What's that, Sean? Don't think that a member of your family might have wanted to … live a little dangerously."

It's a distraction ploy. Rile the man up, and hopefully keep him from trying to go after Thomas and the girl. Not like doing so would be easy. He'd have to physically move Aidan and the nearly four centuries old Vampire doesn't plan on giving way.

-

And Elspeth agrees to allow him to escort her up. "I'll take her from here." Once she's out of sight, while she may return alive, who knows what else the girl will be subjected to? (As if it could be any worse that what has transpired thus far?) "No one'll ask questions." He'll give her his jacket, and with the smudges and all-around tattered look, they'll give them wide berth.

The pair are down the corridor, however, and the request certainly falls on, if not deaf ears, unmovable forces. With sleeve still against his face, blue eyes return to the search, and he steps further into the room. Now is when he catches the books, and he makes the mistake of dropping his arm as proof against the smell. He hacks and gags, the bile threatening to rise from his throat once again. And it's back to his face, and he has to catch his breath… slowly.

"She's not here.. I'll find her, though.."

His gaze moves back to Aidan, what can be seen of his face tinged in growing anger, "Never. Wouldn't happen if we could help it. And if it did happen, they wouldn't have survived."

-

"Scotland, 1744."

That is all Elspeth says in regards to the potential of the Watson line having had entanglements with vampires in the past.

"Relax, Dr. Watson. Eva will take wonderful care of the little chit." Including a full memory wipe of the night. Nothing remembered but her drug-haze. Best for everyone.

"As for Nikola, chances are she has already moved on. There are forces down here that even she would not want to deal with." Not all necromancers have the same morals as Sean, and those that work for various sorcerers could care less if they had to toss the soul of a seer into another body — so long as they had the seer.

-

The date and location are noted and filed away in Aidan's memory. It's something he can research in his spare time. Or have someone research for him. Either way it's a tidbit, and something that can be used to entice — or annoy — the necromancer in the future. As soon as Aidan decides which way he wants it.

"You know, you make it sound like it's such a bad thing," Aidan comments after Elspeth's delivery. "It's not like we're all complete and total monsters who lack any shred of self-control. If we were … well, I point out that you're still alive." Not for lack of trying on your part, is the unspoken after thought.

Knowing next to nothing about necromancy — and somehow Aidan doesn't think that information is going to be found easily in any book — he has nothing to elaborate on regarding the passage of Nikola's soul or not. "You can always come back now that you know where to look. Though, I can't imagine that you'd actually want to."

-

Scotland, 1744.

Sean twists around and stares at Elspeth, his eyes narrowing. Everything screams to him that he really shouldn't get worked up, but the certitude in which she speaks…

She's lying. It's to Aidan, however, that he responds about the potential of his ancestor being a vampire. "I'll give you that you have some self control." When it suits you.

Dropping his head, his gaze settled on the floor for a moment, he nods his agreement regarding the girl, as much as he hates to do it. The brunette will probably be better off to forget this night ever happened.

As for Nikola's soul? "Yeah.. I've noticed." Of course, Sean's been known to toss a soul into his skull on the shelf, much to the soul's chagrin. Still, the books draw him, and steps are taken deeper into the room, near the shelves. Reaching out with a free hand, he checks one of the older tomes' spine, then fumbles a little in order to check the inner pages.

"I want to stay for a couple of minutes, see what she had here."

-

"No."

It takes mere seconds for Elspeth to step out of her precious shoes and into the blood.

"I offered to show you the room, not her personal belongings. I strongly suggest that you put that book back, or I will be done playing nice games." There is an icy chill to her words. A deadly tone to them. One that Aidan will have had the bad luck to hear before in the past.

"You are more than welcome to attempt to contact Nikola, but perusing the information she kept on her other clients is unacceptable."

An extremely quick move has her delicately removing the book from his hand and placing it back upon the shelf. There are secrets on any number of supernaturals in many of the older tomes and she is not about to allow a necromancer to have access to them. Whether or not she actually remembers one with fondness.

"Now my feet are covered in blood. I may just have to kill Bronski for this."

