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RPG The Ripper Program

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"No you are not fine." Ariana stated clearly. Dante's accusing eyes did not leave Eclair's. "You have had too many spells so close together, somthing is wrong, and you're not telling us what it is." She was genuinly concerned and ignored Dantes furious gaze.

"If she knew she would tell you." Nathan replied softly. "We have no hint of a clue as to what it could be. The doctor says physically shes as healthy as she should be. Sure maybe a little tired from all the recent events, but nothign more."

"How long did you say this has been going on?" Rufus asked from his seat.

"The better part of a year." Eclair stated quietly. She did not like the attention centered on her. They were here to discuss the letter not Eclairs health, poor or not.

"Thats enough, you're helping here avoid the matter at hand." Dante replied sharply.

"I'm not avoiding anything, I gave you my answer. We saved it for todays private meeting, nothing more. Theres no deep dark secret that I'm hiding from you, nor is there any reason for you to reffer to Sir Nathan as a dog you cowardly boy." Eclairs voice had not raised in any nature, but it was the purest tone of irritation.

"Now now, we are not enemies. In fact thats probably exactly what Jack wants, for us to rip eachother to shreds physically and mentally. And believe me if any one can do it, its us standing here in this room." Ariana chimed in breaking the tension between Eclair and Dante.

"Not me love." Rufus replied raising his hand witha smile.

"Not now darling." Ariana replied giving him a glance. Knowing that he only meant to lighten the mood further.

OOC: So sorry we dissapeared for sooooooooo long. Didn't mean to worry any of you. We've just been seriously busy with everything! But we're back, and as usual writing filler to keep us moving!

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"Ariana is right. Jack would want us at each other's throats. We're the only one's who stand between him and whatever his murderous objective is." Geni said, pulling herself away from Dante's shoulder. "This is not the time to be arguing."

Nathan found a sheet of paper in the parlor's writing desk, folded it into an envelope, then slid the severed ear into the makeshift container. Folding it shut, Nathan took off his coat and hid the envelope in it's folds, keeping it from immeditate view. Next he rang for an attending servant. James entered the room after only a second's pause.

"Is everything alright, Sir?" the butler asked Nathan. "I thought I heard a scream or raised voices."

"Yes, we are all well." the officer answered. "Lady Geni received a strange package full of salt. I'm afraid she has spilled the contents on the floor."

"Salt? That's very strange." James mused.

"Yes, it is. Do you happen to know who accepted the package at the door?" Nathan questioned in full police mode.

"I did. The lad who delivered it was in Almack's uniform. He was the same lad who had delivered the ball invitations in the past, so I thought nothing more about it." James answered without hesitation.

"Thank you. That is what I wanted to know." Nathan replied.

"Of course, Sir." James said with a nod of his head. "Now, luncheon will be served shortly, so if you lords and ladies would be willing to retire to the dining room, I will have this spill cleaned."

"That sounds like an agreable solution." Dante said. "We're out of the way of those who are cleaning up and we get to dine at the same time." The young lord stood and helped Geni to her feet. The others followed suit. This time, however, Lord Rufus was not the person keeping the group to a halting pace. Geni was a bit unsteady on her feet after her scare, and was grateful for the slowness of their progression as she clung to Dante's arm.

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Everyone entered the dining hall and took their seats in thier designated chairs. Eclair began to think about the most recent letter from their friend Jack, being as she couldn't before.

"Lady Death" She whispered, simply thinking out loud.

"I'm sorry Eclair what did you say?" Nathan asked, hearing her speak. She glanced over at him with a look of displeasure upon her face. "Did I say somthing wrong?"

"Lady Death, thats what he called me. Lady Death and her consort Official Calamity. Jack was reffering to you and me." Eclair stated seeming quite unhappy with this title.

"It seems out dear Jack has made some kind of sick joke out of giving us all nicknames." Rufus replied, he knew which name was reffering to him.

"This is absurd, and disrespectful." Dante stated firmly, he as usual was not in the best of moods.

"When has this man ever shown any shred of respect for anyone Dante?" Nathan replied flatly.

OOC: Woohoo! Filler und Conversation starter! Sorry it took soo long for so little hope this helps everyone!

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Dante was relieved when geni Finally sat down. He could sense that she was uneasy on her feet.

[I]"are you OK?"[/I] dante said without speaking, glancing over towards her.

[I]"I am fine, Dante."[/I] came a quietly silent reply. Dante's brow furrowed slightly.

[I]"Are you sure? You look a little pale still"[/I] he wondered if the Erronious ear was still upsetting her.

[I]"Yes dante, I am sure."[/I] she smiled slightly at his concernly furrowed brow. [I]"However, something is bothering me a little."[/I] Dante's brow furrowed further, setting into a slight scowl.

[I]"What is bothering you?"[/I] He asked silently. a moment, stretching into the bounds of infinity passed before she answered.

[I]"Did you really converse with Eclair telepathically? Threaten her telepathically?"[/I] dante's brow slackended, and he broke into a smile.

[I]"That's what concerns you?"[/I] He soundlessly replied, resisting the urge to laugh. [I]"Worry not, I do not have the telepath's gift, and if I did i wouldn't be using it to threaten one of our few team members, would I?"[/I] Genio seemed satisfied with his answer, and the two of them focused on the gathering.

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After the soup, a fine cut of lamb was served to the luncheon party along with a light wine. Everyone was quiet through the meal, whether it was from the enjoyment of the fine food or the matter of too much to think about, Geni really didn't want to know.

