frau_lowey: (Default)
I returned from Steeltopia with little information - the new ruler has a sham office in the Emperor's former workspace. It is naught but window-dressing, and the place the regular day-to-day city-state management is handled. He has not made it his personal workspace yet.

It is the same in the Emperor's Residence - all for show, nothing personal here. Not so much as a fingernail-pairing... the place has been sanitized of even the Emperor's presence. It means there is nothing here for me to track the background of the one who mysteriously appeared to take over. It also does not bode well for their plans for the Emperor, should they gain control over him.

No, I do not believe the Emperor is behind the actions placed on his doorstep. To be sure, he is quite mad, but not that sort of mad. I also find the timing of the attack on Ash to be suspicious. Not only was he a trusted member of the guard, he was our link to the inner workings of the city... was I wrong to suspect the Bane of the Foundation?

That one died - we had proof, and yet, and yet. There was that unsettling rift I felt at the meeting, oh so many weeks ago. My suspicions are still not allayed concerning the new neighbor. He has not been threatening, nor especially odd, considering the other neighbors, but he still makes my shields twitch.

I have not been able to speak to Dr Mason about it, as he has become increasingly immersed in his work. From the information I gleaned in Pvt Steampunk's debriefing, his work may be turning to the path of his predecessor. But if he does not stop wearing his gluteal group for a hat We must find a way to make sure he does not follow the same well-worn path.

My investigations to find Ash's soul-piece have been singularly frustrating. The dolls I have met have been ever-so-polite, but not particularly informative. I hope Gematria has had more productive contacts. I must remind myself, that he is a Mason, and I cannot protect him from the world, but the instinct to shield him is still there.

I returned to the office to file my reports, and check on any messages. I also had to check on the Baron's newest recruit, who seems to be determined to destroy herself in her efforts to protect him. I suspect I know why. It is a pattern seen many times over.

We still have had no word on the disposition of Frau Skytower... there are those on staff that hope she still lives. Casting herself in the sea at that point in the battle, there is little hope, considering the currents in the area. The merfolk the frequent the area have been blunt on that point, but that Mongfish cow has died many times over. If she does appear again, I hope the new additions to the staff can help.
frau_lowey: (clan)
We were just wrapping up the general staff call meeting when Frau Skytower spoke up, all the while staring at her feet. "I was thinking that... I should.. . perhaps take somewhat of a break when it comes to the consulate. I... I feel like I am loosing my grasp on my senses. I find myself in places I do not remember going to."

Well, in light of her past difficulties, of course that caught my attention, and the Baron's as well, by his frown. She continued, "I feel like I could be a threat to you. The Nightmares and the calling stopped for awhile, but now... They're stronger than ever."

She had the full attention of those of us who had witnessed her difficulties, or had been debriefed. Miss Caladon, especially took note.

The Baron's frown deepened as he commented, "Ach. Didn't Lady Kitlalmina work with you on them?"

"We did, and things were fine for a bit. But... this woman.... this voice I hear...." Frau Skytower began tugging at her hair, a nervous habit of hers,"She is working to sabotage me in every way."

The Baron then asked, "Can we get Lady Kitla to visit again?" to which I nodded, and prepared a note to her in the next dispatch pouch, while Captain Veles reassured Frau Skytower.

"She wants you dead, Herr Baron, and she's even tried to manipulate me with Mr. Largo. It seems she is most fascinated by powerful folks." Frau Skytower's distress was barely controlled. She kept her gaze on the floor, shaking.

In a murmured aside in the discussion following the brash statement, Herr Baron consulted with Miss Caladon, and her sword, While I reminded Frau Skytower, "There are a number of us to fight through to get to him. Remember - she also has to get past you, Xandra."

Her response was a fervent, "I am willing to do whatever I might to rid myself of this, it is bad enough that I am running about as a Geisterdame."

Miss Caladon's sword spoke up, "Miss Skytower, I know you cannot see me, but please look at the sword. Hard." Alexandra did so, and a few moments later, Espah said, "It's as you thought, Herr Baron."

I watched Alexandra closely, as she twitched, then her expression and carriage changed entirely. I found myself standing between her and the Baron, with several others before me. As the Baron took my shoulders and steered me to his off-hand position, a different, shriller voice came from Frau Skytower's mouth. " Just WHAT are you trying to do? It's not like it's not obvious what's happening." She then smiled in what might have been a seductive manner, had she not also been sneering, "Klaus..."

He folded his arms and frowned severely, while Miss Caladon challenged the new entity in our midst, "I do not know who is possessing you, but if you so much as harm a hair on the Baron...I will tear you apart." The Jägerkin present made assenting noises, and flared a shield around the Baron, stepping in front of him again.

That thing inside Xandra grinned wickedly, "Oh, come now, I won't harm him." She glanced around the reception room, then addressed the Baron directly. "Quite a little army you have here." He shifted his stance behind me, and her poison-sweet smile belied her casual tone, Klaus, is that any way to say hello to an old friend?" She took a gentle step forward, eying everyone as she did so.

The company bristled, and she murmured, "I'm unarmed, what could I possibly do? I don't intend to fight anyone here...."

