A Ringing Report - RPLOG
Hugo Snowmane is leaning on the balcony of the second storey of the old mansion, looking out over the noble district of Firmament. "I find that I prefer the mountain air," the lion says to no one, not turning around, "But one must make sacrifices for the cause, I suppose."
"And how does your work for the cause stand, then? Have you procured the items on your... Shopping list?" Katrina rumbles, wearing a simple, if fine outfit, silken, nothing like the outfit she usually wears when out on her daily routine. From a distance, she might even pass for a 'proper' lady, even to Hugo. Up close, of course, it becomes apparent that the outfit has been modified for convenience, still fine for high society, although it's not going to be the talk of the town at any rate.
Never too far away from Katrina, Terry listens to the conversation in silence for the time being. The small feline was once again wearing his finely tailored suit, the one Katrina had made for him with his own ill-gotten lucre. As always when in Hugo's presence he's trying extra hard to look presentable and proper, standing straight without slouching, tail gently swaying behind him without flitting improperly. His ears perk up as Katrina mentions the 'shopping list', and his curiosity as he looks over towards Lord Hugo is not at all hidden.
"If your spies are worth their salt, dear niece," Hugo says, finally turning around, "You are already quite aware that my attempts to purchase those lovely bits of history were rebuffed by the owner of LongTech." The lion tosses his snowy mane irritably, and twitches his over long tail over his arm as he gestures to the other felines to sit at the little table on the balcony where tea has been set. "As for the other items on the list," he growls, "Yes, it is all done." He eyes Katrina's outfit with grudging approval. "Better than usual kitten," he says, "Though you really COULD wear a real dress from time to time."
"I prefer this. It is fashionable enough, and it allows me to strike quickly, should the need arises," she notes, making a quick arm-movement to reveal a dagger, which is then quickly tucked away again. "Let alone the fact that it is simply impossible to move easily in a 'real' dress, as you say. Those suits the lords wear are terrible enough as-is," she comments idly, before nodding. "I am aware, yes. And your opinion on the... Lady?" she notes, a clear hint of disdain for the lady in question audible in her words.
"And Terry? Next time you go out on your own, inform me first, hmm? I hope you were at least... Successful?"
Terry can't hide a bit of a smirk at Katrina's words. He clears his throat to recompose himself, then steps forward. "My apologies, 'maam. I will." He smiles. "I was indeed, 'maam. It wasn't easy, but it got done nice and quick. Quiet in and out, no alarms raised." He steps towards Lord Hugo while reaching into the breast pocket of his coat to retrieve a cloth pouch. He undoes the fastenings, then opens it in his hands enough that the contents inside would be visible to someone looking at it from close enough. He holds it out to Lord Hugo, letting him see the rings inside.
"I confess to being rather. . . disappointed in the High Lady," Hugo says, "She has even less sense of decorum than you do, Katrina. Honestly, she arrived to our meeting wearing factory clothes! Like some kind of peasant!" He frowns hard when Katrina calls on Terry, but he turns to see what the young feline has. He sighs when he sees the rings and reaches out to take the pouch from the ocelot's hands. "I see," he says, "So I was only an unlikely plan A." He pats Terry on the head with a heavy paw. "Well done, young man," he says, "I see that my niece is training you well." Despite the words of praise, there is a distinct undertone of disappointment in his words.
"Not quite. The 'Lady' has an unstable financial position. Given her visible lack of... Decorum, there was a reasonable chance your attempt would've been successful. And it's easier for the family to risk a few crown than to risk a few people, after all," Katrina notes, before gesturing Terry back. "However, it is precisely these cases that we need to employ people for. Our methods need to evolve beyond intrigue and assassination. Sometimes, we have to go lower to reach higher," Katrina notes, shaking her head lightly.
"And we cannot simply hire for that purpose. We need to control our thieves and thugs, to make sure they do not tarnish our name. And Terry? The rings, please. I will make sure the true Lady recieves hers."
