Xiri, Tyra, And Diana At The Festina Lente

<Mina‘Haplo> Temperine Boulevard, or Temperine-on-Pax as the locals called it, was a wide, clean street running parallel to the River Pax, on the east bank, sharing its edge with a host of smaller streets. The real draw, however, was Temperine Flower Park, a large and surprisingly lush green park filled with flowers of all kinds. Along the roads that ringed this park sat quiet, classy restaurants and cafes.-
<Mina`Haplo> All in all, a place enjoyed by everything from courting couples to sharp-eyed students to elegant bachelors. It was a place of society, of poise, and class.
*Xiri had an agreement with the Park owners to set up the Festina Lente’s entrance near the entrance of the park, right by the circular floral work and the large clock that serves as one of the meeting places. Also, given it's full of flowers, she's probably on first name basis with the owners, given their mutual love of flora.
<Xiri> [ The Festina Lente's gates are the same as they ever are: a set of majestic mahogany doors, ebony, with a gold and platinum bar handle on each side. It's adorned with intricate metal filigree signifying a butterfly and fey motif, and has a circular mandala gently rotating underneath it that forms the basis of its portal magic. ]
<Xiri> [ In artsy cursive letters, the pink neon sign 'Festina Lente' draws the eye above the gates. ]
*Tyra strolls down the street, having since changed from her wetwork gear to the clothing most of Paxia is used to seeing her in. Button up white dress shirt with the top few buttons left open, black slacks, vest and jacket and such. The whole deal, really. Hair is left unrestrained, though a black fedora has found itself on top of her head at one point or another.
*Tyra glances back at Diana, offering the R&D specialist another wide grin. "Come on, it isn't that bad to get out of the work getup, is it?" Of course, the four imposing men in suits walking in step with the duo make for an interesting contrast with the woman's rather cheery mood.
<Mina‘Haplo> One of the four men- a tall, physically imposing man, dressed impeccably in a white dress shirt, black jacket, trousers and bowtie- is keeping an eye on Tyra with the air of someone trying not to act suspicious, yet ultimately is. His name is Neville Vanya, and he’s determined not to be given the slip yet again.
*Diana was walking alongside her boss, and yes, had to be out of her work jumpsuit, instead wearing an outfit that poked at dress conventions in a bizarre way. A light airy yellow top that was sort of like a blouse, but didn't really have the frills of a real blouse of her times. And she wore something similar to khaki pants, but they flared out soooo much that they nearly floated like a skirt. -
<Diana> "Come on, it's comfortable! And doesn't get in the way. And I don't need to worry if a carriage splatters mud on it! It's even protected with an alchemic stainblocking non-stick polymer! But… Fine, I'm fine. Really." Her black (it was almost blue in hue) hair was cut shortish, only down to her neck… and topped by a strange hat fitted on a metal band with small lenses suspended on an arm…
*Tyra can't help by snicker, looking on the verge of a smirk. "Yes, but that isn't too bad either for comfort and far more presentable! You'll have fun, I promise. Festina Lente is one of my favorite spots in the city." She glanced at Neville as they neared the gates, clapping her hands (covered by cloth fingerless gloves!) together.
<Tyra> Speaking of! Gentlemen, could you all be sweethearts and give me and Miss Lucerne some space? Waiting outside, perhaps? No one's going to cause a stir in there and if they do you'll know soon enough as well.
*Diana shrugged. "I guess." …And of course, was being tailed by her trusty assistant unit, a squat 3' tall humanoid automaton that whirred and clanked slightly as it walked. She insisted on bringing it! But… all in all, she was okay with Tyra's request.
<Mina‘Haplo> The other three men seemed rather willing to taper off, but Neville… Not so convinced. He tilted his head. "Madame Paskell, with all due respect, I think I would be remiss in my duty to you and to your father… And grandfather… If I were to wait outside. I think it would be better if I accompanied you at all times." He said, with a very faint frown.
*Diana glanced at Tyra, then at Neville, smirking. "Come on. Even you should know I can completely defend little miss precious-" which she said in a tone that made it clear she was mocking the idea of it "- from harm. You have to have seen the rapid assembly demonstration last week! I could make a combat drone in seconds flat!" Another smirk. "It’d probably do better than you anyway~"
*Tyra shook her head, pouting for a moment. "It wouldn't be all that much trouble. Grandpapa would understand, surely. How are we supposed to unwind and enjoy ourselves when everyone has to keep a five foot space around us clear so they don't get the death glare." She glanced at Diana, patting her on the shoulder. "Now now, be nice to Neville. He means well."
<Diana> "Awww, okay."
<Mina‘Haplo> Neville bristles ever so slightly at the… well, honest-to-god slight against his abilities, but to his credit he remains professional, only giving Diana a short glare, before turning back to Tyra. "… Very well, Madame Paskell." Said Neville, sighing as he did so. "I will wait outside, but at the first sign of trouble…"
<Tyra> Yes, yes. You’re a dear, Neville. I'll cover your tab when you come here on vacation, promise. *She stepped forward, giving the man a quick peck on the cheek before gesturing for Diana to follow.*"Come on, we want to make sure we get a good table before Xiri starts."
*Diana nodded a bit impatiently. "Alright, alright…" And… briefly paused, noting the mandala. "…Odd. I guess you should go first, AU-X." The little thing clicked loudly - …was it alive or not? - and went in first, before Diana followed.
