Author Topic: Summons  (Read 29151 times)

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Offline Trillian

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Summons
« on: January 06, 2012, 08:47:59 AM »
CHARON WAS IN THE CONSERVATORY about to prune a rose bush when one within his network saw fit to interrupt him, though with a most interesting piece of news.  One of his little bees that worked at the newspaper had started buzzing around a deliciously rare flower, Ben Samson.  He'd had trouble attempting to place his own little bees in the Oligarchy, for he'd met with great resistance and suspicion.  When sending his better network spies to investigate or potentially recruit those who had access to the building - some minor drone, with a penchant for money, power or connection - they'd found themselves in the presence of those irritating Mimic Demons, who'd arrested them.  Of course his people had been too good to display their ties with the Sacramentum, but he'd been forced to sever their connection from them with the intention of leaving them alone for the next decade or so.  It irked him to lose good spies.  The Oligarchy, it seemed, had better.

Surprisingly, the little worker bee within his hive that went by the name of Murphy Hilton had managed to do what others had not; he'd made a very close connection with the vampire who shared a bed with the Luminary himself!  Charon could not have dreamed of a better friendship, and hadn't trusted that he would be able to obtain it.  All sources had reported to him that the Luminary's lover had an almost non-existent circle of friends.  He'd thought it so unobtainable that he hadn't bothered trying, and now here was Murphy, falling in his lap.

He had a history with Murphy too, not that the mortal would remember it, because he'd wiped the young man's memory.  The night they'd experienced together at Risk had begun so well and ended so terribly that Charon felt he'd had no choice but to reverse the memory of the entire night or lose Murphy as a contact altogether.  There was still a fond memory that Charon treasured of Murphy, considering the intimacies they'd shared.  It would be nice to get a second time with him; though he would be stupid to establish a relationship beyond business, because he wouldn't be able to so neatly wipe Murphy's memories, even with the surgical precision of his mental powers.  Doing things so often, he found, corrupted other memories that had seemingly no connection.  He'd discovered this over his many, many years.

"Send for him," he requested softly, caressing the pruning shears that he held in one hand with his thumb while the other remained pinching the stalk of the rose, mindful of its barbed protection.  "Tonight," he clarified, for the night was young and Murphy Hilton was unlikely to be doing anything important.  "Unless he's with the fledgling," he added.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It turned out that Murphy wasn't with Ben, nor on his way to see him.  He would find himself picked up by a man named Leon who was his contact at the newspaper, the one who would hand him objectives.  Leon drove a nice but generic looking black sedan, and Murphy would understand how important this impromptu meeting would be as soon as the car drove up the private driveway leading to the Penbrook Mansion.  He was ushered to the North wing, into what looked like an extravagantly sized sitting room and left there alone, the door closing behind him while his usher left, and casting him into a very deep darkness because a single table lamp was on in the room, in the far corner on a high end table between two armchairs.  Charon sat upon one of the armchairs, half illuminated by the lamp's golden glow, looking like a cerebral corpse, due to his pensive posturing.

"Sit, please," he said softly, for there was no other sound to challenge Murphy's hearing.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2012, 09:25:46 AM »
Murphy had been at home when Leon came for him, packing up a few last things of his father’s and he’d barely even registered that night had fallen until the knock came. He was completely bewildered by the late call, and even more so when the brief explanation was given. But Murphy knew better than the question what Leon gave him to do and so after taking a couple of minutes to change out of his worn clothes into a clean shirt Murphy found himself heading towards the mansion. He rarely came to this part of the city, which the other human would have easily picked up on by the way Murphy was gazing at their surroundings.

He’d thought this was just another assignment for the paper, perhaps one of a more delicate matter due to his being brought in somewhere more secure, but as he was lead through the hallways there was a definite sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. What had his last article been about? A teenage girl’s death, detailing the fictitious violent relationship with her boyfriend, a tragic death, but nothing unnatural at all. Designed to dispell any rumours which had been stirring. Had it been shit? Had he given anything away? Told anyone something he shouldn’t?

But if it wasn’t about the article and he had let something slip he shouldn’t have (which he hadn’t and never had) then he would be going to the Oligarchy, not this creepy mansion. He knew exactly where that was. And at least at the Oligarchy there was the knowledge that there was one friend in the building.

