Chicken and Threats

Lacrima goes to meet Hulda at the Raskoph Estate, for some chicken. And an unsettling conversation.

Date: 2017-10-20
Pose Count: 22
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 05:41:04 85086
Alex always said that his parents rarely were home at daytime. Which probably why Norie would end up going to his home address at the evening.

He also always implied that his parents were filthy rich. It might not have really properly sunk in with how the german boy himself doesn't dress - much less act - like a rich kid.

But then there's the actual Raskoph Estate. In the richest part of Tokyo, a sprawling large property walled and gated off to seperate the large, two-story building that just *barely* skirts away from the definition of a suburban mansion from the rest of the city.

Well then.

At the gate are two security cameras overlooking the entrance, and a buzzer and intercom at one side of it. No one's getting to even knock on the door without permission, apparently.
Lacrima 2017-10-20 06:00:04 85087
Lacrima charted a non-strech limousine to take her out far into the rich fringes of Tokyo where sprawling rich manors and estates are. Even her manor is in on a relatively small piece of property. Though her manor is not a mansion.

She arrives. The chauffer opens her door and she steps out.... dressed in her fancy dress. She figures. Refinement welcomes refinement and if Alexis's family is filthy rich, they're gonna respond better to someone who also dresses the part. She looks to chauffeur. "Wait for me." she says to him. He nods and gets back into the car. She looks to the gate and moves in a direct, elegant manner towards the intercom and moves to press the button. Except.

She has no idea if Alexis has ever spoken to her mom about her. What NAME would she know? She searches her head furrows her brow. Perhaps he didn't.

So she presses the button finally.

"Hello." she says. "My name is La Crima. I am one of Alexis-kun's friends." she says. "I'm looking to speak to...." she searches her head for the little german that Poderso knew. "Frau Raskoph. Please."
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 06:13:09 85088
There's a brief pause before a response throuth the intercom comes in the form of a gruff male voice saying, "Hold please."

There's a quiet, yet-audible-enough-to-be-heard whirr of the camera directly above her turning. perhaps meant to get a more direct view of her-- which might seem a little redundant, since the intercom itself *must* have a camera built into it too.

There's a long moment of nothing else. Not even a 'go away', so at the very least there must be deliberation going on. And the cameras are all on her the whole time. It might feel a bit unsettling to be left into silence under a close eye for anyone else.

"Raskoph-sama will see you," the gruff voice pipes up again, eventually-- the accent clearly placing him japanese rather than a foreign one, so the usage of the japanese honorific rather than german is likely expected then. "Escorts will be out to see you in momentarily."

And so in that exact time, the large double doors to the estate visible from the gate open up to bring out two large men in black suits. Walking side-by-side all the way to the gate-- which then begins to open when the two come standing right before her on the opposite side of it. They don't step past the gate itself once it's open-- rather staying stnading there, staring at her. They don't say anything. They just wait.
Lacrima 2017-10-20 06:33:37 85089
Lacrima can hear the cameras. She knows they're looking. This is a lot of security. Maybe a bit too much. Not even... Sachiko's new family- a politician, had this much. She's waiting. She's waiting patiently. Either there's talking amongst themselves. Or it takes a long time to travel from one end of the place to deliver news. She can wait.

Because if she wanted to get inside that much she could just Dusk Step to the front door and walk through it. But right now she's putting on the face. Polite. Elegant. Spitting image of a Spanish countess.

Then there's a reply and her lips purse a little. Which is as much movement as she's managed since.

She turns to the gate and waits for--- well they look like guys Alexis would be beating up, not have them working for his family. She files away this fact for at least amusement another day.

"Hello." she says. "If Raskoph-san will see me, then I will see Rashoph-san." she says curtly as she waits expectantly, taking a step forward. Either they start leading her, or she expects them to make way for her. Treat the help like they are help.

You fit in this way.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 06:58:25 85090
The two guards don't say anything in response to her. But they do react when she takes the step forward-- each taking a step to the side outwards, clearing a space for her to walking into as they turn around, taking to her sides to walk with her to the front door.

