Preparations for a Fete
Roleplaying Log: Preparations for a Fete
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Sebastian Shaw gives Tessa an assignment.

Other Characters Referenced: Kate Kane, Elizabeth Braddock, Warren Worthington, Alison Blaire (Not by name.)
IC Date: June 18, 2019
IC Location: Hellfire Club, NYC, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 19 Jun 2019 05:27
Rating & Warnings: G
NPC & GM Credits: Sebastian Shaw & Selene by Ursa.
Associated Plots

The Hellfire Club hasn't been this quiet during the evening hours, for so many weeks, for a very long time. It has turned down reservations for its upstairs rooms, and the hospitality staff has collected a steady paycheck for little more than an occasional appearance here or there at offsite parties. It has left the building clear for the huge amount of renovation work to remove blood stains and bullet holes, as well as gut sensitive pieces of technology from the basement and move them elsewhere.

The latest round of contractors have left for the evening, and that leaves Sebastian Shaw to frown unhappily in the entry foyer of the townhouse, staring at the newly replaced and waxed floors with their intricate herringbone pattern and delicate inlaid tiles with the infamous pitchfork. New additions.

He's not in his typical finery, wearing instead the two-piece suit in charcoal that speaks of his time spent earlier at his office. Waves of displeasure roll off of him as he murmurs something to the darkly-wrapped form of Selene, his Black Queen, beside him. She, meanwhile, looks unbothered as she listens and offers a few words back.


Tessa approaches.

Tessa is not in uniform. She is wearing a businesslike blouse - the blazer has been left, somewhere. The sleeves show signs of being rolled up. Her hands, though immaculate, have every sign of having been recently put to work. Her nails could use some reconditioning, although the impact is moderate.

Her heels still click, of course, because you can only compromise the image so much.

Tessa holds a tablet computer. She approaches, turning her attention momentarily to the Black Queen with a silent but deep nod of the head.

"We're ahead of schedule," she tells Shaw then. "I would suggest using the saved time in a counterforce exercise, using staff from upstate. Emergent complexities can't be ruled out. We'll reduce the lethality for testing purposes, of course."

She turns the tablet. "Would you care to see?"


Selene, for her part, casts a look in Tessa's direction. The interruption doesn't seem to suit her, but she doesn't put an end to it. She simply holds her place, close by his shoulder.

Perhaps that's because of the way that the Black King casts his eyes in her direction, expectant. When nothing comes, he gives Tessa his full attention. "Yes, I would," he tells her in his gruff baritone, his meaty hand stretching out to take the tablet offered to her. He begins looking over the tablet, and then he speaks to Selene more plainly. "We can continue this discussion another time."

It's a dismissal that draws a sneer to black-painted lips, but she says nothing beyond a chilled, "Of course." Those two words contain such a large measure of sweetly wrapped venom that it bleeds into the silence that follows as she wordlessly accuses Tessa of conspiracy. But then she obediently turns and moves towards the elevators leading upstairs.

Shaw's flint-hard gaze follows her until she's gone, and then he lets it fall back down towards the tablet. He scans down, his finger leading him down and down and down. As is usually the case, he finds no fault with what she's laid out and he moves to hand it back. "This is sufficient. You can make the arrangements. And then I want you to reverse the exercise, for upstate. No repeat performances once we have Miss Frost and her machine back in the company of friends."


Selene moves away, further off in her orbit. Tessa's eyes watch her go, but quietly, and then Shaw is there, and close. Reviewing things. Tessa waits.

Then she takes it back. "Thank you," she says, with a note of more energy, less crispness, than was present in Selene's presence. "I'm sure they will find it memorable. With or without a supporting squad."

As she takes the tablet, Tessa taps one nail on the smooth glass.

"Sebastian," she says then, "this is an intrinsically defensive posture. We have no evidence of Frost's status. The machine must be considered fully analyzed at this point, barring destructive mechanisms. It is likely that we will be struck again; and that the vector of attack will follow a different route entirely."

She pauses then. It is a pregnant pause. Her eyes turn back to Shaw, invitingly, even if her lips stay in a thoughtfully neutral position.


"As we don't have anyone to go out and attack, Tessa, this is the best defense we have." His chin still held high, he moves forward and then he toes one of the new insets on the floor - custom crafted from silver maple and ebony with his highly polished shoe. He's supposed to be leaving it alone for a few more days, but he doesn't really have it in him to wait to deliver upon it the weight of his infamous criticism. It gives him space to think without Tessa's analysis of his features.

After a long moment of considering the craftsman's handiwork from his lofty height, he plunges a hand into one of his pockets and then continues. "We don't know where she or the machine have gone… Unless you've cobbled together a calculation on that."


Tessa is content to wait for a few thoughtful moments. She has already assessed the woodwork.

"I have preliminary speculations," Tessa says. "First order approximations at best. I do not anticipate that Frost has joined a bloc aligned against us; however, it is not a possibility that can be ruled out…"

She cups her chin then with her free hand. Her eyes turn down, in thought more than in the assessment of tiles. Real thought. This is not, of course, her usual habit, but perhaps she needs it, to work with so little, with so few hints.

"If she has, then she hired the intruders," Tessa says. "But it would be ill planned… it's poor work, and she is not a sloppy person. Quite the converse."

Tessa exhales. She shifts her stance back, fractionally. Her eyes lift to Shaw. "There is a need for more data for effectual conclusions to be drawn."

"I mislike it."


"Then get the data, Tessa."

It's not a threat, that string of words, although it has all the preliminary marks of one. Shaw's temper is infamously short and—when he looks up at last to turn his expression and rest it solely on his darkly-tressed assistant—there is the heat of barely suppressed violence smoldering in his gaze. He also has his mislikes, namely other people touching things that he feels are his. Frost and her precious machine, possibly stolen out from under his nose. Worse, the possibility of betrayal from a creature he'd been so certain that he and Selene had…

He staves the thought off with a growl. "This has gone on long enough, and I am growing impatient."


Tessa meets those eyes.

There is a second of silence. Understanding, perhaps.

"The inquirers," Tessa says. "They have their motives. Perhaps they have facts we lack…"

"Shall I bend them to our purpose, Sebastian?"


The broad man in his finely cut suit doesn't answer immediately. Shaw's austere frown does enough of the speaking for him as he does his own weighing of the options. There's another gruff sound from somewhere in his throat, and then a sharp exhale. He turns away from Tessa at that, moving towards the same elevator that Selene had disappeared into some scant minutes before.

Tessa will know from the turn and stride of it, that he has no desire for her to follow. Over his shoulder, head turned just enough for her to hear him over what is a whispered step of his burgundy wingtips despite his mass and particular ability, he delivers his verdict.

"Do it."

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