<Xiri> [ When the girls enter, they enter into a place of surprisingly potent ambience. A soft piano is playing an emotive tune at the back of the mind, accompanied by a moody, soulful double bass. The place's color is soothing blue, with layers of starlight and light areas to counterbalance the mix. Immediately: a U-shaped bar is about fifteen feet from the entrance, with the lounge logo hanging high. ]
<Xiri> [ To their left is the expansive casino area, which isn't quite filled yet; the gamblers usually take a bit more to filter in. As is the norm with nights out at Temperine-on-Pax, the exotic southern side is featuring wilden gambling games, involving games of chance that use plants and other mysteriously exciting facets. ]
<Xiri> [ To the right is the main dining area, with the balcony above somewhat visible; it's a posh lounge, where the tables are completely covered with their royal blue tablecloths, and the chairs are either one-seater lounge seaters or curved couches that seat multiple. Up against the eastern wall is the stage, which is bordered by crimson. Xiri's ebony piano is present, but not she herself. ]
*Xiri herself is near the entrance, just having finished seating a gentleman dressed in white and his lovely wife and providing them with a bouquet of fresh rose for their dinner tonight, when she spots Tyra and Diana enter, and seems overjoyed, extending both her hands as she paces over towards them. "Tyri, love. You brighten my evening already," she says with her decidedly affected accent.
*Xiri is dressed much the same as she often is - a crimson gown drapes over most of her form, the fabric actually possessed of minor magitech fibres that allow it to sort of spiral and swirl around her elven body as she moves without ever snagging itself. It is trimmed with what looks like either black fur or feathers, and has a deep V-plunge that shows off some of her torso.
*Diana blinked almost audibly at that. "…Er…" And looked around left and right, while the little 'bot seemed to tug at her pantsleg like a child clinging to its mother.
<Xiri> [ The front area actually has a small coat-check area, staffed by what appears to be a humanoid apparition of solid feywild energy. It also has that sign that reads in gold print, 'Please check your hate and coats at the door. -Love, Xiri'. ]
*Tyra can't help but have her gaze linger on the casino area to the left, a more relaxed smile on her face as she reaches up to tip the hat back a tiny bit. "Ooh, I haven't played a round of that in a while… Don't think Father would approve though." Her relaxed smile gives way for a wide grin, almost beaming. "Evening, Xiri. You look gorgeous tonight as always."
*Tyra gestures towards Diana, urging her to come forward. "Come on, don't be shy. Xiri, let me introduce you to a dear friend of mine and one of the reasons for Paskell's success, Diana Lucerne. Diana, this is Xirinas Fae'driel, the woman who's put this place right at the top in Paxian entertainment and a dear friend as well."
<Mina‘Haplo> Meanwhile, a few other people- some regulars, some new faces- are situated around the Festina Lente. Near the entrance stands Jean-Baptiste, Xiri’s faithful bouncer. Tall, black, and wearing a pair of shades and a small smile, he had an air of being politely interested in everything he saw- yet also an air of danger, perhaps. His confident posture was all the proof anyone would need regarding his credentials as Xiri's bouncer.-
*Diana nodded a bit tensely, seeming a bit uncomfortable with the… well, all the 'love' going around. And the swanky-party-lounge atmosphere. Though she didn’t really want to say anything about the odd heritage or the odd language. Also, she did not have a coat. And hoped the pun was literal and not demanding a hat too.
*Xiri walks forward, very smooth and relaxed in her body language. She looks towards Diana's eyes and mms for a moment, and then says in a sincere tone as she curtseys, "I am fey-honored to meet a boffin such as you, Diana. I am Xirinas Fae'driel… I will be your hostess for the night." A pause as she stands upright again, and then moves to welcomingly usher them in.
<Mina‘Haplo> Meanwhile, at the bar sit a couple of people; one of them was a young-looking man, maybe in his mid-twenties, sitting at the bar with a bit of a slump to his posture. He had a fresh, young faced that looked marred with recent stresses, and he wore a crisp white shirt with brown vest and matching pants, a bulky-looking overcoat sitting over his chair. He had a drink in hand, and seemed to be rather absorbed-
<Mina`Haplo> In a collection of documents before him.
<Xiri> [ Walter, sadly, only gets a fey apparition serving him at the moment. The good part is that they simulate body language quite well and behave as if they can listen, have their feelings flattered and hurt, and are good to vent against. The bad part is that, well, they have no face and can’t talk. ]
<Mina‘Haplo> Walter peers up at the fey apparition with a half-smile. "Hey, you might know the answer to this. I don’t suppose you or your other delightful colleagues have any experience catching ghosts, do you?"
<Xiri> [ The fey apparition - which is female and has a high ponytail - sort of 'stares' at him, her posture exaggerated a little for ease of communication, then gives him a big friendly shrug! And pours him another drink. ]
*Tyra follows Xiri, still all smiles as she sweeps the fedora off her head. "How do you manage to keep everything running so smoothly here, Xiri? There has to be some magic trick to it, a snap of your fingers or the like. Damane knows things turn into a complicated mess far too quickly."
<Mina‘Haplo> "No? Ah, well, thanks anyway." Says Walter, taking the drink and sipping it. "That’s what some are saying, down at the precinct. That she's this… I dunno, some kind of revenant, or ghost or something, back from the dead, which is why we can't find her." Says Walter, taking a despondent drink. "'Now they're two of them! The ghosts are multiplying!'… Jerks."
*Diana of course walked in, still not that… comfortable with the whole lounge thing. Though… she did muse. "Maybe a literal magic trick. I certainly know how that kind of thing can be done."
<Xiri> [ Silent laughter, and a more subtle shake of her head, as if to empathise with that 'jerks!' emotion. ]
*Xiri is gesturing Tyra at her usual spot - one of the best ones in the entire house. Closer to the piano with a great view, decent lighting, and a view to boot. She does stop, though, as she looks towards the little robot following (clinging?) Diana. "Aww. Who is this wonderful little child?"
*Xiri even bends slightly forward to get her eyes more level with it, with a big smile.
<Mina‘Haplo> "What do you think, huh? Think I should call in some demon hunter to take the Slayer down. Yeah, that’ll be the day…" Walter takes another drink. "Y'know, maybe I should've done that. Become some kind of demon hunter. It would, apparently, have been a better use of those years studying and training to be a detective." Said Walter with a hint of bitterness.
