Y21/02/08 Opening LA Grand Court

Cast: Kusala, Freelance, Cecil, Dia, Indira, Valdez, Kyle, Gennaro, Devon, Gillian, Bells, Jones, Samael, Shalandra, Apolo, Emerson
Location: LACMA
Time: 2nd of August 2021
Synopsis: The Opening of the first Grand Court of the Domain of Los Angeles. Emerson and Seneschal Apolo make themselves available for audiences and requests.

Ahmanson Building - LACMA - Mid Wilshire

The Atrium of the Ahmanson Building is vast, and footsteps echo upon a marble floor cast into a grid of shadows by artificial lights angled to shine through the majestic skylight above. The rest of the lighting here is no less dramatic, as nearly every setting seems calculated to shade certain areas and emphasize others, to overlap, to create spaces within space. Pushing back the dark of night here is not just a practicality of function, but a work of art in itself.
The recessed balconies of several levels of galleries rise on the western side, polished white stone blending seamlessly with the other walls, and boasting a prominent grand staircase that rises and splits in order to link the lobby to the second level. Here you stand at only the tip of the iceberg, but a watchful guard or two is usually on hand to help with directions, or simply keep a lookout for trouble.
A large noticeboard appears to have been wheeled out for the evening, prominent on the otherwise sparse flooring. Another noticeable and more permanent sign states:
By California law, no smoking is permitted inside any public premises.

Present: Kusala, Cecil, Freelance

The Gathering

Kusala ambles in, nods at those present and takes a seat.

He's presently wearing a reasonably nice collarless long-sleeved shirt, in a pale khaki color, a brown sports coat, and black "cargo" pants.

Freelance nods to Cecil, then nods to the others who have just arrived. He is presently walking from the back of the room to greet those who just arrived.

Dia enters from the courtyard outside.
Dia has arrived.

Freelance nods to Dia in a silent polite greeting, then turns and smiles at Kusala, "My-my, I don't think I've ever seen you so dressed up."

"Dat be right nicea ya t'say so Mistah West, but dis is an old thing ah putz on jez fer dese o-kashuns," Kusala flashes a pearly white set of toothy grin at you, "ain't oftin dat Court be held. Shur hope nobody gits kilt."
Freelance smiles in response to Kusala. "I sure hope not, too. But, should it come to that, at least you're already wearin' black." He smiles, "You look lovely."

Kyle Enters

The LACMA doors swing open once more when a scruffy looking male with sculpted features continues a confident stride into the Halls of the Ahmanson Building. -The- place to be, this time of night. He takes a moment to inspect the crowd. Then his slightly roguish smile broadens and he takes off his hat before nodding around. Silent greetings are extended to Cecil first, with curious glances toward Freelance, Dia and Kusala.

Freelance smiles and nods politely to Kyle, but remains silent standing by Kusala, unsure who this arrival is.

"Black ahlways fashunable Mistah West," comes another grin. Kusala indeed takes one of those folding metal seats and makes herself comfortable, watching others come into the room.

Freelance joins the group of people including Kusala.
Freelance remains standing, though.

Sitting rather awkwardly on the floor beneath a giant piece of contemporary art (a wide yellow painting with highlighted swirls to give it an oil spill effect), the young Brujah known as Dia sits Indian-style with today's newspaper folded in her lap. With a black Bic pen clenched between her teeth, she appears to be studying a half-completed crossword puzzle and occasionally glancing up as she hears footsteps coming and going. She does appear to catch Freelance's nod and smiles briefly in his direction before going back to work, excitedly scribbling in the word, 'FASCIST'.

Kusala actually gets up from her chair, curtsies at Kyle and reseats herself.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "dat be Christopher Kyle, usta be Sheriff of North Orange County. He's servin' as Clan Elder uf Clan Tremere."

Indira enters from the courtyard outside.
Indira has arrived.

Freelance tilts his head down a bit, listening to Kusala, nodding, without taking his eyes off of Kyle.

Shalandra enters from the courtyard outside.
Shalandra has arrived.

Indira slips in as unobtrusively as possible, pausing in the doorway to consider those already gathered, likely to seek out familiar faces.

The scruffy looking gentleman, henceforth referred to as 'Christopher Kyle', turns to focus on Kusala for a moment; "Exemplary memory" he compliments; "For it must have been how long? More than a decade? I hope you will forgive me for failing to remember that name."

However! Cecil finds himself waved at, an invite to approach, supplemented by a whisper should he actually comply.

Kusala suddenly rises again, and nods respectfully, "right kinda ewe to remembah sir. Ah didn't look da same atall."
Kusala says, "Kusala of Watts, sir."

Shalandra looks around at so many faces, finds herself a metal chair and delicately takes a seat.

Freelance nods to Shalandra and Indira as they enter, smiling warmly, maintaining a polite attentiveness via posture, to Kyle as he greets Kusala, whom Freelance is standing near.

Dia casually glances up from her newspaper as she hears the high-heels of Indira echo through the hall. The young latina's eyes focus on the young woman's outfit, but she seems to be enticed by the shoes. Admiring her gate for a moment or two with a smile, the girl shakes her head before jotting something down in the blank space at the top of her paper. Hearing someone taking a seat about fifteen feet away from her, the Brujah looks up from her nearly finished note to look to her left and notice Shalandra. Smiling faintly in the woman's direction, the Brujah seated on the floor tries to be civil without being entirely social at the moment - obvious by her attention reverting back to the newspaper.

Indira catches sight of Freelance, returning his nod in kind, a quick smile answering his before she seeks out a place near one of the alcoves where she can quietly observe the goings on.

'Ah'.. it could have been nice, but since Cecil seems to be wrapped up in something else, Christopher shrugs and approaches Kusala and West's group with a smile; "It is not so much the looks, but the accent." the man comments with a wink, then stops to regard Freelance for a moment; "And the gentleman is?"

Cecil heads over to the scruffy looking fellow, having extricated himself from a passel of neonates. He greets, "Regent, good evening."

Kusala says, "may ah present Mistah Freelance West, clan Gangrel. Mistah West, dis here be Elder Kyle, Clan Tremere."

Devon enters from the courtyard outside.
Devon has arrived.

Freelance , snapping to action, he extends his hand, "West's been my nickname for a while…", he smiles then adds, "People around here've been calling me 'Freelance' though… whatever works for you."

Kyle joins the group of people including Freelance and Kusala.

Kyle whispers to Cecil, "Ah.. Mister Northrup. I was hoping you would be able to help with some introductions. So many new faces.. Oh.. and what a pretty one right there. (with a look to Indira)."

While the Elder whispers to Cecil, Kusala glances to see who has come in, nods and smiles at Devon but gives the group she's speaking with her attention.

Cecil joins the group of people including Kyle and Freelance.
Cecil whispers to Kyle, "I think that one used to be Mayfair's ghoul, so she's either one of his, or possibly she's the one that Cassius ran off with that time."

Freelance looks around to assess the people here.

Kyle's arms raise and his palms meet in front of his chest, performing what looks like an exotic greeting; "West Freelance.." he repeats; "And Kusala Watts. Heard much about you. A pleasure I'm sure." Upon Cecil's whisper, he nods back at the neonate while directing his gaze in Indira's direction.