Terry smiles as Hugo pats him in the head, but his tail stops its lazy swaying as he gets that hint of disappointment from him. He doesn't get long to linger on the thought as Katrina requests the rings. He nods. "Yes 'maam." He says before turning his attention back to Lord Hugo, extending his hand out to receive the pouch from him when he's done with it.
Hugo opens the pouch, turning it back and forth to let the light touch the two rings. "Yes," he says, "The family has certainly evolved." He gently pulls the drawstrings on the pouch and returns it to Terry to pass along to Katrina. "I see much of your father in you, dear niece," he says, a touch of a northern accent showing, "and I am not sure how much of that I like." The lion takes a seat, since it seems tat his guests are not likely to sit first, and pours tea into three fine cups of bone china. "Please," he rumbles, "Sit."
"Of course," Katrina notes as she puts the pouch away, her tail flicking lightly, and her ears twitching. "The family has always lived in the shadows, right from the start. And if we want to survive, we have to adapt. I do understand your concerns, and, to a degree, share them," she notes, pushing a chair besides herself out of the way for Terry to seat himself as well.
Terry passes the pouch from one to the other, smiling politely at Katrina before accepting the seat. He takes his teacup and sips quietly as he regards the two. "Uncle Hugo. Now that you have the ring, what will you do next?" He asks, his tail once again flicking curiously. "And.. uhm.. can I help in any way?"
Hugo sips genteely at his tea and considers Terry. "Perhaps, Mister Terry," he says, "I have a number of family investments around the area that require my personal attention. I could use a valet while I travel." He sets his teacup down and runs his fingers through his mane. "You might even learn a thing or two," he says, "That is, if your mentor sees fit to allow you to accompany me."
"I have some things planned, but nothing exceptional time-critical. A few more things this week, of course. When do you intend to leave, Hugo?" the she-cat questions after a moment of contemplation, her tail twitching lazily behind her as she looks back to Terry, seemingly contemplating a thing or two, and flicking her ears. "If he does join you, though, Hugo, I expect you to provide him with a few specific lessons."
Terry smiles at Hugo, nodding quickly at his words. "I'd be honored to, Uncle Hogo!" He looks at Katarina to seek permission from her, and smiles as she gives implicit consent by asking for the specific lessons. His ears perk curiously, his tailtip flitting left and right quickly.
"Soon," Hugo answers, "I have that business with the Lockedjaws that needs addressing. I don't want to leave that any longer than necessary. Lest they get. . . above themselves." He takes another sip at his tea, allowing his long tail to droop from his arm and to sway gently behind his chair. "What lessons did you have in mind, Kitten?" he asks.
"Some simple things. I expect you to take him along to your meetings, of course. It helps if he can read the faces, expressions, and body language of beings from other locales and stations in life as well, of course. Perhaps get him started on shadow-speak," Katrina notes, her tail flicking lightly behind her as she looks back to Terry. "Nothing you consider... Irreputable. I will handle such things, for as far as they're necessary."
Terry looks between the two, his tail still flitting curiously. He blinks at one specific pair of words from Katrina, 'shadow-speak', but doesn't dare to interrupt them to ask. He takes another sip from his tea, once again trying to mimic Hugo's posture and disposition.
"Very well," Hugo says, "Though I am hardly suited to teaching that bizarre telepathy to anyone. I don't even know how it works myself." He looks at Terry, specifically at his chest. "You have a soul pendant hidden under there?" he asks, "I am afraid that this particular skill belongs only to the 'Gifted,' as has become the popular nomenclature." The lion reaches under his cravat to pull out a small, but ornate soul pendant. "Best to keep it hidden usually," he says, "As it makes some of our business partners uncomfortable, but useful all the same."
"Would I ask if he didn't? And while I know you don't know how it works, you are, in general, better at explaining forms of communication. You were the one who taught me sign, after all," she notes, signing the words along as she speaks them. "Another skill Terry will need to acquire, of course," she continues, ears flicking lightly. "Besides that, I of course expect you to teach him a thing or two about your... Day-job. Always useful to have some varied knowledge."