On the way in, she'll probably notice the familiar sight of Alex's bike parked outside. Fancy that.

The double doors have their own lock, apparently, one that the guards still have to work open-- and more cameras. Layers upon layers of security, and there's brief sightings of guards moving about the perimeter of the yard, too.

Just... what do Alex's parents do, exactly?

Once through the door, she's greeted by an interior just as sprawling as the outside-- though the interior design goes more towards future-chic rather than anything traditional that 'Old Money' often seems to go for. All clean, mirror-sheen surfaces, black marble flooring. Not much artwork for decoration, but plants are set hanging from the walls here and there. It's certainly more western than japanese, too.

"This way," one of the goons finally speaks out for the sake of directing Lacrima, head turning to indicate the hallway to the left, and his companion turns along with her to make sure they are on each of her sides still, even here.

The door they open for her gives her entry into a dining hall, with the same modern decor mixing blacks and light greys-- almost disgustingly sterile. The kitchen's seperate, surely, since most of this room is overtaken by a large table.

And at the end of it sits a woman.

Middle-aged caucasian, with a perfectly-silken mane of strawberry blonde hair framing her face and running well down her back, all the way to her waist, dressed up in an all-too-expensive dark grey dress suit. One hand picking at the plateful of finely-prepared food - some chicken dish, maybe, in a cream sauce? - with a fork, the other settled onto the keyboard of a laptop.

Once her and the two guards come in, her green eyes lift up to find her. In that instant-- there's something familiar there. The bone structure of her face is more feminine, certainly, but still, there's something very... Alex, there.

No doubt about who she is.

"This is her, then?" She says, in absolutely perfect japanese, with only the faintest hint of an european accent -- though she might get the sense she is speaking it just for her benefit alone. Still, she smiles, in a smile that isn't quite the practiced faux-polite smile that businessmen and politicians all around the world have nailed down to a fine art. There's actual warmth there.

"You may wait outside the door," he tells the two guards with a dismissive wave of her hand, which is all that it takes for the two to step outside and close the door. Leaving her alone with the woman.

"Do pardon me," she goes on, with her hand lifting over to close the lid of the laptop. "Just work. Always work." The fork is set down onto the plate too, before she rises up from the chair, and steps alongside the length of the table towards her, stopping halfway to lower into a curtsey.

"Hulda Raskoph," she offers, before straightening up again, and positively beaming at the girl before her. "Your dress is absolutely gorgeous, dear. Bit old-fashioned for my style, but it suits you very well. I would ask you who tailored it for you, but you surely didn't come here to exchange fashion tips with an old crow like me, mm? Please..." A gesture for the table. "Have a seat. If you're hungry or thirsty, I'm sure I can call someone to bring out something to your liking."
Lacrima 2017-10-20 07:44:37 85091
Lacrima notes the motorcycle. That , in all theory, places him here. But if he's here. That means he's safe. Right? So why isn't he replying to texts? Is he just sick?... Did he forget to just plug in to charge it? Ugh she's gonna be SO ANNOYED if this what turns out to be the case. He'll say 'I'M FINE' and she'll smack him and cry and be upset because she was worried and SHE IS worried, but she's doing her best to put on the countess right now. So it doesn't show much.

A big dining hall. The Manor has a kitchen. With a luxurious antique table. But it is no dining hall. Then there is this woman. She notices the accent. And her business dress. And the laptop.

She's more pleasant than she thought she might be. At least outwardly. Cynical nature. Rich people are shallow. The fact the first thing she notes is her dress is telling at that at least- at least to her.

"I like it. It's modeled after an old, Victorian-era Spanish dress." she says. "Not an original. New materials." she offers.

"La Crima." she says curtly. "That is my name. I'm not hungry right now. But I would like a drink, please. Water." she offers.

You accept hospitality. It's polite. When you are offered, you accept- even if you don't want it. If at the very least, you choose something.

