Author Topic: Suing for Peace  (Read 93 times)

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Offline Billiam

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Suing for Peace
« on: September 07, 2019, 09:25:01 AM »
Reserved

Normally Jake would've called ahead, but he didn't want to give Charon an opportunity to not be home. If he wasn't, Jake planned on waiting. After all, thanks to the nice imp he'd found on Lovebite, sunrise wasn't going to be a problem. He could wait Charon out if he had to. He suspected that wouldn't be needed, and that Charon likely wanted a few words with Jake as well. He doubted they'd be pleasant, but at this point it couldn't be avoided. Jake had seen a side to Charon that had left a nasty taste in his mouth, an ancient smacking down a younger vampire because he could. Up to that point, even when angry with Jake, he'd always treated the Anarch as an equal. Jake had discussed the turn of events with Damien, Lisa-Joe and had even reached out to Zeus for help. He initially planned on giving the leader in the west some time to reply, but a week had gone by since the meeting, and Jake had to make decisions about his platform for the Kuei Jin.

He was leaning towards just letting Lan Bao act as her own DL, with the central offering structural and institutional support - namely money - so she could expand and grow her own services within her four blocks. As for future district meetings, he'd promised her a portion of his speaking time as his honored guest. She couldn't vote, yet, but it was everything but that. He couldn't give her a seat at the council, but it was better than asking her to bow or kiss his ring, or to approve things for her turf through him. He never wanted that, and unless Charon gave him a reason not to go through with this plan he would. He only kept coming back to the Sacrament's leader because it had been so out of character. Jake remembered his own opinions of the Kuei Jin before all this started, and lastly there was something about Lan Bao that didn't sit right.

They got along almost too well, and Jake was beginning to be suspect there might be a reason for that. Jake didn't often get on with people very well, and while Lan Bao understood important aspects of him that others didn't (honor, pride in being a soldier, advocating for your people over everything else) it still was a friendship Jake was having difficulty relaxing into. He also reflected that he'd been monumentally less of a tool to her than to the others, but he felt she'd drawn that respect of him. The others demanded it like expectant parents. He almost hoped Charon could prove she was pulling one on him. The alternative was actually trusting her, and for some reason that was scarier.

He arrived by car service, and the door was answered by a human servant. "Would you please let Charon know Jake McCloud is here to see him?"
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.


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Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 10:22:24 AM »
The fellow who answered the door was used to all manner of people arriving at Penbrook Estate, though the usual manner if without an appointment was to request to see one of the Sacramentum at the Church and being shown onto the property rather than jumping the fence when the driveway gate was closed. To each their own. The staff member had been with the Sacramentum for a decade, which was long enough to no longer surprised about who did what or why. He tilted his head upon receiving a query, and after a single thought, he was told what to do with their visitor.

"He has been informed, Mr McCloud," he replied with a brief nod. "If you could please wait in the foyer?"

Jake was left in the entrance where there were two bench seats that he could select for sitting on, but he wouldn't be left alone for long. The staff member excused himself and disappeared through the west wing doorway. A minute later Charon was at the top of the stairs looking down at Jake. He was dressed in beige pyjama bottoms and a navy robe belted at the waist. It was long enough to reach his knees. Matching navy slippers were on his feet.

Jake, you have terrible timing but I'll speak with you anyway. Come upstairs.

When he hit a blank wall with his communication, Charon was even more annoyed. So, that was how much Jake trusted him. He took note.

"You have awful timing. Come upstairs."

When Jake followed, Charon led them into an open roomed door into a large room with a wooden tiled floor. All manner of stringed instruments were on stands around the room, but against one wall there was an assortment of ornate couches and armchairs, where someone could sit and listen to a practice session or simply to enjoy the room.

Charon sat on an armchair and crossed his legs over the knee, his hands curling over the arms and holding them at the ends, waiting for Jake to say what he'd come to say.

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2019, 10:50:52 AM »
"Sorry I didn't call, but I didn't think you'd take it," he said honestly, keeping the venom out of his tone, for now.

He'd followed without a word, taking note of Charon's relaxed appearance. It was a bit early for bed, at least for Jake's liking. He wondered if his terrible timing was connected to the garb. He didn't have time to wonder long as he started to head upstairs. He chose a seat opposite Charon, sitting neatly on the couch, his ankles crossed but his legs closed otherwise. He wore a black suit. This was work.