At cluster(): Kusala remains standing and smiling, "ah duz not wish to intrude upon clan bizness, it wuz a pleasure seein' ewe agin sir," she nods respectfully and starts to back away.

Indira's gaze catches on the cluster of people in passing, then hesitates, her head dipping in a respectful nod when she realizes she's been noticed.

At cluster (): Freelance permits Cecil to finish his whispering, then begins to respond, until he notices Kusala backing away. He turns back to Kyle. "Its good to meet you, sir." He nods graciously and follows Kusala's lead from clan affairs.

Devon draws his Sledgehammer…

Valdez has arrived.

Up nodding at Kusala as he enters and tossing a wink Dia's way, Devon strolls through the Elysium with his arms looped over the sledgehammer laying across the back of his shoulders like an rail. Lazily looking over the rim of his glasses, until he finds a nice quiet corner to lean and keep to himself.

Shalandra actually shifts in her chair and faces away from Devon.

Who could miss that? Devon doesnt and he laughs. "Nice."

Kyle raise a brow; "You presume much, Caitiff." the man mumbles; "For me to discuss Clan-secrets in the midst of a crowded Elysium. Now, that would be silly." Amused eyes refocus on Kusala; "Do you hold me for such, or does my presence make you uncomfortable? I've heard about these.. issues between the residents of the former Domain of South Central, and the members of my Blood?"

A broad grin covers Kusala's face…

Dia must smell Devon coming (a mixture of trouble and South Central alleyway) as she looks up from her newspaper before the man is even within ear shot. She watches him saunter into the hall with his sledgehammer at his side, smirking at the sight as he seems to repulse the woman seated a few feet away from her. As he walks by her, the young Brujah lets out a playful whistle of three varying tones - sounding much like R2-D2 or some other robot - and pointing at him with her right pointer finger. She doesn't say anything though, she just looks back down at the crossword in her lap and goes back to filling in the puzzle as best she can.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "no sir. Ah gotz no issues," her exit thwarted she remains fixed, "In fact ah be wunna da only hoods dat allowed Tremere in dem, in deference to Mistah Pyotr from when ah knew him before his Princedom."

At cluster (): Freelance shrugs, observing Kusala's shifting posture, and turns back to Kyle and Cecil, carelessly.

Indira turns her attention to the room's other occupants, apparently indulging in the time honored pasttime of people-watching.

Cecil waits patiently upon the older Tremere, face more or less impassive.

Gangsta be what gangsta is, Devon doesn't care that he's holding down a corner of one or dancing with himself. In fact, if for no other reason than it got a reaction, he finds a grin and wears it, which doesn’t really light his face up all that much. Dark bastard. Leaning his hooded head back against the wall so he can stare up at the ceiling, while he drums his fingers on the wooden shaft of his sledgehammer absently.

The twin glass doors swing open before the colorfully dressed form of Valdez, the tall Spaniard strolling with swaggering hips that cause the low slung rapier at his hip to bounce against his thigh, the soft click of heels on the white marble and a broad roguish grin spread across his darkly bearded lips. Bright eyes move about those gathered as he strides across the floor, a little nod and a wink snapped in Cecil's direction.

Freelance nods to Valdez as he enters.

Elegant. If she sat any stiller, Shalandra might be taken for a manikin. She gazes at the door as people come in, nodding to any that recognize her.

Kyle glances back at Cecil as if looking for confirmation or denial of these things stated by Kusala; "Well then.." he decides without waiting for feedback; "Then, I fear you must think I'm silly. Darn.." he muses; "But we shall forgive you this once, in deference to your leniency." His voice sounds playful enough; "But let me not keep you, or mister West.. I'm dying to learn the story of that lady over there."

Freelance glances over at Indira, smiling, then turns back to Kyle. Raising his eyebrows, then he stares at Kusala as if expecting her to speak.

Dia, her gnawed plastic pen dangling out of the front of her mouth between two pursed lips like a cigarette, looks up at Valdez as he swaggers into the room. She looks a little dumbfounded as well as amazed by the pomp the man carries with him - especially when carrying around a sword on his hip. She mutters something to herself as she watches the man cross the floor, but eventually returns her eyes to the crossword at hand.
Dia whispers to herself, "Puss 'n' Boots?"

Kusala smiles, half curtsies and backs away, "ah nevah think dat uf folks ah duzn't know well," and does so, "thank ewe agin."

Indira, too, notices Valdez's arrival. Hard not to, really. She considers his outfit with a discreetly appraising eye, before letting her attention wander elsewhere again.

Kusala departs the group of people including Kyle, Cecil, and Freelance.

At cluster (): Cecil nods slightly to the asking glance, so to speak, of his elder, and says, "Kusala has been helpful on occasion. She pays her debts."

That they dont get tired doesnt stop Devon from yawning, turning his head so the effort is pressed into his arm. "To many people.. fucking hate crowds.." Twitching right eye, staring up at the ceiling of the Elysium.

Auspex on Valdez notes:

Jones has arrived.

Kyle nods back to Cecil with an approving nod for Kusala and West; "Good..good.." he mumbles before turning on his heel, and initiating a stride in Indira's direction.

Kyle whispers to Cecil, "Would you care to introduce, mister Northrup?"

Freelance departs the group of people including Kyle and Cecil.

Gennaro enters from the courtyard outside.
Gennaro has arrived.

Freelance winks, then follows Kusala to where-ever she stops.

Cecil whispers to Kyle, "Certainly, sir."
Cecil trundles along after his elder, and, as they approach the girl, he says, "Good evening. Allow me to introduce my Regent, Christopher Kyle, of Clan Tremere. Regent, this is Indira."

Valdez draws to a stop in the middle of the floor positioning himself, perhaps by chance, in one of the crossed lattices where light meets dark, his sweeping gaze catching each and every pair of eyes that fall upon him in turn before commencing a tightly executed and agile little spin upon the back heel, taking in all the atrium with the motion as his arms spread wide and a crack of bones being realigned emanates from his person. "Is very quiet in here today…" he announces in a rich Spanish accent, his voice raised to carry, but very far indeed from shouting. "…have plans been unveiled to make the museum a library?"

Jones walks in and cracks his neck. He looks around and tries to place faces. "Whispers in the wind. People standing in judgmental circles." he smirks. "Good to see things back to normal"

Kusala finds another comfy chair and takes a seat.

Indira almost misses the fact that someone's heading in her direction, lost in her observation of others, but once she does, she quickly adopts an expression of polite welcome. Upon hearing Cecil's introduction, she sketches a polite half-bow, a smile of welcome curving her lips as she waits for Kyle to speak.

Freelance joins the group of people including Kusala.
Freelance sits down next to Kusala.

Gennaro Enters

Amidst the hustling and the bustling, the arrival of the olive-skinned Gennaro is nearly overlooked. The man is looking and finding a somewhat shadier corner, setting up himself there and watching the crowd.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "So, how's this work, exactly… I've been introduced before… but not in a formal court."