"Alexis-n..." a pause. "Alexis-kun has mentioned you a few times in relation to the school he goes too. But not much else. It's nice to meet you." she offers with that same slight curtsy back.

"I understand work. I hope I am not intruding. But there is a worry I wish to discuss. I would not normally go looking at his place of residence. But." she says.

"Alexis-kun hasn't been replying to my texts or has been seen for a few days since a Birthday party that was thrown for me by friends. I had hoped to thank him for the gift. It is a worry that he is not replying. I came mostly, to see if he was here. Hiding." she says.

Hiding from throwing him into the bay for throwing her a surprise party. Duh.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 08:05:50 85092
"La Crima," she repeats, briefly poking the inside of her cheek with his tongue while she's turning to return to her previously occupied seat.

"Sounds very Italian. But you speak japanese very well. And..." She turns, to slowly lower herself down upon the chair, with her hands taking fork and knife to cut into the cream-sodden chicken, ignoring the laptop now. "Sounds more like a title than a name."

She sweeps her eyes back up over to her, one brow arch. "Before you say anything, you don't have to explain it to me. It wouldn't be the first time.

A woman comes along from a door, different of the one Lacrima was guided in through-- one can only assume it leads to the kitchen, since another caucasian woman comes through, with a glass and a pitcher of water, setting the former in front of Lacrima and pouring water for her from the latter. ANd then she's out as quickly as she came in. Apparently the Raskoph hired help is like clockwork.

Hulda herself pauses in her motions of attending to her meal, upon the explanation given for the visit. She... doesn't look very surprised, however.

"Alexis," she says after a good moment spent in regarding the girl, hands returning to cutting at the chicken. "Has been neglecting school rather thoroughly. If you know him, you probably know about that. Me and his father, we had to... take some extreme measures. He's under private tutoring now, since clearly the Verone faculty is not quite as good at keeping their students in line as they claimed to be."

A pause there, to pop a piece of the cream-coated chicken into her mouth. Slowly, carefully chewing -- with a quiet 'mmm' sounding out from appreciation of the taste before swallowing.

"I am curious, though," she says then, eyes still on her. So carefully studying her. Considering her. "How... closely do you know my son, exactly?"
Lacrima 2017-10-20 08:35:08 85093
Lacrima purses her lips. "It's Spanish. Actually. But it's easy to confuse the two. It means. Teardrop." she says. "I won't explain further then, I apologize. But I have a distaste for. The Italians." she says quietly. It was after all, Italian vampire hunters who sealed Poderoso's power in the necklace. Then failed to maintain the seal. She lets her eat.

She understands the joy of eating, being in so far as it's the one human thing she can do that has no changes in so far as 'she can taste food' and it makes her feel better on a psychological level.

Humans have that too. That's why there is obesity and dietary-based problems in life. Stress eating. Magical girls don't seem to have that problem. Maybe it has something to do with increased metabolism being magical. She's losing herself in her thoughts. That isn't good, her eyes seem to refocus on the matter at hand.

So that's it. Private tutoring. Did they take his phone away? Ground him? He's been having those blank outs. Her eyes search the room, without moving her head as she thinks about this. Kunzite's passed on she may be magical.

She is a horrible dark energy source. So far, she hasn't acted on this. Either she lacks the ability to detect it. Or she's ignoring it. She doesn't know which. It's unlikely she's a purifier- she thinks.

Something Kunzite related as a concern. It also means they can't technically kill her. But that doesn't belay other dangers.

"I would say very well. Enough to know he's been having some health issues recently. That is my major concern." she offers.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 08:47:03 85094
"Yes," is all that Hulda says at first, bluntly, before busying her mouth for a moment with another piece of creamy chicken. She doesn't seem... concerned. "That is being dealt with too, you have my assurances."

Her eyes sweep up from the plate again, to look directly at her.

"You shouldn't worry so much about your replacement brother."

