Logs:Something Wicked This Auction Sells
|Something Wicked This Auction Sells|
|Dramatis Personae|| |
4 June, 2016
A local treasure seeker has come across a magnificent find and means to auction his first fruits to finance a return visit. Tragedy follows!
Fallcoast abandoned Warehouse
Logfile from Fallcoast.
The place was anything but easy to find. It may have been designed that way. A warehouse in a manufacturing district was rented for this event and security hired to keep an eye on things. To keep things even more discrete, a nearby warehouse was rented to park the cars of the buyers. When there's this much gold around, they rather expect thieves or worse. Once inside the main warehouse, the customer can clearly see what their entry fee has bought them. Velvet curtains have covered the bare walls to create a more luxurious ambiance. Leather furniture has been brought in. A string quartet is playing in a corner. Crisp waiters meander about with trays of hors d'oeuvres and champagne. Last but not least, the artifacts themselves have been arrayed tastefully amongst the seating within plexiglass displays with a notebook on an adjacent pedestal. It would seem it is to be a silent auction.
Victoria is makingherself quite at home it seems. She is wearing a neartly cut skirt suit, complete with white blouse, navy blqazer, matching skirt, sheer stockings, and heels that manage to at least elevate hte msall woman to a couple inches above five feet tall.
The diminutive dark-haired woman's expression is thoughtful as she looks back and forth among thise present, footsteps growing quieter as she moves toward one of the nearest displays. She stops long enough to retrieve appetizers from a passing server, depositng it into her mouth as she come close. She seems content to study the artifact for now.
Elle was dressed rather simply, appropriate to the formalities. A simple sheath black dress paired with opaque stockings and low heels, and partially covered by a short jacket, left open. Her eyes and lips were both a touch dark, fitting the time of day, as she remained close to the artifacts, smiling politely to Victoria and nodding to the woman. She doesn't avail herself of the drinks and nibbles!
Francis bought his ticket directly. He leaves his car with the attendants next door before making his way to the main hall. His gray suit may be a bit muted compared to the other outfits tonight, but those with an eye for such things can tell that is nothing that came off a rack. His usual pallor has been replaced tonight with a healthy glow as he sets his blood moving. There is a certain sense of 'off' that he cannot quite seem to shake, but aren't many rich people a bit awkward? Either way the man's steps are confidents as he strides through the room.
The first thing Francis does is grab a glass and a bit food. Eating almost mechanically he'll wander over to where the objects of tonight's auction are stored. Among the artifacts is a beaten copper plate which is some ten feet long and a foot high. Etched into it is 'H M S RED LION' in meticulous script. The green patina of oxidation has been largely buffed away by cautious restoration efforts but there's still tinges. The wheel of the vessel has likewise been recovered. There's a few single ingots of Spanish gold individually displayed with doubloons all about. A cannon from the ship is prominently displayed as well.
A waiter approaches Victoria with a tray of fluted glasses. "Ma'am?"
Although Eliza would rather work a security detail outside, say, helping with the parking area and patrolling the perimeter in some fashion or another, she finds herself standing within the warehouse of note; lost in a sea of social nobility and rich people. Dark business attire, tailored, with her hair styled back, but the young woman wears her smile better than her professional clothes. It fades here and there with her walking amongst those present, not allowing it to stay plastered across her face. That would be far too awkward.
"Oh, thank you." Victoria smiles beatifically at hte waiter offering her a glass an takeso ne carefully. She follows al l of the rules of etiquette fom how she moves to how she holds the glass. Tori's voice is a smooth, rich, smoky mezzo soprano that speaks of the best of lounge wsingers and Rhythm and Blues, something she wears well. She is taking a sip as she turns to face aa case bearing ingots of Spanish Gold and then moves to the notebook in question to the left of it. Vitoria is, it seems, in her element in a place like this.
Elle moves quietly through the room, her small hands with the short nails, painted to match her lips, moving to carefully pick up a glass and hold it. More a prop than to drink - she keeps it held gently at the base of her ribs, and she studies the artifacts one by one. Those she'd not seen before, for the most part. The overtly expensive pieces; the gold, the coins; are mostly passed over for the conversation pieces, the cannon, the nameplate. But books, for her, are the passion, stepping quietly to look for the logs or papers
Almost forgotten when compared to the gilded lilies and larger pieces, there's the captain's log and ship's manifest. Both have been similarly encased in plexiglass to prevent touching but they've been carefully dried then opened to a random page.
