005. Diplomacy

Obi-Wan Finale - The Loop


Sophia entertains a guest while the Kithain plan for Pennons, and a trip to Duke Granville's freehold is dramatically interrupted.

"Sometimes I sit down… and decide to win."

Over breakfast in The Exhaust, Sophia, Patches, and Braum continue to plan the logistics for Pennons the following week. After modestly downplaying her skills, Patches agrees to enter the markmanship competition, but not before helping Sophia temper her expectations of the celebration. Despite Talus' estimate that upwards of a hundred Kithain may attend, Patches' experience in architecture tells her that having multiple competition venues may be a bit ambitious.

Later on, Sophia's acquaintance arrives at the freehold: Marnie, a young Selkie from Halifax, is one of the "experts" in chimera that Sophia had reached out to. She gives Patches a signal that she works for the Grand Bes Din, and approaches Braum with great reverence. When she takes his hands, he suffers a long flashback of a woman's voice, garbled with the sound of rushing water. Braum takes his leave to try to process this new memory as Sophia invites Marnie out to the garden.

Kyoko shuffles into The Exhaust and sits down with Patches. She tells the nocker that there are hidden power lines through the garden, which should be useful for setting up for Pennons. The two share a few jokes, including some more risqué than others, although the pooka makes a point of letting Patches know that Zistor rarely wanted people to have fun at The Spark… unlike what the new freeholders seem to have planned.

In the garden, Sophia plies Marnie for information about chimera, hiding her true interest in dragons behind a half-truth about her father's fantasy writing. The selkie tells Sophia that dragons are generally found in the Near or Far Dreaming, as their incursion into the Autumn world would be punished quickly by most Kithain. They are not known as terribly social creatures, and are generally divided into "metallic" dragons and "chromatic" dragons, the latter being seen as particularly aggressive. She is quick to caution Sophia that tales of the beasts vary from region to region, and that each creature is unique; Sophia is intrigued, but disappointed to not learn anything particularly pertinent to Little One.

In his office, Braum is at a loss for how Marnie might have triggered a flashback if they had never met. Turning his attention to the information gathered by Kyoko about the assailants from several weeks before, their car seems to be registered to an "Engineers' Club" on McGill's campus, although further research turns up no further leads. Heading down to the dungeon to feed Little One, he is surprised to discover her trying to escape up the elevator. The dragon is very upset, looking up towards The Exhaust and crying out, shooting out small tendrils of frost when Braum tries to show her drawings of full-grown dragons.

On his way back up to The Exhaust, Braum catches a glimpse of Marnie and has a much clearer flashback. The sound of running water under a woman's voice, telling Braum to "stop thinking about what's right and start thinking about what's just. Forget [High King] David and [Queen] Laurel; F*** the Dreaming! Aren't you tired of people telling us what to do? … Blood for blood." Braum is bowled over by the memory, and questions Laurel about her travel and their relationship on their way to the lobby. It would seem, though, that she doesn't know Braum personally, and he leaves her, still without answers.

On their way out together to Duke Graville's freehold, Heart's Light, Sophia asks Braum what his memory was of. He tells Sophia and Patches that it would seem a woman had him abandon everything he stood for, but that he can't possibly figure out the connection between the voice and Marnie. As they drive towards the Duke's freehold, a childling slaugh suddenly leaps out in front of the car, fleeing something. The trio look up as a huge shadow covers Patches' car: a massive dark green dragon lets out a roar, swooping down on them!

Thinking quickly, Patches slams the car into reverse, getting them to Heart's Light in the nick of time. The dragon lands in a field in front of the building, blasting a chunk of the lawn with acid. Sophia frantically dials Marnie, looking for advice, just as the selkie gets out of a cab in front of the dragon. Rushing through the freehold to the back for a better angle, the trio bump into a pair of Arcadian sidhe sealing the doors: Kenwyn ap Ailil practically spits on Patches as Manndah takes her up to the ramparts for a better view. Braum strides out into the field, hoping to scare the dragon off, but without a specific plan. The Duke himself arrives on the ramparts with Patches, setting up a scope and lying down, offering to spot for her as the Nocker unlocks her lightning gun. Approaching the dragon, still focused on Marnie, Sophia catches up with Braum in the nick of time, telling him to not attack the beast. Instead, she reaches down slowly and, touching the ground, causes nettles, flowers, and vines to shoot out of the lawn at the beast's feet. Braum hurls a large boulder to the west so that the dragon turns its head towards the freehold: the Duke calls the shot for Patches as the nocker blasts the dragon's eye with a bolt of lightning. Startled, the dragon flies off to the west. Thanking the three profusely for their aid in sending the chimera packing, the Duke agrees to attend The Spark's celebration and award Pennons to the winners, just as he asks Braum to escort Kenwyn from the freehold….

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