*Diana grinned, glad to have attention paid to her works, which tended to distract her from other discomfort. The machine, for its part, clicked a few times in sequence. "Ah! Assistant Unit Type-X, or AU-X. It's an auxiliary, see. I find it witty! At any rate, it's an experiment in semi-autonomous units. It has a wee bit of intelligence, but not enough to be independent!"
<Xiri> [ The apparition waves him off, then points at him. Then gestures with both of her hands upwards. It's like playing a game of charades, except you're free to interpret them however you want and they'll not really get offended. ]
*Xiri looks up at her with a bright smile on her lips and says, "Can I hug him? I just want to reach out and give it a tender hug."
<Diana> "Sure, go ahead!" …and the little thing paused and looked up, little shiny glass… whatever type of device its eyes were… staring up.
*Tyra tilts her head, chuckling. "I'm certain the little rascal has caused some trouble around the office, even if it isn't fully independent."
*Xiri reaches under its arms and lifts it up, much like she would a baby, and gives it a brief, but tender hug. "Aww. You are precious, aren't you? Yes you are…" before looking at Diana, just a little bit self-conscious, before moving them towards their table. When they are there, she actually wills a nearby apparition to bring an elevated toddler chair for AU-X!
*Diana waved her hand dismissively. "Come on, that was perfectly innocent!" …A more conspiratorial grin. "And I got the necessary data points from the Thunderous Obstruction-Eraser from it!" And… sat down, while the 'bot did so as well… though Diana herself sort of seemed sheepish at that.
<Mina‘Haplo> Walter stares at the apparition, not entirely sure what it’s trying to say. "… I… I see." He said awkwardly, looking back at his files, then sheepishly glancing at the apparition.
*Xiri pats the robot on its head, then moves around, putting one reassuring hand gently on Diana's shoulder. "Do you drink, Diana?" She gestures and says softly, "If you do not, then I will get you whatever else you desire. Tonight in the Festina Lente, you are as queens among the high fey court."
<Xiri> [ The apparition pulls its hand up to pat Walter on the cheek, before moving to serve another customer with a mixed drink. A limey margarita. ]
*Diana shrugged. "I don't. Some citrus juice from the southern lands would be lovely, though. Maybe with a bit of cream and crushed ice?…"
*Tyra takes her seat as well with a nod. "Oh, Internal Affairs weren't happy at all though. I remember hearing how that review went from Father." She gives AU-X a smile before looking up at Xiri. "Ah, you spoil me far too much sometimes, Xiri." She nods towards Diana, leaning back and crossing her legs. "Hmm, I'm feeling adventurous. Surprise me, Xiri."
<Mina‘Haplo> Walter blinks at the apparition a little bit as it goes, then proceeds to turn back to his documents, taking a pencil out of his jacket and making little drawings.
*Xiri looks back to Tyra with a smile, and then says, "Very good, mademoiselles," and Tyra knows she loves saying the ’classic' waitress lines a little too much. She giggles to herself, before looking back to Diana and saying, "I will treat you to my own great-aunt's feywild lemonade. It is an instant classic with the newcomers."
<Diana> "Alright, then."
*Xiri starts away, but then pauses. "Oh, Tyri-love. What happened to the good men in black who work so hard for you? I was hoping to treat them to paxshire pudding. Tonight /is/ roast night, and I remember how that wonderful gentleman's face melted pleasantly the moment he took a bite…" She gets a bit wistful look for a moment, but then snaps herself correctively.
*Tyra looks a bit sheepish, possibly caught off guard for a moment. "Ah, Mister Vanya. I asked for a bit of space from the fine gentlemen. I can never quite unwind with them hovering about. Perhaps we should have them come in but to treat it as if they're on leave." She mulls on this, tapping her chin contemplatively.
*Xiri gestures in a friendly manner. "You know you are in good hands with J.B. on the prowl. Come, let them enjoy. Everyone is welcome at the Lente." Then she really does leave for real, because duty waits. The good thing is that an apparition soon takes her place, offering sliced almonds and freshly-baked baps as an appetizer.
*Diana shrugged, leaning back. "To be honest, I don't really like being around them. Too pushy and stern."
*Xiri winds up manning the bar, and as she enters, she spots a familiar face - Walter. She takes a cloth to wipe the surface with as she moves in, letting the apparition go as she starts first on Diana's lemonade. "Darling, darling, darling," she says with an irresistible smile. "The rings on your eyes speak volumes about you, friend."
*Tyra offers Diana a slightly chastising look. "They are paid to do that. Bonuses if they scare away any potential lovers of mine, to boot." She does eventually relent and have a message sent for the suits to come in, though with explicit instructions they are to enjoy themselves and not have a cordon around Tyra and Diana.
*Diana looked a bit incredulous at that. "Eh… what?"
<Mina‘Haplo> Walter turns from his work to look at Xiri, and the moment he does an almost imperceptible softening of his face occurs. He gives her a smile. "Work, my dear. You look angelic as always, though.
<Mina`Haplo> "
<Mina`Haplo> Meanwhile, word is indeed sent to the ’suits', as Tyra so lovingly puts it, and they shuffle in, Neville leading the group inside. One of the men has an unabashedly eager look on his face, whilst Neville seems to be fighting the urge to do exactly what Tyra said not to do and form an impenetrable cordon around his charge.
*Xiri makes as if blushing, and gestures him away. "You do go on, dear." She takes a crystalline bottle of distilled fey honey to mix with crushed ice and freshly-squeezed lemon with clear spring water and puts it into a magitech blender. "What's the score this time?"
*Diana sighed. "I guess. I still don't like it. Maybe it's because I don't 'need' it. My guards are my own, made by me, controlled by me. No complexities that way."
