It's been a long time since Rebecca's bibliophilia and familial ties set her on this new path in her life, but now it seems that she has reached... well. If not a destination, then a new path, promising new possibilities.
Over the weeks since her conversation with Ilsa Wolfsburg, she has allowed herself to gradually be drawn farther and farther into the circles of the mysterious organisation the German represents in New England. Names emerged, as some of the first secrets to be shared: the group call themselves the Loyalists of Thule, referencing the occult society so infamously associated with 'the Nazi Occult' of modern urban legend and conspiracy theory. The founders, apparently, were part of that group in their youth, and were present during the corruption and perversion of the society's ideals, and then of many of its prior members.
They and others who held true to its more idealistic elements fled, to hide as best they could from the regime throughout the heyday and subsequent fall of the National Socialist regime... and in the aftermath of the Second World War, a number of survivors came together once again - this time to refound the society with the explicit goal of protecting humanity rather than preying upon it. Loyal to the original aspirations to make the world a better rather than a bloodier place, they were fired up with a mixture of guilt and idealism.
Succeeding in luring Rebecca away from her cats and her home comforts for a time, the Loyalists treat Rebecca to a stay in Munich - giving her the opportunity to delve into vast archives of occult lore, where her somewhat rusty German and French can be put to good use alongside her array of more polished linguistic talents. Though it's clear the centre of an organisation, and one with hierarchies of access and trust, it's clear that simply passing the threshold opens up vistas of lore and learning that were hitherto unknown even to a talented thaumaturge like Rebecca.
Rebecca's engagement with the organisation is hesitant at first, but the commitment does not seem too onerous, and the tantalizing knowledge dangled before her is too good to ignore. That, and it's a hobby, and it will allow her, surely, to fix some mistakes or mildly negligent actions taken by her ancestors. So she excuses herself from some social obligations in Fallcoast, makes the necessary arrangements, and sets off for Munich.
Once there, she is, as ever, a quiet and studious student, interested, curious. Perhaps a little too curious and not quite as passionately commited to the seriousness of the cause, but that's Rebecca. She's wholly content to sit for hours in an archive, or in a library, or simply chatting with people in her politely amiable fashion.
And while she's at it, she does a little bit of shopping, a little bit of social networking, and polishes her languages. There are trips to neighboring cities as well, or out into the countryside, and so on. Tourism. Rebecca is doing tourism.
Munich is certainly a wonderful city in which to be a tourist - especially one with both money and time on her hands. The Loyalists can open many doors - indeed, they seem to *own* more than a few relevant ones - and are quite happy to roll out the academic style for Rebecca to enjoy. It's made all the more genteel by the off-season quiet of the city, and the region's wealth in both breweries and vinyards as well as its more esoteric cultural resources.
The Loyalists themselves are welcoming, but also somewhat reserved. They're a society built on both joint effort and the acknowledgement of the value of secrets - so while people seem happy to assist, few push themselves on newcomers. Help can certainly be sought... but the presumption seems to be that if Rebecca is present, then she is likely to be doing something worthwhile, and should therefore be left to get on with it. There are certainly hierarchies and elements of formal organisation, but as Ilsa had indicated, those chiefly seem to relate to access and trust rather than the issuing of orders.
It *does* become clear that there are factions and ideologies within the organisation: one branch, largely made up of younger members, are much more inclined towards action and direct intervention; another is heavily focused upon the sins of the past - some seemingly having familial ties to the old Nazi-controlled order - and the need to seek redemption. The group of most evident interest to and sympathy for Rebecca, however, are the imaginatively-named Scholars: recognised by this most esoteric and high-minded of organisations as specialists in esoterica, they include a sufficiently high number of serious occult researches that Rebecca is considered unusual but not exceptional to have a *practical* interest in ritual practices and powers.
Rebecca's sociable, though reserved outside of social functions. Friends seem unlikely, but she's good with names and listening, and does her best to establish useful acquaintances while becoming familiar with the workings of the organization, and the contents of its libraries and archives. There is really no question about where her interests lie. Rebecca is hardly inclined towards action. She dutifully admires any who might relate tales of more adventurous outings, nodding, wide-eyed and curious, but quickly retreats back to some quiet nook, prefering to discuss the minutiae of protective binding rituals with other scholarly types.
