[Ariyah – Lady Washington – Deck – BoL – Fame 2 – A]
“Swimming?” Ariyah looked confused, “You don’t need to swim. Just walk along the sea bed. That’s why I mentioned it is an advantage that we don’t have to breathe, and the part about being crushed to death by pressure if we were in too deep… never mind.”
Ariyah gave up, she had initially added the part about being crushed to death as a way to see if Yuri would start to panic and hyperventilate, but the other Kindred wasn’t even on the same page as her.
This miscommunication continued when Yuri identified the wrong man in the verbal lashing on deck.
“I don’t mean the red-headed man; I meant the brown-haired one.” Ariyah refrained from actually pointing with her finger, “The one you were talking to before, the one being verbally flayed…”
Ariyah’s words were cut off when the Kindred in question launched himself at the Prince’s lackey and was quickly subdued and lashed to the mast.
“Well I’ll be damned,” Ariyah breathed, “a frenzy at Court, and so early in the night too. Although, I would have thought he’d get more severely punished than just being tied down.”
Ariyah and Yuri hadn’t even gotten to the stairs leading down to the Stores when, like an incoming tide, the Kindreds downstairs were corralled back on deck.
Ariyah watched, face impressive, as the Prince made his denouncements. Although this was her first time attending Court in Seattle, it was not her first Court event. Everybody can pretend it’s a social event, but very few smiles were genuine, and everybody’s reactions were being watched, analysed and catalogued. In fact, she was doing a little bit of people watching herself; trying to see whether anyone was particularly distressed by the spectacle and why; did they know the Sire, or was it general distaste for the beheading? She kept Yuri in her peripheral vision as well, to see what his reaction was to proceedings.
[Watching for people’s reactions to Cross’ speech and subsequent punishment : Wits + Insight: 7 Successes vs Diff | Critical Success]
[Keeping a stoic front: Composure + Resolve: 1 Success | 1WP]
Of course, staying stoic was far more manageable when heads weren’t being lopped off. A shudder went through Ariyah when the sword came down and, well, off with his head, as the saying goes. She couldn’t even stop herself from wincing when the head thunked onto the wooden deck.
Not for the first time that evening, Ariyah was glad she had satisfactorily completed the job the Prince had set out for her. Although it hadn’t given her any elevated statuses, it also meant she wasn’t labelled as suspected and attract the wrong attention.