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Sublimation: Table For Seven

 
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Eregor
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Sublimation: Table For Seven Reply with quote

((part of the Sublimation SL))
((co-written with Rhi's player))



It was a clear, sunlit day when Eregor stepped out of the Tower, and he stretched to his fullest before looking around. “Rhi?”

“Over here, a chroi!” The response came from around the side, and he walked around to find Rhiannon sitting on a bench amid roses, smiling. “I thought I’d enjoy the sun. Are you ready?” She stood and walked up to him, leaning in to lay a gentle kiss to his cheek. “I thought we might surprise Nicole, so I didn’t call ahead.”

“I’m sure she’ll appreciate that.” He took her hand as they walked towards the front gate, then over to the garage. Its door lifted as they approached, and they settled into the red roadster within. “Such a nice day for a drive, even a relatively short one, although I was thinking we might take a day trip into the hills after lunch, if the weather holds.” Once they were both in with seatbelts on, Eregor started up the car and backed out, turning in the driveway to head out onto the road while the garage closed up behind them.

The trip into the city was brief by car, even driving along with the rest of traffic, motorized or not, and soon they were pulling up in front of Nicole’s Bistro. Even as Eregor locked up the car behind them, Rhi was already at the door, being greeted by her sister. “Hey, you two!”

“Hey yourself!” Rhi gave Nicole a hug. “Congratulations again!”

“Yes, congratulations!” It was Eregor’s turn to hug his sister-in-law.

Nicole beamed back at both of them. “Thanks!” As they stepped inside, she stepped behind the greeting podium. “Your timing is impeccable, we’ve just finished setting up your table. Did you want to sit down now, or wait here for the rest of your party? We can talk while you’re waiting.”

Eregor looked at Rhi while Rhi looked at Eregor, and then they both turned to look at Nicole. “The rest of our party?”

The other woman nodded. “Yes. Table for seven, under Gory’s name.”

Rhi tipped her head. “Seven people? Two seats for us, but who are we meeting?” She reconsidered and chuckled before adding, “Or should I say, who will I be meeting?”

“Oooh, mystery guests!” Nicole started to say more, but then one of the servers came up and spoke softly to her. “A boss’ work is never done. Maria, can you show them to the table set in back? Seats for seven. Thanks!” Then she was off, leaving the couple pondering who else was joining them as they followed Maria to a table.

Once they were settled, and had ordered drinks, Eregor took a sip from his water. “I’ll be honest, I have no idea who else is supposed to be joining us. I haven’t made any reservations.” He paused for a moment as a thought struck him. “At least, not yet.”
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Eregor
Adult Wyrm
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Joined: 02 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Maybe you will make them,” Rhi said with a knowing smile on her face. Rhi had her usual apple juice.

Nicole had set up a lovely buffet with a salad bar. Dessert, however, would be brought from the kitchen as the small private room didn’t have freezer facilities. The kitchen staff was prepared for requests from the general menu as well.

Two gentleman, the first of the other five to join them, came into the room. They caused a sensation of deja vu to stir in the ancient soul that was generally hidden well under the surface of Rhiannon’s psyche. That old soul seemed to recognize creatures that had been around longer than she had been. These two had spoken to some sense of familiarity. Rhi curled her fingers around Eregor’s a moment to steady herself before introductions were made.

The two men looked at each other for a moment, and then one of them, a dark-skinned man with a close-shaved head and beard, gestured for the other to precede him. “After you, sir.”

“Thank you!” Approaching the table, the man gave Eregor and Rhi a warm, easy-going smile. He looked older than Eregor--his short dark hair and goatee were flecked with grey, and there were faint lines around his eyes--but to Rhi’s senses he felt somehow younger, though still with the weight of many years in his eyes. “I knew who you were the moment I saw you, “ he said to Eregor before turning and taking Rhi’s left hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, my dear. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Eregor. The original, as it were.”

“I’m pleased to meet you.” Rhi shook the man’s hand and gave him a friendly smile. “This is going to be as interesting as a holiday dinner with all of my immediate family present.” The smile became a bright grin as she considered what all she might be learning about her husband and his past.

“Yes, yes, you’re very charming. Now let someone else have a turn, will you?” The black man had stepped up, and motioned for his predecessor to take a seat while he smiled to Rhi and her Eregor. “You lucky devil!” It wasn’t clear which of the couple he was complimenting; it may well have been both. “Quite a catch!” Still unclear. “I’m Eregor as well… the second, and dare I say an improvement.” His grin was wide and full of mischief, though he winked at the first as he took his seat. “Perhaps it would be easier to refer to us by number. He is One, I’m Two, and you are…?”