"Was… was quiet.. Thanks for fucking that up.." Devon grumbles from his corner with a snorting smirk. Eyes pointed upwards into the top end of the Museum. Rolling his shoulders under the hammer, his head lulls to the side so he can flicker his attention around. Spread the wealth and what not.

Sitting quite by herself facing the door, Shalandra sees all who enter. A nod of deference is given to each person who enters.

Jones looks at the crowd. "Ok, who here is new to the city?"

Freelance smirks, giving an chin-upward nod and a grin to Jones.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "us yunguns are sup'ose t'introduce ourselves t'da Eldahs, includin' clan. Ah duzn't do dat cuz ah be Caitiff. Ain't no clan dere, if'n ya see whut ah means. Eldahs like t'know those kinda things."

Gennaro looks at the person speaking up, the corners of his mouth cringe slightly, but this cannot easily be perceived. A scratch on the left cheek is followed by an amused grin at the congregation.

A hearty laugh rolls from Valdez' lips as he stops the spin with a slight shift of his weight onto the free foot in a smooth motion that brings him to facing Devon, his head tipping back and hands moving to rest on knuckles on his hips, long strides carrying him forward. "Apologies, senor." he remarks with a devilish grin. "You are perhaps the representative of California State Libraries?" one dark eyebrow cocking as he poses the jockular question. "Diego Valdez Karlsen." comes his introduction as the distance is closed, a sweeping bow moving from the waist with the last word.

Freelance nods to Kusala.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "Who is the Gangrel Primogen, then? I think I've already met the elders… Rachel and Cassius… Don't know of others."

"Yeup, fuckers forgot to bring their books back and I've come to collect on over due late fees.." Devon replies to Valdez, staring unhumorously at the Spaniard. "Reading is mother fucking fundamental.."

Freelance turns his attention to Valdez and Devon's noisy interaction.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "this ought to be amusing"

Upon Gennaro's arrival, Kyle takes a moment to seek out the eyes of the Ventrue, for a duration that might be considered rude.. at least to the lady standing in front of them. The greeting is quickly resumed however; with that same exotic bow performed earlier; "Another flower in the desert." he compliments; "Need I extend my sympathies on Mayfair's passing?"

Kusala suppresses something. Her lips squirm as if they were their own entity, but she looks up at the ceiling…

At cluster (): Kusala says, "think it gonna be Miss Rachael. She da Ghost wit da most."

Freelance nods to Kusala.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Amused by Devon, a little perturbed when Kyle waxes lyrical»

Gennaro stares back at the Tremere, he obviously doesn't care whether he is rude or not. When Kristoffer Kyle returns to his flattery, the Ventrue's face again twists into the charade of a smile.

Jones looks at Kusala. "Can you speak? " he frowns and flips open his coat as he walks to her.

Kusala says, "why uf course, Mistah Jones, won't ewe join us?"

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir," Indira replies, something akin to regret passing over her features at the mention of Mayfair. "It was a regrettable situation, although he and I had lost touch some time ago. Your sympathies are gracious and well appreciated."

"Si?" Valdez inquires with his cocked eyebrow unrelenting in its raised position as his eyes drop to the man's sledgehammer and then back to him. "I must remember to take back my copy of Angels and Demons…" the words dipped to a slightly lower volume, although clearly a stage-whisper. "So, Senor; may I ask your name, or should I present my library card first?"

The Seneschal Arrives

Apolo tucks a hank of hair behind one ear as he passes behind Jones. "Hal," he says, as greeting, and keeps moving. There's vague nods offered to others here and there, though it doesn't seem like he's really paying attention to the faces. He's got a destination in mind, even if the end point is only obvious to him.

Apolo has arrived.

"I'll let you slide on the library card. I'm off duty anyways." Devon growls quietly, but he always growls.. with varying levels of volume. "Devon.. I don't do last names. Makes me seem more mysterious." Half grinning beneath the heavy hanging hood, "You one of those, dont shake hands people? If so, I'm not going to waste my time offering.."

Freelance bothers nodding to Apolo, even if he doesn't notice.

Shalandra's eyes seem very riveted to the door. Still she is cool and calm.

Auspex on Shalandra notes:
«growing dread»

Jones blinks and looks back at Apolo and grins. "Evenin' Sir. Good t'see you up and about. Lots of new faces. " he waves vaguely at the room. "Sent you some info about dead bodies and stuff too. " Halifax steps too. He stays vaguely near Apolo… looking at the new faces.

Christopher inclines his head; "It is a loss to the world." he agrees; "But one we should not linger over too much.." and that's where Apolo's voice rings through the room and he offers an apologetic smile; "It appears, it begins."

When Apolo arrives, life comes to Gennaro. With a parting glance at Kyle, the Ventrue finally starts to make his way closer to the hubbub.

Kusala remains seated and hears but doesn't see Acton.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "ahh dat be Mistah Emersun's sun. Won't be long now."

At cluster (): Freelance nods, "He's the reason I decided to buy into those instructions, we talked about."

"Son of a bitch…" Dia audibly mutters to herself as she fills out her crossword, only to find that she's miscounted the number of titles and ended up with a word one letter too long. Taking her pen and gripping it with her fist, she furiously scratches through the word… and then the entire puzzle, before crumbling up the paper and throwing it towards the nearest waste receptacle. The ball of paper hits the rim of the trash can before bouncing off and behind the container. Grumbling at the missed shot, the Brujah places both palms down on the floor and pushes herself up out of the Indian-style seated position she's been in for the better part of a half hour waiting. Hoisting up her jeans with both hands on either side of her hips, she marches over to the trash can to fetch the litter.

"That is good, senor Devon." Valdez quips back with a broadening in his smirk. "I think I may have left it in my other pants..as for the hand?" he moves his right arm from his hip, unfurling his fingers before offering it forward. "If you promise I will get it back…"

Indira's gaze flicks toward Apolo at that, and she nods, offering up a similar smile, "It would seem so, sir. And I thank you for that advice."

"No promises.." Devon quips right back as his own right hand unfolds from the length of sledgehammer laying across his shoulders and takes Valdez' in a solid clasp of the wrist. "Valdez, you said? Seem like an alright cat.. I like someone who can take a joke. Don't seem many of those anymore." Once they both release arms, the nosferatu's returns to hooking around the business end of the weapon, playing arm rest. Head tilting towards the door, then the Brujah, "Look's like the German's are coming.."

Samael enters from the courtyard outside.
Samael has arrived.

Apolo sketches something like a smile at Jones. "Mr. Jones, will you see that my father's chair is made available to him." He picks out a high backed chair in one of the alcoves with a finger, and gestures towards the center of the room. "If you would."

"I enjoy a joke, senor." Valdez replies giving an equally firm grasp of the wrist as he shakes Devon's hand. "But I also believe in good manners. I was raised with the understanding that if you could not say something nice, and could not beat the man you were insulting into a fine red paste, you ought to hold your tongue." he winks to the seated man before releasing and taking a step around him to share his view of the room.

Shalandra's eyes seem very riveted to the door. Still she is cool and calm and nods in deference to Samael as he enters.

Jones says, "Oh sure. You bet." he walks over to the chair and easily lifts it. Rather too easily. He heads for the center of the room. He carefully places it, "Would it be alright with you and your father if I stayed near you both, in case any misguided idiots try something stupid? Maxine is better, but I don't see her here yet.""

