Dinner With The Prietos

Log Info

Title: Dinner With The Prietos
Emitter: Liv
Characters: Alia, Amber, Reg, Sandra, Stephanie
NPCs: Evelyn Prieto
Place: Prieto residence, New York City
Time: 6/9/2010, dinner hour
Summary: The Prieto houseguests sit down for dinner, and things go … awry.

Surrounded by a high stone wall, the Prieto residence is an island to itself. Willows shroud much of the view, while a hedge-maze dominates the west side. Amongst the white marble and the massive windows - some span the length of a room, others multiple stories - the architecture evokes an old-world castle through Hollywood's eyes: balconies, turrets and baroque arches. Inside, that old-world style translates into furniture and filigree, pale, bright and ornate. Everything is hard and polished, every surface showing a faint reflection. And everywhere, there is glasswork, from the immense art-sculpture chandelier to tiny paperweight orbs.

The six young people arrived at the Prieto residence at varying times over Tuesday morning, in enough time to get settled in and then spend the afternoon in more enjoyable pursuits. Evelyn Prieto has proved to be a gracious but hands-off hostess: after greeting each visitor and inviting them to treat the place as their own, she slides to the background. In fact, she's away on business most of the time.

For those moments when the teens aren't planning to be in New York City, the residence has all the amenities, from the pool to high-caliber electronics to an immense library. Only two doors are barred: Evelyn's suite and what seems to be a workshop space.

However, they aren't the only guests: two other people have made themselves at home. Kerry is a bouncy blonde who seems to be about thirty and dresses in a slick, gold-studded punk rocker look. Hunter is somewhat older than her, which in high school years makes him ancient, his most notable feature mismatched eyes - one grey, one green. How the two know Evelyn isn't clear - it's impossible to catch their last names - but it's obvious that Liv knows them both, and Kerry treats her almost like a little sister.

Wednesday evening, Evelyn invites them to dinner in a polite brooks-no-excuses fashion. Not that this will be much of a hardship, considering the smells that seem to enamate from the kitchen at appropriate meal hours. The dining room is an airy room with white tiling, ivy filigree, and a wall-wide window overlooking the garden.

Stephanie would be a little nervous at first, and that means she's quiet. Still, gracious manners and the presence of some people she knows help a lot. The girl definitely is a little more relaxed by dinner time. She dressed up for the occasion, though her androgyny makes it unclear what gender the girl is to those that don't know her…and her choice of clothes only confuse the issue. A simple black pantsuit is worn, the jacket and pants having thin red pinstripes. Under that is worn a white linen shirt, and a narrow tie, black of course, with a few red lines angling down sinister. She can't help but wonder a bit about the lad with the mismatched eyes — that after being one of the prime indicators of a chimera like herself. She's a little quiet, standing by the window and admireing the view.

Amber has been enjoying her time in the house. She called home when they got up here, but her parents ended up getting called away on the family business somewhere else to help family friends. Since getting to New York, Amber has actually worn a few hats, glasses and hides herself a bit more. This is where she's known the most, so going around and doing things has had her dressed incognito. At the passing of Stephanie as she is on her way to the dining room, she says, "Hey, I think dinner's ready, you comin'?"

Reg is … well, as he always is. Polite and friendly, though reserved. He chats amiably with the others, and goes on some of the shopping expeditions — the ones not having girly clothes as a goal and so on. From time to time, he breaks out his cache of video games and challenges the ladies to God of War III contests. Amusing, if you know his history. Most don't, though, so hey. He's ambling by on the way to dinner, and nods towards Amber and Stephanie on the way, before taking a seat at the table.

Alia is keeping her hair anything /but/ tied back. She's not exactly sure what Liv said about her, but decided that tact is best so that people don't ask too many questions. She has been quite eager to play video games with Reg, as well as shop, though she keeps making snarky commentary about the poor graphics quality of a PS3. At the moment, though, she's dressed in a very fashionable outfit, finishing off a text message as she pockets her phone, making her way to the table, "It does smell quite delicious, yes."

