sunnydalealum: (Council meeting)
They're standing side by side, at an approximation of attention, backs straight, heads high.

(It's not as though they've been prisoners on the farm. They've had the run of the place; they've had trips to town for the asking, free time to spend however they like; they've had the option of going home anytime. Just say the word.)

Compared to the original hearing, this one's mercifully brief. The Council has already discussed the matter. They've each been given a chance to make a statement.

(They talked about it one night, the three of them, in whispers in their darkened bedroom. They could quit, and go home, and just ... be on their own. No more Council authority; no more fighting evil. Essentially the same deal Beth Lehrer got, only without being stripped of their powers. They'd be watched, of course, but ... )

Sara speaks a little longer, Tricia barely at all. Their statements are all more or less the same: we're ready to come back to the fold.

(In the end there really wasn't any question.)

Mr. Giles pronounces their sentence over, and welcomes them back to active Slayer duty.

And Jordie smiles.
sunnydalealum: (Jordie)
Jordie's learned a lot of things since the woman from the Watchers' Council first found her and told her what she was. Not all of them were learned at the Slayer Academy; and of those that were, not all of them were part of anyone's lesson plan.

This week, she's learning how to muck out goats.
sunnydalealum: (Council meeting)
There's no question of guilt. In either case. Only of sentence... )
sunnydalealum: (Scythe)
August 2, 2007

People don't usually hire Kev to do protective surveillance.... )
sunnydalealum: (Academy grounds)
It's a plain room, more like a hostel room than a cell, except the only furniture is a bed – the chest of drawers and the night table have been moved out. No window. There's a tiny bathroom with a toilet and a sink but no shower; the bathroom door's been taken off its hinges and out of the room.

There are two Slayers on guard outside.

(There's also, though nobody in or near the room has any reason to know it, a mystic surveillance system set up. This conversation will not be private.)
sunnydalealum: (Beth Lehrer)
Her duffelbag is heavier than it should be, as she moves out through the AirTrain lobby and onto the street. She feels slower than before. Weaker.

She feels light enough to spread her arms and soar up into the sky.

The number's still in her cellphone's immediate memory; it's the last number she called.



"Hello?"
sunnydalealum: (Council meeting)
It's not a trial. )



He's left to cool his heels outside afterwards, for about fifteen minutes. No sound at all emerges from the room -- and no psychic aura either, if he's listening for one.

The door opens, and closes again very quickly behind the person who's slipped through.

It's Andrew.
sunnydalealum: (Academy grounds)
There aren't any guards posted outside the doors of these rooms, just a single sentry at the end of the hall, and the doors themselves aren't locked. The three young women in the rooms are in a position somewhere between house arrest and honorable parole.

Jordie's in the second room on the right.
sunnydalealum: (Beth Lehrer)
In the apartment, Beth sits huddled in an armchair that feels far too big for her, clasps her hands tightly in her lap and tries to stop shivering.

"I know them," she says, her voice hollow.
sunnydalealum: (Fitz)
February 18, 2007

The nice thing about being able to pass for fully human in this city? You can live anywhere.

Well, anywhere you can afford. But Fitz's day job pays the rent on a nice little one-bedroom in a decent part of town, and his other work is lucrative enough to keep it furnished and stocked (and secured) like someplace much nicer.

He's whistling something under his breath as he steps off the elevator and turns down the hallway.
sunnydalealum: (Angel Investigations)
February 14th, 2007
Manhattan


Nobody on the street (not even the beat cop on the corner) seems to notice anything odd about the fact that very well-dressed people, singly or in pairs or larger groups, have been walking into the closed-for-repairs underground parking garage and not walking out. Nor do they notice anything odd about the people in question, even those whose faces don't appear remotely human.

As with one particular group, centered around a tall figure with a lionlike face.



Angel has drawn the line at wearing the House Varadeem livery, but each of them sports a badge of sorts with Vayan's sigil -- the same intricate pattern on the ring Angel's already wearing. It doesn't make them blend in with the Rrhayaowr, even the human-looking ones, but it makes certain matters clear to the others waiting in line. There's already delighted gossip making its way through the crowd, glances and whispers.

They've learned the club's name by this time, and it's making the oldest members of the team very uneasy. There's a muttered explanation while they wait, kept vague against the sharp ears of the rest of their party. Aequitas: the Latin word for justice. It's just a little too close for comfort to another place they knew once, with a name meaning mercy.

Probably just a coincidence.

The heavy doors at the far end of the lot are just opening, and two big burly demons taking up positions to either side. A ripple goes through the assembled beings, and the line starts to slide forward like (Andrew tries not to think it) like a snake.
sunnydalealum: (Angel Investigations)
It's midday when the doorbell rings, which means someone human has to answer it; though the doorway is (by design) in shadow, diffuse sunlight can still cause vampire skin to smoke, and that has a tendency to be off-putting to potential clients. Andrew's out, and Gunn's asleep, which leaves Jonathan.