<Xiri> [ Jean-Baptiste — who they have to know by now if Tyra's a regular — nods as he gives them the sort of professional salute and gestures them in. "Welcome, gentlemen. Take a load off… bangers and mash, fresh from the stovepot." ]
<Mina‘Haplo> Walter sighed, and tapped the stack of documents before him. "Another murder, I’m afraid. Another Slayer murder, another dead CEO, and… Well, it looks as though the Slayer's got something of a… Understudy, now."
*Xiri lets out a gasp as she expresses some worry and fear in her eyes. "Another… Slayer?" She looks genuinely confused — on both fronts — at that, although she might have an inkling. A Paskell-sized inkling. "Do I have to start worrying, Darling?"
<Mina‘Haplo> The boys look enthusiastic at that, and with a worrying sort of glance at them, Neville realises he’s not going to be able to form his Great Wall of Spooks, even if he tried. He instead gives Jean-Baptiste a knowing nod. "Thank you, Jean-Baptiste. Your host's establishment is lovely as always…"<Xiri> [ To Jean-Baptiste's credit, he gives them a table that isn't too far away from Tyra, without it being completely obstructing to her evening. "Can I get you gentlemen a drink? Even on the clock… gotta kick a smooth one back. That's one of my rules." ]
*Walter shakes his head a little at that. "I somehow doubt that, dear Xiri. I don't think you have anything to fear from the Slayer, or anyone- who'd want to hurt you?" Asked Walter rhetorically. "No, you're not in any danger… But there're gonna be a lot of top hats around who'll start getting paranoid now."
<Walter> [ The boys gladly sit down cheerfully, whilst Neville notes the clever positioning and gives Jean-Baptiste a respectful nod. "That'd be excellent, Jean-Baptiste. The boys…" There is quiet discussion, before… "Two whiskeys, a gin, and… One martini." ]
*Xiri holds both of her hands to her heart as she looks sadly at him for a moment, and then says, after a bit, "What about you?" She pulls the jug out of the blender and pours the resulting feywild lemonade into a tall glass, and puts some cream at the top, just as Diana asked. A wedge of fresh lemon and a green straw finishes the ensemble.
<Walter> "What about me, Xiri?" Asked Walter, somewhat mystified.
*Tyra frowns for a heartbeat, eyes flickering towards Walter and Xiri before back to the table. She does give Neville and the rest a smile as they come in though. "Maybe, but you have to understand how Father is. Especially with the spree of murders lately…"
*Xiri tilts her head. "You are … chasing the Slayer so often. I … worry that you may get hurt. You are still young," she says, with appropriate concerned gravitas. She starts on Tyra's drink. Moo hoo haa haaaaaa.
*Diana shrugged. "…I guess. I still don't need it, because I'm me, not you." Idle sip of the lemonade. Smile. "Ahh, nice~"
<Walter> "Ah, well." Said Walter embarrassedly. "What can I say? The Slayer's a criminal, and someone has to chase her. It may as well be me."
*Xiri looks at Walter with that same look of concern for a moment, but then says, "You do us all a great favor, love. Every day." She puts a rocks glass with ice down for him, and then reaches for a top-shelf bottle of bourbon. Then pours a shot for him, and smiles as she slides it to the detective. "On the house, darling."
<Walter> "Thank you, Xiri." Said Walter gently, taking the shot and proceeding to drink it down with aplomb. "You're far too kind, you know? I don't want to worry you or anything with my job. I mean, I get that enough with my mother." He said, chuckling.
*Xiri has a bottle of a vaguely black liquid with a stopper out. She pours a measure of it into a jigger, and then flips it over as she adds a volume of tomato juice into the mix… and then slides a sliced length of celery into the mix. "Violence is an abhorrent creature, mister. It draws good people like you into the mix," she says with conviction.
<Xiri> [ "Coming right up," J.B. responds with a two-fingered salute. The boys are also served their snacks, as is standard for guests of the Lente. ]
*Walter winces a little, almost shyly, as Xiri says that. "You're too right there. It *is*an abhorrent creature. I mean…" Walter looks back down at his sheet. "Have you heard of this man? Richard Vickers? … You'll probably see his name tomorrow in the paper. The Slayer might've offed him, but… Well, it wasn't exactly his first foray into violence, if you get my meaning…"
*Xiri shakes her head a little. "No, I don't know what you mean," she says with a bit of curiosity and that tone that is almost reluctant to hear. She looks at her pocket watch for a moment, then mms as she says, "I know that a lot of my clients have some unclean things to say about him, though."
<Walter> [ Tyra's security entourage give J.B a cheerful response, and proceed to dig in happily into their snacks, including Neville, who looks damn guilty about it. ]
*Walter nods. "Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised. Either way, after he was killed, we secured the entire building- well, as best we could- and we conducted a thorough search… It wasn't exactly pretty." Said Walter sadly. "According to what we retrieved, he- and others in his company- have had their hands in murder, corporate espionage… And weapons smuggling." Said Walter. "He was selling weapons to underground insurgents. That's treason."
*Xiri is tilting her head away for a moment, looking genuinely sad. "… one evil that consumes another, isn't it?" she says with a sigh. But then smiles brightly as she says, "Well, I hope to keep the Lente free of violence. A sanctuary in this city."
<Walter> "Well, that it certainly is, Madame. A fine and hospitable place it is, just like its host." He says with a warm grin.
*Xiri lifts the tray up, since the drinks are almost overdue at this point. "Have to keep the other lovebirds happy, Darling," she adds with flair, and then moves back to Tyra and Diana.
<Xiri> [ Eventually, Jean-Baptiste himself comes back with the array of drinks - straight, in rocks glasses. Those who want it chilled get frosty glasses; the rest get it served on the rocks. The martini is in a cocktail glass with a pitted olive. ]
*Tyra can't help but giggle as she watches her entourage out of the corner of her eye as she tears a small piece of a roll to pop into her mouth. "He can't ever completely unwind, the poor soul."
*Diana shrugged, sipping contentedly. "Be that as it may."
