2020-02-20 - It's All In The Hips


Stopping in Patna, Ambrose meets up with an old 'friend'.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Feb 20 07:42:32 2020
Location: Nepal

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Patna is a city of about two million people. Which is to say it's large, but not that big for India, which boasts the most densly populated metropolitan area on planet earth. The outskirts of the city are desperately poor as is often the case with these kinds of things in India. It's late afternoon and the streets are close to deserted. That's unusual. Normally there would be commerce and traffic and noise and…

Well. It looks like a ghost town. There are CLEARLY people about, but they don't go out if they can help it and they don't stay out for long when they do.

Fenris is walking down one of the streets, hands in pocket. He looks about. He could use something to eat. And he's looking for Astryd. And Ambrose.

Long ago, Ambrose left the Empire of India behind. Returning is…like hearing a song and knowing the lyrics are on the tip of your tongue — scenting some spice in the air and knowing you've tasted it before but not in what dish — sitting down at the piano and setting fingers to the chords, but having to painfully work through them before the music comes into being.

Returning also means watching every shadow for the off-chance of any sort of recognition in return. Ambrose makes every effort to look as if he's just passing through, a swiftly-walking foreigner in a near-duster-length coat and gloves, scarf wrapped several times about his neck, and stocking cat pulled down over his ears. He watches the street he walks on the outskirts from beneath his brows, through his lashes, and tries very hard to keep the Bane's glow from his pupils. It's difficult with the amount of nerves tingling in his body. He swears he's being watched and it makes his stomach knot. Surely he fails; a glance of light at the right angle likely gleams through his pupils like nightshine.

He too is searching for Fenris and knows that their meet-point was somewhere around this section of the housing. A dog barks. He nearly jumps out of his skin and glances back to see one of the local curs telling him off but not following him. A sneer from the Jackal and he continues on, each breath seen in the low light. Finally spotting Fenris as a familiar face, he waits until he's within hailing distance to call out, still quietly, "It is a veritable graveyard."

Cuan has made himself scarce for the moment. Huge wolves in cities like this aren't appreciated. It's Astryd that finds Fenris, not quite as pale as she had been a day or two before but certainly wrapped in a fur lined coat with the hood, trimmed with the same fur, over her head. "Is it you keeping the good folk from the streets, my heart?"

The blonde turns steely grey eyes on Ambrose "I trust you got the package we delivered?"

She doesn't say much about her journey, at least not yet.

"Normally I would say yes, Astryd, but today I do not think so. Come…" Fenris turns in to a small, mostly empty place with a few traditional tandoors in the back. They're cooking chicken here, He can smell it. And Naan. Mmmmmm Naan. That is probably for people like Fenris and Ambrose who associate naan with India, because here the local bread is a roti and it isn't cooked in a tandoor.

Still, it smells good. This place would probably be doing good business ordinarily but now only a few sullen locals glance up as Fenris seats them.

"This place is sick. It doesn't smell sick but it feels sick. And people are scared. Have you two found anything? And Astryd did you find what you were looking for?"

Upon seeing Astryd also arriving, the Jackal nods to her. Still inclined to glance around them leerily, he replies sotto-voce once he's close enough to their grouping to be heard, "The package was received and is safely sequestered. He works to if he can counter the tracking as we speak. It might not work for myself, but if he can travel without suspicion or eyes upon him, it behooves us. His masters at Shambhala may have wisdom dearly needed."

A darkly-clad shadow to the Raven and Dread Wolf, Ambrose follows them into the place and seats himself where he's got an optimal field of vision including all entrances as well as windows. Something still itches up the back of his neck like spider's feet and even within the walls of a building, it doesn't cease. He swallows thickly as he sits, armed tightly folded, visibly uncomfortable.