When not out shopping, Sandra has been taking full advantage of the library that the residence offers. One can learn alot about a person by the books they read, and the ones they collect. And since Evelyn Prieto is just one of many in the human race, Sandra has practically gobbled up all that the books have offered. That, and they are not electronics so there is little fear Sandra will ruin them.
Gladly accepting the invitation to dinner, for Sandra would not be so rude as even attempt to decline, the young blond immediately insisted on MORE shopping! After all, she had NOTHING to wear to a somewhat formal event. It would be formal, right? Which means, the young woman walks in in a lavender dress, sleeveless, made of chiffon with a pleated and flowing skirt falling to her knees. She looks fairly comfortable in the dress, it is the heels which cause the young woman to take slow, regal steps, lest she step wrong, topple over, and take half the house with her!
To that end, Sandra is gripping the railing of the stairs, as she comes down them, tightly, wincing once as there is a faint groan of metal. Trying to remain casual, blue eyes drift to the railing, and Sandra's hand does some 'adjusting' with another groan of metal, before she starts on her way down again - with a more casual grip on the railing, and moving a bit more slowly.
Taking the bottom of the stairs, and deliberately making her click-clacking way to the dining room, Sandra offers a nod to her fellow students. Admittedly, Sandra isn't all that close with Stephanie and Amber, and some could say that the relationship she has with Reg is Amicable on the young man's side, and distantly warm on hers. There is a faint sigh that just crosses her lips as she sees Alia, someone she is more close to amoung the group. A bemused smirk crosses Sandra's lips at the talk of dinner, "I still prefer sushi myself, but it seems to me Ms. Prieto will be certain that whatever is served is equally delicious to one and all."

The fantastic aromas have intensified in the last short while, and the requested hour has arrived, so it's a good bet dinner is on. Liv is already hovering in the dining room, and flashing quick smiles to her guests. "Hey, guys … Sandra, you look awesome," she says.
Liv seems to have split personalities. Out on the town, she's energetic, enjoying the trip - providing bad fashion advice, snarking at Amber's disguises, and trying to bridge the gap between the people who don't know each other that well. At home, she pulls in on herself, terse, withdrawn - and generally snappish even when not in the company of her mother or the other guests.
Evelyn floats into the dining room, a hint of lilac and saffron perfume following. Tall, sleek, curvaceous, she hardly looks like a woman headed in the direction of fifty. Her tawny hair is worn free in a fashion that looks unstyled, but almost certainly is the result of considerable planning. Her manner of dress even for casual dinner is classic glamour, timeless. There's a flaw to the beauty, of course, as if to prove that it's natural and not artificial - but look again, and there's no sign of it.
"Liv, darling." Evelyn leans over to kiss her daughter's cheek.
Liv stands perfectly still, accepting the kiss and then ducking away to seat herself. "Evelyn. Thank you again for having us."
Evelyn's grey eyes flash for a heartbeat, dark with ire - then it's gone. "Don't be silly. This is still your home, hmm?" She turns to the guests with a brilliant smile. "I hope you've all been enjoying the city? Please, sit."
The residence has a small but ubiquitous staff, so dinner is served with prompt efficiency as soon as everyone is seated. The meal is split between two main dishes, seafood and steak - old classics given an extraordinarily fancy twist or five, but still enjoyable even for the most unadventurous.
The other two guests, for the record, are absent.

A smile to Amber, and then Stephanie nods. "Yes. This is just…wow. So much nicer than what we're used to, you know? Just a little out of place." The twins turn to move down with the rest of the group, gently smiling to the people she doesn't or barely knows. Of course there's an indefinable oddity about the girl, something that feels 'off' that is enough to unnerve a person. And once, a poodle in the neighborhood when a neighbor was heading home from going walkies. The dog barked and poofed up and snarled at Stephanie until they were out of sight. Sheesh. The neighbor, or more correctly the neighbor's hired dog walker was NOT pleased.
The desecration and repair of the railing is noted, but not commented upon by Stephanie, and then she makes her way down when Liv gathers forlks and Ms Prieto presides over the meal. She can't help but keep thinking about Hunter in curiousity, her own dark and light blue mismatched eyes curious, but not quite daring enough to ask anything. Hey! Chimera are RARE! She's never met another. Of course he's probably nothing of the sort, she muses. ~~He's probably a neo with mismatched eyes…not that he's HERE to ask.~~ She thinks to her twin. ~Maybe, or maybe he is like us, only hopefully not exactly like us, how could we be rare and special snowflakes if there was another time share twin?~ And that thought from Steven is just what the girl needed to loosen up a bit. "Thank you for having us here, Ms Prieto, your home is beautiful."