*Xiri arrives, and lays Tyra's Bloody Mary with Pepper Vodka down, and smiles as she asks Diana directly, "What do you think? When I was but a young lass, my nan would make it as she told stories about the fey-goddesses over at our autumn foliage homes."

<Walter> [ The boys accept their drinks cheerfully, wishing J-B well. "Thank you, John-Baptiste." Says Neville, who quietly tucks into his martini. ]
<Diana> "It's delicious! I am glad I don't have to have something alcoholic, for that matter."
<Xiri> [ "Hey, don't mention it. I did some service time too, y'know…" and gestures, saying, "Can I get you folks some grub, or are you good?" ]
<Xiri> [ That was JB. ]
*Tyra gives Xiri a smile, nodding towards her. "Thank you, Xiri." She picks up the glass, taking a slight sip of the drink at first.
*Xiri smiles at Diana again, and then looks to AU-X. "Does this little angel want something? I am… not sure what he needs."
<Walter> [ "Actually, we pro-" Neville's voice is drowned out by affirmations from his squad. Neville gives them the Look of the Betrayed, before quietly nodding his head in submission. ]
<Xiri> [ It's, well, a bloody mary. But all the peppery goodness is present without all the woody chunks of cracked pepper. ]
*Diana waved her hand dismissively. "I provide all of its motive energy. So no, no, it won't drink a thing."
*Xiri awws slowly, but nods as she says, "Well, if anything, just give me a ring." She tilts her head warmly as she says, "Do you girls want something to eat tonight?"
*Tyra smiles, taking a greater sip of her drink. "Wonderful. As for a meal… hmm." She glanced over at Diana, eyebrow raised. "Do you want anything, Diana?"
*Diana shrugs. "…No preference, really. I had a big lunch."
*Xiri covers her mouth as she goes, "Oh, gracious! How clumsy of me. Let me get you the menu…" as she paces away, and returns not too long later with said items, one for each.
<Tyra> Perhaps something light then…
<Diana> "Mmm, light would be good. Something palatable but gentle to my system."
*Xiri suggests, "How about fish and chips? That is always a favorite here at the Lente."
<Tyra> I think that would do rather nicely for me. Diana?
<Diana> "Fine by me."
*Xiri nods as she gestures for an apparition, hands him off the order, and then says, "The feystaff will serve you when it's ready. I have to get ready for the Magic Hour…" an mm as she looks to Diana again and says, "I hope you will enjoy it, dear."
*Diana nodded. "I'll try."
*Tyra smiles, clasping her hands together. "Any old favourites, or do you have something new tonight?"
<Xiri> [ "Excellent. We'll get you some fresh slices of roast, an' some peas and carrots, and some bangers and mash. It'll be just like Sunday brunch at home," Jean-Baptiste boasts a little, although it's in good faith. He gives a thumbs up to the men, then leaves. ]
*Xiri smiles and says, "I think I will just give the crowd what they like to hear tonight, Tyri-love. The wilden are going to perform their flower-dance after the Hour is over."
*Tyra smirks a little, nodding. "Wonderful! I'll look forward to it then. It has been quite a while since I've seen a flower-dance, after all."
<Walter> [ The men look rather enthusiastic at that! Neville allows himself just a single moment of dreaminess before returning to his stern, implacable demeanour. ]
*Xiri walks, giving them a hearty wave as she stops by the other patrons and asks if they're having a good time, et cetera, on her way up to the stage. The dining side of the Lente is a little bit more full at this point, as is usually the case.
*Xiri sings. The stage dims into darkness for a moment, and then the first few notes of her most popular hits are heard to lead the audience to the Magic Hour. "If it takes… forever… o/~" And there it is. The identifiable, relatable songs full of human emotion: happy, sad, aching, the full gamut. She gets a good five songs in-between breaks and other such 'talks' with the audience.
*Xiri 's setup is with her usual mic stand next to her piano, which she sings into; she usually gets the apparitions to play pre-programmed double bass and saxophone parts that she's written for them, but guest performers sometimes join in to play with her, and she's all the happier for it.
*Walter for his credit pushes his work aside the moment Xiri starts her show. To continue to work whilst she sang would be a disservice to her, and it's not like he'd be able to focus on the documents anyway.
*Tyra ends up with her attention riveted on Xiri as she performs as well, chair shifted some so she doesn't have to twist to get a look. The only break is when she sips her drink and it's rather obvious some of the songs tug at her heart to boot.
*Diana was watching, herself, though… it did seem at times that the real 'oomph' of the performance was lost on her. Odd.
*Xiri sings about the loves of her life, about the world we've created and how every day a helpless children is born… it's all very touching and poignant. And at the end of it all, she dedicates it 'only to the beautiful people in this lounge… that is, all of you', and blows the audience a kiss as she moves backstage.
<Walter> [ The security detail bow their heads at that, and it's obvious even Neville is genuinely touched by the scene. He coughs awkwardly, turning back to his men, giving them a slight nod. ]
*Walter isn't quite so ruggedly resilient, and he sort of rests his head on his arm, which in itself is resting on the bar in front of him, a starry-eyed light in his eyes. A restless, rather sad feeling is tugging at his heart, and it shows.
<Xiri> [ The scene shifts to the wilden - plant-men that I just realized Haplo probably hasn't desced yet - and their plant-dance. They've a real connection with nature, and given the location - Temperine-on-Pax - it's all the more fitting. She even joins in and tries some of their dancing, and invites members of the audience to dance, and serenades and plays the piano for them. ]
*Tyra considers for a moment as Xiri goes about inviting the audience on stage, a sudden impish smile on her face. Then she's up from her seat, winking at Diana… and Neville suddenly finds himself dragged up on stage by the Madame Paskell as well to join into the dancing.
<Tyra> « join in the*»
*Diana blinks, then nods. At least a little amused at the ANTICS.
