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Ashcroft's Party

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You show up at precisely 8:00 PM; just like the invitation said. In fact, that's just about all the invitation said. It gave a time and an address. The address was located right on the waterfront in Bayview. Not a shabby neighborhood by any means, but not one of the best areas. It was signed "Sir Ashcroft." A very British sounding name, and one you are completely unfamilliar with. As you round the final turn you are greeted with the sight of a bayside statehouse. It is exquisite even for this neighborhood; the property has to span at least 4 acres.

Turning down the gravel drive you get a better sight of the house in its entirety. It expels the essence of a Medieval cathedral, with lots of spires and arched windows. There's even some structures that could be called battlements, if they weren't so obviously decorative. The gate comes up before you and you begin to slow down in anticipation of a conversation through an intercom. It is a needless gesture, the gate smoothly opens once you get within 20 feet of it.

At the end of the drive you finally reach the house. The drive ends in a roundabout surrounding a massive fountain. The statue in the middle depicts a knight facing a dragon. The dragon's mouth is open and a jet of water emanates from it, only to be deflected by the knight's upraised shield. Judging by what you've seen so far, this Sir Ashcroft must be both very rich and slightly eccentric. Before you can take in the sight fully, a Chauffeur appears beside your window. You smoothly give him your keys, and perhaps a slight tip, and he gives you a receipt. Very formal for a private establishment.

The Chauffeur drives the car down a path so well disguised as to be unnoticeable, to a door at least as well disguised as the driveway. As the door opens, you get a slight glimpse of an immaculate garage, all white tile and brushed aluminum. You get a sight of this up on a car lift with the transmission half-way out. Sir Ashcroft must have a thing for cars as well as knights.

As soon as the Chauffeur departs, a Butler appears by your side. He is a very English man, rather stout with black hair and brown eyes. When he talks, it is with an accent that reeks of stuffy sophistication. "This way please."

He leads you up a ramp to a, quite frankly, enormous set of double doors which are opened by another set of servents. They're big enough to drive a car through and you have the sneaking suspicion that Ashcroft has. Inside is a vaulted foyer all tile and marble, and at least 50 feet tall. A glass dome in the ceiling gives you an excellent view of the heavens. Spoiling the effect somewhat is a cloth draped over a table in a corner. One corner of an engine can be seen peeking out from under it. The butler quickly walks over to the table and pulls the cloth over the engine with an audible "tisk."

"Wait here please, the dinner will begin momentarily."

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Ivan arrived by taxi, the only way he could afford while 'in disguise'. He tossed the driver his fee and a small tip, he was disgusted with the man and the things he spoke of. From what Ivan could understand, the man had fornicated a woman whom he seemed to have absolutely no respect for. The fat man looked at the 'tip' and seemed to be taken aback. 'wuz this? ya cheap ******!, you's got a fancy suit, why da cheap tip?' Ivan glared at the man, sending visible chills through the fat drivers system. Ivan could do that, he needed to be able to get people to quiet down and do as they're told without exerting his energy.

The driver quickly closed the door for Ivan and sped off into the night, obviously spooked. With the peon gone, Ivan turned on his heel and looked at the mansion in it's full splendor now. One word came to mind 'English'. It wasn't with disdain he said it, but with dread. The English always proved stubborn, more-so than Americans. They weren't as active in thwarting a good time or plans, but when they did so, they made sure they had a good hand to work with. Ivan walked through the entrances, gates and other such things to get to the main door. Along the way he guessed this man was obsessed with Knights and honor. Ivan sighed before he decided to make an entrance with the other guests that were streaming in. 'An English honor hound....great...' Ivan thought to himself as he made his way into the house.

The house shows further that this 'Ashcroft' man doesn't have all his priorities straight. On first sight the man is sloppy, He would leave a car that is being built and modded out in the open when guests were on their way. He was also highly dependent on his servants, perhaps one trait was caused by another. Finally the man must be from some sort of inherited wealth, for he had too much time on his hands from the look of the cars to earn money himself.

Ivan was regretting this trip already. He figured he'd meet some rich suit types, get an in with them, throw some ideas their way about 'Russian Land Investments' and then get funding to build his army. But it seemed this man would only attract others of inherited wealth, and crazy americans lusting after oil. Inherited wealth was not his type of wealth, it tended to make people lazy, complacent, and snobbish. While crazies and oilers were simply insane, blithering southern hicks. Another american demographic that wasn't useful to him.

