Logs:On The Varieties of Bloodletting
On The Varieties of Bloodletting
|Characters:||Ghandara and Seth|
|Summary:||A violent Hunt turns into a meeting between two members of the Praxis.|
|Disclaimers:||Some violence at the beginning.|
The Garden District's usual downplayed dignity has been somewhat broken by the onset of summer and the lively bustle that comes along with it. More people are out, day and night, including the unsavory types. A tall, sun-tanned man with dark hair mostly covered by a black beanie and wearing matching concealing black clothing wanders down an alleyway between housing blocks in the Garden District, a backpack over his shoulder. The man is looking over his shoulder nervously, obviously spooked by something. He's paused under a small street lamp that floods the black alleyway with golden light, looking over his shoulder at the shifting shadows like he has been convinced of one terrifying thought... there's something behind him.
And he's right.
A strange, high-pitched noise breaks the usual ambiance of distantly passing cars. A pop, a silenced gunshot from the black of the alleyway, and the street lamp's bulb explodes in a shower of glass and sparks that fall onto the man standing beneath it. The shifty-looking man with the backpack shots in surprise, and turns to run, but he doesn't get far. A second silenced gunshot echoes off the narrow walls of the alleyway, the bullet this time cleanly piercing the man's thigh and dropping him to the ground. Something slinks through the darkness, black on black, another man's silhouette to join the first.
"Wanna know a secret?" The second man in the darkness speaks, and Seth kneels down to grip his prey by the back of the throat. The man is cursing loudly, in shock and trying ineffectually to stand. He's too distracted to hear the question, but Seth answers him anyway. "No one will be surprised you've lost blood, with a gunshot wound."
And then Seth tugs down the black cloth bandanna covering his face, fangs apparent in this shadows-on-shadows drama taking place in the murky darkness of the alleyway, and bites down on the vulnerable man's throat.
<OOC> Seth says, "Right, so, rolling a breaking point at humanity 7, with +2 for my touchstone..." .oO( Seth rolls 6 Dice )Oo..................................................o. Roll: 4 + 2 Result: Success (4) -- (1 1 10 4 2 10 10 9 2) .o...................................................oO( success (public) )Oo. <OOC> Seth says, "Okie doke. So that resolves the Wanton condition. :)"
It's a scene that ought to unfold without an audience. Most nights, it would, the angry commotion of Somebody Else's Problem in a city, a nation currently plagued with problems so very easy to overlook. Especially when cast in shattered glass and too much gloom. Tonight, the predator might sense some fraction of what his prey felt, an inkling of the discomfort which comes with being observed, being the focus of another's attention. An indistinct whisper suggests shapeless commentary, implies a plurality of witnesses. But there's only one, some distance off, in the first catch of shadows at the alley's mouth. Ghandara, in a black kaftan that leaves her shoulders bare, that plunges into a deep V in the front, interrupting a pattern of bronze-edged red, watches on with curious interest, patience, issuing not a word.
The presence of another causes Seth's eyes to move upwards instinctively, muscles rippling beneath his dark clothing as he tenses for fight or flight. But the presence of another Beast, even unfamiliar... if the observer is a Vampire, he can finish what he's doing then. The Mekhet doesn't take enough blood to reduce his prey to unconsciousness (and therefore probably kill him, given the bleed-out) combined with the gunshot wound, at least with rapid treatment, but he's definitely not going to be getting up to mischief any time soon. Seth stands up to his feet in a smooth motion, wiping the blood trailing from his mouth with the black cloth bandanna that he's wearing, and offers a fanged smile towards the observing Ghandara at the mouth of the alleyway. It is two parts greeting and one part whimsical challenge.
Tonight, Seth is attired almost entirely in blacks, as befitting a hunter in the dark. A generic black hoodie, hood upraised and covering his hair, black jeans, black boots.