He opens the door cautiously. "Can I help you?"

Standing on the doorstep is a skinny young man, prematurely balding, wearing a trenchcoat over a shapeless sweater and jeans. Not so much standing as hunching, actually: his shoulders are slumped, his hands in his coat pockets. Behind his glasses, his eyes go to Jonathan's face and then flick away, looking past him into the entryway; he looks, and sounds, exhausted. "I, I hope so. Um. This is kind of ... okay. Focus. Sorry. Are you him?" He turns his head aside and down, as though to speak to someone standing beside him at about waist height. "Is this him?"

Jonathan blinks. "...Him who?"

"Look, this isn't -- " This is still directed at the invisible companion. "Okay, then, you do the talking." The young man sighs heavily, and looks back at Jonathan, drawing a closed hand out of his pocket. "Sorry about this. My partner needs to talk to you."

He opens his hand palm up at chest height, and a tiny bright-green snake uncurls and raises its head... )
sunnydalealum: (Wolfram & Hart)
It's been nearly a year since the attack unfortunate accident, and the New York branch of Wolfram & Hart has moved back into its newly renovated office space. A handful of lawsuits in both directions have been quietly settled out of court (and, in one particularly thorny case, out of dimension; there are all kinds of places to refer angry relatives who just won't stop asking questions, if you have the resources).

In short, business is running smoothly. And, to ensure that business continues to run smoothly, security in the building is tighter than ever.

But security's not nearly so tight in the office building around the other side of the little park, and there's an unobstructed view from its roof to the front entrance of W&H. And Jordie knows this to be the case, as she spent a good part of Thanksgiving weekend finding out.

Today she sends a couple of text messages from her cellphone on the way up. The first one is very carefully timed:

cristofer - weathers bad here & my dads worried about the roads, wont be able 2 get back til tomorrow or maybe weds but didnt want u 2 worry - txt me if u need me. :)

The second one's quicker:

no sign so far, will be here till weds & keep u posted


There's a new text message waiting for her when she's finished sending the second, but it's not from her Watcher.

Jojo - we all missed you at Thanksgiving. Sorry you couldn't make it home after all. Maybe Christmas instead? Let me know. Love, Dad.


She studies it for a few seconds, then snaps her phone shut and pockets it.

Once on the roof, she settles in quickly. She's got a pair of gloves, a hat and scarf, a nonreflective sleeping bag for both warmth and camouflage, a digital camera with a zoom lens, a thermos of hot cocoa, five energy bars, and a foil-wrapped packet of turkey sandwiches.

And all day to see if a certain person goes in or comes out through those doors across the park.
sunnydalealum: (library)
The thin slanting light of a winter midafternoon is sifting in through the high windows as two figures step into the main room of the Library of the New Watchers' Council: a vast round vaulted space lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Andrew's seen it before; he's looking at Nita, grinning in anticipation of her reaction.
sunnydalealum: (Jordie)
Dear Spoon,

Sorry I havent written in so long but things have been pretty crazy. We finally got to the bottom of the thing with the demonic mosquitoes, it turns out this insane magician was breeding them & some escaped. We tracked him down & made him summon them all back again, I got a couple bites but don't worry, theyre already healing up.

Its good to be back in the USA but I'm starting to miss the Academy, does that make any sense at all? Being a Slayer's different when your on your own. Please tell everyone I said hi especially Sarge, tell him I'm working hard & remembering the training.

Anyway I have to run, I'm patrolling in about twenty minutes & gotta gear up -- bringing my wristblades!

take care,
Jordie
sunnydalealum: (Claire)
College Walk, Columbia University
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
3:40pm


Nobody's commented on the fact that Claire's wearing black today. )
sunnydalealum: (Professor Ulbrich)
Columbia University
Monday, October 16, 2006
2:10pm


"Professor Ulbrich?" Jonathan's been hovering in the hallway in what he hopes is the manner of a student waiting to talk to a busy teacher, and moves forward as the old man steps out of his office. "Sorry to bother you again, but --"

Ulbrich's eyes sharpen again behind his glasses, and the glance he turns on Jonathan is remarkably unfriendly. "Are you," he sniffs, turning to lock his office door.

"...sir?" Trying to sound confused, instead of alarmed.

"You and your, mm, colleague weren't entirely honest with me about how you came by that passage." He pockets his keys, picks up his battered leather briefcase, and straightens his glasses to glare at Jonathan again. "The news may take a while to trickle in here, but it does make it eventually. Would you mind telling me exactly what you two have to do with poor Mr. Rosen?"