"Eh.. manner's have their place, good or bad." Devon retorts with a half shrug, taking a quieter tone as preparations are made for the arrival of the Prince. Notes taken on who Apolo points out to get the chair, the Nosferatu's eyes scan the unfolding drama almost lazily, but definitely observantly, then looks back to Valdez. "Sometimes they're necessary, sometimes being a jack ass get's your point across too. I go for the latter, it works for me."

Valdez whispers to Devon, "Is his nose naturally that color, senor?"

Devon whispers to Valdez, "Naw, that's a new development.. but can you blame him? Apolo's shit probably smells pretty fucking good right now.."

Finishing out the ball of crumpled up newspaper from behind the trash can, Dia slam dunks the former crossword puzzle into the garbage with some relish before briskly slapping her hands together in an up-and-down motion. Placing her fists on her hips, the tiny Latina begins to turn about as she hears the motion of furniture being moved and the court quietly coming together. It's not hard for the young Brujah to notice that when other people are paying attention, she should probably too. Focusing her eyes on Jones as he sets up what appears to be a makeshift 'throne', Dia then looks to Apolo - the man who seems to be guiding him - and waits patiently for things to get under way.

Auspex on Devon notes:
«Caution.. lots and lots of caution. And paranoia. Lots of that too.»

Although.. unfortunately it's hard for Samael -not- to be noticed, especially with a complete lack of stealthy-skills, the young man certainly -tries-, tries his best to make an appearance that is as unassuming as possible, while being respectful at the same time. He notices it fails the moment Shalandra greets him, so nods back, before finding a wall to wall-flower against.

Valdez whispers to Devon, "That is Lord Callas? Hm. Well I suppose it depends whether he wishes to have his behind so inspected."

Auspex on Samael notes:
«uncertain, guilty and ashamed.»

At cluster (): Kusala says, "now da Prince, he gonna come in or show up or sumthin. Jez bow down 'n stay dere til he says ewe kin git up"

Devon whispers to Valdez, "Yeh, that's him.. Cant say I'd care much for having my ass watched over like a vulture.. but whatever, that's the nature of shit, right?"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "go down t'one knee or stuff like dat dere."

Freelance looks to Kusala with a confused expression…

Valdez whispers to Devon, "I have always thought the best bodyguard was one nobody knew was there…until he was breaking the wrist of the assassin"

At cluster (): Freelance says, "go down to one knee?"

Freelance smirks.

Kusala shrugs

There's a bob of his head to show he heard the Brujah's request and, at the very least, doesn't find anything offensive about it. Apolo turns back to survey the room, pausing in his inspection to quirk his lips at Devon, picking him out of the crowd, and then lets his gaze drift on. He's looking for something — or someone. It doesn't seem to be Sam, to judge by the flicker of anger that crosses his features when he spots the little Torrie.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "yer own show uf respext, dats whut it be"

Snickering quietly, Devon nods to Valdez and taps his finger against the shaft of his sledgehammer and winks from the depth of his hood.

Devon whispers to Valdez, "Yeh, me too.. that's why I brought ol' faithful."

Shalandra glances around then resumes watching the door.

Auspex on Shalandra notes:
«dread sitting like a lump in the throat»

Cecil waits, patiently, as the small talk goes onwards.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "You ever notice how doctors and lawyers …and princes… make you wait? Its a whole psychological thing—make them feel important."

Kusala chuckles a little…

At cluster (): Kusala says, "be baad sexretaries makin' too many appointments in da day."

Auspex on Apolo notes:
«Distracted, anxious. Waiting for something.»

At cluster (): Freelance says, "I wonder what else could possibly be on Emerson's schedule. Everyone's here waitin' for him!"

Auspex on Kusala notes:
«excited. Curious»

Freelance smirks.

Devon snorts.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Amusement, a sort of light-hearted affection»

Apolo makes another survey of the room, and then another, til he's done it three times. A curious nod finally acknowledges Indira's greeting, and a quirk of an eyebrow asks an unspoken question. The answer will wait for another time. He's making his way towards the still-empty chair. Maybe things really are about to begin.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "You see who he's lookin' at?"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "Mistah Emahsun kin be as invisible, as invisible kin be."

Jones stands respectfully near the chair. out of simple arms reach.

Indira has the grace to look slightly meek in the wake of Apolo's curiosity, but she quickly composes her expression to one of polite attentiveness, directing her gaze toward the preparations in progress.

At Apolo's expression Sam looks as if he'd like to melt into the wall already covering his back. It doesn't end there however.. The lad bows his head submissive and slides toward a nearby alcove where he can still attend, while Apolo does not need to see him.

Gillian Enters

Gillian enters from the courtyard outside.
Gillian has arrived.

Jones blinks when Gillian walks in He looks…surprised. He hmms. "Look, I dunno the agenda tonight but if I were you guys. I'd assume someone important. More important then I'll ever be…said something like 'All rise'"

Shalandra rises, curtsies to Gillian and retakes her seat.

Devon watches Jones announce an 'all rise', but the Nosferatu was already standing, so he doesn’t jump out of his seat. Chuckling at the young Brujah playing hostess, he glances towards Valdez, then back to the clinger on around Apolo, before ultimately focusing on the doors in expectation of some arrival..

Freelance is already standing. He smiles and nods toward Gillian as she enters.

Dia blinks her eyes and lets her mouth remain slightly agate for a few seconds upon hearing Jones speak, as if the man said something incomprehensible to her. Remaining standing towards the back of the room, positioned in front of the trash can she recently visited, she regains her composure and quietly snorts before scanning the rest of her kind in attendance.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "Is Emerson a guy or a girl?"

At cluster (): Freelance says, "I assumed guy, but I don't think I've ever asked."

Kusala rises, and starts applauding at Gillian, "damn gurlfriend! right nice t'see nobody blew ewe t'kingdom cum. Right on!"

Jones says, "Yeah, I would say 'I heard you were dead' but that is such a 'Escape from LA' bad line…."

Indira, already on her feet, offers a respectful nod of greeting.

"At least he's got a backbone, I guess.." Devon snorts, watching the horray upon the arrival of Gillian. It's not that he's disinterested, quite the contrary, but for once he'll just stay his tongue. Sucking lightly at his teeth, while his eyes bounce over each reaction to the entrance, curiously.

Apolo leans against the curve of the empty chair, slinging an arm over it casually. The chair is centered enough so he can see the wave of attention move across the room towards Gillian's entrance and he follows it, nodding his head in a respectful, if a bit distant, show of acknowledgement. A hand waves towards the empty space to the right of the makeshift throne.

Heels click on the marble as the former lady of the ivory tower makes her way into the Ahmanson hall. Waiting at the entrance her cold gaze skims the room, with a dip of her chin toward Apolo and a little cold, but perhaps appreciative smile going in Kusala's direction, commenting with a soft; "Not me, no."

Gillian joins the group of people including Apolo.

Kusala's applause is short. She resits afterwards.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "ain't shur. Ahlways referr'd t'him as a him."

