State of the Consilium

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Location  • Grid:Merlin Hall

Date  • 2020-06-03

Summary  • {{{summary}}}


It’s twenty minutes past when things were supposed to start, and here comes Atticus “Hedge” Keyes. He’s deep into his eighties if he’s seen a day, and he takes a good forty seconds to gimp his old ass across that oversized stage to the podium. He could use a Force effect to make sure everyone hears him, but there’s a mic. He steps up, slaps it twice to test if the thing is on, and speaks with his mouth too close to it as he adjusts the neck of the thing; it’s as old and stubborn as he is. “There’re only one of you in here for every eighty seats. Come down to the first couple of rows here in the center in front of the stage, you daft cunts.” What’s his title? He’s Hedge. Hedge runs Merlin’s Hall. It’s his only charge within the Consilium, and it’s one he’s managed to do for literally longer than anyone else has been alive and here to see it. “Come to ordah!” He gestures to his left with a hand that is more liver spots than anything else. “Those that need to speak, form a line on my left.” He double-takes as he sees movement. “Oh; for fuck’s sake, you can’t all speak! Fine. We’ll pass the mic around like we’re talking to those fat cunts on Oprah.” He nearly falls over backwards as he removes the mic from its stand and begins to walk towards the audience.

"How did he know we're all cunts?" Gigi whispered in a pointless and lazy joke to noone in particular. Her coment was one of those many idle voices murmering in the masses that gave the room its nice backround rumble of chatter. The sort of rumbling chatter that forced certain council leaders to demand 'ordah'

Arriving at the exact minute he was supposed to be here, 9-to-5 - hereby 9 - has been waiting patiently for everyone else to show up. Rumours of his sloppy and hobo-esqe appearance have apparently been just that, awful, awful rumours. He's clean shaven, hair neatly trimmed and combed down to something resembling decent. His suit looks comfortable, leaning more on utility - which means a stretchy waistband - than the latest style. Held in his left hand and being skimmed with a pencil being used to flick the pages rather than a hand, he seems to be going over notes. Not his notes. These notes are awful.

It's like a doctor's been writing while trying to eat a cheeseburger while driving. Some of the words have ketchup on them. Or ketchup was on the paper and the writer just kept writing anyway.

With everything coming to order, he uses the eraser on the pencil to flick the notepad back over. His head turns a bit to glance over towards Gin. Eyebrow pump. Eyebrow pump. Then his head goes back towards Hedge. Does he stand up? No. He lets someone else be the first sacrifice to this. Instead, he starts going back through the notepad again. It's either very interesting, or he's struggling with reading the scribbles.

The Silver Ladder contingent sits in a bloc. Of course they sit in a bloc. They think this is the best thing since C-SPAN. And of course they're all dressed appropriately, in magisterial gowns that make them look like a bunch of Supreme Court cosplayers. Of course they're wearing black silk, every last one of them, except the Mastigos, who have to Do Things Their Own Way. And thus it's up to Cavalier to represent the Path, wearing a lush red silk gown with bunny-rabbit slippers. Occasionally his gown shifts just enough to reveal a shirt beneath: I <3 TOXIC WASTE. Apparently, if the rest of the Ladder's going to cosplay as the Supreme Court, he's going to cosplay as Chris Knight cosplaying the Chief Justice.

Pagan sticks out a bit. 6'6", wearing a decent suit, and wearing a Resting Bitch Face that people find it hard to forget. He's a terrible Guardian, but he's also a Sentinel. He's come because, well, because he'll get in trouble if he's not here. So that is what has him sitting on the (house) left side of the stage, feet swinging back and forth like a kid's as he sits there with his phone in his hands "taking notes". Definitely not texting, swiping on Tinder, and sending dick pics to women half his age (at best). He's pretty tuned out.

