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The Ripper Program


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It is April in the year of our Lord, 1888. The spring social season is just opening, and as it always does, it opens with Almack?s Gala. Everyone who is anyone prays for an invitation to this ball, even if they have absolutely no interest in socializing. To be seen here is to tell the world that you are above the masses and someone of consequence. No one who receives a coveted invitation would dare not attend ? that would be the height of social faux pas. The miscreants would be shunned by London?s Ton for the entire season, death?s door not withstanding. The eight girls lucky enough to debut at this function are considered the cream of the young and marriageable crop, at least that?s what their mothers think.

The gala had just begun and the room was already hot and stuffy. Almack?s ballroom was bursting at the seams with the social elite. Lady Genieve was doing her best to keep her jitters from showing. Her mother?s godmother was one of the eight Matrons of Almack?s, and had chosen Geni to sponsor as a debutante this season. Her mother was thrilled, but Geni was a bit dubious about the honor. She felt like a side of beef placed on the market block after being squeezed into a tiny corset. Her strawberry blonde hair had been pinned up within and inch of it?s life. Her pale blue gown was bustled and trimmed, and very difficult to feel comfortable in.

She could hear the crowd murmuring as they waited for the ?debs? to be introduced by their sponsoring matrons so that the music and dancing could begin. She had to concentrate to keep all the thoughts that were crowding into her mind, like their voices were crowding into ears, out. She had always been able to hear the thoughts of others, but somehow she had also known how to shield them out in order to keep herself sane and keep others? privacy secure.

Finally, after listening to seven other patrons announce the names of seven other girls and the polite applause of the gathered crowd, the withered and dominating old lady who was doing her the greatest of ?favors? stepped up to Geni, took her hand and led her to the front of the landing at the top of the grand staircase.

?I am pleased to honor and present the Countess Genieve . . .? the old woman?s voice faded out as Geni saw a flash in her mind. She saw herself standing before another crowd, but this time everyone was dressed in grey coveralls. She was being chosen for a mission to save something. But ? save what? Where was she?

?And welcome her to Almack?s.? The line that had been drilled into her consciousness by her mother cut into her vision and brought her back to the present. Geni smiled graciously and curtsied to the room in general. As she raised her blue eyes to look around the gathering she noticed a peculiar phenomenon. A few people in the crowd seemed to be wrapped in a blue glow.

Geni inhaled a sharp breath. Blue! Blue means something important, but I don?t remember what! she thought. As she descended the stairs she desperately tried to keep the blue auras in view, but the crowd shifted and she lost sight of them. Unfortunately, as a deb, she was not allowed to mingle during her first event, so she couldn?t even search for the auras. She had a dance card filled with names of all the unmarried men invited to the gala. The bachelors were ?obligated? to do their ?Almack?s Duty? and dance with each debutante at least once. Geni didn?t even get to choose what order she danced with them. Everything was numbered and assigned on her dance card. All she could do was hope and pray that the few she had seen shining blue in her mind would approach her before the evening ended.

OOC: Okay guys, we're all at the party. Introduce yourselves and let's get going!
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Dante stood against a wall of the ballroom, looking bored. scanning the crowd disdainfully. Dante thought that some of the people were bathed in a blue glow. could it be a trick of the light?
"no" dante whispered to himself.
blue meant something. something.... important, what he didn't know. Dante racked his brains, trying to make sense of the blue Auras. All he could make out were disjointed strings of incoherent words and fleeting flashes of images. glancing up, Dante noticed that one of the so-called "debuts" had a blue aura. well, if he had to dance with these women, then he could at least try to get some information, he thought.

Dante walked through the throng of people, toward the girl with a blue aura.
"Greetings fledgeling, I am lord kei..." Dante staggered back, as if struck.
"i am lord dante" he said, almost as if the previous event had not happened.
A blue aura pulsated around Dante, feeding and growing with the aura from the girl.
"what are you?"

OOC: hope this is ok for a first post.
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Eclair mingled with the crowd as she did every year, only this year she recieved many apologies for the death of her husband earlier that year. She smiled despite the topic of her passed on husband, she usually put on a smile for the galas she attended, which was many being a dutchess. Her reamy white dress increased the darkness of her long chocolate coler lockes of hair, and created intesnsity in her eyes. Her thoughts on the evening were not about who she was going to mee this year, but what the glipses of blue meant. She couldn't figure out what it was until one of the debutants were introduced and she could clearly see that one of them was enveloped in a blue aura. She found this most interesting and as she took a closer look around the room she could two other men with the same aura.

[I]' Hmm... thats seems oddly important. I'll have to talk to her.'[/I] She thought to herself.She moved forward to speak with the young debutant, but she knew it would take a matter of time considering almost every person in the room knew who she waas and who hae to give their greeting. Her train of thought was interupted when a man bumped into her.

"I'm sorry Miss Helena." Is what she could have sworn he said.

