Arcanum

37. The Lady is the Tramp

She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight (I am starving)
She loves the theater, but she never comes late
I never bother, with people that I hate
She doesn’t like crap games, with barons and earls
Won’t go to Harlem, in ermines and pearls
And I definitely won’t dish out dirt, with the rest of those girls (Thank-you)
That’s why the lady is a tramp


[Lisa, 13. 05. 2018]

On the grand opening night of Her Majesty, Sinead welcomes her guests in the foyer, handing out ribbons to the Kindred guests so that the servants can recognize them and explaining the rules for the venue, especially since it is open to the mortal public and only parts of it are exclusively accessible to Kindred. She directs Kindred visitors to one of the rooms with her memorabilia on display, where a private performance will commence shortly, separate from the events scheduled for mortal visitors.
This private performance is given by Sinead and accompanied by Sinead as well, who created a mirage of herself to play the piano while she herself plays the lute, performing an eternally popular tune in different variations throughout the musical genres of the ages. Once she reaches modernity, the music stops and the doppelgänger disappears as Sinead welcomes her guests to her celebration on occasion of reaching a new milestone in her life, which she wants to mark by sharing entertaining stories of her life. With a gesture to the room, she explains that the objects on display, which range from weapons to maps, figureheads from a ship, and various other items, all hold stories she would love to tell and invites her Kindred visitors to browse and ask about anything that catches their attention.

As the guests scatter around the room, examining the objects on display and asking Sinead to tell the stories they hold, they are interrupted by a gunshot. Hawke, who just dropped a gun, apologizes for the noise and picks it back up. His companion, a rather overly well-dressed woman, draws attention away from the incident by prompting Sinead for another story. During this time, Emma excitedly gestures towards Hawke, indicating to him that he should shoot her, and he happily obliges. The shot goes wild, however, missing Emma by a few meters and hitting Elias, which promptly breaks his Obfuscate and leads to an awkward situation as Sinead apologizes for the incident and asks Hawke not to shoot while others are nearby. Not really bothered by what happened, Emma gestures once again to Hawke as soon as the attention is back on Sinead resuming the story she had been interrupted in telling, and he pulls the trigger on the gun with no effect. Annoyed and unsure why no shot resounded, the Brujah gestures to her mentor to throw the gun her way so she can examine it, which he promptly does. Realizing a moment too late that she might not be able to catch the projectile safely, Emma sidesteps its path, which causes it to crash into a weapon display behind her, sending glass shards flying.

While Sinead calls for someone to clean up the mess, Emma pockets the gun, which is out of bullets, and notices that Jukka looks suspiciously guilty. The storytelling is resumed once more, but tempted by the now easily accessible swords, Emma asks her companion Ophelia for help in getting her hands on one of them. Ophelia happily acts as her cover, and Emma snatches a zweihänder, sitting down with the blade on one of the chairs and producing a whetstone from her bag to sharpen it with without a care in the world. Once Sinead finishes her story, she notices the blade in Emma’s possession and approaches her to chat, informing her that she doesn’t like using this particular blade anymore since Milan. While the two women talk, the other Kindred rearrange the chairs around them to make space for a duel, which Sinead promptly offers Emma, who happily accepts it. As the two contestants agree to fight until forfeiture and Sinead selects a blade for herself, Mia and a few other Malkavians walk among the spectators to take bets on who wins.

The fight commences with Sinead performing the first attack, which Emma parries before whirling around her with supernatural speed to land a few blows on her opponent. Sinead tries to defend herself by using her powers of illusion, which only deter the Brujah for a short moment before she returns to her merciless assault. However, as Emma is about to strike the final devastating blow to end the duel, Sinead disappears in a blur and avoids it entirely, which causes the fight to come to a halt immediately. As both women observe each other attentively, each waiting for the other to strike first, Emma breaks the silence in an attempt to convince Sinead to forfeit, as her intent had been to end the duel quickly before either can inflict serious harm on the other. It takes some persuading, as Emma refuses Sinead’s offer to continue at a different time, but with some honeyed words from Emma that allow her to save face in front of her guests, Sinead finally relents and declares her forfeiture.
Unfortunately for the aforementioned guests, since Marcus bet a ludicrous sum on Emma’s win, he ruined the odds of the game, which leads to none of those who bet money winning anything. After the spectacle is over, the group scatters, with some Kindred leaving the room to see what the mortal performance is about, as Marcus and his companion Finch do, while others take the opportunity to feed, which Emma takes gladly, or mingle with the mortals.
Sinead stays with her guests for a moment before visiting the public showroom, where she stumbles upon Hawke and asks him for a dance. He accepts, though his idea of dancing turns out to be mostly to stomp around while clapping, though he does grab Sinead to spin her around for a bit, calling her too skinny for his tastes. She asks him for help in sharing stories related to history, though he declines as he claims it would only lead to people dying of boredom before he excuses himself to hunt for something to eat.

A short while later, most Kindred reconvene in the Kindred-only part of Her Majesty, and when Emma returns from her own hunt, Sinead presents her with a kriegsmesser as a reward for winning the duel, saying that she killed her first Sabbat member with this blade, and Emma thanks her profusely for the gift, promising to put it to good use. Afterwards, Sinead acts as a showrunner for a few select mortals who are performing exclusively for the Kindred audience in the room. Once these performances are concluded, she returns to telling stories, this time telling a single story for each Kindred clan, related to people she met of that specific clan as much as she is able to.
This second round of storytelling is interrupted by a servant, who tells the Ravnos that a woman jumped from a balcony in the main hall to commit suicide, and that a doctor was called who confirmed her death. Sinead leaves to investigate the matter and finds the corpse wearing a dress she had seen Ophelia wear a short time ago. Once the supposed corpse is moved to a private room, Ophelia reveals herself, laughing heartily about the matter and telling Sinead that it’s going to be great advertisement. In an attempt to control the consequences of this unplanned Malkavian performance, Sinead reassures the guests that the event was planned and part of the performance before the show is resumed and she can return to her Kindred guests.

Comments

Emma: What a night! I can’t believe all of that happened in just a few short hours. I kind of feel sorry for Sinead, she has had the show stolen from her several times now, first by Hawke and me with the gun (why does Jukka carry a gun with only two bullets in it?!), then with the duel, and after that with Ophelia “drowning herself”. I do wish Ophelia had let me know of that beforehand, I was a bit concerned when she suddenly disappeared without a word. Oh well. At the very least, Sinead can’t complain that the night was boring, right? Things hardly ever go according to plan anyway, and nothing terrible happened … yet. We just ended up making the night more interesting. I do hope she learns her lesson and stops asking Brujah for duels all the time, though. It’s not exactly an invitation one of my clan can turn down in public, is it? She did the same to Atticus, who had much more to lose than I did, and I don’t think she considered the ramifications of it then, either.

37. The Lady is the Tramp
thelibrarycat

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