Seth grabs the backpack that his injured and now delirious prey had been hauling, wearing it by one strap casually over his shoulder. In his left hand, a matte black pistol with a long silencer screwed onto it. But not for long: Seth is unscrewing the silencer as he walks, then holsters the pistol in leather, concealed near the small of his back. The silencer is placed within the front pocket of the hoodie.
Seth's voice is at odds with the display of violence that he has left in his wake, pleasantly sociable and vaguely French in accent. "Good evening, madam. Have I disturbed you?" He's walking towards Ghandara at a casual gait, his Beast obviously and languidly satisfied.
Ghandara answers the challenge--or perhaps just the greeting--with a benevolent smile, with a slight lift of her chin. She draws in a deep breath as she waits, filling dead lungs with the damp city, the stagnant filth of the dark alley, the blood and fear pooling around the stranger's fallen prey. Her beast swells slighting in that moment, at that scent of blood, but recedes comfortably enough back to patience, to lurking observation in evidence of an appetite already sufficiently satisfied. A steady presence without overt interest in conflict, a willingness to entertain competition without outright goading. "No." A simple statement of fact followed by a second or two of studious silence as she considers the other predator's approach. "You have piqued my curiosity." Local, perhaps, if slightly displaced, by time if not distance. With a slight loft of her dark brows, she offers, "I hope I've not disturbed you?" with a slight smile that teases at amusement at the possibility.
"Not at all," Seth responds as he exits the mouth of the alleyway and comes to a stop, a few feet away from Ghandara. He cuts a slight and downright civilized bow, "Please, call me Seth. I'm recently with the Praxis." Something about the composure of the other Vampire and her apparent manners spark a similar response in him: most people wouldn't be so willing to engage in the frivolities of society after such an egregiously violent display as that Hunt in the alleyway, Seth's erstwhile prey now stumbling to a stand and limping off with muffled curses down the alleyway in the opposite direction.
Only a smattering of broken glass and a trail of blood in the thick shadows of the alleyway indicate that either man had been there at all. "But if you don't mind, I'd like to get off the street. You're welcome to walk with me, of course." Having straightened up and gestured towards the nearby sidewalk with an upwards-facing palm, Seth sets off at a casual saunter away from the scene of the blood-letting. He shrugs out of the black hoodie, revealing a slightly over-sized royal blue shirt covered in Norse runes (and on the back, for the nerds, is the logo for the God of War video game franchise). "It's always nice," he comments absently, still processing the hunt that he'd just engaged in, "to clean up thieves and useless predators among humanity." He's shifted the backpack he's wearing to the front of his body and unzipped it: inside are jewelry and other personal valuables, obviously not belonging to the man that Seth had taken the container from. Seth absentmindedly takes inventory while he walks and talks.
"Seth." An echoed acknowledgement from the too-still nosferatu. "Hound?" Her dark-eyed attention trails after the movement toward the other end of the alley, curious consideration of the creature limping away. A soft, amused sound answers the desire to move on, the sarcastic tease implied in the noise, that she can't imagine why he might wish to distance himself from the modest mess left behind, finding no further voice than that. She follows as he moves, falling easily into step beside him, her loose dress fluttering with her steps, her attention more readily drawn to the backpack and its contents than the game reference. "Ghandara." She leaves off her own title as he had omitted his. "I'm inclined to question whether your motivations were truly so noble, but I'll not fault the results." A hand lifts to gesture to a nearby storefront, potentially her intended destination. Should her name prove familiar, so might her surname, Sinclair's Botanicals her little business in the Garden District. "Refuge?"
"Hound," Seth agrees shortly with a nod and a green-eyed glance aside to the Nosferatu he's walking with. "Nobility?" This gets a sincere laugh out of Seth, as he stuffs the balled up hoodie+silencer into the backpack as he's taking inventory of it. It'll be dealt with later. "Nah," Seth agrees, dismissing such a high-minded concept with a wave of his hand as he uses the other to zip the backpack up again and sling it against his back. "Just efficiency." A brief smile in Ghandara's direction at the offer of refuge. "Gladly," he agrees, moving to open the door and hold it for her politely before passing through himself.