"I'm sorry Dutchess Chamberlayn." Is what he actually said.
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"Good Evening, Milord Dante." Geni replied, a bit taken aback by his question. [I]What am I? What does he mean?[/I] she wondered. She curtsied to him to cover her confusion.

"I believe that I am first on your dance card." He covered. "Would you join me for this waltz?"

"Of course." she smiled. She held out her hand, but as the lord grasped it, the blue auras flashed brightly and surrounded them for a moment, then dimmed back to what it was before. Geni's eyes went wide, but no one in the crowd around them seemed to notice.

[COLOR=SeaGreen]:What did you do?:[/COLOR] She unconsciously said into his mind.

"Let's get onto the dance floor, then we can talk." he said, then stopped suddenly and stared intensely at her. Shaking his head he escorted her onto the dance floor, and they began swirling through the steps of the waltz.
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"I know that I know you. I know we are not who we appear to be. you must know something" Dante thought as he swirled the countess across the hall in a waltz.

[I]"I know no more than you do, I swear it m'lord"[/I]

"That as may be, but I have an inkling that all is not well"

[I]"what do you mean?"[/I]

"I don't know, but I am sure that something isn't quite right. I've been seeing people bathed in blue auras recently,and a few bathed in red."

Dante staggred to a halt, clutching his head.

[I] Sent... with a blue aura..... to... to kil.... to kill... with a red aura[/I]
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Eclair watched the two figures in blue dance a lovely waltz. There dance was completely in the ordinary, that was until the male, Lord Dante she was sure, staggered back clutching his head.

"Milord are you alright, his dance parrtner asked placing ahand on his shoulder." Eclair could see his face now, it was almost a look confusion and terror roled into one. He spoke quietly so that only the debutant could hear, and the two of them left the dance hall. Elcair excused herself from the conversation she was having and followed the two of them into the hall outside. She found them outside talking in only a whisper. She had brougt a glass of wine out with her, she held out her hand and released the glass into the allowing to glide across to the Lord Dante. His natural reaction was to take the glass, then when he realized it was not the Debutant that handed it to him he quickly shot a glance over at Eclair. Genieve looked over as well, her eyes wide with astonishment.

"What is going on here?" Lord Dante asked.

"I cannot answer that, but I do know that whatever it is, it involves all that are in the aura of blue." Her voice was quite and level, nothing like the Dutchess that most people knew her as, "the social butterfly".
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Dante caught the goblet of wine, frowning suspiciously at the newcomer.

"who are you?" dante asked. the newcomer dropped into a curtsey, mainly out of habit dante mused to himself.

" I am The Dutchess Eclair, milord." she said, walking slowly toward Dante and Geni.
Dante turned to the two women.
"I think something is going to or is meant to hapen to those of us with read auras. But i'm not completely sure. when I was in there" Dante gestured to the ballroom "I had a vision, kind of like a snippet of a memory. Something about those with a blue aura and those with a red aura. Something about "to kill..". Anyway. I think we need to find us some more people with the Auras"

Dante's hand unconciously glided to his concealed sword.
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"Milord, I think you are quite correct. We do need to find others who also see and possess these strange auras. Unfortunately, we have a considerable lack of information. Other than some type of death, what do these colors mean, and why can everyone not see them, but only a select few?" Geni echoed the unease she felt from the lord. She couldn't help but feel that she was in over her head.

"Now, there is no need to get flustered." the dutchess said, soothingly. "I am sure that if we all put our heads together and share what information we can remember from these possible 'other lives' something is bound to surface.

At the words 'other lives', Geni experienced another flash: A man, old and worn looking, pointing at a box that held pictures and graphs and glowed eerily. He seemed very sad about something, but the feeling of excitement nearly overwhelmed Geni. The old man was in a gray coverall. It had an emblem with the letters HRV over the breast pocket. Then it was over and she returned to herself. Surprisingly, Geni picked up that Lord Dante was also experiencing a similar flash, but Lady Eclair was simply smiling serenely at them.

[COLOR=Green]:You know, don't you.:[/COLOR] she sent into the lord's mind. [COLOR=Green]:You remember the people in gray, too.:[/COLOR]

"Yes, but . . ." Dante stopped, and gave her the same intense stare as he had the last time she had slipped up and spoken mind to mind with him. What was wrong with her tonight? She hadn't used her powers in years, and now she'd mistakenly used them twice on the same person in a matter of minutes.

"I - I am terribly sorry --" before Geni could finish her apology she was interrupted by a shrill voice.

"Genieve! Gads, girl. What madness brings you away from the gala." Geni turned, and faced her mother, who was dressed to the nines with lace and ribbons, trying to look decades younger than she was. Trying and failing at the attempt.

"I am truely sorry if I worried you, Mother. You see," Geni madly tried to think of a reason for her to be out on the veranda with the lord and dutchess. "The excitement was so much for me that during the waltz I became faint. Lord Dante was gracious enough to end our dance early and bring me out here for some air. The sweet dutchess came out with us as chaperone."