"I've something of note," he volunteers even as he leans in, elbows now on the table. Looking between Astryd and Fenris, he continues in that crisp, quiet volume. "I passed two gentlemen who bore the same tattoos as the cult I was once part of in my brief foray here. Thugee," he says on a breath, as if to say it any louder might summon the very cult members. "They did not recognize me and for the better; if they had, it would mean I remained known even after nearly a century."

Astryd frowns as Fenris denies being responsible. It's a thoughtful frown as well as worried. "Hungry again? Or still." It's a constant challenge making sure the God Wolf has eaten enough. She never seems to be able to do that - and he's constantly seeking food out whereever they are.

"I found two of what I was looking for. One has been delivered safely to Ambrose. The other …" she sighs "… I don't think highly of your children by Lunar. Your Daughter thinks very highly of herself and that's going to be a problem." It has nothing to do with being called a birb either.

"Kamduis said that Gurim was experimenting. A sickness of the mind, and I might say the heart." Which might explain why they're seeing what they are here.

"Is … that so…" The news that Ambrose delivers gets a raise of her pale brow as she unbuttons the coat and waits for Fenris to help her with it. Old world charm and all that.

"Thugee." Fenris mutters. "That's a name I've not heard in a bit. Then again India never really was in my line of travel except a few times." Really, Fenris first visited the place when Greeks and Persians vied with the locals for influence. And he did not stay long.

Fenris does take the coat and drape it over the back of the (plastic) chair. "Kamduis? She is quite talented. Or was, as I remember. I've not seen her since the destruction of the home we had made. I take it that your conversation with her left something to be desired?" How much of that was Astryd's doing he wonders.

"I've been sniffing around myself. There are three large groups within the city, it seems. One that controls city hall and the police, one that seems to include most of the business and religious leaders and one that seems to consist of most of the city's influential criminals. Everyone in these little factions seems to be infected. And that's a good… third of the city, at a guess and based on how people are talking."

That's six hundred THOUSAND people infected. "If the Thugee are reappearing I wonder if it is true that Kali is infected and has started that cult." Of course it needn't be that. It might have cropped up on its own. Infectious madness and all that.

A quiet sigh very nearly burring into a growl leaves Ambrose to hear the sheer volume of people potentially affected. Nimble fingers wrapped in finest kidskin gloves rise off his bicep to rub at one temple even as he lids his eyes aimed out the window, as if averting his glare might somehow spare Astryd and Fenris from something.

"While I respect uneven odds, that is truly against our favor," he mutters of the Dread Wolf's guess at city-folk infected. "And be careful of saying her name, Fenris." His Bane-lit eyes flicker back to the other man. "I have not yet said it myself because…I am truly concerned she might hear it. While I might be thought dead by the cult members due to old age, I was…" He allows himself a thin, sickly smile full of rue. "…masterful at fulfilling my membership duties." It's a sad, sad crack at the whole affair. "I was assured by one of the priests that she was aware of me nearly ninety years ago. That is no time at all for a goddess, yes?"

His gaze flicks to Astryd. "Though I forget myself: thank you, Astryd, for delivering him, and for fielding this Kamduis with aplomb. I dare not think what might have happened otherwise."

There was probably something of Astryd in the issue with Kamduis, but Cuan might back the blonde up should Fenris ask. "So she said, my heart. We will speak, you and I, about some of the things she said but beware, she fancies herself a Goddess of Death - or to become one, at any rate."

That had left Astryd rather uneasy and that feeling hadn't left her.

"Tell me of this cult, Ambrose. I'm not sure Ka—-, she has started it again, to be honest. I have an inkling that Gurim Ur might be using this to his advantage. The Dire Wolf is most interested in finding you, Ambrose. For Gurim or otherwise, I can't say."

"You're welcome, by the way. I'm not sure I handled Kamduis with that much aplomb."

"God of Death?" Fenris chuckles. Dog of Death would be slightly more like it but he does not say that. At Dire Wolf's name though Fenris growls. So, there's the three of them again. Huzuruth, Hathis and Gurim. The three that fought him so many centuries ago. And they're all here. All working if not together than in the same general direction. They've had time to grow. To learn. But then, so has he.