"I don't need to be noble, just useful," he clarifies as he steps inside, surveying the place with a low whistle. Ghandara's name is familiar to him, of course, as he memorized the short list of other position-holding Vampires in the region. He had not meant to be in this area of town on purpose, but he's certainly not shying away now that the moment has found them both. "No question, I'm a terrible person... if I'm a person at all." An understated 'hah!' breaks up his statement, almost under Seth's breath. "But no one ever questions the necessity of violent means, just the morality of the person wielding violence. Why? Because for some doors, it's the only key that fits the lock. Might as well judge the guilty instead of the innocent, while I'm in the neighborhood."
Ghandara smiles at Seth's laughter, that amusement--or, perhaps, appreciation--lingering as his actions fall in line with his words, as she watches him clean up after himself with such efficiency, tucking all tools and evidence away, out of sight before they arrive at the shop door. Another stands inside, a handsome young man with brightly painted nails and a bit of scruff on his jaw and enough attentiveness in his eyes with how they snap promptly to the nosferatu so imply influence. Felix might be a known entity, too, for those who pay attention to details, the long-held ghoul working in devoted service to his regnant. He flashes a welcoming smile to Seth before sinking back behind the counter to whatever work he was seeing to on his laptop in the first place, available but unobtrusive.
"I've questioned nothing," Ghandara points out with a hint of mirth in her smile before she turns her attention to the door, to flipping the sign to CLOSED and flipping the switch which shuts off the outside lights, indicating that her services are no longer available to the general public this evening. When her focus returns to the mekhet, she continues, "I may have considered questioning your motivations," with an impish glint in her dark eyes, the actual argument of semantics left unvoiced, implied. "Now, though? Mm. I wonder. How do you resolve your self-reported terribleness against deeds which might be interpreted with some nobility, enacting judgment upon the guilty?" She leads onward into the establishment, toward more comfortably cushioned areas. Or places where one might wash up, if desired.
If there's a basin with a faucet anywhere, Seth is happy to find and use that. Even just a preparatory area for the plants is enough for him, he's not picky. There's not much blood or residue on his hands, but Seth takes some soap and washes them thoroughly under hot water nonetheless, conjured by a squeak of metal and a push of a handle. He talks as he washes. "Forgive me, then, Ghandara, for assuming your questioning," a smirk briefly plays across Seth's features, before he splashes some of the water onto his face. "I get overly talkative right after I've eaten. One of my many terrible personality flaws." He's deadpan enough, although as he says, Seth seems more animated immediately in the wake of consuming the Vitae.
"Mmm, how do I reconcile myself," he echoes the question that the Nosferatu poses to him thoughtfully, squeaking the flow of hot water closed with another movement of his hand as he turns around.
"Well," he says around the towel that he's using to wipe off lingering moisture from his face, "Ultimately morality is a construct that others apply to us. Even if you live perfectly by your own code of ethics, you're not scoring points with anyone else. Perhaps that person could be brought around to respect your code, or even emulate it, but.." the towel is set aside, and Seth picks up the backpack that he dropped while washing up, carrying it with him as he moves to find a cushioned chair or couch to sit upon.
"Even if you do that, no choir of angels will descend and award you for having a morality that aligns with the intent of the universe. Only the particularly fanatical nut-jobs believe otherwise. What a silly idea, that angels would reward them, instead of harming them." A brief snort of air through the nostrils, an understated laugh from Seth as he reclines against the back of a chair. He looks across at Ghandara, wherever she's ended up, with those same green eyes: much clearer, in the comparatively bright lighting here. "I'm terrible solely because I'm readily capable of terrible things. Whether or not I choose to exercise those sins on a given day doesn't define my character, merely the fact that I am capable of bringing the intent to perform them... if necessary. The rest is just window dressing, a fancy veneer over the truth."
