[Ashen Snow] The After-Party [Ami 7.1] [W 7.1]

edited December 2012 in In-Game
Some time passes and we pick up at Amiette's flat. Amiette, did you walk with Winter I assume? What do you talk about?

Winter, this place, Evan Element, it used to be a school for children pre-fall. The place where Amiette is staying, you think it used to be for real little kids, lots of hand prints painted on the walls, The large space has been broken up into a few rooms.

When you enter, there's a woman sitting on the bed waiting. She has long, luscious black hair, creamy brown skin, she's quite pretty.She has been waiting her for a while, dressed in a simple a-frame dress and strappy sandals. She smiles at you, Amiette, but she looks a little confused when Winter arrives.
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  • Yes, I walk with her. I suppose we exchange small talk, common people and places, that sort of thing, but if Winter has any particular questions of me, I will probably answer them. I'm fairly open.

    Then we arrive and I see Miss Raven there, waiting. Oh, yes... I forgot with all that's happened today.

    I glance at Winter and back at Raven.

    I smile at her. "Hello, Miss Raven. You look lovely. I hope things are well. Is your situation resolved or at least progressing?"

    I indicate my companion.

    "Raven, dear, this is Miss Winter. Miss Winter, this is Miss Raven, formerly with Domino's horde. A new addition, I believe, since you were here last."
  • Raven gives a half smile, but her body language is pretty closed to you, Winter. But she says, "Nice to meet you, Winter."

    She answers you, Amiette, with, "Thank you, Miss Amiette. Your dress is stunning, it really brings out your pretty skin. There was a big fight this morning, most of Big Daddy's customers were taken out, so business wasn't great. I'm still stuck for now. But, it doesn't matter, as long as you keep helping me. Have, uhm, plans changed?"
  • "A little, dear, my apologies. Miss Winter and I have some business involving my specialized services. You may stay, unless, Miss Winter, you object? We could use a spotter in case we have... trouble."
  • Winter, you see a little disappointment flicker across Raven's face, but she says nothing at first. Then, "I'll keep an eye out. You can trust me." She rises from the bed, to give you space, or something.
  • Winter can't help but give Raven a devious smile. She greets her with a gracious nod, and turns to Amiette. "I know all about Raven, she says, summoning Amiette in closer. She whispers this next part in her ear, "I don't normally do this, but I owe you for everything you've done today. You should know that someone wants to pay me a significant amount of jingle to end her and Chigger's life for what they did to Domino. Now I happened to be pretty close with Domino, but I don't make a habit of extracting personal vengeance. She doesn't mean anything more to me than 3 months worth of jingle."

    Winter doesn't know exactly how well off Amiette is; but judging by her wardrobe, she presumes that 3-jingle is chump change for her. The implication here is that Winter doesn't give a shit about Raven, but she isn't interested in doing business with someone who could kill her with her mind when there's a huge conflict of interest lying on said brainer's bed. "I'll just pretend I didn't see her here tonight, unless you've got a better idea."
  • edited December 2012
    I smile at Raven. "Thank you, dear, if you'll excuse us a moment."

    I'll watch her exit into the main room and turn back to Winter, keeping my voice low and my dead gaze on her steady. Winter does a good job of being unaffected by it.

    "I suppose whoever this might be, is unaware of the facts of the case. Mr. Chigger was under Harridan's control when he assassinated Domino. I know because I freed him from it and he is quite affected by it. Miss Raven didn't know it at the time and is quite conflicted over it herself as she cared for Domino."

    I don't know how much innocence or guilt plays in your business. Not much I would imagine, but I am fond of Raven and I think I would be considerably upset should anything untoward happen to her. And, of course, I have ways of finding that out. Perhaps you should consider renegotiating your contract."
    I pause for a moment.

    "In the interest of offering something useful, you should know that Mr. Vulture intends to take revenge on you for what happened to Miss Swoozie earlier. I read it from him earlier tonight."

    (manipulating Winter to not kill Raven.)
  • Manipulate Winter - don't kill Raven

    #DiceRoller(2d6+1)

    xp +1
  • Winter isn't entirely uninterested in Amiette's explanation of Domino's death — she's a little skeptical of what Amiette said about Raven, given the circumstances, but she's not without understanding. Compassion maybe, understanding no. She smiles when Amiette asks about the possibility of justice being involved in Winter's hire, and when Amiette pauses she shakes her head. "Justice is just something good people invented to justify doing horrible things," Winter's face is cold and Machiavellian, "contract or not, I'm in the business of making paying people happy."