"Did you speak with Huzurth, Astryd, or did you find out by some other means?"

Fenris drums his fingers on the table, thinking. "Yes. Six hundred thousand people is a bit weighted against us. Not even I would care to face that many mortals at the same time in the same place." And Fenris could only do that by means of mass slaughter to begin with. "It is not much time by her standards no. I shouldn't be surprised if she has not forgotten you. Do you have any sense of where these Thugee might be meeting or what their goals are? If we are to tackle this problem I should like to do it without a crazed death goddess stalking us. Or specifically… you."

So comforting, the Old Wolf is.

"Were there a manner to masking me from a goddess, I assure you both, it would have already been placed in effect." Ambrose still continues rubbing at one temple, his eyes aimed now back out the window to the street. It remains eerily empty of people as a whole, though someone rides by on a bike with groceries slung over his shoulder and a small group of women walk young children in a tight grouping, their pace quick and nervous. "I doubt the ring will allow such a thing," he adds, feeling its weight in his coat pocket, small as it is. "But you asked about the cult, Astryd." A short sigh and he sucks on a canine tooth visibly for a second.

"It was…" The Jackal squints at nothing. "…not but five years after I'd left Shanghai when I came across them — men who sported the same tattoo, a specific sigil connected to that particular goddess. I had just made due sport of a small group of ruffians intent on robbing me blind." His smirk showcases that gleaming canine. "They did not succeed and paid dearly. I was invited and…needless to say, what the cult offered was a purging of pain through the art of death — a defeat of ennui and a lancing of the grief I was carrying in my heart — a manner of striking back at an unfair world. At the time, their goals were to recruit members and to lay low those who would oppose them." Ambrose's eyes heavily lid now, his present fogged with memory. "The priests believed prayers and supplication would empower their goddess, as would death in her name. I was…an excellent acolyte," the Jackal breathes, and feels a frisson of the Bane echo agreement. His eyes flick back to Astryd and Fenris. "I suspect their goal to be similar now as then: to bring the goddess fully to power so she might give the world its freedom from the fetters of living. Literally."

Astryd nods. "I asked her directly whether that was her aim and she said 'not yet'." It's not an full confirmation but concerning enough. "She said other things about your family, my heart. I did not speak to or see Huzurth, Fenris. Kamduis affirmed he was following Mister Kent and she was interested in why."

The blonde falls silent as Ambrose speaks "Cloaking an acolyte from their God is most difficult, Ambrose. Particularly if the God is really looking for them." She doesn't follow that line of thought any further. Hiding Ambrose isn't likely but … "We should find out what these Thugee know and what they think Kali is up to."

They can go meet them, can't they?

"We might not need to fight the full six hundred thousand, Fenris. There were ways, in days past, of disabling a city. Something dropped into the water supply would suffice."

"Possible, but we'd need to do it in a manner that spread to the city quickly enough that there'd be no time to warn and counteract it. There is also the minor problem of the fact that I know for certain there are a sizeable number of people here who subsist on beer so far as their liquids are concerned." Usually the poor ones, honestly. In times past that would have been because the beer was safer but that hasn't actually been the case for decades.

"Did someone call my name?" There's a woman - a rather pretty one - leaning on the doorway. She has a certain Bollywood look, but is dressed warmly. The loose flowing clothing is for times and climes when it is less frigid than it is here.

Did someone call this woman's name? Fenris turns and sees… well. She isn't human, let's put it like that.

"Oh. Ammmmmmmbrose…" It's almost a purr.

No. This isn't Kali. But it's very nearly as bad.

Her name is Rachana. And she does not look anywhere NEAR the 100 some odd years old that she by rights should be.

