2020-02-25 - You Give Me Fever


Astryd and Ambrose seek out Rachana

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Feb 25 05:21:24 2020
Location: Patna

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Fenris had asked Astryd and Ambrose to find Rachana, and this is no easy task. She's a ghost. Very familiar with the city and very good at moving unseen when she wishes it. But finally, after many hours, they'd managed to pick up her trail near the rail station at the edge of town. It was a cargo station and word is that she'd taken charge of some deliveries and then nipped off to the Makeup Temple, near the river. She SHOULD be there now if they can move quickly enough and as a bonus it's midday so the temple SHOULD be fairly quiet. Mostly things happen there in the morning or in the evening.

Astryd sighs as they track Rachana. She's a lot more subdued than she had been the other day - a lot paler again. "I don't know how a woman who manages to sway as much as she does when walks can move so fast." She murmurs.

"Tell me again why you didn't just call her? Or let me say her Lady's name three times?" The Makeup Temple. More jokes could be made about the name, but Astryd restrains herself.

"Do we go in together? Or shall you go in ahead?"

Wrapped in warmth against any lingering cold despite the daytime hours (and to hide weaponry, of course), Ambrose is a lean figure with his scarf wrapped up about his head now. He's got his hands in his pockets and the ring of invisibility flirting with the end of his pointer finger out of sight.

"There was no guarantee that we would not have received her goddess instead and I am not completely prepared to deal with her." Yet, the Jackal seems to imply. "And Rachana might not have had a cell phone of her own. Not all of the demi- and true immortals are as modernized as we are, hmm?" He glances over and arches an eyebrow at Astryd; sunlight flits through his pupils in a reflection of red. "Regardless, I would prefer to survey the field of battle under the guise of parley than under certain distress."

Still, the master-thief stops at the base of the short set of stairs leading up to the broad deck spanning the front of the temple. He considers the doors and sighs slowly. "I would rather have you there in case someone decides to be…an upstart about my personage. You are no one to trifle with, Astryd. Please, come along with me." A nod and then Ambrose continues to the temple's entrance. He walks into the place as if he belonged there, and Astryd will note a very different undercurrent of poise to enter his frame: here, Ambrose is purely predator, and as he plucks back his scarf, he wears a cold, cold little smile.

Makeup temple isn't large and the street it's on is quite crowded and close - as tends to be the case in Indian cities. It is also a pilgrimage site which explains the various stalls on the street selling memorabilia. Upon stepping in, they're greeted with a small courtyard in which a few hindu clerics are taking care of the grounds or observing religious rituals. One of them looks veeeeery familiar from the back and she's talking to an older gentleman who might be in charge here.

Astryd hears the man quietly point out the two westerners who just came in and ask if Rachana knows them. And Ambrose will see her body language change slightly from businesslike to… near predatory.

Oh yes. She knows they're here now. But she doesn't turn around and as the clerics clear out to leave her alone she simply kneels as if in prayer.

Which she may be but… it's probably a ruse to get them to approach her.

"I would not leave unprotected, Ambrose." Astryd confirms as she falls back to take up a position just to the right and behind Ambroses shoulder. A statement.

The memorabilia gets some interest from the Valkyrie, she might stop at these stall later - who knows what she will find.

As they enter the temple, her demeanour is respectful - though she does not offer any tirbute or ritual greeting. "Was it you who wore the wrong deodorant or me, Ambrose?" She asks in amusement as the clerics leave them alone with the woman.

Ambrose can greet her. Astryd is good with that.

Memorabilia is ignored in light of Rachana's presence; she has a stronger draw as it stands for the master-thief. That she doesn't immediately turn around has Ambrose slowing and narrowing his eyes. As he walks, he notes how the clerics in their robes seem to slip away and the fine hairs on the back of his neck rise.

"I've no idea what you speak of, I smell simply divine," the Jackal murmurs back to Astryd with a glance and wry little smile, thin-lipped. Then, in perhaps familiar mockery of the naga's own toying with his name, he lifts his voice:


It's not loud, but the tone is overly sweet with an invisible finger curled. Ambrose stops a good dozen feet away in some form of cautious propriety.

