Logs:Summer Meet

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Summer Meet
Dramatis Personae

Brand, DaisyLu, Dora, Edith, Ihrck, Kouri, Kyrie, Lex, Mark, Melissa, Olivia, Owen, Tock, Wendell, Britta Sorenson (NPC)

September 11, 2015

Summer's nearly at an end, but there's still business to take care of before the crown passes hands. And what better way to do business than with beer and barbeque?



It's a summer meet. The food, therefore, is fairly traditionally-American summertime fare. There's a grill, and the Second is manning (turtling?) it, with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and chicken on offer in varying stages of done. There is also, because some folks are inexplicably strange (Sheldon among them), a grill rack reserved only for non-meat items. Portabella mushroom caps seem to the main event there, with some zucchini and yellow squash and other less fragile grillable veg. Beverages are beer. Lots of kinds, but beer. BYO non-alcoholic, apparently. A table with sides is nearby, with potato salad, a few varieties of chips and dips, and condiments for the meat (or veg) in buns.

Britta's parked in a lawn chair near the grill, flipping through a recipe book. "Salmon. Would you eat salmon if we grilled it? It's fish, didn't come from anything with fur. Come on, turtles eat fish, don't they?"

Owen has his ruck nearby and an unlit cigar behind one ear. He has on latex gloves and he's finishing putting a bandage around the arm of a hob from the kitchen. "Be careful. No more knife fights, right?" says as he wraps the bandage. "OK." he says as another, older hob leans out to chatter something at them. "Yeah. I want him to go home tonight and chill. OK?" says Owen. "No work washing dishes." Little fist pump from the injured Hob. Owen finishes his work and sends the two off, throwing his gloves away. A big tankard of beer and he drags his ruck over to his sitting place - there's a huge, long Pelican case that is open, next to him.

"Oh that?" he tells someone. "That's a Barrett M107. Sniper rifle. Fifty cal. My bro got it for me! Isn't that BAD ASS? That thing can hit something two miles away! HELL YEAH." A long draw from his beer and he calls to a Hob peeking out of the kitchen, "Fries? Burger? Bacon? Pizza? Something to snack on."

OOC: The rifle: http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/rifle/M107/M107_0.jpg

He's wearing a tshirt, thin, athletic fit, dark blue with a yellow emblem that reads 'Baghdad Summer Camp - you'll have a blast!"

OOC: http://www.rangerup.com/summercamp.html

Jeans, combat boots, big pistol on his right hip, backwards baseball cap.

He has a small cardboard box in front of him.

"Of course they do," Kyrie says to Britta and Sheldon as she wanders up to the lighthouse, wearing her blood armor. Because seriously, does she ever wear anything else?" She looks over to the familiar sounds of Owen talking food. "A five course feast is a snack to you," she calls to him, lips twitching. She heads over, grabbing a beer and cracking it open so she can take a drink.

Edith slips into the lighthouse, in as someone that sparkly can truly be said to slip into any place. Glass hooves chime against the floor as she enters, and while her glass does glitter, her clothing is dark. A burgundy tunic with a bodice-like tie, dark brown leather trousers, and a wide belt upon which a Hedgespun rapier is sheathed, and peacebound, only the ornate pommel and guard shaped to apparently represent obsidian feathers showing. No shoes, though... hooves and shoes don't really mix. She's carrying a cooler with her, which she brings over to the table, setting it down and opening. "I brought cider," she announces, in a tone that borders upon the deadpan. "Hello, Buckshot." This, to Owen. "...and Bosslady." That, to Kyrie.

The clockwork girl's outfit is typical Tock, her dress both too formal and too vintage in its full-length Belle Epoque cut. She is rather monochromatic this evening, the entirety of the dress in a silvery brocade and accented with a silver woven metal necklace and bracelet to match. A few white flowers ornament her swept-back cornsilk hair and she carries a small travelling basket on one arm. First things first, food is to be delivered. A tray of blueberry brownies finds its way out of the basket and onto an appropriate table before Tock takes a better look around, smiling and waving greetings as she recognises people gathered there. She brightens at Edith's announcement. "Cider...excellent. The brownies are blueberry," she returns the announcement in kind, with a gesture to the table on which she had left them.

Mark arrives outside the lighthouse, with a basket and a cooler. He's good with not cooking, though, he won't mind if he gets tapped later. He does have foodstuffs, of course, because he's incapable of not providing food. A few months ago, he might have huffed and puffed a little more than he is now. But because of his whole fitness thing with Owen, he's getting better. "I brought food. I hope no one minds."

Perk of a brow from Britta beneath the white-hot summer crown, although it's not clear what prompted it. Sheldon gives a grunt and a shake of his head in the negative. "Nope." Flip a burger. Flip a chicken breast. "No fish." The monarch rolls her eyes, turns the page in the cookbook, and gives a lazy wave to the inbound Lost. "Get some food, get a beer, get comfy. Days are gettin' shorter, we'll have to take advantage the time we've got left. Someone get me a beer? Mine's gone." She lifts an empty bottle from the ground by her lawnchair as evidence.

Kyrie glances over to Edith, head tilting, but her lips twitch. "Me? I like the sound of that. Evening," she offers back to the unicorn. Then she hears Tock and gives that woman a smile as well. "Ahh, my partner in crime. Hi!" She glances at Britta, shrugs a little, then grabs a second beer, carrying it over to the other valkyrie and offering it over. "Cheers."

With the seasons finally looking to turn soon, trust at least one representative of Those Looming on the Threshold to show up. Perhaps all her hostess-like inclinations were burned out like so much sparkly glitter recently, or maybe she has no shame about mooching; whatever the case, Dora's brought nothing but herself and her thirst to the gathering, claiming a bottle of beer before finding someplace somewhat off to the side to watch as more people arrive. Maybe she's not playing wallflower, but just staying out of the way until the gang's all here?

Edith turns to Tock, and her lips twitch in a faint smile. "Evening, Doll." Apparently, no one gets called by their actual name. Kyrie's comment is greeted with an amused snort, then the sparkly-horned one is gathering up a burger, cider, and a blueberry brownie, then finding a place to settle.

Mark is just in board shorts and his 'Free Licks' t-shirt. He's goin' casual, and he starts offloading food and arranging it on tables. It looks like he's going to get that beer for Britta, but sees she's already got it. "Hey, Owen, Tock." Other folks get an interested look and warm smile of greeting from him.

Melissa is a trifle late -- likely fashionably so, though Summer being Summer, it might not notice. She comes up to the outdoor lighthouse-cookout with a certain distance, as if playing wallflower at a much bigger party, clearly more there to observe than to jump in the middle of things, and her greetings are very spare indeed. There's a hint of distraction in her demeanor, as if her full attention is really somewhere else. Twitchy, more insect-like than usual from the under-the-radar bug.

"Mark! Where's Melissa? I have something for her!" says Owen as he rises. He waves to everyone, finishing his tankard of ale with a quiet belch, you know, polite, before he grins at Kyrie and Edith and Tock and the rest. "Hey everyone! Ooh cider and brownies!" he says as he rises to get one of each, some of Mark's food, a bro-slap to the back, a grin at Dora, "Heya." he says as he gets a beer bottle and takes a seat once again. "You're looking good bro. Those runs are helping!" Then Melissa is there and he rises, moving to hand over the box, lean over to whisper something to her, offer a fist to bump, and then take a seat again.

"Has anyone ever minded your food, Mark?" Tock asks with a chuckle, that hint of metallic tinkling to the sound. "Kyrie, good to see you!" She bounces up a bit further on her toes than her modest heels already allow, betraying the genuine quality of those words. "Hello, Edith. You can call me Tock, if you want." Apparently the clockwork girl hasn't quite decided if Edith is giving alternative names on purpose or if she didn't remember the actual names to use. She's so helpful. Indeed, she even helps herself to a cider before wandering over toward the gathering group.

Kyrie nods to Dora, then looks over, giving Mark, then Melissa, a nod, the latter getting a long look. "Hello you guys. Wait, brownies?" she asks, turning toward the sound of that word. "Owen, if you eat them all, I will beat you," she playfully threatens.