"One can always attack both the wells and the local graineries, if this is truly a plan," Ambrose notes again sotto-voce. "Though I would not yet think to approach the Thugee cults, not until we've a better idea of what this madness is which appears to be infiltrating the city. If they too are infected, it might be wise to first find a method of resisting or denying its effects."

Someone has been paying attention to Kent's lectures now and then about relative stupidity and throwing oneself willy-nilly into confrontation!

Did someone call this woman's name? It's in the split second that Ambrose drops his hand from his face that his cheeks can be seen to go sallow and then pink high on their crests. His throat works hard as he hears his name being caressed by a voice he never thought to hear again, one he knew from hushed conversations in shadowed corners and in training against his most lethal counterparts within the cult.

Turning in his chair, the man tries desperately to appear thrilled to see the warmly-dressed woman with her grand earrings and appeal so very similar to the long-lost Janaya — only, Janaya never had such frigid depths to her eyes.

"Rachana," he says, voice ironed nearly flat but for a betraying timbre of terrified delight. "I…did not expect to see you." This is nearly a run of words on an exhale that trembles at the end. So very slowly, as if he might tempt a cobra's strike to go more quickly, he rises from his chair to better face her.

"I was being a little facetious." Astryd answers rather straight faced. "It worked in times past when water was drawn by hand. Now, it would give us some advantage but modern medicine - even this far out - would fix it far too quickly. I'm just spoiling for a good fight."

The womans voice would normally be ignored by the blonde but given the lack of people around and the 'bright' tone, she turns to look. "I don't believe any of us called yo——. you know her, Ambrose?"

"And you are?" Fenris says before Ambrose greets her by name. Rachana smiles and comes up off the door post but doesn't take more than a couple of steps inside. At least she's not striking like a cobra. Yet. But Ambrose remembers how good she is with small, sharp, thrown things. And bows.

And guns.

"I had not expected to see you either. But then I heard that three western strangers were in town and looking around in not the usual tourist spots and one of them felt like danger and death." She smiles. "And I knew who it had to be. But not where to find you. Not until my lady of the golden locks said the name of my goddess."

Oh dear. Fenris looks at Astryd.

"My thanks for bringing about reunion, lady. I had not expected to find Ambrose in such exalted company, but I should have guessed."

Ambrose gets a smile that could melt chocolate. "You always did have a way with people, Ambrose. And it's quite fortunate that you were all discussing my lady. She has been… much preoccupied with certain names. Now, may I ask for introductions?"

Ambrose absolutely remembers just how good his fellow Harbinger was with lethally-sharp objects. The memories, while gauzy, have enough emotional weft to make cold sweat break out between his shoulder-blades and send his heart-rate up another few notches yet. Sure to keep his hands clearly in view, he makes to loosen the scarf around his neck even as he huffs a laugh more than a touch awkwardly.

"I cannot imagine what would have caught your lady's attention," the Jackal assays with a tone gone marginally sweeter, as if he were attempting to talk himself out of trouble.


"But introductions, yes: my companions are the Dread Wolf and the Raven, both of great renown in their spheres for their martial prowess." A deliberate notation on his part. "They are accompanying me out of…interest in your lady's current propositions. Pray tell, what is she up to these days?" A step towards Rachana is bold as brass balls and now Ambrose sports a thin smirk almost conniving, as if he were truly intrigued.

And attempting to not shriek in his skull and scare Kent out of his work.

Astryd huffs. Fenris used the goddesses name as well. She'll just blame the curse that's been laid upon her. Fenris does get a droll look from the Valkyr.

"I am Astryd. Raven of Fenris. How is it you know our Ambrose?" Her grey eyes are cold, like a snowy day. And then Ambrose decides to be brash. And Fenris said that she was bad.

"Fenris. Astryd. Norse. Interesting… And are you here on holidays or… ah. You're here about my Lady. I am sure she will be most gratified to hear that."

When Ambrose takes a step forward Rachana responds and takes another step forward. Confident. Poised. Sinuous. She doesn't reach out to touch. No, she remembers. But how far does Ambrose really want to push this?