Such a simple sentence. And yet it carries so much weight in it. Said with so much less warmth this time around, too. And the stare of her green eyes, just for a second, seems to go straight through her.

And just like that, she's taking another bite of chicken, with a more deliberately pronounced "Mmm!" and the previous smile overtakes her again. "You're sure you wouldn't like some?" She asks, all-too-chipper. "Our chef here is a culinary wizard. Local woman, but travelled across the world studying food cultures first-hand before my husband hired her. Even if you're not hungry, I'm sure you can still taste, no?" Interesting wording in that, too.
Lacrima 2017-10-20 09:22:47 85095
Lacrima listens and her expression does twitch, but it doesn't change. Afterall. It isn't surprising if she knows magical. Kunzite confirmed this. Afterall. If she has Alexis's phone. She has conversations. This does cause her lips to purse. "If it is not too much trouble." she says lightly.

She frowns. She can't confirm it. If she says anything, she may be confirming it for the woman, but she's pretty sure she knows who and what she is now- she can safely guess.

Never place your elbows on the table. She does place them in her lap though. They stay there. She doesn't move them. She can text when she leaves. One way or another.

She's hoping the same way she came in. So she continues to talk.

"Has Alexis talked to you about me at all, then?" she asks. Surely. Alexis isn't telling her mother 'I know a vampire.' and 'Also I kinda brother-adopted her.' and 'Also I died once and she turned me into a vampire to keep me alive until I could be turned into not-a-vampire'.

...does Hulda even know about that last one?

Ugh that'd be awkward to talk about.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 09:44:25 85096
"Oh but of course it isn't, dear!" Hulda's smile just grows on then, to positively shining out. A snap of fingers and a call of "Greta~!" heralding the opening of the side door again, with the woman from before peeking in with a questioning lift of brows. "Could you have another serving brought out for our guest here? There should be enough that my husband can still have some after, no? I know Mika always cooks more than we really eat on our own." There's just a nod, and then back into the room. H-...uh.

And back to Lacrima while that's being dealt with over there.

"Mmmm, Alexis never really talks about his personal life, you know?" she tells her then, setting the utensiles in her hands aside to leave her food be. As if it's not polite to eat any more while her conversational partner is still waiting for her meal to be brought out. The fact that Alex doesn't talk much probably doesn't surprise her either.

"The beginning of the year, though? He up and disappeared. Stopped going to school, stopped coming home. Didn't call or anything." She tilts her head, still smiling. "But you alread knew about that, didn't you? Afterall..."

"It was you, wasn't it?"



She's not outright saying just what she means with that, but if she already knows what she is, then...
Lacrima 2017-10-20 09:58:58 85097
Lacrima scoffs a moment. "'Alexis-kun, are you okay?'" she says. Then a mock Alexis voice. "'I'M FINE'." she says, not as loud, but enough to get the point across. "Yes. I do know." she says quietly. "That he doesn't talk much usually." she asides.

No, it doesn't surprise her.

She patiently waits. Hands in her lap. Then she mentions the trouble. She grimaces a bit. That's more of a full expression change.

"It wasn't me." she says flatly. Because this is a truth. It was that awful youma with the spindly ice legs and spider-phage like body that eats energy and heat. But she does add the qualifier. "I was a part of that. But I was not the cause. If that's what you're asking." she says flatly.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 10:17:05 85098
The german woman laughs over Lacrima's recital. A bright, hearty laughter, one that brings her leaning back against the back of her chair. "Oh, oh, that's... that's good. So very accurate, isn't it? Mmmhmm."

Her own hands clasp together upon the table, when her weight is leaned forward.

"You are not wrong," she says in response to her protest. "But... well. You were there. You didn't stop it. And you... tried to fix it."

Her brows rise up, right on time with the door opening again, 'Greta' walking over to bring a plate of the same dish Hulda has been slowly eating down before Lacrima. And fork and knife. Because this is a western household.

"So that's the root, isn't it?" Hulda continues, with an all-too-knowing smile, seemingly not mindful of the fact that Greta is still in the room (albeit on her way out). "Why we're here. Now."