    Winter pauses a moment and looks around the room when Amiette interjects with the comment about Vulture — she'd suspected he'd take the news a little hard... If he caused any trouble he'd have to send him the bill for Bones' treatment. "Fucking idiot," she says indignantly.

    Winter crosses her arms, and bites her lower lip — Swoozie really wanted Raven and Chigger dead, and Winter can't (or rather, won't) make the leap as to what Swoozie would want if she learned about this turn of events with Harridan. Winter rolls her eyes, annoyed at the prospect of an easy make-peace with Vulture's gang... But then again, that's not really the horse she's backing right now. "Alright, fine... So long as what you're saying is true, I'll drop the contract. I'd tell Raven to expect trouble if I were you. Domino commanded a lot of loyalty with her people; I doubt I'll be the last person hired to get revenge, and you can't enlighten everyone who goes after her."

    Winter's tense, but you can tell she's trying her best to calm herself down. She's really following your lead here, Ami.
  • "Thank you."

    I undo the sash of the kimono and shrug it off, leaving me in one of my thin off-white shifts, baring my arms and shoulders upper chest and back. I leave my hair up. Being in only the shift emphasizes how slight I am. Elfin might be a good description, an overall impression of almost fragile delicacy. I hang the kimono on a nearby hook then move to the side of the bed, turn and sit, and scoot back until my back is against the headboard, my legs folded.

    "This will be easiest if you lie down, dear." I say, gently, then pat my lap with one hand.
  • Winter slowly walks over to the bed — she'd always known Ami was thin, but she'd never seen her in something quite so revealing of just how slim she really is. Winter is not slim. Winter comes from a long line of full bodied women, and her standing in society makes maintaining such a figure quite easy for her. She might be considered fat by some people, but most would just call her fortunate. Winter sighs nervously as she sits on the bed next to Ami for a moment, adjusting her hair before she finally lays down with her head in her lap. It was oddly intimate... She'd never been in this position with any of her clients. Sure, some similar positions, but never like this.

    "Has anyone ever done this to you?" She asks nervously, trying to take her mind off of the now. Maybe it's like a needle... If you don't look, it doesn't hurt as much. A needle that digs deep into your brain. Her heart is racing in anticipation of Amiette's touch, but she needs to do this — if nothing else, learning how to keep her calm in the presence of Amiette will help her when it comes to dealing with Harridan.
  • My voice is quiet, soothing. I have a slight smile as I look down at her. "What, dear? Gone inside my mind? A few times. Not exactly like this."

    I begin to smooth back her pretty hair, comb it through my fingers, establishing a slow methodical rhythm, enjoying the silky feel of it sliding against my skin.

    "You're... a very lovely woman, Miss Winter." I say softly. She is, too. I idly wonder what it would be like to be with her. She's a professional, much higher class than the whores at Red House. I've no doubt she could turn me... someone so hungry and vulnerable to sensation, into a little puddle with very little trouble.

    "My Mama," (I pronounce it with the emphasis on second syllable) "Used to comb my hair like this a long time ago. It was one of my favorite things. Except for the tangles of course. It was... something that made me feel peaceful, content"

    "Will you tell me about the last time you felt peaceful, Winter?"

    I'm waiting, feeling the smoke align between us.
  • edited December 2012
    Winter looks up at Amiette when she pauses before calling her a lovely woman — it actually helps release her a bit. She chuckles a bit to herself — nervously at first, but eventually a little more genuinely — and her shoulders relax as Ami starts playing with her hair. She knows exactly why she's so nervous; but to hear Amiette talk about herself and her memories of her mother, helps Winter see past the freakiness of the "brainer" and into the human being currently cradling her. Winter hated her mother, but nobody prepared her better for this life than her mom did. In a weird, almost professional, sort of way Winter appreciated that now — but there's nothing Winter had to say about her mother's love (or lack thereof).