Fenris - and Astryd - can plainly see that she isn't human. She has too much power swirling around her.

"Oh we've known one another since he first came to India. Or well. Shortly thereafter. We have a long… long… history. Don't we, Ambrose?"

She smiles brightly and almost sharply, inviting Ambrose to explain that further for Astryd.

Which is when Fenris of course drops a bomb on them all. "And were you a naga for all that time?"

Ambrose cannot see the power swirling around the Harbinger. What he can see is that Rachana's lost nothing of her deadly elegance despite the wrapping of her clothing, full of shadows where weaponry could hide unseen. He doesn't reach out to touch either, but as Rikki-Tikki once tempted Nagaina while his eyes snapped red, the Jackal continues forward another step.

"Yes, a very…long history," he echoes before smiling full of teeth at the woman. That smile drops like snow-slush from a branch under the sun at Fenris's observation. Straighter Ambrose goes, his chin lifting a touch as if some invisible knife were to suddenly have pricked his under-jaw.


So much for an explanation owed to Astryd in this moment.

"A long history, hmmm?" Astryd smirks. "And no, my Lord and I travel regularly." Less regularly now then they used to, but still. "And yes, your Goddess has been the topic of discussion lately. Not amongst us but word reached our ears."

Seeing Ambroses response to Fenris little nugget of information, Astryd manages not to chuckle, just. "Mmmhmm, a Naga. Why do you think she moves as she does."

Rachana pouts at Fenris for giving the game away and then look at Astryd. "He's no fun." Astryd may have said that herself in times past.

"Yes Ambrose. A naga. And I have been one since we met. Since long before we met. I was going to tell you."

"… Eventually." Fenris mutters, slightly sardonically. Well isn't this all very interesting. AND she serves Kali.

"So are you one of her priestesses?"

"Agents is more like it, really." The woman smiles and then turns her eyes back to Ambrose. "Did you come to rejoin the flock?" She steps closer. There isn't much left between them at the moment.

On the tail end of Rachana's complaint to Astryd, the Jackal adds, not looking away from his fellow Harbinger, "And in regards to her movements, do bear in mind that despite my current affairs, I am red-blooded as any male on this planet, birb."

Rachana can indeed move, and HOW — and maybe Kent might have let on to Astryd's exchange in more detail than originally surmised. Ambrose risks a very quick, purse-lipped smirking glance at the Raven. Birb indeed.

Draw very much into the atmosphere of testing danger put forth by the naga, Ambrose mirrors the step or two to leave less than an arm's length between them. His eyes remain firmly on her face, watching for microtells in a manner of silent fencing they once did nearly a century back in dimly-lit sparring rings. Despite the neutral hang of his hands, his fingers ripple in a slow pattern off the outside of his winter coat.

"Tsk, Rachana…not telling me — and to think, I thought to trust you," Ambrose replies as to the woman's question. "As for rejoining…it does depends on your lady's propositions, remember? Consider me undecided for the moment." Rachana gets a very familiar sleek and thin smile.

"Clearly." Astryd says to Ambrose in an incredibly dry tone. If it wasn't for the company she might take an offense to be called 'Birb' but even as reckless as she is, she knows now is not the time.

Later though. The Bir- Raven, has a very long memory.

"I find Fenris a lot of fun, under the right circumstances. But yes, sometimes he can be a killjoy. So much so, I sometimes call him Johnny." It's not as good as Birb and she knows it.

"I confess I am interested in what your Lady might offer."

Fenris snorts at the reference to a recently concluded - and very good - sci-fi series. He is sure at some case 'stop licking my partner' is a quote he's going to need to use.

"Oh Ammmmmmbrose." Rachana says, taking another step closer. Her hands seem still but Ambrose knows she COULD easily be hiding several weapons. And any of them could be deadly.