Owen gets a grin and a salute with her bottle from Dora, the tall darkling tipping her head, eyes somewhat obscured behind cracked sunglasses. "Good to see ya," she offers, before watching the man curiously as he heads over toward Melissa. She purses her lips, apparently considering something, but decides not to interrupt quite yet. Instead her attention gets caught by Kyrie's nod, while one artfully plucked eyebrow lifts over the frame of her glasses as she clearly scopes out the valkyrie's choice of party attire.

Britta taps her unopened beer against Kyrie's, then opens it and takes a swig. "No fish. Hmm. Chocolate-covered crickets? I hear they're... edible." The pause is quite evident.

People are settling in, giving their greetings. Britta gives a couple of minutes and then gets to her feet. She's a striking figure, the low-hanging sun casting her in red and orange and bronze. The Summertime crown gleams bright in the encroaching gloaming. Hands on her hips, Britta calls out, "All right, folks. Got some ground to cover. First: any newcomers on the radar? Any newcomers /here/? If so, pass 'em a beer and shove 'em up here. If not, we'll hit old business first."

"There are a lot of them..." Tock starts to assure Kyrie regarding the brownies, before glancing over to Owen and just letting that thought trail off. "I wouldn't chance that threat," she offers to the Ogre instead, along with an amused grin. More waves are offered to those that arrive or that she's missed so far. She quiets, turning to pay attention when Britta moves to speak.

Melissa manages her sweetest smile for Owen, accepting the little package. "You're a darling to think of me, but this really isn't necessary. I'm sure everything will come around as it should." There's a twist to those words -- they may suggest that, however welcome that is, however she fistbumps Owen back, she is not so easily bought for chocolate and apologies, especially since it's loud enough to be overheard. Coolness is Winter's way enough. She beckons Dora over with a twitch of antenna, a signal of welcome company.

"I don't know," Mark confesses to Tock, "no one's said. Then again, I think Owen just eats it all before anyone else can get to it." He's got a few vegetarian choices, as well as non-entirely veg type salads, and perhaps a few desserts. He goes quiet and sticks near the food table. He does beam at Melissa when he sees her.

"Yeah, but have you /seen/ Owen eat?" Kyrie asks Tock with a grin. She nods to Britta. "I've heard that, too. They're not horrible," she says, shrugging and moving to find a place to sit. After snagging a brownie, anyway. After sitting she looks back to Melissa, studying for a moment before giving Britta her attention.

"K. I still owe ya," says Owen to Melissa as he takes his seat. A grin at Kyrie, "I won't. I'll leave like, two," he says as he plops down. He lifts his hand like a kid in class, "Got a new Ensorceled," he calls, "Gettin' him into the Freehold, doing what I can. Other than that Hedge Warden patrols haven't found any new Lost on the trods since the last meeting."

Edith freezes when Melissa passes through her field of vision, going quite still with her cider halfway to her lips. And staring commences, staring for a long damned minute, before the Monarch is rising. Her gaze snaps front, and then she kind of waves the cider around. "Me. Though I've given my oath. Edith Cavanaugh. Winter. Not fond of jokes about rainbow unicorns." Unfortunately, she turns her head as she says that last, and light bounces off her horn in a spray of, yes, rainbow motes. She sighs. "...fuck."

Dora gives another look around the gathering as Britta brings up newcomers, then briefly looks disappointed. Perhaps she was hoping to see someone in particular show up. But she doesn't miss that antenna's twitch; she's up on her feet a moment later, taking only a momentary detour by the drink table again to grab another two beers before joining Melissa and taking a seat next to her, offering one of those drinks to the Winter without a word. Though Edith's outburst does get her to grin again.

Mark eyes Edith, raises his brows, but says nothing. He grabs a beer, grabs a seat, and is good to listen. Owen gets a deep nod and grin when he gives his report. Definitely a good job, man vibe.

Britta, apparently oblivious of any potentially dramatic subtext, gives Edith a bland expression, barring the tiniest quirk of a smile. "That horn," she says midly, "looks quite good for stabbing people. I wouldn't insult it if it glowed neon orange and flashed on and off. I'm good at pickin' my battles. Welcome to the Rock, Edith Cavanaugh of Winter, officially." The monarch's attention snaps to Owen next, pinning. "I'll meet him first, of course. And of course he's adequately Pledged." They're... really not questions. There is a Gibraltar-like solidity to the words. "But of course I'm not opposed." Her attention lifts, broadens to the group in general. "Anyone else? No? Then let's hit the damned sails first. I've had some private briefings from my own investigations, but all news is necessary news, so if you've learned anything I haven't heard about yet, now's the time to share it."

Kyrie's brows lift and she gives /Edith/ a long look now, before grinning. It's shifted over to Owen, before flicking back crown-ward. "Haven't heard anything, but more than happy to go check things out." She glances at Tock, arching a brow questioningly, before inclining her head ever so slightly toward Britta.

"I think so, not sure. I know who Contracted him, I can tell ya after boss," says Owen to Britta with a nod. "Haven't heard anything more yet. Since our two patrols parallel to the shoreline we've been trying to keep people away from the water. Operationally, we have no vessels capable of getting out over the horizon to explore. we have no rescue capability right now. We talked about getting some water-aligned Lost to come out and recon and if we had to swim out, but it's still a big-ass risk."

Melissa's face goes into its usual fixed set -- blankly smiling, bug eyes unblinking -- but her gaze sticks on Edith and the glittery horn as if assessing and recalling something familiar, a just-long-enough study before she leans over and whispers something briefly to Dora at her elbow. Thereafter, she pulls out a notebook, the better to scribble.

Dora gives Melissa a small nod, then looks up again as talk turns to the sails. With a small grimace, she leverages herself up to her feet again and clears her throat. "I believe I've information worth sharing, your majesty. If I may."

"I do not know what is general knowledge yet. I have seen the sails myself, too many of them, and some form of aerial surveillance related to them without good visual confirmation of /what/. I was told there was confirmation of incursions by The Captain at my Court's last meeting." Tock gives Kyrie a nod. "If ongoing investigation is in order, I would also like to offer assistance."

Britta listens, scuffing one bootheel against the ground like a bull gearing up to run, although she never moves from her spot, beer in hand. Tock gets a considering stare, and she lifts a hand with a finger upraised, a just-a-second gesture. The other finger, hand still holding her beer bottle, points at Dora. "Dish."

Edith smirks a little bit. "It is. Very good." She says that with a certain grim satisfaction, then settles back, though her gaze does, inevitably, drift back to Melissa. She goes silent, then, listening and.. watching the honeybee.

Owen will rise while listening, grabbing a new beer, some new food, a brownie for Kyrie, and toss a beer at Brand with an uptick of the head for 'Incoming' and then take a seat again, opening his beer and listening to the rest.

Although late, Brand Walker arrives wearing streetclothes rather than the lofty clothing he's been seen in as of late. Rather than a sheath of white, he's wearing his leather jacket and a plain, white tank top over blue jeans. Chains and bandanna swaying, the alabaster Fairest slips in to the rear of the group, ears perched to see which point of the meeting he's walking in on.

Kyrie glances over to Brand, lifting a hand in a wave, even giving him a smile before she accepts the brownie from Owen, mouthing 'thanks' to him.

They're outside the Lighthouse. There's a grill going, manned (or possibly turtled...) by the Summer Second, with a variety of meat or meatless offerings, because Sheldon is a vegetarian, goddammit, and there will be vegetebles all up in that meat's grill. Beer is the drink of choice this evening, because beer. BYO non-booze. Britta is standing, facing the nearly-set sun, crown gleaming with its own light in the rising twilight, and has asked for news regarding the red sails. Tock may be next up on this list; currently the monarch is watching Dora intently, having demanded whatever information the Autumn has to offer.

DaisyLu walks up, late, and wearing a long, lace skirt, that's white at the top and slowly dyed to midnight blue by the bottom, with a black tank top. The boots and hat are, of course, there. Her Summer mantle is intact, since there are no Dawn or Dusk courtiers standing next to her to make things go wonky. She waves at the people she knows, with smiles, including Kyrie and Owen in that wide grin.

