Bird and Beast

Medieval Times - Secret Arena

Gaslights are set low, and the general, breathing public have been cast out for the evening. Now is the time for the vampires to come out to play, or sit back and relax as they drink in the ambience of the locale, whatever suits their fancy.
For Marius, it is an evening of 'work' at what had started as pleasure; his training methods are more and more obvious that the veteran was a foot soldier for most of his career… and in some moments, almost comically so.
If, of course, laughing was an acceptable thing to do at the Whip's expense.
It's not.
Upon a long line, a longe line, Marius has his new horse at the end, and in his other hand, a long whip. Currently, the great horse trots in circles around the vampire, head up, ears forward.. for the moment, seemingly quiet and calm.
"Keep moving, you beast.."

A snicker comes from a dark corner. A snicker which bubbles up into a laugh. It may not be acceptable for most to laugh at the Whip, but for Isobel Skye Symon, Sheriff of Area 9, it is.

Stepping into the light before he decides to cast his sword in her direction, she eyes him with an amused smile. "You seem to be having a few difficulties with my gift. Does it not like you?"

Her dress is simple this evening, though elaborate for the twenty-first century. A floor length gown of green linen with golden trim. The sleeves are laced tightly, as is the back of the dress. A falconer's gauntlet is upon her hand, a hooded kestrel complete with bells and jesses sitting atop it.

"Aaaah.. Halt!" Marius' voice rises as he pulls quickly on the line. It's easy to hear the annoyance in his tones, if one is a vampire, of course.
When Isobel steps into the light, there is the offer of obeissance in the bow given, and pale blue eyes dart back to the gift in question. "I would that he were more.. agreeable. I have been told, however.." He slows his words, ".. that gentleness will bring the damnable beast forward in his training." There's almost a .. wry tone to his voice, "He will have to understand I am not that Master."
Marius' gaze shifts slightly to the bird, and it is to the kestrel that he gestures ever so slightly, "A gift, my Lady?"

"Beast you will behave yourself," Isobel commands, as though she's got some authority over it. A stern, icy eye is turned upon the horse and despite her petite stature she seems to mean business.

"The horse will learn to obey its master given time. It will bend to your will with either gentleness or a heavy hand." She has seen it quite often in the past.

"To myself, yes. The entire reason I was looking at purchasing this establishment. Well over five hundred years have I been wishing to learn falconry and it is most difficult to train a bird at night. This arena gives me access to a light tight locale that the bird can easily adjust to."

Not impressed. The steed merely snorts and lifts his head rapidly and brings it down just as..
"It will, yes," Marius is certain of that. "Though the counsel of one with more experience with such will not be remiss." He's more than aware that Isobel understands the 'place' of horses in society.. in their society of ages past.
Passing back to the bird of prey that sits upon Isobel's arm, Marius draws the animal in without paying much attention to it. "And it is now that the opportunity presents itself. Would that it meant anything, but I heartily approve of your learning. It is both right and proper that you have such a skill." He's pleased. "Tell me when he is ready for his maiden flight; I wish to be present at his first kill."

Isobel is not impressed with the horse either. Were it possible to glamour an animal into acquiescing, it would be done. Just to prove that she is mightier than the stubborn wretch of a beast. "If he does not behave, whip him." Though honestly loathe to mar the horse, it may become necessary.

"I have been most fortunate, yes. The Queen of Iowa has reminded me that I need time to do things for myself as well, thus the training." The kestrel would really be a poor hunter in the evenings. A touch of a smile draws the corners of her lips upward. "This little one may not be the best for a kill, though if I can prove to myself that I can handle the training of the kestrel, I may procure an Eurasian Eagle-owl to hunt outside of the building."

If it were that simple, Marius would have done it.. and probably have slightly modified its nature into something more.. disagreeable to others. "I will do so.." though the pain and terror of an animal is just that; he finds enjoyment of something other than of simple dumb beasts in such a state.
"Her Majesty.." he begins, and ends his statement before it moves any further. "It suits you, my Lady. It is both pleasing to the eye and a comfort that you have such an endeavor before you." Some things in his world just aren't supposed to change!
"If you offer him a rabbit, he will chase it, yes?" Again, this sport isn't for the likes of him, and while he knows something of it, there are decided holes. His training in court went only so far, and all claimed victory when a perceived slight didn't end with a bloody death upon the floor. "Though I am not familiar with an.. Eurasion Eagle-owl.."

"Thank you for the compliment, Marius." Isobel is reminded, as she removes the hood from the kestrel, that she should do a painting of Marius for the estate. While the bird remains on the glove, she watches the man. Eyes narrowing every few moments.

"A rabbit? That may be a little large for this bit of an avian. Much better suited for smaller vermin." Were it a falcon, rabbit would be what she is using. "A majestic bird. I am surprised that you never encountered one in your time in Europe."

Marius considers a moment, his body stock still as he does so, his eyes cold… and dead. "An uhu.." and the connection is made. "Yes.. those who had hired us flew them and took their meals thusly. We found ours differently." A statement of fact.
Inclining his head and something of his shoulders, Marius makes his apologies, "I stand corrected."
Taking a step back from Isobel and the bird, the horse, too, takes the couple of steps back. Seems it works better when the vampire's attention is elsewhere? "The uhu also served as the meal of many during my travels."

