Murder Most Foul
Location • Lovejoy's Lodge •
Date • 2020-05-14
Summary • Frances comes to John to reveal a murder plot against the Prince.
Lovejoy’s is a moderately famous venue in the Portland area: weddings, bar mitzvahs, Confirmations, First Communions, and more are all held here on an almost daily basis. If you’ve got a party and the money to afford the very best, this is the place to throw your money around. The rules are simple: pay the security deposit, mind the security guards telling you which parts are off-limits, and be out thirty minutes before sundown. Because once the sun sets … Lovejoy’s becomes the home of the Unconquered, the First Estate, the lords of Portland. The Invictus.
You know. The winners.
When Frances expressed the need to speak with the Invictus, a meeting time was arranged and invitations sent out in elegant Spencerian cursive. Invictus gotta Invict, after all. The invitation is what persuaded the guards to invite her inside, to lead her through the hallways, and usher her into the manager’s office.
Inside, John Bishop is seated at a desk. The Suit is absent, or at least the coat is, with his French-cuffed sleeves rolled back to the elbow and old-fashioned emerald-green shirt garters tied around his sleeves.
John rises from his seat as she enters, giving her a polite nod and a hand-gesture to the guards. The guards close the door, leaving the two of them alone.
“Be welcome,” he says with a smile so well-practiced maybe even he believes it. “Please, sit. Have you fed tonight?”
She looks a bit weary and likely frazzled in some manner but she has made an effort to at least attempt to have herself presentable while coming into this Invictus establishment, after all she has finally picked a covenant and is attempting to better herself, in the right way, and it’s not the Carthians so there’s that too, yay! Her blouse is new, black jeans also new and her usual very worn boots, hair brushed and that necklace with something dangling on the chain hidden inside her shirt but she still looks ‘off’. The guards are mostly ignored, she has her access paper and they are just human tools and she’s been cranky with humans recently thanks to her last babysitting ghoul gig so once inside she’ll just offer you a nod and a simple, “Thanks for seein me so quickly,” because yeah, it is a serious matter.
There’s a shake to her head, “No, not yet, I’ve been trying to get this info to the right hands as quickly as possible,” and not taking care of herself first. She doesn’t sit immediatly as if not thinking she’ll have the time to relax and dump the information out at the same time but she’ll eventually do so and start the rambling conversations.
“My Sire has come to the Praxis to destroy Re… the Prince. As the Primogen of the Invictus I thought you should know and be prepared to aid him in any way that you can even if his stubborn a… self refuses it.” A pause, a false breath taken in to steel her twitchy nerves, “It’s highly likely that he’s a Diablerist though I don’t have the talent to prove it, he thinks that I was basically kidnapped and brought here to be bound to and be the Prince’s lapdop and he was a Carthian but I’m not sure if he still is one or not, he hates everything about the Invictus and their dainty ways of ruling and he apparently also hates the Ordo Dracul which I’ve pledged to. Either way he’s causing trouble and I don’t want anyone hurt, I am not strong enough to take him down.” There’s more but for now she’ll pause and gather her thoughts, what’s the most important bits to give and waiting for questions that will most certainly come.
That’s the only flaw in the Primogen’s otherwise truly impressive poker face. A single action. But yes, it should be noted that for news like this John Bishop blinked.
He holds up a hand to indicate silence. His eyes go heavenward as he replays that infodump in his head, thinking about it meticulously and carefully. “There is an unfortunate ambiguity in your choice of pronoun,” he finally states. “Your Sire has come to the Praxis to destroy the Prince. You think I should know and be prepared to aid him. Him being … your Sire or the Prince? And you say he’s likely a Diablerist: your Sire, I assume? Because although it’s not technically unheard-of to solicit the Invictus to kill a Prince who happens to be Invictus, it would definitely be … odd. I suspect you mean your Sire. It would be good, though, if you could be precise about who exactly it is you’re talking about here. Attempting to enlist our help against your Sire is a much different proposition than enlisting our help against our Prince.”
As she hears that question about who she’s asking to help whom her own gaze will widen in a surely wtf expression, she’s frazzled and overwhelmed and her beastie JUST healed from earlier drama and she’s never been very good with wording, something she’s working on. That pause is given and once the question is asked she’ll answer with an, “I have no loyalty to my Sire and want Red to be protected.” Hopefully that’s cut and dry enough to answer that question since she doesn’t know the Invictus rules, doesn’t know how rude she is likely being especially using his first name, and a nickname at that. The other questions are answered too, “My Sire, Spider, is likely a diablerist yes and his beast is far stronger since the last time I saw him, he’s not old enough to be this strong, he’s had to eat kindred that’s the only way. He also brought his other childe who was in the brood but swears that she’s done with them, Wasp, so we have a pair of them to deal with.” Seated and very still, she’ll wait to see if that info is clear enough before tossing more your way.
“Thank you,” the Baron Commissioner says quietly, fingers steepled in front of him. For a moment there’s an all-too-rare hint of uncertainty, of doubt, on his face as he makes some small argument with himself: running it to conclusion a few seconds later, he speaks. “Given the gravity of your information, it would seem churlish to stand on strict etiquette. Please, be at ease, and be at liberty to express your information in your normal idiom, whatever is most comfortable for you. The Invictus recognizes you have made earnest efforts to conduct yourself properly. We will meet you the rest of the way. Please, go on.”