Turning his head as Apolo makes his way up to what, given its placement and occupant, could be considered a throne, Valdez observes him with a intent expression, the click of heels drawing his eye to Gillian as she arrives and his smile creasing into a broad roguish grin, an appreciative raising of the eyebrows following her path before he switches his attention back to Apolo.

Jones watches the woman and grins a bit. He bows his head a bit and looks at his fingers a moment. "Where's Ruppert?"

Kusala rubs her forehead and continues her surveyance of the room.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Tension at the name»

Auspex on Kusala notes:
«slightly distracted, then a refocusing, excited and curious»

At cluster (): Freelance says, "You thinkin' something happened to him?"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "happened to who? Mistah Rup'art? he's prolly hidin' in wunna dese cornahs."

Measured steps take Gillian in the direction of that throne, taking the empty spot at its right-hand. Seeing Gillian move there, Kyle distances himself from Indira's and Cecil's company, trading one Toreador for another.

"Maxine and Ruppert are on an errand." The answer is short and to the point; Apolo is tracking Gillian's progress across the room as he responds.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "ah stands corrected"

At cluster (): Freelance says, "Not necessarily, the errand might be in the room."

Freelance smirks.

Valdez whispers to Devon, "Do you know the young senorita with Senor Northrup?"

Devon shakes his head out of his observation and glances over at Valdez, then casually looks about the room with a squinted eye. Searching for 'something' in the mass of bodies surrounding the empty throne and it's high profile entourage.

Devon whispers to Valdez, "I don’t.. but I should. Cant say I've ever seen her before."

Glancing down to Devon, Valdez stoops to whisper to him, and nods in Cecil and Indira's direction, he claps a hand upon the man's shoulder and gestures over, before starting a bold, long-strided approach in their direction.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "Looks like the hammer and the peacock are getting along better than I though."

Valdez whispers to Devon, "Let us go be sociable then, senor"

Indira offers Kyle a last dip of her head as he departs, then returns her attention to those surrounding the throne.

Shalandra does check out the room, particularly the throne area, but after that more or less keeps her eyes on the door.

Sociable? One can almost hear the hooded Devon grumbling as it's suggested, but it beats the hell out of just standing there. With a shrug, he pushes himself off the wall and takes a long step to bring him up beside Valdez. Though he's looking off towards the center of the room, instead of where they're headed. If a nuclear weapon crawls out of nowhere, be damned if the Nosferatu wont be ready for it..

Gillian does not hurry, but defers to the empty throne while passing by it. She finally stands beside, taking another moment to take in the many faces that examined her earlier; Devon, Jones and Valdez.

The elders positioned around the empty throne, Apolo straightens himself up, smoothing down his shirt with a pass of an empty hand. "If you are here," he says under his breath, "be here, out of the shadows. We are all accountable to this court." His eyes dart to an empty space near Sam, but does not linger.

"Thank you for coming," he starts and steps forward to represent the empty throne.

Jones remains close by

Bells drops the hidden act. "Accountability doesn't always imply visibility. You of all people should know this." She slips her hands out of her pockets and clasps them before her. Obedient enough, but only just enough.
Bells has arrived.

Shalandra finally turns from the door giving Apolo her complete attention.

Sam probably thought that darted look was just a bit off, pointing at him.. and reluctantly steps out of that alcove.. obviously happy to find Bells by his side.. and instantly worried, going from the expression on his face.

Dia shifts her eyes slightly to the right, catching a glimpse of the owner of the voice that seems to come out of the darkness. However, Bells doesn't keep her attention for long as she seems to get uncomfortable with her current posture and removes her fists from her hips. Spreading her feet a little to take a more relaxed standing posture, the young Brujah lets her arms dangle at her side and tilts her head slightly towards her left shoulder as she watches and listens to Apolo.

As Apolo speaks, Valdez has almost finished crossing the atrium floor and so he hurries to complete it rather than stand out in the middle like a lemon, but aside from a friendly smile flashed to Cecil, and an appraising eye wandering across Indira the flamboyant spaniard saves introductions for later as he turns to face the throne, arms folding across his chest and drawing the short jacket open at the hem with the motion.

Samael whispers to Bells, "Bells.. it's a court!"

Indira, her attention primarily on Apolo now, seems only peripherally aware of the approach of others. Still, she turns her head just long enough to offer a polite nod of welcome to them when they arrive.

Nosferatu hiding? Nobody should have saw that coming. Chuckling, one of Devon's arms stretches over it's looping hang to rub a finger against his brow. Noting, as he does so, that Gillian is watching him. Amongst others, but he doesn’t concern himself with them, so much as he does with himself. What to do in this situation is obvious, observe back, at least until Apolo takes up position in front of the throne. Up nodding at Cecil, then Indira, the open hood turns to watch the trio around the empty seat taking center stage.

"This a new Los Angeles," Apolo says. "One that many of us sweated and bled and suffered to bring to fruition. Many of us have lost..immeasurable treasures. Some of us have lost everything. Sacrificed, everything, to be here tonight. Still living, such that we are." The once-and-future Seneschal pauses, looks at Gillian, and then sweeps his gaze across the room. "And there are those who stood on the other side who have sought to remain here, in this city, even now, even after the war bled us all."

"It is the first act of our Highness, the Ancient Emerson, Prince of Los Angeles, to offer forgiveness and acceptance to all that reside in this city now for the acts of war, perpetrated and received, that we may start new."

Bells whispers to Samael, "A rebel court in a rebel district. If I wanted to worship at people's feet I would have helped Acton."

At cluster (): Kusala says, "damn. Dat takes everabody dat was on a hook, off."

Auspex on Kusala notes:
«still excited & curious»

Auspex on Shalandra notes:
«somewhat relieved»

Auspex on Apolo notes:
«Tense. Waiting.»

Bells settles in to the subtle shadows that stretch in partial concealment.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "is that good?"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "yeah ah think so"

Freelance nods.

Shalandra listens attentively.

Upon Devon's staring back, Gillian's expression just became a tad colder, a tad more harsh. Then Apolo speaks and a polite nod-smile is extended to him. She holds herself well, this Elder. After all, this is the social-walk and if any, one at which a lady her age is expected to excel.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Keenly interested, and clearly waiting for something.»

Auspex on Gillian notes:
«Hate.. pulling at the Beast raging in the background. Hunger. Rage. Loss.»

Samael moves to stand near the seating alcove

Nobody likes it when Elder's get cold and harsh.. not even courageous (read: stupid) Nosferatu neonates with impulse control problems. So when Gillian's expression takes on that subtle twing of a change, Devon looks away. He tries for casually, sure, but let's not be so blind as to think it's anything more than a small fish, looked at a big fish, saw that fish would eat it and ran the hell away. "Right.."

The little Malkavian waits to see what the reaction to his announcement is, and when no protests are made, he continues. "There are none of us without blood on our hands. There is none that is not guilty here. But we begin again. Begin new. Los Angeles is no longer a Camarilla city. We stand on our own, in the eye of the storm. We will make of this new city what we — all of us — will."

"You see," Apolo gestures without looking towards Gillian and Kyle, who represent the other elders in the city, "that we are not without age and wisdom. And those of you who lived through the war know that we are not without fire."