[I]"Why the Lady of Shalot?"[/I] Geni asked Ariana mind to mind. She guessed that if anyone knew the referance, Ariana would. [I]"What is Jack trying to infer?"[/I]

Ariana sighed inwardly. [I]"According to some Arthurian legends and Tennison's poem, the Lady of Shalot was madly in love with Sir Lancelot, but he ignored or rejected her feelings in favor of Queen Guenivere."[/I] Ariana watched as Geni's eyes widened, but the girl managed not to flinch. [I]"Pay it no mind, dear. It's as we said before, Jack is making a sick joke. I refuse to let that type of humor get the best of us."[/I]

[I]"You're right. And I have faith in Dante. I have to."[/I] Geni responded, trying to put the horrid prediction behind her.

[I]"That's the right stance to take. If we trust and believe in each other, we shall win out in the end. As my Rufus says, 'Claim victory in your heart and the Universe will follow.'"[/I] Ariana smiled and went back to her meal.

Geni shook her shoulders to help settle herself mentally. She wouldn't give up, she wouldn't lose faith, and she would do her best to be there for the others. She looked across the table at Dante. [I]"I love you."[/I] she sent to him.

He glanced up at her, startled. [I]"I love you, too. What brought that on?" [/I] he asked.

[I]"I just needed to tell you, that's all."[/I] Geni blushed slightly.

"Don't you just love it when you can tell half the table is speaking to one another, but you still get to enjoy the peaceful silence." Rufus joked, cutting across the quiet.

"Oh! I am so terribly sorry." Geni apologized for her rudeness.

Rufus laughed and started the rest of the table chuckling. "Geni, I think you would apologize if I claimed I was upset for not being able to breathe at the bottom of the ocean. Don't be sorry, just laugh at the joke."

Geni couldn't help but smile and enjoy the easing of the tension. "You're right, I am sorry you can't breathe on the ocean's floor. I'll get right on that." she joked back. Suddenly the meal seemed to taste much better as Geni finally relaxed enough to enjoy it.

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"Thats the spirit! We hate to see lovely girls in despair, isn't that reight gentlemen?" Rufus replied nodding at Nathan and Dante.

"Of course, thats correct." Nathan agreed giving a Eclair a side glance and a smile.

Dante just nodded, an answer good enough for the ocasionj he thought.

"Now ladies and Gentlemen, how are we to aquire these invitations to her majesty's Christmas Ball?" Rufus didn't enjoy the the tension that was set between Eclair and Dante, so decided not to give them the chance to dwell on it. "I realize that I had said that the way will present itself, but theres no harm in us trying to push it along."

"That is an excellent point Rufus. Now actually pushing it along is the hard part."

OOC: I had no idea what to post, but somthing had to be done... we're dwindling! Also, sorry I was gone for sooo long, its been hectic over here! But here we are back at the TOP!

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Lord David burst upon the dining room in a rush. "I'm terribly sorry over my tardiness!" he apologized. "I went to White's to thank Dr. Lancaster once again, and I was drawn into a rather morbid discussion." He joined them at the table, taking the seat at it's head that had been left vacant for him.

"I'm all curiosity. What could possibly be discussed at Whites that could contain any valid interest?" Rufus asked, only half kidding.

"The name of our aggressor is 'Jack,' am I correct?" He asked the group.

"Yes, Father." Geni answered, wondering where he was taking this.

"Have any of you been keeping up with the newspapers of late?" David queried.

The six looked at each other, then back at their host. "Not really." Ariana answered for them all. "Why?"

"Well, I think you should look at The Times headline for today." David pulled the paper in question from inside his jacket and spread it out on the dining table while Geni rearranged dishes so it would fit. In broad black letters the top of the sheet read: [B]Jack the Ripper Strikes Twice![/B] "Apparently, every time you have an 'event' with your Mr. Jack, he kills someone in Whitechapel. As best as I could, I traced down every date you actually saw Jack. Each time, a murder occured not long after you stopped him. Two deaths that happened last night were both claimed by the notorious Ripper in a package sent to the papers this morning."

Nathan rose from his chair in alarm. "He sent a package to the newspapers today?"

"Yes." David replied. "In fact, the package also included an. . ." he glanced at the ladies present in the room, "an appendage taken from a human form."

"An ear in salt?" Dante said, more a dark statement than a question.

"Quite, but they know it's from one of the two -- but how did you know?"

Geni's stomach went queasy as everyone in the room began broadcasting their thoughts loudly as all the minds raced with the sudden revelations and implications. She tried to thicken her mental shields, but to no avail. It was like they weren't even there.

"Geni recieved a similar gift this morning." Dante informed her father.

"What!?" Lord David was outraged.

As the rest of the group buzzed in their eagerness to explain the shocks of the morning, Geni's face paled. Her head began to pound, and bile rose to the back of her throat. Too much was pressing in on her, too many thoughts and emotions. It was as if her mind was no longer her own. Distantly she heard Nathan muse out loud, "I always wondered if there was a connection with our Jack and the Ripper."

The Ripper. . .

* * * * *

Jeni sat before a read-out screen, her eyes watering from exhaustion. [I]I know it's hiding here, somewhere. I just know it is![/I] she thought to herself as she searched yet another file display.

"Jen, your shift ended seven hours ago." Keitaro tapped her on the shoulder, scaring her out of her deep consentration and recieving a small yelp of surprise as her jumped in her seat and turned to face him.

"But this is important! I know it is! I have to track down that glitch." She was near to tears with how tired she felt.

"Why?" He asked a simple question, but she just didn't have a simple answer.

"Because this system is supposed to be flawless. Because I hate it when people hide things from everyone. Because I can feel that this has a dark undercurrent connected with it. And because no one else cares and thinks I'm nuts because I do!"

"Then move your chair over." he said softly.