Fortunately, the Loyalists seem not merely willing to accept Rebecca as a bookworm, but actively keen to have her. Naturally, there's the implicit hope that she will be willing to offer direct assistance if needed... but the Loyalist hierarchy tend to regard book-research *as* 'active' in its own right. And it's clear that her being here on Ilsa's recommendation carries no small degree of weight: Ilsa certainly is not one of the 'Old Men' who are rumoured to sit at the pinnacle of the organisation, but a good word from her seems to be sufficient to open a great many doors and minds.
That extends to training, with the Loyalists quite willing to provide Rebecca with formal advice and stacks and stacks of reading material - with an initial emphasis on research techniques and formal notation systems that might serve to regulate her (perforce, given the age of her familial library) rather antiquated and haphazard existing methods. Building upon that, however, are foundational techniques and approaches that might serve her well should she ever need to cooperate directly with others in tackling the paranormal: it would seem that there are a host of tactical methods that allow groups of researchers, combatants, or fleeing investigators to collaborate with each other to mutually boost their chances of succeeding in their shared goal.
It also becomes clear that the Loyalists of Thule are just one part of a complex tangle of associations, groups, and even government agencies that are engaged in tackling or monitoring the paranormal world. A semi-colloquial term for the collective assembly and their effort is 'the Vigil', with participants sometimes known as Keepers of the Vigil, or just Keepers for short... though 'Hunter' is a snappier and more aggressive term especially popular with the younger members and the more consciously modern groups.
The variety of groups involved in this 'Vigil' is certainly interesting for Rebecca, from a historical point of view. If a little worrying. She's almost certain some of these groups might disapprove of her dabbling in the occult arts. Secretive, therefore, suits her, and she seems wholly content with not revealing much about her pursuits to the world. She'll continue her research, of course, share it with others, and assist other researchers if she can. And, she supposes, if there is some sort of problem or situation in her area that might call for a researcher or occult scholar, she could lend a hand. She never did take to hunting, even if there are still some heirloom mounted and stuffed animals somewhere in the attic.
The Loyalists are indeed quite willing to emphasise that they hide - from virtually everyone, virtually all the time. For Rebecca to be welcomed in even as a probationary research associate is a signal mark of trust. Apparently, the 'classic' stereotype for a Loyalist in the field is that of the mysterious stranger who arrives to deliver critical information to a group of Hunters, allowing them to complete the task in hand and overcome the dangerous foe... only to fade back out of sight again without ever offering identification for themselves personally or the Thuleans as a whole. After all, the Loyalists are proud of the fact that they are open-minded, pragmatic, and idealistically focused on the bigger picture. Thus, talents that might be derided as paranormal or 'purged' by some other groups are instead embraced and actively studied - since natural psychic phenomena and systematised ritual practices are both precious tools in protecting humanity from the very worst the world has to offer.
But secrecy is a very sensible choice in most cases, since the Vigil also includes the formal (secret) heirs to the Papacy's Inquisitorial agents; the US government's real 'men in black'; at least one global corporation that views the paranormal as a source of parts and research materials... Yet Fallcoast is an anomaly, so much so that it is known about by only a portion of the Loyalists themselves. For there, a whole slew of organisations collaborate actively in the Vigil, with the Loyalists openly present among them. Rebecca's home region, it seems, is an occult nexus of lasting and perturbing power. So much so that, under the auspices of a local Vigil group - the Society for the Uplifting of Humanity, which masquerades as another of New England's old 'friendly societies' - global elements of the Vigil have not only forged an alliance among themselves, but concluded tentative treaties with some of the more civilised paranormal entities. For there are, seemingly, far worse and far more active threats to humanity than those things that can - sometimes - be negotiated with.
The Society for the Uplifting of Humanity certainly do ring a bell for Rebecca - a fusty old charitable association with a hall in the heart of Fallcoast that is as architecturally uninspired as it is old. Yet... apparently they are a power capable of negotiating with supernaturally-active and superpower-backed organisations with global reach, and - at least on their home turf - getting such powers of the hidden world to sit down and *listen*.