Icy eyes trail toward 9 and his brow pumping, Gin's expression immediately soured, and is now reminiscent of someone that has, in fact, just stepped in dogshit. She's clearly listening to Hedge, dressed smartly as ever, all business and no play as usual. Apparently the order of the day is -dry- gin. For her part, she is simply waiting -- perhaps for someone else to go first, maybe for inspiration to take her, it's hard to say. She's just here. Silently judging.

Grace has been standing quietly for some time. She’s been silent, content to simply observe the new faces around her. Blue eyes take in the Hedge as he speaks, interest apparent as she approaches the stage. Her dark brown hair is smoothed back, and red lips purse in thought. They shift slightly, and then thin. The way her lips move give away her wish to offer up something for discussion, but she hesitates. Perhaps she’s waiting for a more established Guardian to speak up first.

Nakoa arrives on time and like most of the Adamantine Arrow he is neither over or under dressed. Instead he's dressed in practical clothing that would have him blend in almost anywhere he traveled. He's a tall man with sun-bronzed skin, long hair that's a bit unruly but it matches with the length of his beard. Making his way to a seat in the front he settles in and offers a nod of his head to those who catch his attention. When the meeting begins he turns his gaze towards Hedge and listens. There is a smile as the old mage speaks but instead of speaking up just yet, he waits for his turn.

Accusing Hedge of anything would probably get a shrug, a nod, and a deal with it. Hedge called me a slur! It happens. Hedge made me cry! It’s a weekly occurrence around here. Hedge kicked us out of Merlin Hall! That’s the one that gets the whole Consilium groaning. He’s a dog with a bone. There are only two things that no one that knows him would believe Hedge doing. Leaving Merlin Hall (no one of any repute has claimed to see him anywhere else) and using magic for anything that can be done with those arthritic hands. Explains the discoloration and cobwebs.

There’s a sharp mic thump that emits from the speakers as Hedge baps! the top of a younger man’s head to get his attention and then passes the microphone down to him. “Give that to the first tit that’s trying to shout over the masses.” He makes a distasteful face as he adds at only slightly lower volume, “It’s usually a white woman.” He sighs, puts his hands on the backs of his hips as he straightens, and then walks towards (house) right where he has a little stool, desk, and a small pile of reading material; only here to keep order and protect Merlin’s Hall if he must.

Pagan, a little oblivious, doesn’t notice his partner Grace is there until, right after he notices Gin Joint, he tries to move in his seat to get a better view around her. “Oh! What’re you doing here, Lucy? It’s my month to deal with this shit, unfortunately. No one ever even has anything. They just complain about some perv scrying on them or something like that and then I have footwork and a task. It’s complete ass.” At least half the people can hear that if they try. “Watch. Half these people that grab that mic are going to be like ‘So my landlord’s being a dick and….’” He gives her ‘oh I know it’ look as he drops his chin and then--having forgotten about the other pretty girl he spotted before--goes back to looking at his phone.

When the time comes around for the man in red silk to speak he accepts the mic, rises, and doesn't much care if the gown opens to reveal the Bermuda shorts beneath. After all, if you're going to go, go all out. "Not many of you know me," he states with a matter-of-factness that suggests he's making a point with his dress more than he's playing a character. "I'm Cavalier. If you want to think that's because I've got a white knight complex, go for it, but it's really because I'm kind of an asshole and fine with it. Pretty, well, cavalier about it. Anyway. The local Ladder needed a liaison to the Outreach Committee. I applied, they invited me, and pretty much my first weekend assassins hit the entire Cryptopoly. Multiple casualties. Lisa Friar, if you know her, is on the injured list, got shot. The good news is most of Outreach escaped intact. The bad news is we've got to expect whoever sent the shooters is still out there. Now, technically, this is the Ladder's problem, not yours: it's our Cryptopoly. But if you want in on closing the book on people who'd send shooters out to double-tap kids, I could see my way to teaching you enough of the secret handshakes to pass for a Ladder for a while. If you can stand it I'd love your help. I have some leads I'm tracking down. Come join me. We'll be assholes to mean people together. It'll be fun. A bondage experience."

