1965-03-10 - Rooftop Farewell
Summary: Ms. Delatour has a plan to finally rid New York of the little crystalline menaces, but Elmo's got other plans.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
tchalla kai danielle elmo mike-matthews 

Reports have come in here and there throughout the city over the past several months of strange crystalline creatures that seem oddly attracted to revelry, parties of various kinds, turning up usually near the waterfront and disappearing back out over the water once their celebrating has been done. Some folks in the city seem to think that they're harmless, while others consider them a menace. Ms. Sabrina Delatour has decided that she has had enough of the little monstrosities that have disrupted no less than two weddings and one anniversary party she had painstakingly planned. Now it is time for the party planner to get her revenge.

Invitations to the The Rooftop Party aren't difficult to come by. Anyone could pick one up from a friend, a former client of Ms. Delatour's, or simply just wandered on up, seeing the signs for the party outside the Hotel Triomphe just on the edge of downtown.

The Rooftop is a restaurant that can be rented out for parties of all sorts. Tonight, it is decorated for dinner and dancing. There is a band that is playing some soft jazz as partygoers gather. Windows are left open out onto the balcony outside, though there are some heaters set up in order to keep guests warm when transitioning from one area to the other. There are ice sculptures in the shape of swans. There are fountains of both champagne and chocolate in which one might dip any number of small bites ranging from fruits and bits of cake to cookies. The chandeliers glitter, throwing rainbow illumination around the room. It's the ideal crystal critter trap. Will the guests of honor show?

Danielle makes her way up to the Rooftop amidst other partygoers, her chin lifted slightly as if anticipating a challenge to her right to hobnob with the hobnobbers. Her outfit isn't the latest haute couture, of course, but she cleaned up nice, and a smooth, snug dress (in traditional Cheyenne style, of course) over comfortable leggings suits her just fine. She meanders casually through the party, eyes studying the arrangements and furnishings with distracted attention, while her fingers occasionally find a bit of munchies to munch. The strangers around her? She somehow manages to mumble and nod absent polite nothings, and avoids bumping into people. Mostly.

Ms. Delatour normally might not appear on the radar if not for a certain florist impacted by her schedule, and the florist complained to an event hostess, and the hostess happens to know a few ladies, and those ladies eventually schmooze with the Wakandan Embassy. The invitations come to one Ms. Ayo, who in turn shows up with a king on her arm. See? Nothing fancy except anointing the whole fete with a certain formality and air of importance. Soft jazz works well enough for the striking couple in their shimmering clothes, T'Challa breathing in the night air near one of those windows and nodding appropriately to anyone who dares say hi. Ayo vanishes off to do the rounds, leaving him guarded and forced to confer why swans are an ice sculpture of the moment. His own threads are, for a word, rather sparkly. If the end game was 'see questionable crystal critters,' the cat is showing up wearing a glittering collar and a sublime embroidered grey tunic as uniquely patterned in shining threads as Danielle's own impeccable taste. He nods approvingly to her dress — pretty and comfy is fine.

Rooftop party? Kai is there! And he drags Elmo with him, because Elmo cannot escape these things. He's dressed flashy, in fiery shades and mod style, and he's hooked an arm around Elmo's to pull him into the party proper. "If anyone asks, we belong here," he tells Elmo. "If we're lucky, we're going to see some fun stuff." When he spies T'Challa, he perks up. "Ever meet a king?" he asks Elmo.

Elmo, despite also being dressed flashy in a vivid suit, has a look of dread as Kai forcibly escorts him along. Everything is sparkly and there's so many strangers and augh. "Why do I let you do these things," he mutters. He also perks up upon seeing T'Challa. "Would you believe me if I told you we met at that mutant Christmas party?"

The swans are a mystery. Maybe just because they look elegant. Maybe crystal creatures like swans? It's anyone's guess. It could just be that the ice sculptor had made some for an event that got canceled and so here they are for cheap. The music continues to play, however, and guests make their way into the room, circulating, mingling, talking about everything from the latest on the war to whether or not any twinkling light seen outside might be the guests of honor arriving.