Dora inclines her head deeply to Britta again, then draws herself up to her full height. "I was asked by Richard Horne as Autumn's seer to look into the business of the sails, but found dreams...very cloudy until just recently. Just the other night, though, there was finally a proper portent: a dream of the ships and sails as if they were a grand puppet show, bobbing up and down on cardboard sesa -- a show, put on. But despite the theatrical nature of the presentation, when the cardboard gunports opened and the cannons roared? The damage done was quite real. It's my opinion that however they may be presenting themselves so far, the threat behind them is quite, quite real." She pauses a moment, then takes a quick sip from her beer. "Though I must note a second vision had more than a month ago of the sails by someone else. They saw smaller vessels slipping away from the larger ships to cause damage, and the lighthouse turning a burning fire on the vessels to cleanse the seas. Unfortunately, afterward? The lighthouse went forever dark. I would thus caution that whatever response we give to these vessels, we may want to make certain we don't burn ourselves out in the fight -- because it won't be the last."

Brand catches the beer, the 'brain grenade' as it were, with one hand. With his other hand, he waves to Kyrie, sliding his sunglasses off of his eyes and tucking them securely into the inner pocket of his leather jacket. When Brand hears what Dora is saying, he cracks open his beer and makes his presence known to the Augur. A gust of incense wafts up from his eyes as he stands at the back of the group, nodding softly in agreement with what Dora is saying.

Kyrie catches the grin from Daisy, nodding to the woman, but the majority of her focus is on Dora. She looks like she wants to say something, but for now remains quiet and listening. And eating her brownie before Owen eats it right out of her hand.

Owen gives a wave to the DL and settles in with his beer. Feet up, he gets comfortable as he listens, watching those speaking.

Edith stops staring at Melissa, finally, and instead turns her attention onto Dora, slowly eating her burger as she does so, her head canted slightly, which also tilts the glass horn. More rainbows, but light also glints on the deadly looking point of it. She frowns, hearing this, expression turning increasingly grim.

Olivia is likewise late, and probably more here for the food and the dinner show, then to actually seek out the counsel of the Summer Queen. In point of fact, if there's beer, that's where she goes to obtain one for herself, and then promptly makes a beeline for her motley mate, the rock god.

Britta's expression is equally grim. She takes a long swig of the bottle in her hand, still watching Dora. "Real threat behind a fake one, huh?" She's quiet a moment, then grunts. "And a freehold burned to the ground fighting it off. Ain't that a fucking shitshow." She sucks in a breath, lets it out again. "Thanks for that. I'm gonna think on it a bit. I may haul you back to tell me more details after I do, so don't go on vacation. Tock! What is it you had to say about the Captain?"

Dora tips her head deeply again. "I'm at your disposal, of course. And if there's any piece in particular you want me to try and see more deeply into, I can attempt that as well." She steps back as Britta turns her attention to others, flashing Brand a wry sidelong smile as she resumes her seat next to Melissa. She quickly drains off what's left of her first beer, then pops the top on the second she brought over -- clearly prescient, this one.

When Dora looks his way, Brand quietly nods his head to her, lifting his beer ever-so-slightly towards the skinny woman before taking a sip. The beer can is tipped back for a swallow, and then Brand looks over his shoulder to see Olivia approaching. His lips crack into a wry smile towards the woman, and when she joins him, he leans over to whisper quietly to her.

Olivia is curious about whatever it is Tock has to say, but she dips her chin to better hear Brand, and murmurs lowly in return.

Tock listens to Dora relay her information intently, nodding when Britta calls on her. "Unfortunately, little more than that. We were informed at our last meeting that the sails are linked to incursions from The Captain. I am not certain from whence that information came originally, but it was relayed by our Regent." She pauses, head tilting slightly. "The mention Dora makes to other threats, though. There definitely are others that have been encountered recently. I will hold on that for a moment at the risk of going off-topic before this one has concluded. I would also like to mention that, for the purpose of coordination, investigation, and preparedness... Kyrie and I designed a radio that has earpieces to work in the Hedge. She completed the crafting of it and it is available for use, with the radio being housed at Valhalla. I know it has already been useful at least once in getting healing assistance to one who was injured in combat in the Hedge."

Kyrie glances to Tock and nods. "Those who go out to the ships, for recon or to fight, can radio back information or if they're in desperate need of healers, so they can be on standby," she adds, before finishing off her beer.

Lex slinks in, apparently a little late and finds a place at the back where he can check stuff out. He recognises a few people but many are strangers to him.

Britta's mantle simmers, a scent of ozone strengthening around her. "No-one," she says quietly, "is to go out to those ships, not yet. The Captain's crews are not to be trifled with. But some recon is needed. Those whose specialty is not dying in the Hedge, and also not being seen or heard, get with me. Radios may be handy." She finishes off her beer, drops the empty bottle on the ground by her boot. "Let's hear about those other threats."

DaisyLu has just come in, and having heard a few things, slinks over to where the grilling meat and veg are. She snags a beer and then some meat and veg and bread, because grilled things are happy-making things. She nods at Sheldon, who is grilling. Then she finds a seat, somewhere, so she can eat her grilled foodstuffs and gloat over them.

Melissa is as serenely still other than the twitch and search of antenna-curls as she can be, face still frozen in that eerily pleasant insect's gaze, most of her attention given to Britta, directing the solution of problems and asking for answers. Every so often her fingers scratch out words on her notepad, but not even latecomers ruffle her composure overmuch.

Ihrck has been quiet this while helping the head Turtle at Grill by taking the tongs so he can spare a moment to have a drink. He gave his spatchula a tap and a flip and threw some onions on the grill to go with. The talk of 'sails' arched an eyebrow on the condensating iceman.

That order from Britta has Tock nodding agreement with the wisdom of not dashing off into that particular powder keg unprepared. "When we were sent out to investigate, one team by the shore and the other by Autumn's Hollow?" The statement is made with the air of a question, mostly allowing time for recognition of the event. "There was a screaming creature out there, luring dangerous Hedge creatures to attack. Briarwolves, Vileshrikes, insect swarms... Mark had posted a warning about going out alone," she pauses to give a small head-tip his direction, "and that groups of less than five able to hold their own in combat should flee if they encounter the creature or even hear it. It is pretty distinctive, like a toddler with impressive lung capacity being tortured." There is no playfulness to that description, simply the most accurate words she could find. "We are working on researching that creature to learn more, but the process is ongoing."

Edith settles down a little more, crossing one leg over the other, looking from person to person. The more she hears, the more remote her expression seems to get. Britta's request about people who don't die has her absently plinking one fingernail against her glass cheek. Tink. Tink. Then she nods, seemingly to herself.

Mark glances sidelong to Ihrck, brows climbing as seeing something that surprises him. Otherwise? He's watching and listening to each speaker, glancing between them and Britta. Occasionally glances are spared for newcomers.

"I've heard other people mentioning that screaming thing," Kyrie adds, nodding. "I haven't heard it myself, but it doesn't seem to be a small group who's encountered it."

Olivia nods a little bit to something Brand murmurs, and her query, while no longer a whisper, is still quiet. "Are you in the queue?" There's a vague gesture toward Britta.

Britta's expression is grim. "I've had news of the screaming thing," she confirms, and turns to hit up a cooler for another beer bottle. "That's... well. There's some suspicion about it. Talk to the Widow, I think. See what that confirms. I've asked her to look into as well. Get your heads together."

Brand looks to Olivia at his side and shakes his head quietly. Rather than interrupt Britta, however, Brand makes his twenty-first century skills to use and takes out his cell phone. Tapping quietly, he presses send, then slips the device back into his pocket. Out come a pack of cigarettes, and using his lips, he pries one from the box and slips an arm around Olivia's shoulders. Move. Trade. Move. Trade. Up comes the lighter. One handed work is difficult.

It was a subtle thing but there was no hail today. John Ihrck stacked the burger patties to stay warm and put the buns business side down on the crisper. Out came the ribs. Talks of threat in teh hedge requires serious meat! And a few veggies hit the skillet (wone of them flat ones withthe handle, Brand). The big guy looked up quietly from Britta to Kyrie to Olivia. Sauce went on the ribs. At at least where he seemed to stay put the grass appeared less burned out by the hostilities of a dry summer. Nope. Just appearances apparently. His phone was pulled out and set on the sideboard. He upnodded to the TUrtle glowering and went back to business. On the wailing Mandrake thing he was interested but had nothing to add as of yet.