"Move your butt and the thing it's resting on over so I can sit down, too. Then after you explain what it is, exactly, that I'm supposed to be looking for, you can doze while I search. If I find anything or have a question, I'll wake you." He stared down at her till her brain connected with her body and she skootched to the right. Keitaro hooked an empty chair with his foot and pulled it beneath him as he sat at the keyboard.

"Why would you do this?" Jeni couldn't help but ask.

"Because you're nuts. What am I looking for?"

After a brief explaination, Jeni set her arms on the desktop and rested her head on them. She closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Keitaro's fingers tapping on the keys. It didn't take long for her to drift off to sleep.

"Jen. Hey, Jen." Jeni felt her shoulders being shaken. [I]He's the only one who calls me that.[/I] she thought randomly. She tried to bat his hands away. "I'm still sleepy." she muttered.

"I said I'd wake you if I found anything or had a question." Keitaro persisted in shaking her, despite her weak attemps at getting him to leave her alone. Muzzily she lifted her head and tried to neaten the whisps of hair that had come loose from her braid.

"How long was I asleep?" she asked as she tried to engage her brain.

"Only three or four hours."

"Three or four?! I thought you were just going to let me doze!" she was agast at all the time she had wasted sleeping.

"You skipped right over doze and went straight to out cold. Besides, I didn't need to ask or tell you anything till now, so why wake you?" Keitaro's pragmaticism took all the affronted bluster out of her sails.

"So what did you want to tell me?" she asked, properly abashed.

"Ask you, actually. What does the word 'Ripper' have to do with 1888? I've found a few referances to a 'Ripper Program' that I don't recognize, but I'm hazy on whether or not there is a connection." Keitaro scrolled down a few screens till he found the file he was looking for and pointed it out to her.

Jeni clicked open the said file and scanned over the contents. Her eyes widened, and she went over it again slowly in order to take in all the details. "God." she whispered.

"What? Is it the end of the world?" Keitaro joked.

"Yes." Jeni breathed. "Someone here is Jack the Ripper, and they want to end civilization as we have come to know it. God, oh God." She looked him in the eyes. "People are going to die. Lots of people if we don't do something."

* * * * * *

Geni woke up back in her bedroom. Eclair and Ariana sitting in chairs nearby were the only indication that the entire episode of that morning hadn't been a twisted dream. She tried to sit up, but then her head began to pound and the room to spin.
Slowly she lowered herself back down to her pillows and groaned softly.

"Gently now." Ariana whispered.

"Danted said that you were starting to have troubles, then you went into a flashback. After that you blacked out and we brought you up here." Eclair explained.

"You mean Dante carried her up here." Ariana clairfied. "He was like a mother hen. We chased him out not long ago. He was getting on Eclair's nerves, so we sent him to get you some warm milk."

"If he manages not to burn himself, I'll be impressed." Eclair snickered.

"Be nice." Ariana chided with a grin.

"I saw --" Geni began.

"Yes, Dante told us." Ariana interrupted. "You remember finding something called the Ripper Program, and that people were going to die because of it. Do you think it is the whole reason why we are all here now?"

"I'm sure of it." Geni had no questions on the matter.

"But what does it do, and how could we possibly think anything we could do would matter?" Eclair asked.

"I don't know. I still don't remember." Geni sighed.

"Well, while Dante was holding your hand and being grumpy to us all, he became non-reponsive for a few minutes. He might have just been pouting or concentrating on only you, but I wonder if he might have had a memory triggered by your own." Ariana surmised. "I guess we'll just have to wait as see if he'll tell us anything."

"We'll be waiting quite a while, if Dante stays true to form." Eclair grumbled with good humor.

"Be nice." The other two ladies chimed in unison.

OOC: Monster post strikes again! Sorry it took me so long to post, I've been recovering from sewing cosplay costumes and a convention. I hope this gives people a direction (besides Otori_guy's observation that we are not yet invited to the ball.) I'd like to have a few more memories crop up that develop the reasons why each character desided to come to the Victorian era, among any other cool things you can think of! Yay, back at the top!

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Hour after hour, through file after file. Constanly streaming through Files, records, databases and subdirectories, his eyes never left the screen. All of them were pretty standard looking files. Continuing on, Keitaro noticed that the occasional file would be in German. "what have we here?" he said to himself, hovvering his cursor over the file. "Ripper program?"

White noise burst theough Dante's Eardrums, Overcoming his mind in the cacophony of lacerating sounds He sank to his knees.

[I]"you... Have... stop..... Have...to stop....Stop......Ripper"[/I]The blisteringly loud message, concealed in the white noise, layered with clear urgency sliced into dante's conciousness like a physical blade. Dante Nearly passed out: this had not happened before.

With a dawning light of sudden comprehension, He figured something out.

He had to tell geni.

(OOC: whew. Been a while, so I thought I'd try this. Any one has any problems, let me know and I'll do something aobut it.)-

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"If you do not mind my asking Eclair, do you remember why you came back? Why you accepted this...mission that we were given." Ariana asked shyly, her eyes not quite meeting Eclairs.

"I don not mind, and I actually do remember." Eclair replied giving a slight smile as he gaze turned down to her lap where her hands rested. "As far as I can tell I was a high ranked telekinetic and I was the only one willing to come on this mission. Also if my memory severs me correctly, I even broke off an engagement for this mission. I also remember that 'he' wasn't very happy with me about it, and even threatened to take me off the list, but I insisted that I come. The team would have been incomplete without me, and therefore not able to be used to its full potential, so I came." Eclair twisted her gloves in hands as she spoke.

"You left someone behind then? Don't you miss them?" Genis soft voice broke into the conversation.

"Quite honestly I don't remember him enough to truely miss him. I miss my husband from this time more than I miss the man that feels more like a dream." Eclair stated cooly. "I do not regret a single moment that I have spent here."