Here, as the door shut behind him, Murphy felt completely alone. And he wished he’d taken the time to shower and put on smarter trousers than the jeans he wore with sneakers. Still, the shirt was clean.

The human blinked as his eyes struggled to adjust to the dim light, but even before he was completely confident he wasn’t going to trip over something he walked forwards at the request that he sit. The shadowy figure was one Murphy didn’t recognise, but his curiosity was most definitely sparked. His fingers nudged at the small notebook he’d slipped into his back pocket out of habit to check it was still there as he walked, moving slowly and carefully until he was in front of the armchair. The reporter paused there though, holding his breath for a moment as he got a look at the man who had summoned him here. He looked… terrible. Like he would fall apart in a strong wind. But Murphy caught himself before the look of curiosity became a stare and he glanced down at his sneakers to gather himself.

As instructed, he sat, his hazel eyes fixing on the fragile looking figure before him as he folded his hands in his lap, leaning forwards in his seat a little. He wasn’t comfortable, but he’d dealt with a lot which had made him uncomfortable in this job and he tried to tell himself this was just another one of those jobs.

“Thank you, Sir,” Murphy said quietly. He’d heard rumours of members of the Sacramentum and had no doubt that this was one of them, but he didn’t know how much was truth and how much lies so had no desire to guess and perhaps insult this ancient looking figure. A dozen questions were on the tip of his tongue, but for now he held it respectfully, waiting patiently for things to become clearer.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 10:57:28 AM »
Charon knew that the journalist would behave with a mild shock at seeing him, much as he had the first time around.  He liked that Murphy was both respectful and wary of staring, and that he didn't reel back or gasp his horror at Charon's unnatural appearance like so many did.  He knew he looked like a monster; mirrors reflected his appearance after all.  Murphy was the product of modern education, whereas a mere hundred years ago the ordinary person was shrieking in their ignorance.  Not that Charon considered Murphy 'ordinary' in the slightest, but only he would remember how well Murphy had coped under duress.

"My name is Charon," he introduced himself.  "I have existed for over three thousand years."  He waited a moment for that information to be digested, though mortals truly could not conceive the amount of time.  Some had the concept, but none of them could properly understand, neither could the fledges or neophytes.  He'd noted that vampires who'd seen five centuries come and go were more likely to understand.  "I've experienced love, loss, hardship and luxury," he lifted a hand to sweep the darkened and empty room, indicating the grandeur of the mansion and its grounds.  "And it was only when I paid attention to mortal's dreams that I became most successful."  When his hand came down, it landed on the end of the arm of his chair and he leant forward to gaze intensely at Murphy, who'd had the wits to keep silent while Charon spoke.  "What do you dream of, Murphy, when you lay your head upon your pillow?" he asked, his voice still barely above a whisper to keep it from croaking.  And now the reason behind Murphy's summons was voiced.  "Do you dream of Ben?"
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 06:02:34 PM »
When the vampire gave his name Murphy had an itching desire to give his own in response, but Charon would already know who he was - he’d been summoned for god’s sake. And the vampire didn’t give pause to allow him to speak, not one which the human would have felt comfortable filling. Especially not after the news of this creature’s age.

Three thousand years? Murphy enjoyed reading and for the most part his history wasn’t too shabby, but for the life of him he couldn’t think what had been happening that long ago. Vikings? Romans? Egyptians?

His eyes widened in surprise as his gaze flickered over the creature. Vampires grew in strength but this ancient, he looked as though a stiff breeze would knock him over. Did they only increase to a certain level and then start to decline? Would Ben look like this in three thousand years? Or was he judging a book by it’s cover? Charon looked weak, but it could all be false.

He couldn’t help but follow the ancient’s hand, his gaze turning to their opulent surroundings which he could barely make out n the dim light, but returned to Charon when the vampire leaned forwards, finding himself tense up slightly. He had done a good job for the Sacramentum, he had no doubt about that, but he thought of himself as insignificant so the fact that the oldest vampire he had ever known had requested his presence made him wary.

When the question of Ben came Murphy blinked in surprise, then vehemently shook his head.

“What? No, Ben is… a friend, nothing more,” he said quickly. Yes, Ben was gorgeous, a model, friendly and caring (when you got to know him). But he had Kerr, he loved Kerr and Murphy had known that from the very start so Ben being anything more had never been an option Murphy had let himself consider.