Amber nods as she joins the table, grinning at Stephanie and noting Sandra's outfit. "Wow, I feel sooo underdressed." She laughs a little and then nods to Evelyn. "Yes, Ma'am, thank you very much. I'm from around here, so you know…it's good to be back home." She offers a smile to Liv, even though she looks like she just got kissed by a slime monster. She hmms a moment and says, "The others, they're not joining us?"

"Yes, ma'am, I have," Reg tells the woman quietly. He glances at each other person in turn, offering a smile as they arrive. His hands are clasped quietly in front of him as he sits, saying, "The food smells good." It's an idle observation, even as he looks over at the others. "I know what I'll be having," he says lightly. Oh yes. Red meat. /Steak/. He was about to ask a question, but Amber beats him to it, and he cants his head towards Evelyn to hear the response.

Alia nods, "Your hospitality has been quite exceptional. Thank you." She inclines her head towards Evelyn respectfully, "I was not really able to do too much exploration, the last time I was in New York." She takes a seat, accepting the seafood portion more than the steak, though she does have a bit of both. She also saves a spot for Sandra to join her, giving the other student a brief smile, "Thank you, by the way, for the fashion hints. I think they'll come in quite handy."

Sandra bows her head deeply, respectfully towards Evelyn as the woman walks in and insists everyone takes their places. "You have been exceedingly gracious, Ms. Prieto," she offers in her smooth Queen's English as she glides into her seat, quite happy to be sitting, rather than standing in those heels.
A quick flish of a smile is given to Liv at the compliment sent her way, before her gaze slides over those at the table, and noting those not. She is more than happy when someone else asks the obvious question, busying herself with setting her napkin correctly in her lap, though her blue eyes do try to watch Evelyn's reaction subtly.
"Ms Prieto, please give my compliments to your chef," she asks, then, remaining diplomatic and cordial. "Everything smells and looks divine." Settled into place, Sandra waits with her hands in her lap, the hint of a smile on her lips - not over doing it, but just the right amount to be cordial.
Liv returns Amber's smile wryly and shrugs, helpless. She's otherwise quiet - which has been usual for her while under the Prieto roof.
"It's my pleasure," Evelyn says. "It does this place good to have more people in it than just myself." She shakes her head. "Kerry informed me she had plans - and Hunter, he is not much for company, I fear."
"That's an understatement," Liv mutters. Evelyn flicks her a sharp look.
"Another night, perhaps," the lady of the house continues, "assuming you want to spend any more time with us old folks." There's an odd quirk to her smile, a little - smug? Hard to pin down. As the last platter sets down, she indicates, "Help yourselves. And I will certainly pass that on to him, Sandra - the next time I feel his ego needs more stroking." Her tone is rather dry.
There is a subtle change in the room, a peculiar shifting quality to the light. What is dark or in shadow seems to fade into obscurity; what is illuminated, whether by candle or sunlight from the window, seems to pale and lose its lustre. And it feels … colder, just a subtle dip into hair-prickling ranges.

Stephanie helps herself to a bit of the steak, and some of the fish, and some of the vegetarian fare — essentially picking small portions that add up to a normal meal. Relieved that others ask about the missing two, Stephanie can't help but frown ever so slightly at the term, and at Liv's mutter. And then the lights change she pales a little. Reaching out to her fellow students she sends a mental broadcast, though not to anyone unwilling to be linked. ~~There's danger, strong danger…be ready.~~ And some might be surprised at another mental voice in the link, a lot like Stephanie's though masculine (slightly) in timbre. ~Liv warned us about her mother…though no specifics…~ While looking to the quirkily smiling Evelyn, Stephanie turns. "Goodness! What was that flicker?" She asks all sweetness and light. No, probably not going to fool anyone, not with HER acting skills.

