The Necessity of 'Evil'

Despite the recent temporary additions to the household, the Vault is quiet and peaceful. Night has long since come upon the city of Dallas, and the King of Texas has completely cleared his evening; after all, even Will must relax occasionally. With the gentle tones of something Beethoven drifting from hidden speakers, Will lounges on one of the couches, eyes closed and relaxed. The uninitiated might consider the motionless creature to be a corpse. Three empty bottles of synthetic blood sit on a nearby table, alongside a blissfully silent cellphone. Will is dressed in his usual simple black, though he is barefoot for the moment.

Additions to the household are sometimes necessary. At the moment, beyond the usual personnel and bodyguard-types that Isobel has seen fit to employ, she has a 'guest'. At least until the prison of the hotel is set up to her specifications.

Yet, the 'guest' seems to have her troubled, and thus she's reset all of her meetings for later in the week. The Vault is silent and peaceful, until she graces it with her presence. A glass of blood is in her hands, though it's not the synthetic variety. She is unable to stomach that.

Moving through the room, she seats herself on the couch opposite Will, and barely moves except to finish off the blood she carries.

The footsteps familiar, the scent even more so, and Will tests the air with his nostrils to ensure it is someone worth bothering with. Nevertheless, the fact that they are yet to speak could really mean only two, even if he couldn't tell with the scent. "Isobel," says he, languidly shifting in place to turn head and open eyes. His look settles on her, and the hint of a smile touches his lips. "You are stunning, as always, my sweet."

"Valentine," she says, her voice sounding a little maudlin. "How have you been?" Isobel remains an icy statue, trying to keep her composure, though there is much that she wishes to say. Once the glass of blood has been drained, she settles the empty glass onto the table and shifts her attention to Will fully.

The King's first word has enough emphasis to suggest a reply is required. "/I/ am well, as always. Majesty seems to suit me, and political capital is fast growing once more. How is my daughter?" Then he pauses, looking at her with penetrating eyes, inviting the response to be lengthy, kind as he is.

"Fearing, as always, that the few years spent in Ysolde's presence have turned me into a creature I loathe." Isobel raises from her position, moving only so far as to join Will on the couch which he has been relaxing upon. "I have turned Mr. Hartigan, though the choice was entirely his. I did not corrupt him, nor did I force it upon him. It was not done out of love or affection, it was merely done."

With the pleasantness of a new Child out of the way, she stares straight ahead.

"But I have also had to exercise my duties as Sheriff, on one that went against a direct order to leave Fontane's little woman alone." There is a droplet of blood that forms at the corner of her eye, but she wipes it quickly away with her finger. "Susan Baker of the American Vampire League glamoured the woman, and so I have ensured that she will be unable to glamour anyone for the next several months."

"You will never be her," Will tells Isobel, with a serious and level tone. "You lack the vicious streak, the touch of ecstasy from a person destroyed. I am glad young Elliot has elected to join my family, and he should be informed as such. He should also be warned that his proximity to me may cause him some trouble. Also that his immortality is a duty as much a gift."

He allows a brief nod for the second, and merely queries, "There is an occupant to the coffin downstairs? It has been a little while since it has been used. It grows easier when you truly teach yourself that it is the position and not the person meting out the punishment." Head tilts a little, wondering. "Did she take it well?"

"Mr. Hartigan knows well the risks, Valentine. I have informed him of the power that you and I hold, and I have been teaching of our ways." A faint smile graces her lips, though it is very briefly held. "He is also as sensitive to gold as you or I, so the gift of immortality is not the only thing that seems to be passed through the generations."

Isobel's tone becomes much more serious and grim, however, in an instant. "There is no occupant in the coffin downstairs. She is in the guest room, and I have removed her tongue." There is no waver to the voice, though it's only through years of schooling and practice that she is able to not fall apart at that. "It is as the Magister wishes, for this was not Ms. Baker's first offence, and she was going against his express wishes in her previous punishment." There is a pause, and she adds, "She did not, nor will she take well to the fact that she is to be removed from the Ravello and situated elsewhere. I do believe I have made an enemy of her."

"Perhaps it would be worth a study into vampiric genetics, or similar," Will muses, idly. "We shall install a room for Elliot in the new estate, for when he can be dragged from your presence." A little tease there, at least by the way his lips flick to an amused smile.

A smile that does not fade. "You are not brutal by nature or upbringing. The Magister is quite lenient this time, it seems." Faintly surprised there; as Will lacks the usual mask in the presence of the closest thing he has to family. "You need to acquire yourself a monster, a Whip who will break legs and heads for you, someone with that killer instinct that is not a part of your person. Still, one enemy made, a fortune of fear and obedience from the remainder of the populace. In time she will learn that is the nature of the nightwalkers, that she was an example, not a victim of cruelty. If I happen upon her I will explain it."

