Grand Guignol

Golden Theater: Theater

Large is the best word to describe the Golden Theater. With plush seating designed in a theatrically classic horse-shoe, it is enough to accommodate a decently sized crowd. Six tiers of regular seating, as well as upper tiered balconies, fan out toward the stage itself. To the front of the stage, beyond the seating, is a wide orchestra pit.
The stage itself is long and wide, allowing for a good-sized set. It is also highly mechanized in order to scene-change in the middle of a performance. The only odd thing about the stage is the fact that instead of heavy red curtains, it sports golden ones.

Auguste has arrived early for his audience with the Sheriff. The theater below is slowly filling with patrons come to see the play celebrating the Nativity. Orchestral music pipes through the sound system softly and the murmur of voices comes up from below like the whisper of waves on a beach below a cliff. Dressed in a well-cut gray suit but with an open necked shirt below it, Auguste walks the fine line between being respectful of the meeting and showing a certain personal flair. He takes in the scent of the crowd and his faint, cynical smile grows a bit broader. So much heat and so many delightfully delicious people. But … not on the menu, alas. C'est la vie. A flat and long package, about the size of a door-mounted mirror rests on floor next to the seat he hasn't taken yet, it's covering butcher's paper brown rather than anything more festive. With the patience of a long-dead predator, Auguste waits and takes in the sight and sound and scent of the crowd the way an heron watches carp in the pond.

Stepping softly, inaudible to the mortal ear, William Grant (Will) prowls towards the door of the box. His steps are measured, and the door opens to the delicate touch of a slender hand. Framed in the doorway, he simply stands, arms at his sides and beginning to study the other vampire. The tiniest whiff of sound slithers out, as he takes in the scent of the surroundings.

Auguste doesn't turn at first, continuing to watch the crowd as his own supernatural senses pick up Will not so much by a positive affirmation but by the slight hole in the sensory landscape a practiced vampire creates. A certain stillness that is unlike anything alive. After waiting long enough to make a point of giving Will his back, an implied gesture of trust and submission, he speaks. His accent is generically American, like a news anchor as he says, "They are still, after all these years, beautiful in aggregate. If not always in the specific." With that he turns and nods, deep enough and held long enough that it has the sense of an old-world bow. His gaze is appraising and frank, but not insulting. He continues, "I am Auguste. And I am pleased to finally meet you, sheriff."

Steady, level eyes meet Auguste, though Will allows him the fleeting twitch of an upturned corner of mouth. Almost a smile. His voice is gentle, almost quiet, marked by a hint of Iowa. "The flow and press of humanity will never lose its charm. I spend hours watching them at play, child hedonists seeking the ultimate satisfaction that will always be beyond them." The Sheriff breezes into the room, moving to survey the room. "William Grant. But you know that. You are recommended."

Auguste quirks up an eyebrow and says in a wry tone, "I have been recommended for a good many things in my day. Finally one of them is reputable." Since Will is still standing, he also keeps his feet, half turning to look back over the crowd as the lights dim and raise a few times in a cue to the crowd to find their seats for the show. "I am honored that you selected me for the position. I confess that Chicago was getting boring. The King there has long since pacified any threats to our kind and we own the city without dispute. There was very little for a man with my talents to do. I'm hoping that a sojourn in the, ah, wild west, as it were, will be a bit more eventful."

"This place is a hive of wretched vermin," Will replies, still level and quiet. "Drainers, deluded mortal fanatics and misbehaving youth to say the least." He turns, hands now clasped neatly behind his back, tilting his neck back to look upwards to Auguste. "Would you like to know why I have chosen you?"

Auguste grins faintly, "Well, normally, I'd spend a few years teasing it out of your subordinates and putting together clues, but if it pleases you to tell me, it would save both of us some time." A momentary pause and then, "I suppose I'll have to buy a few jigsaw puzzles with which to occupy my evenings, though." The sardonic gleam in his eyes and the droll tone are unmistakable.