Kyrie's phone buzzes and she pulls it out, scowling at it before she starts very precisely tapping on the screen. More like she's unused to it than any particular desire to be careful.

DaisyLu eyes John. Ribs? SON OF A BITCH. "John," she whispers. "Save me a half rack with no sauce!" Way better than sausage. There's bones to gnaw on! Then she goes back to pretending to pay attention, while eating her grilled vegetables which are lovely.

Brand, who is ABSOLUTELY NOT TEXTING WITH KYRIE is interrupted by a whispered buzz from inside of his jacket. The cigarette bobs in his lip as he takes a drag, then reaches up to his lip with his beer in hand to lift the cigarette away. Exhaling high aboe his head, he peels his arm off of Olivia's shoulder to pull out his phone. Tap tap tap. He binks down to the screen, presses send, then looks up towards Britta with a small lift of his hand. If there's a queue? He wants in. He has an 'ask' of the Monarch.

Tock's head bows slightly at that direction provided by Britta. "Of course. Pooling resources is usually a good plan. I will hopefully have updates soon." She hadn't stepped forward, exactly, so there is no need to step back, physically. She does, however, give some attention to her cider, sipping from it.

"Right." Britta twist the top off her beer and tucks it into her pocket. "Excellent. Anyone else got anything on the sails or the screamy thing? If not, next business."

Wendell slowly walks down with his cleaver slung around his shoulder and a pair of crosshatched flannel pants on. He's got one arm wrapped around a clear plastic box of cookies. He yawns widely and sits down somewhere and starts eating his cookie. Narrowing his eyes at the crowd that has assembled in the lighthouse hollow.

Olivia seems quite content to serve as an arm drapery for Brand and watch the court interactions. She seems to have nothing to add for the moment, for herself. But taking in all the information is important. There's a small twist of her mouth, and she half lifts on her toes to murmur to Brand.

After speaking up so much earlier, Dora's gone very quiet; she seems quite content to keep a nice companionable silence at Melissa'a side as the other woman takes notes, watching the ebb and flow of things as she sips from her second beer at a much more measured pace. Besides, that gives her much more time to people-watch the folks she doesn't know all that well.

Kyrie glances up from her texting shaking her head at Britta. "Nothing from me for the moment. I'd just like to be in on any raiding parties on the sails," she says, picking up her beer and sipping.

"I'm with Bossl... Kyrie," Edith comments. "My orn and my rapier are at the service of the Freehold."

There's not really a queue. Britta gives a moment, then salutes the freehold with her beer. "Alrighty then, kids, recess for now. I'm going to eat a sausage and some of those amazing-smelling ribs and we can resume again when I'm not starving, if new business remains. More private business, come bend my ear and if you're lucky I'll finish chewing for a minute to answer." Her stomach growls, audibly. She's not kidding.

Everything falling quiet for the moment, Brand starts to look around. He mutters quietly with Olivia, and then after a few seconds of extra quiet-quiet, the Fairest raises his hand. THEN...Britta calls recess. His arm slowly lowers. Perhaps it falls closer under more private business anyway. He turns to mutter something to Olivia then curls his shoulder away from her, turning to head towards Britta.

Brand mutters "Into the lion's ... ... go" to Olivia.

Kyrie shoots Edith a grin then looks to Brand, shaking her head, but not losing the grin. She slips her phone back, stretching out her legs before she looks over to Tock. "So what's our next invention going to be?"

Dora visibly relaxes when the recess is called, leaning back in her seat as she takes a long drag from her beer again. She doesn't miss Brand's abortive attempt to get called on, a grin playing across her features as she watches the man head off to chat with the hungry monarch. But she stays put, instead leaning slightly toward Melissa to start up a quiet conversation now that there's a break in business.

Well, private business? "I'll go with you. Seeing as I have some of my own." Liv gives Brand a smile, and proceeds to make her way toward Britta, presumably alongside the Fairest, though she'll indicate he's welcome to seek Britta's attention first.

Wendell shtrokes his chin. "She's right. THey do make really good ribs here." He nods his head. "The trick is to cook them extra extra long at low heat. So much that even the bones are nice and chewy." Wendell pops another cookie in his mouth and looks at the crowd. He looks down at a chocolate stained hand and frowns slightly

Ihrck had food ready and Turtle willing there might be enough of the both of the guys to serve people off the grill. He was no Telluric but the Jotum had some fair timing. Teamwork, hell of a thing. He piled a few things and a couple ribs on a plate to hand to teh Turtle to give to Britta, and continued parsing out foods.

Edith returns Kyrie's grin, even winking at the valkyrie, then she gets to her feet and starts sidling over towards the food table again, her tail swishing against her ankles. "Approve of recess," she mutters.

Tock grins in answer to Kyrie's question. "Wasn't Owen asking about boats and diving equipment?" She lifts her cider in an almost-salute before drinking from it again. "Did you get a brownie or did they all become Owen-prey?"

Melissa sticks close to Dora, leaning in for a little tete-a-tete with the Autumn; there's the faintest of antenna-flicks towards Owen that might suggest some explanation in progress, and there's a glance she spares for the Queen before seeing Brand and Olivia's approach and thinking better of any quieter approach.

"He actually gave me one. I was shocked," Kyrie tells Tock, amused. "Some sort of submersible would be nice, for those of us who can't go under water." She glances around for a moment before calling out, "Oi! Anyone have any ideas for equipment the freehold needs, like the radios that work in the hedge?" Why not poll the group it's intended for, right? And again she glances to Melissa, and if she catches the woman's eye, gives a silent invitation to join her.

Turtle's a fine grillmate; he shares his territory without grumbling. Ribs there are aplenty, probably, maybe, made more likely by the fact that Sheldon won't be eating any. He nudges some of the grilling asparagus closer toward John; those'd go good with that there pig, it suggests.

Britta, a hot dog halfway in her mouth- one bite, of course- raises her brows at the approaching Spring Courtiers. A beat, and she bites down, and chews. "Mmmhmm?" It's as polite as she can manage with a mouth full of tubemeat.

Private, it would seem, is relative. And Olivia apparently feels whatever she has to say merits actual privacy, so she actually makes a brief gesture of deferral, and indicates Brand as the one with something to say.

Mark fidgets a little as he is not cooking, and so he ends up pacing towards Melissa and Dora, and then waiting outside of his earshot, while he paces. Antsy dog is antsy.

Brand lowers his head to Britta, as is appropriate. Bending just a little at the waist, he presses his hand to his chest and presents himself to the Monarch. "Your Grace." Brand nods softly towards her shoes, then looks to her face as he rises. "Just a moment of your time, if you will. I'm coming to inform you that I will be ensorceling a mortal, a friend of mine I've had for years, a cop with the FPD who's been pledged to silence already, but she's sympathetic to our kind of cause, trustworthy, and will be an asset."

As it would seem Lex probably isn't needed here, finds his way back out.

Dora stares suddenly at Melissa; clearly something she's said struck a nerve. "Jesus fuck," she mutters, probably louder than she intended it. She seems to realize it a moment later, clearing her throat as she looks around sheepishly -- and thus spying Mark pacing nearby. She murmurs something much more quietly, then raises her voice and offers an off-kilter smile. "Hey Mark. How's it going?"

DaisyLu stays where she is, chowing down, waiting for ribs. And some of that asparagus! Oooo, asparagus! It makes your pee smell funny!

Mark flashes a warm smile at Dora, "Not bad, how are you?" He's going to pretend like he didn't hear the swearing. Otherwise, he just keeps pacing, ear going up as he hears something.

Britta waves what's left of her (first; there are two more on the plate, waiting) hot dog toward Olivia and Brand in a 'go on' gesture. Still chewing; that was a very large bite.

Wendell smirks at Britta then leans against the wall. His eyes glaze over as he eats his chocolate chip cookies. There's a row of them. It's an assortment. "Mmm bedtime cookie." He yawns as he watches on.