For Rebecca's own interests, the odds would seem high that the Society will have been aware of the Wardens of Champlain. Indeed, it's possible that the Society might prove information on the Wardens that would not have been recorded outside occult circles. The same might apply for Chester Royse, of course, should he have managed to bring himself to the Society's attention...
As far as the Loyalists are concerned, they actually have what for them counts as quite a strong permanent presence in Fallcoast. Currently five in all, including three Scholars - with Ilsa not based in Fallcoast, but providing coordination in the broader region. But there is so much happening in the area that the Loyalists are quite certain that the Society will welcome the addition of another Thulean researcher and ritualist.
Rebecca takes notes. She takes copious notes throughout the whole stay, of course. Now, she takes notes on who to contact when she returns. There is no hurry, there are still archives to peruse, books to leaf through, things to copy for her own personal use. And also sight-seeing. But eventually she begins preparations to return, packing quietly, with plans to pursue what Fallcoast contacts she's been able to establish. If nothing else, she intends to pay a visit to the Society for the Uplifting of Humanity.
It's below freezing, but clear after yesterday's snow: consequently, Aurore is standing on the porch of the Society's rather barn-like hall, smiling slightly as she enjoys the Wintry sunshine and awaits the arrival of the mysterious new Scholar whom the Loyalists have told her to expect. She's wearing a waist-length padded jacket, with a woolly hat pulled down over her ears, scarf, and gloves. Her skirt is brief, but the hose revealed between its hem and the top of her thigh-high boots look to be Winter-thick - while the boots themselves have practical-looking (and rather stompy) soles.
There's someone walking down the street. It could be a mysterious scholar. She certainly looks mysterious, with only her eyes visible, just a little puffy. She wears a slouchy knit beret (fuzzy pom on top), while the lowr half of her face is covered up in a plaid scarf, white and red and black. The rest of her is in a light gray duffel coat, undoubtedly worn over layers of sweaters, a knee-length skirt, thick gray tights, and calf-high L.L. Bean shearling boots. She's a Maine girl. Everything looks expensive, and a little old. There's also an old worn brown leather schoolbag, strapped across her body and hanging at her side. She approaches the Society's building, clearly familiar with it, pausing a few steps away to give Aurore a curious, expectant look. She's also wearing mittens in a colorful knit pattern, and reaches up with one of them to tug the scarf down and bare her face and her slightly reddened nose. "Hello!"
The native woman on the porch flashes a grin - a little puff of condensing breath accompanying it - and then raises a hand to offer a cheery little wave. "Hi! Rebecca? Or Miss Royse? I'm not quite sure how formal we should be." Her voice is a rich, warm alto, her accent a mixture of the local one and rather more exotic influences. "I'm Aurore Abernathy. I've been told to expect you."
Rebecca's offers a bright smile and takes a couple of steps closer, "Oh, just Rebecca, please." she waves a mitten, then drops it back down onto her bookbag, stomping her boots once. "Abernathy, is it?" she is obviously familiar with the family, at the very least, and not in a negative way by the look of it, but then her smile is just unflaggingly polite. It'd be warmer if her nose wasn't, apparently, a little sniffly. "Nice to meet you, Aurore." she then takes a look up at the building.
"As you can tell, I'm not exactly from one of the *core* branches of the clan," Aurore says with another amiable grin. "So... would you like a look around outside? Or shall we head straight in? I can't claim it's *warm*, exactly, but it's a bit less chilly at least."
Rebecca's smile brightens as she looks down from the building towards Aurore, "We can head in, I'm pretty sure I've seen the building from every angle already at some point, really. And a bit less chilly sounds wonderful enough." she blinks and sniffles a little, then takes a step back and looks to the entrance, waiting.
Aurore nods cheerfully, stepping back and turning to fiddle with the door, before slipping inside - holding the portal for her guest, with the evident intent of closing it against the cold as soon as Rebecca steps inside.
"Welcome to what might well be the region's oldest extant Friendly Society," the native says cheerfully. "Though... from what I've been told, you might find it quite illuminating to have a good look at the displays, and the decorations between them. The standard story is that each symbol represents one specific member over the years."