Ghandara selects one of the meditation rooms with all its soothing hues and subdued lighting, a pleasant-smelling space that nears neutrality without quite achieving it. No one actually pays for actual nothingness, after all. Even the gentle soap beside the sink tucked against one wall near a shelf of neatly folded cream-colored towels has an expected scent of lavender and bergamot. The nosferatu sits as she listens, settled into a comfortable recline near the center of a well-cushioned couch which could seat several. While there's space for pillows or yoga mats or treatment tables in the center of the room, there's plenty of seating available at its edges, a decent meeting place, good for holding classes or collective therapy sessions.
There's an ease to her bearing that began at the mouth of that alleyway and continues inside, a confidence in the way she holds herself, in the absence of posturing which, here, in her own chosen space, lends itself to a languidness. It never quite dips toward laziness given the steadiness of her attention, the way Seth holds her focus as he moves, as he speaks, far more animated than she, but she does seem awfully comfortable. "It could then be argued that you are, as well, great, as the capacity for greatness easily runs parallel to the capacity for terribleness, but you choose to lead with one rather than the other. A supposition of my opinion or a choice in your presentation?"
"Well, everyone recognizes a sinner, even the saints." Now that Seth's not wearing the hoodie and they've entered a well-lit place, it's apparent that both of his forearms have complex tattoos that seem to draw heavily on Egyptian mythology. He hooks one of these tattooed forearms over the back of his seating as he settles into a recline on a chair that he's moved into position opposite Ghandara, continuing the impromptu conversation that he's having with the Nosferatu languidly. His skin is flushed and human-looking in the aftermath of the Hunt, and he's apparently happy to share his thoughts when asked.
"On the other hand, if I were to lead myself as 'Seth the Great,' I imagine at best I'd get the snide looks, and at worst I'd have the easily offended egomaniacs coming for my skull to add to their mantelpiece collection." His half-grin turns up the right corner of his mouth, briefly revealing a fang. "Declaring morality is a lot like declaring greatness. You're writing a check for others to cash whenever they feel like cutting you down. But nobody's going to rag on a sinner, are they? It's just more comfortable to identify myself that way." He spreads his hands, fingers splayed and palms up, before moving to rest them against the dark jeans covering his knees. "Besides, I'm a Carthian, not a king. If I wanted to be a king, I could find a much better town than New Orleans, I think." The laugh is implied in the structure of his words, a subtle thread of amusement on the emphasis of their choice of city to reside in.
Ghandara's gaze follows Seth's movement, considering the ink with the same patient curiosity with which she's regarded nearly everything about him, including his hunting so close to her home. Details to drink in with only occasional inklings of evidence about her own opinions and interests. She does seem to be enjoying his philosophizing, though, an attentive audience for his thoughts on morality and introductions, on others' interests and the city they choose to live in. The last earns a hint of a pout, faint and playful, emoted evidence of affection for the Crescent City. A statement of fondness without any words to back it up. Her curiosity is caught elsewhere, external. On him. "What is it that you want, then, Seth?"
This next question gets a laugh from Seth. "Oh, if you want my secrets, I'm gonna have to start charging," the Mekhet remarks wryly, canting his head to the side before turning his attention to thoughtfully consider the comfortable room he's found himself in. "What do I want," Seth mulls over the question thoughtfully, his eyes drifting to the backpack that he relieved earlier from his prey.
"Mmm. I'm pretty easy, actually." One thing about Seth is that his voice is remarkably deadpan in delivery, except for the occasional accent denoting amusement or interest or emphasis as he's speaking. It's definitely not a monotone, just... there's very few fluctuations from his polite and sociable baseline, even when he's delivering statements whose meaning comes off as emotionally charged. Like now. "I want to protect those dear to me and destroy my enemies utterly. I want a comfortable life," he doesn't say unlife, out of whatever philosophical distinctions he's made, "and I want to be free of the impositions of others who would use violence and coercion to take from me the things I hold dear. And if I cannot be free of their influence, I want to be able to erase them from existence once they trespass against me." His green eyes have become unfocused, staring at a distant wall of the room, but they snap back to the present and shift to Ghandara again.