"And so here we are. This Los Angles. " Apolo smiles, suddenly, finally, a brilliant flare of warmth that does justice to his name. "I have heard from many of you already. But in public, any who wishes to claim land under this new rule, and be recognized by the prince, are free to do so."

Clapping a hand to Devon's shoulder, the Brujah gives it a powerful squeeze. Valdez seems not at all ignorant of that exchange, and his smile is a knowing one, entirely confidant and quite serene as he offers the gesture of grounding reassurance for a brief moment, nodding back toward Apolo, he releases the Nosferatu's shoulder and steps forward.

At place (Seating Alcove): Samael says, "You know me.. your older know-all overly concerned, brother.. who made much more of a mess than you will ever manage."

Auspex on Devon notes:
«discomfort overshadowing caution, but no less paranoia. Actually more paranoia and discomfort»

Emerson Appears

Emerson is there. He's been there all along. You just didn't notice him, sitting in his throne.
Emerson has arrived.

Shalandra rises from her chair, curtsies to the floor and stays there.

At place (Seating Alcove): Bells says, "You've always been good at messes. Look around you, Sam, the result was achieved despite what happened to you. It wasn't your fault, besides, so stop blaming yourself."

Kusala rises from her chair and stands there.

Jones blinks as the Ancient one appears. He nods his head low. The brujah seems for a moment at a loss for words. But after a moment he bows a bit to the ancient. And really, not knowing how to continue.. he raises his hand.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "git up. If he addresses ya, then git all humble like."

The sudden "appearance" of Emerson in his throne causes Dia to straighten her posture a little more and look a tad uncomfortable. Bringing her feet closer together and biting down on her lower lip, the Brujah wraps her arms about her waist - probably in a subconscious move to ease her fears and provide a sense of security. She doesn't say anything, but she quickly looks towards the other faces in the crowd to see if they have a similar reaction.

Freelance is already standing, but bows to the man in the throne as he appears.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Briefly apprehensive, but also self-assured. its not quite cocky…just, confident.»

The Elder duo standing at the right of that throne, inspires an instant display of respect. A deep curtsy from the Toreador lady, an exotic-looking bow from the Tremere Regent. Yes, Elders too bow before the Ancient.

Indira, her gaze skittering away from the area around the throne uneasily, bows deeply as well.

So does his childe. Apolo bows to his sire, murmuring, "father" respectfully.

Cecil, from his relatively distant position, bows. Just like everyone else.

Everyone else obviously doesn't include Bells. She waits and watches, her eyes flitting more about the people in the room than the dusty old Ancient at the head of the table. She doesn't nod, or curtsy, bow, or even salute. She does, however, occasionally speak quietly with Sam at her alcove.

Samael was about to respond to Bells, then notices the movement in the assembly and doesn't just bow, but kneels.. the way you might kneel in front of an altar to ask God for forgiveness, then gets a grip and raises to his feet again.

If Emerson's eyes ever gaze over Kusala, she curtsies. If not, she stands as if waiting.

Right at his most vulnerable.. perfect. Devon glances up at the suddenly unempty throne and clinches his teeth, dipping down into a low nod, 'sorta' bow, that's unrefined to say the least. Emerson will do that to anyone. 'why do you come to these damn things?' Internal monologues aside, there is no doubt that his choice to stay down on the floor is coming back to haunt him now.. Maybe Gillian expression was startling, but just standing in the same room with the Ancient is the definition of uncomfortable. So it's fair that it wouldn’t change much regardless of where he was in the Elysium.

When he straightens, Apolo steps slightly to the left and back, so he's no longer standing in front of the throne. Valdez's movement catches his eye — the younger Malkavian swings his attention that way, sharp and intense.

Valdez’s Pledge

Pausing in his bold outward stride, the first to answer Apolo's call for public statements Valdez's pace falters in the presence of the Ancient and his eyes drop from the throne, where fearlessly they had looked before. It’s a momentary gesture, a thought given to his now precarious position standing out from the crowd like a sore thumb. It seems whatever process resolves itself to continue, and his bold outward stride continues as he wheel toward the throne, approaching briskly and his hand moving to the ornate sword at his hip. He drops to a knee, the blade drawn with a harmonious ring of steel echoing around the eerily quiet room and he offers the hilt up toward the throne and whomever might take a step to claim it a respectful, and more pointedly safe, distance maintained, his head bowed. "Your Highness…" he announces in a rich rumbling Spanish accent. "I offer your throne and your bloodline my sword. This is a new Los Angeles, which has shaken the foundations of the world. It is an honor to ask your welcome to your city and how I may serve within it."

At place (Seating Alcove): Samael says, "Yeah.." comes the reply; "People get messed up like that.. but it is still me in their memories. I'm glad I didn't sell -you- out at least.""

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Valdez' previous nonchalance toward the presence of elders has been replaced with something middling between awe, respect, and fear»

At cluster (): Freelance says, "huh."

Emerson has not spoken to anyone. Not the elders at his side, not his childe. And not Valdez. The Ancient pins the Brujah with a glance. Stares.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "ah think he ax'd fer a job but ah ain't shur"

Jones’ Request

Jones looks up at his hand and then to Apolo, "Am I supposed to just ask?" he asks quietly. He looks to the Ancient, The man he's kept a simple oath to. "My liege," he states looking to the man. "I'm a simple man, I hope I've fulfilled your son's challenge to me, to make myself useful. I hope to continue to do so. I was hoping your grace, to ask for a place to eat, and maybe hold for Brujah. Especially as Maxine ain't here t'do so. If she could get her lands back, I'm sure she'd let me eat there. I admit, I was hoping for a place m'self. But Ah know that's a lot for a young one like me to ask. I was just hoping I'd been useful enough …to be considered."

Diego Karlsen's words cause Dia to grimace and raise her right hand up to her face, splaying her fingers and covering a majority of her eyes, nose and mouth. Lowering her head, she headshakes for a few seconds - finding something either humorous or painful about the pledge. She murmurs something to herself before lowering her hand and beginning to look about her for some place to take a seat.

Auspex on Cecil notes:
«Unsurprised patience.»

At cluster (): Freelance says, "yeah… ya got me."

Freelance grins and raises an eyebrow, simply observing reactions to and on center-stage.

At place (Seating Alcove): Bells puts a hand over her eyes as Sam practically grovels, but she lets it go and doesn't say any more about it. Yet. "Even if you did sell me out, I would forgive you." She looks around the room again, offers a soft snort. "Look at these people. They can't wait to throw their necks before the alpha wolf in the hope he'll throw them some scraps or lick their balls for them. It's preposterous."

Shalandra is still head bowed and curtisied to the floor.

Auspex on Shalandra notes:

Apolo is quick to cover the awkwardness, jumping in to smooth over the hitch that Emerson's silence has caused. The Prince is noted for his power and his age, not his party mannerisms. "Mr…? Yes. The Prince appreciates those who wish to serve him. Perhaps we can speak later about your.. qualifications. And…" Apolo tilts his head this way and that, looking the other man over. "…your sword. Welcome to Los Angeles."

