A Night at the Opera - RPLOG
A click of the beak, and Trace guides Sveta into the academy, towards the stage. Even though he hasn't spent quite as much as last time, he did make sure to get good seats, allowing the duo to properly see the stage and the going-ons. Right now, the duo is upheld in the lobby a moment longer, even as the troupe is busy setting up the stage and preparing their outfits.
Trace himself is dressed properly for the occasion, wearing the suit he showed up in before and smiling faintly towards Sveta as he moves towards the makeshift bar set up at the front. "A-anything to drink?"
Sveta is dressed in her usual gown of autumn colours, although she hasn't changed her gloves at all - they do seem to be fit for any occasion whatsoever. She comes in at Trace's side, one hand wrapped about the crook of the kite's arm, and glances towards the seats amidst the crowd, then at the stage. "No, thank you. It's better to enjoy the show with a clear head...although it was good that you managed to get some tickets before they left for Cliffside. It was in a couple of weeks, wasn't it?"
"I... I believe they're leaving next week, actually. And they offer juices as well, if you want?" he offers before looking at the stage with a click of his beak. Drink or not, after recieving Sveta's answer, he guides the goshawk through the crowd, smiling faintly and gently, almost with a spring in his step.
"I..." Sveta looks unsure a moment, then nods and walks up to the bar, ordering a mixed juice.
. Who knows, it might be the first time that anyone's seen her drink anything but iced water in public. With that, she returns to Trace and looks expectantly at their seats, hearing the first few notes of the orchestra warming up. "I hear they're performing "Swan Lake" today. It's supposed to have been handed down from the Creators - quite a piece, I hear, especially appropriate for the diva in question. Although I heard through the grapevine that there was some trouble when they first arrived in Firmament..."
A twitch from the kite, and he smiles lightly as he looks back to sveta, nodding momentarily. "I... I wouldn't know. I've only been here for a month, and the opera was already here when I got here, I think?" he mumbles as he takes his own seat, after she takes hers, of course, smiling faintly and twitching momentarily. "I... Admit, I have no idea what to expect," he mumbles.
"It's..."Sveta considers a moment as she takes her seat. "It's a way in which a story is told, or rather, sung, and accompanied by music. It's very popular in Thera'dor, so I hear. Those who compose the music and write the lyrics have to really work together to get the lyrics to fit together. You'll see once the curtains go up."
And in due time, and lights are dimmed, the curtains are drawn, and the actors take the stage while the orchestra begins with the opening. "Look, there's the swan lady. It's very common for the main female protagonist to be a soprano - that's a high-pitched female singer - although I'm not sure where the tradition got started."
Trace smiles faintly, offering a short twitch, even as he looks towards the stage, nodding along with Sveta's explaination. He sips a moment from his own drink, before smiling and leaning back again, simply watching the opening of the opera.
Again, he smiles, again, he nods along as the singing starts and the actors begin portraying the scene.
Sveta nods, leaning a little against Trace as the music gets started and the singing begins. "You know, half the time most folk don't even know what is being sung - it's usually either in some foreign language - or if it's been handed down from the Creators, the First Language. Yet they go there anyway, just to look cultured." She makes a gentle humming noise in her throat. "I suppose you're really interested...or just here for me? You can be honest, you know."
Trace nods and mumbles a moment. "I... I'm not sure. I mean, it's... Odd. Unlike things I've seen before, so... That makes it interesting, I suppose? Even so... I was hoping on... Well, spending a, erm... Fun evening together, erm... Out on the town, so to speak?" he offers hesitantly, before smiling a tad.
"Then it's a new experience," Sveta says, yawning a little. "I suppose I should be more interested in the things of my homeland, and used to know some of it, but I haven't been to one of these things in a long while. Never had the chance to when I was younger, and now...not so much time. It's hard to fall asleep during the performances sometimes, although it's quite rude.
"And look. I'm not sure if most folk can understand it, but the translation provided by the Church says that's the part where the Prince is upset that he can't marry for love. Ah, perhaps if he were a small noble of his House, perhaps..." she passes Trace a small pamphlet that was on her seat.
A nod, another smile. "A new experience," he copies, allowing Sveta to rest against his shoulder, even as he wraps an arm gently around hers, smiling faintly as he keeps looking at the stage. Truth be told, he didn't quite understand a word of what was being sung, but it didn't sound too bad, to be honest. Silently, he smiles down towards Sveta and nodding lightly as he looks into her eyes momentarily.
The opera continues to play out, telling the story of the Creator prince and the sorcerer who has transformed a number of their females into swans. Although if the result is the lady who's playing the female lead, it can't be all that bad, can it? The Creators must have had strange ideas about magic, considering there's no common spell that can do that...
Nevertheless, Sveta catches Trace's gaze, looks a little uneast, and hurriedly breaks off the eye contact by looking away, perhaps hoping for some pretext to rationalise away having done so.
Trace however, isn't saying much himself, silently looking away the moment Sveta does the same, looking away a little awkwardly and twitching lightly. Even so, he does occasionally glance back to try and see how much he screwed up...