"It would be an interesting study to be sure," Isobel remarks. "I thought it an oddity when I had an aversion to it, and it makes me wonder if there is more that was kept from you than just that." With the force of power, it would be nice to know what all her weaknesses are so that she can be prepared.

"It was awful. I do not care for it in the least, and I half suspect that the Magister had me carry the punishment out as punishment for helping you escape and killing so many of our own kind." There is no belief that the Magister is anything but fair, though she does believe that he derives pleasure in bringing others to their breaking point. "Had MacKeirnan just dealt with Ms. Baker as per my first letter of request, she simply would have been moved to a different residence."

After another silent pause, she adds, "I have yet to find anyone suitable. I would have offered the position to Clarence, though I do not think he would be up for the task, and I rather like utilizing his talents as a bodyguard."

"There is always more she kept," Will tells Isobel, dryly. The hint of a mental shrug crosses between them, and Will leans back once more, closing his eyes. "The Magister is one of the more sadistic of our kind; else he would not suit his rank. Perhaps MacKeirnan needs a firmer hand to keep the League in check?"

Fingers tap idly against the couch, a gentle tattoo that means Will is deep in thought, though only for a moment. "I will make some enquiries from other territories. The perfect Whip comes from outside, an unknown force that can brutalise and act without precedent, without predictability. It will save you from edging towards the monster I know you fear. Is Clarence otherwise competent?"

Isobel will look into everything she can about Ysolde later, but for now she simply stares ahead. Unwilling to show her weakness and her need for kind words in regards to what she has done. "A very true point, though I do not really relish the thought of having to do something so untoward again. Torture is something I find I am not very good at except in the most extreme of instances." Which is why she took pity on Baker and has her situated here for the next week.

"I would greatly appreciate it if you could utilize your contacts for such a thing. Perhaps there is someone in the area that I am already well acquainted with that should suit the purposes?" Working closely with someone that she cannot trust is not something she wishes to do either. "Clarence is a swift worker. He is a very competent bodyguard by my estimation."

Legs curl up under her, and she smiles a little. "Perhaps I shall contact Nan Flannigan, and see if she needs someone to oversee the chapter here while she is away."

"You will have to do it again," Will tells her, simply. "There will be no escape, and you must prepare yourself for it; to steel yourself against it. If you feel guilt, then it is no danger to your soul, for you will always know the distaste. Only when you no longer feel anything is it dangerous." Like for him; then again, he was well-trained when alive. Heretics and all that business.

"Nan," Will says, with a certain amount of contempt. Clearly not a fan. "She would likely allow you, with a number of caveats in place, yes." He taps fingers against the couch once more. "For the Whip, they must be of an appropriate age, potency and temperament. I will contact a few and offer some suggestions in the next few days. The choice is ultimately yours."

"Valentine, you know full well that doing so is against my very nature." This is not her. This is a visage. "I will do so if and when necessary, and I will feel remorse for it the remainder of my life." Were it possible for a vampire to feel ill, she would have felt very much that way while doling out the punishment. "I may be older than many, but I refuse to completely lose my humanity." Though this seems to be the end of her outward worry over it. A weakness that only a select few will ever see.

"You forget that Nan calls my territory home. If I should so desire to take over, there will be no caveats in place." Just like that, she has returned to being the icy, harsh mistress of Area 9. Though it melts swiftly away again, due to her being in Will's presence. "You have my thanks, Valentine."

The older vampire, suddenly flashes a full smile. "Remorse means you are safe from the inhumanity, Isobel." He seems pleased, by the gentle wash of approval that filters through their mental link.

"I forget nothing," he replies, "though she is a cunning creature, and will attempt to extract much from you. I would advise against using my name, since we fought tooth and nail over the revelation." Which Nan won, or at least her side did. "No thanks required. How is your city?"

That wash of approval is all it takes to make Isobel relax on the matter. Eventually, she will make Susan see that this was a necessary evil, and that no lasting damage was done to the woman. She says nothing, though as she's now relaxed, she allows herself a subtle movement to lean against the chest of her Maker and smile.

"Extremely cunning, though I would not situate anyone as the mouthpiece for the American Vampire League that was not. She is able to be both well spoken, and charming, and thus she makes us appear harmless to the human populace." Which is not wholly a bad thing, though it does make issues with groups such as the Fellowship.

"The city fares well enough, though I do believe there is some uproar within the community of the twin-souled. I have yet to contact Eli Donato about such things, but I will have a messenger sent out on the dawn."

Lips purse slightly, disapproval at the thought of Nan Flannigan. "I do not question her strengths, merely her inability to be civil when she is not getting what she wants." There's clearly more than that, though Will falls silent on the matter. "Eli does get a little twitchy if we interfere with his playthings; still, if he requires assistance he knows where we are. It may be worth reminding him of that."

Head tilts once more, and a single word whispers from between Will's lips. "Marius." Then he breaks into a broad smile, clearly amused.

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