2019-06-18 - Maybe a Sack of Cats?


Ambrose takes a moment to ask Sif about Loki. Somehow, he's invited to tell tales of his own exploits over drinks, even if he's a jerk!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jun 18 04:19:40 2019
Location: Asgardian Embassy - Residential Floors

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Sif all but bodily drags Ambrose out of Darcy's room, down the stairs and back to the Embassy lobby, where he's signed in as a visitor before she leads him to a study on the second floor of the brownstone. The room has been updated, of course, but still has one wall lined floor to ceiling with books.

"Did you have a purpose for seeking me out today, Ambrose?"

It won't take long for Sif to realize that the pins-and-needles invading the palm of her hand has something to do with the Jackal's blood-curse of the Bane. Asgardian life-force is achingly pure, like the highest grade of vodka, and leaves Ambrose's pupils fluttering a bit wider. They flash carmine in sections of odd interior lighting, but he otherwise controls himself and forces the Bane back down into his bones. It growls with the same saurian temper as a submerged crocodile, but nips at Sif no further.

Still…even if he has to sign in, it's a wisdom — those Einherjar swords look like nothing to tangle with. He follows behind Sif with a slower pace nearing disrespectful. Once in the study room, however, he places his hands behind his back and begins wandering about it.

"You presume that I have a purpose for following you, milady Sif. I could be simply bored and have sighted a familiar face amidst the many that fill this city. Do you know the laud of my having ascended this abode and entered as I did?" he asks her as he turns in place, giving her a charming smile, dimples and all.

Sif had not actually equated the pins and needles sensation in her hand with Ambrose in any way, so as she sits on the edge of a lounger in the study, she absently rubs her palm against the leg of her jeans.

"I am beginning to think I should forbid you from associating with Loki, as prone as you seem to be at behaving in a similar manner. I will inform the Einherjar of how you entered the grounds so that the wards and protections can be improved." She considers for a moment. "And then you can perhaps return and test said improvements." Though, she did say 'wards'.

"Puh…wards," the Jackal grumbles. It's tell enough that he knows better than to test this type of magical defenses. Wards, after all, kicked him on the path to his current cursed state over a century ago. He rolls his eyes and puts his hands on his hips. Rather than looking dead at Sif, he stares off to one side.

A hard sigh. "Tell me what you know of your Prince Loki." Ambrose squints at Sif, almost as if she were partially to blame for his actions. "I was recently privy to the man doing exceptionally foolhardy things. His mind is akin to a sack of cats."

Sif looks about to ask Ambrose why he wants to know, but she stops and looks honestly baffled. After a second, nope. Still can't parse it.

"What do you mean by," she anunciates this last phrase slowly, as if she isn't sure she understood it correctly, "sack of cats?"

Ambrose's dark eyebrows meet. "You…" He wanders over a step closer, hand lifted with a finger pointed. It dips towards Sif. "…you're unaware of the phrase 'sack of cats'?" He blinks, straightening in surprise as he pauses next to a reading chair. Leaning on it, he scratches at his jawline absently.

"It is an idiom pertaining to the mental state of someone. I would say it's akin to…unpredictability with a flare-up now and then of questionable decision-making," he decides, glancing up at her again.

Sif looks at Ambrose with absolutely zero guile in her expression. "That is a phrase I have not used heard before. Though, from your explanation, it seems a rather accurate description of Prince Loki. He has long been known to be … unpredictable." She's careful not to use the word chaotic, as it seems to resonate differently with Midgardians.

"What manner of questionable decision-making was he displaying?"

Given that Loki never explicitly told him not to tell what exactly happened in the Otherworldly veil of the Old Fae…

…but the guy really is a sack of cats, and from what Ambrose observed, far stronger than he alongside a knowledge of witchcraft unparalleled in his experience…

"It isn't my place to share his highness's exploits, but do know that I would have perhaps brought more helping hands if I had been in charge of the escapade," Ambrose replies diplomatically from where he leans on the reading chair.

Sif's expression is again, as clear as reading a billboard — she truly has NO poker face whatsoever — and she is confused as to why he'd ask advice about Loki and then not explain WHY. But, it's an honorable person that keeps a confidence for another.

"If the expedition could have used another warrior or two, why did—" she holds up a hand as she stops herself. "Prince Loki had his reasons, no doubt."

"If I am being entirely honest, milady, I have no ruddy idea why he took so few hands. Clearly we surmounted the difficulty at hand and survived to tell the tale, but…" His voice fades out. Ambrose grimaces as if suddenly uncomfortable, or remembering something as such, and he briefly scrunches his face.

This wards away the worst of it. He still can't look at Sif dead in the face just yet. "All's well that ends well. Here I stand, in such admirable company." Now, he tries again to gift Sif with a charming smile, even if it's bruised in his eyes.

Sif may seem strangely guileless most of the time, but she is by no means dim-witted or slow on the uptake. Inwardly, she can't help but think that the whole situation sounds so terribly like Loki — still so determined to prove himself to others that he puts himself in unnecessarily dangerous situations.

And then Ambrose tries THAT smile at her. Having seen some of Loki's best fake smiles, this one is blatantly only as deep as the muscles in his face.

"What about this concerns you so deeply, Ambrose?"


Damn, damn, and drat.