“Seven,” replied Eregor with a smile.

“He also answers to Gory, Greg, and Rerrygort,” added Rhi, before turning to beam at her husband and give him a quick peck on the cheek.

Eregor just smirked a little. “Thank you, a chroi.”

“Now that’s a phrase I never thought I’d say to anyone again.” The new voice came from the doorway, where three more men had entered. The speaker again seemed an older man, slightly melancholy, his hair mostly grey and his face creased around eyes and cheeks as he gave a little smile, but there was still a youth about him that Rhi recognized after a moment, the ageless youth of Faerie. “It’s good to see that I found another to love just as well. I am the fourth.”

“Three here.” This came from a man with free-range hair and an open grin, looking ready to laugh. “I suppose I’ll sit next to Mister Snarky here.” He settled in the chair next to Two, who glared for a moment before turning away.

The last man had short, wavy brown hair and a thin-lipped mouth. “I’m the fifth in our line… and if you’re Seven,” he added with a nod to Eregor, “then I take it my successor isn’t coming?”

Eregor shook his head slowly. “Unfortunately, the circumstances of his tenure would’ve made it impossible for him to be here.”

“Ah,” replied Five with a nod, “say no more. No spoilers.”

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Eregor
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The others were looking over the menu, but Four was watching Rhi from across the table. When she met his eyes, he smiled again, more broadly this time. “Είστε να φέρουν τον αιματοεγ&# 954;εφαλικό του Ολύμπου μέσα σου.” One eyebrow arched then. “Agus de na ceol tíre cothrom.”

“Mar a bheidh mo ... ár bpáistí,” Rhi said as she curled her fingers around Gory’s. “Ανυπομον& #959;ύμε για εκείνη την ημέρα.”

“You do know we can understand you, right?” The second Eregor--Mister Snarky, as he’d been named by his successor--grinned as he leaned forward to look down the table at Rhi. “It’s cute the way you’re mixing Greek and Irish Gaelic that way, though.”

Five stared at him. “How did I ever manage to last as long as I did when I was you?” he snapped.

“By keeping my wits about me,” replied Two with that toothy grin. “I do hope that doesn’t change.”

Eregor looked over at Rhi and squeezed her hand while his earlier selves traded barbs with one another. Finally there was a lull in the exchange and he raised a hand. “Gentlemen, please. We’re here for lunch, and this is a rare opportunity. I suggest we take advantage instead of it. Besides, the food here is superb!”

As if on cue, a server appeared at the door to take orders. “Would the lady and gentlemen care to start with an appetizer?”

Three raised a hand. “And the wine list, please. Do you have any recommendations, Rhiannon?”

“I recommend the Argento Luna wines. They have vineyards here, but it’s my understand that they have ties to some older wineries on Earth.” Rhiannon then turned her attention to the server. “I think the bread, fruit, and cheese selection would be a good way to get things started.” Her dark brows furrowed. “It’s going to take me a while to sort out who is who.”

As the server nodded and went to place the initial orders--as well as fetch the requested wine list--One smiled at Rhi. “The numbers are convenient, but impersonal, I agree. So, my dear… you have various aspects of your husband at your disposal. What would you like to talk about?”

The first question was easy, at least to Rhi it was. “I’d like to know more about your family. I’ve heard about parents and a sister, was there anyone else?”

“I was--we were the second of five children, actually. Our older sister, Follianor, went to the Academy ahead of me.” A gentle smile spread across One’s face as he remembered. “Our parents were not Time Lords; Father was a merchant and Mother served in the Guard, but they were both so proud of Folli. So was I.”

“I remember when she came home the first time, in her Arcalian robes.” It was the third who had spoken next. “She looked so grand.”

“What are those? I’m assuming a uniform of some kind, but Arcalian has me at a loss.” The wine list arrived along with the appetizer platters. Water glass were filled as some orders had not yet been placed.

One picked up the tale again. “The Arcalian Chapter is one of the six political affiliations on Gallifrey, second in influence only to the Prydonians. Our family has been aligned with them for generations, so it was natural that Folli would choose that Chapter. I did the same, when my own turn came… but I was speaking of my siblings. Ah, would one of you continue?” He turned to the server to place his order.

“Jesandor was the middle child out of the five of us.” The fourth Eregor took a sip of water before continuing. “He was always bubbly and laughing after he was born, until….” His voice trailed off.

Rhi cleared her throat as she took a sip of water. She didn’t ask what happen to Jesandor, it was plain enough that a tragedy had befallen him. “The youngest pair? Sisters, brothers, one of each?”