"Funny," says Jonathan, making the snap decision to go on the counteroffensive, "I was gonna ask you the same question." He takes out his card, and holds it out so that the Angel Investigations logo is clearly visible.

Ulbrich squints at the card, and frowns. "I see. Small wonder you lied, if you suspect me of some sort of, mm, foul play --" he pronounces the words with a fastidious sort of irony, as though handling them with tongs -- "but I can tell you in all honesty that I've never meet the boy, and I don't see what you might think I could possibly have to do with it."

"Really? 'Cause we have to wonder where else on this campus he might have learned Sulcaric."

A heavy sigh of irritation. "You didn't listen to a word I said Wednesday, did you. I couldn't have taught him to speak Sulcaric that fluently. No human being could have. And he didn't learn it out of a book, either, I can tell you that now that I've seen the tape."

The card doesn't seem to have quite had the effect Jonathan was hoping for. He repockets it slowly. "What do you mean?"

"I had to go over it half a dozen times before I caught it, but the tonal modulation's unmistakable. He's speaking in the infantile mode."

"The what?"

"The child's mode. Ethkelt t'hyskraen." Jonathan starts at the word, but the professor doesn't notice; he's sliding into full-on lecture mode. "I think 'milk-speech' would be the closest, mm, approximate translation. A poetic way of referring to the mode in which Sulcar children first learn to verbalize, while they're still young enough to be nursing. It's an interesting cognate to the way we speak of something learned in early childhood as 'with his mother's milk.' Leading some to speculate that we may have, mm, borrowed the figure of speech from the Sulcaric. A speculation I consider thoroughly unfounded and highly unlikely," he adds with another sniff.

"What's that word again? The one you translated as milk?"

"T'hyskraen," Ulbrich repeats. "The part of it that actually means milk is hysk; the rest of it ... well, it's a complex construction. The last syllable's a root word that can mean 'swallow' or 'acquire' or 'master', in the sense of mastering a skill or a body of knowledge. Internalize, I suppose, is the common thread there. Which means that there's a pun of sorts in the compound phrase. It could mean literally 'the speech connected to the drinking of milk' or even 'the speech that one drinks with milk', but a much, mm, clearer way to render it would be 'the speech of nurslings' or 'the speech one learns while nursing'." A dusty chuckle. "Babytalk, in other words."

"Babytalk?" Jonathan echoes in disbelief. "I saw the translation. It didn't look much like babytalk to me."

The professor shrugs. "The usage might be metaphorical. My point is, that poor boy theoretically could have constructed and memorized a set speech in Sulcaric for some bizarre reason, but for him to have found the, mm, exceedingly rare source material on the t'hyskraen mode -- it's beyond the bounds of plausibility. Personally I'm becoming inclined to give a little more weight to your theory of a bodyswap."

"I don't think so." At the professor's questioning look, Jonathan reluctantly adds, "He was repeating the name of one of his friends. Whatever else is going on, I think it's still him in there."

After a short silence, Ulbrich gives another sigh and starts shuffling down the corridor. "In that case, I confess I'm baffled. It simply shouldn't be possible. And lord knows enough human scholars have tried."

Jonathan chews his lower lip for a moment, trailing at the older man's side. "Professor," he says slowly, "could that word actually mean something like 'the speech one learns from drinking hysk?"

Ulbrich turns a startled glance on him. "Interesting you should suggest that. I seem to recall that one of Catherine Harkness's students once wrote a paper on that very question. Suggesting a semi-mystical philosophy on the part of the Sulcar themselves, a belief that the hysk is somehow, mm, transubstantiated directly into knowledge, or into intelligence. Absurd, on the face of it. Sulcar aren't given to superstition of that sort; that's much more a human kind of wish-fulfillment."

"Wish-fulfillment?"

"Of course." That dusty-dry chuckle again. "What human being wouldn't want to be able to simply swallow something and become smarter than we are?"
sunnydalealum: (Beth Lehrer)
Just keep an eye on that card every now and then, he said. You'll know where to go when the time's right.

Beth's entirely aware that probably means it's magic. Which means there's any number of other things it could be doing. Which means she seriously considers not taking it home with her, in case it could be used to track her -- but the only other place she could keep it is at the shelter, and she won't do that. It'd endanger everybody else there, the ones who come in for food, the ones who work there, Peter --

She won't, that's all.

So she sticks it to the fridge with the same magnet Spike left for her back in May, and that's where it is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when she sees that it's changed. There's an address there now, in that same elegant typeface, like it's been there all along.

Aequitas. She's looked it up. Latin for justice.




It's with a certain sense of fatalism that she steps off the bus a block from the address on the card, five days later, and walks toward the building.

(It's also with the same black wig she wore that night, as a sole concession to paranoia.)

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