"I should like it very much if you do not eat my birds," Isobel says, with a dry, sardonic smile. "The feathers will get caught 'twixt your fangs."

The kestrel is given a small lift of the arm. It takes flight though the jesses keep it never far from the Sheriff. "No pretty ferrets for you this evening, my pest. Simply flight. If you behave to my liking, you will receive a choice bit of lamb though."

"Have you made any headway to the Tareq situation?"

"Your aviary is safe, my Lady," is given in return, the deadpanned response a sure hint that he, too, jests. "A few nights have I lain in a down bed and .. I have learned that feathers are, indeed, unpleasant." Of course, that could possibly fall under TMI…
The charger that has remained quiet under Marius' still hand starts as the bird flies up; his head pulls back and a snort exits the large nose. "Ah… no.. still.." The word is given as a command, the german breaking through once more. "I am not so kind, Abaddon.. if you behave, I shall not beat you this evening before you are turned in."
It's to the question, now that he's got the horse's attention once more, that he speaks. "I have not yet found him. Upon speaking to the breather once more, there is belief that the vampire has returned to New York City. Thus, I would ask you to send a missive to the distant city." Far be it from him to actually tell her what he expects within— that is her place. For all it matters, Isobel would be within her power to have a ticker-tape parade for the vampire (though unlikely).

Whether the information provided is too much for Isobel to handle or not is unknown. The mask of icy neutrality that is her usual expression is worn tightly. She is far from a prude and she's positive that she could make Marius blush if she so chose to.

"He was quiet for a while. His demeanor is improving." A sharp whistle is given to the bird to return once it has flown around the perimeter of the arena. "Abaddon? What a curious name. What ever caused you to name him after the king of the bottomless pit?"

"It shall be done this evening when I return to the estate." Generally in times past, missives would take weeks to reach a location that far away. Now, a simple telephone call or an email is all that it needs. "I should like you to let it be known among the low lives of our kind that he should be brought to the estate upon his return to our illustrious city. As a… 'guest'. They will be rewarded if they bring him to you." With keeping their lives.

"He was calm because my eye was not upon him." Marius is no fool, but he will take the comment as given. Inclining his head, he turns slightly to look at the great beast. "Curious, it is. A lamb believed the name suited him. Normally, I heed not such idleness, but this one is clever.. and I am not certain if she is touched or simply foolhardy in that she has shown no fear of me." Granted, he hasn't really tried. "Yet."
His eyes trace the path of the bird around the arena, and his voice lowers, "It is not a laughable courage in fear's face, either.. not like Michael's toy. There is simply.. little there. No racing of blood through her veins, no rising of her heart or of the heat of her body. I have not yet felt the fight or flight instinct appear."
Marius keeps forgetting about that 'instantaneous' ability. He still doesn't carry a cell phone, even though he's seen Isobel use hers with great regularity. It simply isn't the first thing he thinks of. "I will send the message, my Lady.." Inclining his head in a bow, he continues in the position, "just as you command."

"Then close your eyes when dealing with him," she suggests. An amusing thought, to see Marius riding blind upon the horse. "A la— ah, a breather. You seem to be far more interested in her differences than you are of most humans." An icy eye is turned upon the Whip and she grins as the reason for this comes out. "You are curious to see the reaction once you show the true side of you."
That is acceptable.

"Should you have opportunity to speak to Isonzo in regards to his 'toy', try to find out what he has told her. I am curious to know whether he can be trusted as he claims or whether there happens to be another incident in the making." The lack of fight or flight instinct causes the Sheriff to pause. "Perhaps she is broken."

Marius actually chuckles as he straightens, "I have no special ability to predict what this damnable beast shall do if I keep my eyes off of him. That is for a seer, perhaps?"
The warrior is solid in the regard of the Lady; no hint of discomfort as the grin emerges. There is an off-hand shrug in response, and his tones remain low and matter of fact. "I have never seen such a thing. Men, women, children.. warriors, peasants and lords.. all tremble and ultimately cry out first for pity then release even before my attentions are given. It takes nothing more than a mention of being that causes the heart to falter, the body tremble.. but this little lamb who is very aware she will eventually grace the table at which I sit remains calm in the face of such knowledge." His head shakes ever so slightly, "I do not see any action upon her that would cause me to believe that another has a presence. No marks.. and no hint from her that there has been ever one."
Ah well.
"It will be as you wish. I will find opportunity to discover if he has spoken to her any.. poorly chosen words."

"The Queen would be able to tell you, perhaps." Isobel, while devoutly Christian, does believe in what Tanwen has had to share with her.

"That is odd. I assume that you will be studying her then. Just bear in mind I would greatly prefer if there were no unsanctioned killing within the city." The Sheriff likes Marius, and she would hate to have to drag him to the Magister for punishment. "Do you seek to lay claim upon her, or will you wait until another does? If she lacks reaction to you, she may lack reaction to others as well and that can be like a sweet to one of our kind."