Concern crossed her mother's powdered face. Geni hated lying to her, but she would never believe the truth. "I would hate to have to leave early at your coming out gala." Mother simpered.

"No, mother, that will not be needed. The clear night air has quite refreshed me."

"Then we had better return to the ballroom. The waltz has ended and your next partner is awaiting you. Come," she gestured into the room with a shoo-ing motion. "Do not dally."

"Yes, Mother." Geni turned and curtsied to Lady Eclair and Lord Dante. As she raised her head her eyes met the lord's. [COLOR=Green]:You must know. You must see what I have seen.: [/COLOR] With that she sent him all the flash images that she had 'remembered' this night, from when she had been presented as well as just a few moments ago, into his mind. He reeled just slightly, but had no other reaction.

"You both must come visit us at our home so I might repay the courtesies you have shown my daughter this night." she said to the two who had accompanied the girl.

"Yes, please do." Geni whispered intently. Then she was swept back inside by her insistant mother to find her next dance partner before any offence might be given.
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Elcair kindly smiled as Geni was pushed back into the ballroom. She turned to Lord Dante, continuing to smile.

"You're awfuly calm about all of this." Lord Dante stated.

"Lets just say that I've learned to take new findings with understanding. Thats all, now I believe I shall retire for the evening." Eclair replied turning for the exit and signaling for her cloak to be brought to her.

"Your leaving this early in the Gala?" Dante asked.

"i've made my appearence haven't I, now scociety must accept me all year long. Besides I'm far too tired to repeat my self all night which what I have been doing, so if you'll excuss me Milord. I expect that we will be meeting eachother very soon, have a pleasent evening." She gave a small curtsey and took her cloak from the servant and left the Gala.
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Dante stood alone on the balcony, going over what had just happened.
"that woman spoke into my mind, at first I was surprised. Me, surprised by someone speaking into my mind, a man of my [I]talents[/I]. I guess it has been too long." Dante thought to himself as he drained the last of the wine from his goblet.

AS dante walked through the doors back into the ballroom, he could see the countess Geniveve waltzing with her next partner.

"fool" dante whispered to himself, the man clearly could not notice the intense blue aura around her. Dante Gripped his hand tightly inside his cloak, holding his concealed sword.

"this night will not end peacefully, i know it"
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The hours seem to drag on and on for Geni. She caught glimpses of other blue auras at the party, but she never had a spare moment to catch her breath, let alone seek the individuals out. She had danced with fools and fops, ancient wraiths and anxious money grabbers, men old enough to be her grandfather and men without a shed of decency. The evening was only half over, and it seemed far over-long to the deb.

Suddenly, Geni found herself at the end of a dance with no new partner waiting for her. Her mother came bustling up, puffing at the exertion of quickly crossing the warm room. "Lord Longly's mother passed away this morning, so the Matrons have excused him in good standing from the ball. but there was not enough time to change the dance cards." she gasped at her daughter.

"I grieve for his loss." Geni replied diplomatically. " I suppose I shall just sit down and wait for the next dance then."

"You most certainly will not!." Her mother was indignant. "People will mistake you for a wallflower. You must move slowly across the room, looking a little lost, and hopefully a gallant gentleman will see your plight and ask you to dance."

"Yes mother." she bobbed obediently. [I]How on earth does one 'look a little lost' on purpose?[/I] she wondered. She dutifully headed across the room, searching, without trying to look like she was searching, for another dance partner.

"Your mother sent you searching, did she not?" a low voice murmured from directly over her left shoulder. Geni gave a small meep of surprise, then turned to see Lord Dante standing behind her. "Well since I still have things I need to discuss with you, I shall stand in for whichever knight in shining armor you were looking for."

"I wasn't looking for anyone, really." she defended herself softly. Dante smirked and swept her onto the floor in time with the fast-paced polka. Geni was certain that whoever had invented this dance must never had worn a corset, but Dante moved as fluidly as if he were merely strolling rather than swiftly spinning across the large room. She envied him his obvious grace.

"My mother is going to claim to everyone that you are showing a preferance for me. You know that, don't you?"

"If it means I don't have to dance with another feather head, then yes, I prefer you." he retorted. Geni had to agree with him. The other seven debs acted as if they had never born the burden of an original thought ever in their short lives.
"Where is your despotic mother, anyway?" The expression he worn indecatied that he wanted to know so that he might avoid another encounter with the lady.

"She's over there," Geni pointed. "By the matrons on the dias." They both glanced the direction she had indecated. Before thier eyes the stern matron sitting next to her mother lit up with an intense red aura. It nearly blinded Geni with it's brightness.

"Red . . . she's red." Geni stammered. Then she was slammed with another flash. The same old man as before, looking even more harried and worn. He was speaking, saying something imprortant. She strained to hear him. "Red for blood." she could barely make it out. "Red so you don't forget. Red light so the red blood won't be spilled. You MUST protect the red, or they will die."