Rebecca steps inside, pausing to give her boots a stomp in case they're a little wetter from melting snow along the way here. She does, at least, loosen her scarf slightly and after a moment to verify that it is warmer indeed, she removes her mittens and tucks them away into a pocket of her bookbag. "Thank you." she offers Aurore a renewed smile and nods, taking a moment to look around and take in the displays, a look of open curiousity on her face. And a tiny little thoughtful frown as she notices some of the sigils and symbols etched on the walls.
Aurore strolls along the exhibits, too - staying in view of Rebecca a few yards away, rather than either looming over her shoulder or trying to stay out of sight. She frequently glances over to see how the visitor is doing at 'reading' the labelless displays and decoration, but doesn't barge in to offer an opinion or bombard her with queries. At least, not yet.
Rebecca takes a quiet walk around, pausing a few times to give a particular exhibit a closer look. A pensive look flits on and off her face, often giving way to a smile of quiet enjoyment. She likes old things for their own sake, apparently, though she's clearly paying attention. There are also little sounds. "Hmmm." and "Oh." and "Ohhh, that's interesting." And also the sniffles.
Aurore also seems to be genuinely quite happy, splitting her attention between the exhibits and Rebecca... and also the sigils and symbols. She appears to be quite willing to let Rebecca study for longer than this, should she wish to.
Rebecca eventually comes full circle around the hall, having stopped by a number of the displays on her way. And then she takes a few moments to appraise them as a whole, turning in place and looking about from side to side. At some point, she's pulled off her slouchy knit beret, hair pulled up in a bun, stray ends a little wild from all that wool they were encased in. "It's very interesting! I'd have to take a little while longer to figure out some of these." she offers Aurore a smile.
Hawker is here, which means run and hide or some thing..he's actually announced more by the fact -two- oversized animals of his are entering before him. Hawker has his hands full with a large box of goodies for the 'club' as it were. Coffee, pastries, and a few loaves of home made bread. "Kala, Miska." He says cautioning them..more Kala, the newest thing he's got to handle. Miska just lays down along a wall as she tends to do. Lazy looking dog. Kala on the other hand..
Aurore happily returns Rebecca's smile, moving closer to the brunette - her own hat and gloves now held in her hands, jacket slightly undone to reduce the risk of overheating. "I think it's fascinating," she agrees with a warm smile. For her own part, she's in a waist-length padded jacket, with a scarf around her neck to match the woollen hat and gloves in her hands. Her skirt's brief, but the hose visible between it and her high boots are thick.
"But I'm afraid that most people just... pass it by." Her voice trails off as the door opens, her attention turning that way. Brows lift as a dog comes in first, then she gasps sharply as a fricking *black panther* stalks in. A startled expostulation jerks free, though it's in a language that not even Rebecca speaks (though the scholar might perhaps note that it doesn't sound as if it's even part of the Indo-European linguistic tree). She takes an instinctive step back... then visibly remembers her guest, and moves to interpose herself between Rebecca and the apparent threat. It takes her a moment or three to register Hawker's arrival, because her attention had switched to the wall-mounted weaponry, hurriedly searching for whichever one might best serve her against whatever the *bleep* was breaching the Hall's wardings.
Then she registers the beasts' apparent owner, takes a shudderingly deep and unsteady breath, and turns to focus upon Rebecca. Switching to Latin, she tries to catch her fellow Scholar's gaze. "He's *not* one of ours," she says, rich voice shaky. "But he's part of one of the groups associated with the alliance here. Overseen by the Society. Though what in all the levels of Hell he is doing, I have *no* idea. To get in past the wardings, I'd *guess* it's mundane. Which is in many ways is scarier."
Rebecca's in a light gray duffel coat, knee skirt in a houndstooth pattern, woolen gray tights and calf-high boots, L.L. Bean because of course. She has a schoolbag. Her nose is a little red. "It is! But my minor was in Art History and... I just like exhibits, regardless. And they're interesting items, I didn't quite figure..." her conversational comments are interrupted by Aurore's startled words in an unknown language. She blinks, then turns her head to face the direction the other woman was looking in.