"Well...the laws state to receive Monarch or Aldermember approval if less than a month of knowing, but I still felt it best that you were aware that a member of the FPD would be coming into the know. She's pledged to secrecy." Brand scratches at his temple, then looks over to Olivia. This is going well, RIGHT? Fingers drumming on his belt buckle, he lifts his hand to his lips to pluck his cigarette free. "She's working missing persons cases, so it could result in leads, or something we might cross paths on-Olivia?" SWITCH TOPICS. Brand motions to Olivia beside him. "You had business for Her Majesty as well?"

Melissa whispers "I haven't resolved to make talk about it yet, but I am dismayed by that cult of personality. I'm hoping Autumn presents us with a different focus."

Ihrck moves the asparagas up to the top rack on the grill and muttered, "I got you, man." to the armored wonder. It was Dora that got him to look up but it was what Brand said that hooked his attention for a longer moment. It was short lived as he had things to dole out. The linebacker seemed content to not have to do any of the talking tonight. DaisyLu got a funny squint and he actually called out, "Brand, your burger's up." He looked back to the unicorn and said to her, "You're not leaving me any ribs are you?"

Kyrie looks to Tock and shrugs before she glances around. Wendell and his cookies have her grinning before she gets up, trashing her empty beer and replacing it with a fresh one. Her destination then? Over to Edith. "Bosslady, huh?" she asks, smiling to the woman. "How're you doing, Edith?"

"The threat of violence might have helped, coming from you, after all," Tock replies, and though there is no audible laughter there is a glint of it in her eyes. "Or at least some kind of remote device might be useful. Or both." She also gives a small shrug at the lack of crowd response.

DaisyLu says to John, "Do you have more than a half-rack there? If so, then yes, I am. If not, I might save you three. Maybe. If I decide I like you enough." She grins as she says it, then looks around and waves a piece of sausage at Mark and Melissa and Dora. All at once.

Britta finally smiles. "I'd like to meet her first," she tells Brand. "Already pledged? To you?" Her tone is noncommittal, at best. "I'm conditionally all right with that." Her attention slides to Olivia, with an upraised brow, and she takes another (smaller) bite of the hot dog.

Olivia shoots Brand an I-Hate-You look, before turning her gaze to Britta. "Just an update on some legwork I've been doing in my capacity as a Sylvan Emissary." she says. "I've had some contact with someone who speaks on behalf of the community of wizards here in Fall Coast. They're interested in establishing an understanding with us; mainly keeping out of each other's hair while keeping lines of communication open in the event of things bigger than our communities alone can handle. Wanting to be good neighbors, basically. I've avoided specific language until a clearer understanding of their intentions, but once I do have something I'll be presenting it to the Crown and the Aldermembers."

Dora gives Melissa a little nod, then half-grins at Mark. "I'm good, mostly. Still finding glitter in the most fascinating corners of the house. Thankfully, no longer still finding party guests waking up from hangovers days later." She lifts one hand then, and wiggles her fingers high in Daisy's direction, calling out toward her, "Don't flaunt your sausage at us, young lady!"

Mark smiles at Dora, "Your party went well, then? How wonderful!" Daisy gets a cheerful wave from him in reply, "Hello!"

Melissa's response to Dora's little outburst is as it always is; there's a fractional, even apologetic bow of her head and increase of her smile, before she looks up at the dog-man. "You can join us," she invites. "I meant to go see the sparkle party, but I had no voice left. You understand." There is a trace of rasp there, as if she's conserving her speech energy. She takes the time, however, to wave right back to DaisyLu.

The monarch's expression darkens, just a touch. "Be careful with the wizards," she tells Oliiva, cautionary rather than truly angry. "I dno't trust them, but... a way to be sure of what they do an do not learn is wise. Be /very/ careful, and do bring it to the council before taking any irreversible steps. That includes pledges or oaths."

Wendell gives Kyrie a little wave and pops another cookie into his maw. He chews on it and yaws but smiles to the rest of the people he recognizes and chuckles at the word sausage. At the talks of pledging people into there circle he rubs the back of his head with a worried look but he's soon distracted by Edith's exit to whom he gives a friendly wave goodbye.

"I won't commit to anything before seeing it approved by the Crown and Council, Majesty." Olivia assures. "The language will be reviewed until all parties or none are satisfied. Thank you for your time." She seems inclined to let others have the Summer Queen's attention now, and gently brushes Brand's elbow as she retreats.

Kyrie waves to Edith when she slips out and glances over toward Brand and Britta, checking on how that conversation's going. "Hello Wendell. Everything going well with you?" she asks, lifting her beer to drink once more.

Dora seconds Melissa's invitation, scooting slightly closer to the bug while nodding to the seat next to her. "Please, make yourself comfy," she adds, before she chuckles and nods. "Only really my party tangentally -- Dottie and Grace did all the work setting it up and making it go, really. But people seemed to have a blast, no one permanently lost their sight staring in terror at people's costumes, and the cops didn't even have to come and shut us down early, so -- aside from the terror of glitter in my cereal bowl, I think a success, yeah. I'm sorry you didn't feel up for making it," the latter offered specifically to Melissa. "But I totally understand. It was definitely the sort of thing that took a certain energy level to properly appreciate, I think."

Tock takes a moment to visit the food tables, collecting a plate consisting of tiny portions of a variety of offerings. All the better to try more things and be able to observe while she nibbles morsels off of her fork. She gives wide enough berth to Brand and Olivia to continue whatever semi-private conversation they needed while being close enough to be able to pose a question to Britta shortly.

Brand holds up a finger behind his back in the direction of John Ihrck and DaisyLu, as if to say ONE SECOND, I'M MONARCHING. Quieting while Olivia replies, Brand's falls falls into a thoughtful state, chewing at his lip as Britta informs him that she wishes to meet with the police officer first. He turns a little bit, hands folding at the small of his back, to look to Olivia, then to Britta. "Yes, she's pledged to myself. There was a recent attack and she stepped in at risk to herself to protect me. It required her to pledge to secrecy, which she proved herself again by diverting some resources to keep things quiet." Brand's lips twist into a pleasant smile to the blonde ruler. "Your Grace?" He pauses, head tilting a measure. "I can ensure her loyalties, she has the same resolve in her that those of us -- myself included -- showed while rushing into the Hedge for healing fruits for poor, wounded Owen." Yes. Poor, wounded Owen, who the Monarch publically stated were in her thanks.

DaisyLu beams at the people she's waved to and calls out, "Actually, I'm flaunting John's sausage. This is because I'm waiting for the ribs!" Since this is actually Dora she's calling out to, she isn't at all worried at Brand's response. "That was a great party, Dora!"

"Oh hi Kyrie. I'm doing alright. Got a place on a houseboat. Some guy said he'd help me with work a little bit...been stayin' up at Valhalla and training sometimes. Mostly with my hands. Just in case I need to." Wendell smiles. "I hope you are alright. Keepin' everything in order when dealing with the place and your summer business..."

Britta gives Olivia another nod, acknowledgement, and swallows what's left of her hot dog. The look Brand receives from Britta is the equivalent of :\. "I didn't say no. I said I wanna meet her first. If she's to be brought to the Freehold as an asset or beneficial resource I'd like to take her measure. It's not an indictment of your judgment. Let's meet, and then we'll see."

"Excellent. Let me know if you need anything from Valhalla, okay? Or if you can't grab me, then you can give Tock a poke," Kyrie says, smiling to Wendell before she glances once more over to Melissa. Back to Wendell, "And let me know if you need or want a trainer for that. I know the dummies are useful, but instruction from others is helpful, too."

Mark trots over to Dora and Melissa, sitting down. He smiles, "Well, it still sounds like a good time." He tells Melissa, "I did bring some honey and lemon water in a thermos for you, if you like. I wasn't sure if you brought any or not, so I brought extra." Contingency plans. She's taught him how to make plans and back up plans.

Brand nods, smiling softly to Britta as he takes a step back. There's no sign of displeasure on his face as he seems to understand her reasoning. "A very wise decision, Your Grace. One I'm sure you'll find to be a sound one." Clearing his throat, the Fairest rises, a step away from Olivia, to allow his motleymate to recede as she sees fit.

Melissa hugs Mark impulsively -- it's a rare mark of effusive affection, there, as Mel can be fairly restrained in her physical demonstrativeness. "You darling. I'm going to need it. I only have a little water left, and it's not hot. Hot is better." It's only after she releases Mark that she notices Kyrie's look, and gives her a kind of who-me? point and tilt of the head.