"Thats very noble of you I believe. Choosing a chance to save somthing rather take your own happiness." Ariana replied, seeming almot distant as she spoke.

OOC: Kinda short, but hey its something.

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"How about you, Geni?" Eclair asked, adroitly chaging the focus of the conversation away from herself. "Any ideas why you decided to come to this year of our Lord?"

"Well. . . I don't know for sure. My memories are still spotty in many places." she demurred. "I think it's because I either found the program, or I stumbled upon a way to stop it. Nothing terribly herioc. I think I just wanted to be useful. I had no family, and all my friends were coming with me. I vaguely remember not wanting someone to come -- but I'm not sure who, or why."

"I don't think anyone came here for heroic recognition." Ariana added. "If we succeed, no one will ever know about the danger. If we fail, no one will remember how it was supposed to be. Either way you look at it, coming here was not the greatest way to become memorable."

Eclair sighed. "Too right. If we live 'Happily ever after', I will be content. If we don't, we'll be dead, and I won't have any room to complain."

"What a morbid thought." Geni said, agast.

"Just being practical, dear." Eclair smiled softly. "Just being practical."


[COLOR=Blue]OOC: My IC is being a mess, and I can't access this site often or for long right now. Sorry this post is so short, but I'm doing my best. Please feel free to post and I will get a longer one up and get us moving ASAP! Thanks![/COLOR]

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As the others chatted animatedly amongst themselves, dante retracted into himself, mulling over the problem that was irking them. Minutes slipped by as he reflected inwardly.

"And what about Dante?" a distant voice chimed. He was instantly snapped out of his thoughts.

"What?" he said, sharply. It was Eclair that had spoken.

"Why do you think your future you decided to come to the past?" she repeated, a light tone to her voice.

Dante grunted a laugh, and smiled whistfully to himself. "If I was sure that any man had ever returned from this abyss, but as I have heard it, have not. Then I could say without fear of infamy" he saaid in a low voice, smirking. Geni's eyes snapped up.

[I]I remember that! that's a quote from Keitaro's favorite book...![/I] she thought to him

Dante's Eyes met hers, as he sent a reply.

[I]The inferno[/I]

Eclair and the others all exchanged looks of quizzical puzzlement.

"Uh, DAnte, what do you mean?" Said eclair in a dubious voice. Laughing aloud, Dante smirked at her and said "It means that I can't say".

HIs eyes met geni's again before conversation resumed

OOC: sorry everyone! been having computer troubles!

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Geni sat quietly as Eclair and Ariana chatted amiably. She knew there was more to what Dante was saying that he was admitting to the others, but the quote baffled her as well. Was he saying that he remembered more about Keitaro than he was willing to admit to the group? 'Tis a puzzlement!

A small memory came to Geni and she wondered. . .

* * * * *

"Jen!" an all too familiar voice called. The groans from the other inhabitants of her dorm-like room held the promise of death to anyone who didn't shut him up. Didn't the idiot care that it was four a.m. and she had only gotten to sleep a few hours before.

Jeni lugged herself out of bed and stumbled to the door, quickly slipping out of the room before anyone could hit her with a pillow for letting light in. "What?!" she grumbled in a murderous tone.

Keitaro grinned at her sarcastically. He knew she wasn't a merry morining person, and he was enjoying her discomfort, even if she was crabby. "Helena posted the list of people for the 'special training mission.' You said you wanted to know as soon as it was up."

"What!?" Jeni roared. "This early in the morning? I knew she could be evil, but come on!"

"Whine all you like, but we're to report to her office in half an hour." he mocked.

"Just great! It'll take me almost that long just to get there from here. Does she not want me to go or something?" Indignant, Jeni started down the hall toward the lifts that would take her to the floor of the complex that the offices were located.

"Uh, Jen." Keitaro grabbed her elbow.

"What now?" She was still grumpy.

"Don't you want to get dressed first?" he asked with a hint of a blush. That's when she recalled she was only in her panties and bra. At least they were a cute set and not something old and ratty.

"If she wants me there in 30 minutes, she gets me in this!" Her crabbines had turned into defiance. Jeni turned once more to the lifts, but Keitaro stopped her again.

"I'll take you the fast way if you promise to put some clothes on." His cheeks were slightly redder.

She grinned evilly at him, payback for his enjoyment of getting her up so early. "Well --- not having to walk would be worth it. I guess I can find something to throw on." Snickering, she slipped back into her room. She let him cool his heels outside her door for ten minutes before she reappeared, dressed in a coverall and hair properly braided.

"Let's go." she said as she grabbed his hand. Keitaro nodded and jumped them to Helena's office. For politeness's sake, he put them just outside the door instead of just appearing right inside. "Oh!" Jeni remembered. "You didn't tell me who else was on the list."

"Well, there's Helena, and you, and me, and. . ."

"What!?!" Jeni cut him off.

"I told you I applied, didn't I?" He was stunned at her violent reaction.

Gaining control of herself, she muttered something about forgetting the fact. They knocked on the office door, then Jeni let herself in before anyone could answer.

"Hello Jeni. I heard you coming. Glad you two could make it. You're the last ones to report in." Helena chimed at them, far to chipper for the early hour.

"Well, we're here. What else do we need to do?" Jeni grumbled.

"Just know that the 'training mission' will get underway in four days, and you need to tell me in the next five minutes what name you want to be known by in the Victorian era. We have to program that in, among billions of other things." Helena was not at all daunted by Jeni's surliness.

"Genieve." was Jeni's immediate reply.

"Isn't that just old English for Jeni?" Helena asked.

"So?" Jeni wasn't in the mood.

"Real creative, I must say." Helena snickered back. "How about you, Keitaro? Know what name you want? Your current one isn't exactly European."

"Uh -- I hadn't really thought about a name." he answered.

