Mother is Angry
Location • Willamette Valley (Winery) •
Factions • Circle of the Crone
Date • 2020-05-21
Summary • Mike and Quinn visit Ursula, where Mike glosses over his lack of letter or call the entire time he was gone, instead bringing what he claims to be a vision for her consideration.
Typically Mikey would arrive on wing, but tonight it's a bike, largely because it's easier to travel with Quinn on the rumbling maching than as anything that wouldn't draw attention from the world below. So that is the forewarning that the proverbial prodigal son is returning to the winery, followed shortly there after by Mikey opening the door and holding it for Quinn to head in ahead of him. " Guess it's some kinda tournament. Dunno how long they'll be. Reckon it depends how good Lance does," breaks in the in-progress conversation. Stepping in, looking unchanged and yet, certainily different in some fashion, Mikey looks about and calls out, "Urs'la?" Looking back to Quinn, he adds, "Mind th'cats... They're not all..." Hand wobble.
Quinn opted for an outfit practical for such a ride: jeans, a Nirvana t-shirt, and a hunter green leather jacket thrown over her shoulders. She takes a moment to adjust her hair back into some semblance of order once off the bike, but she doesn't linger primping for long. Scooting ahead first with Mikey holding the door open, she gives the man a big smile as she sweeps inside. "Could be a while, knowing how good he is," she responds lightly, her face skewed into an expression of momentary thought. "Mmm, thanks for the heads up," she observes, while briefly pulling her phone out of her jacket pocket to sweep a look over notifications or the lack thereof.
The cats of the winery have become fat and lazy without their former Mistress, many have disappeared entirely, but oddly enough those that remain seem happy to cuddle up to the new inhabitants of the winery; serpents. Near the electric fireplace a gold and red viper with rough scales is cozy with a fluffy Himalayan, and beneath the overhang of the bar is a Tabby nestled in with a Green Tree Boa that looks large enough to devour the feline. It's all very civil though, or seems to be. From the basement a familiar velvet tone calls, "Is that who I think it is?!", Ursula peers from the open basement door, "You don't write, you don't call, I was beginning to think you had forgotten all about me." Dressed in a creamy linen gown, the bodice fitted with a corset tie of blood red ribbon, the skirt flaring from her hips and flowing to the tops of her bare feet. Serpentine green eyes peer towards Quinn and the smile on her lips grows brighter, "Ah, and you've brought a guest."
"Thinkin' so," Mike agrees with Quinn, closing the door up behind them and sinking his hands into his pockets as he wanders up behind his shorter counter-part. He lands an eye on one of those lingering serpents and lofts a brow with a mumbled, "That's new. Sorta. Usually she's wearin'- " That much is cut off when he's called out. "I did write!" Soon as he was back in town. He grins and nudges Quinn forward a step before skirting around her to close in the conversational circle to some cozy distance. "Been tellin' her since last year sometime I'd bring her 'round to some festival or ceremony. Figured this is at least a start. Come over to our club house." Near Ursula, he offers over his arm when he asks, "How you been? How's th'new guy?"
"Good evening, Priscus!" Quinn greets warmly. It may have been a few months, but the harpy certainly remembers. She seems quite at ease, comfortable in her skin wherever she is. Inching forward when nudged, she cracks a wider smile and eyes the snakes for a moment before her gaze drifts back to Ursula. "Shame I didn't make it over here before." The important questions are left to Mikey for now as she starts soaking it all in.
A dip of her feathering sable lashes is not enough to hide the glowing green of those eyes, the vertical abyssal slits of her pupils shrinking in that sea of emerald as Mike steps forward. "You wrote when you arrived back in town. I suppose I will just have to put a tracker on you.", her smiles fades slightly, "I was worried.", she admits quietly. The tip of a forked tongue glides across her lips before she lifts her head, her shoulders rolled back to reclaim her usual regal posture. "Yes, well, next ceremony outsiders would be welcome to attend is the Summer Solstice and I would be happy to have Miss Ashe attend." A bow of her head to Quinn, "A pleasure to see you. I recently attempted to hold a meeting of our brother and sister Lords, but none replied. I hope everything is well with you. I am sure the awkward chaos of the mortal realm is preoccupying us all.", her smile tightens and she turns back to Mikael. "I am happy to see you both though."