Geni snapped back to herself as her knees gave way beneath her. Lord Dante managed to catch her before anyone noticed her miss-step.

"What did you see?" he hissed urgently as he moved her toward an open seat. "What is the red?"

"Milord, the Lady must be gotten away from here now! She's being targeted to die, and it will happen in mere moments." Geni was beginning to tremble. She could not remember ever being as frightened of her own mind as she was right now.

"How can you be so certain?" he demanded. Instead of wasting time in explaination, she again threw her vision into his mind. He blinked but showed no other sign of upset at her fourth invasion of his mind this night.

"I don't even know who or how or even what form the attack will take. Only that it will be any moment now, and it will be on that dias and focused on the one with the blood red aura." she elaborated as she gratefully sat down.

"I know that." he reminded her. "Blast!" Lord Dante fixed his eyes on the dias behind Geni, his hand straying below his light cloak. "I knew nothing good would come of this night."
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Eclair left the building without a second glance back, a servant close behind her heels. He opened the door to her carriage and she stepped inside and sat down. The servant closed the door and the carriage began to pull away from the large manor. She had been able to speak with two of the attendees in blue, and she hoped that the following events would help unfold the truth of what she felt was about to happen.

[I]'I shall need to speak with them both again very soon.'[/I] She thought as she closed her eyes to think on the evenings events.
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OOC: Just so everyone knows, when the post is in all red, it's not Geni -- it's the person who wrote the Ripper Program talking. :flaming:

[COLOR=Red]A delicate hand held the silver pocket watch gently as greys eyes watched the time pass by, only seconds until the apointed time. She lifted her eyes to the scene before her as she quietly closed the watch and hid it away. A thin smile spread across her face as she watched one of the galas attendants move forward quickly into the crowd.

"Five... four... three... two.... one..." Her voice was soft as she spoke to only herself.

"MOTHER! WATCH OUT!" The cry came from one of the Debutants. This happened at the very moment the man came within five feet of the Lady, he held a knife ready to pounce.

"As expected..." She replied to herself as she spotted one of the young Lords step in a intercept the attacker. He caught the knife in his hand and held it firmly, then with his free hand deked the man sending him tothe floor with a split lip and a bloody nose. He unsheathed his sword, which had been hidden until this moment, and held it close to the mans throat.

"Stand Down!" The Lord was called Dante and his voice boomed with justice as his eyes narrowed at the lady's attacker. She became board with the lack of dramatic climax and turned to leave the room silently and un-noticed, leaving a small envelope labled "J" on a table.[/COLOR]


OOC: Geni's turn.

The attacker looked up at Lord Dante and sniggered. "It's on your head then, bloke." With that, the man vanished. No puff of smoke, no mirrors. Just one minute he was there and the next he wasn't.

Geni thought Dante looked as if he wanted to swear, long and loudly. She applauded his restraint that he didn't do it. The matrons and lady guests on the dias were in an uproar, twittering and squealing to each other about the frightening man with the knife. Their panic was obvious to anyone, and unimaginably painful to one who couldn't help but hear their minds frantically racing. Now Geni vividly remembered why she enjoyed living in the country rather than in the crush of the big city. Less thoughts pressing in on her, less emotions to filter out.

She grew pale, and though she tried to cross up to her mother, the crowds made it impossible. Everyone was scrambling to know what, exactly, had just happened. After all the dancing, all the flashbacks, all the sudden fear, and all the use of her power, Geni's body couldn't hold up any longer. Gracefully, and without any fanfare, she fainted.
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Dante pushed through the throng of people crushing in towards the dias, looking for any sign of the attacker.

"Blast it, The bastard's gone" dante muttered to himself, his maddening raptor glare scanning the room. For a fleeting moment dante caught a glimpse of Countess Geni standing amongst the croud.
Her feet collapsed under her as she fainted. In the blink of an eye, Dante vanished.

Out of thin air, dante materialised outside of the building, holding the countess Geni.

"We've got to find shelter, and figure out what's going on" dante though to himself as he walked into the night.
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As Dante walked farther away from the building he noticed a carraige slowly approaching. It came to a halt only feet away from him and the door opened to reveal the Dutchess from earlier that evening.

"Dutchess I'd thought that you had left?" Dante asked raising an eyebrow.

"I had, but I got halfway home and realzed that I had forgotten my gloves. So we came back, and I heard all of this comotion about an assassination attempt. What happened while I was away?" Eclair had stepped out of the carriage. "Please if you'd like a seat you are welcome to come inside, we can wait for miss Genieve to awaken, and you can fill me in." Dante accepted the Durchesses invitation and entered the carriage, he lay Geni down on the bench across from where he sat next to the Dutchess.

"Well about an hour after you had left, a madman charged out of the crowd and attempted to kill Geniveve's mother. Then Genieve fainted and I brought her out here into the fresh air." Dante explained.