Klaus growled, "What do you want?" I could hear the rustle of cloth behind me - he was preparing the meteor controls, and I was afraid it might not be enough. I reached, and encountered adamantine shields, nothing like what Xandra had before.

"Well I have HALF of it." She smiled, "but a kiss would be nice too. Don't you worry, Klaus, you're not really involved in my plans.. this time."

"What are you doing to Xandra?" he growled.

She ignored the question but raked us all with a scathing glance, "Come now, are you the Baron's Staff or are you PEASANTS? Pitchforks and torches... and firearms..."

"Oh, if they feel like shooting you will make them feel better, I'll hardly stop them. Although I am concerned about your latest victim." he had the control in his hand, I am sure - but still we hoped to rescue Xandra from what held her.

Miss Em, who had been carefully out of the way of the major points of trajectory, sniffed. "I beg your pardon. None of us are holding pitchforks."

While she took a moment to examine the armament aimed at her, the Captain growled, "Let Mizz Xandra go, hyu vile ting."

"I will not."

"You will not have a choice." Herr Baron's tone apparently made Miss Caladon shudder and look to him. He reminded us, by telling her, "We know much more now than then, thanks to Lady Heterodyne."

"Then kill her," she chuckled, "I admit, you made it difficult. I would have had her much sooner if she had not told on me."

Victoria then spoke out, Leave my sister alone, you mean woman!" then horrified at her outburst, clapped her hands over her mouth again.

That thing turned to Victoria, huddled behind us with Miss Tanarian comforting her, "You know, I had a sister too. And I also once had a High Priestess. You could fill that role," and held out her hand.

Victoria held tight to Miss Tanarian and cried, "No, not ever. You give her back!"

Espah, glowing brightly, made one last attempt,"XANDRA! SNAP OUT OF IT."

She continued as if nothing had been said, "You have no idea the plans I've laid. It will be glorious."

"I do not care...they end here," Miss Caladon growled.

"I'm not speaking to you, upstart," and the thing possessing Xandra turned to Victoria, "Come here, girl."

Victoria shook her head and stayed put.

"Fine then," she pouted, "suit yourselves." Then she drew a weapon from her robes, fired a single round into the stone floor, and vanished in the smoke cloud it created.

A few moments of sorting out the injured, the Captain led the Jägers in the hunt for her. I had thought Miss Caladon would follow, when she collapsed. Herr Baron picked her up and placed her in the nearest chair, while Miss Em asked, "Is that who I think it was?"

He growled, "She does not have the grace to die and STAY DEAD." Then he noticed a bloodstain on his sleeve and swore. "Get the kit," he ordered, and I dashed off, leaving him to evaluate Miss Caladon's injury.

I was a bit shocked to find I had shifted sometime during the incident. Luckily, the waistcoat covered the rents in the back of my blouse from the wings when I shifted back, and put myself to rights as quickly as possible. As I returned downstairs, Miss Em asked, "Anything that can be done to help?"

His mouth twisted as I helped unpack the bandages. "You... have connexions with the Fae and others. Frau Xandra is possessed in a scientific manner. What can your acquaintances do with that?"

"Not much," Miss Em admitted, "And the only scientist I know is more interested in mutations at present, thus."

He muttered as he evaluated Miss Caladon's wound, "A bit of a slice here, hmm... She heals unusually fast, I might not need to stitch. Ja, let's ensure it's clean and bind it tightly. Caladon... Caladon, can you hear me? Wake up. Espah - ah, there you are."

Miss Caladon stirred a bit, not quite coming around as I checked her belt for her first aid kit, "I would rather use what she is used to...."

Espah said "In her pack. Which...she forgot."

She groaned softly in pain "Damn you..."

"Espah, bitte, what's going on?" he asked as he gingerly untucked Miss Caladon's jacket and shirt.

Miss Caladon groaned louder "Damn you, Klaus! That hurts!" as Espah said, "I do not know. One second she was on my radar...and then she was on the floor."

As he cleaned the wound, applying a the anti-infection powder and a layer of gauze, "Sehr gut, you're awake enough." I assisted in helping bind her up enough she would not need stitches. He braced her shoulders, taking her weight as I wrapped, and murmured, "Are you ever not going to need bed-rest for three days after we talk?"

She looked up at him, a slightly glazed look in her eyes, "I'll be okay...it's not deep."

He grinned, "Blood is supposed to stay inside the body." He helped her up out of the chair. "You are going upstairs and you will stay here overnight." Rubbing the back of his neck, "Ach. We all need to rest at this point, not just the injured."

Settling everyone in to the post-operative rooms in the laboratory, I spoke quietly, "Sir? Are you sure you do not want to move everyone to one of the safe houses?"

He shook his head, "There is no such thing as 'safe' around her." He continued, "I want to be here in case Caladon has any issues, although it was not a very deep cut."

I nodded and bid him goodnight, headed for the boathouse, when a courier in Steeltopian colours intercepted me, presented a cable to me, and dashed off into the night. It read, "NEW TRACES FOUND - ARISTOCRAT'S OFFICE - G."

I gathered my skirts and ran the rest of the way home, hoping I would not be needed to hunt the Other, as I had to find my foster son's soul.

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frau_lowey

July 2012

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