At place (Seating Alcove): Samael says, "Bells.. He can hear you… yeah well ok. He could probably read your mind anyway.. But this is a court, and it's what people -do- at a court. Besides. He is a Priest. I'll bow for him and it will be heartfelt."

At cluster (): Freelance leans toward Kusala, "So, um… does the Prince usually speak during these things—or is this one special?"

"Karlsen." Valdez replies from his knee, brow rising to look to Apolo, and pointedly avoiding the unrelenting gaze of Emerson. "Diego Valdez Karlsen. I thank you." rising from his knee, the sword unclaimed he returns it to the scabbard by his side with a flourishing twirl of the hilt and steps aside. Promptly.

At cluster (): Kusala says, "ain't shur."

At cluster (): Kusala says, "too early t'tell"

At place (Seating Alcove): Bells says, "We're not recognized by the Camarilla. Why do we still have to do the same old bullshit that the Camarilla did? Why don't we try something *new* for a change, instead of following the moldy old traditions? It's all possible, the sky is the limit, and yet these people just want it the same old way. The old ways are broken. If they weren’t, we wouldn't be in this situation."

Figuring it'll give her the extra height she needs to see over the other standing parties as well as a firm back to lean against, Dia places her rear against the front of the trashcan and grips its edges with her hands. Hoisting herself up like a gymnast onto the top of the cylinder, she stretches her legs out briefly before alternately kicking them wistfully in the air - like a child biding her time while grown-ups take care of their business. She seems quite content to just watch what comes out of the woodwork.

Awkward, yes, slightly cowled maybe, but Devon is still watching the event unfold in front of the throne. Head tilted down and to the side, so he's looking around his hood at the kneeling Valdez and the loud and pleading Jones. Then Apolo's adventure into heroics. Though it's Karlsen who takes the lion share of the nosferatu's attention when he's returning. "You'll have to teach me that one.." Nodding a dark brow at the elaborately detailed sword. "Best I've got is, sup nigga, I watch yo shit dawg.. wrong side of the tracks and all.." Said respectfully quiet once the brujah is back in conversational distance, but with this crowd it doesnt matter, most of the room can still hear him.

At place (Seating Alcove): Samael says, "Because we are vampires and we need the display of etiquette to show each other.. perhaps convince ourselves, that we are not Beasts… yet, anyway. As long as there are Elders, they will ask us to conform to their code of conduct. Official Camarilla or no. He still calls himself Prince. Apolo is still the Seneschal. The tag changes, but the contents does not."

"Mr. Karlsen," Apolo repeats to show he heard it. "Thank you." And nods to Jones after he's done speaking to show he didn't miss the -other- Brujah's words. He doesn't respond right away — he looks towards Emerson for the Prince's pleasure before offering anything else.

Freelance grins at Devon. He smiles and weakly nods before re-directing his attention to royalty—not failing to maintain his smile.

Jones just lowers his hand and falls silent. He looks at Apolo with a 'What did I do wrong?' look.

Bowing his brow before Apolo as the man acknowledges his name, Valdez keeps his fore to the throne for a few long respectful steps before turning and rejoining his little circle. A smile is flashed to Devon as he passes the man. "It is all in the wrist…" he remarks, playfully misunderstanding the request as he settles back into his place and looks back out to the floor.

Emerson deigns to speak. "I know." What he knows is not elaborated. No explanation. No smile. He knows, and expects that to be enough for Jones. And Apolo, probably, since he lets his son handle most of the talking.

Freelance looks at Kusala for a reaction, then across the crowd… then back up at Emerson. He leans and quietly mutters to Kusala.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "He knows what? … this shit is weird…"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "Mistah Jones be givin his fealty. He knows dat Mistah Jones be a loyalist… 'n quite a bit mor, ah imagine."

Gillian and Kyle continue to display their support of Emerson by standing there, until dismissed.

At place (Seating Alcove): Bells smiles gently. "Etiquette. Sure thing, Sam. Keep telling yourself this."

At place (Seating Alcove): Samael hehs; “One of the few things I fear we will never agree on. It's not that -I- need you to. I just don't want you to get in trouble because of it. I've seen too many that did."

"There is a place for you, Hal. You were not overlooked." Apolo smiles, but the expression is strained, tense at the edges. He adjusts his stance, leans a hip against the throne to keep himself close to his father, and crosses an arm across his stomach. He looks across the crown and picks out Kusala, looking expectant.

Emerson has left.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "looks like its your turn… goo'luck"

Jones quirks a brow and looks at Apolo and nods. He falls silent and finds his leather gloves very interesting.

Kusala’s Requests

Having been caught eye to eye so to speak, Kusala comes forward, curtsies low and stays there, "we bin through thick 'n thin. Ewe be Da Man. Ah only axes fer mah huntin' privileges in Watts, same as befor, if it pleases ya."

Jones says, "Thank you.. Apolo, and er…yer liegeness.""

Apolo laughs at something, nothing, but its not a cruel sound. "Watts is yours, little sister. We have no objection to your claim." There — that one was easy. Apolo didn't even look at Emerson before answering, so maybe the weirdness is calming down.

Kusala rises, "right kinda ya, thank ya kindly," curtsies again and returns to her seat.

Freelance smiles at Kusala as she returns to her seat.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "that was easy"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "easy? jesuschrist, ah ax'd fer mah huntin' rights 'n dey made me a landownah agin. Ah didn't expext dat."

Freelance chuckles softly.

At cluster (): Freelance says, "You don't want it—or is it just more than you hoped for?"

At cluster (): Kusala says, "more den ah hoped for. Thought dey'd give it t'Melciah"

Auspex on Apolo notes:
«So tense. Strung like piano wire.»

Kusala frowns with concern slightly at Apolo and rubs her forehead.

Apolo glances towards the alcove that shelters Bells and Sam but doesn't seem to expect much to come from those shadows. He's skimming the crowd again soon enough, looking for faces — anyone close enough, paying enough attention can tell that he's not entirely focused on this. Half an eye is always kept on his sire, just in case.

Bells’ Request

Bells rubs her hands down the top of her thighs and stands up. She takes a step forward, but she still doesn't prostrate herself. She clasps her hands before her and cocks her head. In pleasant, unassuming tones, she says, "I would like to petition to continue to watch over Exposition Park, as per my notice." She gestures lightly to the bulletin board at that. "I've kept Exposition Park safe for the better part of fifteen years. I'd like to continue to do so. I also offer my services as Keeper of Exposition Park, should it be required of me and should such a position exist."

Valdez mutters to Devon with a slight lean in the hooded man's direction, but he makes no move aside from that, until another whisper is made, and he takes a step back, preparing to melt away from the row of potentials like so many others.
Valdez whispers to Devon, "If you wanted to say something, senor. Now seems to be the time. Otherwise, I think I will let them be."

Devon's head turns towards Valdez, listens, and then nods in the Brujah's direction. Motioning up to Bells, while leaning over to say something quietly.

"Ms. Bells," Apolo says, drawing out the 's' on the end of her name. "Exposition is yours, and our thanks, as well, for the use of it when it was needed. You — and anyone here who cares — may declare Elysia on the land they hold. But it will be on you to enforce it. For now."