Mike Matthews is tending bar. He stands over behind the open bar pouring glasses of wine and mixed drinks for the guests as they come and go past his station. He gives a friendly nod to those that he recognizes, and serves up a drink or two, keeping an eye on the room.

Danielle may have brushed elbows with Aesir, but context matters. It simply wouldn't occur to her to expect a king or other head of state at a rather open and public party. So she simply returns T'Challa's nod, adding a smile at his own subtle elegance. As she continues to meander, she claims a glass of something vaguely pinkish, and cautiously sips. The ..vibrantly-dressed young men do catch the eye, and tug a slightly bigger smile along her lips.

Mysterious swans made of cut ice are bookmarked in mind, and then T'Challa moves on from his place by the tables. Circulating is part of his job, and he shoulders that almost grimly. After murmuring a greeting to Danielle in his passing, "Good evening," He moves on to acquire himself something to drink. That just so happens to place him square in the middle of Kai and Elmo's path. The pair, familiar in their fashion, receive one of those restrained nods. "Fine event, is it not? A testament to the hostess' efforts, to be quite certain."

Kai flashes Danielle a huge smile when he catches her eye, and he waves a little. He continues to tug Elmo along, this time toward the bar, once T'Challa is in their path. "I remember," Kai says. "I was being climbed on by small humans." Then he stops before T'Challa and says, "It's great. You remember Elmo, don't you, T'Challa?" Look at him all first-name basis.

Elmo tries not to hunch up, he really does, but Kai is just nnnnot helping. "Hi, uh, your, Majesty? Is that right?" he undertones to Kai. It's hard to /not/ see him, in an electric blue suit with a canary-yellow shirt, but he acts like he's hoping nobody notices. Danielle looking at him gets a shy flit of a smile in response. "Aww, she's pretty."

The hostess herself remains off to one side, commanding a small army of servers and bartenders as though she were preparing for a military engagement moreso than a party. Alcohol is strategically positioned. Lighting is precisely arranged. And after a time, the first sounds of stirring out on the balcony can be heard.

"Look, over there.. does that look like them?"

"No, that's just the light on the water."

"No, no, over there.. right there.."

"I see them now!"

When they arrive, those who have encountered the creatures before would recognize the six large dog-sized fluttering beings as their combined forms. Each one has four sharp pointed limbs, clear crystal in nature, with a somewhat slender torso, and a pair of large crystalline wings. They are featureless, the oval faces as clear as the rest of them, but they emit a soft low whining hum that is musical in nature as they approach, first darting up to swirl around the chandeliers high above the heads of those on the floor celebrating.

The Cheyenne woman murmurs a nice "Indeed it is," to T'Challa's greeting. Kai's wave and grin, along Elmo's shyness, draws a bit of a chuckle from Dani, and she lifts her glass in salute to the boys. Gradually, the hubbub begins, and her attention focuses in towards the source of the commotion. When the … fluttering things.. appear and dance in the air, Danielle spares a moment to give her glass a skeptical glower, then edges her way to the sides of the crowd. If most people are here to gawk and point and stare, she wants to be sure she isn't hemmed in. Just in case something needs doing. "Do they .. talk?" she wonders aloud of no one in particular.

Right at the stirrings of trouble, the sound of chiming and unnatural noises against the backdrop of the club attracts T'Challa's attention. He nods to Elmo and Kai. "It is proper to call me T'Challa in company. No surnames such as you have." Or rather the Xhosa is likely to be so complicated it's not worth the effort with an imminent issue arising. He skirts around the conversational niceties by the slightest of smiles, a promise of familiarity cracking through his facade. And where is Ayo, the tall, formidable woman accompanying him but returning with a flute of champagne in one hand and a very much bothered look about her. Her bejeweled and sequined dress is every bit as opulent as his embroidered tunic and shoes, for all the reason of being rather noticeable.

I am unclear they are celebrating," he muses. "But they are certainly seeking something."

"You're beautiful," Kai tells Danielle amiably. As Ayo approaches, Kai looks up (and up and up) at her and says, "Wow, so are you." He stands taller, showing just a little more decorum to His Majesty in her presence, though there's a twinkle in his eye at that hint of familiarity.