Rebecca then freezes, hands tight on the straps of her bookbag, eyes wide. And that's how she stays, replying to Aurore with only a "Mhm." sound.
Hawker of course, doesn't think it's a concern; though he does take note of the unknown tongues spoken. Well he knows -one- thing is Latin, but he can only guess the other is nothing he's familiar with. Not that he knows much beyond a few phrases in a few other langauges. "Kala won't bite." He insists, not unless he wants her too, also he has her secured to him; for now. Because he isn't sure what she'll do once others are about. "She's not even as Scary as Miska. Miska is -trained- to kill on command, but you are afraid of the big kitty?" He asks, placing down the box of goodies so he can gently run his fingers along Kala's back. Is it remotely surprising Hawker is surrounding him self with rare predators? Also..he grins at Rebecca. "Drake Hawker, at your service." he says with a slight bow to the unknown!
"A friend was going to marry him. She thought better of it. He apparently can't imagine why," Aurore directs to Rebecca (again in Latin), hoping that the esoteric language and black humour might serve to break her free of shock. She shows no inclination to venture near to Kala, Miska or Hawker, however. Reverting to English, she offers him a look of profound disquiet and deep concern. "What on *Earth* are you doing bringing either of those *here*? This is supposed to be a *safe* place."
Rebecca's listening, surely, though she frowns for a moment, brow creasing as she untangles what the other woman's saying. But while her face turns in Aurore's direction, wide blue eyes stay riveted on the large animals a while longer. Other than her head turning, she's not moving. No, she'll stand there and play the statue and avoid triggering any predatorial instincts. Why, it's not like she has any reason to move, anyway! Standing very very still is fine by Rebecca. Then she's greeted, and politeness demands a response and a tight thin smile. "Rebecca Royse. A pleasure to meet you."
Hawker blinks a few times at Aurore being surprised he has his animals with him. "Miska almost always follows me; she's trained to do so. Kala is becoming trained to do s the same. Having things that can track and hunt is some thing useful in our line of work." Hawker seems candidly confused why Aurore is upset; he's not the brightest of people after all. "It's not like she's gonna hurt any of us..now if monsters show; she'll hurt them. Like Miska does." He says with a slight grin and looks back at Rebecca. "Aurore is just worried I can't control my own pets. Which isn't true, they are very well behaved. Unlike Daisy and Anna who like to steal food."
"You just indicated that even *you* don't think that the panther is fully trained. And they're *animals*, Hawker. They inherently *aren't* rational." Aurore's just about managing to keep a lid on her fear-fuelled anger, though there's far more than the usual vibrancy to her voice. "As for monsters attacking - this specific building has stood for a hundred and seventy years. And it's only that 'new' because the Society chose to rebuild it back then, to bolster its defences. In many ways, it's even more secure than The Kennel. But... Christ. Of course people freak out. You turn up with two fricking giant predators - then boast that they're trained to kill? What's wrong with you?"
There's still no actual comment from Rebecca. She makes polite noises of interest, your various, "Oh. Mmhmm. Ah." and so on, as Hawker explains that the animals are perfectly safe and behaved. She doesn't look entirely convinced, even if she tries to keep her face neutral and her smile on. But she's still not moving, only tilting her head to take a slight alarmed look in Aurore's direction.
Hawker scowls a bit at Aurore. "Miska was trained by Sascha..she's pretty useful for hunting Demons and the like..also generally keeping people safe. Remember Aurore; I'm the guy who gets stuck into it...oi, I give up. Where should I put the goodies?" He asks, referring to the box of..coffee grounds, bread, pastries, so on and so forth. "I forgot butter again." He suddenly says.
Aurore points - to one of the display cases near the door. "On top of that should be fine. I can take them in when I show Rebecca the way. If she doesn't simply want to escape at the first opportunity she gets now." Another slow, shaky breath, as she fights to regain a little more equilibrium. "Thank you for the... goodies. I suspect they'll be appreciated at the briefing."
Franky strolls through, slurping on a coffee and carrying a pack of packed donuts under her arm before glancing at the gathering. An eyebrow is raised as she hears, and sees. Hard to overlook the tiny dog after all.