A brief smile, not entirely without humour, touches Will's lips. "When I entered, you were neither servile nor afraid. I grow sick of sycophants, and immortals in this area are afraid of me enough that I cannot trust a word they utter." The clear blue eyes staring up develop a dark humour to them. "I require three qualities. Obedience, honesty, and ruthlessness. Do not anger the mortal authorities, do not bring unwanted trouble to my door, and do not allow breaches of our laws— my laws, to go unpunished. Otherwise…" He trails off, a dark grin spreading across his lips as he turns back to the people below, opening his hands and gesturing across the crowd. "Do not get caught."

Auguste nods at the first parts and then his expression goes still as he processes that last instruction. A fierce predatory gleam fills his eyes, enough to spook any human who happened to be near, if such an unfortunate existed. After that pause he gives that deep nod again and says, "And I came because I'd heard that you were a man of certain …traditional… attitudes. I do not believe that this period of openness with the humans will last. Or that it is natural. But as is my place, I will obey my king and my sheriff." He adds, after a moment, "And I can't stand to see our kind acting servile. We are lions, not jackals. Even in defeat or disgrace with our betters, we are still, how did Darwin put it? We are still at the top of the food chain." He grins again and says, "Of course, that doesn't mean that I can't obey the old forms and bring my new superior a token of my allegiance." He doesn't say fealty. Not yet. He's old enough to be cautious and wait to see how things work out. He moves the wrapped package to lean by Will's chair. "Nothing valuable on it's own, but it is a chalk rubbing of the engravings on the tomb of one of your Templar brothers. William de St. Clair. I had a friend procure it. St. Clair died doing his duty above all else. It seemed appropriate."

"I will not accept you indulging yourself too often," Will advises, gravely, "though loyal and competent service will not go unrewarded. Even the lion must—." He suddenly breaks into a chuckle, finally taking his seat. "I will not stretch the metaphor." He glances down towards the package, as though gauging it. "A gift well given and received with pleasure. You'll agree to the simple terms?"

Auguste nods again, sitting down after Will does. "I do accept them. And I can keep my indulgences to a minimum." A pause. "Well, a reasonable minimum." He looks back towards the stage as the lights dim and the play begins. He lowers his voice to suit the newly born quiet as he asks, "Is there any project or problem you'd like me to start with first?"

Slowly leaning backwards, Will begins to lounge, languidly relaxing into the plush chair. His tone is easy and gentle. "There is a new group of drainers in the Dallas area. My assistant Erica will give you all we have. They are organised, so a message must be sent. I want one, and only one, alive. The leader if at all possible. The golden rule applies." An amused glance flicks over, and fingers begin tapping a gentle tattoo on his leg.

Auguste considers that a moment and frowns, "Drainers? Well, that's a good start. I'll start with information gathering immediately." He shakes his head once and then grins a bit again. "Time to a cat amongst the pigeons." He laughs quietly, his whole demeanor becoming focused and more life-like as the prospect of being on the hunt invigorates him. A third time he gives that deep nod that substitutes for a bow. "Thank you. I think I'd like to get started immediately." A look back at the stage. "Well, after the play. I do so love a good tale about a man coming back from the dead."

Will allows Auguste a chuckle. "I have a feeling that unless I am forced to kill you, I might well begin to like you," he says, dryly humoured and careful to ensure his tone speaks of jest. "I won't offend you by offering assistance. Please, enjoy the show. Oh; we have what I believe to be a mortal telepath in the city. I am also interested in these if there are more."

Auguste grins at the first part of Will's words, taking them seriously but finding the humor in there none the less. On the subject of telepaths he says, "I've heard of them. Supposedly delicious." A pause and sideways glance. "And very useful, of course." He looks back towards the stage and says, "And I think if he know of one, he or she shall be our Judas goat to find the rest. Much more efficient than wandering around thinking salacious thoughts and seeing who blushes."