But he did realise that in the two minutes since coming into this room Ben had already crossed his mind - but as a point of reference. Ben was the vampire he knew best - when he learnt about vampiric abilities, in his mind he tested them out on Ben without ever considering another candidate. Was that why Ben had come up? Because the blonde had flickered across his thoughts? Or was  he actually here to talk about Ben?

His fingers curled together as he tried to stop them from fidgeting nervously and he tried to keep his eyes on Charon, although it would have been easier to look away from those horrific features. As little as he wanted to voice his own dreams to Charon, he wanted to speak about Ben even less. He didn’t want to drag the blonde into whatever this was.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 06:25:16 PM »
Charon expected surprise, but he hadn't expected this defensiveness.  It was good to see the instinctive reaction of the mortal.  Instincts didn't deceive.  He was concerned about Murphy's loyalties however.

"Friends are rarely nothing more," he chastised gently.  "I would hope that you and Master Samson are good friends."  Charon sat back, all the better to hide his expression in shadow, for he understood the disquiet he was causing Murphy.  "I commend your selection of friends, in fact.  I approve of your friendship."

He wanted Murphy to know that he'd done nothing wrong.  That he'd done the right thing, in fact.  It was difficult to know how he would behave now, when it was obvious that Murphy was summoned here because of his friendship with Ben.  Charon wondered if he should simply sit here and watch the gears tick over.  The mortal was a journalist after all, so it wouldn't be too hard to put two and two together and understand that the Sacrament's network wished to extend its fingers through him.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 10:56:12 AM »
Murphy’s gaze stayed fixed on the shadowy figure, but then slowly slid back into his seat rather than perching on the edge, stretching one leg out a little in front of him to rest on the floor. For a few seconds when he’d been summoned here he’d thought it might actually be something to do with him, something he’d done, for better or for worse. But no, it was Ben that mattered. In fact, it was probably little to do with Ben - the Luminary was surely the ultimate goal. The Sacramentum had fingers in every pie, why wouldn’t they want more information on the Oligarchy?

“You want to use it,” Murphy said bluntly, but in a soft voice. He glanced towards the door, but even if the vampire was frail, no doubt there would be others about, and humans, he wasn’t going to be able to escape this. And even if he got away from Charon now, the Sacramentum were everywhere. He would end up here again.

“There’s nothing to use, you won’t get any information this way,” Murphy said, his eyes returning to the ancient as his fingers rubbed against the soft material of the armchair and he gave a small shrug. He and Ben talked about writing, history, wild theories, movies. Not about vampiric politics or Kerr’s deep dark secrets and Murphy didn’t want to ask. Sometimes it felt like Kerr was barely putting up with him, Murphy didn’t want to push it.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 12:22:07 PM »
Charon wasn't happy about Murphy's thoughts of escape.  It might have been a fleeting desire, but it had been there all the same, and Charon's mental openness received them, even though they were muted because they were mortal.  It reminded him of their tryst, though the mortal was not to know.  Still, Charon thought his memories had cast Murphy's sheen a little too golden.  Mind, he'd been told the friendship with Ben had been fostered over some years now, and he really didn't know enough about it to make an informed decision how best to continue.  He didn't want to pluck them from this young man's head, because such a thing would be an aggressive move and he wanted Murphy to be cooperative.

"Oh, but your thinking is reversed," Charon lied smoothly, knowing he'd have to change tack.  "You're trusted enough to be given sensitive information for the city's paper, to ensure the secret of vampirism remains secret," he said, though that wasn't the main reason behind Murphy's being a contact - it was specifically to keep attention away from the Sacrament itself, rather than vampires in general.  "And you're trusted enough not to pass on information that you may have gleaned about us to the Oligarchy."

It was a warning, though a very subtle one, and Charon found himself smiling in spite of himself, his face crinkling with the effort.

"I view your friendship as those of historically reputable houses would view a marriage.  A coming together of like-minded families," he said, sinking back into his chair as Murphy had and stroking the arms of the chair gently with stalk like fingers.  "I wouldn't ask you to spy on them.  Unlike my horrific countenance, Murphy, I do not have the personality to match."