Wendell smiles widely. "Oh. Thanks! I'll be sure to let Tock know if not you. Yes. She discussed it before I guess. Said she wans the person makeing sure the people wo live and sleep there are okay you and stuff. Anyway yeah. Thanks for everythin' so far." He tilts his head for a moment, pauses and nods. "That's true. I would like to train with someone rather then them training dummies. Try to take the chance when I can get it. Dunno who fights sorta the way I do though. Guess I'd need to ask pore qui" Wendell's eyes start to glaze over.

Kyrie's lips twitch and she nods to Melissa. "Yes, you," she verifies. "If you have a moment?" she adds, before nodding to Wendell. "Yes, she's in charge of that. Valhalla's big enough that delegation is a must, and she's more than capable."

Mark beams and hugs Melissa back. "Let me go fetch the thermos!" Purpose! He has purpose! Off he goes to dig around in this things. He finds the thermos and holds it up triumphantly. He brings it back to the bee woman, beaming, "Here you are!"

Tock saves her question for later, instead finding a spot to sit and finish off her food.

Melissa holds up a finger to Kyrie -- it's a 'one moment' telegraph, a pause requested, it seems, because of the big drink of the lemon-honey water Mark provides first that she needs to take. "What do you need from me?" she asks Kyrie, after that moment's pause.

It's that moment after the huddle when the team does its 'ready, break!' and splits off into its distinct parts. Olivia starts to wander, finally making good with the beer in her hand as she looks around and starts turning Social Seal Power on. "Hey, Tock." she greets with a smile for the clockwork lady. "How are things at the air field?"

Kyrie nods at Melissa's motion, then heads over to Melissa so they can speak more quietly, though she doesn't whisper. "I don't know that I'd phrase it as needing something, though it could be," she decides after a moment. "I just thought that I should give you a personal apology for any offense I may have caused last time I saw you, since it wasn't my intention, and I think highly of you and your skills."

Tock looks up at Olivia's greeting, taking a moment to swallow a bite of food before smiling and answering. "Hello, Olivia! Good to see you. Things are going quite well. Still in the busy season, though starting to slow just a bit as summer winds down. The colder it gets, the less people want to sit in stands out-of-doors, for some reason." This last is said with a playful grin. "How have you been?"

DaisyLu disposes of the last of the sausage and is back at the grill for seconds, the asparagus is calling, as are the ribs. Although, she does tell John, "I'm wrong. I will share my ribs with you. Leave me at least two. Lots of asparagus, though, please." There are bonuses to your roommate being the one to do the cooking, and she hat-tips at Sheldon, while she's there. She stays there, listening quietly to what's going on, trying to get a little bit invisible.

"Can't imagine why!" Liv says with a wry grin. "I've been well. Grace's voucher is burning a hole in my pocket and I still haven't decided what to do with it. The gala went really well, though. If you didn't get it already, Thorian should have your commission check. And by the way? You still haven't gotten under my baby's hood. You should come over for dinner sometime so you can."

Melissa weighs Kyrie's words, and it's a hint of an echo of her response to Owen. She answers, "I don't think you need to worry, really, Kyrie." All the same, it's a certain cautious distance that speaks of not effusively wiping away that past moment easily; guardedness that overshadows her usual lightweight demeanor. "What's personal there is not the problem, but it's also perhaps not a matter for here and now without my having some information to share. Which I don't, not yet, so I'm sorry. I've been dealing with other things lately."

"Hm... It sounds like there are a lot of events being planned for around Halloween. And Thorian was talking about that Lost-only CHIME event perhaps happening in early October? Those sound like good excuses for a new dress." Tock's tone at that last might imply that she can find /many/ things to be good excuses for a new dress. "It was a wonderful event! You two did an amazing job with it. I was impressed by how much was raised, even before any of the donation boxes were taken in." Her eyes widen slightly at that reminder of engines to visit. "I haven't! Oh, my apologies. We really should make a date of it so that we don't keep getting swept up with other things and putting it off."

Kyrie shakes her head. "I'm not asking for information. I know people have other things to handle. I just wanted to apologize so you and I could possibly get back to being on good footing. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less. But I can understand if you need some time. Just consider my apology, okay? And if you feel like it, maybe come to the party next Wednesday? Just a way of celebrating summer and welcoming in Autumn."

Brand has been quietly keeping counsel with himself after the conversation with Britta. Standing alone, he taps quietly on his cell phone, occasionally lifting a new bottle of beer to his lips. His thumb graces over his screen, tapping out keys, and after nearly ten minutes of standing in place, he moves over towards Olivia, Ihrck, and DaisyLu. "Alright...what's this about a burger?"

"Hey, Brand. Screw burgers, it's the ribs that look good. And the asparagus." Daisy's more than a little enthusiastic about the green and vegetal grilled foodstuffs. Damned equines. Her eyes flick towards Melissa and Kyrie, then back to her companions. "You alright there?"

"There's nothing to apologize for." Liv reassures Tock. "Life gets in the way, as it does. And thank you, regarding the gala. I'll be helping with the Lost only event, but it's more Thor's baby than mine. He's got some exciting little party games - I guess if you want to call them - planned. You want to maybe stop by some evening next week? I don't have any night flights scheduled, so aside from Kyrie's party I should be home."

Brand looks up from his phone to DaisyLu. He smiles quietly and then holds up his beer, signaling that he's got a beer and he's quite alright for the moment. "It's okay, I'm not really hungry at the moment. Maybe in a little bit, but thanks for offering." Brand replies, thumb tapping out another message. Tired of WebLife, Brand slips the phone into his pocket with a sigh. "Anyway, how is everyone?"

"It does. I simply did not mean to give you the impression of being put off," Tock explains with a quiet earnestness. "Next week would be lovely. I may see you at the party, too." Her lips curl upward at that. "Have you tried any of the food? It is quite the impressive assortment."

Melissa seesaws her fingers at Kyrie. "Why worry about me? Worry more about Henrik," she says, with a hint of enigma. "You'll have his attention now. You might not want it. I will try to come to the party if my voice is back in time. Hopefully might be. I've overdone it lately." The rasp of her voice does have that buzzing note to it. It occasions her to take another wincing drink of Mark's tonic.

"I'm about to hit the ribs like a boss." Olivia informs Tock with an anticipatory grin. "In theory I should watch my figure - a girl's gotta fit in her box office, you know? But sometimes you just have to say screw it."

Ihrck has a honey grilled salmon with the salmon apparently set aside for Olivia who got a friendly wink. There were ribs and a burger on a grilled bun handed to the rocker. "It's about the turtle coming up with a bitchin marinade."

Kyrie sighs softly, rubbing lightly at her temple for a moment. "As you like, Melissa." She doesn't try to defend herself anymore, just nods to the woman before glancing over to Olivia and Tock when she hears her name. "Have a good evening," she tells Melissa with a faint, slightly strained smile, before walking over to the other two women. "Did I hear you discussing parties?"

Tock returns the anticipatory grin with an amused one, both rows of teeth briefly displayed. "Absolutely, you do need to indulge when the items are there for the indulging, special. It isn't every day you have fabulous cooks sitting food out for you." She nods to Kyrie as the Valkyrie approaches. "Yes, yours in particular. We were talking about schedules for next week. Is there anything you need help with for that?"

DaisyLu pokes John. "Well?" she demands. She's /waiting/. Impatiently. She glances over at Brand, and says, "Just as well as earlier. I want more protein before I go to work. Shut up, John." That last part is automatic, as she realizes what she said.

Olivia admits, "I'm certain in the cockles of my heart John made sure there was salmon just for me. And maybe Denali." The latter mentioned playfully, as she jokes, "But mostly me. Hey, Kyrie." The ogress is granted an easy smile. "Mentioning your party, yes, and also the one Thorian plans to hold at CHIME for the Lost."

Either Mel is faking bewilderment or Kyrie's reaction really does perplex her; she exchanges a look with Mark that seems to say volumes, all of those volumes loaded with question marks. After a moment, there's a brief check of her phone, then a shrug.