"Hello Ambrose…" Rachana purrs, not moving from her posture of prayer. Ambrose can see the corners of her mouth quirked in smile. "I see you've brought company again. Are you making a statement, meeting me in female company? Or did you want to share her a bit?"

Cough. Rachana clearly is still interested in pushing Ambrose' buttons and yeah… she does want to know why he's here but she's not going to out and out ask that.

"Hello Astryd, wasn't it? Do come closer…"

They have to move closer, Astryd knows that as she steps past Ambrose to lead him in. She's watching the temple though, senses wide open - looking for signs of an ambush behind them.

"Yes it's Astryd. Do you think you can share me?" She's not blushing, not even faintly "What do you say, Ambrose? Would you like to try?"

"I trust your devotions won't take long, Rachana." The blonde stops just out of reach, turning to face Rachana and watch her face. It also gives Astryd a better view of the temple.

A few more steps into the temple he travels and while Astryd might not blush, Ambrose's sun-touched skin spares him the more obvious coloring. Such sass — he still heats beneath the wrapping of his dark scarf.

"I rather like my limbs intact," he opines loudly enough for Rachana to hear, a warning within his words. "But yes, do not let us disturb you overmuch. We are patient people. When you've finished, perhaps you have time for a little…tete-a-tete?"

He appears opposite of Astryd, out of immediate arm's length of distance, and wearing an expression almost theatrically innocent.

Rachana looks up and slowly rises. Unfolds, really, is a good way to put it. She looks up at both people - on opposite sides - and smiles in a much less innocent fashion. She folds both hands in front of her and bows in that odd 'vertical' way that Indian and Southeast Asian cultures sometimes use.

"I perhaps do, Ambrose, depending on the nature of what you wish to discuss. And yes thank you Astryd. I am quite finished now." Was she ever actually AT devotions? Probably not.

But maybe passing a message on to her Lady…

Astryd is leery of causing too much of a commotion. Fenris is already disappointed in her.

"We wish to discuss the nature of fever and Queens of Cinder and how they relate to relatives of your lady."

If Rachana was passing a message, Astryd is alert - watching the area as Ambrose speaks.

"Ambrose, I thought you more adventurous than that."

"By all means, Astryd, once we have finished speaking to Rachana about the incident involving Ganesh and his fevered state, yes… You and I may speak of fever in far more intimate detail."

And Ambrose gives the Raven a sharp, dimpled curl of a smile, unashamed to fence with her at this point. She is a trusted personage in a place he would rather skirt out of of tout-suite. His eyes return to the naga in human guise. Invariably, they drag down and up to return to her face.

"You heard the Raven, Rachana: please, do enlighten us as to the state of this city and its plebeian populace," he says with a gesture of a hand circled to include the entire sprawl of humanity beyond the walls of the temple.

"Saturday Night Fever, perhaps?" Rachana has jokes oh yes. And knows of Disco. Which means she's only forty years behind the times when it comes to music. But since much of the rest of the world is ALSO stuck on Disco, that's not too egregious.

In response to the questions though she looks back and forth. "Things are a bit tense. An illness has spread through the city and it makes people a bit… unlike themselves. The town is even more riven with factions and infighting than it used to be. It touches everything. Businesses, homes, families… even the gods…"

She's wording rather carefully here.

"The Queens of Cinder. You clearly do not mean Svaha or her husband Agni. That is something that I had not heard. But as to my Lady's relatives… well. As I said. The fever has touched everything."

"So you do wish to share me, Ambrose." The raven smirks back but the humour doesn't reach her grey eyes. Those are trained on Rachana and unyielding. "I was thinking something something a little older. Fever. Shirley Bassey." She makes a keep going gesture though, to get the answers they are looking for.

"You are unaware of who Ganesh is consorting with?"

Is. Not was. She's not going to tip their hand just yet.

Ambrose's eyes flicker from Rachana to Astryd and linger. His concern makes itself known in the stitch of his brows and slight tuck of his chin. His gaze falls to one side before rising up to linger on the naga once more.