Mikey frowns a hair and glances down sheepishly informed of the worry he'd inspired. "Had to exercise some demons, get a grip on some stuff," is painfully vague, of course, but he didn't linger there long before he looks up again, following the other half of the conversation to the next lull. He cracks a grin at the mention of the mortal realms, a little more wolfish than the puppy dog smile, and dips his head down to 'whisper', "That's somethin' I wanted to talk to you 'bout... All that chaos out there. Everythin' goin' wrong. While we were gone, I had this...vision, or dream maybe. Sleepin' in th'Shadow. It was the Mother, talkin' to me." He pauses a beat before adding, "I think." Then just as quickly, "Nah, I'm sure it was. An' she was pissed."
"There's all sorts of way to hack those things," muses Quinn on the topic of trackers, giving Ursula a sly little smile and a wink that punctuates her words. "I'll put the Solstice in my calendar. Dress code? Or... no dress is the code?" With a cheerful attitude, far more upbeat than the vast majority of her Mekhet brethren, she finds a seat to sink into and gives Ursula a mounrful, understanding look. "Likewise, I think my fellow Shadows have disappeared into the ether. Sometimes I wonder that I might be the only one left. I know we have a thing for hiding, but come on..." Says the most social of her kind, at least locally. As Mikey begins to share his dream, she listens with an attentive and understanding expression - but this does not appear to be the first time she's heard it.
There's a sly grin for Quinn at her observations of the Mekhet and her question of the dress code. "I will send you a robe and invitation when I have the date nailed down." Ursula raises an arm, her hand gesturing toward the seating arrangement nearby before she walks over toward the couch. Her bare feet do not make a sound, the whisper of her gown around her legs the only sound to signify her movement. There is an understanding nod of her head to accompany his explanation for disappearing, "Our kind has more demons than most, more time to accumulate them as well.", she murmurs. Taking a seat in one of the arm chairs, she pulls her long legs up beneath her, settling the skirt of her gown over them. A brow arches slightly, the ebon shadow above those bright unnatural eyes, "I would not believe it was the Mother from anyone else. Too many trickster spirits, too many scheming spirits in the Shadow, but if you say it was the Mother, then I believe you. Tell me, why do you believe she is angry?"
Mikey reaches up to scratch at his jaw, glancing sidelong towards Quinn briefly and then back towards Ursula before admitting, "I thought maybe spirits too, or somethin' else, but it was so real. Saw th'hills rollin' out before me but th'trees turnt to bone and then to dust and the ground heaved. Th'plants all withered 'way to flesh, coughin' and splutterin' and when it burst open it was all fire rainin' from th'sky and rivers of the stuff and a howlin' screaming." He never did find a seat, winding up just leaning his hip to a sturdy piece of furniture while he recounts the memory with his eye unfocused on the floor. "I woulda run but there was lava everywhere, bubblin' up between the ribs, and just this big...tarry thing under it all, gurglin'." He pauses the slow, somewhat uncertain account there to look up again towards the two women, focusing more on ursula when he finishes, "She asked me if I weren't tired of bein' a soldier yet, an' told me to find her an army."
"Perfect," Quinn tells Ursula, sounding most enthused. Silence takes over as the story continues. Her movements are subtle, but all abouout making herself comfortable: one knee crosses over the other, she shifts the way she leans against the arm of the couch, and her foot taps slowly in the air as if sitting still for too long is just too much to bear. "We dream a lot," she finally says, quietly, chin lifting higher. "Shadows, anyway. Or, well, I won't speak for them. Me. -I- dream a lot. They're mostly horrible." This isn't necessarily something she has confided in Mike before. "Rarely are the dreams so... clear in their meaning. What you're saying sounds awfully direct. It's hard to just tuck that away. It definitely sounds like something to compel action."