"Ooh, Elmo, look!" He points out the crystalline entities, showing no nervousness whatsoever about their presence. Whatever they are, the elf doesn't scare easily. "Maybe they want champagne."

Elmo perhaps predictably is nervous. "Whaaat are those?" Head up like an alarmed horse, he tries to back away from the dancing crystal things. Static electricity hisses to life around him.

There doesn't seem to be anything inherently hostile to the presence of the crystalline creatures, as they dart and flicker among the chandeliers as though perhaps looking for something, since they humn and whine with that crystalline chiming sound as they move from one to another.

One swoops down toward one of the champagne fountains just as Kai mentions the desire, and dips its tiny feet right into it. Immediately, the creature seems to fill with champagne, at least, the color of it changes from purely translucent to a kind of golden rose champagne color. It then takes off into the air, twirling about wildly (and perhaps a little off kilter).

The absence of hostile behavior is a positive, but not entirely reassuring, sign. Danielle watches the crystal beings flutter and dance, though not nearly as amazed as some of the others. "Hnn. Good taste, at least," she observes as one decides to get a little tipsy. After a moment's consideration, she sidles her way along the perimeter, until she reaches the musicians. A quick tug on the band leader's sleeve is followed by a hushed suggestion that the band play something light, cheerful. "Maybe they just like to party, too…"

The Wakandan speaks quietly. "They're speaking. Drawn to certain things rather than others, I think." His champagne glass is still in Ayo's hand and he takes it from her, swirling the contents and holding them up to the light. Might as well see if the crystalline winged creatures come when called or not. Ayo is hardly impressed, her business face the same for compliments as very real risks. T'Challa starts to move towards where the commotion originated from. Might as well look for any traces of activity there, a hive or shells or a punch bowl marked 'Crystal Bug Inc.'

Kai's eyes widen when the crystal creature goes for the champagne. He clears his throat and says succinctly, "Maybe they want to dance with Elmo." Hey, it's worth a shot. More charmed than wary, he approaches the champagned one and holds up a hand to it to see if it will react to him.

"Maybe shut up," Elmo says. But the crystal bug things aren't threatening…YET. He slinks after Kai. Static is starting to lift long strands of his hair, making them float.

The band begins to play a light and cheerful tune, something that the crowd can dance to. Some of the guests are simply staring, not moving from where they are as they take in the creatures they'd come to see. Others have backed away out onto the balcony, as though to observe from a safer distant. Still others seem to be reaching for purses, shoes, canes, whatever might be on hand to use as a weapon.

The lofting of T'Challa's glass earns the attention of one of the creatures that comes spinning over, darting around him for a moment, and Ayo, before dipping delicately into the glass and draining its contents, turning the same color as the other and wobbling a bit when it spins, letting out a high chiming noise. Three of the others make their way out toward the dancefloor and begin spinning between those who are dancing.

Despite Kai's attempts to use the power of suggestion, it must have been a coincidence, because none of the creatures immediately fly over toward Elmo, perhaps to his relief.

With the music playing again, Danielle steps back to see what happens. As a few people begin to dance, and a few of the creatures join in, she purses her lips in bemusement. She's no scientist, and certainly no diplomat. But T'Challa's efforts with sound seem to be bearing fruit. And the dancing… Oh, ancestors have pity. She finds one of the three.. spinners close by and steps up closer than most would dare. And she starts to dance. More specifically, she starts to dance with a lot of twirly spins in place. All while keeping an eye on her erstwhile 'partner' to see what it does.

Did T'Challa just instruct all the crystal things to besiege people holding champagne? Possibly so, which draws Ayo off to play delivery girl. She darts for the bar to seek more of the champagne, very much prepared to bring a drink over. Or three, she can manage that, and maybe dancing with drunken crystal creatures is beyond reason but Danielle will end up with a glass offered to her. The second is replacing T'Challa's empty one, and a third, forcing him to act as the feline candelabra of source. He rotates on the ball of his foot and backs up, putting himself within arm's reach of the Cherokee woman if things go downhill on account of Wakandan interference. "Let us hope this is not contributing to their general delinquency."