"Oh well. She's been actively recruiting of late but Ambrose always had a special place for my Lady. I am SUUUUURE she would amply reward him for returning to the fold. And I would be quite happy as well." Ambrose gets that chocolate melting smile again and Fenris and Astryd one slightly less focused.

"Would you like to meet her? I can set up that meeting. And while you're busy, Ambrose and I can… catch up."

"You remain tempting as always, Rachana-chitchor," murmurs the Jackal with the Bane's ruddy glow in the back of his pupils — 'heart-stealer', he calls her, in twisted endearment idly dug up from their time spent in the cult. Well known for stealing hearts, this one, sometimes still beating and bloody. "But do be brusque. Catch up? Do you mean attempt to use your wiles whilst my companions are distracted?"

Slowly, clearly, he lifts an empty hand towards Astryd and Fenris.

"You know full well that I hold death in my touch alone. I cannot indulge anything but your penchant for gossip." A click of his tongue off his teeth is followed by a charming tilt of his head. Now there's space yet between him and he is the one to pause for allowance of at least some space should it come to blow — all of a half-arm's length at best. "Or what I remember to be a dire insistence to defeat me at daggers drawn, which…will not change to your favor, even after all this time." His smirk is full of cheek now.

That line might indeed have to be used at some point. Along with the 'smells like sportsball' one. Astryd watches the interaction, fascinated in a way. "Yes, I think I would like to meet your Lady."

Fenris might well throttle her later.

"Ambrose may join us if he likes." But then, he might like to 'catch up' - in his own sort of way.

"Then I shall arrange it. Where may I find you so that I can relay her words to you without the necessity of you looking into a mirror and saying my name three times?" Ambrose gets a small smirk. "Or just once for you, Ambrose."

Fenris just sighs. Naga. NOW he remembers why he didn't stay in India very long. And Astryd is being… precipitous. As ever.

"I remember." The woman laughs to Ambrose. "But there are other things you may indulge. Sometimes a woman just likes to see that she still has that magic that can make a man flutter. And sometimes she likes the attention, and you were so very good at being attentive. I daresay… you liked it."

AAAAAND then there's a knife. In her hand, a fraction of an inch from Ambrose's diaphram. "Maybe we can see if you still remember how to handle your knife later…"

The woman glances to Astryd just to make sure she and Fenris aren't too alarmed. Also she's waiting to hear where they have planned to stay.

And there's a knife in quick counter to the gleam of Rachana's own blade. A rather nasty-looking affair, the modern trench-knife now angled point-first into the tuck of the naga's throat, where it blends into her under-chin.

Ambrose's own pulse would be seen to thrum at his neck if the black scarf weren't wrapped about it. His smile and eyes both shine with devil-may-care. "I daresay I did like it…but let's not linger overmuch on this. You know how well I handle a knife and frankly, the skill has only increased. I had an entire world war to practice…" This, he hisses with a base and dark delight that even Astryd and Fenris would be fain to remember hearing out of the master-thief. A subtle rotation of his trench-knife at Rachana's throat makes the blade gleam.

"And I am not staying with them," he further reveals…or lies, one or the other, the latter fluently if so.

Astryd rolls her eyes at the Naga. "You can leave word at the Hotel Shangrila." Is that where they're staying? She doesn't actually say that. She is however critical of the womans form with the knife.

"I take it …" the blonde says dryly as she eyes the knife at Ambroses diaphragm "… it's been a few years since you practiced. Perhaps you should go with her Ambrose and help her with her technique."

Yes, the Birb is being precipitous as usual.

"Perhaps. Or perhaps I have been practicing for a long time. Though not as long as you, exalted raven." Rachana smiles and tucks her blade away in the folds of her clothing in such a way that it's not entirely clear where it went. "Perhaps we shall see eachother sooner rather than later, Ambrose." The delight in her eyes has only increased.

Fenris is thinking this could potentially be bad. But they'll wait and see.

"We will await your word at the Hotel, then."