Rebecca stands comfortably behind Aurore, or as comfortably as can be. She's very gradually relaxing, but still giving the panther a mildly wary look. It's not on purpose, and she's -trying- to look perfectly casual about it, but she's still shooting a lot of looks in that direction. "I'm sure I'll be fine, they look - ah, well behaved." she eventually speaks up, offering Aurore a smile. "Maybe this wasn't the best time?" she finally relaxes her hold on the strap of the bag across her chest and plays with a button on her coat, reddened nose quivering in a small sniffle.
Hawker glances up where Aurore says, and moves to put the goodies up there. "I was going to attend and see if any one else has reports on the Nazi undead..things." Possibly, he'd read the folders today! "Though I suspect Miss Aurore would prefer I get my butt home before I scare every one with Kala." He's still surprised Aurore is put off by Miska, most people are used to her napping under his chair and the like!
'Most people', of course, being the tiny portion of the world that is accustomed to spending time with Hawker. For her part, Aurore fights the urge to grind her teeth. "If you want to show up to the briefing and offer information, I'm sure that'd be fine. But Jo's set to be going over the same ground as yesterday, I believe. And it would be *really* unfair to spring *those* pair on people who're in a basement with only one exit." Franky receives a shaky hand-wave and a wan smile, before she forces herself to look away from the 400lb of predator and back to Rebecca. "There is a meeting due to take place... about now. I'd been intending to take you to it. If you want to go and hide and never come back, I'd understand."
One pocket of Aurore's jacket buzzes faintly, but she doesn't seem inclined to check her phone just yet.
"Can't say I have seen any yet." answers Franky as she puts the donut on a nearby table and eyes the panther and the dog for a few moments.
"Nazi undead things?" Rebecca queries quietly, lifting an eyebrow in mild surprise, perhaps disbelief, though she's working hard at maintaining her poise. She turns back to Aurore and offers her a reassuring smile and a shake of her head, "No, no, don't worry. I'm sure it'll be fine!"
Hawker grunts a bit when the Nazi Undead thing is questioned. "Not sure if they're truly undead or not..but they've been popping up here and there. After some thing here, tackling old WW2 Military sites.." He says, Hawker doesn't have all these old maps! Since they're beyond classified. "All the more reason I need to probably get my Lawyer to get through red tape so I can figure out what the hell other sites they might go after.."
"If you can get the huge predators out of the way, we might have more people feel able to come in," Aurore suggests, as calmly and gently as she can presently manage. "And once they're somewhere safe, away from lots of frightened and startled strangers, then you could come back and offer information to the briefing. Because I've not heard anyone give a briefing on these things. Not even at yesterday's meeting. But if you go now, then you might be back in time for it starting. How's that sound?"
Rebecca remains standing behind Aurore, just in case. While she's a litte looser, and allowing herself to move her limbs a little, she's still not stirring from that place for the time being. "Oh. That's... interesting." she tells Hawker, though her brow furrows slightly at the talk of potentially undead Nazis, nonetheless. Not quite Nazi-fighting material, Rebecca, in her oversized scarf and duffel-coat and knee skirt and woolen tights, and, admittedly, her shearling L.L. Beans, looking more like a somewhat preppy New England librarian than Indiana Jones.
Hawker grumbles a bit; but he's fairly easy to manipulate in this way. "Yes Miss Aurore, I'll go take the perfectly well behaved Puppy and Kitten home..and remember to bring the butter this time." He says, saying some thing in Russian that causes Miska to get up from being sprawled out, and begin following him out..apparently people don't like Kala!
"Yeah, I'll text you when we're done. I'll probably head right to work from here," Sadie is saying into the phone held to her ear by her shoulder as she enters. "Love you, too," is added before she lets the phone slide from her shoulder into her hand to click the END CALL button. "Cold as FUCK out th--" her words cut off as she spots Hawker and the animals. Miska doesn't seem to surprise her much, or really at all. She knows Miska. "The FUCK is that?" she asks as she moves closer, though not too close, arms crossed over her chest. "Drake," she says in a flat greeting. "That is not a kitten. That is a fucking -- big ass giant cat that I don't think you can take out places in public. Stop taking animals everywhere!"