Is... she actually implying that Lacrima is party to why Alex is missing now?

"You shouldn't let the sauce on the chicken get cold, by the way," she tells her then, with her hands taking her utensils to dig into her own meal again.
Lacrima 2017-10-20 10:46:49 85099
This conversation is wrong. Someone that is being coy about information like this is only doing so to either A: Tease that they know something and B: Invoke a stimulus or response from someone. Poderoso used to do this a lot. He liked seeing the flashes of anger or sadness on the faces of people that would come to him.

There is a clench of teeth. But then there is also suddenly a warm familiar calm that seems to kick in before that feeling of rising anger that kicks in. It's warm. and familiar. It has a linger image of her head of something gold. But there's no more expression on her face when this happens as he goes more straight faced like before. There is a light eye close for a moment before she reopens her eyes.

She reminds herself to write a flashy letter, on expensive stationary, for the honey that Mamoru gave her.

She's pretty sure it just stopped her from doing something stupid.

But, she pretends that Hulda is telling the truth. That. Whatever is happening now started with that mess. Why? Alexis isn't relapsing into a vampire. She knows that much.

Nrg. She's missing something. She's going to look over Ami's old data on her fix. Maybe have Rashmi-chan help interpret the device readings. Those aren't here strong suit.

She begins eating. It'll give her more time. She isn't worried about the food being poisoned. She can't be poisoned. She's eaten Mayonnaise Frosted Brownies before-- Mashed Potato ala-mode, before- afterall.

Stupid side-effects of being nearly purified to death and needing to rebuild parts of yourself from pieces slowly.

"Yes. I couldn't stop it. I did the only thing I could to save him." she says flatly.

That's all she can say. She isn't wanting to test the limits of the magical-rose infused honey.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 21:21:04 85137
It's then that Hulda's expression actually changes. The smile fades away, if only for a moment. Does she look... disappointed? Perhaps.

And then, a quiet sigh.

"I should thank you for that, at the very least," she says, and the smile returns. "I imagine with everything that you think I don't have any love for my son. But I do not want him dead."

"So... thank you. For saving my son's life."

She shakes her head then. "That doesn't change the situation we have now though, does it?" Another bit of chicken popped into her mouth there. Chew. Swallow.

"I am not exactly happy about this situation either. And I am *particularly* not happy about people trying to spy on me because of it."
Lacrima 2017-10-20 22:02:50 85139
Lacrima raises a brow. Spys? Oh. Right. Kunzite said that. They were 'caught'. She does frown at this. Is she actually upset? Who's to say. But frowning is something she does regularly enough on a regular basis to make look genuine. "You caught someone snooping?" she asks, raising a brow. "I had nothing to do with a such a thing, if that's what you're inferring. My first act when none of my other friends who also know Alexis also had noticed he was missing, was to come here." she says bluntly. "In person And effectively ring the doorbell."

She frowns. "I don't know anything about you." but I'm not liking what I'm learning so far, she adds in her head. "So I have no real reason why you assume I'm thinking poorly of you unless you had reasons for me to believe so." she says.

She's eating. She's eating when she isn't talking. This is pretty good chicken. It makes this particular bit of awful worth it in the meantime.

She keeps quiet for a long moment. She's eating.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 22:43:05 85140

Hulda gives her a look. Does she... believe her? It's hard to tell.

"I wouldn't have been surprised if Alex himself would have inferred something like that to you, honestly," Hulda herself admits with a slow roll of her shoulders. "I know he doesn't... think very highly of me or his father."

"That was supposed to change. Or at least not matter."

...One might worry about what exactly *that* means.

"I do appreciate that you specifically decided to come speak to me, though," she says then, and that smile, ever-so-briefly, grows. "You might be able to help me. And... Alex."

"But see, it is obvious that all these friends we didn't... expect Alex to make while we were here, have started to actually notice. Wether you know it or not."

"I'm sure you can see why what follows from that would be..."