"How did you know to be where you were at the time of the attack? Surely you had to have had some sort of warning or else you wouldn't have had been close enought to help her Ladyship." The Dutchess asked curiously.

"Genieve had another one of those memory flashes again, and then suddenly her mother was bathed in a red aura." Dante stated.

"Red, the signature color of blood. Of course I had a similar flash back on the way back to the estate." The Dutchess stopped when it seemed tht Geni might be waking.
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Geni's eyes fluttered open as slightly familiar voices murmured around her. The first thing she noticed was the roof of a carriage. [I] Carriage? When did I get into a carriage? I was at the gala with mother -- Mother![/I] She sat bolt upright, then swayed and nearly fainted again from the rush of sitting up too quickly.

"Sit back, dear. There's a good girl." the dutchess said soothingly as she moved across the carriage and sat down next to the young woman. She gently pushed Geni back against the plush cushions that lined the back of her private conveyance.
The deb was pale, but she seemed to be regaining control of herself.

"Is my mother all right? The last thing I recall is the attacker disappearing. Did he resurface, or is he truly gone?" she was proud that her voice only held a hint of a tremor. Her corset was making it very difficult to catch her breath, but there was no way on this green earth she was going to mention that in her present company.

"She's fine, if shaken." Dante said. "The assassin, however, remains at large."

"How did I get here? I thought . . ."

"I brought you out here for some fresh air after you fainted. The Dutchess had returned and offered the accommodations of her carriage until you regained consiousness." Dante answered. "As the majority of the gathering witnessed your faint, there will be not question to your honor as to why you are out here with a single gentleman."

"And I shall vouch as chaperone if necessary." Eclair chimed in.

"That must have been a sight." Geni demurred, trying to find the humor in a bleak situation. "I can hardly imagine you carrying me out of the building with my skirts trailing in your way."

"Yes." was all Dante would say.

"Be that as it may," Eclair said, "but now, my dears, we need to decide what to do next."
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"But the first thing that must happen before anything else is." Elcair pronounced lifting a finger.

"Whats that?" Dante asked.

"Sleep." She declared.

"Sleep." Geni repeated.

"Absolutely, we all need a good nights sleep. That way we can all think clearly on the recent events." Elcair knocked on the side of the carriage and they began to move. "Simple, I'll escort you to the door. We will part our seperate ways for the evening, and in the morning you two can join me at my home here in the city. Then over lunch of course, we can discuss what we believe must happen next." The carriage came to a halt and Dante opened the door, then turned back to the Dutchess.

" How are we supposed to find your home?" He asked that same eyebrow raising again. Elcair pulled out two small peices of paper from her pouch sitting next to her. Then handed one to each of them. Written in blue ink was the address of her home.

"There now, you should have no problem. I'll be expecting you by lucnh." She stated smiling kindly as they exited the carriage. She gave them one last wave as the carriage then pulled away... again.
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"fine, if nothing's going to be done tonight, I'll do it myself!" Dante Half-yelled, more to himself than anyone else as the carriage pulled away.

"milord, do you think that is wise?" The countess geni answered. Dante rounded on her, his eyes wild.

"there's an Assasin out there, he's getting in the way of me finding out what the hell's going on!!"
Dante turned his back, and breathed deeply.

"I'm afraid I must apologise, if you wish to come with me, then take my hand"
Geni grasped dante's hand. they stood for a fleeting instant, and then they were gone.
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One moment Geni and Dante were standing on the walkway not far from Almack's, and the next the scene around them was totally different. Stunned, Geni looked across her surroundings. Feeling more and more like a country cousin, she realized that she did not recognize this part of London at all -- especially not in pitch black darkness.

"Milord, where are we?" Geni again had to fight to keep her breath. Who ever had invented her underclothing needed to be burned at the stake and sent to the ninth level of Hell. Gasping, she muttered, "Blast all corsets, anyway."

Beginning to answer her question, Dante stopped, not sure he had heard her oath correctly. "I beg your pardon?" he asked.

Geni blushed a furious red. Fortunately, it was dark enough she didn't think he could see it. "Nothing." she covered lamely. "Just having a few troubles breathing."

"Uh-huh." was his only reply. Again, he began to tell her of their location when a host of sirens split the quiet of the night. "They are not far from here." he told the young lady.

"Do you think it had anything to do with the assassin?" she asked him.

"That is more sirens than a mere break-in or other small crime would warrant. We should investigate." He held his hand out to Geni. Hesitantly she place her hand in his. In a blink they were in a small alleyway just off a street that held a growing crowd.

"Move allong now, mates. Nuthin to see 'round 'ere." the officers kept saying to the lingering crowds, almost like a cockney litany. No one was paying them any mind however.

Dante kept a hold on Geni's hand as he wound through the people. She was doing her best to keep from attracting attention, but the truth was she was an obvious debutante in a ball gown being escorted by a young man in tails in an extremely low end of the London Metropolis. She stood out like a sore thumb.