*Xiri laughs as she provides jaunty piano tunes and even has a wilden playing double with her on a lower octave, and singing into the same mic to provide the festive dance tune for them.
<Walter> [ "Hey—-" Neville is practically dragged from his set, to the rousing and cheering cries and whistles of his band of bastards. Neville, for his credit, quickly tries to regain his composure, but he's reddening either out of frustration or embarrassment. "Madame Paskell, this is most irregular…"]
<Tyra> Come on! I instructed you to treat it like you're on leave!
<Xiri> [ Xiri encourages the audience to clap to the rhythm, and violinists are joining in and a jolly great ol' time is had. ]
<Walter> "Yes, but…" Neville glances back at his men, who are all uniformly smirking, then turns back to Tyra. "… I guess not many men can say they've danced alongside the Paskell Princess."]
*Tyra eyebrow twitches for a moment at her 'title', relaxing as she joins in the dance. "Don't worry, I'll figure out something for /them/ too." Then she shoots the other three another impish smile, this one promising torment beyond torment.
*Xiri eventually brings the dance to a close, and some other performances by local wilden artists that she promised to showcase are had. They're not all bad, too! A real bonanza of talent. The Lente is pretty good at giving 'indie' artists a venue, and Xiri is very encouraging of them. And finally, past the midnight hour, as the apparitions are sweeping the place and the lights are closing down…
<Walter> [ The three suits give each other uncomfortable looks, their smiles fading slightly… And their smiles drop off entirely when they realise that Neville's look matches Tyra's. Two horrifying forces unified for the sole purpose of making them miserable. ]
*Walter is still around, although he recognises his cue to take leave, his eyes on the lights. He looks slightly tipsy- not drunk, but it's clear that he has, perhaps, had just a smidge more to drink than he could honestly handle.
*Xiri eventually finds the time, amidst all the well-wishing and goodbyes of the couples and guests leaving, to drop by Tyra and Diana's table. "Well, then, Tyri." She looks to Diana and gives her a warm smile all the same, but she waits for the Paskell Princess to lead the conversation.
*Diana hovers around the impending conversation, probably having been told it was up, but not much else.
*Tyra smiles, interlacing her fingers together. "Quite. A private word between us three girls, perhaps?"
*Xiri did take the time to wish Walter well as he left, at least. She looks to Diana, and then acquiesces as she says, "To the backstage, then?"
<Diana> "Indeed, let's go."
*Tyra nods, rising to her feet as she waves towards Neville and the others. "Just a bit longer, gentlemen. Don't cause any trouble, now~"
*Xiri gestures, and keeps them occupied as the apparitions serve them some more alcohol. She then moves towards the backstage, where it is a wondrous world of props and other personal effects related to her show performances, and towards an unmarked door at the back, which is… actually a magitech biorhythm-synched portal to her own home.
*Tyra lets out an appreciative whistle at the backstage, following after Xiri still.
*Diana followed along herself, sort of wondering what this strange mysterious place is exactly!
*Xiri 's linked portal is linked to her own personal garden. Her apartment is a loft, the entire lot half her residence block and the remaining one a lovely and large garden that she takes care of, with a bronze-framed 'greenhouse' case. It's a bit like a zen garden, with a lot of overhanging trees in pots and flowers of all seasons. She stops at the middle of it, since that's where they'll have the most privacy.
*Tyra doesn't say anything immediately, taking a few moments to admire the garden. She slows to a stop near Xiri, bending down to delicately sample the scent of one of the flowers. "So this is where your collection comes from?" Her other hand flicks into her jacket for a moment, withdrawing the rosemary from before. It's been well taken care of, apparently just out of a vase for the moment.
*Xiri lets out a sigh as she more sternly looks to Tyra and says, "I hope that you do not take this fact for granted, Tyri dear," gesturing towards Diana. "No offense meant at all, dear."
*Diana stared around the place, blinking. So much translocation. A bit confusing…. "Huh?"
<Tyra> She's fine. She supplies me with all of my little tricks of the trade.
<Tyra> Some very interesting little toys that haven't made it into the public circulation yet sitting in R&D, you know.
*Xiri folds her arms — or rather, puts her palms to the opposite elbows, and crosses her legs, mming slowly. "Ah. I was right about the boffin compliment, truly," with a bit of a smile.
<Diana> "…Yes. I admit just being confused at the whole… offence… You're so confusing." She scratched her head a bit.
*Xiri clears her throat, and raises both her eyebrows at Tyra. "… I thought you told her?"
*Tyra can't help but laugh, straightening as she tucks the rosemary back. "Ah, I should have done this sooner." She smirks a little, glancing at Xiri. "I didn't want to steal the chance from you, just in case. If you want, though…"
*Tyra makes a slight motion with her finger. "Too many ears in the Tower, truly."
*Diana was starting to frown. "I really don't know what you're talking about. I mean, I'm aware of the 'special business' you two are into but your talk is so confusing…"
*Xiri lets out a sigh, and then pulls her hands to her sides as she wills her outfit to transform. As with before, the cleavage on her dress sews up, encasing her neck with that feathered boa as her hood comes up… and her face disappears into the darkness. The skirt rotates to form the slitted skirt with the leggings. "This, dear Diana."
*Tyra gives a slight shake of her head, sighing. "Really, I need to have mine designed to do that too…"
*Diana nodded. "Ah. Yes. That. As I said, 'special business'. It's just your words. I said that… I'm sorry." She knitted her hands together, AU-X trundling forward to make a platform for them. "All these fancy turns of phrase and dramatic things confuse me. I just make things."
*Xiri doesn't actually hold the Slayer guise for too long, and it transforms her back to the fashionable lounge singer, and a cross look is on her face now. "… it is I who should be sorry, if Tyri trusts you to become embroiled in this, dear."
*Tyra shoots Xiri a bit of a look for a moment before slumping a little. "Well, now I just feel bad."