Gory picked up the story. “One of each. A brother, Cadrelon, joined the Guard and was posted to Arcadia, where we lived. It was a beautiful city, spires gleaming in the light of the suns… and the safest place on Gallifrey according to Mother, even safer than the Citadel itself.” There was a moment’s pause. “Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I like hanging with Aja so much, because of that name.” Seeing the quizzical looks on the faces of his other selves, he explained. “Our friend, Aja, runs a port city down the coast called Arcadia. Lovely place!”

“We have a nice little place there.” Rhi smiled warmly. She looked to to Gory. “You know, we do have enough room to host a little vacation party there some day.” She looked around the table. “I can see explaining this to our nieces and nephews.”

“Given your own family, love, they would probably understand without explanation.”

Four, the most soft-spoken of the bunch, smiled but shook his head. “As idyllic as that sounds, I daresay this meeting may be a one-shot. You,” and he pointed to Gory, though still smiling, “should have heeded your wife’s words when sending out the invitations to this little gathering.”

Gory started to say something, then looked at his predecessor and sighed. “I still forget that lesson sometimes, don’t I?”

Rhiannon tipped her head as she studied Four and Gory. “Dare I ask which lesson that was?”

“Listen to your wife when she suggests something,” replied Five with a little chuckle.

Her lips twitched in amusement and she held up her hands in surrender. Laughter ensued as Rhi said, “That’s it, I’m not arranging any parties or conducting matchmaking sessions! I’ll leave the former to my sister and the latter to my mother!”

All of the Eregors joined in the laughter, a rousing moment of merriment. Once it faded, Five continued telling of their family. “Finally, we come to little Anni. Annitrelundar… she hated that name, she was always Anni. Father always said she and Folli were bookends, his two daughters, oldest and youngest. Like Folli and myself, she made it into the Academy, and was still there when I left Gallifrey for the first time. I saw her now and again, until I fell out of the world and into the… what do you call it hereabouts?”

“The Nexus.”

“Fitting name.” Five took a sip of his water. “Out of all our family, I miss her the most.” Then he looked up as the servers came bearing trays of food. “Ah, time for the main course!”

“The baby of a family is often dotted upon.” She started to cut into her roasted chicken. “I was in that place for about five years until Draven came along.” She dabbed at her mouth with her napkin. “Next thing I knew, I was a big sister with a little brother that was making a Lego Machine of Doom.” A grin flashed on her face. “I think my older brothers and sisters thought I felt displaced. They had no idea how much I enjoyed not being the baby!”

Lifting his goblet, Gory spoke up. “To family!” Glasses clinked as the toast passed around the table.
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Eregor
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As they lowered their glasses, the fourth Eregor looked across and met Rhi’s gaze. “So tell us of your family, my dear. Perhaps we might think of questions your husband wouldn’t dare ask.” He flashed a good-natured smile at the comment.

Rhiannon chuckled. “My family is best described as … eclectic. That’s a good word for us.” She took a drink juice. “Being long lived people, I’m sure you can understand how difficult it can be seeing those you care for leaving this lifetime or, as my mother puts it, crossing over.” Rhi shifted slightly in her chair. “That has caused my mother to be attached to several partners over the years. And the result is a motley crew of offspring.”

“Just how many siblings do you have?” asked Mister Snarky incredulously.

Rhi eyed Mr. Snarky and grinned. “Which number do you want? The ones that belong here or the ones that sidestepped into this point in time? Or both?”

That raised eyebrows all around the table. “Oh ho,” replied One as he set down his fork, “there’s a story to be told!”

“You see, that’s one of the many wonderful things about this relationship.” She smiled as she gestured between herself and her husband. “I didn’t have to explain anything about that gnarled and crazy thing I’ve come to know as my family tree. Oh, the who is who and who does what, of course, but not why who came here. Those things tend to fill in on their own.” Rhi cleared her throat after tasting a bite of cucumber from her salad. “So, where do we start? My father? He called himself Damon Brock, but no one has ever spoken of the name his parents had given him. His father was Zeus, that much we know. There are people that still hash over who his mother was, Hera or Themis. I just give both of them a lot of room and treat them the same way I would any goddess that just happens to be my grandmother.”

Four nodded in understanding. “Always wise when dealing with that particular lineage, as I learned,” then he turned to look at Three, “and you will.”

“I thought we were avoiding spoilers,” added Five with a wry grin.

Hearing their banter, Rhiannon laughed merrily. “You can’t avoid all the spoilers, gentlemen. I am sitting here, you know.”