"I'm here to discuss the meeting, specifically our exchange concerning the Kuei Jin. I feel like their is missing information, and honestly I was surprised when you acted out against me. I would like to resolve these difficulties if possible, as my political future rests of making a decision regarding the Kuei Jin soon."

It was well spoken and polite, but missing the warmth that had grown between them previously. He had a loose smile on his face, not suggestive of his real mood by any means. He hoped Murphy wouldn't walk by this meeting, and tried to push the human out of his mind for the moment.
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.


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Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2019, 11:09:24 AM »
Charon, annoyed that he wasn't with Vex in the bedroom ready for a second round of sexual intimacy following his time with the young man at the Luminary some nights ago, waited impatiently through Jake's request for more information. He was annoyed at the accusation that Charon had 'acted out against him', like Charon was a toddler and Jake the parent. Insolent wretch.

"I would not have removed the tool you used to disrespect me with if you had not also threatened me."

He said nothing about the Kuei Jin. The two were connected but he expected an apology for Jake's immature behaviour. In a room full of people discussing important matters, Jake had played with his phone like a child.

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2019, 12:44:29 PM »
Jake let a single eyebrow raise in surprise at the accusation. He hadn't threatened anyone. He made plenty of them, often, and so he replayed the exchange in his head, not replying right away to Charon's words. He'd certainly threatened Saraekiel afterwords, but that had been more fun than anything else, and certainly not what Charon was referring to. All he'd done was tell the others that he didn't feel like they cared about Lan Bao's interests, or the Kuei Jin, and he'd complained about how he was being shut down without proper discussion, but he'd never threatened anyone. None of the others had made the accusation, and three people he'd called his enemy had shared that table.

"I'm afraid you've caught me out. Please tell me what I said that you took as a threat."

He was surprisingly rigid, but didn't like where this conversation was already heading. He'd gotten a new phone, but left it in the car. It's not like he'd make risk texting again. God fucking forbid he do that. He was thankful the ring concealed his annoyance, and was also happy Charon knew that his mind was not going to be his plaything tonight.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2019, 02:07:55 PM »
Charon stared at Jake for a long moment, unsure if he was serious. Eventually, he spoke.

"I refuse to believe you are so oblivious, especially since you have entered my property wearing what you believe protects you from me."

He might believe it but he was mistaken. Charon glanced at the ring and back at the District Leader.

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2019, 02:16:30 PM »
Jake blinked, hard. What was the point of all this hyperbole? He uncrossed his ankles and tilted his head sharply to the left. What could this game be? Jake wanted directness. It was the kind of you know what you did logic of passive aggressive partners, and Jake needed to make the point, no, I don't. Tell me!

"My suggestion is that you supply the answer instead of mocking my intelligence."

Whether Charon meant the comment like that was irrelevant. Jake could read between the lines. As to the comment about the ring, he ignored it utterly. He hoped it would keep him safe, and didn't rule out what a dragon could do, but he wasn't here to fight. However, that didn't mean he wouldn't speak up for himself.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2019, 02:21:30 PM »
"Putting knowledge or power into the wrong hands affects others, whether you believe it or not," Charon growled, his voice low and gravelly. "You said, verbatim 'I have brought you Lan Bao's concerns and her requests and I'll inform her of how you all voted.' And I will repeat the phrase at the knife's edge: 'I'll inform her of how you all voted'." Charon's eyes flashed and he gripped the armchair ends tightly, but not quite with the strength to make the wood crack. "You're a fool, to trust that they are not using you and will dispense with you once they are done. You and Ben both are ignorant. At least he would have a tighter hold on them; you would give someone the keys to your house after meeting them for a second and judging their character based on their smile."

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 02:46:40 PM »
Jake's first instinct was to melt him where he sat. His anger grew and his nostrils flared. However, his mouth remained a pensive little pout. He barked no sharp reply, but he certainly thought several. Charon was upset because his vote was public knowledge? Did he not understand that leadership also meant accountability? Jake smelt his own hypocrisy, and that all things considered he'd come out of the west relatively unscathed. However, that didn't mean he'd learnt nothing from the experience. One lesson was clear; your mistakes are your own. If Charon's failure to support the Kuei Jin bit him then that was the price he would pay for that decision. They would all pay in the end. Kerr had paid with eighteen months. Jake realized that he might be paying at the election. Besides, what did he think would happen? Did he have nightmares of Lan Bao slicing him?

"These observations would have been welcome at the meeting. If the city shouldn't be trusting the Kuei Jin, all the District Leaders deserve to have that information. Would you care to elaborate?"