Well, so far, she hasn't actually tried moving his arm from her shoulder, or removed her head from his', so it doesn't seem too bad yet.
Sveta says nothing, just sighs and leans her head further into Trace's feathers. "And they're finishing up the second act now. I wonder if there's going to be an intermission...didn't notice one in the pamphlet, but...the music is really nice."
Trace nods faintly and smiles down at Sveta, his hand moving along her shoulder momentarily, before leaning back and nodding faintly. "Says right here... We'll have an intermission at the end of this part," he mumbles, gesturing at a small schedule placed in an illogical part of the booklet.
The pause comes soon enough, and the group is moved towards the large hall again, for a thirty-minute break.
Meanwhile, on an arch above, a lone, black panther is silently observing the hall, almost as if trying to find a mark.
The panther smirks nastily as he catches sight of Sveta and Trace. He slinks down from the balcony and sidles up until he stands at the fiery goshawk's elbow opposite Trace. "Svetlana Kuznetsova, I presume?" he asks in a silky baritone, "Or are you going by Longtail now?" The black feline says the last with obvious distaste.
Sveta's gloved fingers tighten barely, both about Trace's arm and her other balled fist, her green eyes flicking this way and that, scanning the crowd for something. "And what does it mean to you?"
A mumble and a twitch as Trace stares at the feline. He seems... Uncertain and... Focused on something else, at the same time.
The kite simply observes the exchange, for now, gently pulling Sveta a little closer. "Friend of yours?" he asks with a raised brow, the intonation suggesting he means the inverse, of course.
The panther sneers at Trace, "None of your business, Feathers," he says before turning back to Sveta. "The REAL Longtails don't take kindly to pretenders," he hisses, "Your mad little 'High Lady'" he spits the words, "Won't get to enjoy her station long." He gives Sveta an indolent grin, "I suggest you get out of the way before you find yourself. . ." he pauses for a moment, as if trying to choose the right words, "standing in the way of progress. If you catch my meaning?" The panther licks his lips and shows his teeth. To call it a smile would be hopelessly kind.
"Is that a threat? Here? In public?" Sveta's face is completely straight. "I'd expected a gilded letter, at least. Well, at least you lot have confidence in your faculties. Still, you haven't told me anything any of us didn't know. You think I wouldn't imagine I'd be a target if I threw my lot in with her?
"Here's my suggestion as one flunky to another: you run back to whoever owns you and tell them to remember what happened the last time they made a move - and that we'll be ready for anything."
The panther snarls at Sveta's confident rebuttal then quickly composes himself, realizing that he is still in public. "You may feel safe," he says, returning to an even rumbling baritone, "But what about your little skunk friend, or even your neurotic leader?" The panther preens, "You can't protect your little 'company' from the long arm of the Longtails," he says, "Just get out while you can."
"I... I think it /is/ my business. And I... I would appreciate it if you would stop... Harassing my... My girlfriend," Trace mumbles, clicking his beak and puffing his chest up and pulling Sveta closer towards him, even as he draws a set of equations in the air. "Now... Unless you want to get hit by a spell that nearly killed another being in a single strike /while/ he was protecting himself... I suppose you... "Get out while you still can," Trace snaps back, while sparks jump between the fingers of his left hand.
Sveta looks back and forth between Trace and the Longtail. She clicks her beak a little uncertainly, tugging on the kite's arm, as if telling him not to do something he'll regret.
The Longtail panther smirks at Trace. "You are threatening me with deadly magic here? In a crowded hall?" he laughs as if he had just been told an amusing joke at a cocktail party, then ignores the bristling kite. "Just remember what I've said, Birdie," he says mockingly, turning to walk back into the crowd, "You've been warned."
A small smile, a nuzzle against Sveta as the Longtail stalks off, and trace allows the magic to disappate, even as he draws a... Simpler spell in the air. A few bright sparks surround the longtail, though leaving him decidedly unharmed, even though it forces his fur to stand on end from the large static charge that should deliver quite a nasty, painful shock the moment he touches anything that even remotely conducts electricity.
Sveta looks to Trace as the Longtail leaves. "You...you shouldn't have done that. Now you've just made yourself a target...and this is my personal business..."
She looks a lot more uncertain, although not quite at Trace levels.
The threatening panther has vanished from sight, but after a few moments a loud YOWL can be heard from somewhere in the direction of the stairs, followed by colorful cursing in a silky baritone. There is no time for another confrontations, however, as the lights briefly dim, signaling that the second half of the opera is about to begin!
Trace grins for a moment as he hears the yowl in the distance, before looking towards Sveta with a small, gentler smile. "I... I know I probably shouldn't've," he mumbles, before nuzzling his beak against hers just barely. "It... It would've been my business at some point, too... I... I mean, if you decide to keep me around that long."
"I...suppose so." Sveta slowly withdraws a little from Trace and looks away, wringing her fingers. "Let's just try to find our seats, all right? Enjoy the rest of the show? It's about to start at any moment, now."