"H-M-S Red Lion," says Eliza thoughtfully. She's clasped her hands neatly together at her front as she comes to stand before the captain's log. She leans forward in not wanting to encroach on the would-be personal space of the glass-contained item, bidding it almost far too much respect than it ought need. "Captain James Templeton. You, sir, must have enjoyed life to the fullest." Rather than continue talking to herself, there's a look around and polite smile to those near; like Elle and random socialite #34, and Francis.
For the more discerning collector, there's a few relics of the Incan Empire present. A gilded sacrificial dagger. A medallion with a solar motif. A miniature jaguar with onyx eyes...
"Victoria continues to quietly sip her drink, studying the notebook carefully. Tori setsh er glass side before quietly writing something in it. AShe then moves on, drifting toward the logook as voice slowly pick up and the excitement of its presence filters to unobserving indicviduals. Eliza's brief comment draws a nod but Tori is already moving onward. In the end she gravitates to the miniature jaguar.
Elle smiles slightly to Eliza, nodding as she cranes her head in closer, studying the book in more detail - focusing intently upon it, to read a scribbled note in the side; and, as well, to take in some of the impressions of the log. The history of it. Her voice, as she does so, is a trifle distant "The soul of the ship, in more ways than one, they called the logs" Quietly, intently
Francis just returns the smile from the other two guests though he seems a bit distract. He seems to be in business mode tonight. As the waiter comes by Francis will grab another bit of food as well as hand off his empty glass. He'll tear his gaze off the sacrificial dagger he was previously viewing and make his way to the logbooks which seem to have drawn together quite a crowd. He'll make a quick note in the nearby record book before moving on.
For those regarding the shielded books, the manifest looks normal enough. Faded India ink. Lots describing ingots and weight. Crates of doubloons. The captain's log..looks normal enough.. describes a storm and dangers of going out to deep water.. with a scribble in a margin that you can't read from the distance of the plexiglass.. and that's assuming one is so gauche as to press nose to glass. Ahem.
Elle tilts her head, frowning for a moment, stiffening as she looks the log over again. Her eyes widen fractionally, and a short breath is tugged in between her lips before she regains control of herself "Quite the interesting piece" She murmurs, covering somewhat and looking to Eliza briefly before she returns her eyes to the log once more "What does that part say?" She asks
There's a low rumble of thunder in the distance. Odd. The weatherman said there's a small chance of rain.. though no mention of thunderstorms. Oh well. They've been wrong before.
As the margin note Is pointed out Francis also leans in for a closer. Though similar to his fellow attendees he's not doing anything as obvious as going right up against the glass. "I'm not quite sure. I can't really make it out." He'll glance over to Eliza. "Can you read that?" While Francis' unsettling aspect may have been a bit masked in gathering crowds when nearby it comes off a bit stronger. At the same time his voice is friendly and he seems to be enjoying himself now as much as any other guest here tonight.
There might be some rhyme or reason to what Victoria chooses to approach but more likely she is just writing about whatever it is that sutis her fancy. Just now Victoria stops to sip her drink and let her brows furrow delicately, gaze turning upward as she listens to the rumbling overhead. Tori just shrugs it off, however. There are more items to look at and bid upon, after all.
Eliza distractedly nods. Quite the interesting piece, indeed, she nonverbally agrees. She squints all the more and tempts herself further with leaning in, lifting her chin to try and get a proper bead on reading the margin. She glances away thanks to one question about it and then over her shoulder because there's another question. With a small huff, she waves a hand; too many questions to field, too much distracting attention. "I don't know," she bitterly complains, "Can't tell. Just. Eh." She looks at Francis all the more and slowly steps to the side, gesturing for him and Elle to try. Still, she refocuses on the log.
As Eliza steps back Francis makes no move to get closer to the book. There is a moment where his eyes dart ever so briefly to her throat before he takes a step back. "Excuse me a moment." The words come off clipped as he breaks off from the group. He signals a passing waiter to grab a few more appetizers which he quickly finishes. He seems to eat without tasting as the act seems more like a ritual than anything else. He takes on deep, useless breath before he seems to center himself. Rather than looking back at the book his glance for the time seems angled more towards the dagger.
