Elena looked around the room, studying each occupant and briefly assessing threat level. She wasn’t exactly sure how to assess properly, feeling distinctly outside of her normal area of expertise. The flickering shadows cast by the room’s many old fashioned gas lamps didn’t help. The shadows were sometimes more dancy than even the gaslight warranted. She strongly suspected some of the patrons could affect the light. She knew she was a predator, not one of the flock, but what does a mountain lion do when it finds itself among the wolves?
She took a sip from the snifter, wryly aware that this was probably the best tequila (añejo!) she had ever had, and here she was, unable to thoroughly enjoy it.
Jamie stepped away to talk to someone and Conor was turning on his full charm for one of the actresses from the play. She was very lovely, and Conor, well, he sure did like the ladies. However, he was a friend, not to mention very useful in a fight, so Elena didn’t begrudge him his recreation.
Really, Conor’s help had been key after the old guy broke his staff and things had started getting wonky. That creature that had formed behind Prospero while he was giving his speech about all the magic going away… It had looked like water almost as it streamed from the old guy and built itself into the witch-looking thing. Turned out it had been made of ectoplasm?
Elena’s glass paused at her lips for a moment and her brow furrowed slightly as she considered. Ectoplasm? Really?? Like Ghost Busters or something?
Anyway, it had seemed that the creature had wanted to possess Prospero’s daughter and then kill him, from the way the water-goo had been flowing.
Elena had been a bit surprised when her first shot had been ignored. The bullet had struck, exactly on target, and had fallen ineffectively to the ground. Well, it had gotten a reaction, just not the splatter Elena had been expecting. The creature had looked right at Elena and growled something about meddlers, and then had proceeded to mind control a bunch of the innocent, somewhat bewildered audience.
Jaime had done something cool and slammed the creature against a wall, but that hadn’t seemed to slow it down. That had been about when Conor hit it like a freight train and opened it up for Elena’s shot and Jaime’s…. Whatever it had been that Jaime did, it had been spectacular, and spectacularly messy, flinging ectogoo everywhere.
After things had settled down and the play had ended, they had talked to Prospero, who had apparently purged himself of his magic. They concluded their business and Elena had suggested drinks at the club for ‘unique people.’
Thus she found herself at Atwaters. Neutral ground, or so she was told. She was not exactly sure what that entailed, but Conor told her under no circumstances was she to pick a fight. Well, Elena didn’t fight for recreation, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Jaime was talking to a pretty redhead, and Conor the actress.
How was Elena enjoying her evening? Very much, actually. Sure, she was a little tense and maybe out of her depth. However, Elena was very good at digging up information, and information had a great way of leveling the playing field. In the meantime, Elena leaned back in her chair, watched people, and decided to enjoy her drink.
Elena found herself on the doorstep of a beautiful brick home just south of SMU two days later. She knocked on the door, and waited. After a short moment the lock clicked and the door opened. Miranda’s red hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail, with tendrils artfully pulled down to frame her face. She was wearing a green kimono-styled robe covered in exquisitely elaborate embroidery, her feet bare. Her bright green eyes gazed blankly at Elena for a moment, and then cleared.
“Ah! Conor’s witty friend from the play!” Her voice was amused.
Elena’s mouth twisted wryly. She had taken advantage of certain assumptions at Miranda’s expense, but the actress had hopefully taken the jab well. Elena’s current plan depended on it. “Yeah, that was me,” she replied. She paused a moment, then continued. “So I was wondering if you might be interested in a deal?”
“Well, my dear, suppose we start with introductions? Over tea, perhaps?” Miranda said as she started to turn away. “I leave shoes in that box,” she said over her shoulder, her voice suddenly expressionless.
“Sure, no problem,” Elena replied, and stepped inside. Or rather, pushed inside? It was such an odd, unexpected sensation that Elena paused just inside, made almost breathless by the sudden sharp twinge in her lower back. Abruptly, Elena became aware that her patrons were weaker here. Elena glanced at Miranda, who was observing her curiously from an archway. Elena schooled her features to a carefully blank expression and sat on the ornately carved wooden bench to remove her shoes.
“We’ll take tea in the kitchen. It’s more cozy,” Miranda said, and turned again. Elena followed, conscious of her own reduced power, and yet the weight of her pistol comforting in its old, reliable way.
That went well, Elena thought as she started her car. Her patrons had rejoined her as soon as she had stepped outside the house. Must have been that threshold thing that Jaime had talked about. What an odd experience.
Anyway, Miranda had taken Elena’s offer – in exchange for the return of Prospero’s check, Miranda agreed to periodically grant Elena access to Prospero’s library. Elena smiled. After those funds were exhausted, Miranda had assented to negotiate another mutually beneficial agreement. Now Elena would be able to begin leveling that playing field…
Shouldn’t be any difficulty at all thanks to Miranda’s “Helpful” Aspect which you could easily tag/compel.