Devon whispers to Valdez, "I'm having trouble figuring out 'how' to ask.. for a guy who never holds his tongue, I'm having trouble coming up with words.. Ironic aint it?"

Valdez whispers to Devon, "I would do what comes naturally, senor….be respectful, but yourself."

Bells dips her head appreciatively. "Thank you," she says, quietly. Even though she's not bowed or kneeled or groveled or scraped, she can't help but concentrate her gaze on Apolo, and only glances at Emerson furtively and only occasionally. It must be too much. She does seem relieved that she doesn't have to be Keeper any longer, though, if the expression on her face is any indication. She takes the step back toward her alcove and plants her back side there, beside Samael.

Once a small silence sets in, Shalandra glances up from her prayer-like curtsey, just to make sure he isn't looking her.

Devon’s Request

Casting a glance around the gathered, Devon nods and steps away from the throng and into the open. Which is more a matter of perspective, all things considered. And then another step to bring him closer to the throne, each of the trio Elders about the Ancient are given a nod.. While the leasurely laying hammer on his shoulders is adjusted to hang at his side in one hand. "Been a gas, the last few months.. now here we are, eh? Surrounded by sharks, in a pool of bloody water.." Nodding a head down towards the floor, "Anyways, here I am too.. not sure if humble or just.. here.. I stood beside you, come what might, because Acton was a dickhead. Now we're beseiged and surrounded by other dickheads.." Said to Emerson, though he includes Apolo with a sideways glance, unsure how to address the duo, "I would like to keep them out of Los Angeles.." Nodding to the Ancient and his Son, ".. your Los Angeles…" Pursing his split lips, his fingers flex around the stock of his 'ceremonial' weapon. "To that end, I wish to look over the boarderland of Compton. I have good eyes and so long as I'm there, it will stay as quiet as I am able to keep it…"

"Politics makes for strange bedfellows." The younger Malkavian looks at Bells, Kusala, Sam and Devon in turn, but doesn't seem to be waiting for their agreement on the matter. Apolo touches his father on the shoulder to draw his attention forward, nods at something that passes between them unspoken, and nods again before looking back to the Nosferatu. "Mr. Devon. We are pleased that you wish to stay around. Compton is yours." His smile is a flash of teeth. "And Bellflower, as well."

At cluster (): Freelance says, "So, should I just …address'm?"

Kusala nods to something Freelance says

Auspex on Freelance notes:
«nervous and excited»

Freelance's Request

Freelance clears his throat, then silently makes his way to a few meters before the throne. Just before stopping, he glances behind himself at the collection of animated corpses observing the perverse midnight mockery of royalty of another era, making a point to briefly meet eyes with a few of those whom he'd shared consort and gained advice, pausing lastly with Kusala. He turns back to the elders on high and awkwardly kneels down on one knee. "Prince Emerson, Apolo, Elders…", he begins, "I've been in your city for some weeks, now. I am Marcos Galvran, better known as West to most," he smirks, "or Freelance to some. I'm sired by Randy Jordan of Gangrel and I wish acknowledgement and rights in your city as you see fit."

Auspex on Freelance notes:
«relief and pride»

Freelance glances around the members of court before continuing, "The dust of tribulation in recent history has hardly settled, and still settles, as I come.", he pauses. "As I don't want to make trouble in your New Los Angeles, I'd seek a territory unclaimed. As I know of none laying claim to Florence, with your permission, I'll stake my claim there."

Auspex on Bells notes:
«Relief, and embarrassment at having forgotten about this command for so long.»

If Devon expected that, it doesn’t show in the twitching shock that threatens to crack his otherwise stoic face. His fingers tighten around his sledgehammer and his head drops into a deep nod, to Emerson and Apolo both. "My thanks and my promise.. both will stay dickhead free." The young Nosferatu says in his gravelly voice, expression going back to neutral as he steps back towards the cluster of vampires he came out of. Watching Freelance with a raised brow when he lays claim to what formally belonged to Santiago. "Ali's going to like that.." He breaths out sarcastically once he's out of the spotlight.. Still making heads and tails of what was extended to him..

Auspex on Devon notes:
«A lot of shock. Hand over fist amounts of shock… and a sudden sense of duty. Purpose.»

"Congratulations, senor." Valdez welcomes Devon's return with another friendly clap to the shoulder. "Actions speak louder than words, eh?"

Apolo says, as Devon steps back, "We did not forget your offer, Mr. Devon. We will discuss it another time, yes?" His attention moves on easily enough — Devon will agree or he won't, and Apolo doesn't seem inclined to make a big deal about it. "And you, Mr. West. It is.. admirable… that you are so ambitious and… dedicated, perhaps, but .. uh… you may wish to reconsider its status." A flick of his fingers picks out Dia in the back of the room. "Perhaps we will revisit this, as well, yes?"

Valdez whispers to Devon, "Offer, senor? I admit, my curiosity runs riot."

Bells continues to watch the proceedings, her eyes flitting from Freelance to Apolo, but she remains silent.

Auspex on Bells notes:
«Interest in Freelance's request.»

"At your leisure." Devon replies, though Apolo has already looked away, "It stands as it did before." Glancing back, as he does so in the direction of Dia, but ultimately he looks to Valdez, a dark chuckle echoing from his hood, he hefts his sledgehammer back onto his shoulders and leans towards the Brujah to reply.

Jones says, "Yer Grace Apolo sir?" he states. "There are…Issues.. I have for you to talk with .. after court sometime, or later this eve?""

Devon whispers to Valdez, "I offered to do his laundry."

Freelance nods and stands. He quietly walks over and leans against the wall near where he was standing.

Auspex on Freelance notes:
«a little angry and a little confused»

And lo, there is a mighty lull in the conversation from the elders, who become silent contemplating things that are important. To someone. Somewhere.

Apolo, himself, slides off for a moment to have a private tet-a-tet with Jones.

Jones heads off to pulling a file out of his jacket. "The bodies have been bad.. but my theory has changed from multiple attackers…to a single attacker." he states as the move to the side.

Apolo leaves for the courtyard.
Apolo has left.

Jones leaves for the courtyard.
Jones has left.

An eyebrow quirks on Valdez, the Brujah's head moving back independent of his torso as he eyes Devon with a furrowed brow. And then he laughs. A loud, raucous laugh that breaks the tense silence left by the departing master of ceremonies.

Valdez whispers to Devon, "Si? You can wash the princely under things, senor? Or a more figuratively laundry?"

At cluster (): Freelance says, "Well, that didn't go well, for me."

At cluster (): Kusala pauses before saying, "did ya submit dat in writing t'Apolo befor Court?"

The young Nosferatu conversing with Valdez only offers a single shoulder shrug against the hammer on his neck in reply to the quiet inquiry. Devon adds a little further with a quirk of his brow, "Do I look like the house wife type to you?" Then lets the conversation go with a glance around the quieting auditorium. Brow elevated and face darkened by his hood.

Valdez at the very least 'appears' extremely amused by whatever Devon had said to him, and only brings his laughter under control as the man responds to his own whisper. Hands return to the Spaniard's hips, and he steps back to open up the space around them, his own gaze sweeping about to see who remains.

Auspex on Valdez notes:
«Tickled pink»

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