Kai flashes Elmo a grin when Elmo tells him to shut up. Oh, Elmo. That's just never going to happen. He watches Danielle start to dance, and he says, "She's got the right idea." He approaches a different creature, and he starts to dance. He's light on his feet, Kai is, and he mimics the movement of the creature, translating it into something more human for his own form. He asides to T'Challa, "Hey now, I pride myself on being a bad influence."

Elmo's eyes get wide as Danielle starts, boldly, to dance with the alien beings. "Okay, that's pretty cool," he has to admit, admiring her and her dance partner. Then Kai is dancing too? "Wow, I didn't even know you could dance, Kai." He's trying not to stare because that would make it weird, but there's so much beauty going on right now in such an unexpected way. But he's not going to lure one of the creatures to dance. He got lunged at by an alligator (who, okay, it turned out to be Severin, but still) and that's all the wildlife he can take this week.

Mike hands off the glasses of champagne to Ayo as she comes over to get them, already, apparently, having been pouring a number of glasses and passing them out to those who wanted to join in getting the crystal critters drunk. He just keeps on pouring, glancing over toward their erstwhile hostess who nods, encouraging the endrunkening to continue. Ms. Delatour, for her part, seems entirely focused on watching the things. "Yes," she says, "Get them all out on the dance floor, together… that's perfect." Perfect for what, one might wonder.

The crystalline creature nearest to Danielle spins with her, pausing, and swaying for a moment, and then begins to orbit her like a planet might a star. When she spins and twirls, it does so in counterpoint, seeming to match and mimic her movements precisely, in a sort of mirror-image way.

T'Challa and his champagne encourages one or two to come over to him and sip from the glasses that are lifted in offering, letting out little chimes that sound like singsong conversation, whether their partners can understand them or not. One remaining creature dances with Kai, beginning to move in much the same way that the other did with Danielle, spinning around him in a kind of counter to his own movements.

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 6

|ROLL| Danielle +rolls 1d20 for: 12

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 2

For some, dancing is liberating. They can throw their whole selves into it, and lose themselves in the music and the motion. Danielle is rarely that.. abandoned, and even less so when trying to puzzle her way through a mystery. One advantage of the twirly dancing is it also lets her scan the whole room multiple times. No big deal, right? After all, it's not like there's anything weirdly out of place at the party other than the crystalline creatures themselves. Aside from perhaps…. She twirls once more, then plants her foot firmly. Sure, to the less observant, it might simply be her ending the dizzying dance before she falls over, but her body language is blatantly defensive, even before she uses her left arm to herd her shiny 'partner' behind her back. The angle placing her directly between the creature and the hostess. And the unfamiliar device the hostess is aiming. "A beautiful party, Ms. Delatour," she calls out. Loudly. Deliberately.

At this point, everyone might notice Ms. Delatour with her strange electronic device with its large megaphone pointed at the dance floor. Nobody gets a good feeling about this.

Drunken crystal creatures seems entirely a problem for someone or another. T'Challa is able to hear the comment from the sidelines, or rather all of them, though he is particularly still and calm as a statue while crystalline creatures imbibe alcohol. Then one of those glasses goes straight to Elmo, who is more than able to handle himself. "Would you take this? The other one needs to be put back properly." Trust issues being what they are, might as well not single himself out as conspicuously different…

He takes the heavy champagne glass and whips it sidearm, easily mistaken for turning and oops, losing his grip on it. Right at the hand holding the megaphone, for Ms. Delatour could be in the way. Oh. No. Whatever shall we do. Say it deadpan. Poor fellow, he must've been bumped by the glorious Amazonian woman knocking him.

Kai tells Elmo, "I'll teach you sometime." So much fancy dancing! He slows his spins when he sees Danielle start to, but he's still into his groove until he (finally) sees the megaphone. He follows Danielle's lead, putting himself between that thing and his crystalline partner. "Elmo?" Who he doesn't protect. He just nods toward the megaphone like he expects the electrician to do something about it.

Elmo realizes Ms. Delatour is up to something. More, it's something electronic. His eyebrows go up. Then, cued by Kai and T'Challa, he does something. He slips a garage remote control out of a pocket and clicks it. *POW!* The electronic device explodes in a showering fountain of sparks, hissing down everywhere and setting minor fires on tableclothes and dress hems. The hostess goes sprawling, knocked off her feet by the concussive force. Tiny embers land in champagne glasses, fizzing. Elmo stuffs the remote back in his pocket, grinning wildly.

