Log:Ghosts in the Graveyard
DC isn't on the circuit. Baltimore? Richmond? Sure. But DC isn't. They're out on the outskirts, but this is as close to the nation's capitol as they've ever gone. It's early evening and things are in full swing, but there's a looming tension as the courier Industry said would come to them in DC has yet to show in the first few days.
Kemen is in his stage magic tux complete with the green sequined lapels and top hat, which is unfortunate because he'd much rather wear a different face when there's likely to be trouble. The best laid plans of Gods and Men...
Keme perches high above the ground atop one of the posts holding up the Ten in One tent, the giant bird that usually crackles with electricity currently simply a looming shadow, keen eyes scanning the horizon, watching and waiting.
Sebastianus has been focusing on his vendor work while they're in DC, not the least because he doesn't want to be in the middle of a performance or appointment when the courier arrives. He'd be nervey even if they weren't left twiddling their thumbs, but the fact that they are is only winding him up. He's been careful to exercise his frustrations on long, nighttime flights rather than on anyone he's close to. Still, irritation clings to him like a second skin he can't wait to shed.
While thoughts of what they've been informed by Industry and the fact that word was not sent out to them yet does linger on Cedric's mind, even he knows that The Show Must Go On.' In an hour or so, the Big Top performance will begin as will the events within the Cooch Tent, thus the bally is dressed up in his suit jacket, his black hat, heck, he's even holding his walking cane. For now, Cedric is out and about waiting on news from the Washington front, though in truth, he's also seeing how the rest of the Carnival is coming along.
Colorado is dressed for the stage in a beautiful, slim-cut three piece suit. It's burgundy with black contrast details. He wears it with a black shirt and a glossy black tie. He's not on stage at the moment, pacing around, head held high.
The muse is there, lingering on the fringes to watch. Perhaps not so hawk-like as Keme, to be sure, but her attention is on all the details of the moment as ever. She has been watching, waiting for some sign or another -- it is her way. She may also be looking for 'her' cat, to see what trouble he's managed to get himself into, this time. Urania doesn't mind this part of the country, for whatever reason, seeming curiously fond of it.
Soon one might notice two men in black suits and overcoats, fedoras - the whole nine yards - approach the ticket booth. They scream 'Government' men. Feds. Badges are flashed and they're let straight in. With clinical gazes sweeping the grounds as they slowly work through the Midway, they're clearly looking for something or someone.
The urgency with which his vertically-challenged bookkeeper had come to inform him of a courier's pending arrival with news of Mephistopheles was enough -- if barely so -- to lure Theodoro from his tent, if reluctantly. It was not, however, sufficient for him to bother with getting dressed.
The dark-haired and -eyed apothecary reaches Midway clad in nothing but a black silken bathrobe held barely closed by the cinch of a sash around his waist, a pair of sandals, and -- despite the sun being well on its way to setting with the onset of early evening -- a pair of darkly tinted glasses to block out its lingering rays.
"Looking posh, Sweeney," Hypnos observes in a lazy, casual tone, slipping one hand into the deep 'v' of the bathrobe to scratch lightly at his ribs, until the arrival of those government men elicits his attention, and a yawn.
Kemen quietly touches Colorado's elbow, then steps into the shadow of a booth near Sebastianus.
Once the men in suits are visible, the Thunderbird takes flight, launching up from the top of the pole on which he had been situated, and letting out a screech. Perhaps it is a warning to those below, that those they'd been waiting for had arrived. Either way, he circles the entirety of the encampment in a slow arc, scanning the horizon, while the men make their way through the Midway.
Holden is decked out for the stage as well. The costume is new, mainly because traveling near these large cities has given Stitch access to all sorts of things. The outfit is black and white and threaded with silver. The highlight is a hooded cloak edged with runic needlework and the matching blindfold. A wide strip of velvet covering from nose to forehead. It's removal is a Big Deal in the show.
Stitch is adjusting the costume when he spots the G-Men in the Midway. "Sir. Feds." Holden, with nothing to hide, says, "Take me out to meet them. Unless someone else is in a rush?" Stitch looks, shrugs and takes his god's arm to meed the G-Men.
It is evening, which means the twins are back in their tent, tucked in comfortably for the night and maybe being pampered by one person or another. Fiafia would normally be with them, but he was given the night off and stopped by when he saw the group gathered. He's dressed casually but looks somewhat dapper, which is to say his pants and shirt are clean, a hat doffed, shoes shined, and suspenders snappy. He, like some of the others, chooses to stand quietly by, watching while wearing a smile.
Sebastianus nods a greeting to Kemen, but his head jerks up when he hears Keme's cry. He slips out of his vendor stall, lashes it shut, makes his way out onto the Midway. He comes up behind Holden, eyeing these men, these 'Feds'.
Things look to be running smoothly enough and Cedric is considering taking in a bit of drink himself, in the form of spirits or a cup of milk. Hearing his name uttered on Hypnos' lips, the Leprechaun turns slowly in the God's direction, observing just exactly what the other is wearing. "I wish I could say the same for yourself. Looking comfortable though." That's as much as a compliment as he's willing to give. His own dark eyes peer out towards the pair of suits who make their way into the Carnival grounds. "I'm thinkin' this is what we've been waitin' for the whole time."
"Where, oh, where, are all my lovely Navy boys?" the muse murmurs as she continues to linger in her chosen patch of shadow. "These are like a chalkboard wiped down too hard, one that never got used to start wth. Reek of stale dishwater and fresh cardboard." Urania's eyes narrow at the assessment, to which she nods. No need to stand out yet, beyond being another crazy carnie talking to herself, as if there's nothing she can't see from precisely where she is.
Colorado puts one arm around Kemen's shoulder in half of a hug, then lets him go. He approaches the Feds. "Howdy, fellas. What can we do you for?"
Dean is dressed for the stage as well, though in his case that's not a huge visible difference from not-for-the-stage, really. Just a bit more dramatic and easier to see from the cheap seats. He's currently discussing part of the act with one or the other of the Lovely Assistants, hard to be sure which one, and having a relaxed snack. Which is to say a fairly decently sized drink, really, but there you are. She murmurs something to him as the quiet flutter of reactions to the presence of the Feds filters through, and Dean glances over his shoulder in the indicated direction. A pause, and he drains the mug, handing it over to her as he turns to wander nearer the others who are in turn nearer the arrivals.
Sky arrives from IC Nexus.
The two men roll to a stop as Gran Brigitte, in her natural form, heads over to meet them. They seem to recognize her, or at least she fits the description they were given. Brigitte gives a nod and gentle smile to Colorado, Stitch and Holden as they join her, which she doesn't seem to object to.
"Ma'am," says one of the Feds, the shorter, stockier of the two, to Brigitte. "Sirs," is directed at the others. "I'm Hartford, this is Denver. Mr. Washington sends his regards."
Brigitte offers a dipped curtsey. "Gran Brigitte," she replies. "Holden, Colorado and Stitch. How can we assist you, gentlemen?"
"We have a message from Mr. Washington regarding the safe return of your man."
Kemen travels behind the alley of the Midway, towards where people are gathering, but stays as much out of sight as possible. When he steps out again, he is Thomas with the hat and tails off and entirely the wron skin tone make up, but ir can't be helped. He goes to stand in a prominant spot near the Unicorn. His expression is bland, his mustache wax missing.
With that black silken bathrobe barely reaching his knees, Theodoro looks entirely at-ease and unperturbed by Cedric's stinginess in return of compliment. Indeed, the leprechaun's words only draw his lips to curve into the faintest smirk. "Sometimes the most meager of effort nets you the most return," the god yawns out in reply, shoulders hitching together in a shrug as he extracts his hand from within the plunging 'v' of the robe.
Barely catching Urania's self-directed muttering, Hypnos turns to consider her for a second before declaring, off-topic: "I've heard from a working girl or two that those Navy boys have thirteen buttons on their trousers. Some sort of institutional effort to keep them from acquiring social diseases, I expect."
Kit is coming off of shift. He's swapped out with teh evening bally and he's beat. That moon's coming up high and fast like Babe Ruth hit it right at them. Inali has climbed up on his shoulder like a living stole that hunts for peanuts. He comes up to a slow stroll stopping somewhere between the other Bally, and Dean. He looks up to Keme perched up high and checks up on him with a glance. it's short lived with Inali's cold nose in his earcausing him to flinch, press his finger to her muzzle, and scoot her face elsewhere. Other hand fished another peanut out of his pocket and feeds her that instead. "Excellent. Tell em y'all can put him kindly right over there and we are so very much obliged."
Sebastianus walks up behind Colorado, nodding a greeting to the two men. He's mastered his edginess, at least for the moment, and so is maybe a reassuring shadow behind the unicorn, rather than an unnerving one.
Keme continues his slow circling from above, keeping his eyes on the area around the camp, attempting to keep a lookout for any approaching danger while the others discuss the arrangements with the men below.
"Wonder which state capital's going to shoot first," Urania murmurs, before her gaze flicks over to Hypnos. A tiny, conspiratorial smile lights up her face for an instant. "Sailors love to turn superstitions to their benefit. Black cat's lucky at sea, s'why I have three," she notes, her voice warming by a fraction, even if her eyes on the men in the suits are still cat-finicky. "Probably meant to stave off over-eager mermaids, one way or another."
Sky is leaning against one of the posts, his eyes narrowing as he sees the suits coming up into their territory. He's prepared for a smiting at a moments notice. But otherwise, Sky is nursing a whiskey, sipping away as he keeps his eyes on all present.
Listening to this between their group and these others from a short distance, Cedric slowly turns to regard Hypnos for a moment, before his gaze resettles on these fedora wearing men. "All we be needin' to do then is to get themselves piss drunk so that they be struggling with their trousers to do just that. Take a piss." Those words said, he steps forward to join the others, but just as Kit does, sharp eyes look to be surveying the area. Mainly to note where each of their own are positioned.
Leona is finishing her feline patrol before her show. The gathering of people and stirring from the group catches her attention. On quick paws the Queen of Cats moves towards the disturbance. A familiar scent brings her to Kemen's side and she brushes up against his leg. Her form tonight that of a large cat, Bengal if the breed existed yet, that stares hard at the men in suits.
Denver, the taller Fed, gives Kit a snort but says nothing. Hartford continues to do the talking. "Rock Creek Cemetary, at the Seven Ages of Memory. Bring whoever you like, but he'll only talk to your boss. If she doesn't show, he walks."
Message delivered, they turn to leave.
"As I thought," Sebastianus murmurs. "He wants Management. Expects her to trade herself for Mephisto. Or to simply grab her, I suppose, since the mob didn't cut it in New Mexico."
Holden nods at Brigette's introduction and says, quickly, "Alright. Out with--" And then Hartford speaks and as they leave, he turns and hollers out. "We need to see the Management!" He then mutters, under his breath. "Fuck."
Colorado bows an elegant stage-bow, when he's introduced. As people move around him, he keeps his eyes on the Feds. One heel scrapes at the dirt. At the Feds' message, he gives the two men a look like his ears are pinned back and he's ready to bite them.
"Besides, I expect picking buttons out of your teeth gets tiresome, after a while," Theodoro banters back to Urania, turning to blink at Cedric as the leprechaun steps forward, but shrugging and remaining in place. "I'm sure Callie could tell us all about it," he figures. The brevity of the message delivered and the expediency with which the Feds turn to leave brings the flicker of a frown to the god's lips.
"No promises as to safety, for the boss, the big boss, or anybody," Hypnos observes idly. "Not that I'd expect them to be good to their word in any case."
Cedric looks unsurprised by this demand. Management was the first person he'd thought of when a trade was mentioned. "I don't like the sound o' this at all, but in the end, it's Her decision and Hers alone." He speaks to those nearest him. "And I think I know what She'll decide." All of this said in a matter-of-fact tone in that heavy brogue of his.
The muse mentions sailors, and there's her father. There is a dull snort from Urania as she squints down at a heavy bronze pendant in the Norse style dangling from her dainty collarbones. Now, she's talking to it. "You're not even a little bit funny." She prods the pendant with a finger, letting it swing like a pendulum. She has her guesses as to what the ask will be, and with each tick-tock of the mask-like pendant, she vacillates between them.
"Well, if that isn't ominous, can't say what is," she murmurs, her eyes narrowing. "Not the kindest likeness of mother, either." A hand rises to rub at her face as though she was suddenly weary. "I would try to stop them from considering this, dear Lady, but I venture you would be the most difficult to convince." It's not like the boss is there, but on some level the muse is aware the sentiment is conveyed regardless. There is a tiny little smile for Colorado. Unicorn bites seem to be precisely what they deserve, to her reckoning, as she nods emphatically to Theodoro. "Just so. I envision the boss in seven pieces at a minimum, if I was to venture a guess."
Gran Brigitte shifts, stretching, elongating, paling, until she is no longer her, but now Management herself. Apparently she is there. "Thank you, Gran. You can come out, now."
The real Gran Brigitte steps out of a sideshow tent and heads over. "If only they knew."
"It quite easily could be a trap," Management allows, thoughtful and a bit distant. "But I think I know his game." She turns her impossibly blue eyes to those gathered. "You do exactly as I say. You don't start a fight. I must have your word."
Kemen stage whispers to Colorado, "What's a Hartford?" He looks down briefly at he brush against his leg, then up again, all archaic smile and hard eyes. In response to Seb he states, "That's not happening." He bows to Management, "I do not fight, but do not let themm take you, whatever they say."
Sebastianus glances at Olivia, who's been wathcing all of this from alongside his vendor stall. She bites her lip and gives him a worried look. He sighs, dips his head to Management, who was Gran. (It's a good thing he didn't succumb to instinct and try to pinch her ass.) "My word, I'll start no altercations."
Kit just slooooowly grins. One should ask why. He takes a few steps forward and smooches Inali. "Lemme know when they good and gone, sweetheart." And with that he flings a peanut in the air. The small redfox launches off the old man and snaps it up in her teeth and lands scuttling off at distance enough. Looking to Management those gold eyes are just lit up. "Your Ma'amness, I think I have an idea you might fancy." Holding up both hands he tries to appease his colleagues and cohorts, "Everyone keep your britches on for just a moment and hear me out."
"I'll go unarmed if you like. I don't like but this is your call." Holden says, motioning for Stitch to take off his cloak. "I mean...Nils will be armed but me? No." He pauses and says to Stitch. "Get Nils and tell him to bring the bow. And as many small blades as possible." Stitch nods and once the cloak is free, he dashes off.
Still wearing a somewhat unnerving smile (considering all that is going on), Fia nods his agreement, shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking slightly on his feet so that it almost seems his whole body is nodding. "I won't start a fight, Ma'am, but if I have to end one, I will. I will do as you say, you have my word. I am sure Titi and Titi would expect it of me."
Leona wrinkles her nose and says, "I will defend my own if they are attacked." She growls protectively. "But I will not attack them, I promise," It is a little grumbling, but she understands. That tail lashes her annoyance however.
"I suppose if they had anything so transparently crude in mind they'd be doing us the courtesy of swearing up and down that no harm will be done before doing it," Theodoro concedes with an indifferent lift of his hands in a helpless display. "Fighting is too much of a bother, in any event. I've no intention of engaging in such a way unless pressed to it. With or without my word." He sighs, looking rather put out as he scuffs the ground with the sole of his sandal. "I suppose you can have my word, though."
"I don't need a weapon to wreak havoc upon them." Sky speaks up, approaching the group with a neutral expression. He looks at Management as he crosses his arms. "Hmph. I won't attack, but if any of you are harmed, I would be avenged." Thus sayeth mighty Zeus.
Colorado whispers back to Kemen, "City. They're state capitols." Urania's smile gets a tiny smile in return from him. He glances at Sebastianus, then rumbles a low sound in his chest, a warning grunt. "You have my word, Lady. No startin' fights."
Look, Gran hates when people bow to her, so the curtsy given the Feds was a little suspect! Cedric, however, draws in a deep breath at this revelation and then the promise that they are all told to make. "But we're allowed if we weren't the ones startin with the fisticuffs?" He needs this point to be made clear! "But you've my word that I won't be startin' any fight o' my own." He then adds, "Just be careful. And I'm talking to the lot o' us."
A pale 'brow lifts, the pale, ageless woman looking to Kit. "I am listening, but I am not interested in conflict. He wishes to speak to me and I will listen."
Turning aside, Theodoro feigns lowering his voice to a hush but doesn't do an especially great job of preventing it from carrying as he asks Urania: "Reckon the stubby little one's size is on account of all the school children forgetting him?"
Eve steps away from the fringes while watching not-Gran and Gran, murmuring to Emmett to send him away after a quiet hiss of argument from him. She's wearing shoes for a change, a little t-strap pair with a casual slip dress of muted-floral pattern, absently braiding and unbraiding the bulk of her hair over her shoulder as she approaches to listen more closely with bat of her lashes at Kit and the pale woman. Eventually she ends up near Cedric to give him a tiny companionable bump.
Kit shakes his hands as if to suggest he wouldn't dream of complict. It brings a chuckle to him. "When in the history of the sun have I ever willingly engaged in a fight?" It's true. Everyone beats the shit out of him on occasion, but he's a terrible figher. "They said bring who we want. They'll only talk to you, but, they never said you at all needed to be there. There is zeeeeero stopping us from communicatin the good word via emmissary. There's any number of conduits we can use for that up to and includin carrier pigeons and they'll jsut have to be damn patient. But their limitations leave gaps bigger than teh space between their ears there."
"Or only the school children being frightened of him," Urania replies as simple as that. There's a tiny chuckle; desperate times make humor more of a blessing than she may confess outright, but her expression bares it all. "Do we know," she inquires, lifting her voice, "if talk is the intent, or if it is simply a ruse?" The worry is real. "At least let me look ahead for us, dear Lady?" she asks, uneasy and earnest at once. "You have my word I would not raise a hand to anyone, as if I have any talent for it anyway."
Thomas squats to stroke the cat's back when she agrees not to pounce first this time. "It makes one long for a straightford battle with Apep, does it not?" He nods to Colorado, "Ah! That makes sense. Denver, I have been to." Then he turns to listen to Kit, respectful.
A faint smile, but Management shakes her head. "I'm going in person. You may all come with me. He can say what he has to say, but he can say it in front of the entire carnival if it cares to accompany me."
"His choice of venue is a mistake," says Brigitte, lips curling in a smirk of her own. "I'll go."
Keme perches nearby, the large bird silent and watchful, having completed his circuit of the camp at least twice over before making his way back to those gathered. There is no sign of agreement or disagreement from the winged monster. There is only that steady, timeless gaze, only the slight breeze stirring his feathers.
"Might I suggest, in case it is a trap, that as many of us as can wear your face? Or has he some way to distinguish?" Suggests Sekhmet, leaning into the strokes of Thomas' hand. "Mmmm...my blood boils, but I will contain it." Her claws dig into the earth as she turns to leap into Thomas' arms and onto his shoulders.
"I'll go," Sebastianus reiterates. He cuts a look at Gran, eyes narrowed in open curiosity. Then he turns his attention to Colorado. "You don't have to come. You can watch over our beloveds." He raises his eyebrows. "If--you'd rather not go, I mean. Of course I, at least, would rather you were with us."
"Oh, I am absolutely attending." Holden says, adding. "Unarmed. I can find it tempting." He has to relay this to Nils as the man shows up.
When Eve approaches him, Cedric offers her a smile, his chin lifted, "You best remember what Management said," He says in in a light tone, "'No startin' up fights' says she. And you best not forget it." It's all in good humor, even if he knows that the entire situation is a serious one. Casting his gaze out to Sebastianus, hearing the man speak to Gran, he comes to say, "This might be something that the entire Carnival needs to witness.." Also in case they need to do something about it!
"Less than ideal," Theodoro huffs out in protest to Brigitte after a faint nod of agreement to Urania. The god takes a moment to loosen and then refasten the sash binding the silk bathrobe around his waist. "Perhaps the least comfortable place for a conversation, really. No chairs. No beds. Nothing to drink, smoke, or snack on," he enumerates his most eminent concerns. "I suppose I can attend," he sighs out, extending his words in a futile display of protest and reluctance even in his agreement.
Kit looks a little defeated when she insists on going in person. He's super proud of that plan to keep her safe too, but then again Kit's never not been on board with backing management so it's hard for him to find argument for that now. He only just starts to nod agreement when Sekhment comes up with plan B. "Woman, I find myself moved to kiss you for that idea. That is a splendid idea."
Colorado tosses his head, shaking his golden curls. "I'm goin'."
[SPEND] Urania has spent 3 GP for reason: Divination
"Brilliant," the muse notes to Leona, and she offers a look she surely intends to be soothing to Hypnos. But then, her eyes are on the stars, brows creased, expression heavy. Slowly, it lightens, even if it can't be said she's ever wholly at ease. "It seems that if we keep our word to you, dear Lady," Urania notes, nodding once to Management, "they can trust yours to be truth. There is no obvious trap laying in wait for us."
"Y'do go on, like herself is the Mad piece of royalty. I'm in flowers not painted up full Celt, y'spear-slinging heathen King." Eve chimes to Cedric quietly with mild amusement despite herself, loosening her braid of hair to toss back loose over her shoulder. Then she looks at Management for a long moment with some quiet levity, "Years I've been doin' as she says, I'm listening now." After a small smile, her hand makes stroking sweep over Cedric's near forearm and she looks over Colorado's way just in time to see stubborn dig in over fear which makes her smile grow a bit. Then she looks over at where Hypnos is in his robe and she downright grins a little to comment aside, "I hope he's comin' and wearing just so."
Kemen rises gracefully with the cat on his shoulders. "We'll go. I can be a double also if you like." He gives Kit an encouraging smile, "The Revealer of the Ancient Paths is wise in war."
"I appreciate all of youur concern for me, though you hardly know me," says Management, and she seems sincrrely touched. "But he poses no threat to me. What I am is beyond his reach. I assure you, I am in no danger." Cocky? Or maybe she truly is something else entirely.
The mention of everyone going has the Queen of Cats flitting her tail. "I do not wish to leave the Carnival wholey unprotected," She says worriedly, glancing at Management when Sebastianus mentions everyone going. Kit's comment earns a feline smile and sort 'prrt' as she knees Thomas' shoulders. The smile on Management's face is met with a chuff very reminiscent of a Tiger. "You brought together a family, was that not your intent?"
Sebastianus rests a hand on Colorado's arm, a featherlight touch. He looks to Olivia again, who nods, wrings her hands, and goes to find Sachin and Dash, probably Colorado's followers as well. "We must be ready to flee, if it is a trap."
With the Thunderbird still perched high up on one of the tents, Cedric comments, "The Carnival won't be left defenseless, there be those willing to stay behind, I'm sure. If we ask this of them." He's probably talking about cultists or other followers. There's this look that he gives Management of her confidence, though it's what Urania says that has /him/ a little more confident. "Will you really allow yourself to be taken by them in exchange for Meph?" He then asks, "Is that your plan? Either way, it looks like we're all ready to make this journey."
"I don't think he wants a person-for-person trade," says Management. "I'm of no use to him, and he couldn't hold me if he tried. I think he wants something more worrying than that in return for our dear friend. A promise." She doesn't elaborate. "Go. I will appear there when you are in place."
At Cedric's mention of readiness, there's a brief look of panic on Theodoro's face, but then he's turning to stride a short distance nearer to the adult tents in the distance to holler gratingly: "George! George! Bring me the folding chair."
Given the hurry with which the burly roustie arrives with the wooden chair in hand, one might have thought it an emergency, but the man seems unperturbed by his employer's capricious demand as he limps up sweatily and provides the god with his shabby wooden throne.
Kit looks up at Thunderbird circling and puts a lot to mind before assuring, "We and the People will stay here to make sure there's a home to come back to. You gave us this home and without it the People would be scattered and entirely lost." Leona gets a wink as if to say You're welcome for the toss of compliment being well received, but this is a business decision he's making, and one too personal to all of them. "This we are adept to do."
"I do so love my countrymen," Urania says with the slightest tuck of a smile. "I look utterly sane compared to the lot of you," she playfully insists. No, she doesn't. She really doesn't. "Can keep hold of Lou, and the dancers, Kit, have you need of them. I'm going to take Callum along, if I can-" Hazing out for a moment, her wits return quickly, such as they are. "-get him to bring The Cat."
Thomas nods firmly in response to Sebastianus, "It likely is." He looks sceptacle at Management's pronouncemet, but he seems willing enough to obey nevertheless.
The drive takes some time, and wrangling a dozen gods and myths into a caravan is like herding cats, but they eventually arrive. As they unload and head into the cemetary, the pale form of Management in her red and gold attire shimmers into being. She leads the group, tall and regal with every step.
As they near the Kauffmann Monument, also called The Seven Ages of Memory, a single figure stands next to the giant urn. Tall and lithe himself, he's dressed much like his agents were, his posture strong and his features sharp and clinical. Oddly, he smiles as Management arrives, face lighting up with joy. He offers her a deep bow, fluid and humbling, doing a damn good job of making it seem like he respects her greatly.
"Your Grace," he says in a languid voice that is not what one might expect from a Fed, but more from a thespian or radio personality. "It truly is an honor to be in your presence." Management offers her hand and he even kisses it in reverence.
Leona keeps close to Management's heels once they arrive. Taking what she said seriously about protecting her people. Apparently that includes the striking woman. However she stays a little behind her and to the right, ears flicking constantly at unusual sounds. Wary of any trap. "You must be Washington," She rumbles in a cool voice.
Theodoro still hasn't bothered with getting dressed; it seems the most effort he's willing to put into his garb this evening is that flimsy kneelength bathrobe, the tinted glasses he still wears even after it's gotten dark, and his comfortable sandals. When he steps from the vehicle in which he'd ridden out to the cemetery, it's with that rickety wooden folding chair in tow like a safety blanket. For all that it can't weigh much at all, he still struggles with the luggage. At one point, he stops and stares at Cedric as though about to ask the leprechaun to carry the chair for him -- as if he would -- but he instead obstinately trudges along and drags the wooden seat behind him until they approach the Kauffmann Monument, where he realizes there was seating waiting, all along.
Sebastianus stays near Colorado and Kemen, observing the landscape around them with interest until they reach the man waiting for them. He narrows his eyes at him, memorizing the face, the voice. He can't help but observe their exchange and wonder what else they don't know about Management and Mr. W.
Dean doesn't make the caravan wrangling particularly easier, since he likes driving and does not like going any slower than he technically has to, but at least it does remain a proper caravan, and no one dies. Or even loses a limb. Lunch might depend. when they get there, though, he strolls along in the group casually enough, studying the area with interest. And then presumably-Washington, as well.
Keeping her distance, Eve somewhat zigs and zags with approach in weave like a kid self-amusing with her walk, and sure, she could offer to help Hypnos with his chair, but mostly she walks behind him because she says she's busy soaking up the backside vision. Which, for as slow as he walks... she might be deliberately dragging for another reason too, because her eyes are a little far away with thought and she eyes the meeting more keenly from a distance when closer.
Yes, Management said no fighting, but Cedric loosens up his neck and shoulders in a series of idle stretches as he lingers nearby. If what Urania said holds truth, there was nothing for them to worry about. He keeps telling himself that. There is a point where he can feel someone's eyes burning a hole into his expensive suit jacket, this makes him turn, eyes regarding Theodoro and his chair curiously, before there's this roll of his eyes. "Unbelievable that one." This is mostly muttered beneath his breath, his gaze now completely focused on this exchange between this Mr. W. And Management.
Thomas cocks his head, blandly curious. He is oddly calm given the stakes. He seems happy to stay with Manticor and Unicorn.
Brigitte stays at the back, seeming very much at home as soon as they enter the cemetary. She lets her fingers trail over gravestones as she walks, barefoot, feeling the grass and gravedirt beneath her feet.
En route, she keeps her eyes on the sky, watchful for warnings, signs, and anything that might indicate what's to come. And it's... not a Fed. It's a politician. Urania's eyes narrow. She trusts Loki, and she doesn't seem willing to give a politician so much as an inch.
"You brought an entourage fitting of a queen," says Washington as he straightens and releases Management's hand. "Do they know whose court they serve in, Your Grace? How very fortunate they are? We fancy ourselves gods, immortals, and we play at being... divine. And then there is You. How silly we all must seem to such ancient eyes."
Her lips quirk slightly, perhaps amused by the display. "You're molting again," says Management. "What will you become next? I have my suspicions."
Leona narrows her golden eyes at Washington. Studying the man beneath the hat and suit. The tip of her tail twitches just slightly. Listening to the words, trying to figure out the subtext. "You play word games too. How...quiant," She says with a feline smile. "Many of us can claim to be ancient. Does that really matter?"
It's only after Theodoro has set up his chair, taken a leisurely seat with his right ankle resting atop the left knee, reached into his silk robe to come away with a pipe and a pouch of herbs -- and insodoing begging the question of where, exactly, he was keeping them -- packed the pipe's bowl, lit it, and taken his first deep, pupil-dilating inhalation that he truly starts to take in the scene before him. "You'll be wishing you'd brought a chair soon enough," Hypnos informs Cedric without entirely looking at him, as he's turned to peer over his shoulder and wiggle his eyebrow at Eve.
"I've decorated the courts of empresses in my time," Colorado says quietly. "It's no hardship to be part of Hers."
Cedric tries his best to ignore Hypnos' bits of banter, though the annoyance does cause the intensity of his own gaze to harden, even if he does not direct his eyes on the lazy Greek. No, that intensity continues to view Washington, before they flicker in Management's direction. She had always been a mystery to the group, so his curiosity, at least, is piqued. He remains vigilant and quiet for the time being, that walking cane held tightly within his grasp.
Sebastianus nods at Colorado. "Even my face was used by barons and dukes, in its time." He tilts his head, eyeing Mr. W. "Molting," he whispers, amused. "If I changed every time I shed my tail I'd have been a thousand different beings by now."
Eve doesn't need chairs. She has surfaces. And people. And all manner of things to sit on that aren't for sitting, especially in a cemetary, but she makes the Sleep God one of those things suddenly like she's taking up perch. It's a bit as if his relaxing string of pipe smoke is a beckon for her to come ruin his relaxation with her weight and she takes up sudden perch on his knee like she's throning herself to listen to some strange court of beings. Playing with her bottom lip between fingers while leaning back in her seat on the seated, she watches and listens to the exchange closely with no commentary or visible kerfuffle on the matter or what's ancient or rightly divine. Her eyes take a slide over to where Cedric is, though, ever watching his general position as much as anything else.
"I am far younger than many of you," Washington admits with a smile to Leona. "But you, who measure ancient by the memories of the earliest men in Egypt are as young as I am to you in the eyes of your Management. She remembers time before it was time. Before there was a world, or a sun or stars. You stand in the presence of --"
"--That will be enough, thank you," says Management. "What is it that you want for my friend's release?"
Thomas shrugs, "I've stood behind one Queen or another for five or six thousand years. I can stand behind anotther" His eyes go wide, "Yu shed your tail, seb?"
Leona flicks an ear at Management at what she says, cutting Washington off. That tail lashes once behind her as she continues her vigilance. "Mmmm, yes. To business. We can talk of names and moltings later..." Her golden eyes gleam as she sits primly and wraps her tail about her paws.
It is difficult for the muse to not regard the bronze figure permanently planted on the bench with some unease. She has some notions as regards the identity of their benefactor, but whatever her reasons, Urania keeps them to herself. One of her security men, Callum, looms behind her like a surly shadow in a hat better suited to a cowboy. He's the one holding the basket for the calico cat to lounge in, all the better for Urania to keep her arms crossed over her chest in a fine huff. The looks she exchanges with the feline every so often are telling as to the calico's identity, not that most of the carnies aren't already aware.
"Mmmm, yes, tedious process," Sebastianus says under his breath to Thomas. He licks his lips at Mr. W's almost-revelation. He's dying to know the rest, and will have to continue to perish, it would seem. He lets out a little huff of impatience.
"I think he has excellent manners," Theodoro observes thoughtfully of their adversary to Eve when he finds himself turned into a fae perching place, posture shifting to accommodate the woman on his knee. The hand that remains free from the strenuous burden of that pipe settles comfortably at the woman's hip, as the god lifts his implement to his lips to take another thoughtful draw from its smoldering contents. Plumes of smoke coalesce into a pungent fog around the pair, and it's clear enough that whatever the contents of the man's pipe, it's not tobacco. "Hard to imagine a gentleman of such civility being such a hackneyed brute as to send villagers with torches and pitchforks after us."
A smile and small bow. "Apologies, Your Grace," says Washington, demure. "Perhaps you will join me on the monument and may speak in private?"
"Whatever your terms are, you can give them openly," she counters. "We have nothing to say that they cannot hear."
"As you wish." Washington steeples his fingers. "I will release your man once I have your word that you will not hand your friends the secrets of transformation. You must believe me when I say I don't want a conflict any more than you do, but my brethren fear yoyr friends. They fear that they will usurp their mantles. I do not wish to see them fade and die just as you do not wish it for your friends, but you have a decided advantage here, Your Grace. We offered them help in the journey, but they do not trust us, which is to be expected. If your friends can find their own way to a new future, it should be theirs. Of course it should. But they must find it, just as we had to. Remain neutral in this. With your promise, I will release your man."
Leona almost seems a statue for a few seconds after that revelation. Then her tail flicks and her eyes narrow. "Yet you were willing to share that secret with us if we joined you? That's a bit unbalanced wouldn't you say?"
Thomas nods at Sebastianus, picturing it. He grins as Leona speaks, "She's not wrong."
Idly stroking Eve's flank with one hand while he smokes his pipe with the other, Theodoro looks to be in a state of disinterested repose as he spectates, until his voice suddenly offers in an unnervingly serious tone: "We don't much deserve to carry on if we can't riddle it out for ourselves. It seems a small price to pay for the freedom and well-being of an old friend." There's a pause while he draws in a fresh lungful of smoke then exhales and concludes: "And if our end is inevitable, best we accept it, rather than go about begging for scrappings and leaving our fellows to the wolves in hopes of forestalling what will come."
With this offer to Management given and the comments which ring up about it, Cedric considered everything said before his arms cross over his chest, cane still in hand, though his gaze now trails to the monument, the space in which Washington wanted to conduct these talks in private.
"Again, this is not up to us, less Management wants the lot o' us to weigh in our opinions on whether we can do what is necessary or not." Sweeney's eyes return to look upon the others, all scattered around where Management stands. "It's true though, we don't trust ye." He speaks to W. "None o' ye ever gave a straight enough answer to build that trust regarding this transformation. I suppose..." He'd go on, but Hypnos speaks up and it's the same broken record that the the Melancholic God seems to always say.
"He's known for being an excellent diplomat with... the general principle of giving no excuse at all in lieu of a bad one. We'll see how well that stands. But smooth and smiling when the corners are rough, it -should- make smart people paranoid." Eve comments low and absent aside to the Sleep God with a quiet murmuring turn of her head to the commentary he phrases, then sits up straighter as she looks back about face. Her head tilts some as she listens visibly and her eyes narrow a touch with thought before she takes to plucking pensively at her bottom lip again in silence after a tiny whispered mumble.
Then when he speaks up instead of spectating, something seems to leave her bothered. It probably isn't his fatalism. She's used to that. Something else about the offer is nagging her that she visibly can't place and it's got tension wrought through her little perched frame before she relaxes into the hand at her hip once more.
Colorado snorts like an angry stallion. He turns his head to eye W from the side. "Y'all got a mighty funny way of not wanting conflict. Runnin' us out of town ain't real neighborly-like where I come from."
Sebastianus lets out a slow, soft breath. "Ah." His eyes shift from Mr. W to Management. "Of course, I'd assumed we were on our own anyways," he asides to those closest. Then he raises his voice alongside Colorado. "Attempting to kill some of us, no less. A truly interesting 'nonconflict'."
The muse flicks another glance toward the calico cat, then back to the discussion. Her expression is as unamused as her tone is dry: "When in all history has 'fair' been of much import to anything at all? Most things that seem so have their own catch." Urania's arms stiffen in their cross over her chest. "They've already tried to erase us, do us harm. Taken our kin. Seek to take our place. Burn us out."
"And we are the usurpers?" The smile at her lips twists to sour. She glances to Theodoro, nodding once, though there is an uneasiness in her eyes as she does. "Considering the options we have," she begins, but then falls silent, simply shaking her head. "I don't pretend to know, even if our folk seem to expect me to. I do have ideas."
"You overestimate my power," says Management to Washington. "If I could simply give them the secret, it would already be theirs. You know what I am, and that means you know there are rules I must follow. I am quite limited in what I may do."
"My brethren are afraid of your power all the same. Your friends outnumber us. They are older, more resourceful than we are. Yes, we are currently favored by mankind, and that gives us considerable power, but mankind's favor is more fickle than even your husband, Your Grace. I don't expect that you'll withdraw entirely from this situation, but let us determine our own futures."
Management looks to those gathered, those who followed her here. "They are older, more resourceful than your kind, yes. You should fear them, not me." Then she straightens. "You have my word that I will not interfere on their path of evolution. Whether or not they change, and how it occurs, is theirs alone. It always was."
Low-Key is hardly subtle when he decides to not be himself, the calico carried by the lovely Muse, of course he's exchanging glances both knowing and scowly through the course of conversation. As much as a feline can scowl. Otherwise he remains quiet, staring blankly at the speakers when it changes between Management and Washington.
Kemen says, "Kidnapping and threats are not a particularly good way to build trust either...." He falls silent parsing Management's exact promise carefully."
Leona doesn't seem all that surprised through her lip curls slightly. Giving a snort and her tail goes flicking again. "I am not one to shy away from a challenge. But come now, kidnapping -is- in poor taste. Just makes us angry. And some of us it is not good to get too angry." That tail lashes again as her golden eyes gleam, but she remains sitting regally.
Having already spoken his piece, Theodoro proceeds thereafter in relative silence. The hand at Eve's hip drifts to her back, stroking it soothingly to loose some of that tension. While he renews his efforts at appearing indifferent to the ongoing diplomacy, the smooth lift of both of his brows at the mention of Management's fickle husband as if this slip served to support an existing hypothesis betrays his attentiveness. "Takes one to know one," he murmurs childishly, words not directed to anybody in particular, but presumably addressed to the woman at his knee. "I think Cedric's a little jealous of my robe. I'll have to buy him one."
"And what of him?" Sebastianus asks in his hoarse, thready voice. "Can he offer the same--that he and his won't interfere? That we and ours will no longer be hounded by them?" He raises his eyebrows, looks between Mr. W and Management.
Washington pulls a wax-sealed piece of paper from his pocket and breaks the seal, smoke pouring out ang taking the form of Mephistopheles. Once fully restored, he steps to Management, looking upset.
"What did you do?" he asks. "Why, perhaps, is the better question. I'm unimportant and you owe me nothing!"
Washington tips his hat and turns to leave, walking off towards the carpark. "My Association will bring no further violence to you and your friends. Go ine peace and safety. It was an honor and a pleasure," he offers in parting.
Management watches him leave, waiting until he's well away before saying anything. When she speaks, she turns to address those who accompanied her, first. "Their offer merges you and one of theirs that's of like influence. What they don't tell you is that they make sure that their compatriot is made dominant in the merger. You essentially become a passenger, alive and aware but unable to act unless they decide to share control. The reason for that is the same reason that they tried to attack in New Mexico, and why they forced this deal tonight. They fear you. They have the power, but they are children with big sticks."
Still suspicious, Urania regards the cat, then glances toward Theodoro, Eve, and Cedric. "We should meet, soon, and speak of this." She's keeping relatively quiet, but while those three are in easy earshot, she seems to refer to all of the assembled company. "It is time we work together, or perish alone, no matter what choice we make in any of this."
Kemen looks really impressed by Sebastianus' objection. Washington's response earns a wary squint. He listens to Management's explanation, and then snorts as the trick is revealed. "Con men." He tells Urania, "You really should speak to Ouroboras. He's got useful skills on offer."
Leona looks up at Management and then stands and moves to rub comfortingly against her ankles before moving over to Kemen. "Interesting...and how many of them are there? Can you tell us that? And how do we know if one of them already holds an influence we wish to take? There are probably many questions and not many answers you can give."
"I don't believe him any further than he can be thrown," Sebastianus mutters, folds his arms. "But I suppose if they do break with his word that might be useful in some way, if there are those among us with power over oathbreaking." He sighs, drums his fingers on his arms. Considering what Management has said, he asks Her and Mephisto, "And how are we to begin to look into this process? Is there a starting point?"
When Mephistopheles emerges out of smoke from a sealed envelope, Cedric just blinks, brows lifted, "That looked terribly uncomfortable." Though despite Meph's concern and outrage about his own freedom, the Leprechaun murmurs, "It's good to have you back then." As if answering for Management, he informs, "Management agreed to not give us the secret o' transformation, if a secret there truly is. As some of have said, it's a natural process of sorts."
Dark eyes cast to Urania, he nods slowly in the Muse's direction, "Of course, Love. There'll be a lot of discussion over everything said and done." And yes, he's heard Hypnos' comment from somewhere back there, "I've got me'own robes, thank you very much. I don't need anything of yours."
"I will have Mephistopheles give you all that we've learned," Management says. "It isn't as much as I'd like, but it's something. As I have now sworn, I will not be guiding you on this, but Mephistopheles made no such agreement and I've given him all that I know. From there, you will need to find and forge your own paths." A sigh, her fatigue starting to show. "You can expect a period of peace and quiet. They will leave us alone, for a time at least. I still intend to try and stop Trinity and gave no promise not to. If I can, this all becomes moot."
To Mephistopheles, she finally answers, "I did it because it was the way things must be, and because you are important. The day will come when I ask you to go home and fetch my son."
Mephistopheles blinks, looking surprised and not a little worried about this revelation. He manages a vague nod. "Yes Madam."
"You should buy me one instead," Dean suggests aside to Theodoro, "It looks comfortable." Otherwise, he seems to be focusing mostly on the interactions, quieter than usual for now. As questions and answers come forth, he considers, weight shifting back onto his heels, then settling again. "How come they're /so/ scared?" he asks, "Ain't like that Christian god and his megalomania, they're already makin' themselves a pantheon. Old days, there were tons of us everywhere. Some of 'em were still /us/, yeah, but still, a lot of us. Why're they so sure they can't compete if shit's fair?"
"There is a precarious balance in all things," says the muse, her voice suddenly much smaller than it was mere moments before. The look she aims back in Cedric's direction is a baleful one, overflowing with unease. "To one end of the scale, in such a respect, we become human, and give up the power and potential of godhood and wonder." Quieter still, a single question: "What if, to become ideas, to evolve in a way that will survive this, we must give up all semblance of and connection to humanity?" It is a terrible question, and she knows it. What little color she has drains from her features as though someone had pulled an invisible plug.
Eve appears mildly suspicious herself and a little confused, besides, but mostly her fine features are pensive and largely relaxed as the hand of Theodoro and his soothing touch runs line down her back, spine making tiny roll of flex with response. Her lashes even close unwittingly with a few heartbeats spell of thinking repose there for a time after her lips twitch with threat of a smile at his murmured return. To help matters, when her eyes reopen, Mephisto is there again and while she's looking a little dubious about everything in general, she slips eyes to Cedric and watches him a fixated moment before tilting her head to confide in the sleep god with quiet laced humor, "I have opinions on what I consider t'be an appropriate state of naked or robed when it comes to that one."
Then after a few blinks, she looks over Urania's way and tips a serious nod. If she has opinions more serious herself, she's not airing them here while trying to headwrap everything, for certain. Then something gives her pause and she looks at Management again with consideration. Then when something else is said too, she finally breaks silence to wonder, "Husband and son?"
Colorado watches W go, his stare hard. "And the next time one of you pulls a gun on my beloveds, you'll regret it." He nods to Veles. "Welcome back." Then he chuckles under his breath as Mephisto protests his own freedom. "S'good to have you back, boss."
Leona's whiskers go forward as she turns to look at Mephistopheles. "Well, that is good then," She says happily. "You are looking tired, though, Your Grace," Her tone is gently teasing and amused, "I think we can all make our way back. There we can comfortably badger your poor assistant."
Kemen smiles crookedly at Sebastianus, "Though I would very much like to see him thrown. Preferably off something high on to something jagged." He says quietl, "Ouroborus both purifies and transforms. It is why I thoought of him. If there is to be a ritual, perhaps those amoung us with natures related to change, purifcation, and transformation should meet and talk about rituals that might suit. I believe Ouroborus has the strongest remaining power along these lines, but it might be worth trying to craft something in concert. I know ritual often speeds and strengthens natural processes....Oh!" He stares at Urania, "Do you been humanity specifically, or physicality entirely?" He studies Mephestophales, "Indeed. We need you."
Sebastianus mmmms at Management, nods. "And if we begin to come too close, they might panic, and attack us anyways." He bites his lip, smiles at Eve's wonderings. "And why not? Did you think Management was a spinster, holed up in her trailer? For shame, Eve." He grins, flashing his teeth, sobers. "Well then. I suppose we shouldn't waste time, and look at what you know, then seek to find what we can of the rest."
"If it's still about belief, won't never lose humanity in it," Dean says to Urania, "They put it into everything. Probably why we got it in the first place, and I'm noticin' these new guys," a tip of his head toward where Mr. W was standing, "ain't exactly giving it up neither, so why should we have to?"
While curious himself, Cedric wasn't going out outright inquire about Management's family life, less she cared to reveal it. So when it is Eve who inquires of this, a drifting gaze ventures in Management's direction, though like many, he may have ideas in mind. That said, he looks between Veles and Management for a moment, before returning to both Urania and Kemen now as they speak of becoming ideas. "Less they be lyin' to us... and I suppose they very well could have, would we not also have a physical form when growing into an idea? Look at Mr. Washington for one, though he speaks of evolving, that one. Isn't he an idea as well? An Avatar?"
Though there's mirth in his expression as Theodoro deliberately feigns ignorance of Cedric's response and nods faintly to Eve, he sighs with exasperation. "He's so uptight," he complains of the leprechaun. "I could always prescribe him a laxative..." he trails off in offering, before turning to smirk at Dean.
"You're not wrong," Hypnos agrees to Urania's suggestion of further discussion, without entirely lapsing into seriousness. "And I still think there's some merit to hosting an orgy in Ishtar's name," he tacks on, now feigning seriousness. "If only to lend her some means with which to continue struggling against this Hollywood parasite." Then, he preoccupies himself with buffing his nails with the silken hem of his bathrobe, while pretending not to be intensely interested in Eve's queries on Management's history.
Urania glances back to Kemen with a look so utterly and completely blank, someone could paint the whole of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on her face. "Either? Or. Both?" Her hands finally untangle and spread in an utterly helpless gesture. Now, the calico cat gets the baleful look; she simply mumbles, "Now I have to lean on Callum, love." And so she does, sinking to a slump against the quiet cultist in the hat, who merely grunts and looks not entirely displeased with this state of affairs himself. Utterly helpless, she shrugs against the security man's shoulder, glancing back to Hypnos. "Orgy of questions followed by an actual orgy?" She blinks slowly. "Will there be liquor and hallucinogens?"
"Good plan, let's do that," Dean says, pointing to Hypnos at his orgy suggestion. Any seriousness involved is probably not feigned. "And of course there'd be liquor." Urania gets a squint. Why is that even a question?
Kemen says, "Dean, Coz? You up to organizing a memorial orgy? We can bring beer.""
"I must take my leave," says Management, looking weaker by the moment now that Washington has gone. "I have not left you, but it may be some time before you see me again."
And she's gone.
Leona purrs and rubs against Kemen's leg. "Oh yes, beer and pillows. We have plenty of those," She says with approval. Then she purrs to her Pharoah, "Let us return. Your mention of beer has me thirsty!"
"Obviously. But..." Eve starts with a vaguely good-natured roll of her eyes at Sebastian, her brows knit downward like there's something bothering her that she just can't pinpoint about something or everything in general. But when Management expresses fatigue, she pushes her tongue against the point of a canine tooth and doesn't push, she just sits still for a moment. Then after a reaching caress along Hypnos' cheek and neck like she's thanking him for bodily chair usage, she rises to stand gradually, a subtle knit at her brows.
"It was a messy divorce," Theodoro offers in absence of explanation from Management, to Eve. Without quite looking up from his distracted preening, he turns his head faintly to press his lips to Eve's wrist. "I can certainly provide the tent, furniture, liquor, and hallucinogens," the god declares in confirmation to Dean and to Urania when he finally finishes polishing the tips of his fingers.
"/Support/ orgy," Dean corrects, which combined with the nod he gives Kemen can probably fairly be taken as a yes. "She's still there and all. ...be interestin' if she could fight her way to dominance in there, wouldn't it?" Of course, it'd still be a yes if she weren't and it were a straight-up memorial too. A brow lift at the inclusion of the liquor in Hypnos's list, but he shrugs; not like he's not going to bring it too in any case. More is more! "Well, then reckon I can provide the orgy," he says, with a quick, feral grin. "We'll need some music, too." His cult usually has that, but he might have others in mind as well. "...we all done here? I want to drive," he says, turning and already starting back toward the cars.
There's something about the way Dean says he wants to drive that seals the deal of Eve suddenly darting off after him and deciding to see how hard she can die as a goddess in a car wreck. Or live. He's pretty good at driving things in variety at speed, honestly, but it's exciting all the same. But she also seems just nervous and bothered standing there in the area still, so maybe it's a good distraction for the time being.
Rising from his chair, Hypnos gives a tremendously exhausted yawn as he watches Eve enthusiastically dash off after Dean and his vehicle, only to look down at his chair with a sigh of resignation. Then he's staring at Cedric. "Would you mind?" he asks.
Kemen gives Dean a wicked grin, "Race you back to camp?
Dean returns the grin. "You're on. Last one back's... you," and he picks up the pace.
For a time, Cedric replays the conversation in his mind, all the while his eyes remained focused on the monument. Then Hypnos, of all people speaks up. Not only does he say something, it's directed to him. In fact, the God has the audacity to ask him to carry that damn chair of his. The Leprechaun standing proudly, looking dapper in his suit and hat with that cane in hand, turns to regard the God of Sleep with an almost dismissive look. That cane is then lifted, being held within both hands, "I'm afraid, dear Hypnos, that my hands are full. But it's a nice chair, if that's any consolation." And with that, he begins a jaunty saunter down the path to join the others.
Leona is all for a race. Draping on Kemen's shoulders as they race back towards the Carnival. The occassional comment on what to do given as they go.
Kemen runs towards their car with one hand up to aid Leona and cut down on clawing, jumps into the convertable. and takes off, driving like an Immortal, or at least one who considers traffic laws suggestions, though alas, not like The God Who Comes.