Still he can't help but add, "Astryd, tush, you will make Rachana jealous…" As if becoming bored with the conversation on display, he turns and makes to pace off by a few feet, admiring the decor on the temple walls by the traveling of his gaze.

Something seems to occur to the Jackal — a sudden pause and he turns, looking at the women. "…is your Lady aware of her relatives succumbing to this fever?"

"I am not an agent of Ganesh and I do not often inquire on the doings of the others." That is MOST unlike Rachana. She was always curious and information is a survival commodity for people in her position. It's possible that is a lie and she just doesn't want to say in this setting.

"My Lady has been most preoccupied of late. But I would say she is well informed as to the health of her relatives. It would be… difficult to ignore the prayers going up to them from this city." She pauses again and… considers.

"What is your interest, if I may ask?"

Astryd cants her head and considers Rachana carefully. "You were the one who offered." She says absently to Ambrose. "Your Lady has been preoccupied and you are unaware of her relatives doings. I have to ask, Rachana, is your Lady well and are you sure you're communing your Lady when you do?"

The latter isn't likely but the Valkyr does ask.

"Ganesh has succumbed to the fever. He's been sighted in the city in the company of someone less than desireable." Ambrose can add more if he wishes.

A little sigh leaves Ambrose: good, that Kali does know, and bad, all in the same vein, because the Goddess appears to be doing nothing to stem the spread of the insanity within her family. His throat works as he again looks off to one side, chin tucking visibly. The options he comes up with aren't pleasant, some few including Kali well-deep into this maddening fever even as they speak and Kali happily playing along with Gurim's plan, given her penchant for being an arbiter of death.

He glances up when Astryd speaks. Slowly, a thin smile appears on his lips. His chuckling is quiet and contained behind the sliver of his teeth shown. "Astryd speaks truly of our interest. Ganesh was not inclined to speak civilly with us at the time, which is a grand shame. But you, uninterested in the affairs of others…?" Ambrose levels a very knowing, almost disappointed look at the naga. "Rachana. Tsk. It does not behoove you to lie. Your fingers were in every pie in this city last I knew you."

"There are many people in the city who are less than desirable. Some would put you in that category Astryd. Not I of course but… some would."

Rachana glances about and reaches under her robe. She tosses something small and sharp right near Ambrose's boot. "I may have once but it is not appropriate for a good adherent of Kali to question her lady's decisions and whereabouts. I am but a humble servant."

She rises and starts to glide out. "But if you two decide to take me up on some… sharing… find me. You'll know how." She blows a kiss at Ambrose, and then one at Astryd and then departs out the front.

The thing at Ambrose's foot is a two inch gold spike. It's sides are decorated very intricately in fact… if it were inked and rolled out, it would probably make an interesting scene. And… well. Ambrose knows her well enough to pick up on any little hidden messages.

"I'm a Valkyrie, I'm less than desireble in many circles, Rachana. And you know that is not what we're discussing." The blonde says easily. She snorts at humble servant but there's a ring to truth in that.

Had something happened to her to make not question anymore?

Once Rachana has departed, Astryd raises her chin to the spike "Be careful touching that - I'm sure you're aware - but let's go elsewhere and look at it."

As if to bait Rachana further, the Jackal simply watches her leave rather than stoop to pick up the golden spike resting tucked against his boot. After those hips which don't lie have left the building, he then stoops to pick it up. Gloved hands keep him safe from anything upon it. Pinched between his fingers in a manner which shows deliberate and masterful knowledge of the thin weapon, the spike is held to the light.

"Hmm…" Ambrose squints at the finely-tooled design encircling its entire surface. "Yes…a bit of ink and parchment and we might have another location revealed to scout, milady." Away it goes into Ambrose's coat pocket after being wrapped in a handkerchief and he gives the Raven another look, this one full of foreboding. "…and mayhaps not only Rachana present. We will need to be well-armed…and possessing both of our own, I think."

A pun at Astryd's earlier disarming commentary. Bah-dum-pssht.

And they depart the temple.

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