    Winter is an enormous narcissist, but real "peace" hasn't come to her in quite some time. Furthermore, she probably wouldn't recognize it if it came pounding on her door shirtless with a baseball bat in hand — life had been hard on her recently, and silences made her nervous. "Well, there's this place about a day's walk south from Evan's run by a guy called Honeydew — I don't know if you know the place. It's a real posh spot, only the highest paying customers get in. I used to spoil myself from time to time, and buy out his suite for a night or two. Music, candles, and a warm bath. I haven't really been able to afford going there in... A year? Longer? It's been too long. That was really my bastion for a while. Now I can barely stand to be alone with myself..."

    Winter's been asked that question a lot by some of her more sentimental clients, and that wasn't her rehearsed answer. You can probably feel a defense mechanism click in Winter's brain, and she instinctively tries to divert from her problems. "I guess I've just become accustomed to having people in my life. To a certain extent, I find peace in helping my clients find peace... And more recently in some of my friends."

    There isn't enough jingle in the world to keep Winter away from Easton tonight, and she doesn't half-ass sex as a rule; but depending on what becomes of this Harridan affair, Amiette would probably land a permanent spot on Winter's do not charge list.
  • "That is something I envy you. Being accustomed to people in your life. For me, most stay on my periphery, unless they need what I can do. The ones who don't stay only a little while before going away again."

    I look over her body again.

    "What it must be like... to have so many who want to be close, who want to touch you."

    I'm looking at her hair again, as I comb through it some more. Occasionally I'm caressing the side of her face, lightly, shivering a little at the feel of warm skin. I shift to meet her eyes again, tilting my head in thought.

    "We make an interesting contrast, don't we. People tend to trust you, yet you don't really trust anyone. Most don't, perhaps can't, trust me, no matter the faith I put in them." I remember making a similar comment to Emmy. It's funny to think of Emmy and Winter as being alike. In this way at least.

    It's almost there, I'm almost ready to fall.
  • For the sake of intimacy, let's say Raven is outside in the hall while this is going on. It's just you two here.
  • Winter cocks her head and narrows her eyes when Ami mentions her curiosity about being wanted — it never really occurred to her that the stigma of being a Brainer would spill over into such a personal realm. Winter can't imagine not being wanted. Not being touched. What a scary thought... A gentle touch between two people is the closest Winter's ever been to reading someone's mind. Her mind turns to Easton and his embrace in the courtyard — how it was the only thing she could give him to calm him in that time of need. Somehow, Winter knew that Ami needed that now. She smiles lightly, and cautiously reaches up to grab Ami's hand. She squeezes it gently for a moment, catching Ami's gaze. She says nothing, but holds the moment just long enough for Ami to know that Winter was going to trust her of her own free will. She may be terrified of what Ami could do to her, but somehow she knew Ami wasn't someone she had to worry about.

    "It's a shame," Winter finally answers when Ami comments on their differences, "that such a gentle soul would be cursed with such loneliness."

    OOC: I'm going to try something here... Read a person coming up.
  • Roll+Sharp, Read Amiette. +1 XP
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • Winter half-smiles up at Amiette, and asks, "what would make you happy?"

    In the event that Amiette doesn't interfere, my question is this: how could I get Amiette to be happy?
  • edited December 2012
    I smile at her, a bit sadly, when she squeezes my hand. It's not that I don't believe in her trust. I do. It's always sweet when people give it. I'm always touched, and grateful. But experience has taught me that it's only a matter of time before they simply can't anymore. And what will be between us may be hard for her. She's shown me that already by avoiding the personal.

    How to answer her question? I consider brushing it off with something glib, immediate, but I am working for intimacy here. I need to share myself, and I find myself trying to put it to words.

    "To have people want me." I begin slowly. "Want me around them. Want to spend time with me. Want to touch me... not just as a lover but casual, open, genuine, affection. Hugs... kisses, caresses. People who are happy for me to be near their children." I sigh "I love children." I can hear the wistfulness in my voice.

    "To not be like this... not need to take refuge inside another's mind get any real sleep. To not risk hurting them when I do... To have someone who loves me and is strong enough to keep doing it despite..."
    I motion to my forehead helplessly. This is my fear about Raork. I realize. What he's offering seems like bliss, but I'm afraid that he's not strong enough to hold on, to take the relentlessly open nature of a relationship with me... or if he is, that I'll kill him. It's not like I've never had one brave enough to try... for a while. Mostly before I'd left a trail of bodies in my love life. It's that... and that I'm still crazy in love with Emmy, even if it's hopeless.