Silence from Ursula as Mikael recounts his dream vision, her face lacking expression, as unreadable as the serpents she keeps company with. Suddenly the cat near the bar behind them mewls and hisses before tearing out of the room and down to the basement. Ursula merely shifts in her seat and nods, "The Mother's Army here in Portland has certainly fallen by the wayside. Countless lost to the strange things in the mists, others running from their own fear, those the Mother did not need, there is no place for such fear in the Circle." Once more that forked tongue flickers across her lips and Ursula turns her head to gaze into the cold dark fireplace. Glancing briefly toward Quinn when she speaks, then to Mikael once more. "So then, Mikael, as Haruspex, I could divine for you just what purpose the Mother truly has, but I believe you know precisely what she asks, but I would like to hear you say it."
Mike glances towards Quinn when she mentions the horrible dreams, the short-lived furrow in his brow giving away some measure of the new nature of the information. He still doesn't appear to have much guile. That much hasn't changed. When he looks back toward Ursula, he follows her thoughts and chews on his own for a moment before answering, "Well I reckon I'm findin' her an army. But it needs to be hers. Unfettered." It admittedly takes him moment after 'un-' to remember the rest of the word. "I'm gonna need help I figure, findin' the folks, groomin' them in, teachin' 'em right. I can teach 'em to fight but I'm not ... ya know, magic. Like that."
"Please excuse me," whispers Quinn, holding up a finger as she darts outside to take a call. Such is the way of the technically savvy harpy!
As Quinn gets up and heads out the door Ursula watches her before she turns to Mikael, she seems somewhat more relaxed. "I am sure you brought Miss Ashe becauses you trust her, but I am going to ask you not to share such visions with those outside the Circle, Mikael. All it takes is for one of the Lance to hear we are raising an army, whether we are or not, and it could be the killing times all over again. You know how those zealots can be." Tugging at the front of her gown she sighs softly, much too old for such human habits, it is obviously for dramatic flair. "Mikael, if what you say was truly a vision from the Mother then you should follow it. As for Cruac, well, I know more than most Crones ever will and I continue to devour the knowledge. I have already pledged to teach a new Acolyte here in town, I suppose we could start out very own Hogwarts.", she smirks and winks at him. "I will say this, it will be important for us to find a Hierophant. While I lead for the moment I cannot be the Hierophant of the Circle and the Priscus to the Lords, the Prince will not allow it. As Haruspex though I will continue to lead until a suitable replacement can be found. As for you, well, you are still Valkyrja of this Circle, as a warrior, you would be doing your duty. Is there something more you would have me to do help you succeed?"
Mike looks after Quinn's departure briefly before shaking his head. "She's th'reason I'm in the piece I am to make it back." He moves to take the seat Quinn had been sitting in a moment ago, though he's got more of a wide-spread stance, propped forward on his arms over his knees. "But yea, I thought it should be outside th'city. Outside of where anyone might notice it. I don't reckon th'Lance would like it none at all." He gnaws at his lower lip over the needs needing met and shakes his head when he mumbles, "I don't know what to do 'bout a Hierophant. I don't know who's still 'round that's fit to th'job. I suppose what need from you is ...I dunno. I just know I'm gonna need help 'long the way. Maybe this is more a warnin' that I might be dragging student's round. Not knowin' everything of course, just...thinkin' a coven is a good cover for it. To groom 'n recruit outta."
Leaning forward toward him, Ursula reaches out to place a hand on Mikael's knee, "Mikael, I am always here to help you in anyway that I can. We may not have gotten off to the best start, but I still consider you one of my truest friends and we both know that is hard to come by among our kind. If you need someone to teach Cruac, I will be there, if you need someone to divine whether you are on the right path the Mother has set you on, I will be there. If you need an exorcist for those demons, well, I can recommend one, I made peace with my own demons long ago and now we keep each other warm.", she grins at her joke and squeezes his knee. "Tonight I will perform a divination for you, I will speak with the Mother and try to find a more specific plan for this path she has set you on."