*Xiri glances sidelong at Tyra with what could be a hint of admonishment as she says, "I do not know how you conduct your special business, myself, but I would rather draw as little people into it as possible…"
*Tyra slumps a little bit more under the slight scolding.
*Diana drooped even further. "I-I'm just someone who hides in dirty rooms buried in forgotten corners, playing with gear works and engines! I don't play these games, I just provide the toys! So… Calm down, please…"
*Xiri walks forward as she actually does place a sympathetic hand on Tyra. "As long as you understand, dear."
*Xiri looks back to Diana to say, "It would not be the first time an engineer has been targeted and killed in this city."
*Xiri does provide her with a smile afterwards though.
*Tyra breathes out a bit of a sigh. "Of course, Xirinas." There's a bit of a twitch at her statement towards Diana, though she keeps her gaze firmly rooted to the ground and voice quiet.
<Diana> "I can defend myself! It's just… All the slang and weird veiled references and… gaaah. I'm not ready for that. Don't let me do the talking for whatever you two have in mind…"
*Xiri moves towards a watering can - again, butterfly shaped - as she walks to water some of her morning glories. "That is the question at hand, is it not? What do you have in mind, Tyri love?"
*Tyra looks up a bit, snapping out of her funk somewhat. "I'm winging it a bit, I admit. There's still the offer I made back at the Vickers tower." A slight smirk graces her face for a moment before she moves on. "Barring that particular one though… perhaps a bit of cooperation." She frowns more, looking at another one of the flowers. "Though our methods tend to differ a bit…"
*Xiri mmms softly as she says, "I honestly do not understand yet what it is you hope to achieve, Tyri. But you did say you would explain, if I asked…" She smiles, and then reaches forward to snip an olive branch and extend it in Tyra's direction. This one is pretty obvious: peace. A symbol of her interest.
*Tyra reaches out to take the branch, unable to help but smile a little. "I'm rather certain I also required a kiss, alas." She shrugs a little, mulling. "I work to help the company, mostly. Get back things that are stolen and the like. Handily, what I was in the Vickers tower to retrieve was already ruined when you dropped him so I didn't have to case the place again."
*Tyra frowns, looking uncertain for a moment. "Both external and… internal issues, if necessary. IA can't catch everything. Sometimes they turn a blind eye, to boot. I don't think I'm quite cut out to run the damned company, but I can do this at least."
*Xiri mmms softly and says, "Well, I apologise for that, dear. You also mentioned that his death complicates matters."
*Diana just watched, feeling rather on the peripheral of all of this.
*Tyra smiles faintly. "That's when I was expecting to have to wait until afterwards to get another crack at retrieving some blueprints he'd gotten his hands on. They, ah, were on the desk. In the blood." She coughs. "Ruined. Saw it right before we went out the window."
<Tyra> Though I have no idea what the company's gonna do once they settle who takes over. More of the same, cleaning themselves up? Folding?
*Xiri actually does walk towards AU-X to pick it up, and gently stroke along the top of his head. Maybe she finds him cute. "It is noble and romantic of you to do it yourself rather than to hire espionage agents like the rest of them," Xiri chuckles softly, tilting her head and cooing, "Who's a good little boy? … yes, you are…"
*Diana blushed deeply, and the machine seemed to echo it, a low clank of… protest? Embarrassment? Coming out of it. Psychic links, and all.
*Tyra makes a bit of a face. "Not quite Grandpapa's style. I think he'd disinherit me if he knew. I.. really wouldn't trust our IA section either, really. I don't like most of them, except Neville. And he isn't IA anymore."
<Diana> "I… I just want to make sure nobody tries the same on us. And succeeds, anyway."
*Diana put two fingertips together, looking even more embarrassed. "I have other wants too…"
*Xiri sighs softly, and then sits AU-X on top of one of the ledges where her bonsai plants are located. She seems to be mulling over Tyra's situation, which requires some more thought, so she instead looks to Diana to say, "Oh?"
*Tyra falls silent for now, letting Xiri speak with Diana as she finds herself a seat to watch. She seems a bit off guard still, crossing her legs and biting her lower lip as she thinks.
*Diana bit her lip for a second, then folded her hands behind her. "I'm in favor of automaton intelligence. And the progress of science used for just ends. I want to stop those who abuse science or its children…"
*Xiri nods very slowly and kinda loses herself as she says, "Science… what a fascinating little boy, all grown up, eager for everyone to take him seriously… and his romantic liaison with that most beau of maidens, magic."
*Tyra can't help but smiles, looking over at Xiri. "That's… quite the way to put it."
*Diana nodded. "It really is… A very strange way of describing such things…"
*Xiri pauses, and chuckles almost embarrassedly as she says, "I apologise." She looks back to Tyra to say, "I have known you for months a time now, Tyri. I know that you have a good heart, and…" she looks to Diana, "…excellent choice in friends."
*Tyra shakes her head. "Don't apologize… and thank you, Xiri. It's… a bit of a relief to hear that, really."
*Diana nodded. "Likewise. You're a bit intimidating."
*Xiri is a little sad at Diana's comment, and says, "Truly, dear? I aim to be an approachable host," with just a little bit of self-consciousness. She looks to Tyra again and continues, saying, "I… am not quite certain how your situation, difficult as it is, relates to Vickers' death."
<Tyra> Maybe it's your reputation…
*Tyra shakes her head, frowning. "Rival company. Plenty of corporate spying and sabotage, which I try to curb. With Richards dead I'm not sure who'll be taking over and if they'll continue. If they do, I'll have to get another good look to see how they change their security considering their last CEO just got offed." She frowns even more. "…I also have no idea how the new one will operate. Vickers had a pattern."