Brand snorts a little at the mention of PROTEIN as he takes the plate. Not hungry one second? Plate of the food the next. At least he now has a hand to balance the plate on as he settles in to listen to the conversations going on around him. He takes another pull from his beer and glances around, saluting Melissa, Mark, and Tock with his drink, trying to get their attention for the first time tonight. "Hey guys."

Mark comes over to Melissa to check on her, doing the worried dog thing. Though he shrugs helplessly when Mel looks his way. He's clueless.

"That was a fantastic party," Kyrie says, and her smile this time is full and a little...well, unvalkyrie-like. "You did a very good job of it, you and Thorian both. And I'm glad you raised so much money. But as for my party? I'm just basically, at this point, inviting the freehold to come and am going to talk to those who make food to see if they'll make food, and buy a lot of drinks. If either of you have suggestions on how to make it better? I am all ears," she says, glancing back to Melissa, in time to catch the confused look. "We can talk more later, if you like," she calls out.

Kyrie's offer to talk later earns a somewhat vague nod from Melissa -- not unfriendly, but definitely as if she's off the beat. She seems to catch up a little better to Brand's greeting; the rock star earns a flicked wave of antenna and a certain warmer smile of acknowledgement.

Dora finally wanders off from whatever business called her away, expression faintly exasperated as she makes her way back toward Melissa and Mark. "I'm sorry about that," she offers with a sigh, looking around at the thinning ranks of the gathering. "Sometimes, business just doesn't know when it should hold off. Apologies for suddenly needing to abandon you."

Mark breaks away from his quiet chat with Melissa, to give her something of a smile, before looking back to Dora, "No need to apologize. If there's anyone who should understand that, it would be us."

Question. How does one eat a plate of ribs and meat in one hand while carrying a beer in the other? One doesn't. Brand doesn't have a prehensile tail, so he quickly downs the last of his beer and sets it down on a table, then steps over to Melissa, Mark, and Dora, infiltrating their little triangle and turning it into a rectangle. "Dora, Mark, and Melissa. My favorites." Brand mutters as he steps in, pinching the edge of the rack of ribs and bringing it to his mouth for a tear. Fingers sloppy, he licks at the barbecue sauce on his fingers after setting the ribs down. "You know, we don't spend nearly enough time together. I've missed you guys."

Olivia's gaze follows Kyrie to Melissa and back. The selkie seems thoughtful for a moment, before turning her attention to party advice. "Do electronics handle well in Valhalla?" Olivia asks. "If they do, you should get a playlist. Music's pretty essential for atmosphere. I bet if you bat your lashes at Brand, he'll even do a few songs. Maybe even unplugged, very relaxed."

DaisyLu receives her meaty, vegetable booty and takes her plate off to somewhere to sit and devour in relative privacy, since she's making a hell of a mess and eating with her fingers, as all good ribs should be eaten. Afterwards, she's going to slip out, and go to work, because that damn rent needs paying.

"I was going to suggest music, too, but as far as being knowledgeable about what's current..." Tock cringes slightly. "I'm not the best one to ask." She grabs her cider for another sip, following Olivia's gaze tracking between Melissa and Kyrie. It's all very cat at a tennis match.

"Some," Kyrie says after a moment. "Nothing that requires being plugged into a wall, of course, but batteries will for a bit, I think. I hadn't considered asking Brand to sing, though," she says, brightening and looking over to said musician. "Music is a good idea though. I'll ask Brand later," she says, turning back to Olivia and Tock.

"Aim better, Brand. Aim better," Melissa jokes, although it's brief; there's another drink of her hot-water bottle, and a reassuring smile aimed at Dora. There's a moment's shrug that might be aimed at Tock and Olivia's look her way, a sort of don't-ask-me-here signal, before she says, "You can visit us, although lately I have been boring."

Mark chimes in with Melissa, "You're always welcome at the farm!"

Dora grins unevenly at Brand, and shrugs. "And me, you've seen lots of in the last couple of days." She pauses, then looks Brand deliberately up and down before she grins even more. "Though to be fair, everyone saw more of you that night, I suppose." She gives Mark and Melissa a quick, grateful smile, then drains off the last of her beer before she adds, "Besides, I've been competing with Melissa for boring on the sly. Who'd miss me in this field of options?"

"I'll definitely have to come by the farm and bring my musical instruments that won't EXPLODE when you try to plug them into the Hedge." Brand replies pointedly to Melissa and Mark, leaning in with his plate of ribs and winking to them. "You guys aren't boring, no, and let's not talk about the glitter party, I'm sure Mark and Melissa and Kyrie don't want to be bothered with the details about that." Change TOPIC. Brand waves his plate of ribs in Dora's face. "Alright, Kyrie, you said music in the Hedge, right? What are you cooking up?"

Kouri peeks in curiously, fashionably late to the party...traipsing in wearing a midriff-baring pink shirt and skinny gray jeans, all smiles and fingerwiggles for everyone. Brand is of course noted, as is Olivia, but eyes roam to Dora and Tock as well, and everyone else in turn, new and old. "Why hello!"

Tock is settled in with a small plate of half-finished food and some cider, nearby Olivia and Kyrie. She lifts her free hand to return Kouri's wave at that open greeting, a warm smile coupled along with it. "Hello, Kouri! There is still plenty of fantastic food around." Even for wandering in late. It's just that much food. Brand gets her attention with talk of exploding Hedge-things, brows raised slightly.

Kyrie looks back to Brand, grinning. "Music at the party on Wednesday. They suggested maybe I could convince you to perform a bit at it," she explains to him. "Think you'd be up for it? Demanding audience, after all," she teases.

"Oh, of course," Dora replies to Brand. "Details are so boring, anyway. Just...before you go, remind me to call Kinko's and cancel that print order? Thanks." Expression utterly deadpan, she turns back to Mark and Melissa and confirms, "Boring party, nothing to miss, clearly." There's a wave offered Kouri's direction then, and a flash of a quick smile. "You missed all the business -- I don't know if that's accident or clever planning."

"Hopeful kismet!" Olivia calls out to Dora, adding, "By the way, the party - not to pick up a dropped subject - was aces." With a webbed thumb's up from the selkie, she'll leave it at that. "Are you doing anything like a bonfire, Kyrie? Campfire rock on an acoustic might be just the thing. With the last of the season's s'mores."

Mark says to his group, "Excuse me a moment." He turns away, pulling out his phone. He peers at the screen and starts tapping away. There's one floppy ear that's still perked to listen for conversation.

Melissa squeezes Mark's shoulder. "I think I'm going to go back home, actually. As much as I enjoy the company." This is aimed mostly at Brand and Dora, but generically enough to encompass some of the others as well. "I need to rest up my voice. I'm going to need it sometime."

Kouri glides towards Dora, Brand, and Melissa, while bowing to Tock on the way, not wanting to ignore her pleasant greeting. "Hello, my dear. Dora, it was not my intent, and I'm still amenable to business...though pleasure holds more sway as always." Brand is smiled at, and curious eyes roam the departing Melissa.

Dipping and waving his plate of barbecued meat and salmon towards Kouri as he enters, Brand gleefully smiles to the satyr, waving him over. "So the party, will this be just the Freehold? Because if it is, there's no band, since they're outsiders, but I could bring an acoustic. Acoustic doesn't have that summerRAWR to it, though." Brand offers to Kyrie, giving Dora a warning look with his smoke-hissing, red eyes. "If I don't remind, you, you owe me viewership fees, royalties. I'm working on a recording contract right now. I've studied up." Warning. Warning. Then with Mark and Melissa start to turn away, Brand's attention turns their way. "I'll talk to you later, Melissa, okay? Don't be a stranger. Mark? Are you going, too? I mean this, we need to clutch up and eat all of the food."

Dora grins at Olivia, and calls back, "I'll make sure Dottie knows you approved!" She gives Mark a quick nod then as he moves away, then gives Melissa a sympathetic smile. "Rest wins, sometimes, I know. If you need any extra reading materical while you're resting up, gimme a text -- for you, I'll do house calls from the shop." Kouri gets a quiet chuckle. "Sadly, amenable or not, her Crimson Majesty's retreated from the field for the moment, so...you'll just have to content yourself with raiding the barbeque tables and the beer."