"Excuse me detective." Dante said as he reached the edge of what appeared to be a crime scene. Smokey flashes from a large camera filled her eyes with spots, and Geni was feeling more and more turned around as each minute ticked by. "I was bringing my sister home from our evening's engagement when we heard the ruckas. May we be of any assistance?"

"Naw." the detective slurred. "This is just a killin' of a lady o' the evening. Nuthin' to worry your fancy heads 'bout. Funny though --" he continued, almost as if something were making him speak without realizing what he was saying. "several witnesses saw 'im and 'er go inta the alley, but when she screamed and they all come runnin' 'he just vanished. No one got a good look at 'im." Then the detective turned and walked away from them.

"Lord Dante, the officer said the killer 'just vanished.' Just like the assassin at Almack's" Geni whispered intensely to him.

"Yes. Seem to me that this is what he meant by something being 'on my head."' Dante mused. " I guess he had to kill someone, and if he coudn't get to his target, he would kill the first person who gave him the proper opportunity."

"Milord," Geni said softly, "I'm scared."
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Eclair's carriage arrived at its destination, and came to a slow halt. The home of the late Duke Chamberlayn, a fairly descent sized home set in a fine area of town. A young man in fine servants clothes approached and opened the door, assisting the dutchess as she stepped out. Muffled sirens could be heard across town, waking those who were asleep.

"Fowl night to be out Dutchess." The servant replied in a sincere tone. "I am truly happy to see you home safely." He stated trying to keep his half grin hidden, but failed, Eclair smiled.

"True Edward, there was an attack on one of the Ladies at the gala, and now somthing a miss in town it seems." Eclair agreed with the servant fully, it was a fowl night to be out. As Eclair headed for the door, Edward retrieved her hand bag from within the carriage. He lingered for only a moment, then turned back and follwed Eclair into the house. An older man had opened the door for them, then took Eclair's gloves as she slipped them off her hands and handed them to him. This man was Edwards father, Darian Dooley, him and Edward had been two of the families servants for many a year. They were Eclairs favorites which is why they were allowed to accompany here to the house in town. Edward set the had bag down on a small table next to the door and assisted Eclair in removing her cloak.

"Thank you Edward. Darian I don't suppose theres any tea ready?" She asked kindly smiling at the elder gentleman.

"Of course Milady I made some up only minutes ago." Darian replied laying the gloves next to the hand bag.

"Did you hear all the comotion going on outside?" Elcair walked into the front room and sat down on the couch.

"Yes Milady, I sent Richard out to find out the details, he hasn't returned yet, but should be back breifly." Darian replied as he entered the room with Eclair's tea.

"You are so on top of things this evening, how do you do it?" Eclair asked smiling warmly as she took the tea.

"When living with such a defined family you learn to climb on top and stay there." He smiled the way a grandfather might smile. Of course he looked the way a grandfather might as well, he was tall, but it did not show in his increasing age. His salt and pepper hair was thinning and his eyes dimmed with time. He must have been attractive in his time, it showed in the way he presented himself. Eclair imagned that he looked much like Edward does now. Tall with dark curly lockes of hair. His bright green eyes lit with youth and exciment, and a smile to drop any lady.

"You better make sure to take notes Edward, if you want to end up as successful as your father." She teased slightly, causing Edwards face to turn a light shade of pink. "Well gentlemen, I owuld love to stay up and tell you all about the excitment from this evening, but I am going to retire for the evening. Edward would you please escort me upstairs?" She replied handing her cup to Darian.

"Of course Milady." His voice slightly shaky, she always made him nervous.

"Oh and Darin, I plan on having guests tomorrow for lunch, will make sure all of the arrangments are made please?"

"Yes Milady." Darian replied as they left the room and he began to clean up.

Eclair walked up to her bed room accompanied by Edward, when she reached the door she turned to Edward and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. Edward turned a brighter shade of pink than he already was.

"Night Edward..." She whispered as she turned and entered the room. Her bedroom was filled with dark velvets and silks, comforts that anyone would be happy with. Waiting for her was her last sevant, Clohe she stood as Eclair entered.

"How was the Gala Milady?" She asked kindly coming forward to assist Eclair in removing her dress and corset.

"It was as the same it was every year." Elcair stated stiffling a yawn.

"Except for the assassination atempt, am I right? I'm sure that doesn't happen every year." She added.

"I suppose you're right, but I wasn't there for that event, I was already on my way home." She stated matter-o-factly.
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Dante escorted Geni away from the grisly scene. At a loss as to where to go, he guided her to his own townhouse. His valet answered the door, and the surprise he showed on his face after noticing the pale debutante that entered with his master fortunately went without comment.

"There was an assassination attempt on this Lady's mother at Almack's tonight. She was so distraught that I offered my assistance. The Dutchess who was acting as her chaperone while the police and doctors cared for her mother could not stay with her, and so I had Lady Eclair Chamberlayn bring us here so the maids could look after her." Dante smoothly hid the lie in the truth. "Shaken as she is, I do not want her left alone."