<Tyra> « RICHARDS. Richard. »
*Xiri has a somewhat unusual upturned smile as she says, "The men in blue are still all over that crime scene, as Detective Darling attests wonderfully to me, bless his soul. There is a certain gravity in taking the office of someone who was murdered that is more likely to set you on the straight and narrow, if the trends are to be believed…"
*Tyra can't help but offer a rather dark chuckle at that. "I suppose that's true enough." She looks up, tilting her head. "Have they found anything?"
*Xiri is silent for a moment, and then sighs. "He was selling weapons to underground insurgents… very nasty folk. Evidence of murder and cover-up, and the usual bag of tricks with corporate espionage. You know most of this."
*Xiri actually turns around to face AU-X again, and takes a few of the flowers and actually decorates him with a little wreath around his shiny metal head. "Aww," she coos again.
*Tyra gives a nod, frowning. "Nothing on us, at least?"
*Diana blinked. "Why would someone so rich even bother with that? That's stupid." The bot, for what it was worth, vaguely adjusted the flowers.
<Tyra> Greed.
<Tyra> It has a way of feeding into itself, making you want more even as you obtain more.
*Xiri pauses, and then lets out a very little chuckle as she says, "Congratulations, they think you are my understudy."
<Tyra> …/understudy/?!
<Diana> "But insurgents?… That'd cause chaos, reduce sales, scare off contracts, the works." She shook her head. "Stupid stupid stupid."
*Xiri has a very mellow, helpless shrug as she holds AU-X up again with both arms to return him to Diana. "Walter's words, not mine, dear."
*Tyra shakes her head, muttering. "Damned incompetent cops can't even tell when two are working together or separately why the hell do we…" She stops suddenly, taking a deep breath to calm herself. "…So, why do you do it?"
*Diana accepted the machine with a mild smile, pulling out a little cloth and buffing its head slightly. "As long as they don't know who she really is that's fine."
*Xiri is silent at that, not really — or rather, REALLY not — wanting to get into Story Time. You know, when everything freezes and the protagonist limbos and physical words come flying out of his mouth in slow-mo… "A very good question with no short answer, dear, but suffice to say I have an axe to grind against their types."
*Xiri smiles at Diana as she says, "I've grown to really love machines — magitech machines, specifically. You must show me more of your work, Diana dear. I would be your captive audience."
*Tyra tilts her head. "Mmm. I won't push, then. Sorry."
*Diana nodded helpfully. "I'll try!" Though she seemed to be musing on something, herself.
*Xiri shakes her head apologetically at Tyra, and then says, with an almost palpable tone of self-chiding, "No, actually, I am. Suffice to say… there are blind spots in the law where devils lurk. I seek to make them cry their last… that is all. A mad quest for retributive justice, dear."
*Diana then widened her eyes, like she hit on something much… larger. "Maybe… maybe it's more than just policing the city.. Maybe it's more than protecting the family name. Maybe it's more than ensuring the right path of progress." This time, she actually was being a bit dramatic. "Maybe there's a war to be had here, in the shadows."
*Tyra rises back to her feet, taking a few steps towards Xiri. "…how long do you plan to, then?" Diana's word cause her to fall silent before she continues, looking over at Diana as if thunderstruck.
*Xiri is almost appreciative of Diana's panache, looking positively in adoration of her (well under her calm Brrrrrrritish veneer, mind you), before turning back to Tyra. "I would love to say 'until I slip and die', love, but personally, there is one that I will never stop following…" She slips her hand under her robe, and pulls a photograph out of… wherever. Ahem.
*Xiri hands it to her. It's a photograph of Arkhan Sol, masterfully executed dump of responsibility on GM to follow!
*Tyra takes the photograph, giving it the Critical Eye
*Diana has no idea what the photo has to do with anything, instead roiling through her head what to do now.
*Tyra frowns, mulling as she speaks in a matter of fact tone. "Arkhan Sol. Businessman, quite successful. Steel, railroads and such. More and more troublesome rumors, nothing solid… Also has a product line with sensory aids and other medicine related due to an old partnership with…" Her eyes widen a bit, glancing back up at Xiri's face as if to examine the other woman's reactions.
*Xiri just has that somewhat wry Edgeworth smile as she leaves the photograph in her hands. "We are not here to discuss my personal vendettas at length, however. As was said… 'what now'?"
*Tyra considers for a few moments, eventually lowering her hand. "We'll help you. You help us. Or at the very least if we run into each other again I won't be as, ah, confrontational." She gets a bit of a crooked smile. "Though that was rather enjoyable, all told."
*Diana looks back and forth between the two, but says little.
*Xiri considers it for a moment, and then says, "I just do not know that you desire my help, Tyri. Yours is a mission of retrieving what has been stolen… must you really mix murder into an already grim affair?"
*Tyra shrugs, smiling faintly. "Maybe I want to give you an alternative to murder."
*Xiri mmms very faintly in return, looking to Diana again. "… I will consider it further, then." She smiles sweetly to say, "It's been a wonderful pleasure to meet you, Diana. And Tyri."
*Diana nodded. "Same to you."
*Tyra nodded, her smile growing as she half turned. "I suppose I can't ask for more than that. I'll collect that kiss you owe me another time, then~"
*Xiri tilts her head with an upturned smirk as she ironically echoes, "You wouldn't take advantage of a girl like me, now would you?" and gestures towards the door at the back, which will link them back to the Festina Lente.
<Tyra> I think you're the one taking advantage of me, dear Xiri~
*Tyra pulls out a silver pocket watch from her jacket pocket, flipping it open for a moment. "…ah, Neville's going to have my hide."
*Xiri gives a coquettish little wave to the both of them, and even coos to the AU-X, "Goodbye, little angel. Perhaps we will get to play again sometime."
*Diana winked. "Or other friends~" And headed out to follow Tyra when she left~
*Tyra heads on out, tucking the watch back in her jacket with another sigh.
*Xiri looks at the both of them leave, and then silently touches her chest as she actually moves towards her apartment to, well, wrap up for the night.

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