Mike lays a cool hand over Ursula's on his knee, no longer feigning life without life around as he used to. "It would be good to know that...this is right," he nods over the mention of the divination. "I don't figure a real exercist could do all that much for our kindsa demons." He rolls one shoulder in a loose shrug, not sounding all together bothered or beset by whatever troubles had him away. "Thank you." He squeezes her hand again before glancing around, checking his various o'clocks before he looks back to her. "You didn't say before. How's th'new regime? Should I be worried 'bout the Prince?"
As he takes her hand Ursula relaxes even more, her regal bearing now softened, her smile now warm despite the coldness of her body. "No, I suppose an exorcist wouldn't know where to begin with us.", she murmurs and smiles, with all that warmth and yet it does nothing for those cold dead serpent's eyes. "I have yet to actually meet the Prince though he has expressed interest in doing so. From what I have heard he is like any other Prince, some hate him, some tolerate him, and some simply don't care. Personally I have always been more comfortable under the rule of a Prince than our strange failed council. This is what we are accustomed to and if nothing we Kindred are creatures of habit and when we have had that habit for centuries, well, it's best to just keep it going." Squeezing his hand once before she pulls away gently and leans back in her seat, "I am glad you are home though, Mikael, I was concerned and I missed you."
Mikael leans back and tucks his hand back into his pocket once she pulls away, taking a few moments to digest her thoughts before dredging up his own. "Prince's are easier to figure out. Don't gotta work 'round as many folks. I'll have to learn more 'bout him before I meet him proper." Tipping his head off to the side, he looks towards the false fire and sighs, "I couldn't get Marco out my head. But I got that put behind me now. I'm sorry t'make ya worry like that. I sure didn't mean to."
The mention of Marco causes Ursula to stiffen once again, "Yes, well....", she pauses and looks down into her lap where her hands now rest. "Even for those of us who claim to have seen it all, there are still horrors yet to be seen.", she murmurs. Apparently some just compartmentalize, though Mikey seems to have popped open that compartment for Ursula for the moment. "I will prepare for the divination now, but it would go much more smoothly if you would trust me with a drop or two of your blood?", she turns to look him in the eye.
Mike peers down at his hand, fingers uncurling from a loose fist, glancing over and considering his fingeres bearing the same calluses they had for decades. "What will you do with it? For your divination?" asked without looking up from what must be the veins out of sight and quiet beneath the surface of his skin.
A nod of her head, "For the divination, yes, and it will be burned so you have no fear of it falling into the wrong hands." Walking over to the hearth she opens a small box and retrieves a tiny corked glass bottle. "You do trust me, don't you, Mikael?", she asks in an almost teasing tone accompanied by a smirk. "If you are not safe with your friend and Haruspex, then who are you safe with?"
Mike reaches over to take the bottle, a small laugh breaking into his voice when he tells her, "Mama Tuni used to tell me never to trust anyone that asked that question." He leans forward from his seat and pushes hiself up to his feet. "How 'bout I come with you. Quinn seems occupied for th'night. It'd be stronger right from th'tap, yea?" He offers the bottle back over, adding, "Don't think I ever really seen you work. I'd like t'see it all."
"Mama Tuni sounds like a wise woman, but I tend to believe that we have to trust in a few, just as we trust in the Mother. Trust does not end with Death.", she smiles and takes the bottle and sets it on the table. A guttural inhuman hiss escapes her lips and the rough scaled viper at the fireplace slithers toward her feet, "Down to the basement then, who knows, perhaps you will see something for yourself." She begins walking toward the basement door, the viper slithering between and around her feet in a dance that is far too perfect.
Mikey follows her down to the basement, scratching at the back of his neck and agreeing, "I know. It's a working progress," over his overly vigilant guard. "I did write 'n come 'round. That counts for somethin', yea?" he asks with another tug of grin as he catches up for whatever the rest of the night will hold.