The ghost of a smile curves Seth's mouth for a moment, and then it's gone. "That's it. The Carthian Movement, as I align myself with it, is a vehicle for social change that isn't differentiated by inherent positions of power. Wherever that power is derived from. So I've chosen to back them for that reason. What I desire, ultimately, is the freedom to live my life without the petty impositions of our greedy cousins in the Blood. And that can't be done from a position of solitude."
Ghandara tips a hand toward Seth at those first words, at what might be a joke, her soft smile earnest, her curiosity evidently extending to the pricing for such secrets. If hospitality is all that's needed to begin, she certainly isn't going to complain. Her gaze strays, briefly, when he speaks of a comfortable life, considering the cushioned seating and calm environment around them; whether it's set dressing or genuine preference is difficult to tell. His attention has turned inward by the time her gaze returns to her guest, eyebrows arching slightly with curiosity for where he's gone, how it connects back to his words. "Another point toward terribleness, perhaps. To choose this city in which to pursue that desire, where there's been so much violence in our recent history, such contention around the Movement. The desire for protection and destruction, perhaps, outweighing the desire for comfort?" Her smile flashes slightly wider, briefly. "Or perhaps you see an opportunity for change here, for collaboration and peace? It's an interesting choice, to be sure."
The extended hand does provoke a grin from Seth, and he raises his own left hand and waves it in response. "No worries. The first one's free. The rest... mm, the price varies." Seth drops his forearm back down to the arm of the chair. "I like violence, if you haven't noticed. Besides. Change is born from fire," Seth admits, crossing his left leg overtop his right as he reclines in the chair. He pushes himself up a bit, resting his elbow against the back of the chair instead of hooked over the side. "As much as my Blood hates fire, I can appreciate its uses." The combat boot on his left foot drums the floor thoughtfully as he arranges his thoughts at this nice line of conversation. "You're never going to find change in still pools of water, yeah? Places where all the reptiles are fat and lazy, content with their lot in the world. They just start ossifying, you know? Hardening, turning to statues, frozen in the long moment of their satisfied egos. Corpses who haven't realized that freedom from decay doesn't mean freedom from death."
He's studying Ghandara in turn, even though he's the one doing most of the talking. Seth doesn't seem to mind the indulgence, answering all of these questions, but whatever he's thinking about being the tranquility of his expression is anyone's guess. Well, besides the psychics. "Frankly," he says, "I have no such high-minded political ambitions. I had never anticipated I would end up as Hound so... quickly, upon my arrival here. Everything else in the sphere of Praxis politics, I've just been making up as I go along. It's an opportunity to do some good here. Whether that's through violence or diplomacy... well, that doesn't really depend on me, so much as it depends on everyone who would be offended at my existence." A flash of white teeth and a grin, this time without fangs, passes by Seth's expression.
"And what about you, Madam Primogen? Why New Orleans, of all the places in the world to host yoga classes?"
"Fire is one method," Ghandara remarks, as approving as amused. Though she glances down at the movement of his booted toe, considering that rhythm, she says nothing of it, not letting it distract her long. "Ossification is change," she counters gently, noncommittally. "Stagnation is change. New culture set upon the surface, scum sinking into the system." With a grin, she concedes, "But I understand your metaphor." She shifts, shedding her wedge sandals to bring her feet up onto the couch, tucked beside her as she leans to one side, hand set against the cushion beside her, chunky bracelets stacked around her wrist. A distraction, perhaps, from her pleased smirk as Seth admits to some interest in doing some good with the position he's been given.
A hint of surprise widens her eyes when he turns his curiosity her way, upsetting the established balance in which she is audience to his performance. The few seconds of quietude which first meet that inquiry might express a reluctance to lean into that reversal, to abandon her role of observer for a moment in the spotlight, but she does, in short order, oblige. "I was brought to New Orleans as a child. By my parents. It's the only home I remember." Another tip of the hand resting upon her thigh, an absent gesture. "Given all of eternity to see the world, I've yet to find reason to leave for long. I've yet to upset anyone sufficiently that they might insist upon my departure." She purses her lips in disappointment, potentially feigned. "Though, mm. What I do goes well beyond supplying a pleasantly open location for others to practice their borrowed ideas of peace and flexibility." She doesn't elaborate, but she does watch Seth for evidence of interest. "May I ask where you were prior to New Orleans?"