Considering she doesn’t know what those big words, churlish and idiom, mean, she can at least extrapolate what all of it means by context clues so there is that, phew. There’s a nod given as she’s given the go ahead and go ahead she will, “I cannot be around my Sire, it will just help him since we feed on each other’s beasts, he’ll get stronger and I will too but I’ll be less … civilized and I don’t want that and I don’t want to help him be stronger in any kind of way. The Prince was ours in Reno, he tried to threaten him then too but didn’t get anywhere with it, he was the Sheriff there for a bit. He has mastered protean and has talents of speed, strength and really not much hurts him. He can also hide with the powers of obfuscate but I do not know how strong he is with that or if he’s picked up anything else since there’s no tellin if he’s eaten other kindred since I was moved from Reno to here.”
A touch of a pause as if she has to breathe in between statements, moreso for her own mental benefit, a touch of a break because really to plot against your own sire’s demise… that can’t be easy either, “I’ve told the Seneschal what’s going on, posted a warning in the elysium and am waiting to hear back from the temporary Sheriff to get a meeting with him. I left a message at the Wells Fargo building but I’m not sure if the Prince got it or not.”
The Baron Commissioner removes a fountain pen and begins taking notes longhand: should she look, she might discover the Spencerian handwriting on the invitation was of his writing. “Go on,” he says in a mildly encouraging tone as he makes minutes. “And if you would, what precisely are you looking for from the Invictus as far as assistance? We do have a Knight I’d be happy to introduce you to.”
This utterly sucks for as she’s spilling all his secrets, she’s also spilling hers, ugh! “The best course of action is to get them seperated, better yet get Wasp staked which will cut off his support along with my absense, he’ll be weaker though he’ll be more angry. If there are more of the swarm here, which I don’t know, they also need to be removed from the picture. I know that the Prince is strong but I do not know if he intends on taking care of Spider himself or what since our Sheriff is out of town and I’m not sure if Henry Pettygrove is strong enough since I’ve only briefly felt his talents. I assumed that you’d find your own solutions to help one of your own but I can only offer assistance in what I know about him and any weaknesses he might have.”
This reallly sucks and her expression reflects that she’s in an interesting and not-wanted position for all this drama of murder and diablerie, “He probably has lesser mental capability against domination and presence, nightmare I am not sure if he’s been fully exposed to it or not, I remember before I came here that there was talk of him possibily learning it from someone but I’m not sure. He was lovers with Donatella but I doubt there is any love between the two that can be used and I doubt she’d give up any information on what his weaknesses are.”
“Well, it’s good to know the arachnid has weaknesses. We’ll have to introduce him to a tarantula wasp,” John Bishop offers in a mild aside, some small bit of humor. His pen never stops moving over the page: this is, after all, Important Information. But he doesn’t speak further, for fear of interrupting her when she’s on a roll.
“He can swarm and his choice is of course spiders, hers is wasps…” of course, the nicknames, makes sense. “They are loud and are likely able to be found quickly enough. He is threatened by losing and being alone, being weak so if Wasp and I can be removed it will help defeat him. Once I get the word out to Henry I will not be seen until this is done and the Praxis isn’t threatened by him any more.” There’s a reason the Bruja are a shit bloodline, people like him and it’s doing nothing but making her look even worse. “I have a link to the Prince but do not have the talent to find him anymore but I am sure you have plenty in this building that will link him to a location if you need to find him. He is abusive but she still has a touch of pity and did not use her full strength when he commanded her to discipline me, she is the weaker one.”
Frances will of course offer up physical descriptions of the pair afterwards and find her silence once more wishing she knew more information to give.
Once she falls quiet, John Bishop continues to write for thirty seconds or so — his handwriting simply can’t keep up with the flood of words flowing from her mouth. Once he’s done he makes a small ritual of capping the pen, of sprinkling sand on the notes (taken from a bowl on the desk) and running a blotter over the ink to ensure it’s dry. It doesn’t get filed, though: this is apparently his current action item. Once all that’s done he looks over towards her, letting the silence rule for several more seconds. “You’ve done well,” he says calmly. “Thank you. Do you need a place to hide, a safe food supply? You’re under an incredible amount of stress. It would be rude for us to not offer assistance, after what you’ve given us.”
There’s a bit of a shake of her head, “No but thank you, just keep the Prince safe please…” as if he can’t take care of himself, silly Frances. “I’ll be with the Ordo Dracul and I have confidence that they’ll take care of me once I ask to be staked at the right time to piss Spider off and throw him into trauma so that others can deal with him.” That fancy handwriting and all that pomp and circumstance of sand and blotting and likely pricy paper and pen while her missives are written on scratch notebook paper, it’s an amusing contrast for sure. She’ll then go to stand from that chair and offer up another nod, “Thank you, I’ve got to go find Henry and check on the Gangrel that are still in the city.” Always busy, so much duty.
“I’ll take this to the Prince,” John says, rising as she rises, returning her nod with one of his own. “Go in peace. I’ll brief the Prince and credit you properly. You have my word on that. May your Hunt be fruitful, madame.”