Amber isn't shy about her portion control. She has none. Someone might be lucky to get food if she gets to it first. Burning calories like a small sun, Amber eats a hell of a lot of food. She wasn't even thinking of the badness that might follow Evelyn around, and then she barely notices the light change and says, "Flicker?" She looks around a moment and seems a bit confused.
Reg doesn't notice. He rarely notices such things. It comes with the fact that he can walk around naked in the arctic, if he wanted. He cants his head curiously at Stephanie, and asks, mentally, ~…warned about her mother? What about her mother?~ He's not overly subtle, so the curious glance he shoots Liv is obvious.

Alia blinks a little, "That was an interesting… effect." She pauses, then glances around, looking suddenly uneasy as she takes a fair helping of seafood, a little bit of steak, and quite a bit of vegetables. Her thoughts echo in the link, ~Something is definitely wrong, for certain…~

"Homes," offers Sandra, "they often flicker and dim, especially in the summer. A complication of high power consumption, I believe." Piling some seafood on her plate, Sandra then grabs for the steak and holds it across the way to Reg, trying to catch his eye with an upraised eyebrow. "Better grab hold of some before it disappears," she offers in a light-hearted manner towards her fellow student.
Mentally, there comes a comment from Sandra, ~Interesting….~ echoes and burbles almost as if the young woman were somehow under water, and then the comment seems to echo in another foreign language. ~Liv is in danger, I think.~ offers Sandra, again the words echoing in that foreign language again, and it seems Sandra pulls back faintly from the link, it taking too much of her attention.

Liv eyes the amount of food going onto Amber's plate, momentarily distracted. Then the dialogue in the mental link brings her head up. ~Uh … ah …. err … I just thought any unpleasantness would be sour words,~ she finally manages. ~She's … that is … she's not …~
Though (apparently) unaware of the other conversation going on, Evelyn cuts to the chase. "They do, perhaps - but not the case here," she says to Sandra. "That flicker, as you call it, indicates these grounds have just receded into shadow. I'm not merely talking about incorporeality, but a phase state, a place between. And you are here as long as I want you to be."
Liv blanches and whispers, "Mom, whatever the hell you're doing …" Irony? That's the first time anyone's heard her call Evelyn 'Mom' to her face.
"Relax, Liv, it's all under control." A cloying smile for her daughter, and then Evelyn's attention sweeps over the others, catching each eye in turn. "Of course, that's why I invited the others. In case things get unruly. Not that there's anywhere for you to go, you understand."

Stephanie listens to Ms Prieto's speech, and then looks like she was going to say something before she frowns and pauses, looking uneasily around. Across the link. ~~She's not even there. That's just a projection of Ms Prieto.~~ She dabs at her mouth, and then sets the napkin down properly as she stands, tension writ in every line of her slender form. "So…you probably had some reason for doing this, are you going to be the classic comic book villain and give us a nice long monologue?" Yes, Steph is being a little antagonistic — it is very plain she's quite ready for a tussle though.

Amber peers a moment and thinks about what is going on and says, "What the heck is this?" She glares at Evelyn. "What is going on here? You will let us go!" She pauses, then adds, "From…wherever we are…where are we again?"

"Ms. Prieto," Reg says calmly, "You really don't wish to do this." As he says this, he rises to his face, and picks up his glass. As if he's about to drink. It's at that moment that he casts the drink into the face of the illusion, "Not as satisfying as if you were really here, but good enough. I hereby challenge you. One way or another, you will be punished for this deed, and worse, for using your daughter to accomplish it. By mine oath as the child of my mother, I swear it." The cup he was using is crushed in his hand, and he turns towards the others, "Let's go. She isn't worth our trouble." He adds, mentally, ~I have a sense of the magic used, it's suffusing the entire building. It's not a static ritual, but more like an ongoing presence, perhaps even alive. If I were to search, I could probably find where it's concentrated and could be disarmed, but it'd take a lot of looking around.~