As Ivan stands in the foyer he looks around for someone to talk to. Anyone who seems remotely normal or cultured. Ready to attempt English Conversation with someone.

OOC: Edited...cause of a word..Meh.

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Megan Howell was riding in the back of her father’s Bentley as they made their way through Bayview. Bayview was not quite what it had once been, but this part of the area was still very nice. The Beaudrie family estate was not too far from where they currently were, and Megan and her family had been to more than a few parties hosted by Mrs. Beaudrie.

Her parents were up in the front talking a bit about this Sir Ashcroft, and what little they had been able to learn about him. Megan had learned a few things as well, mainly just rumors that she had overheard at a recent party at the North Bay Yacht Club. If this Sir Ashcroft was here in Freedom City for some business ventures, it made a great deal of sense that he would invite her father to this party, after all he was a senior partner at Hartford, Grayson & Cole in the firm’s corporate department. Donald Howell Sr. had worked on some of the largest M&A deals in the city, as well as around the world.

“And here we are.†Megan heard her father say, causing her to look out the window. The blonde teen looked at the massive home as it better came into view and almost felt like they were going back in time. A considerable amount of money had to have been spent in decorating the home in such a medieval fashion.

Apparently her mother was thinking the same thing. “A bit on the overly extravagant side.†Erin Howell commented.

“Well, he is from England dear.†Megan’s father replied. “If his family is part of the nobility, this is likely just helping to make him feel a bit more at home. Besides, I am sure many would say we tend to be overly extravagant with things.â€Â

Her father pulled the silver Bentley up in front of the house, where a chauffer moved over to open the doors for Megan’s mother and then Megan, helping both women out as well.

Donald Howell was wearing a well tailored tuxedo. Erin Howell was in a light blue dress, the long skit (which went all the way to just an inch or so above the floor) was smooth and pattern less, while the top portion, was embroidered and had a V neck line. The sleeves went to the middle of her forearms, and were sheer.

Megan was in a silver halter dress by Dolce & Gabbana, the skirt going to just above the knees of her shapely legs, and the crisscrossing halter leaving her shoulders almost entirely bare. She was wearing a pair of silver heeled sandals by Dior, along with Dior jewelry.

The Howell’s made their way inside the house, following after the butler as he led them in. Once inside, Megan followed along with her parents as they moved through the foyer, looking up at the large domed ceiling for a few moments before focusing back on the rest of the décor. Her parents moved towards some other guests that they knew and Megan followed along as well, smiling as she went.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The shadows were around. "Good" thought Lullaby as she walked in her shabby clothes, with her Dancing Dress concealed in her bag. She looked upset, being pretty good at covering her emotions after a week of utmost hell at "Freedom City."

She laughed at how blind the person who named the city was. There was no freedom here. She thought of all the abuse she had taken, and then dismissed it. Tonight, she was going to sing for proper people, those who actually cared about a girl in distress.

"Something troubles you?" asked her Dancing Dress. Lullaby ignored the comment as she walked on, turning onto the drive.

"I know you're upset, mistress" The Dress admitted, and Lullaby could feel the chill air impacting against her skin in certain places, like a hand touching her face gentily.

"Don't try to deny it, you usually get this moody when you're upset" the Dress giggled. The wind-hand, how else could Lullaby describe it, changed its position to massage her neck, and rub her cheeks.

"I need you happy dear, because I really like you! The other girl, the one whom trained you. She's nice, but she doesn't want to risk her life for my cause. Do not forget that you want this as well" The Dress added. Lullaby sighed in defeat.

"You're right, I need you as much as you need me" she admitted, her voice whispering as she approached the front gate.

She still marvelled at the architecture, it was a wonder of a building, and she knew she would be performing. She smiled as she watched other, well dressed people attend. She contemplated into changing into her Dress now, but knew that it wouldn't be an idea to get it dirty. Although her Dress did effectively take over, Lullaby knew from painful experiences that it didn't know how to properly walk on stiletto heels, only capable of taking steps at a time. She approached the main gate and handed any guards her invite, before proceeding to a dark corner outside, in private.

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