Seth does note the open-ended description that Ghandara provides of her services with a brief smirk: he knows that song and dance altogether too well. But he doesn't belabor the point further. "Mmm, I was born in Egypt. After the Great War took me to Europe for a time, I ended up in Cairo for a few years, then I died." Deadpan, factual, quickly moved past. "After that, I lingered in Egypt for decades, though I often traveled. Greece, Italy... spent a decade ranging around from a home base in Paris. Some torpor in there." A wave of Seth's hand dismisses the fanciful travels he's conjured up like he's waving away only so much dust. "In more modern nights, I had been to America, and found the desire for a change. I had gotten tired of the desert, you see. So a few years ago, I started planning my outing here. To New Orleans." Hands up in a 'here I am' sort of gesture, understated but accompanied by a quirk of Seth's eyebrows, the Mekhet's eyes flicker with a hint of mischief.
"Boredom, I confess. This seems like /such/ an interesting place, compared to my old haunts." He doesn't seem to be sarcastic, there's definitely a sense of invigoration about him. Enthusiasm, even, that breaks the surface of his serene demeanor. "But you already know that." The easy half-smile appears, again, on Seth's countenance. "I know, this whole place practically screams 'please don't notice me,' but what else do you do to pass the nights then, Ghandara?"
Ghandara's curiosity might be caught on the dismissive manner in which Seth glosses over the places he's been, the movement which may, in some way, contribute to who he's become, but it's the off-hand comment about torpor which earns an obvious response, an actual laugh which sinks into an acknowledging, "Mm," at the end. "My modern nights are, mm. Very few. Very recent. Months." And not at all spent far from home. Time to reestablish what had been lost to years of sleep, to build a business, a base. To reclaim power and creep out of hiding.
"From desert to swamp, dry heat to humidity." Neither of which effects the undead overly much, and, still, her head cants curiously, caught on some thought. "Incentive to travel, perhaps. To know how environmental conditions impact taste." An idle thought, considered then abandoned, gaze refocusing in full upon her guest. "When I can, I keep the company of compelling strangers with a talent for talking and prod them with questions, pulling at the threads of their philosophy to see where my curiosity catches. And theirs." A faint flicker of a smile, before she goes on. "I experiment. With sounds and scents and substances. Some of it even qualifies as science. Social sciences, sometimes, but we all have our vices." That smile resurfaces, a little sharper this time, promptly softening a second later as she dips her head slightly. "I'll admit, I don't get out as much as I should. What should I do to pass the nights, mm? What's caught your interest?"
"Oh, you can do whatever you like. I'm not dismissing your efforts at all, quite the contrary." Seth nods with genuine respect at what Ghandara expresses her hobbies to be. "I appreciate the botanical arts. An old friend of mine, from the Sudan, is a gardener actually. Proper damn magician, when it comes to plants. Last time I saw him was Cairo, but I'm hoping he makes the jump across the pond to settle here in New Orleans with us. I've been working on setting up a greenhouse, out at the house, for him when he arrives. A lot of damn work, gardening. Takes technique."
Seth smiles with a hint of nostalgia, eyes briefly losing focus. But only for a moment.
"I don't think I've been catching things so much as this city has caught me, rather. I pulled a house up from the swamps for my coterie to live in, dropped a boat on the Mississippi... the Regas, an Elysium now. Ended up appointed as Hound, besides keeping my Elysium and Accorded neutral ground." He shakes his head, eyebrows raised, a 'what do you even do about this shit?' expression on his face briefly as he regards Ghandara. Then the expression fades into a sardonic smirk. "Right now, I'm just gathering up the loose grains of sand in this city and trying to forge castles out of them. No particular reason, I think, besides that it's my hobby. There's a lot of us, the Accorded, drifting around aimlessly and waiting for purpose, direction, productivity." Seth laughs briefly, "And I'm in a position to give that to them, and no one else is stepping up. So I have. Is that the sort of thing that appeals to you? Castles?"