"Why don't you call him 'Dante'?" Jeni ventured, "With as much as you've carried around that stupid book, I won't have any trouble remembering a name like that!"]

"Dante'll work." He nodded.

"Wait! I was just kidding!" Jeni spluttered.

"Dante'll work."

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Eclair noticed that Jeni was off in another world, memories of their past one no doubt, and she kindly waited for her to come back to reality. She did her best to avoid eye contact with Dante, seeing as he hasn't really been pleased with her as of late, of course Eclair couldn't blame the boy.

"How is Sir Nathan these days Eclair?" Arianas voice broke whatever chain of thought Eclair had been following and she turned to face her. "I'd ask him myself, but hes been quite busy and to himself lately, that much I can see."

"Oh hes been quite busy with the attacks, and with his own regular duties. He spends as much time with me as he can but that is not much these days. Althgouh there has been somthing bothering him these past few weeks, but he won't tell me what it is. Hes very secretive about those sorts of things. Everytime he smiles at me I can see a sort of sadness behind it.Then when I ask him whats the matter, he smiply replies nothing... hes a horrible liar really." Eclair finished as Jeni seemed to finally come back from her visit to another life. A slight smile spread across her face.

"Whats that for?" Dante asked, his voice both curious and sweet.

"Nothing of importance.... I'll tell you later."

"Well since all seems well here, I suppose I shall return to the gentlemen downstairs. Nathans probably in a fit about the killer sending 'items' to the paper." Eclair replied standing and moving towards the door. She turned the door knob and left the room slowly, leaving a smile as she shut gently behind her.

She walked down the long hall silently thinking to herself. As she approached the stairs she felt her body weaken, and her mind felt dizzy. She grasped the railing next to her, and slowly sank to the ground, fighting off the feeling of unconsiousness that crept over her. Just as she began to loose her grasp on the railing she heard Nathans voice, though it seemed quite distant.

"Eclair!" She could hear him more clearly now as she forced her eyes open.

"How long was I..." Eclair asked quitely.

"Only a moment, Thank God." Nathan replied quickly.

"Does anyone know?" She'd prefer not to focus attention on her if she could avoid it.

"No... should I tell them?" He asked.

"No its alright, we'll just continue downstairs as though nothing ever happened. We don't need to be worrying about me." There was a frown on Nathans face, as he helped her stand. Then without warning, Eclair passed out, and Nathan pulled her back onto himself to keep her from falling down the long set of stairs. There he sat with Eclair in his lap, and only one thought in his mind. 'Why?'

OOC: Woohoo Drama!

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Rufus rounded the corner to the stairs and saw Nathan holding an unconcious Eclair.

"Good Lord Nathan, what happened?" He asked slowly making his way up the stairs. He still couldn't move at a normal speed.

"The same thing that happens everytime." He replied alomst to himself, holding Eclair gingerly.

"Have you called the others?" Rufus inquired.

"No..." He looked up at Rufus as he approached. "This keeps happening more and more often and she insists that nothing is wrong. I made her see the doctor, and he says other than her being worn out from recent events, there is nothing wrong with her." Rufus took a seat next to Nathan, and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"You're a good man Sir Nathan. Eclair is lucky to have someone like you looking after her." Rufus turned around to glance behind him, he could hear footsteps behind them. It was Ariana, and she didn't look happy to see the situation at hand.

"Rufus, Nathan, whats going on here? Is Eclair unwell?" She asked, worry shown on her face.

"Shes as well as shes been lately." Nathan replied.

"Apparently this has been happening more frequently than our dear Eclair has led us to believe." Rufus stated standing carefuly.

OOC: My Eclair is on a buisness trip, so she won't be around for a short while. Sorry we've been absent, its been super busy over here!

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Dante and Geni watched as Ariana left her rooms. When the door softly closed behind the lady, Dante turned to Geni with a raised eyebrow and mischief in his grin. "Speak, girl. What made you smile so charmingly, but wasn't important enough to talk about?"

"Your name, is all." She nonchalantly smirked.

"What about my name? I didn't think it something to laugh about." Dante bristled.

"No, dearest. Your name suits you perfectly. Here, let me show you." Geni reached out her hand and took Dante's in a light grip. She let her brief memory flow into his mind. He grinned broadly as it concluded, but something told Geni that it was not for the same reason that she had smiled.

"Your charms are quite . . . charming." he got out, managing not to laugh.

"Dante!" She was agast in an odd sort of way. As [I]Jeni[/I], she hadn't minded Keitaro looking at her with not much on, but as [I]Geni[/I], she was mortified at her brazenness. She wasn't sure what to think. But before she could come up with a witty set-down, she heard Ariana speak with a raised and worried voice. She tried to get out of bed to see about the commotion, but Dante pushed her back down onto her pillows.

"I'll go see what is amiss. You stay put and I'll report back." He said sternly, all mocking gone from his voice.

"But --" she tried.

"No! You're in enough danger from psychopaths without you breaking your own neck in a tumble." With that, he hustled out the door.

OOC: Sorry for the filler, but Natchan says she has a big post coming soon!

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OOC: just a smidget of filler, to let you all know that I can type again.

Dante silently closed the door behind him. setting off in search of the raised voices. Locating the others, he fixed them with his glower.

"IS everything ok out here?" he questioned in a quiet voice.

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When Dante stepped out of the room, Geni sat back into her pillows and softly closed her eyes. She began to mull over all the memories that she and others had experienced lately, trying to piece them together into some semblance of a whole. . .

Who had they all been, really? And who were they now? Were the five of them truly reborn into this era with completely new personalities or were they now an amalgam of future and past experiences. Geni was positive she would [I]never[/I] walk into an open public hallway in the state of undress that she had been in during her last memory, but the Jeni of that time had seemed perfectly at ease -- even amused at Keitaro's discomfort. Where did [I]Jeni[/I] end and [I]Genieve[/I] begin?

