Author Topic: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince  (Read 360 times)

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Offline Black Philip

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2019, 07:07:58 AM »
Jake nodded as she confirmed she had support, and wondered who that might be. Kuei-Jin split the middle of vampires and demons, and so Charon and Zeus were his first two guesses. Then again, Lan Bao was elegant, beautiful and deadly. These were all traits of Zoheret. It could be anyone. Jake heard two things in Lan Bao's reply that gave him pause, and he felt the need to address them both.

"I should be realistic that it may take more than a single meeting," he stated. "However, the reverse of that is, I would like you to be independent before the election. Otherwise it will look like a campaign grab, and it is not. On my honor I will bring it up at the meeting. That is what I can give today, right now."

Independence for Chinatown meant Jake couldn't gain Kuei-Jin votes, but Ben couldn't either. Eliminating the population didn't hurt him, but it could potentially hurt Ben. The second point was harder to reply to, but he felt the need to probe deeper.

"I sense something in your words. Writing of wrongs both past and current slights is of course something I'd like to have from you, but I didn't hear an offer of friendship within that scope. What more do you require of me to earn that?"

He wasn't sure how much more he was prepared to give. This was a sweetheart deal of epic proportions, and despite Lan Bao's cool energy Jake knew that she knew this fact. If she wanted an alliance, and felt raising her to the status of his equal was not enough, he hoped she had something to trade him. Balance was one thing, an ongoing relationship was another.

Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2019, 09:18:34 AM »
Lan Bao's eyes twinkled merrily as Jake proved himself nowhere near as foolish as she'd heard. Bao didn't put too much stock in gossip but she did trust in her reports. Everyone reporting back to her had told her diplomacy was Jake McCloud's weakness, but no further details than that. She hadn't known what to expect. While he was somewhat roughly edged, he wasn't incompetent and she wouldn't mind working with that. The problem was his past actions had put him squarely against Chtahzus'aak, who was a current ally. She would have to see which one of them came through for her, if not both.

"I accept your word," she said, wanting him to feel trusted and acknowledged. "Did you mean to say 'friendship' in substitute for 'alliance' Mr McCloud? The former takes time and is a personal thing. The latter is something I can give straight away, once I face my equal. A true alliance cannot be had when the partnership does not work both ways - otherwise it is a sphere of influence and protection."

She wondered if he would pursue a friendship with her as well as an alliance. It would be a tough sell. Bao was incredibly selective who she called friends. She was high maintenance, she knew. She doubted he had the time available. Zeus was on his way there but hadn't yet earned that title.
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2019, 04:52:59 PM »
Lan-Bao hadn't missed any of his word play tonight, and he was glad of it. He'd heard she loved metaphors, double meanings and riddles. He didn't think of himself as an expert in any of those. He didn't think he spoke poorly, or that he was dumb, but the young vampire did himself no favors not admitting his weaknesses. Instead, he'd chosen his words carefully, and made sure to use ones that held multiple meanings. So far, the pair of them had been in sync. Jake considered she might think him, and his words, simple, but for some reason that didn't feel right. He considered how to respond, and during his internal deliberation he never broke eye contact.

"I think I want both," he admitted, learning that was his intent as he spoke it aloud. "I don't know if we have enough in common to be friends, but I enjoy speaking with you and feel like we are connecting, and that we might be able to teach one another. I say let's plant the seeds, and see if it sprouts." He smiled encouragingly. "And to the business, that all sounds good. I look forward to greeting you as District Leader Lan Bao."

He offered his hand to shake. It was a very western gesture, but it was meant in good faith, the expression of Jake McCloud earnest.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2019, 09:45:08 PM »
She looked from him to his hand, a momentary pause as she decided what to do with it. He was left hanging for just a smidge longer than was comfortable before she reached out and gripped it. She would let her hand be shaken but she would not instigate that action. Instead, as she held his hand, she bowed deeply, her eyes turning to the floor before straightening and looking back at him.

"I will send you a gift after your meeting with the other leaders," she stated before they parted. "A token of trust."
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2019, 10:11:57 AM »
Jake took her hand, but didn’t shake it. It felt wrong somehow. When she bowed, something stirred within him. It felt like respect, and possibly even gratitude. He nodded his head, and provided a less formal grin.

“Till then,” he said, indicating with his words he intended to exit. In reality he wanted more time with her, but he’d played a good hand, and didn’t want to risk muddying it by saying something stupid. He didn’t rise. She had summoned him. He was her’s to dismiss in her domain.
Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras

Offline Malkavian Riddler

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2019, 10:44:54 AM »
She did rise as soon as her hand was released. The heavy rain had lessened in the time they'd spoken, but it had settled into a drizzle for the night. They could both hear it pattering on the roof, sprinkling a rhythm that mirrored Lan Bao's meeting of initial suspicion and distrust into an understanding and open path towards a future relationship.

She liked Jake McCloud as much as she'd liked Ben Samson, but the other was a greater risk and a longer stretch before a potential payoff that might never come. Ben was wily, but young, and favoured by too many people. His loyalty would be divided between too many people, and while she respected his ability to navigate that, he simply didn't hold the cards he needed to win at the game he was playing. He'd done all that he could, but it wasn't enough.

Jake McCloud, on the other hand, could deliver, but he also came with a risk and a negative. He'd worked against Chtahzus'aak, who was her first alliance. There was a risk that there would come an ultimatum and she would have to choose between the two of them at a later date. There was also the negative that Jake McCloud had ignored her until the point she'd become worthwhile to him. Perhaps it was true that he'd believed leaving her alone was a sign of respect, but it had been a poor decision and a misguided assumption. He could've made it official long ago... and with only a quick meeting he'd decided she was worthy of a District Leadership title. He hadn't asked her anything about how she lead. So she could see that those reports about him were right; he was reckless in his quickness to judge. It had worked in her favour this time but she was wary of it. Who knew how he would react upon learning that she'd cosied up to Chtahzus'aak? Jake's withdrawal from the west was her single hope that all could work well.

She waited until Jake was on his feet before she headed for the door, speaking as she went. "Next time you visit, Mr McCloud, you should bring your sword. I would very much like to see it. I have a collection of swords at Shogun House which I hope will interest you to view."
Digital: I drink from the poison chalice
Lan Bao: I reap the harvest of my people
Cain: I am the instrument that vampires play
Shan: I take what is mine and what is yours

Offline Black Philip

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Re: Dragon Mama, Dragon Prince
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2019, 03:37:19 AM »
Jake had left Venom home on purpose, for he hadn't known what to make of Lan Bao. He guessed, and perhaps rightly so, that if anyone in the whole city knew exactly what his sword was, it would be her. There was a temptation to have her tell him everything about it, if she could. However, she might know more about it than he did. That could lead to problems. Her offer to show her collection of swords was interesting, and he'd just informed her he wanted to be friends and he feared they had little in common. This seemed like a way to address both of those things. He would be careful with his blade around her, but he decided quickly it would be rude to refuse.

"That sounds great," he said, with much the same expression as the moment before. "I only didn't bring it because I've been told having in on me sends the wrong message. I would be glad for you to see it. It is one of a kind. I would also love to see your collection. It sounds like a rare treat. Thank you."

With a final bow of his head, he left her. He opened his umbrella and retreated out into the drizzle. It wasn't a long walk home, and he decided he actually liked the way the rain painted the city.

Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.


Nox Jake Benny Kyle Lisa-Joe James/Jimmy Tess Tyler Freddy Drew Flick Apep Ari Lacy Mithras