Rachana bows, steps back and then blows Ambrose a kiss. Then she heads out the door.

Actually no that's wrong. The word is 'sashay'. She sashays out the door. Veeeeeery deliberately.

Ambrose returns his own knife to wherever he drew it from as well, from somewhere within the confines of his coat, and his smirk remains utterly self-satisfied. Harbinger official greeting: check. The naga's twinkling dark eyes absolutely call forth every internal desire to play the rogue and those hips?

After the kiss flutters invisibly towards him, he watches them leave with an avidity long-forgotten and yet easily assumed as if decades had not passed. Those hips? They don't lie.

A slow sigh leaves him with a burrling sound beneath it. "…how on earth I managed to forget about her is a thing of wonder," the Jackal notes as he glances over at Astryd and Fenris, still smirking like a Cheshire Cat.

"Practice is only good if the foundations are good. Maybe, Ambrose, you should take her through the basics." It's said very dismissive - but then again Rachana did just call her old. No, she didn't miss that.

When the woman swans out, the Raven turns her eyes to Ambrose "Down boy. I think perhaps, you are better off having forgotten. However, you have now been reminded and we've a audience with the Lady. We'll need to be careful, but sometimes the direct path really is the shortest."

"Are we going to stay at the Shangrila, my heart? I have a contact there, if not - they can us a message."

"Did you forget her?" Fenris snorts amusedly. "Because it seems as though your memory of her is quite intact."

The Old Wolf considers Astryd's question for a moment. "No… I do not know if anything here is to be trusted yet. Let your contact take a message for us. We will stay outside the city. If someone like Rachana's lady has been infected then I don't want to risk any more damage in that vein." Fenris going mad would be disastrous. Astryd going mad only slightly less so.

Well. More mad.

"Have a care that she does not infect you. If indeed she is infected, that is." Unclear if she is or not. They haven't had enough time to observe her. Ambrose would probably happily volunteer for that.

Once he's absolutely certain not a single instance more of those swaying hips remains visible, Ambrose turns from standing where he is to saunter over to Astryd and Fenris.

"I would not stay in the city either…nor would I stay near to me unless you are comfortable with the risk of Rachana. Truly, I did not know she was a naga…it explains a great deal," he muses, lidded eyes briefly askance in review of memory. "How I forgot her, I do not know, truly, but it is true: I certainly cannot forget her in totality. Life has a way of shunting the less necessary memories aside, does it not?"

A prosaic question in the end; Ambrose doesn't care about the answer. "Do also note that I've more sense of self-preservation than my actions may imply. I am nearing one-hundred and forty. I did not live this long giving into every whim and every flit of an eyelash. Rachana may think herself desirable and, granted…" His sigh slips through teeth barely bared. "She is the very stuff of dreams at her absolutely best, I assure you, but I will not allow her wiles to cloud my vision when my life is in question. Not here and not now."

Of course not now: Rachana isn't present.

"Very good, my heart. If that is the case, I know just the place." Of course Astryd does. "I believe there is a hot spring near there as well." She'll leave word for her contact, a blonde much like herself with blue / grey eyes.

"We all have our roles to play in this little production, Ambrose and I trust you and your sense of self preservation however, you are are one of ours and I will concern myself with your safety."

One of theirs. She's still a Goddess and despite her time on Midgard, some habits die hard.

"Shall we gentlemen?"

"I'm less concerned with you falling prey to her feminine wiles - if she didn't try to kill you before hand I somewhat doubt she'll want to now - than I am with her ulterior motives which she MOST certainly does have." Do those motives involve Ambrose? Or is Ambrose an amusing diversion and she wants something involving the two gods? It's hard to say and there's only one way to find out.

The dangerous way.

"But yes. Let us all secure lodgings. Ambrose can catch up with his friend, wherever he may be." 'He'. Fenris means Kent.

"I rather doubt any of us want to be out on the streets late tonight. Let us away."

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