    "To not have almost every mind near me tinged with fear or hatred because I"m there."

    I sniff and put the fingers of one hand to my cheeks. The mutant tear ducts again. I look at the wetness on my fingertips and sigh, almost exasperated.

    Obviously you can't make her happy by yourself, but as far as contributing... Love her, not necessarily as a lover, but trust, real genuine affection, touch, and all without fear, or at least with mastered fear even though she can easily learn the very darkest most secret parts of your soul. If you are going to be a lover, be prepared for exposure... and if you can help with Bones, though I don't know how.
  • edited December 2012
    Ami is in control of her powers, right? She must be. I mean if she was just up and killing people by accident by touching them, then Winter probably wouldn't be alive right now. There's something about Ami that Winter can relate to — a silent self-loathing of a part of yourself you can't control. Winter reaches into her pocket, and produces a fine linen handkerchief — pristine of course — and hands it to Ami sympathetically. To a certain extent, she feels guilty to be promoting such a horrible stereotype about Ami... They hadn't really been friends, or anything, but Winter had been professional with Ami, and Ami had never struck Winter as the monster people set her out to be. In fact – if not for the unpleasant invasion of her mind earlier today – Winter would probably have gone on being professional with her. Furthermore: Ami hadn't hidden anything from Winter, or given Winter reason to believe she was being mislead about her powers... Winter had always been willfully ignorant of Ami's powers. The only thing that had changed about Ami, was Winter's knowledge of her.

    ... Kids, Huh? Winter has a bit of a wanderlust that she's been scratching at for a long time now; but she's getting up there in years, and all this talk about kids is starting to get to her. She's been living a rock star's life for a long time now, and she's got nothing to show for it, really. Thatch is a non-stop party-girl, and that kind of life drains you pretty quickly. She thinks back to Swoozie ODing on Bones' table. Now that she's sober, the reality of her situation starts to sink in. Her life has been one enormous string of good luck, and it was only a bad gamble away from being nothing more than an afterthought of some Johnny ending her over not wanting to pay her fee, or tying up a loose end. What the fuck is she doing? She looks up at Ami, worried not about what Ami might do to her, but what she's doing to herself. Helping horrible people do horrible things to good people, slowly chipping away at her soul in the process. She starts shaking and breathing a little heavy, but she quickly puts herself back in control.

    "I think I've been trusting the wrong people, Ami... I could use more people like you in my life; and when all this is over, I'd like you to be a part of it."
  • I smile at her even as I sense the alignment between our minds click into place. "I'd like that, very much. Now close your eyes, dear. This will probably feel... a little weird."

    Okay MC. Am I going have to do an exploratory here, or are you just going to lay it out for me?
  • I'll lay it out. This feels like a custom move to me. It's probably a one-shot deal, so the move looks pretty limited. So, let's try this...

    When you enter someone's brain upon invitation so you can protect them from another's strings, roll +Weird.

    On a 10+, hold 2. On a 7-9, hold 1. Until you plant or remove strings in someone else, spend your hold 1 for 1:
    * You can actively protect them from attempts to string or mentally control them
    * Your protection doesn't cause them 1-Harm AP
    * You can give them +1 Forward against another puppetmaster

    As long as you succeed, you're leaving a piece of yourself with them. Until you break the contact, you can try to reach them through the Maelstrom via Augury.
  • Well here we go then.

    #DiceRoller(2d6+3)
  • edited January 2013
    I fall into her. I can see what I need to do, but it's delicate work and as I thread my energy through hers I realize it's going to hurt her. Best to do it quickly. I can't leave her undefended. I push my mental voice through her.

    Forgive me, dear....this is going to be unpleasant. And then I do it.

    I will protect her from attempts to string or control her.

    (Winter, take an hx with Amiette since I did you harm)
  • Winter, you feel Amiette in your mind, gently at first, but then the pressure builds, like she's placing something under your skin, sliding a needle in and for a moment, there's a sharp pain. It passes as soon as Amiette talks with you, the worst of it, that is. It does leaves its mark, a dull throb (1-Harm).