The Jackal looks askance again as he weighs his own secrets against revelation. Then again… "You are a warrior, milady Sif," Ambrose begins quietly before he gestures in a circling motion between them, as if to jog his own words. "A fighter. You have no doubt lost others in the tide of battle, in…clashes between your own forces and the enemy. The witchcract of the Fae is…merciless and cruel." He reveals gritted teeth briefly in a twitch almost canine before he closes his lips again. "I saw a lost one. Someone I had lost long ago. She was used again me as a weapon and…it is not the first time."

He rubs his palms along the hem of his shirt to his pants as if they'd gone sweaty. "In the planes of Hell that we visited, for…for the bow. At the bridge. She was there as well. I was better able to resist her that time, but this recent time, she…" He curses in Farsi — clear as day to anyone with AllSpeak — and grips up a large handful of his shirt. "His highness's life was at risk."

Ah — it's not only a passing cloud of grief, but bruised honor as well.

Sif ahs and nods. "The Fae are known to be dishonorable in that manner, using the wounds of a warrior's mind against them." She seems to study Ambrose's sudden fidgetiness. "You are not a warrior, or at least you were not trained to be. That makes battles of the sort against Fae even more perilous. That you overcame their mind tricks to defend Prince Loki speaks extremely highly of your honor and strength of character." She would set a hand on his arm in reassurance if he weren't on his feet and prone to pacing about.

"There is no dishonor in still being affected."

"Being affected is a ruddy disservice to me," Ambrose fires back under his breath, not growling at Sif so much as at the entire situation. His eyes rise to hold hers and his emotion is high enough that carmine-red color flickers through his pupils. " — and I am a warrior, milady Sif, though not in the vein of your people, but rather my own. I am…"

He scoffs and then laughs, sounding displeased. "I am unorthodox in my methods, yes, but taking lives? I would not think twice of it but for mine own honor and the calling of my beloved. I have shed enough blood to rue it now, a century later." Realizing he's gone off on a bit of a defensive tangent, he sucks one canine tooth visibly and seems to calm himself with effort.

"You are still kind, milady Sif. Thank you," he adds more quietly.

Clearly, Midgardian warriors are of a much wider variety than on Asgard. "My apologies," Sif offers. "I tend to forget that Aesir warriors are not the only sorts in existence. Know that I count you amongst those with as much honor as any warrior from Asgard." And more than some, though she very much keeps that thought to herself.

"Would you be willing to tell me of this beloved for whom you have killed…" her voice trails off as something occurs to her. She's been told that very few Midgardians live to see a century, and yet Ambrose appears about as young as she does.

Again, her thoughts are written clearly across her face so it should be little surprise when she asks, "May I ask how old you are, Ambrose?"

The Jackal lifts a hand briefly and lets it fall again. "It is fine, milady. Thank you for your accounting." Still, the way her line of thought falters off is at first, a relief from the results of a tongue slipped in ire, but then a rue in how she's smart as a whip. Ambrose is so used to the mundane shrugging away the claimed amount of time passed. The way he sneers to himself, looking back towards the doorway at the distant sounds from downstairs — all proof he's a wee bit embarrassed.

"I believe I may be candid with you. I am one-hundred and thirty-nine, milady, due to the curse on my person. I appear to be no more than thirty at most, I know. It is…a lie. A boon." He shrugs. Trying again for a disarming smile, he adds, "No doubt you are in the flower of your youth, milady."

"I will admit that I am not sure how to estimate Midgardian ages. I am two thousand nine hundred eighty five years old, as Midgardians count years. Had I not been told upon arriving here that Midgardians rarely see more than ninety years, I would not have thought your age to be in any way significant. But now I see that is quite noteworthy."

She considers for a moment, and decides to ask again, but this time in a less demanding way.

"When you feel you can, would you be willing to tell me of some of your adventures? Tales of a warrior's trials and triumphs are highly regarded on Asgard."

Hanging mouths catch flies — at least, that's what his mother told him a very long time ago. Ambrose closes his mouth after another second. The age of the woman before him very much belies her appearance. Very, VERY MUCH. She was…she was a babe when… His artifacts: she was alive when the culture who made these came into existence.

It's boggling.

"Um." Ambrose's mouth works once before he nods. "Yes, milady, I will…will tell you of some of my adventures. You will, I think, have to set your parameters. A good handful of them are not for polite talk over the table, if you will. Would you rather I returned here to tell you of them…?" He seems almost hesitant to ask this. After all, this is someone who hasn't flinched at the Bane, even after it nibbled on Sif.

"If there is another place where you would feel more at ease, I am happy to meet you there. Perhaps I can see about bringing an Aesir dish? Though, from what I've discovered thus far, the variety of foods on Midgard are nearly endless in comparison."

And, she's pretty sure she can't get a bilgesnipe haunch brought from Asgard.

"Ah. I cannot think of any place better suited to discussions that we may have as warriors than here in the Embassy, milady," the Jackal replies, gesturing between her and himself. "Allow me to bring the appropriate dish. If you've a favorite, by all means, tell me. Next I visit — "

Ambrose grins, this time true enough that it winks in his cerulean-blue eyes, " — I shall bring the dish as well as my bevy of tales with which to regale you. Please, name the day and time and I shall attend. You understand that I expect a few of your own in turn? 'Tis only fair." The Asgardian has successfully shaken most of the gloom from him now.

Seeing that Ambrose's mood has lightened again, can only smile when he does. "Agreed. We can sit in the garden on the roof and regale each other with tales of our victories." She picks a day and time, not too terribly soon, as if wanting to not make it seem like she's overly eager to hear these tales.

"And now we have something to anticipate."

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