There's a moment where Victoria stops to stare at the Aztec dagger, having stepped away from her jaguar to exmaine the next closest exhibit. She stares at it for a long moment, her head tlted to the left while she does so and features bent itno a gentle, expressive frown. There are no word to be spoken; Tori apepars to be seriously considering bidding on the dagger as well. Finally she takes a deep breath and moves to write in the notebook nearby in her neat, flowing script.
"I know what you mean" Elle tells Eliza with a small glance, before looking back to the book and resting her fingers against the plexiglass for a moment in consternation. She straightens and glances about for a second, that same mildly distracted air about her
Francis has made his way back over to the dagger's auction book. His fingers of his right hand drum gently against his leg as he reads the current bids. He'll look up to scan the crowd before he looks down at his watch to see just how much time is left in the auction before things everything closes. There seems to be a moment of indecision before he stands just a bit straighter and wanders back out into the crowd.
Something that looks like what a smile might drag in behind it and leave on the doorstep in the middle of the night visits Carrie's pretty lips. Her delicate, nearly bony if we're being honest here, wrist whorls and her champagne glass does a little shimmie before meeting her lips for a sip.
"It's a shame it's not for sale" Elle notes under her breath, quietly glancing over the log once more and carefully, slowly looking over the room with a flicked, short glance, considering them as ashe gently twitches her jacket over the dress back into respectability
"A shame, yeah... and then it feels like someone is constantly staring at my whenever I go to these things," because Eliza is totally a socialite elite like everyone else fancy around here despite obviously being a member of security. She disengages before further attaching herself to the log and picks her way elsewhere, wandering now. Better that, than lingering.
There's the telltale patter of water on the roof. Given how high the ceiling is and insulated.. it's coming down out there. That's when Dan Dumfries comes out from behind a curtain and steps up to a podium. "Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming." He's all big smiles. "If you could all make your final bids, we will be making the reveals in the next few minutes and settling up accounts. While the books are being tallied, I'll be giving a small history of the dive and how we came upon the relics." He wags a finger. "No, I won't be revealing the site's location. That's cheating."
Victoria glances around the room in obtrusively, her gaze casting over all those present before coming to rest briefly upon Francis. Shje does not linger there, however, instead letting her attention shift back to the dagger. She takes a deep breath and then moves pastthe artifact again, scanning the auction book discretely as she does so. She stops for a moment here, then visits several other artifacts as well while she listens to Dumfries speak. Obligatory smiles and nods are given, but it seems Tori has other things on her mind.
Carrie finishes her champagne and waits there a moment, hands in the pockets of her coat. She looks like she's a touch bored with the administrative particulars of the auction, but her eyes alight upon a waitron nearby Dumfries himself and she makes her way there, brushing past the host of the auction along the way and murmuring a quick, "So sorry," under her breath before finding that second glass of bubbles.
Victoria returns Francis's smile with a brilliant one of her own and nods briefly before moving on to check out a few more items aAZnd perhaps place a couple more bids. She seems to be in good spirits as she drifts through the crowds and quietly speaks to apparently familiar aces in her quiet, self-assured way. Victoria knows how to work a crowd even if, in this case, it isn't strictly necessary.
After the final bids, the patrons of the auction begin to gather in their seats. The waiters make sure everyone has a fresh drink. Then, Dumfries is again at the podium. He looks like a fellow who only recently bought himself an Armani suit but has no idea how to wear one. "First, thank you for coming. This project has been a lifetime in the realizing. When BP reported it's topological scan to NOAA two years ago, they had no clue what they'd scanned. My team and I, however, spotted the inconsistency and began our preparations. The depth. The currents. The topography. All of it consistuted an almost insurmountable challenge.. but overcome it we did." He gestures to the books. "Captain James Templeton was the captain of the HMS Red Lion, the refit of the HMS Golden Lion, and responsible for bringing back the fruits of British raiding on the Spanish colonial galleons bringing back South American riches to Europe. Now we know from historical records that the vessel was lost at sea, reportedly filled with treasures, but where had always been a mystery." His arm sweeps to the ship's identity plate. "And we found it off the coast of Maine. As best as Doctor Michaels could recover from the logs, the ship was heavily laden and foundered during a storm. Filled with gold as it was, it no doubt could not handle the rough seas. Now, we have a time capsule of the past." He takes a sip from his champagne flute. "Which brings us to the now. You each have had the opportunity to finance what will be a second trip to the Red Lion for more artifacts. These will likely never be sold and donated to museums so you have in your hands..." Or his hands as the binders are all brought to him. "The first and only chance to procure a piece of this once in a lifetime event. Thank you for making it great." He smiles. "So. I invite you all to drink and enjoy the last of the food. Our staff will be reaching out to you to settle accounts and arrange for deliveries." He looks at a ledger. "I see one of you wanted our cannon very much." There's a chuckle. "Just try not to shoot anyone I know, eh?" He lifts his glass then there's a flicker of light and an explosion. The lights go out. Patrons and staff alike scream. It's total chaos. In the dark. There's a faint lesser darkness above but rain is pouring in from it.. apparently a hole in the ceiling? The air smells of ozone and the hair on everyone's neck is standing on end.