Out among the Ladder there's a loud harrumph from someone or another who does not like the Mastigos idea of bonding experiences.

"Ignore him, he's no fun at parties," Cavalier continues in that same deadpan tone. "Next up: this is not exactly my bailiwick, like, in any way, but we've got a pair of Apostates who've been souljacked. The Powers That Be are trying to keep them alive and are looking for some help from the Powers That Aren't, which is to say the people down at the kids' table, you know, -us-, in getting this squared away. My plate is full, but I promised my Councilor I'd bring it up. Sentinels preferred. People looking to become Sentinels tolerated. Everybody else on an emergency basis only, oh, who the fuck cares, it's always an emergency here. Okay, I can see Hedge is giving me the evil eye, so. Remember, in the immortal words of Socrates... 'I drank what?' Peace, out." And with that, the Mastigos throws the mic to whoever is next in line.

9 waits. For probably a minute. Then there's a visible tic to his eye. Irritation starts to build. The tic starts going with each passing second. Tick. Tock. Tic. Tic. Tic. That's enough time for anyone. He picks himself up and strides down towards Cavalier and the tossed microphone. It's taken, and he speaks.

"We are Overtime. Of the Visus Draconis." Such an introduction. It's full of pas-No. He's speaking in a tone that allows him to be heard clearly. Without deepthroating the mic in some ASMR-fuelled nightmare.

"This is a general notification. There is an Apostate within the location of Seaside, under the governship of the Seaside Council." A distinct lack of the word 'Consilium'. "This Apostate's behaviour has risen to a level of concern as We have received reports regarding the state of the Apostate's mind, as there is documented acts of the individual falling to abusing magic and becoming a Rampant. Their lack of Wisdom is further compounded by the fact that the local Council will not place the Apostate under appropriate disciplinary measures that could have guided the Apostate back to the path of Wisdom."

A pause, and the man flicks through the notepad with his thumb. "That is all. Thank you." The notepad is flicked to a new page, and he either hands the microphone off, or sets it where it can be easily grasped, and he walks his way back to the seat. He produces a small mechanical pencil, and begins to quickly jot down a series of notes as he steps back towards Gin. His handwriting is far more organized than the omnishambles that is the previous note taking. He looks towards Cavalier for a moment, then an additional bit of writing is jotted down.

Pagan's mention of scrying perverts caused Gigi's eyes to light up. "I've got one!" she announced as she clambered through the crowd for the microphone. It would have been much easier for the microphone to come to her, but not as fun or disruptive as trying to climb over people. If Nakoa ever wondered what it was like to be climbed on by a Gigi, as he was one of the many victims before she and the microphone met paths.

Gigi lifted the microphone to her lips, so close it caused her voice to distort and become overmodulated, like a Herb Welsh impersonation. "Who's going around and fucking all the sleepers?" She moved the microphone a slight distance from her lips. "So I've been hearing rumors that some jerk-off is using their super powers to Jedi mind trick sleepers into the sack and then forget the whole thing!" she ranted. "He hasn't gotten me, but on that note, I don't think I'd remember... at any rate, it's distasteful." She claims with a frown. "Sleepers are enslaved by Quiescence, that doesn't make them your fuck-puppets, and seriously, if we have to start cleaning up the paradox because you can't keep it in your pants..." she trailed off as she couldn't think of any good threats off the top of her head. "Well... just knock it off." she concluded before reaching over Nakoa to pass the microphone off to someone else. It was an unnecessary move. She could have just passed the microphone to anyone next to her, but climbing over Nakoa seemed to be a new fun hobby.

Grace keeps her lips thinned, and offers a nod to Pagan. But her eyes remain glued to the man currently speaking. Brow furrowing in thought, she offers an aside to Pagan. “No. It’s not nothing this time.” Her voice is quiet, careful to not interrupt the man at the microphone. “This time, anyway.” Her eyes scan the crowd again. “Are there always this many people at these things?” The mic is tossed over to a new speaker. If she had any issues with Pagan paying attention to his phone as she speaks, she doesn’t show it, rather content to listen. “See? I’m not the only one here to present a legitimate threat. I’m sorry, but I didn’t have much time to chat about it with you before now.” The low whispers stops, as she watches the mic change hands once more.