Alia looks disdainfully at 'Evelyn'. "Mnhei'sahe is lost on you, I fear, particularly the part about honoring ones' guests." She narrows her eyes, "Release us, or the consequences will be beyond what your feeble human mind could possibly comprehend." Yeah, she went there, as she looks decidedly angry at this gross violation of guestright. ~Yes, let's find the source and deal with it. Severely.~

To the announcement, Sandra just sighs, reaching for her glass. The young woman takes a slow, lazy sip from the glass before looking over at Evelyn, giving a rather disappointed glance. "Really, this was hardly necissary. If you wanted us to stay, you just needed to ask. Instead, you don't even have the decency to show up yourself," offers Sandra, her eyebrow arching upwards as she looks at the projection of Evelyn.
Sandra rises, just like Stephanie and Reg. Her eyebrow slowly arches as Reg's offer of challenge, and she simply watches him, studying him a moment, before she moves around the table to Prieto's projection. "Unlike my fellow student, I am interested in just having a conversation, like adults," she offers. "I believe you will know how to find me, since you are not, in actuality, here with us. At least, I hope you will converse as adults, before matters must be dealt in Reg's preference."
~Do so,~ notes Sandra to the others, specifically Reg. ~I will try to distract her as I can.~ It is taking some effort for Sandra to 'think' in English, as that strange language is now echoing BEFORE her words. ~Alia, do not let anyone discover your ability for light, just yet. Let us -all- keep our abilities as our Eights in the Hole,~ she notes, her gaze never having left Evelyn as she raises her hand. "Alia, Reg, there may be time for that later. But think of the experience we have been given here. How many of us have actually been in a phase state, as Ms. Prieto has explained to us. It is a unique opprotunity and very likely worth extra-credit when we return."

"Shadow," Evelyn answers Amber with infinite dryness, "and I don't have to do anything, my dear." She shrugs a shoulder. "This golden opportunity Sullivan created for me, however could I pass it up?"
"I didn't," Liv protests, jerking sharply upright.
"Maybe not consciously, darling …" Evelyn's smile could make honey seem sour. It remains just as cloying even when the drink splashes … straight through her. Illusion definitely revealed now, and she apparently allows it to fade, flickering out of sight. "Aren't we melodramatic?" she addresses Reg and Alia. "I don't accept challenges. I do accept rational dialogue," she allows to Sandra, "but now? Hmm, somehow I sense it is not the time for it. We will talk later."
Flick - down to a hazy double-image. "What your mother - what most of your parents - will do is come here to pay for your release. There will be no consequences, no fireworks." Down to just the voice, then. "You're all children. Do you really expect it to be about you?" Then silence.
Liv's gone even whiter. "Oh," she says in a tone of recognition, "crap."

Amber peers and says, "What the hell?" She takes one of the platters and tosses it at Evelyn as she flickers. "What is this?" She makes a fist and puts it through the table in frustration. "You have to be kidding me." She glares at Liv a moment, pondering if her asking was all just a set up. Briefly. She doesn't want to think that but she can't help it. "You're not getting away with this…let them pay, and then we hunt you down."

On the other hand, Reg doesn't think this was a setup. Mostly because he knows Liv would never be able to do that. He moves towaards Amber, and says, "Unfortunately, destroying the building won't stop the spell. It's woven into the very structure. We'd have to destroy the keystone, and that would be difficult if the whole building collapsed. Let's go look," he says to her calmingly.

Alia looks at the illusion, and smirks, "Clearly, you don't know my family. One does not pay Danegeld and get rid of the Dane, after all." Her eyes narrow at Evelyn, "This will be well remembered, I assure you. And I always pay my debts." Her eyes flicker to the others, as she thinks ~Alright. Reg, lead the way, Sandra, perhaps you should talk to Liv.~

Not knowing if it will work or not, Sandra walks over to Evelyn's projection and smiles. "Good luck, Ms. Prieto," offers the woman with a symbolence of a shrug. "I have to write the proverbial message then put it in a metaphorical bottle for it to reach my parents. If you can get ahold of them any better than I … then you are a miracle worker."
Then Sandra straightens. "I do believe rational dialogue more fitting in this instance, Ms. Prieto." Sliding off her heels, Sandra scoops them up then starts walking for the exit to the dining room. "I hope to speak to you tomorrow. Liv, come on. I also bought another pair of shoes I want your opinion on." Blue eyes slide to Alia, and narrow, almost as if in warning, before she exits the room even more regally than she walked in. It's much easier to pull of without the heels.

