- August 23rd, 2011
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It had taken Eloise all of two hours to rouse from her personal quarters and enter the filth of the city.
In a world of have and have not, those with nothing also lacked in civility. It was to be expected, of course. But still unpleasant.And so it was with great reluctance that the Baroness swept down from her horseless, steam powered carriage with barely a glance to the Fire-blessed stone bearer that drove the thing. He was a dull witted, mild mannered man who didn’t possess enough sense to be malicious or enough power to do much more than heat a moonstone consistently. And that made him perfect for his task. Eloise congratulated herself for giving him a fair wage and suitable career.
Not everyone could grow up to be a Voice of Society. In fact, not everyone could really even be counted on to grow up at all.
“Stupid child!” The woman scoffed to herself as she gathered her skirt and marched up the piss-scented stairs and directly into the grungy home of some bleeding heart vicar.
His paltry locks that were no doubt barely sufficient to keep out street thieves came apart under her fingertips as if they were made of paper. When she utilized the stone embedded in her breast bone, the Baroness did not even radiate a pulse of magic. The considerable feat was small to her. Each locks that she plucked from the gate melted and hissed in her hands as she tossed them away. Those that were actually within the door started to smoke through the wood.
All without raising her temperature even one degree.
Of course, people didn’t climb to her position with any shortage of raw talent. But that was only one piece of the equation. Talent was a damning, destructive thing on its own. Without a stable temperament and schooled discipline to hone it, weilders were known to simple tear their own minds apart and do something silly- Like putting a fire ball through their cheek. Of course the lad had been attempting to blow his own brains out at the time, but that did not make it any less silly. On the contrary-
The Baroness gave a long sigh and swept into the room. She addressed orders with nary a breath for argument. Her tone was crisp but words never unkind. “You there in the tweed, get him scooped up and deposited in my carriage. My man is waiting to help you with the door. ”
She gestured to Mr. Moss with her fan. “And you, my good Vicar. Thank you so much for your help, but we’ll take it from here. Consider whatever tab you have with the whore paid in full and you can count on my discretion- Brianna, be a good girl and run along now. You’ve played your part brilliantly and I’ll be in touch with a bonus.And as for you, Mr. Walker. Tsk tsk tsk.”
The silken fan flitted out and stirred the air with disapproval. Baroness St. August leaned forward and examined his wound with mild interest. “What have I told you about firearms? Dangerous weapons. See how easy accidents happen? Now don’t you worry about a thing, my dear boy. We’ll have you all patched up in no time. Now come along. Brianna? Do tell the Vicar who I am so he’ll give the young man permission to carry Adrian down. Really, we must be on our way and I don’t believe the lad is going to move an inch unless the Father here gives a nod.”
Her quick, cunning eyes sized up everyone present in the room even as her aristocratic accent continued to prattle on and on. “So unless you want to carry him back down, my dear -I would of course help you but I have this dreadful pain in my back-“
Cypress stepped forward and cleared his throat. “Just what in the bloody hell is going on here?” he whispered.
For an otherwise mild mannered man, his voice sounded dangerous. “Brianna, what’s going on and who is she?”
The girl blushed. Vicar Cypress noted that with careful consideration. He’d never seen a prostitute blush like that before and it gave him pause.“No one you want to cross, Aaron. Best do as she says.”
“Will the man be safe with her?”
The Baroness and Voice of Steam snorted at the question. “Far safer than here, I’d wager.”
“How did you find us so fast?” And when the girl asked, her eyes lowered to the ground.
“Darling, I knew where you were going before you did. Really, I could have been here long ago but it is Tuesday and you know I like to sleep in at the beginning of the week. Now fetch your shawl. There you go. You’ll catch a death chill if you go out this late without a wrap. That’s a good girl. Wait a few minutes until after I’m gone before you exit, or take another door if you don’t mind. Now I’ll be in touch when you’ve recovered the weapon….”
Vicar Cypress could still hear her voice, even after Stuart returned from lifting the injured man into the carriage.
It wasn’t until they were down the block that silence finally descended.
“It’s best if I don’t ask questions about this, isn’t it?” The young man finally said, disturbing the quiet.
Vicar Aaron Cypress only nodded. Sometimes the wisdom of young Stuart amazed him.