Cavalier remarks in response to Gigi _sotto voce,_ "I don't know why everyone's looking at _me_. It's not as if I'm the only Warlock in town."

The white haired woman with the icy eyes can easily hear the conversations going on around her, but Gin seems to be actively trying to ignore it. For now. Notes are made, mentally, and her attentions still rest upon the gruff old tadger that's herding a room full of cats, until he passes off the mic to someone else. The profanity, the idle offenses that're offered are as water off a duck's back for her, however -- she's heard a lot worse spoken by more impressive people in the past. In the end, it means nothing. Her legs neatly cross as someone steps up to speak, her undivided attention cast that way. Her head tilts to the side as Cavalier launches into this deluge of information that is certainly not about landlords being dicks. Her brows knit with clear concern as it goes on, a quick breath taken in through clenched teeth as she lowers her gaze, whips out her phone and begins very hurriedly tapping things out. Either that, or she got the crazy cupcakes hankerin' a-real bad, and is furiously challenging some impossible level with great gusto. Her attentions then turn to 9. He seems so... lucid. It's disturbing. ... she will not let her discomfort show here. In public. -Imagine-. How ghastly. When 9 returns to his seat, she gives him a shallow nod and stands to her feet. There's a quiet clearing of her throat and she goes to acquire the mic so that she can provide introductions, only to watch Gigi surge to the fore. Her expression is not particularly pleased. She was never taught to share. Her expression grows more repulsed as the woman speaks, however. She casts a judgmental and critically assessing glare over those that have gathered, squinting that pale blue gaze at them as though to say 'I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed' to anyone looking her way. With a heaved sigh, she reaches then for the mic before providing: "I am Gin Joint, Visus Draconis." Lots of them out and about today, it seems. Portland's a Guardian's kind of place, it seems. She continues, "Through investigation and following the Skeins of Fate, a pattern has rapidly come to fruition that bares a poisoned fruit. Across in Vancouver, in the guide of a protest fire on May 31st, ten of our fellow Awakened were slain, and a cover-up has been taking place. This bodycount would have resulted in an investigation, but as I've followed up on the cases, they've been conveniently swept under the rug. There were some people arrested and given manslaughter charges, but after following the pattern as it was weaved, we followed the trail to find that there has been an ongoing pattern of Awakened deaths that have all been conveniently been allowed to lapse to cold case status." There's a moment of pause so that she can take a slow, deep breath before continuing. "The level of organization as well as the twisting of the fates of our fellow Awakened makes it a high possibility of an exceptionally well organized and governmentally integrated Banisher group is targeting and killing. This is not a spree, it is a concentrated and dedicated effort to wipe out our kind across the river." She again scans the crowd, "That is all." The mic, again, is handed off to the next.

Nakoa takes the mic when it is freed up and passed in his direction. Standing he gives a wave to the group with his free hand while offering a polite mile. "I'm Nakoa. Recent arrival and part of the Adamantine Arrow." Pausing for just a moment he looks over the group then continues.

Tigard, if you don't know is a town southwest of Portland. There isn't anything going on out there that I know of that's part of our activities. There are some minor ley lines but nothing else that should be of interest to anything supernatural. With that said there's been some activity out there. Incredibly powerful activity. I don't like to exaggerate but I'd say it could be Archmage level activity. It's been rippling out from that area recently and it seems its starting to have a adverse effect on some of Portland's southern Hallows." Another long pause follows before he adds, "One I was checking out is now completely gone. I'd say it needs to be added to the list of /we better investigate and figure this out/." Nodding with his part said he hands the mic back off.