Victoria turns her eyes upward and then runs fora nearby display case to take cover before evaluating the situation more clearly. She's crouched beside the dagger's display case now, amber eyes wide as they cast back and forth behind their designer frames. Hopefully no one was expecting Victoria to be the hero who saves the auction. It seems unlikely.
Well. That's just great. How the hell is she going to return these boots now? At least they look damn good on her. The actual first thoughts to pass through Carrie Jace's mind. What comes next is hidden behind all sorts of things, but it brings a smile to her face in the darkness. And then... wait, what the hell was that? No, really, what the hell was that? First thing's first. Primary task. That other thing will have to wait. Opportunities like this are rare.
Francis as the lights go off Francis is still for a moment. There is a moment where he almost forgets to keep breathing before he's off and moving back towards the tables. He's stronger than he looks and he's able to press his way through the crowds before he arrives back at the table with the artifacts. There is a moment when he stumbles, but he quickly catches himself. He'll reach his hands out as he feels the table to make sure he is where he thinks he is.
It's a moment of chaos. People screaming. But the generators kick in and the lights come back on. It's still rumbling thunder outside and the rain is still going but.. Dumfries is laying still on the ground next to the podium. Running to his side, a bookwormish sort of fellow is calling out for a doctor. Patrons? They're quietly leaving.. or not so quietly. There's a broken display case or three. Security is trying to maintain order with two of them rapidly moving to the main entrance with one having a metal detector wand and the other with a meaningful hold on something in his jacket. Most alarming of all is.. the display case with the log books in it? Is gone. Like.. the whole case. How the hell?
Francis pats the table in front of him as he feels for what he is looking for. It should be no surprise he has ended up back with the dagger. From there it is a simple matter to allow the vitae to course through his dead limbs to smash through the glass. The moment his hands touch the dagger it seems to fade from view. He'll straighten up as his hands go to his pockets. With that he joins the mob currently trying to leave the auction house. Hopefully his new cannon is too big to be walked off with.
One of the patrons knocks Victoria from her feet and she land s on the floor beside the display case. The small woman is groping around blindl y amid the screams. Then there's the crash of shattering glass, sharp shards raining overh er where she's sprawled on the floor. Victoria cries out as wellk, but mostl yfrm surprise, and quickly recovers her ocmpsorue. She chas to crawl a feew feet before she is able to climb to her feet slowly, grey eyes wide as she surveys her surroundings. Tori is breathing heavily as she moves to join the stampede of people leaving, adjusting her glasses as she goes.
Elle is quiet. Elle is dressed simply. Elle is walking slowly and carefully and carrying two incredibly valuable pieces, and is being ignored by absolutely everybody. And she's heading out of the back, and away. She considers, briefly, taking it straight to the Atheneaum ... but no. This needs to be looked at. So she turns, and heads home, musing
As much as Eliza enjoys playing the role of security, she also feels the sudden desire to answer someone calling out for a doctor. It happens to be at the podium, too. That's where Dumfries is. The man is definitely still there and he's definitely on the ground, in bad shape. "Ah- whoa, shit, lightning? Hey, call 9-1-1." It's not like she is going to be struck herself, hopefully, and she's more than safe when it comes to handling the man. Thus begins some aggressive resuscitation on her part, performing first aid and CPR until paramedics arrive.