There is no more comment from their hostess. For now.
"Shoes?" Liv's voice floats up from her seat in a daze. "Oh. Uh." She rises, head tipped downwards, staring at her hands … her feet … whatever is handy and avoids looking up at anyone. She hasn't asked the question, probably afraid of the answer.
~Guys, I'm just saying. I was created by a ritual - basically a clone of an influential person. A ritual that's had sixteen years to get more convenient and … subtler. Maybe the ransom isn't the main point.~ Then the mental link is quiet on her end, the girl shutting it out.
"Shoes, all right." Shoes. She trails after Sandra.

Amber looks at Reg, and nods, "You're right. Sorry." She sighs and hates when trapped, but knows there's a plan in place. ~Let's do this, find this stone. And smash it.~ She looks at Liv as Sandra takes her away, and then at Alia and Reg. "Where do we start?"

~Probably somewhere near the center, but this is such a large house, and there could be secret rooms and so on, it'll take a while. I kind of … hrm.~ He considers, then pushes his sleeve back and whispers a few words in Greek: «Unseen Lord, Ruler of the Gates of Asophodel and Elysian, lend me thy eyes.» He lifts his arm, and as his fingers touch his forehead, darkness flows over his brow, and his eyes turn jet black. Utterly, utterly black. The metal bracelet he wore — it looks like some sort of black iron — is also 'glowing' black. He adds, ~There are ghosts here. Possibly questioning them could be useful in finding out more information.~

Alia considers, fuming darkly… or at least she appears to be, as she thinks along the link, ~Well, if there are ghosts here, they probably would be willing to help get back at Evelyn, yes? Can you speak to them, or is that something any of us can do?~ A faint reddish glow comes from her hair, as she seems to have some trouble channeling her emotions right now… or at least, so she seems.

The house is silent enough that sound carries far enough and Sandra stops just outside the dining room. She looks at Liv, then forces herself to keep moving, even though she outright groans. ~Gods, was that Greek? Was that REALLY Greek, Reg? Do you …~ she starts, before biting back any more comments herself, and trying to quiet the link on her end. "They were this lovely red, and I have nothing to wear them with. But the color was so beautiful. A red I have never seen before," Sandra offers to Liv, trying to take the other young woman's arm as she leads her away.

"Uh, are you seriously …" Liv seems to get a faint clue as to what Sandra is trying to do - maybe - and stops herself from questioning the issue of shoes. "I am really not the person to ask, but if you really want …"
Everything is still, at least where the visitors-now-captors are currently - a full-out, somnolent silence. Weren't there servants?
To Reg, ghostly presences come in threes: a vivid spark of very recent energy, a deeper tendril left over from a few decades ago … and then something else. It's questionable whether it's even human. It's too deeply entwined with the substance of the shadows to tell.

When Sandra and Liv depart, Amber listens to Reg and says, "You find any ghosts, ask them where it is. But if they don't know, I'm gonna find it myself. And then I'm finding Liv's mom…and showing her what a child can do." She goes hunting about in the near proximity of the dining room.

~Hmm? An ancient dialect, yes. Not modern Greek.~ Though he speaks that, too. To Alia, he adds, ~Depends on the ghost. Some can pay attention to the mortal world, some are too far gone. I /think/ one of them can. One of them might not, it's far more faint. I can speak to both and can hear what they say, in return, so can translate, anyway.~ A pause, ~There's another spirit as well. Might be the spirit maintaining the shadow-slip, actually…but I'm not sure I can talk to it from here…~ He pauses, and observes to Amber, ~It'll take a while. And I'd suggest against breaking things too much. If you want to break peripheral stuff, go ahead. But if the building collapses, it'd be hard to find the source, you know?~

Alia sits down, looking like she's stewing, as she thinks over the link, ~Well, that is interesting… I wonder if the other two have something to do with this.~ She looks back and forth, that faint crimson glow continuing around her as she contemplates the matter.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License