When Gigi shouts out, Pagan points over at it and looks at Grace so pointedly. Experience and fucklessness once again trump caring and assiduousness. Except then he’s starting to realize that she’s going down and--using a quick Mind effect--replays the things he’s been more or less ignoring. His RBF turns into AFMLF; Actively ‘Fuck My Life’ Face. He swipes all the open screens on his phone away (there are at least twelve of them) and then opens up a little notepad and starts typing with two giant thumbs. He gives Grace one withering glance as she heads off, as if to accuse her of causing this or to hate her for being--yet again--right.

Meanwhile, the murmuring has been growing at each and every bit of news exposed. The first complete outcry is after Gigi, as her sentiment is followed with “CONSENT!” Hedge puts down his Popular Science magazine and has a face as flat as a cat’s just after a bucket of water has been poured over it. He says something, but it doesn’t carry. He looks towards his podium, then towards the mic in the crowd, and he releases a grumpy old man clearing of throat that once would have been a mighty growl. When ‘ten fellow Awakened were slain’ is heard, however, this has a far more unsettling effect on those scant dozens gathered. It is gasoline spread over the crowd and speaking the word ‘Banisher’ lights that match. They were already thinking it. They were already hoping it was something else. Organized Banishers on the other side of the river? That’s when it happens. “I work in Vancouver!” A single, scared shout. “Is that why my Hallow’s all fu-“ And then the entirety of the auditorium is drowned out--mic and all--until Hedge claps his hands together and rings every non-protected eardrum in the entire place.

”SIIIIIIILEEEEENNNCE!” He inhales slowly through his nose--his expression asymmetrical and dour--and then speaks with a voice that is quiet but heard. “Make progress; not noise.”

9 - or Overtime - keeps himself quite busy by jotting down his notes. Bulletpoint after bulletpoint help collect the information together in such a neat and collective manner that the previous owner of the notepad obviously gave it to 9 as they were shown to be unworthy of a notepad for taking notes. Jot jot jot. Note note note. A page turn for each additional person who stands up. Name. Description. Order affiliation. A happy little note for each happy little Awakened in this happy little town hall affair.

Then there's a clap that rings him out of his note-taking mode. He blinks once before giving a small frown, then he looks back down to his notepad. He flicks back a few pages, and begins to jot down something extra on a page. Then he goes back to the latest page. Something gets underlined.

So many different legitimately concerning situations. The petite woman reaches out for the microphone, carefully bringing it to her lips. She gives pause for the Hedge to speak, allowing him to calm the sudden, cacophonous outpouring of questions and comments.

”I know that almost nobody here knows who I am, but that is of little import. I’m a detective here, and I’ve been watching a random stream of crimes lately. Of course, the current situation with the riots is exacerbating the violence, and it’s very simple for it to serve as a huge distraction. This distraction is that, within all these seemingly random crimes there is a pattern. I have been drawing some connections between the St. John’s Gulmoth and Abyssal agents. Someone, or perhaps even a group of people, is clearly trying to draw forth something that is trying to cross over from the other side.

She pauses. “I have little evidence to prove that these agents are disrupting the ley lines, geomancy, whichever you’d prefer to call them. However, I can present something of merit. Resonance. It’s an extremely dangerous area, and I’m concerned that we may not have the Sentinels to manage it. But we absolutely cannot ignore it. It’s a twisted puzzle. Even for an Eleventh Question.” Grace looks over, and without hesitating, hands the microphone off.

Gigi eventually made her way over to Nakoa to make the offer of "Road trip?" she smiled sheepishly. "I've got a van... It doesn't do that well over fifty, and the AC is kind of shotty, but it should make it to Tigard and back.

As for the man in red silk, he fully unzips his gown to fully reveal the _Real Genius_ cosplay beneath. He removes the gown and drapes it over a chair, then casually removes a headband from his satchel... a headband with alien eyes jutting up off the top. With that, a flannel, and a gyroscope, he walks over towards Grace. "Hey! Detective. Eleventh. Have a moment?"