"The one I have located does not seem to know of any others," Will replies, frowning slightly at what he deems to be an ill-judged choice for the performance below. "In fact, she firmly believes that she is insane. I am in the process of— hrm. I may use you for persuading her to work for us in the future. If you come across a Chloe Cornett, try to be nice. We should think on a best approach." A careful 'we', dropped out there for perusal.

Auguste ponders that for a moment and glances sideways at Will at the 'we'. He says, "If she thinks she's mad, fright and pressure would only serve to fracture her in truth, I suspect. Perhaps a sympathetic ear will help achieve …our… ends." He pauses a moment and says, "Actually, if you have a trusted servant or two who can't be traced to you, we can arrange to have her run to us for protection against human predators. Why chase the rabbit when we can have it walk into our den willingly?"

Will explains, "I have already scared her, though she co-operates with my requests." Tap tap, go middle and index fingers together. "She attacked the drainer currently in police custody. We concoct something from there, neh? I want her to have good reason to drink of me, if nothing else."

Auguste sits back and touches his lips with a forefinger, thinking. "Ah. Then two birds with one stone. When I find some of these drainers, I'll glamour them into thinking that they have instructions to capture her or do her harm because of her interference in their affairs. I, at your orders of course, have been watching over her and will arrive in time to stave off their attack. Though, if we are pressed for time, we should let one of them wound her. Drinking your blood will save her and then, she is yours. Otherwise, we can cozen her into your arms. Altogether an enjoyable diversion, I should think."

"She will not be able to read you," Will says, "and I am uncertain as to the affect of glamour on thoughts. Still." He pauses, fingers tap again. "It has the makings of a glorious coup. Then we can utilise her power, in concert with our own, to ensure the safety and lawfulness of our kind. Voila." The final word with perfect accent. One picks up such things over the course of a few centuries. Will shifts slightly in position, one leg crossing the other.

Auguste gives a Gallic shrug and switches to French, given that Will seems to know it. "That's the beauty of it, they are drainers. If she sees confusion in them, we'll just claim they are partaking of V. I may even give them a drop or two before hand to stimulate their rage and lust and make them harder to read, perhaps. And when she is yours, then we have a way to keep the peasantry in line without having to make too many object lessons." He laughs quietly and says, "And the best part is that you shall be her knight beyond reproach, my lord. She will come to you willingly and perhaps even with enthusiasm. Which makes the whole affair even more delightful."

"I do find the method distasteful," Will says quietly, happily conversing in French, though his structure is somewhat old, pronunciation no longer quite in line with modern speech. "However, it is too perfect and poetic to ignore. It will serve, and I will salve my conscience with the good we will perform overall." He nods carefully, though nose twitches, the tinest sneer for the performance. "I am bored of this travesty of a performance."

Auguste grins faintly and says, "The feet of churls stomp the grapes that make even the most delightful vintages. Sometimes one must simply love the glass and forget how the wine was made." He looks down at the stage and sighs. "They do lack a certain spirit, don't they? That's the problem with modern men. They don't fear death and thus they cannot celebrate life. Alas that we can't return them to that grace." He stands and gives Will a true bow, not obsequious but rather respectful, knight-retainer to his lord. "And I think I shall be about your …our… business."

A note of bitter irony tempers Will's tone. "They do not fear the unknown in the night any more. Fear is healthy for the herd. Darwin's legacy." He stands, receiving Auguste's bow with a noble dip of his head, and taking up the package offered before. "You will enjoy yourself," he states, switching back to English. "It is too long since I have had beautiful metaphor in my life. Good hunting." With the same quiet steps that brought him into the box, he starts moving away.

Auguste laughs low and wicked and dark as the night itself. "Yea, indeed. Enjoy myself I will. And a good evening to you as well." And with a final look over the crowd, seeing them less as people or even prey, but simply the landscape in which his quarry hides, he draws himself up and moves. Faster than the human eye can follow, he's out of the box and down the stairs and out into the night, with only an icy wind and a sense of dread to subconsciously tell the humans around them that death has passed them by on this holiest of nights.

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