As the menagerie finally starts to move away from the scared women and Sadie arrives, Aurore forces herself to give at least *half* her attention to her guest, doing her best to conjure up a smile - however shaky it might be. "And that," she says softly in Latin, "is his ex. I am so very, truly, entirely sorry. I had wanted this to be quiet. And had worried that the briefing might be throwing you in at the deep end of things. This... I apologise. Do you want to escape, as soon as the door is clear? Or shall I continue the tour?"
"I am still interested in the nazi zombie thing. Can't wait to actually meet them and tussle with them." muses Franky, who has been very quiet the whole time, paying more attention to her coffee and the donuts she brought, "Anyone want some donuts?"
Rebecca returns Aurore's smile with a reassuring, quiet expression, and quickly shakes her head, murmuring back a reply in Latin as well: "It's been interesting so far. It's fine." and after saying that she turns her attention to the others, perhaps waiting for someone to do the introductions.
Hawker sticks his tongue out at Sadie when she insists Kala is not a kitten. "It's a cat, and cute, and thus, a kitten. By the same logic people call Anna and Daisy Puppers, this is a Kitten. Erego, Kala is a Kitten, but Aurore said I gotta bring her and Miska home." Presumably Aurore is thus bribing Hawker with candy or some thing, but he does grin at Franky. "See? The cop isn't afraid of a Black Panther!"
"A kitten is a baby housecat and this is /not/ what I meant when I said you should get a kitten," Sadie points out to Hawker. "And yes, take them home. Leave them there. Stop taking exotic animals outside before someone shoots it." She rubs a hand over her face and gives Franky and Rebecca each a smile. "Uh, hi," she says in greeting. "Uh, Aurore, I'm going downstairs. Unless you need me up here?" Maybe to wrangle Hawker if he doesn't take the animals home?
Aurore looks relieved, and somewhat impressed, as Rebecca declines the chance to escape... then manages to muster another smile. "Ahh... right. The friendly 'cop' is... Franky, right?", she checks. "She and her sister Charlie are patrol officers... and have a sideline in working for the government. Task Force: Valkyrie, if I remember right. The lady who's just arrived is Sadie: she's with the Knights of Saint Adrian. Also one of the 'big' groups, but much... more loosely organised. Utilise empowered tattoos. Work as bounty hunters of the supernatural, quite often." As she talks, she tries to gently guide Rebecca towards the stage. "And down here, we have one of the surprises. There's another level to this place, that most people will never even be able to notice, thanks to the defences built in. But... as a sworn member of one of the groups supporting the Society, you'll not only be able to find the entrance once it's opened up, but will be able to go freely up and down."
Touching a couple of points on the front of the stage, she triggers *something* that opens up a secret door, revealing solid stairs leading down - into light, with voices down there, rather than anything dark or foreboding.
"That is correct!" answers Franky with a smile and a little salute, "At night we are cops. We got the bad patrols." she explains while nodding.
"A pleasure to meet you." Rebecca offers the others as Aurore introduces them, with an amiable smile and a quiet nod, "Rebecca Royse." she introduces herself, then turns, blinking curiously as she allows herself to be lead towards the stage. "Oh I see." she lifts her eyebrows while studying the secret door and the manner in which Aurore opens it. She's sure she'll forget it, and makes a note to ask about it again at a latter point. "That's certainly convenient."
Sadie follows along, since the door to the basement is what she is also heading for. "Cops, huh? Tell me you aren't gonna bust me if I smell like weed," she jokes to Franky with a smirk. She does turn to look back toward Hawker. "Drake, I don't think this weather is good for-- whatever it's name is." She must mean the big cat. "And I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to just take it out into public, they're supposed to be kept at home. You might want to check on the permit you probably had to get for it. Just-- take them home, come back, join the meeting and stop taking animals everywhere you go. If you bring anything else, even an adorable puppy in a box, into Carnivore, you're gonna get banned. Don't get banned from other places, too." She smikes at Rebecca. "I'm Sadie. Laurent. You guys might have met my sister Sophia before? And yeah, I'm a Knight. Anyway, let's go downstairs and see if the meeting started yet."
Continued in Jo's Briefing