"Yes, Milord." his man said, then turned to go wake a maid to act as the girl's chaperone. Dante led Geni into the sitting room and offered her a padded chair.

"My mother is going to behead me." Geni muttered as she gratefully sank into the chair.

"Why would she do that?" Dante questioned.

"Oh, well, " she stammered. She didn't think Dante had heard her. She must remember not to underestimate his hearing. "because I came to a man's house unescorted, among other things."

"You heard what I told Richard. As far as anyone, save the Dutchess, knows, you have never been out of a respectable lady's sight till we reached my front door, and the servants can swear that I was compeletly circumspect once we crossed that threshold. Why do you think I spun that fib. Servants gossip, and this way they'll spread what we want them to."

Geni looked at Dante, obviously impressed on how well he had thought out what he had told the valet. In fact, she initially had been surprised that he had offered any explaination to the servant at all. Now she realized that not saying anything would have set her reputation up for ruin without question. Dante was defiately more worldly wise than she was. She looked up at his face and began to speak when another memory flash hit her.

It was Dante -- it was! She recognised his face. But he was in one of those gray jumpsuits with metal shining around them in a sterile looking environment. She could feel her own cheeks flushed red with anger and embarassment. Dante lightly rapped her on top of her head. "You need to think before you speak, idiot." he chided her.

"I know, but those bigwigs think they can pull our strings like puppets just because they have all the cash. It drives me crazy!" she defended herself.

"That doesn't mean you can call them evil names at the top of you lungs." he chuckled at the discomfort on her face.

"Yeah, well the pay dock was worth it." she muttered back. "I feel better at least, and you were all thinking it -- I was just the only one with guts enough to say anything."

"You've got me there, but I'm still getting all my pay. Come on. We'll get a cup of coffee and then get back to work." he shrugged, then led the way down the shiny hallway.

Geni came back to herself with a start. Dante was sitting in a chair across from her and leaning forward so his face was only a foot or so away from her own. "Your eyes glassed over again. What did you remember this time?" he asked.

Geni wasn't so sure she wanted to share this flash. It was more of a personal nature that those of the past, but it had to do with Dante, so she supposed that he had the right to know. She opened up her mind and shared the flash with him. His eyes glassed for a moment, then as he returned from the memory a slight smirk appeared.

"Interesting." he said. What was interesting, he did not share with her. Before Geni could ask, a light knock came at the door.

"Milord, Richard said that a young lady needed a room and chaperone." a middle aged woman opened the door slightly and bobbed a curtsey at the sight of them.

"Yes, Willamina. Take Lady Genieve to a suitable room where she can sleep. Help her undress, then have a cup of camomile tea brought to her to soothe her shaken nerves. She has had a large fright tonight, so make sure she is never unattended." he ordered effortlessly.

Then he turned to Geni. "I hope you rest well, Milady. I shall see you in the morning, I am sure. I will send Richard to your house with a note about your whereabouts as soon as it is light." he could tell that the young lady was exhausted. She thanked him for his kindness, then stepped up to the maid. He followed the two women as far as the base of the stairs, then turned and went to his own quarters, but not to sleep. He had a lot to think about.
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Dante strode into his quarters, slamming the door behind him.

"and thus, more is revealed. This new vision of Geni's is troubling indeed...." Dante whispered to himself as he sat down in his chiar, a great thronelike chair of black iron. Dante reached for his neck, and grasped a thin chain that was hidden underneath hiis cloak, hefting it up, he could read the writing on a small plate of metal attatched to the end.

"Psytech 0010
Keitaro" Dante read to himself as he stared at the metal plate

"could this have anyting to do with The countess' new memory flash?"

Dante sat back down, and pondered far into the night.
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Geni woke up in stages, as she always did. First, she thought that the bed was facing the wrong direction, the sun should be warming her toes, not caressing her left cheek. Then she decided that the covers were too coarse. She would never get used to natural fabrics. Before she completely returned to waking, another flash hit her.

She was sitting on the edge of a small bed in what looked like an army barracks or a boarding school domitory. Identical small beds lined both sides of the room. She was pulling on a gray jumpsuit, sealing it by pulling up a small tab along a strip of metal teeth that interlocked. She ran a brush through her hair and braided it back in a long tail. She then pulled a silver-looking chain out from under the coverall. A small metal plate shined in the strange lights overhead. Geni could just see that it said "Psytech 0014 Jenni" on it. Sighing, she slipped on a pair of black shoes and strode from the room. "Duty calls." she muttered to herself.

The hallway outside was busy, but not crowded. She walked past six or seven doorways, then placed her hand on a black plate next to another door. A light ran up and down the plate, then a strange and disembodied voice said "Jenni DeSul, acknowledged." Geni flippantly said "Thanks," like she always did, and entered the next room.