Ghandara's expression seems to soften even as her interest sharpens, the way a flower brightens as it unfolds, a glimmer of more-than-passing interest at the mention of the greenhouse. Whether this extends to the unnamed friend it's meant to entice is difficult to say, but she is certainly caught by that lore, a gentle offer of, "Should you require any consultation..." left open, desire presented as generosity. The softness persists as Seth speaks of how New Orleans has treated him since his arrival, how it has caught him in its various snares and filled his nights with perhaps more than he'd expected. More quickly than anticipated, at least. "Silt," she suggests instead of sand, a wetter and heavier equivalent more prevalent in the bayou city. "I've no particular need for purpose," suggests she has some of her own, "but I am a creature given to grave curiosity. I am deeply interested in knowing where you might direct those willing to follow."
“I'll let you know," Seth finishes the offer of consultation with a nod. "So far? Just the basics of civilization." Seth considers for a moment, head canting to the side. Then he raises up his right hand, and begins to count off on his fingers as he speaks. Index finger first, "Law descends from a capacity for violence. If you don't have violence on command, you cannot enforce laws, and therefore you cannot have civilization. I've barely seen our dear Sheriff Malcolm since I've been appointed as Hound, so that leaves myself and my coterie-mate Nikola as the violence-on-command for the Praxis unless one of the Triumvirate gets directly involved." A quiet 'tch', a sucking on his teeth, comes from Seth. That's as far as he voices his opinion on this state of affairs, though. "So I've been gathering up the others, of our Blood and not, and getting together a proper enforcement body going."
A hand-wobble accompanies Seth's assessment of this project's progress. "It's in the early stages, but it's better than nothing. It's easy to multiply force with guns and explosives these days, anyway... and I have access to a lot of those, if we really need to wage a war to protect ourselves. This also extends to investigation and the resolution of supernatural threats, which I'm also working on." Then the second finger goes up. "Society. I don't particularly give a damn about holding soirees or dance parties or ragers, me, no. The Regas is a great place for parties, and while I'm happy to facilitate them, I'll leave orchestrating the excesses to the Daeva." A smirk, and a beat paused. "But we'll be a lot more effective when we have a society to speak of. I'm also thinking of holding an impromptu Auction House, maybe once every month or two, on the Regas. To facilitate the purchase and sales of supernatural items. Maybe you'd be interested in selling some of your wares," he suggests off-handedly, considering the implications. But he shrugs and moves on to finger number three. "Lastly, we're desperately lacking in teamwork. Control over the city. Who's going to squash stories of a supernatural killer in the media? Who's getting reports from the local morgues about suspicious dead bodies? When I rolled into town, our response infrastructure was a mess. I'm taking it into my own hands and figuring out who's got what, so that we can respond more effectively to threats in real time.. but it's slow going."
"Yes." For a moment, all Ghandara offers is that flat agreement with Seth's assessment of the current state of affairs. The pitch, certainly, held her attention, but then what hasn't? Her lips purse, in thought or annoyance, before she provides a more proper response. "When I awoke, several positions on the Primogen Council were vacant, the rest occupied by idle monsters doing very little but taking up space. We'd been reduced to just one Elysium, formal at that. There was no court held. There was no news beyond the swift reprimand of some gangrel who'd upset somebody with how he'd expressed his disapproval of the status quo. I waited." Another purse of her lips, a harder line this time. "I'm pleased to see others stepping up as I have, taking action, and it is good to hear one speak with such direct intentions about the development of the Praxis, to take an interest in not simply personal power, but our community, our city." Shaking her head, she notes, "When Inquistor de Verclis reported that suspicions were turning toward kindred in regards to the exsanguinations and beheadings in recent months, I advised he turn to the Black Constables given our own lack of infrastructure, lack of force at the time. And this was only weeks ago."