What reason would the person behind the Ripper Program have in creating 'Jack' and killing seven people? And why the seven that were chosen? Did they have any connection at all with each other? And who could the last target be? If only she could remember more!

And all those questions led to even more. . . what about her father and Lord Rufus? Were they also included in their grand scheme when their future selves planned when they would come back? Were the two Victorian men [I]supposed[/I] to be involved in all this, or just included because of happenstance? And what about Eclair? Why did she continue to have 'episodes'? Why were they happening more and more frequently as time goes by?

And what were they all supposed to do once 'Jack' was no longer an issue? Geni knew that there would be no returning to the future. Even if were possible, and she remembered that it was not, would she? Now that the era she currently knew so well was ingrained into her very being, would she be able to handle the stark world from her memories? But without that option, what [I]would[/I] she, Dante, Ariana, Eclair and Nathan do when it was all over. . . arrogantly assuming they survived 'Jack' and his horrid plans?

So many question, and so few answers.

OOC: More filler, but Natchan promised me that she would have something big posted as soon as her life gets a bit less hectic. (I hope it's soon!)

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OOC: Hey everyone... as slow as we're going right now its nice to see that we still exist! I guess thats what happens when we all have lives! And Natchan, its okay that you're taking soooo long..... I'll add some filler and get us out of the house for you!


Ariana glanced down at Sir Nathan as he held Eclair carefully. A smile graced her lips as she gave an almost sad smile.

"Sir Nathan, perhaps it us time that Eclair go home for the day. As sson as she comes to I want the two of you to head back to her house. I want her to rest the rmainder of the day, and tell her 'No Exceptions'! She is too rest." Ariana stated in almost a doctorly tone. "I will visit her tomorrow morning. I have and idea, but I need to run it by her before we try and exicute it."

It took Eclair almost a full hour to gain consiousness this time... most unusual. After Ariana explained to her that she was to go home and rest, and that she will be over in the morning to check up on her. Then after recieving her "lecture" from Ariana, Nathan and Eclair returned to Eclairs home.

OOC: Short but should Natchan the room she needs to work! Thats right Natchan, I recieved your emergency pm for help!

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Geni made her way to the front door of her home and bid Eclair and Nathan farewell. She had told her friend to feel better and that if she needed anything at all to send a message at any time of day or night. She watched the carriage pull away with a heavy heart. Eclair seemed to be getting worse instead of better as time went on.

As soon as the carriage was no longer visible, Dante turned Geni to face him. "Should you be out of bed? We've had more than enough collapsing for one day." he mumbled.

"Oh, I don't know about that." Ariana jibed him, "Maybe I should swoon and fit in with the fashion."

"Please don't, dearest." Rufus said with a smile. "Catching you while holding onto my cane for balance might be more than I'm capable of."

"Well, since you put it that way." Ariana touched Rufus's face in a small caress.

"Back to the point." Dante grumbled. "Shouldn't Geni be resting, too?"

"But I can't!" Geni protested. "We still haven't any idea on how to be invited to the Queen's ball!"

"Don't worry your head over that today." Ariana soothed. "I have a few ideas, but I need to mull them over a bit more before I share them with the group. Just rest today and we'll gather again tomorrow. Rufus and I will be off now, to insure you no longer feel obligated to play hostess, Geni."

"But. . ." Geni tried.

"Just rest and we'll see you tomorrow." Lord Rufus interrupted.

Geni didn't even bother looking to Dante for support. Getting her to lay back down had been his idea to begin with. She was feeling very ganged up on. "Well if that's what you all want, I suppose I shall see you then." With that Geni gave them both a farewell hug and then made her way back up the stairs.

"Take care of her, Dante." Ariana told the young lord. "She's more fragile inside than she will ever let you know. She had a rough past life, and the scars of that are starting to show in her now."

"Don't worry." Dante responded. "I shall."

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The Next day.

Éclair had been sitting in her study reading when Ariana had arrived.. She marked her place in the book, and closed it gently setting it aside.

?How nice of you to come visit me Ariana. What is it I can do for you?? Éclair asks kindly as Ariana takes a seat in a near by chair.

?Its no problem Éclair, I wanted to come check up on how you are feeling today. Sir Nathan was awfully concerned about you yesterday when you fainted on Geni?s stairs, and we forced him to bring you home. He does nothing but think of your well being Éclair, you?re very lucky to have him around.? Her voice was sweet.

?Thank you, he is a dear isn?t he?? Éclair replied glancing out the window. ?I am better today than I was yesterday, though a tad weaker than I?d prefer. Thank you for your concern.?

?Well now that the pleasantries are out of the way.? She scooted forward on her chair in what seemed to be excitement. ?I have a excellent idea to make you feel better.?

?Oh do you now? And what might that be Ariana?? Éclair was intrigued.

?Well I figure that your spells have been from all the stress and recent grief in your life, so why not we do something to take your mind off of the depressing? I suggest that we have a dinner party? at my home of course.? Ariana?s face was that of glee.

?That?s a splendid idea, have you spoken to the others about it yet?? Éclair asked pouring a cup of tea for Ariana.

?Yes, truth be told it was Rufus? idea, hes such a sweet man. Though when I was speaking to Geni about it she was concerned on the fact that she has nothing to wear. Then proceeded to remind me on the situation with her dressmaker.? Ariana didn?t have to finish the idea in her mind for Éclair to see it.

?Of course geni need not worry. I shall take her to my dressmaker, Mrs. Greenwood wouldn?t dream of questioning me. My family has been getting dresses made there longer than I have been alive.?