"I would dare say she would not be happy unless she has seen my final death." And Marius doesn't sound the least bit upset by the idea. There are many who would seek his final death, and none have yet succeeded. One lives a long life as he does, there are bound to be enemies made.
Inclining his head, there is a tug at the edges of his lips to a smile, "You understand my .. curiosity. I will be studying her, yes. And your preference is noted, my Lady." Like his response to Will, there is no argument to his own defense. It is as his Master and Mistress see it. Nothing more and nothing less. "Hers would be .. disappointing before I discovered why it was that she fears not." Not to mention maddening.
"I would lay claim to her, she who goes by the name Dr. Bethany Brooks, until such time as I tire and she is of no use to me any longer." There.. and the words are spoken.

A tiny nod is offered. "She accepts you for what you are, but I find that the Queen is far more peaceable than you are and this is the crux of the matter." One who wishes peace is hardly a warrior's best friend.

"You may wish to tell the woman that you lay claim to her and that she must accept. Elsewise it is not legally binding in the end." Isobel accepts the claim though, and should there be an issue arising she will set it straight. "Though I accept your claim as is. You may handle those who go against it as you see fit." Pause. "Though no killing, hmm? Just remove a limb or the like in retribution."

"One who desires peace ultimately must fight for it." Though never let it be said that Marius actually desires peace. War, death and destruction are his simple mainstay, and it's only been a couple of months since he's been taken into the fold of the city.
Marius has never truly taken a claim, though he has been on both sides of 'the issue', as it were, as the enforcer of a claim and one who has broken the laws of one… "Crucifixion at sundown, and removed from the beams before first light." And.. he's not joking… "Or, something of the such. You have my word, my Lady, that I will endeavor to keep my temper should that unlikely time arise that someone challenges me."
The only thing left, then, is to notify the lamb that she is his; there is no doubt in his mind that she will accept it as proper, and as it should be. "She will be agreeable. So far, her humour is such that it will be the case."

"While I do agree with that, one who has lived as long as she has every right simply to demand it." Isobel has not been made clear on just how old Tanwen really is, and it's far too rude to ask a lady their age.

"Crucifixion may be over doing it a little, especially if you forget to remove them before sunup. Ensure that you do it far from the estate if it becomes necessary." Reaching into a small pouch at her side she extracts a bit of raw lamb and offers it to the kestrel. An after thought occurs to her. "You should try feeding your horse a bit of carrot or apple. It may make him more agreeable if you award him when he does what you desire."

With the bird fed, the hood is snugged on again. "Did it occur to you that perhaps she desires one of our kind and is just not as showy as those imbeciles that lounge around Mary's?"

"If it becomes necessary, my Lady. I would that it does not." Let there be no mistake that Marius will do as requested.
The hard veteran allows for some wry humour to show upon his face at the suggestion. "The lamb had suggested gentleness as well. Reward for doing something correctly rather than the base reward of being able to remain alive." All of Marius' training was not based upon reward/punishment. It was punishment/not punished, which in a way, is a reward? Why give a prize for doing something that is expected on the onset? "I will consider it, though it makes no sense to me."
Marius begins to gather the length of rope in, wrapping it around his arm to organize it. The horse, thus far, remains calm now that he's not taken to task. "She has not bared her neck to me, and I have yet to discover if her heart skips a beat for another purpose other than fear at my approach." No, no love. "She is certainly no harlot, seeking to throw herself at the first of our kind she finds. She is.. dutiful. Respectful. Calm. Not a cloying servant begging to serve her Master's wishes, hanging upon his every word on the chance there is a kindness given."

"Gentleness never enters into the equation, reward does." Reward the animal for good behavior. Reward the vampires in the city for good behavior. It's all really the same. "The kestrel will not learn to hunt without reward for pleasing me. The horse may not learn to be a valiant steed without the same. Though it is your horse, and you will treat it as you see fit."

The words, the descriptions are listened to. "This is the first I have ever heard you speak so of a breather. You are highly intrigued. If you were not who you are I should think you liked the chit."

Marius scoffs, the sound a soft *chuff* of air given for just the noise in response to the very thought that he'd like a lamb. "My claim lasts for as long as she hold my attention. No longer. I also do not make a promise that she will not die as I discover the lengths and limits of her.. quiet." Though he will try not to kill her, as promised. "I will endeavor to stay my hand, however." For Isobel.
"I can not and will not even claim a fleeting fondness. She may bore me tomorrow or the next day with either the fact that finally I have found the sport of which I was looking, or I have not.. and there is no sign of it anywhere."
He allows a hint of a smile, "And I certainly will not fall under her sway."

"Your words will be remembered, my friend, and when your certainty is proven otherwise I will remind you of them." Isobel turns on her heel, having tired of the kestrel for the evening. "You will keep me apprised of this situation as well. I do believe it will be quite an interesting experiment on your part, and quite a few intriguing stories will come of it."

Quiet steps take her back into the shadows in the corner. "And Marius, should you wish more information do feel free to ask Gregory for a background check." Then she's simply… gone.

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