When did the hand on her lap curl itself into a fist? When did the other lift to fingertips to push her up as she speaks? She hadn't noticed, though she certainly takes note now, sinking back down, relaxing that tension, letting the hackles of her beast smooth back down. She flashes a small smile, decidedly apologetic, acknowledgement that the man before her is not the problem, not the source of her frustration. "Were I you, I would begin by unseating some more of the dead weight upon the council and stepping up further. A proper place on the council. Another Carthian catalyst." She cuts herself off there, dark lashes dipping briefly, a short moment to refocus. "I won't promise to support your every idea, but I far prefer action to inaction, sound to silence."
Seth laughs at the idea of a Primogen position, but it's genuinely amused and not mocking. "Just the thought of that horrifies me, Ghandara. I already have two titles... and I'm practically the Sheriff already, at least as far as my workload goes. I don't need a third title. Mekhet Primogen." A shudder runs through his athletic frame. "No. That's quite alright, thank you."
He knits his fingers together and rests his chin upon his knuckles thoughtfully. "Don't worry, I don't need a minion who supports me with unswerving loyalty," a grin, "although I certainly wouldn't complain." A more serious expression descends as Seth cants his head again. "Yes, I'm working on the decapitator killings. We have a few solid leads, now, and it's just a matter of following them up. My only real concern is making sure that we have enough muscle to deal with what may potentially be an old and powerful Vampire without taking... casualties." The thought of fighting some ancient elder causes the first hint of disquiet that Seth has actively betrayed all evening. "My people are the ones on the front lines. I don't want to lose them. It's necessary, but... we may be outmatched, and the thought makes me uncomfortable."
That's about as far as Seth gets before he exhales slowly. "I'm doing everything I can to mitigate the problem, anyhow." A thought occurs to Seth abruptly. "Oh!" And then he's fishing into his pocket, pulling out a small leather card-carrying case, and retrieving a matte black business card. 'Seth, Keeper and Hound' is written upon it in silver font, along with a triplet of phone numbers. He passes the card towards Ghandara. "I really ought to be going soon, as much as I've enjoyed our impromptu meeting, but do feel free to contact me or drop by the Regas. I've made sure that the accommodations are top-class, for what it is."
A brief nod, and a return to business follows Seth's aside with the contact information. "If you have any concerns to address to me in either of my official capacities, please feel free to reach out. I'm still trying to get everything together, but the first step of that is just making sure we're all on the same page. ...also, if you know any Accorded folk who would be interested in working security on the Regas, I'm trying to enhance our protective measures with a proper security team. This decapitator has me somewhat unsettled, I'll admit, in being individually stronger than most Vampires. They've contained their killing to mortals so far, but if we go after it..." Seth trails off, unusually solemn compared to the flavor of tonight's conversation. "We may want more muscle handy," he concludes, more softly.Ghandara's frown is genuine but sympathetic. Anyone else, and she might have pushed, goaded, but it's difficult to argue to list of titles and responsibilities that Seth has collected since his arrival, the evidence of activity which assures he's not all rhetoric and no action. When the business card is offered, she laughs as she leans in to accept it, gesturing toward the door. "Felix can provide my contact information, if you don't already have it." From whatever listing there might be of Council contacts and how to reach them. "He keeps trying to tell me that nobody uses business cards anymore," but she keeps the company of fellow kindred and those who deal with them. Business cards are everywhere. "I might advise posting an advertisement at the various neutral grounds across the city, perhaps on that, mm. Radio show?" Not quite right, but she doesn't seem fussed over the particulars of that technology. "And you have my support if you need it. I am not without my capacity for violence." What vampire isn't? What nosferatu worth their salt doesn't have at least a little vigor? One might guess, though, that her expertise lies elsewhere. "I'm glad we crossed paths, Seth. I look forward to watching you. And I do believe I'll be by to visit."