?Very well then its been decided. I shall contact Geni this evening, and the three of us shall go out tomorrow.? Ariana stated, then took a sip of her tea.

* * * * * * * * * * *

As agreed the three of them, accompanied by Dante, made a visit to Éclair?s dressmaker. Dante waited outside with the carriage, while the three ladies entered the shop, Éclair in the lead followed by Geni then Ariana brining up the rear. Mrs. Greenwood was a short lady, especially in comparison to Éclair, she stood at only 5?0 even. Her hair was an dark chocolate color with silver strands gleaming through for the world to see. She wore small spectacles over her brown eyes, and had the wrinkles of someone who smiled most of their life. She greeted Éclair with a warm smile, and approached her quickly leaving her assistant to continue with the current customer.

?Éclair my dear, how are you? I haven?t had you in since?? She paused a moment to think. ?Oh well its doesn?t matter when the last time I saw you was, the point is that you?re here today. Now my dear what can I do for you?? She gave Geni and Ariana a kind glance.

?My sweet Mrs. Greenwood.? Turns to bring Geni closer. ?I?ve brought you a knew customer. This is Genevieve, it seems that her dressmaker has fallen into the loop of gossip and refuses to make her anything. I told her that you would be more than willing to help her in this situation.? Mrs. Greenwood, gave an almost disgusted look upon hearing of Geni?s dressmaker refusing to make her gowns, but it turned right around into a smile.

?Of course I will make your gowns dear.? She replied giving Geni an slight curtsey, and a wink.
?Any customer that Éclair brings me, I can trust to be worthy. No my dear what is the event?? She pulled Geni gently by the arm toward some fabrics, and over to where should be taking measurements.

?As I said, no questions asked.? Éclair replied to Ariana under her breath.

It was not long when one of the other ladies in the shop was attracted to Éclair?s topic of Geni. She approached with a smile.

?Ah Miss Éclair its so nice to see you out and about. I heard from my husband that you were feeling under the weather as of late.?

?Of course Mrs. Islands, its been a while, how are you? Your husband must work with Sir Nathan if he is to know of my health.? Éclair replied with a knowing smile. ?I am well now thank you. It was nothing more than exhaustion from the recent events, nothing more trivial.?

?I?m glad to hear it. Though I must say the curiosity has gotten the best of me.? Mrs. Islands stated.

?And how is that?? Éclair asked.

? The young Miss over there, Genevieve is it? Are those rumors about her and? well you know.?

?You mustn?t believe every bit of gossip you hear Mrs. Islands. Young Miss Genevieve is nothing more than the true manifestation of purity, and to think that she would have done anything to scar that image is absurd. She is nothing more than a victim in London?s need for a story to tell. Besides with young girls mother away from home, I?ve decided to as one would say ?take her under my wing?. You know, give the girl a little guidance. If you?re asking me, the only person London?s people should be talking about is this ridiculous form of human that calls himself ?Jack the Ripper?.? Éclair quickly stated her point and led the conversation away from the topic that was Geni. After a long conversation, Geni was done getting her measurements, and rejoined the group.

?Ah Geni darling this is Mrs. Islands. Her husband works with Sir Nathan.? Éclair replied introducing the two.

?Hello, it?s a pleasure meeting you.? Geni replied nervously.

?I was just talking to Éclair about your incident the other night. When that drunk attacked you. I assume that you are well.?

?Yes Thank You. All is in order now, and I am doing fine.?

Éclair and Geni made an order for Genis new gown and the three of them left to join Dante outside.

OOC: Go ahead tell me that I'm slower than dominos pizza I don't care. The point is.... tah dah! Here it is! Sorry about that everyone, lifes been a little crazy and this is one of the last things i've been thinkning about!

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"Well, that wasn't quite the eternity I was expecting." Dante glowered.

"Dante, dear" Eclair breezed by him on her way to the carriage, "I have come to the inescapable conclusion that you only grouse at those you love. Its so nice to know you care." Ariana barely contained a smirk of amusement resulting from the aggrivated face Dante pulled at her friend's comment.

Geni smiled indulgently at the banter, her heart lighter than it had been in days. It seemed that not all of proper society had desided to shun her. The fabrics and designs that had been chosen were sumptious and more than she had hoped for. She took Dante's hand as he helped her into the carriage to return home, and did not release it as he climbed in after. Ariana and Eclair had sat next to each other in a silent offer to let the two sweethearts sit together on the opposite side. Either that, or neither one wanted to sit next to Dante, but Geni didn't think they were that cruel in their intentions.

"Now, does someone want to explain in terms a mere male can understand why we're having these festivities in the middle of everything else?" Dante questioned the two ladies he faced. His look was stern, but his grip on Geni's hand remaind gentle as he placed it on his lap and stroked the soft leather of her kid gloves with his free hand.

"Catharsis is what we're looking for. Simply a catharsis." Ariana answered. "We've been under so much pressure of late that the health of the group as a whole is deteriorating. We need some leavity before we all snap."

"But. . ." Dante tried to argue.

"But nothing. We know when the next attack will be, and our having a few moments of fun isn't going to make that date come any faster or slower." Eclair chided. "Although no one wants to dwell on this fact, some or all of us might not live through this last encounter. . . so we might as well enjoy what little time might be left to us. . . left to each other." She got a distant look in her eyes, then turned to watch the streets of London roll by.

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Rufus was sitting in the study reading when Ariana returned home from her dress expidition with Geni and Eclair. He closed his book, and stood, of course with the aid of his cane. Made his way out to the hall just as Ariana came to the top of the stairs.

"Hello dear, how was your outing with the girls?" His voice was filled with genuine curiousity as usual. He really did like knowing how the others were when he wasn't around. Ariana gave him a small kiss on the cheek when she approached him.