She chews on her lip briefly.

"Not preferable. HOw do you like the chicken?"
Lacrima 2017-10-20 23:08:34 85141
Lacrima frowns. She isn't gonna postulate on things right now to this woman. She's keeping it internal. It is getting increasingly hard to deal with herself when she's hearing things like that. She hears she might be able to help, though. If she's willing to... 'let her in'. She can do something from the inside.

Lacrima is wondering if this woman works for Eclipse. That'd make sense to her. With this way of speaking and talking. She's glad her record there is clean. She's glad she's second in control of UMBRA. These are things that make her look credible if the woman herself goes snooping.

She frowns. "They are worried. When I started asking around." she says. She is worried. But that is already clear. She's /here/ after all.

She finishes the chicken. "The chicken is lovely." she says. Deadpan. She doesn't have much emotional inflection right now. But this is nothing new to anyone that knows her.

She has to break herself off of this engagement. "I'm not sure if this discussion will assure their worries." or hers. Definitely not hers. "If I talk to them about it." IF she does.

"But I should go. I have other nutritional needs I need to attend to." like draining someone in an alley as soon as she gets out of here. Because she needs it right now.

"With your leave of course." she says politely. It's only polite. Afterall.

She's still trying to keep that curt, polite, noblewoman demeanor as best as she can.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 23:31:08 85145
"Of course," Hulda says, with that ever-present smile. "Far be it from me to stop you from taking care of your sustenance."

She knows. She definitely knows.

"Before you go, though," she says then, with a hand held up when Lacrima eventually takes to standing up from her seat. "It is not my concern of wether this conversation specifically will alluade the worries of... the others."

"But you do understand that it is not nice to have one's family matters meddled with. Yes?"

The way she says that. Like there's a two-fold meaning to it.

"There's only so much that the two of us can do to help if there's more meddling, too, isn't there? Mmm. I will let you think about that-- but you are welcome to contact me if you wish to talk more. Much more reliable to find me that way than come here."

A wave of the hand then. "The guards will show you out. I will have Greta give you a phone number to contact when you have made up your mind."

She is not giving any information straight up. But there's clearly both offer and threat there, in everything she has said.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-20 23:33:24 85146
"Either way--" the smile grows to a point of flashing the whites of her teeth. "I will trust on your discretion, with everything else in mind."
Lacrima 2017-10-20 23:51:45 85150
The threats aren't lost on Lacrima. Part of her is /almost/ surprised that Hulda seems to be including her in 'family bussiness' then. Maybe she also takes Alexis's decision to 'adopt her' in that weird way that people seem to do seriously enough.

"Very well. I will let you know one way or another." she says.

Then off she goes. She leaves with out hesitance. She waits for guards to lead her out. She makes sure they see her past the gate as she turns back to the limo there, the chauffeur getting out to open the door for her. She slides in and then settles and then purses her lips and just says.


She'll need to figure out how to approach this now carefully.
Hulda Raskoph 2017-10-21 00:04:35 85154
At one of the windows lining the estate, Hulda stares out towards the gate, and at the limo.

She sips at a glass of wine, calmly. It's probably disgustingly expensive, too.

"What would you like to do?" asks the other woman that had brought food and provided the phone number for Lacrima on her way out -- Greta. Coming to stand besides the older woman, with her hands clasped together in front of her.

"Mmmm," Hulda lets out thoughtfully in response, licking at her lips to take in more taste of the wine.

"I doubt her friends will stop their attempts at surveillance regardless of what she tells them," she says. "Have the men setup a further protective detail. Bring an extra detail and equipment from R&D. And..."

A pause.

"I didn't get as much of a read on her as I wished. She's smart too. She probably has ties to us, even if she doesn't realize it. There's three likely names from his phone..."

"Standard surveillance package?"

"Mmmhmm. I will forward them to you"

Greta simply nods, and turns to walk off. To prepare... something.

Hulda takes another sip at the wine, and watches the limo drive off.