To say that the temperature of the room plummeted several degrees would have been an understatement. Aidan tenses, ever so briefly, and the reaction has been scaled back just a quickly and sharply as it appeared. He schools himself to careful neutrality despite the warning alarms screaming in the back of his head. And again, he wonders why he cares at all even as he finds himself taking several long squeaky, squelchy strides across the thick wetness of the floor.

"So," Aidan braves the discomfort again, grasping Sean's shoulder and turning him - roughly - away from the books that caught his interest. "That's what necromancers do, then? A little bit of pilfering through the belongings of the dead? Tacky, tacky." He gives Sean's shoulder a not too gentle nudge - directing him away from the books and toward the door; most importantly away from Elspeth.

Ever the charmer, Aidan does give Elspeth an playful smirk, "And such lovely feet they are but is Bronski really worth the effort?"

-

Being shoved by a vampire is something that is decidedly noticed. The blood-covered floor doesn't help much with keeping one's footing, and while Sean doesn't actually hit the floor at the first, he does slide for a couple uncomfortable inches, making him reach out to balance himself. "Hey!" It's more an interjection of surprise more than anger. Of course, this means he gets the full brunt of the smell of blood and waste, and spinning around to cough and push the bile back down, the second shove hits him.

Again, Sean almost loses his balance, sliding across the floor once more, and he reaches out to grab the side of the doorway to keep himself from pitching backwards into the gore. Straightening, he looks a little green, and rather than actually saying anything, he pulls a now unsteady arm up to cover his nose and mouth— now, he's hoping that he can just keep the gorge from rising too high in his throat. Nodding, he has to finally turn away in order to get some air.

-

Eva has remarkable timing. By the time Sean hits the door, the dirty brunette is coming out of a room several doors down. The blood has been washed from her skin. The bits of flesh removed from her hair. She's wearing rather nondescript clothing. She still looks like she's lost on whatever high Bronski pulled her down here under.

"Hmm. Perhaps not, but these feet will have to go into those shoes," Elspeth remarks, pointing to them. "And those are worth the effort."

-

Sean's grace - or lack thereof - is rather amusing, but Aidan restrains from comment. This time. He's achieved his purpose, getting the man to the door with his heart still beating. He gives the girl a quick once over and does comment on her arrival. "Well, well, if it isn't your damsel, Dr. Watson. You should probably see to getting her topside." And yourself if you have a lick of common sense to go with that doctorate.

His attention turns to Elspeth, "Always a pleasure and a delight. We should get together sometime. Have dinner. Catch up." The words are delivered with playful flirtation, the rakish charmer back at home. "If you're very nice, I'll buy you new shoes." Yes, he knows full well that she can buy her own shoes, it's just part of the routine.

-

Once stepped from the room, Sean looks a little less green and a little more of a natural shade, and maybe a little pinker than usual. Seeing the girl come out when Aidan points him out, he makes the grand attempt to straighten, and slowly, with another step, pull his arm away from his face once again.

Twisting around to look back behind him, and seeing Aidan making his farewells, Sean turns back towards the girl, who is still obviously high as a kite. There's no way of knowing if she's been bitten, and he's not about to stop and look for marks. Another step is taken, "Hey.. let me bring you out of here. You must have gotten lost." Sounds good..

Again, he casts a glance over his shoulder, waiting now for his departure from the room.

-
"Bored now."

Elspeth feigns a yawn, glancing down toward her feet. A shifting look is given to Aidan, her head canting toward him slightly. "I did hear you had a fancy little restaurant in the city. Dinner would be lovely." Food may not be exactly what she's thinking about but chances are she could stop in for a bite. At least for appearance's sake.

"I may just take you up on the new shoes as well, if you are absolutely adamant about saving Bronski's life."

Then an icy look is settled upon Sean. "Farewell, necromancer. Enjoy scouring your ancestry to try and prove me wrong."

-

"I couldn't possibly care about Bronski's life," Aidan's blue eyes roll ceiling ward in an exaggerated gesture of disdain before returning to Elspeth. "However, I do know how you are about shoes. And clothes, and I'm nothing if not shameless." Which is probably one of the more truthful things that he's said the entire night. "I'll be looking forward to seeing you."

Sean seems ready to go - and it's about bloody time that the man got the hint - and after Elspeth's final taunt, Aidan joins the necromancer and Bronski's whatever. "I'd be a terrible tour guide if I didn't lead you out again."

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