The glass goes sailing through the air, and to add insult to injury, clonks into the woman's head as she falls, knocking her out cold, as if they electric jolt she just got wasn't enough. There are small fires on the tablecloths that the staff rush to put out, but no true burning erupts. Hems are swatted, champagne is poured on a few expensive dresses and tuxes, but on the whole, the situation seems well in hand.

It's about then that there's a cry that rises up from outside, "There's more of them! And they're.. they're BIG!"

On the horizon, two more of the crystalline creatures appear, but these are easily three times the size of the ones on the dance floor, tall and slender as they land on the balcony outside, the sound of crystaline chiming, those musical voices overwhelming the band so much that they stop playing.

Danielle is a touch surprised that Ms. Delatour is taken down so .. emphatically. Sigh. Men.. can't take them anywhere. Oh well. With the potential threat handled, she turns to check on the crystalline being she was dancing with, then frowns faintly as someone announces more arriving. "Everyone stay calm. They're just here to enjoy some music and some drink like the little guys, yeah?" she takes it upon herself to call out to the crowd. Lest the natives get restless. So to speak. She shoots a glance at T'Challa, then slightly nods towards the balcony. Then she straightens and heads out to see about these newcomers.

Things are on fire, are they? Fabulous, let other people worry about them whilst the king is escorted by his shadowing date back to yon balcony. Something to keep in mind, an excellent escape route as needed. His apologies are murmured, but with Ms. Delacourt knocked out on the floor, hardly something to invoke his diplomatic immunity about. He generally stays quiet, out of the way for the moment. The hubbub can either settle by letting other people stream out the door, or remain where they are dancing. Ayo can dance. Can he? Only one way to find out how irritable or entertained those larger crystal horrors are. Following Kai and Dani's lead? Dance, dance, Pantherlution.

Kai stares at the demolishing of the megaphone for a moment. That was dramatic. Slowly, he turns to Elmo. Then he claps him on the back and says, "That's my boy!" Then the larger crystalline structures arrive, and Kai says, "Holy crap, these are babies. We've been getting their babies sauced." The urge to point at T'Challa and yell 'it was him!' is strong, but the elf resists. Instead, he checks on his crystal dance partner. Is the little feller doing okay? Concerned minds what to know.

Elmo winces guiltily as Ms Decatour just gets knocked the heck out. He stands on his toes to see if she's okay, but she's being fussed over and helped. Kai claps him on the back and he laughs with a worried tone. "I, uh, didn't mean to hit it that hard." Unpredictable mutation is unpredictable. When the huge crystal creatures land, he looks at them, looks at the smaller ones, and comes to the same conclusion as Kai. "Jeez, I hope they're not mad." He trails Danielle and T'Challa to the balcony. Even though these bigger ones are, well, bigger and therefore definitely more terrifying with their high-volume chiming, now he's invested.

At the sudden arrival and chiming of the larger crystalline beings, all six little ones suddenly freeze in place and then.. hide. Yep, all six dive behind someone — their dance partners, the band, into the chandelier which tinkles and sways precariously.

Then there's another loud chiming coming from the pair that simply stand on the balcony, seemingly ignoring all the people coming and going around them. Those that had fled to the balcony for safety now flood back in through the dance floor and head toward the exit.

At the second loud chiming, the six begin to filter toward the balcony, but not before pausing for a moment. The one that had been dancing with Kai reaches out and touches him, just a light poke with the end of one crystalline arm. The one that had been dancing with Danielle does the same. Another that was hiding in the chandelier comes down and on its way by Elmo gives him a little poke, as does the one that T'Challa gave champagne to pokes his arm on the way by, and then all six gather around the two larger ones.

There's another chime from the two larger creatures, and an echoing chime from the smaller ones. Then they abruptly launch straight into the air and take off, eventually disappearing from view.

For those who were touched by the creatures, they are each filled with a sudden slightly drunken euphoric feeling, pleasant, warm, though one gets the sneaking suspicion that the "children" dumped their drunk before their parents might find out.

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