“He meant spoilers for ourselves,” One replied with a chuckle. “The youngster there has forgotten that the time differential means we won’t remember what happened today when we go our separate ways.” He nodded gently to Gory. “Except for him, of course. This is really for his benefit, and yours, after all.”

“Maybe we should be writing this down or have invited a scribe?” She was half teasing. “So, any questions as go along? Chime in!” Rhiannon never backed down from a challenge and this gathering had the makings of many interesting ones.

The ever-smiling third Eregor glanced to his neighbor. “At the moment, I’m actually dying to know how I come to know Olympians.”

“Now that’s more accurate than you know.” Four paused, then looked to Rhi and Gory. “Has he told you the tale of how he got his sword?” When she nodded, he turned to his predecessor. “Sea Devils worshipping one of the Great Old Ones, menacing the cult of Hephaestus in the Greek isles. I--you, rather--lent a hand, and the smith god was quite grateful. Do you still have it?” That last question was directed to Gory, who nodded. “A fine blade, that.”

“My uncle was a groomsman at our wedding. And,” she smiled fondly, “he pops in to visit from tip to time.”

Gory took a break from his meal to elaborate. “He’s actually opened a forge here in Rhy’din. I think he enjoys the blend of techniques and materials available here. Although,” and he turned to look at Rhi, “he did mention something about being around to provide a sympathetic ear. I wasn’t sure who he thought would need one, though.”

“He helped out a friend of ours with a rather unique problem. Johnny loves ice cream, but because of his gift with fire, he has a hard time eating it,” she interjected. “Hmm… any of us, I suppose. He’s always been kind to us.”

“What of your mother’s side of the family,” asked Five, gesturing to Four as he spoke. “You mentioned her as long-lived and, like him, I recognized the touch of Fae in your bloodline.”

“Unfortunately, I have only met them through flickers of dreams and journals of my mother’s mother and maternal grandmother. I know that she was born half of a set of twin sisters and that her mother and sister both died trying to bring children into the world. When I got to places in Ireland or Scotland, I can feel their presences and hear the echoes of their words and footsteps in what had been their homes.” Rhi looked from face to face. “I know she was closest to her mother’s father. He took her and my aunt in after their father died. The story had all the makings of a tragic romance. The elders said he died of a broken heart.”

A hush settled over the table as the incarnations of Eregor pondered Rhi’s words. They all knew how a person’s presence could echo in Time, and what it was like to touch the memories of those long gone. It was Four who broke the silence. “I know how he must have felt. That was not unlike how she died. Sirona, my wife.” He looked up at Rhi, and was glad to see sympathy in her expression, rather than surprise; this was not a revelation, thankfully, that her husband had been married before. His younger brethren met the news with brows slightly furrowed in thought, while his successors simply nodded in remembrance.

“What was she like?” That question came, not from Rhi, but from the earliest Eregor sitting beside her. Perhaps he had thought to ask for her benefit, perhaps for his own.

“She was tall, willowy of build, with hair so white it almost shone like the stars that were her namesake.” It was Gory who answered, gently holding Rhi’s hand as if to draw strength from his love to face the memory of one lost. He spoke softly, as if recalling a dream. “She loved to sing, and her voice was truly enchanting when she wanted it to be… but she never tried to charm me in that way. She never needed that.”

Rhiannon leaned toward Gory to place a tender kiss on his cheek. She had known he’d been married before, but had not pressured him with questions. It was one of those things that she had been curious about, but allowed her husband his privacy. She had always believed that he would speak of it in his own time as he was doing now.

“How did she die?” Two asked that question, no longer snarky but almost humble.

Five took up the story, his voice quiet. “We had never thought of having children--we were of two different worlds, she was a lady of Faerie and, well, I was a child of Gallifrey, raised in cold science. Opposites attract, they say, but they don’t always mix well. Then… it happened.” He managed a thin smile, recalling the events long past. “We were overjoyed and anxious all at once. For us, the twilight lands of Faerie would become a new dawn.” His head shook sadly. “The baby was stillborn, and Sirona became empty inside. My star… faded, and never shone again. Then, one day, she simply… passed. Quietly, and I think peacefully.”

She closed her hand around Gory’s and squeezed it gently. There was no need for words, the message of comfort and understanding was clear enough in the silent gesture. The table remained quiet for a while as the group reflected on that profound loss as well as others over the echoes in time.

Finally the original Eregor lifted his glass. “To those we’ve lost.” Clinks went around the table as all joined in the toast.

Rhi smiled thoughtfully as she added, “And those we have yet to meet,” to the toast.
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