"Well I believe. I'm sure that Eclair sparked some good rumors with the usual gossip crowd, and I think things will begin to shape up for us." She replied taking his arm and heading for the stairs. "Dinner is almost ready."

"How was Eclair today, was she well?" He really did worry about her often, they both did for that matter.

"She was pale, but unforuntately thats been usual as of late. As far as I know she hasn't had a single spell today. Not like that one on the stairs at least, she didn't tell me, and I haven't seen Sir Nathan today. He gives the update usually, Eclair of course doesn't like to bring it up."

"That woman has the kind of life you only read about." There was a pause as an awkward smile appeared across his lips. "Of course I guess all of us really do, considering our situation. I just hope that Sir Nathan does something about his feeling toward her soon. Its so obvious how much he cares its maddening to think that Dante and Geni are more open about their relationship. The young couple beating out the elder of the three sets, its almost silly." Rufus was silly himself really, the fact that he worried more about the coupling than anyone. Ariana figured that he worried about it so much do to the fact that he couldn't really do much else for the group.

OOC: Filler to bring us up to the top! Woohoo!

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A few days later, Eclair burst into Geni's parlor without waiting to be announced or any other propriatary nonsense. Geni had been reading an Austen novel while Dante and her father were growling over the less-than-useful newspaper when they looked up to see Eclair enter all in a rush and wearing a huge smile. The men leaped to their feet in her presence, tearing the paper in half in the process.

"Big blessings come in strange packages." the lady announced happily.

"Whatever do you mean?" Geni asked as she crossed the room to her friend and motioned to Eclair to seat herself wherever she desired.

Eclair flounced through the room to an empty chair, waving an expensive looking sheet of embossed velum in the air."I'm saying, our problem has been solved through entirely unexpected means."

"Oh, that clears up everything." Dante smirked. "Now we understand you perfectly."

"You bully." Eclair smirked back. She was in far too good a mood to let Dante's slight sarcasm cast any clouds on her sunny day. "Geni, did you know that Mrs. Islands younger sister is a lady-in-waiting to the queen?"

"Um, no. I did not. But what has that got to do with our problems?" Geni looked as befuddled as the men in the room felt.

"Well, the gossip mill worked to our advantage this time around. Mrs. Islands spoke of our meeting in the dress-shop to her sister, and appearantly she really went over-the-top praising our virtues and fortitude in moving onward despite malicious rumors. The sister then told everyone in her aquaintance about our wonderous perseverance and bravery in the face of such snubbing."

"There must not have been much to talk about in society lately if that is big news." Lord David grinned to Dante. The young lord smiled and rolled his eyes in agreement.

"Phooey on both you men." Eclair gave them a dismissive wave and then continued with her story. "Anyway, being a lady-in-waiting, and knowing how our queen enjoys being kept up-to-date on society's latest gossip, the news of our exploits has reached Her Majesty's ear. This morning I received a personal invitation for myself, Lady Ariana, Geni and our escorts to the queen's ball from Queen Victoria herself! She said she is eager to be presented to myself, Ariana, and our protoge."

"I am all astonishment, as Eliza Bennet would say." Geni spoke with jaw nearly agape.

"That definitely solves that little dilemma." Lord David agreed.

"Does Ariana and Rufus know?" Geni asked, still shocked.

"They will as soon as I get to their home!" Eclair smiled.

"An actual invitation from the queen." Dante was just as surprised as everyone else.

"I told you getting a new dress for the party was a good idea!" Eclair crowed. "Now, I must be off. We'll all get together and speak about this as soon as we can!"

With that she stood in a rush and blew out of the room as quickly as she had arrived. The silence in the room after her departure was like the quiet after a storm. The three that remained sat blinking at one another -- wondering what new madness might come through the door next.

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Dante Leaned towards the assembled.

"what we must ask ourselves..." he began as he looked each of them in the eye "is if our freind may be behind this in some way" he growled in a low voice.

"It just seems a little too convenient to me, being invited to the Queen's ball after Geni here had to endure the slings and arrows of this haughty and sanctamonious time period's 'high society' I can't help but wonder if it is all a setup" he elaborated to their somewhat quizzical looks, as he sat down to finish the paper.

OOC: SOrry everyone! I can only explain my several month absence by saying that I've had numerous computer (and exam) problems. so here's some filler from the now rare and elusive brain of dante!

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Eclair made sure that her next stop was the home of Ariana and Rufus. She couldn't wait to tell them the good news. Her carriage pulled up, and she practically ran to the front door, knocking enthusiaticaly. The butler opened the dorr, and welcomed Eclair kindly.

"They're in the library milady" He stated, before she could ask.

"Oh Thank you, I can find my own way. You don't have to worry about me." She walked by cheerfully, it was true of course, she knew precisely where their library was.

Ariana and Rufus were actually having a conversation about Eclair, when there was a knock at the door and she suddenly burst into the room.

"Afternoon! Its lovely to see that you're both well today." Eclair replied walking over to the two of them.

"Oh Eclair, how are you?" Ariana replied surprised at the sudden appreaence.

"I am excellent, I couldn't be better. And I come with excellent news." Elcair sat down on a nearby chair.

"Good heavens, out with it then." Rufus stated.

"Right then, well. Do you remember our lovely conversation with Lady Islands at the dress shop?"

"Yes." Ariana replied.

"Well it seems she has conections, and our sob story was good enough for her to take a liking to our dear Geni. So, I have invitations for us all to attend the queens ball. They were are from the Queen herself infact."

Ariana and Rufus looked shocked.

"Thats... amazing." Rufus stated.

"I knew getting Geni a new dress was an excellent idea." Ariana smiled.

"Thats what I said."

OOC: Okay there we are folks.... GO!

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