Terry instinctively reaches for his breast, touching his soul pendant through his suit. He nods at Hugo's words. "Yes Uncle Hugo. I try to keep it hidden. Mostly because.. uhm.. I'd rather not have it stolen from me." He offers a weak smile. The former street urchin certainly had to defend his pendant from being taken in such a way several times before. "Oh, which day job is this, Uncle Hugo?" He can't imagine what else Lord Hugo would do, having only ever met him in his residence, at rest.
Hugo tucks his own soul pendant away beneath his clothes and nods to Terry. "I have a scheduled meeting with my Lockedjaw contact later this week, if you can be available? It will require a little travel, since he bases his operations out near Aurumrock. Have you ever been?" The question seems to be directed at both Katrina and Terry.
"Good. I believe Terry can be there. How long will my mentorship be on hold?" Katrina questions with a raised brow, before looking in the general direction of Aurumrock. "It's been a while for me. So unless Terry has visited the place on his own at some point..." she concludes, before shaking her head. "Oh, and Hugo? Mind teaching the boy some water magic while you're out there, or at the very least, try to? We're in the process of finding where his magical talents lie, so I cannot guarantee success. Basic knowledge is always a useful thing to have, though."
Terry shakes his head. "I have not been there Uncle Hugo." He pauses, then shamefully admits. "I've not left Firmament yet." He quickly perks up, that smile returning. "But it will be nice to go out there and see more of the world!" He listens i some more, then pauses. "Magic, 'maam?" He looks incredulous. "I.. I would love to learn magic, if it were at all possible. I will do my best if the opportunity is afforded to me."
Hugo nods and takes a small biscuit from a tin. "Yes," he says, "I imagine there will be ample opportunity to practice a bit of water magic. It is an island, after all. And I imagine there will be opportunities for all sorts of education while working with that clan of Gators."
"It -has- been a while since your hunting-trip, I suppose. That was a little foray into air-magic, Terry. To control the winds, you need to be able to steer the winds. And to stear the winds, you need to be able to read them," Katrina explains with a smile under her mask, before flicking her ears. "That's settled then. Until thursday-evening, you'll be spending more time with me, Terry. Friday and the weekend are going to be spent with uncle Hugo.
Terry nods quickly at Katrina. "I remember the hunting trip, 'maam. I don't think I managed to achieve much.. other than felling that stag with Mister Donovan. And that was mostly his doing." He nods again. "Yes 'maam!" He smiles at Hugo. "Looking forward to it Uncle Hugo. Thank you for allowing me to come along."
Hugo smiles a bit at the mention of Donovan. "Now there is a fine young man!" he says, "I don't know what you have against Donovan, kitten, but he is impressive." The lion pushes his cup and saucer away and waves for a servant to take away the tea things. "Friday?" he snorts, "Honestly, who does business on the weekend?" He sighs. "But very well."
"Monday as well, of course," the she-cat notes, her ears flicking just faintly. "As for Donnovan... He has decorum, but no class, tact OR manners," the she-cat notes, her eyes cast between Terry and Hugo. "In either case... Anything else you'd like to discuss, Hugo? I will send someone over to retrieve your purchases, of course. Just make sure they can find them."
Terry simply looks between the two as he sips the remainder of his tea. He smirks to suppress a giggle at Katrina's description of Donovan, but doesn't add any comment of his own.
"They will be at the usual drop," Hugo says, standing from the table, "I believe that it is time for my afternoon constitutional. You are, of course welcome to join me, if you like." He turns his attention to Terry. "And well done on meeting your mentor's expectations," he says, "Sneaking into the Longtail compound is no mean feat."
"Very well. Terry, follow me. We'll be taking care of some business," Katrina rumbles, before tossing a small pouch Hugo's way. "Payment for services rendered, of course. And these are yours, Terry," she notes, holding up a small pouch, before putting it away. "Don't worry. They already serve a purpose. One I think you will enjoy," the she-cat notes, smiling as she gestures for the ocelot to follow.