The room was filled with strange machinery and glowing boxes filled with colored pictures. The air was stale, but not warm. She nodded or waved to others who were already seated before their own small glowing boxes with what looked like typewriters before them. Dante was there. So was Lady Elcair. They looked like themselves, but different in many aspects, just as Geni was sure she herself did.
She sat down at her own desk, flipped a few switches, and her box -- no, it was called a screen -- sparked to life, and Geni got on with her assigned tasks for the day.

This time Geni came awake all at once. She realized that in her half-awake befuddled state, she had broadcast her flash to any open mind within approximately two blocks of herself. She only knew of Dante, it was actually fairly rare for anyone to hear her mind unless she forced her way into theirs, but that did not mean that there were others out there. She blushed as she understood that whoever [I]had[/I] picked up the flash, got it completely uncensored, with all of her side thoughts and impressions as well. She could only hope that Dante had slept through it.

[I]The only way to find out for certain would be to get up, get dressed, and see if he says anything about it.[/I] she decided. Determindly she got up and rang the bell for the maid in the next room. Geni knew she would need help dressing. The only clothes she had here was her ballgown. She did not look forward to squeezing herself into the corsets and ruffles, but she really didn't have a choice. Besides, she and Dante were supposed to meet the Dutchess for lunch, and that would only be an hour or two from now. [I]My mother really [B]is[/B] going to take my life when I [B]finally[/B] get home.[/I] she thought to herself as the maid entered.
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Eclair's morning had bee quite average and nothing out of the ordinary had happened, well that is except for the odd memory she had. She had remembered being in a room with many other people, all these people dressed in grey except for one. The one looked exceptionally sad, he was handsome, but so lonely looking. She looked down and in her hand hand she held a small silver object, which had " Yvo 008" enscribed upon it. She looked back to the man, he mouthed somthing.... Helena.

She shook her head and opened her curtains, another dreary day among the many they recieved every year. The rain was not falling at the moment but it was clear that it had been raining earlier. She got dressed and did her hair for the day, which wan't anything fancy when she planned on staying home, she merely brushed it out and wore it down. Her delicte curls fell down her back like a chocolate colored waterfall. She walked down to the dining room where darian waited with her breakfast, Eggs, toast, bacon, and tea.

"Good morning Darian" She replied, her voice still slightly tired sounding. She yawned.

"Morning Milady. This came for you earlier." He replied handing her a small envelope. She opened the letter and read its contents, it fully explained the young Lord and Debutantes situation.

"I see." She stated as she folded up the note. She ate her breakfast then went to her study to wriite a letter to Geni's mother explaining that her daughter was perfectly safe and why she wasn't home.

"Edward." She spoke aloud as she sealed the envelope, knowing that Edward was very near, as he always was.

"Yes Milady." He spoke quickly, almost excitedly. She handed him the letter and smiled.

"Would you please take this and make sure it is delivered personaly?" Her smailed was warm and frieldy as usual. He merely shoook his head and headed for the door.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At noon the door sounded and entered the Young lord Dante and a quite disheveled looking Geni, for she was still wearing her ball gown from the night before. it looked asa though someone had attempted to refresh it but to little avail. Eclair smiled as she welcomed them into her home. Darian led them all to the main sitting room and offered them all tea.

"Now dear Geni, you musn't worry, I sent a letter to your mother first thing this morning so that she knows your whereabouts. You really needn't worry your little head about it, I can see it all over your face." She smiled and took a sip of her tea." She smiled then took a sip of her tea.

"I assume you heard about the murder in town last night" Dante asked as he lifted his own cup.

"I did hear that there was a murder of one of the local working girls, and that the killer vanished afterword." Eclair replied.

"Thats precisely it, he vanished, just the same as the assassin from earlier that evening. He said somthing to the effect that he would kill someone because I didn't let him kill his target."

"Oh I almost forgot--" She suddenly replied standing up and walking over to the table where her gloves sat. Then came back into the room handing Geni an envelope. "I'm not sure whether you spell you name with a J or a G but this was sitting on the same table as my gloves so I thought I would pick it up for you. The envelope was small and white, upon it was scrawled the lettr J in red ink.
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[I]"Geni, can you hear me?"[/I] Dante thought. tryingt to cast his thoughts into The countess' mind.

[I]"Yes milord, I can hear you."[/I]

[I]"Do not, under any surcumstances, open that Envilope."[/I]

[I]"Why not, Milord?"[/I]

[I]"Trust me, Do not open It yet, I have an Inkling that it is related to the incidents of last eve.[/I]

[I]"very well, milord."[/I]

[I] I wish to speak with you later, Geni. I had a uuuh... another memory flash of yours thismorning[/I]

Geni suddenly exploded into a series of rioutous coughs, drawing the attention of everyone in the room.

"are you alright countess?" the lady Eclair said, looking concernedly over her tea.

"Yes thank you milady, I am fine" Geni said as she glanced sidewards at dante, frowning slightly.

"Very well, let us continue"
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