He played the part of the wrongly accused quite well, and did so now, with his expression schooled into one of regretful acceptance - that he would always experience negative first impressions due to his outward appearance.  He was banking on Murphy being clever enough and perceptive enough to read his body language and facial expression and conclude what they meant.  Not everybody was aware of others, though he recalled Murphy had been very responsive to such, first time they'd met.
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 07:47:45 PM »
A small crease appeared between Murphy’s eyebrows as he recognised the warning. They thought he might be passing on information to the Oligarchy? Where had that come from? Or at least he was being warned that it had been considered. He doubted anything he could say would be of much interest to the Oligarchy really. Who would listen? Apart from Ben. Who could get Kerr to listen.

He opened his mouth to speak, but Charon was going on, and making the human’s cheeks flush with his words. He had no idea where all this way coming from - the joining of two great houses? Two families coming together? Maybe it could be something like that if Murphy was actually more important to the Sacramentum, but he was a no one. Charon was the only one of them he’d ever even met. He usually wasn’t even worth that effort.

But he didn’t question that further as the ancient went on and Murphy felt a spark of guilt, as was the design. He’d offended the vampire, the three thousand year old vampire who (Murphy guessed) was a very important part of this organisation. If he got on his bad side everything could fall apart. Everything he’d worked for these past few years could disappear.

“I’m sorry, Sir. I didn’t mean to offend you. But surely you can understand my thinking, you do have eyes everywhere already,” Murphy said in a sincerely apologetic voice, although he was still wary. He’d been so sure that was what he was being asked to do, but maybe he had been mistaken. But having a spy so close to the Luminary’s lover - that would have to be a position the Sacramentum would want.

“Please, Sir, if it isn’t that then what is it you want me to do? Other than keeping your secrets? I’m afraid I’m not following,” Murphy said, spreading his hands palms upwards.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 08:34:35 PM »
Charon pondered Murphy's character, while at the same time he reviewed potential outcomes to theoretical decisions.  It was all guesswork of course, but after existing for so long and dealing with so many, he understood the patterns of personality.  People rarely surprised him, but Murphy had, that night at Risk.  He'd wanted more from the journalist - much more than Murphy had been ready for, and he'd taken things much too far much too fast.  So, he was dealing with an entity that he might not be able to predict.  The best approach, in that case, was to scan his mind for a clue for what he was expecting and give him that, as long as it was positive.

Charon stumbled onto something much better as he quickly brushed Murphy's thoughts.  Recognition.  Praise.  Status.  He wanted these things, but he wanted to earn them.  Well, he could arrange that for the mortal.

"I called you here because you're friends with Ben, I admit that easily because it is the truth.  My desire is not for you to spy, for you already understand I have other sources," failed as they were, but he continued smoothly.  "I wanted to meet you for myself, because you are in my employ, and yet it takes another in a lofty position to recognise your qualities and call you his friend.  I am ashamed not to have noticed you on my own, but of course now that you have my attention, I would like to get to know you.  With your permission, of course."  He chanced a rueful smile.  "I hope you have time to spare making another friend?"

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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 10:30:12 PM »
He just wanted to get to know him? That was it? It didn’t ring true in the journalist’s mind, why on earth would an ancient vampire want to be friends with a young human? Feed from, maybe yes, use for his own desires, of course, but friendship?

Despite his worries, with everything he’d been panicking that he would be asked Murphy was happy to accept it as truth for now. He wasn’t being accused of spying for the other side or being asked to betray his friend. Just about anything else would do for now.

“That’s… I mean of course I have time if you do and I’m completely flattered. Thank you,” he said, trying to ignore the little voice in the back of his head telling him they would never be friends, they had nothing in common, this was ridiculous. There was no way he was going to reject the offer, crazy as it might be.

But now it was out there, he had no idea what to say next. You couldn’t just declare you would be friends with someone and that be that. You had to get to know them. But Murphy felt like anything he might ask Charon could be taken as being impertinent and he didn’t want to offend the ancient so he sat quietly, watching the vampire and waiting to see what the immortal would like to discuss with his friends.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 04:13:42 PM »
Charon stared back at him for a moment.

"I would also like to drink from you," he declared in a reserved manner.  "And now that we are friends, as opposed to employer and employee, there are no duties or expectations.  If I were to drink from you, I would have you willing."
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 05:52:31 PM »
Murphy didn’t know why he was shocked by the blunt comment, but perhaps because it was so blunt. Normally people in Risk were more subtle, or those who weren’t you didn’t expect subtlety from. But Murphy didn’t really go to Risk much any more, despite the tattoo on his wrist. He’d been a few weeks ago, completely wasted, but that had been different. Ben usually drunk from him and that was nice, relaxed, no expectations on either side other than feeding and then chilling and talking some more.