He avoided insulting him, or responding to his continued jabs. He wouldn't explode. He just kept telling himself to stay nice and calm.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~

Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 03:29:35 PM »
Charon relaxed as Jake tensed. "All the District Leaders are not trying to give Lan Bao her own district, only you. I have already made myself clear of my position regarding the Kuei Jin. I told you at the meeting. I told you in the message I sent with your messenger. And yet, here you are once more, mewling at my knee." His eyes flared.

Jake continued to push his agenda the same as Saraekiel had pushed his. He'd come to Charon's house, unannounced, without an apology on his lips, demanding to be told things.

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2019, 03:57:32 PM »
Jake rose from his chair in anger. How dare he fucking talk to him like that. He was beyond trying for politeness now. What the fuck had gotten into him? He'd explained none of what he said before tonight. He'd made excuses about math at the meeting, and shouting a one sentence reply at a messenger was not providing a stance or information. For fucks sake, Zoheret was more forthcoming than this! Also, why all this personal anger? Jake hadn't known Charon hated Kuei Jin so much. Until he'd brought them up, nobody had. Charon was acting like they'd talked in detail for years. He was still treating Jake like he had knowledge, that he clearly wasn't providing! This smelt like a game, and Jake was fucking done being a puppet in ancient's games.

"I don't have to sit here and listen to your sad attempts at gas lighting," he snapped back, the gloves fully coming off. "You've been everything but forthcoming, and your stance is irrational. Your acting like the Kuei Jin wait under pillows to slice all our throats. You obviously have no real information for me so I'll leave instead of listening to you blather on. Maybe Ben is in for that kind of abuse, but my time is more valuable than that."

Jake made a move to exit the room. He'd had enough of this nonsense. Perhaps Zeus would have an answer, perhaps he was on his own. However, he didn't need Charon, not if humiliation was the price to pay for knowledge.
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.


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Offline Satyr

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2019, 04:21:58 PM »
Jake's accusation about gas lighting thoroughly confused Charon until more sentences came, revealing how upset Jake was. Ridiculous, really. Charon had never believed Ben's version of Jake, but the more the other vampire attempted to insult him, the more Charon was inclined to think Ben was right. This must have been the Jake that Ben saw; the one who was unable to fight back with words so resorted to threats, insults and storming out. A shame. It seemed Jake wanted to play the part of the victim. Charon was happy to let him be that; he would certainly be a victim once his new allies were through with him.

If only he'd chosen Charon on good faith. He'd proven himself a friend and ally, but Jake wanted false promises from someone he barely knew. Someone prettier and more exciting. It was hurtful, but it was better for Charon to learn of Jake's fickle nature now than to be too deeply invested in him.

The parting shot about valuable time reminded Charon that there was somebody else he'd have liked to spend his own valuable time with. He left the instrument room around the same time as Jake was going out the door and peered over the railing to see that he properly left.

Offline Billiam

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Re: Suing for Peace
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2019, 02:29:40 AM »
Jake slammed the door as he left, staring down a poor human servant who happened to be in his way. He was livid at the treatment he'd just received. Charon was a shit diplomat and even worse at making an actual point. All he'd done is make a series of personal attacks that Jake was not likely to forgive. However, it didn't mean he didn't listen, and he was more confused about what to do regarding the Kuei Jin than ever. Charon had given him nothing concrete, only foreboding threats, empty of any real substance. If the Kuei Jin were bad, how were they bad? How could they betray him, and if they were such a threat why weren't the other District Leaders allowed to know and discuss a response? Charon was either hiding something, attempting to manipulate Jake for his own ends, or just an arrogant ancient. He would've never attacked Zoheret, Zeus or Sabrina the way he'd attacked Jake in the meeting, and Jake was beginning to think it was personal.

He turned back on the lawn and flicked off the manner, sure Charon was watching somewhere, either from the shadows or overtly. Once he reached the car he pulled out his new phone and sent an email.

Don't make me beg.
J


Zeus was the only other person he thought could give him an objective opinion on Lan Bao and the Kuei Jin, and while he hated having to go to a rival for help, he hated the idea of making the wrong decision more. Jake only hoped Zeus wouldn't laugh in his face.
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.


Cancer(Nox)~ Dragon(Jake)~ Comrade(Benny)~ Harpy(Lisa-Joe)~ Two-Face(James)~ Satanist(Thesdea)~ Legend (Tyler)~ PrivateEye(Drew)~ Wolf(Flick)~ Thief(Apep)~ Huntsman(Ari)~ Slayer(Lacy)~