"If you need Us. You can leave a message in the Hall. I will reach out to you. Or I will reach out to you. In good time." states 9. He even raises his voice for it, because he's already sitting down and he doesn't seem the type who does the whole 'standing up constantly' business.

It also helps that people are probably still ruminating about the Clap (tm) and Grace's awfully helpful description of how it is not just shit outside, it's shit in Portland too. 9 then raises his arm and pulls back his sleeve. Two watches sit, ticking away on different times. Nothing expensive - these look like they've been sitting in a pawn store until someone with pocket change took pity - but he keeps his eye on them until the minute hand ticks over. "Still got fifteen minutes. Anyone need Us for anything?" It's an honest question. Even if he's tugging his sleeve back over his wrist with a look of mild consternation about the time.

For her part, Gin glances between those that have spoken, considering each one in turn, making notes of which pairings are made and directions are taken. Her expression is a steely thing, aside from the subtle pull at the corners of her mouth that tug them down in a vague frowning. "If my assistance is required," She offers to the room, "Do not hesitate to reach out, as I will be doing the same to each of you should I find a need." Almost a warning, that statement. Especially with that posh british accent. Everything they say is likely a snipe in some way or another. Blasted limey pricks. She stands in loose attention for a few moments more, waiting for anyone to speak up. If none do, she will offer a polite nod of her head and will turn to depart. Already her hand is straying for the cell phone she had so recently put away. She's almost into the Frosting Forest.

Nakoa gives Gigi a polite nod and says, "Sure thing. I'm sure I could coax the engine and the AC into doing a better job for the sake of the mission." Getting to his feet the tall man slips Gigi a simple white card that just has his cell phone number on. More are handed out to the rest of the group so they can get in contact with the Arrow. "Anyone need an Arrow to help out or just want some back up or whatever, just call or text that number. Also, if you want in on this potential road trip you're welcome in on it." With that he offers waves, smiles and the like before slipping out without any fanfare.

Grace’s brow forms thin lines in thought as her hand moves randomly. She looks uncomfortable, more like the mic is a sticky grenade than a microphone, and happily drops it on the stage as the man in red silk approaches. “I absolutely do. Several of them. Cavalier, right?” Her hand slips into an inner pocket of her suit jacket liner, and she pulls out a small, thin notepad. Blue eyes look up toward the man. They have to. He’s got at least a half foot on her.

"Cavalier, meaning white knight. Cavalier, meaning asshole. Both work," Cavalier agrees. "The rundown is simple. I've got a photograph of one of the shooters -- a _good_ photograph. I've also got a piece of one of the rifles they used and a nice collection of pocket litter I ransacked from one of them. I need to run these shooters down and I'm not quite sure how. Get me in a room with them and I'll get them to confess to thinking the height of pop music is the Macarena, but getting into that room I'm pretty weak at. But I suspect you're a lot better at turning random stuff into productive leads than I am.

Gigi sneaks up to 9 to... and smiles "I might be able to help with that apostate. I go to AA meetings and I've been a part of a number of interventions. I suppose we could do a 'stop sucking at magic' themed intervention with the kid?" she blindly offered.

"We think it's past an intervention. Which means you might have to kill them. Are you comfortable killing someone? A lot of people aren't comfortable with killing. We can fully understand if you don't want to do it, but they might have to in order to ensure that the Apostate in question doesn't go too off the rails."

9's obviously a delight at parties. "We'd be happier if it really didn't come to that. So you can, by all means, try and have the Intervention. The only possible issue We can think of is that they're locked up in their Sanctum. We are obviously leery about knocking on someone's Sanctum door and asking if they would like to keep the rampant magic abuse to an absolute minimum. Please. Sorry. Thank you." He pauses. Up comes his notepad. He flicks back a page or two. "Name?" He asks Gigi.