But it wasn’t like he was Ben’s pet. Other vampires did feed from him on occasion. And Charon was saying he wanted him willing, but how on earth was the young mortal supposed to refuse the ancient? And why should he? Okay, so Charon wasn’t attractive, but Murphy didn’t usually get fed from for it to lead to sex, unless he was drunk.

The wording though, that worried him slightly. Murphy wondered what it would be like if Charon hadn’t decided they should be friends. Would Murphy being willing have no part to play then? Did it really now? And did willing just refer to being fed from?

“Right, okay, well… sure. I mean, it’s fine if you want to drink from me, yeah,” Murphy said, stumbling slightly over his words as he hoped it came out sounding better to Charon than it had to himself. He paused for a second, pressing his lips together, his mouth suddenly feeling very dry. “Now? Or… another time?” he added, feeling flustered by this whole affair.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 06:10:06 PM »
"Very good," Charon said, immensely pleased.  "Now," he answered Murphy's next question, knowing that the other had been thrown off-kilter by the sudden and dramatic change this meeting had travelled down.  It didn't matter, as long as they didn't follow the same path they had in Risk.  Charon had drunk from Murphy then, too, but he'd been a great deal more demanding and wanting, expecting Murphy's cooperation without requiring permission first.  He chose not to think of it anymore, lest he be confused with that memory and this new one that he was nurturing.

"Would you prefer to sit upon a sofa, or upon my lap.  I assure you," he said with a lecherous smile, "I will not blow away at the slightest wind.  I am stronger than I look.  Much... stronger."
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Offline pinkroses

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Re: Summons
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 07:59:29 AM »
Murphy hesitated slightly at the offer, unsure whether or not that last comment was supposed to be a warning rather than the assurance he was told it was. Was he being told he should do what he thought Charon would want? Or should he take it at face value, that he wouldn’t hurt the vampire if he did want to be more… intimate.

But that was a little too intimate for Murphy so far. He was all for trying new things, but that was just a step too far. With t he speed things were going he thought Charon might take him choosing the lap option as indication that things should go further.

“Uh, the sofa, for now,” Murphy said, giving the vampire a smile, despite the fact that Charon’s smile wasn’t very comforting.

He paused before standing up to move to the sofa, still wondering why he was really here, but he knew after the bite he probably wouldn’t care, for a while at least. This was dangerous, but it might be more dangerous to refuse.

“How do you want me?” he asked, rubbing his palms lightly against the hips of his jeans, thinking they might be hot and clammy, although they weren’t.

Offline Trillian

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Re: Summons
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 07:55:52 AM »
Charon was disappointed and wondering if he'd made a mistake once more.  Even though Murphy was willing, his thoughts were conflicting (for Charon had begun actively scanning his mind), and he very obviously wasn't at ease.  He wasn't used to having to win people over, and remembered that their first meeting - though ending badly, had begun very well.  Certainly it had begun a great deal better than this.

He had agreement from Murphy to drink from him, and really that was all that he needed.  He would see for himself, whilst drinking, what the nature of Murphy's relationship with Ben was.  He would follow their story, in fact, all seen and felt from Murphy's point of view, experiencing it himself.  There were years of friendship that Charon had to experience, but of course not every second of those years had been spent with Ben.  He would skip over a few memories, perhaps not experience some of them all the way through.

With this plan in mind, he stood and led the way to the two seater sofa a few steps away, and gestured for Murphy to sit upon it.  They were mostly shrouded in darkness, in this area, but the table lamp was visible and casting a warm and (he hoped) comforting glow.  The last thing that would put Murphy at ease was seeing someone of Charon's countenance coming at him for an intimate drink.  Best to let shadows save him that horror.

Charon sat very close to Murphy once the journalist had chosen his seat.

"Lean over and lay your head upon my shoulder," he directed, for Charon intended to lean forward and circle around to get to Murphy's exposed neck on the opposite side, and Murphy's face would then end up in the crook of Charon's neck, expelling warm breath.  It would be a very intimate hold, for Charon disliked drinking from those who tipped their head away from him (regardless of the convenience of drinking).
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :