RP:An Inauspicious Meeting
Part of the The Dust Up In Cenril Arc
Summary: Sample in hand, Hudson teleports to Eleanor's and is promptly taken out by her home security system. After some self pitying, he recovers, telling Eleanor that the name of the magic dust should be "Firefly Steve." They agree to set up a meeting with Emelyan and her connect into the Cenril underbelly.
Eleanor's Flat, Cenril
Once he'd decided to contact Eleanor about a sample of the blue dust he and Emelyan had made, Hudson had entered a sort of paralysis on the appropriate time of day to use the contact stone she'd given him. The morning and late evenings were ruled out for obvious reasons. He didn't want to be teleporting himself into her bathroom or something. (Well, he did, and he didn't, right? There's a fine line between fantasies that you know better than to speak aloud and real life.) Lunch likewise seemed a high-trafficked point in time, and so he settles on late in the afternoon, right before dinner. The contact pebble he'd not yet mounted on a chain. A new piece of jewelry was definitely a thing his girl would notice, so he's still waiting on the right white lie. Praying that he isn't about to port to a women's locker room, Huds draws the thing out of his pocket, considers it. He winces preemptively and says, "Eleanor."
Eleanor was definitely not in a women's locker room, but her loft distinctly smelled of womanly sweat. A mechanical, wooden dummy had been pulled out of storage and now stood in the center of the large room, some of its pegs splattered in droplets of blood -- the spell blade's, most likely. It would be strange to have someone else's blood on your own practice dummy. A trail of cerulean fabric was on the floor, leading to a dark, glittering screen in a corner of the attic, behind which the woman appeared to be bathing, her feet hanging out over the edge of a large vat being the only part of her visible. Sensing the prickling of magick she, herself, had cast, the sounds of water splashing around echoed around the cavernous top storey. Eleanor had been reaching for her wand where it rested in a nearby chair, and her feet disappeared behind the screen. Wherever Hudson stood, she hoped he was prepared for the journey; whether to her, or to someone else, she would know when the Sending Stone was being used. The journey itself only took the span of a heartbeat, as white-blue light enveloped the alchemist, and he all but snuffed out of existence, appearing with a resounding crack just before the dummy. At the intrusion, it whirred to life, gears churning within its belly. Whatever magick had been used to animate it seemed to stir, and it began to spin around on its post, peg arms and legs rotating and swinging wildly around to attack the intruder.
Hudson has no time to regret what he's done. He finds himself spat out into Eleanor's home, and suddenly being assailed on the shoulder by a wooden dummy. "Ow, sh-!" he reacts, slow to get his bearings, his hands finding the wooden arms that are battering him and holding them in place. "Eleanor!" he calls out, looking about the room. Evidently she's in here somewhere. "Can you... shut this thing off?" he asks, and with a grunt receives a kick right to the groin. He collapses into himself, holds his knees, rolls onto the ground. Lies there, in a fetal position. "Eleanooooooor," he groans, followed by a series of expletives.
Eleanor can hear the impact her mechanical golem is having on its victim, and although she smirked to herself, she eventually drew herself out of the tub, rolling her eyes. She grabbed a swatch of midnight-blue fabric that had previously been draped over the screen, and she wrapped it around her, tucking the ends into themselves beneath her arms. "Sàrachadh!" she commanded as she stepped around the screen. The golem, the damage already having been done, immediate reverts back to its inert form, arms and legs slowing down until they are dangling loosely from its main post. With the fabric hugging her curves, she moved slowly over toward where Hudson lay prone, her mirthful gaze overshadowed by bemusement. Mumbling something under her breath that sounded much like, "Chan urrainn nighean ionnlaididh ann an sìth," she crouched down carefully and reached a tattooed hand out. In fact, her whole body was covered in tattoos, some that were never visible beneath her usual barely-there garb. Her legs, her arms, her stomach, her chest; many more tattoos were imprinted on her skin than usual, as well, though they were not a subject she was ready to broach. "Whit dae ye hink ay mah new security system?" she asked, ready to pull her companion up.
Hudson hears movement around him but doesn't look. Too busy groaning, the feeling that someone has squeezed all his internal organs in their fist lingering. At length he sucks in a lungful of air and flips himself onto his back, gazing blearily at Eleanor, who seems to be trying to help him up. Wondering if death would be preferable, he can't even begin to consider her. He feels like he's going to be sick. Accordingly, it takes him some time to process her appearance. She looks a bit inked up today. What is she wearing? He squints at her, holds a fist to his mouth as a wave of nausea passes. "Are you in a towel?" he exhales, his hand coming up to rub his eyes, which have watered considerably under the circumstances. He waves off her offer of help. "I need a second. Holy. I hate everything. I'm never having kids."
Eleanor rested her forearms against her knees as she crouched down, the material of her “towel” conveniently draped between her thighs. “Woods ye raither Ah was naked?” She countered, full lips spread in an amused smirk. She waited, patiently, for him to regain feeling in his netherjunk, and reached out her hand again, palm-up; even the soft skin there was painted with sweeps of cerulean in strange knots and twists that glittered in the late sunlight coming through a window. Rolling her celadon eyes, she said to him, “Och, quit greetin’. Gie up.” Thrusting the hand closer to him, and nearer to his face, she began to rise, keeping the hand outstretched. As she did so, her palm began to faintly glow, the runes inscribed therein coming to life. “Tak' mah hain, an' th' pain will fade.”
Hudson presses his forefinger and thumb to his eyelids while he searches for stability in a sea of nausea. "No," he groans, before accepting her hand and pulling himself upright. He exhales, carefully, his gaze sliding with some amount of violence to settle on the golem. The feeling of unsettledness does, to his surprise, begin to dissipate. "That's handy," he says to her, now with a look toward to her runed palms. His hand dives into a pocket, retrieving a small stoppered bottle, which he extends to her. Inside is a blue dust. "Sample," he says. He rubs his face, adjusting his gaze so that it's anywhere but her person. "Sorry if I appeared at a bad time," he adds. "I also wanted to arrange a meet between your distribution people and uh, me and my partner. You can come if you want."
Eleanor took a step back as the alchemist came to his feet, and rested both hands on her hips, the material of her “towel” smooth beneath her hands. “Ye pure shoods nae lie tae me, Hudson. It isnae guid fur yer health,” she countered smugly. Her celadon eyes lit up, however, as the product was revealed, and she reached forward with that same hand as before, taking the small container and bringing it closer to her gaze for a scrutinous inspection. Rather than remark on his timing, she chose to talk business instead. “Did ye an' yer mukker pick a nam fur it?” The muscled blonde asked him, sending her stare past the bottle and directly toward Hudson, chin lifted. “I'll sit up th' meetin'. but first,” she handed the stoppered bottle back, “Ye an' Ah ur gonnae test yer product it. If it meets th' ... needs ay mah buyer, 'en we ur guid. If nae, weel …” She trailed off, rolling her shoulders dismissively, “Ye can consider th' meetin' ... nonexistent.” Beat. “Dae we hae a deal?”
Hudson's eyes roll just so at Eleanor's chiding. Better to not comment on that lest it seem like an admission of guilt. In the abstract, of course the answer is yes, he's a red-blooded man, but the reality is he's got a woman. They both know that. Hudson watches Eleanor inspect the product, and not for the first time, he wonders what he's doing being 'friends' with an attractive woman who thinks nothing of making passes at him. Whatever, he decides, he's an evolved man who can be friends with women. "It's just dust for now," says Huds, with a tilt of his head as he mulls over her question some more. "Actually, market it under the name Firefly Steve, to distinguish it from the other breeds of dust out there," he adds, and suddenly she's giving him the bottle back, and proposing terms that sound... commercially reasonable, but maybe on a personal level not so reasonable at all. He looks at the bottle, rolls it between his fingers. He rubs his face. "Yeah, OK, I can only stay for a little, but you'll get the idea pretty fast," he folds, already careful to establish an exit strategy so that the plan isn't just... get blasted and sit around with Eleanor for hours. "Get dressed," he nods at her curtain and looks for a flat surface.
Eleanor knew full-well that Hudson was attached at the hip to his love interest, but that had never stopped her before; after all, to her it was just some harmless flirting, something she could shamelessly never get enough of. Despite the meaning behind her words, she knew the man was not about to betray Alvina, and she let the conversation drift naturally back to the topic of their blue dust. Leaving the alchemist to prepare a surface -- of which there’s really only one, a runed chest near the foot of her bed, unless he wanted to use the floor -- she moved away to her screen, ducking behind it as she obliged with his request. “Firefly Steve? Whit kin' ay nam is 'at?” She threw back, safely behind the dark partition; she chuckled to herself, shaking her head as she pulled her many braids and beaded dreads high above her head, pinning them in a wild bun. When she re-emerged from behind the screen, she was dressed in her usual get-up: flashy, rich blue fabrics and revealing leather, but her tattooed feet remained bare as she padded across the floor to him. El also was wearing her diadem -- and had been, the entire time. It yearned to glitter in the half-light of her attic abode, especially as she set celadon eyes upon her companion. “Lit us dae thes awreddy,” the woman began, fixing Hudson with a hooded-eyed stare. “Ah am anxioos tae see whit ye ur capable ay.”
Hudson makes haste with the runed chest, dragging it across the floor as Eleanor engages in a costume change over in her corner. "A name I came up with just now," says Hudson, as he unstoppers the bottle and pours some of its contents on the wood surface. He dips his finger in the stuff and writes a word, taking a breath as the dust begins to gleam with the alchemical properties he's activated. He stifles a sneeze or three into his shoulder, recovering in time to see Eleanor approach. "Right. Ladies first," he waves her over. Though he'd rather like to, he doesn't linger overlong after that, making excuses as he picks up his coat. "The office," he says to Eleanor, holding her gaze for what feels an eternity, just before he steps out into the world. There had been some discussion of a meeting. "Bring your connect. I'll bring my partner."