As the curtain rises on the third act of the play, the scene has been changed to look like an elaborately decorated ballroom. The Prince from the first act seems to have been traded for another being entirely! Oh well, it's opera, right? As long as the songs get sung, who cares about consistency. According to the liner notes, this long, repetitive duet between the Prince and the Queen is an ultimatum from the Queen that the Prince must choose a bride tonight from among the ladies at the ball! After the duet, two lines of lovely dancers file in to dance with the prince. This must be why they switched actors! The new prince is a superb dancer! After the dancers finish their number, Rothbart, the evil wizard and his enchantress daughter appear at the side of the stage to outline their wicked plot to the audience. Can't the prince and the other dancers hear them?
A mumble, a small nod, and a smile as Trace guides Sveta to her seat, just in time for the duo to see the curtains rise... "I... That was my first successful lightning-spell... The... The sparks, I mean... And the shock the guy got afterwards, that is," he mutters after a moment, softly, to ensure the other members of the audience don't have to 'enjoy' his mumbling to Sveta.
Sveta settles back against Trace, her head finding its place on his shoulder once more. "Maybe I'm that magical. Who knows?" She sighs and turns her attention back to the opera. "You know, for once, I'd like to see some one write up a variant of the script where they have a happy ending. It's always bothered me, for some reason."
The Prince has spent the last several minutes doing a beautiful dance with the Enchanter's daughter. She is supposed to be identical to Odette, the heroine played by Zora, but the petite little goose's costume is the only thing that approximates the Prima Donna's appearance, and it is black instead of white. Magic maybe? The creators seem to have explained everything away with this "magic." After the dance, the prince drops to one knee and sings a powerful aria, that the program says is his confession of undying love to the false princess and a proposition of marriage!
After his aria, the big owl swoops in, condemning the prince's infidelity in a booming basso aria of his own. With a sweep of his wing and a bit of clever water math, a watery "mirror" springs up from the floor, wreathing Zora, who has slipped onto the stage! She weeps in the vision, knowing that her prince has betrayed her and that she is doomed to become a swan for all time! Since Zora is already a swan, it is hard to see why that is a problem, but it probably seemed more tragic to Creator audiences.
A nod, a mumble, a small smile, before Trace nuzzles gently against Sveta's head again, resting his own against hers. "Well, y'know, spending time with you does feel magical?" he mumbles after a moment of contemplation, smiling faintly and looking at the stage, watching the play... "Why... Why doesn't he see through such an obvious disguise? They got the colors all wrong, too."
Sveta chuckles. "It's not real, Trace. It's acting. Of course we as the audience have to know what's going on." She does look over the rest of the audience for any untoward movement, but there doesn't seem to be any. Maybe the fellow has given up.
The duped prince, the magician, Odette and the enchantress are well into a complex song about infidelity, trickery, eternal love and swans at this point. The prince moaning exactly the same question that Trace had asked! How could he have been tricked by such a cheap imitation!? As the song comes to a climactic end, the curtains close on the prince dashing away to be by his beloved Odette's side! His long feline tail sticking straight out behind him.
"S-sure, but even then... If you're disguising your daughter as a white swan... Why turn her into a black one?" Trace asks after a moment of contemplation, scratching his head. "I... I understand that the real Odille wasn't wearing an outfit like that, if the story is true, but..." Trace mumbles softly, brow raising as he watches the... Feline actor, silently drawing a few equations in the air besides his seat, although not actually casting anything, before he looks to Sveta.
"It's just an opera. Remember, half the time folks don't even understand what's being sung, what with it being in the Creator language as it is." She does look a little disturbed at the actors, though. Maybe something about them struck her as odd...but she can't figure things out. Best to just lean back and enjoy what's left of the show.
The curtain rises on the fourth and final act of the play. Zora, as Odette is standing on the shore of a moonlit lake, weeping over her fate. She sings a heartwrenching aria that the program says is her mourning that she shall never truly have the love that she so sought. Seigfreid, the prince, still played by the feline who had taken over in the last act bounds onto the stage, singing of his true, undying love for Odette, but as he tries to approach, the enchanter appears and demands that the prince fulfill his vows to his own daughter! There is a musical tug of war as the three voices ring through the hall, and the prince is forced to say a tearful goodbye to Odette as his word is his bond. Zora sings another tragic song of her fear of becoming a swan forever, declaring that she would rather die. The prince joins her in a soulful duet, then produces a glittering knife from within his princely clothes.
Zora falters a little, confusion evident on her features as she looks from the knife to her feline counterpart, but she keeps singing, doing her best to take this change in stride. The prince looks up into the audience, almost straight to where Sveta and Trace sit and declaims in perfectly understandable Sweetwater-ese, "Now my love! I save you from your fate!" before ramming the dagger into Odette's heart! A gasp ripples through the audience, but Zora rises from her swoon, clutching the dagger to her chest and singing one last aria before throwing herself into the lake and disappearing. The curtain starts to descend, with the enchanter looking vaguely confused and the prince staring out into the audience still. How strange.