Gigi blinks. "Oh" she said at the sudden escalation. "Well I mean... it might be worth a little bit of hostage negotation before running in swords drawn and guns blazing" she offers. She leaned up on her toes to peek at the notepad he was constantly scribbling in. "Gigi with a G" she says with a smile. "Could always dress up like the pizza delivery guy." she gives a light shrug. "I think it will need some brainstorming."

Quick to nod politely at the reintroduction, Grace turns the notepad over and flips over the now top page. Taking notes and nodding as he speaks, the only time he gets a real shred of her personality through the silence is when he says ‘Macarena’, which causes the left side of her mouth to quirk a half-smile. She finally stops writing, and looks back up at him, tapping her pad with a finger. “This is interesting. I’d like to take a look at what you have and get moving on it soon. When will you be available to get together and put some pieces together?”

"Now. Later." Cavalier occupies himself for a moment by spinning up the gyroscope and balancing it on the end of his finger as he keeps it doing things that seem disallowed by physics. It's a gyroscope, after all: there are reasons why kids love them. Once he looks up from that he gives Grace a brief smile. "This is literally my highest-priority ticket. So long as they're not found the Cryptopoly is in jeopardy. Whenever's convenient for you. Sooner is better."

"With a G. Golf India Golf India." 9 writes down Gigi in the page he skimmed back on. He underlines it and then jots something additional down beside it before he flicks to a new page.

"Okay, Gigi. If you'd like to attempt disguises. We can do that. Normally I recommend being upfront and honest. We seem to get a higher rate of success if We're up front and honest." He jots down a few more notes. He pauses, and pulls his sleeve back to check his watch. He frowns slightly, then tugs the sleeve back up again. "We wouldn't recommend you just walk up in a pizza disguise outfit. We would recommend if you want to perform an invervention, perhaps giving them a letter. Or a voicemail. If they're still there." He taps his forehead with the eraser on his mechanical pencil. "Then maybe you'll get somewhere."

"We also don't come in with guns blazing and swords drawn. We're not the Ungula Draconis. Although We might recommend you maybe go talk to some of them to help you when you go to talk to them. We're happy to help." He states. Then afterwards he underlines a note. Then he looks up at Gigi and smiles.

Gigi gives a slow nod. "I suppose.... usually with interventions you try to spring it on them, so they can't get away, but we'll spit ball some ideas. I'm sure we'll come up with something." She assures him. She didn't seem quite sure how to end this sort of conversation, so she saluted and gave a nod. "I'll have your people call my people... or I'll just send a text." she reasoned as took the opportunity to escape.

Gigi walks down the stairs and vanishes into the black void to depart Merlin Hall.

"Leave your number in the Hall and I'll reach out to you. Or you can send me a card with your number." 9 states the instructions on reaching him even as Gigi escapes. If he seems offended at the woman's escape from conversation, it doesn't register on his face. He instead just looks momentarily confused at being saluted.

He then finishes up his newest set of notes. He flips the notepad over, slides the lead back into his mechanical pencil, and puts both away inside his coat pocket. He checks his watch again. He picks himself up and takes out his phone, tapping away at it a few times.

Abusing the screen on his phone with rapid thumb slaps, 9 seems satisfied with whatever he did as he then puts the phone away. Picking himself up, he gives a polite dip of his head before he begins promptly - and more quickly than his leisurely-loving frame might suggest - exits the Hall.

An attractive young man in the audience pulls out a cigarette and puts it to his lips. He's about to light it when Hedge turns the fucking thing into a cockroach from across Merlin Hall. He shrieks in a very emasculating fashion and is blushing as Hedge storms to the edge of the stage and snaps, “Next time you attempt to smoke in here--OR VAAAAPE!” He turns his eyes on Avi with a vehement glare then looks back. “I’ll turn your little COCK into a roach!” Clearing his throat as he straightens, he calls out, “If I don’t get my mic back on that podium before you all leave, I’m going to have you all ground into Tass!”

"Fortunately, nobody's told Hedge I've switched entirely to freebasing," Cavalier remarks _sotto voce_ as he talks to Grace.