"Yes, it's freehold only. It'll be in Valhalla," Kyrie confirms with a nod to Brand. "Acoustic is fine though. It doesn't have to have a rawr to it. Just music for people to enjoy, if you're agreeable to that."

Tock waves again, this time to Melissa as she departs. She picks up her fork to nibble at her food again as the others discuss music, content to listen to details that she is not as good at planning for. "Fires can be fun," she chimes in at Olivia's suggestion, though something about the comment has her head tilting questioningly. "Moors?" And what they have to do with seasons is beyond her...most damnable gaps in references, she has.

Kyrie also adds, "We can do a bonfire in the middle of the arena floor. It's big enough. Also, dirt, so it won't spread." From afar, Mei bites. You around tomorrow?

Mark turns to Melissa, "I'll come with you. I can come back and pick up the dishes." It's not like he doesn't have them labelled and the food won't be eaten. He tucks his phone away.

"S'mores." Olivia explains for Tock. "It's a snack traditionally made at campfires. You heat a marshmallow over a fire so that it gets just a little firm on the outside and gooey on the inside. Then you place it between two graham crackers along with a little bit of chocolate. The heat of the marshmallow melts the chocolate and the crackers hold it together like a little sandwich. It's /amazing/."

"Oh. That does sound delicious," Tock opines after Olivia explains s'mores. Little circles of blush show pale-pink on her cheeks, sure as paint brushed upon a china doll's. Her wave includes Mark as he heads out, as well.

"Yeah, sure, consider it done, Kyrie. I'd love to play for your party." Without a second thought, Brand rolls his shoulder and sets his plate of finger-destroying meat down onto the table. He takes a beer out of a bucket of ice and twists off the cap. He glances to his watch and then offers an open arm to Kouri for a hug. "Wait...so it IS Dottie that blows up the pictures?" Brand suddenly zeroes in on Dora with narrowed eyes. She all but has the three dots of a PREDATOR LASER on her face. "She said it was a friend, but if you say it's a friend, and I don't think it's Odie because he's awkward and -- shit." Brand hisses, shaking his head. He looks to Tock and Olivia, pointing to Dora. "Never trust her. Ever. Never leave her evidence, oh, and if there's a fire?" Brand looks to Kyrie. "If there IS a bonfire? I might throw some pictures into it, for the record."

Kyrie smiles at Brand. "Thanks. And s'mores? They do sound good. I'll make sure we have the things for it and sticks to roast the marshmallows with," she says, smiling at Olivia now. "Wait, now that's an idea. I don't know that it's particularly summery, but if people...no, maybe it's best to just do fun things. Relax with all the threats going on. Just celebrate the summer that was and the autumn to come."

"S'mores, not summery?" Olivia seems thrown by that notion. "Of course they are. Right alongside banana boats!" Oh, dear. She explains: Same principle as s'mores, except you peel part of a banana, wrap it in tin foil, mush the banana to make room, and then add the chocolate and marshmallows before warming it over the fire. Then you eat the yummy, gooey, sticky mess." Sort of like Brand's old apartment on a Sunday morning, but actually edible and less likely to look like a Pollock painting under blacklight.

Tock has no opinion on the seasonality of s'mores. She just now learned what they are! Her gaze moves back and forth between the others in this conversation. Brand's warning earns a slow curl of smile, and a nod in Dora's direction. "Well, then. It sounds like Dora might have some interesting photographs?" Probably that's not what Brand was going for.

Dora turns and blinks at Brand, one brow lifting sharply over the top of her glasses. "What the fuck are you ranting about?" There's a sudden sharp edge in her expression as she makes her way slowly closer to the man. The look she flashes Tock as she chimes in about this photography nonsense is far from cheery, though she keeps most of her attention on the man in question.

"Oh no, not the s'mores. I was thinking of letting people bring things to throw into the fire," Kyrie explains to Olivia, shaking her head. "I love the idea of smores."

Brand waves his hand at Tock and Dora, change of topic, change of topic. He manages a toothy grin to the two, then sets his beer down. He leans out to offer each of them a quick hug and a peck on the cheek, his free hand digging in the inside of his coat for his cell phone. "I've actually got to get going, I've got a coffee date coming up." Brand announces. "Liv? I need to head out for a bit, you need a ride or are you good?"

"I'm fine." Liv calls out to Brand, adding, "You go on. Text later."

Kouri has forgotten manners because dear lord there is greek food, and a shocking amount of it has somehow disappeared into the diminutive Fairest. No evidence is left of its existence save for the space on the serving plates and a tiny smear of sauce on the edge of dark lips, just enough to avoid the imperfection of perfection. The horned thing looks up curiously, tail flitting behind him, as Brand prepares to leave. "Mmm?"

Dora immediately steps back as Brand starts to step in for a hug, knuckles suddenly balled into fists at her side. "You don't get to back out of shit with a big smile and a pretty face. Not with fucking me. Slander my sister again, and there will be more than words." She throws her bottle hard into the nearest can, turning as it shatters against the bottom as she stalks off.

Tock glances between Brand and Dora, more than a little confused. Such happens when being drawn in at the tail end of a long conversation. She just shakes her head and makes no further comments on the topic. "You might want to make sure you have a Fireheart on hand, just in case. With that kind of open-ended invitation to burn things," she observes to Kyrie with a grin.

"WAAT?" Brand blinks as Dora is suddenly angry. Whoops. Blink. Brand seems to shift, often, between social snake and social triceratops. He blinks at Dora's balled fists -- once again at the shattering of Dora's bottle -- and then reaches out helplessly to the departing woman's back. "Whoa whoa whoa!" Brand calls out. "Dora I wasn't slandering your sister, girl, I fucking ADORE you three. I was just saying--AUGH!" Brand grunts, then pulls out his cell phone, tapping out quick messages.

Olivia for her part is entirely confused as to what just happened. But Brand putting his foot in his mouth is rare, and oddly enough, she seems inclined to objectively observe how he manages to yank it out.

Kouri eyes Brand, and springs into action. Gliding after Dora as if propelled by a cusion of air, actually tiptoeing, his voice comes out as a melodic purr. "Miss Dora, if I may. I know Brand can not always be the most couth or indeed comprehendible of men, but I assure you what he said was playful jest between CLOSE friends. Dottie and him are thick as thieves. Why, just the other day I watched her steal her cigarettes from him. He was not sincerely suggesting she was not to be trusted, at all, merely expressing consternation at her own harmless mischief..."

Kyrie glances between Dora and Brand as well, her expression similar to Tock's. She slowly nods as she draws her attention back to Tock. "I was thinking a fire extinguisher or two, too. And there's plenty of water in the lake, too. But the arena /is/ all dirt and stone. Not very flammable," she says, glancing back to Brand.

Dora certainly can't be said not to have heard Brand -- as she offers the traditional one-fingered salute backward over one shoulder. Her steps don't even slow as Kouri comes up and tries to diffuse things -- and for the poor goat's troubles, the woman actually offers a hiss. "Kouri? You're a dear, but stay the fuck out of family business you know nothing about." And with that, the darkling speeds up her steps, taking her quickly out of the more secluded area the party's been at and toward the parking lot, and presumably her car.

Kouri stands there and watches Dora leave without further pursuit, lips pursed in a bit of ruffled uncertainty. "Goat, actually," is all he murmurs.

Brand makes his attempt, but there's a little, fleeting smirk at the departing Dora, even as Kouri attempts to smooth the situation over. He sends the message -- the one message -- and then shoves his phone back into a pocket with a blithe shrug of his shoulders to Olivia. "Alright, alright. She's mad, give her some space." Brand mutters and turns to wrap an arm around Olivia and press a kiss to her temple. "Thanks for trying, though, My Last Vision. It was a good effort." Brand then gives the goat a sidelong hug as well. "I do have to go, though."

Tock finishes the last of her cider, glancing around once more before giving a nod and smile to Olivia and Kyrie. “Well... It's an odd spot to head out in, but head out I must. It was lovely seeing you all.” Standing, she finds appropriate places to deposit dishes and trash before waving and heading out.

Kyrie mms softly and nods. "It is odd. But now I have a bunch of things to buy I hadn't planned on. But it was good seeing people again. You take care," she says to those hanging about, and giving Tock a smile.