    But you feel the power, her power, inside you now. Its a heady thing.

    Amiette, you get an impression of someone very important to Winter this deep in her mind, she's a vital part of her psyche, actually. She's a thin redhead wild child named Cherry, the girl who tempts or cajoles Winter into taking dangerous risks. She's tapped into the dark side of Winter, the opposite of the calm, compassionate girl you have in your embrace. Speaking of which, this level of intimacy gives you some rest, doesn't it? And the chance for a Deep Brain Scan, if you so wished.
  • OOC: Well, that means Winter resets her Hx with Amiette back to Hx+1, and takes +1XP. She also takes +1XP from co-operating with the mind-meld thing, and that means she's got an advance. I'll post something in Winter's forum shortly.

    Unpleasant would be the largest understatement Winter has heard in a month — and understatements are a dime a dozen in her line of work. Winter can feel Ami going into her brain just as she did before, and she feels an uncontrollable urge to push back on the invasive presence – again, as she did before – but this time, she's ready for it. She prepares herself, and holds her breath as Amiette digs deeper and deeper into her mind. She can feel Ami breaking down her mental defenses, this time without Winter building them back up. Then she feels her passing through Winter's baser instincts: feeling overwhelming fear at first, followed by an insatiable desire to be accepted, and finally immense trust. There's a sharp stabbing in her temples, like getting a root canal without the anesthetic, and she can feel Amiette latching on to her — entrenching herself in Winter's subconscious.

    Winter begins convulsing mildly from the pain, tears streaming down her face; but she's resolute, and just when she doesn't think she can take anymore she feels the pain subside, and Amiette relents — but lingers. She doesn't question it; but rather endures, learning every sensation she can from the experience. You can almost feel Winter's curiosity — like she wants you there.
  • MC, like automatically? Or I would need to roll again?
  • edited January 2013
    Take +1 Forward on it right now.

    ETA: And it seems like Winter might be willing to Help you, too.
  • So as you mentioned, I go through some of the deep stuff, Winter... so I find that I already reach out to look for this place. It's where I go when I'm with a lover, or to get any real sleep.

    Deep Brain Scan

    #DiceRoller(2d6+4)
  • What was Winter's lowest moment?

    What does she crave forgiveness for, and from whom?

    What are her secret pains?
  • Posted By: trevisWhat was Winter's lowest moment?
    Winter has been dragged around by the collar pretty much her entire life by Cherry. She's dug herself a very deep hole over the years in terms of depraved activity; and for the most part, she's been able to live with it thanks to Thatch's influence (i.e. drugs). Winter's been in a low point for nearly a year now, since she killed a young man named Tyce who she tricked into loving her. Part of her loved him too — a part that begged Cherry to let the poor boy live, and was forced to sit there and watch herself plunge a knife into his heart. She never blamed anybody but herself, and has been living her life devoid of any real meaning to compensate. She hasn't been alone and sober since.
    Posted By: trevisWhat does she crave forgiveness for, and from whom?
    You would think Tyce, but Winter doesn't want his forgiveness — she wants to serve out a self-imposed sentence on that, and she's not really looking to forgive herself either. What she does want forgiveness for is leaving Easton during his time of need — twice, to a certain extent — and taking the risk of not coming back to him from Harridan. She wants to please him more than anything, but...
    Posted By: trevisWhat are her secret pains?
    Winter grew up with Easton, wishing he'd sweep her off her feet, and they'd run off together to build up a future together. Something new, something completely their own. That never happened obviously, and Winter's been wandering the world building her business, doing despicable things to stay alive, discarding the parts of her that hold her back, spending every cent she's ever made trying to keep herself sane, and hating herself for it. She's not convinced she deserves a happy ending anymore. Her entire life has been self-sacrifice in the name of jingle. Only recently has she's begun turning to people she loves looking for inspiration on how to pull herself out of this nose dive... Thatch for her optimism, Ik for his sense of self worth, Easton for his ambition, and perhaps even Amiette for her trust. All parts of herself she's lost along the way — things she desperately wants to get back. Her pain is that despite being a provider of all those things to her clients, she is empty on the inside and has nothing left for herself.
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