"The more the merrier," Sundara laughed. "Welcome to the party, Cat. Welcome to the party, kittens. Would you like something to drink? And do you prefer wine or milk?"
"I like milk, please." The tawny-eyed boy gave Sundara, who was scarcely taller than he was, an grin that managed to be at once insolent and adorable. "I like dancing, too. May I have this dance, Dark Sister?"
~The Black Kitten~
"Well, isn't that cute? But the question is," Melissande fixed her stare on the strange woman, "who the heck are you? And whoever you are, what's your excuse for being late?"
"Oh, what a cute kitten!" Sundara teased the boy, ruffling his hair. "Of course I'll dance with you, but just a moment while I carry out introductions."
She turned to Melissande. "This is the Black Cat, shapeshifter, mind-reader and troublemaker without peer. She is not on our side, or anyone else's for that matter. And as for why she's late, I don't think the concept's one that's ever occurred to her."
She laughed and whirled away with Blackie.
Sundara, dancing with the Black Kitten
The three foot tall goblin stepped through the large entryway to the ballroom.
Several attendants regarded him with disgust, and Snotspit snarled at them, silencing them immediately. He'd show them a thing or two later.
A needle toothed grin spread across his green face as he rubbed his tiny hands together. Dis is gonna be fun... he thought, his red eyes glowing with a greedy lust.
He saw several people dancing in the center, and scampered in between them, trying desperately not to get trampled by their moving feet. He came up behind one of the women-- a Shadow Sister, he heard someone call her-- and reached into an open pocket on her pants leg.
Snickering, Snotspit came out with a handful of gold peices, and was just about to scamper away to another victim when he felt the collar of his shirt tighten around his neck.
He turned around to see the woman who he had just stole from pick him up be the collar and stare menacingly at him. "What do you think you're doing, gremlin?" she snarled.
"Uh..." Snotspit stuttered, gripping her wrist as her grip tightened on his shirt, "Me's been taken you're moneys. Me poor." He said with a fake sadness.
The woman smirked, and gripped tighter. "Sure you have. Give me the gold back, now."
"No!" Snotspit snapped, beginning to struggle.
Her eyes narrowed, but otherwise her expression did not change. "The money. Now." She accented her point by squeezing hard on his collar.
"Waaaagghhhh!" Snotspit choked, kicking. "Alright! You get money! YOU GET MONEY! Let me's go!"
The woman immediately dropped him, and stood, towering over him. "Give it back."
Snotspit rubbed his neck and stared accusingly at the Shadow Sister. "Dat hurt."
Snotspit rolled his eys as he tossed several gold peices at her feet.
"All of it."
Several more clattered to her feet.
(Melissande's wearing a dress, and I don't think Sundara is big enough to pick you up - so it looks like that leaves me.)
"So kind," Carra drawled. She replaced the money in her pocket. "Now, what should I do with you, gremlin? Traditionally we have a truce at party times, but we're flexible. I think I'll get a vote on this."
With a wicked grin, she grabbed his collar again and dragged him over to the others. "Look what I found in my pocket, everyone. Shall we keep it or throw it out?"
Carramaena - Shadow Sister now, is it?
Sundara laughed. "You need to clear your pockets out, sister, if that's the kind of thing you find in them!" She looked closely at the creature. "Why, it's a goblin. Is there another world intersecting here, then? Where did you come from, goblin?"
Sundara of the Dark Brown Ajah
"Well, I thought what was in my pocket were gold marks, but what do you know, I looked and found a grabbing hand in there instead." She grinned at the goblin. "Answer my sister, midget. Where'd you spring from?"
"A goblin?" Kiriath's eyes whirled; he'd been reading Dune lately, and it showed, as the Mindstar was rapidly Rising in his brain, reflecting all of the paths that had been taken and could be taken. Even Chrono Trigger played a decided part in his internal ramblings - but all focused upon this one moment, this one critical point in his trajectory of...
"I'm more than neat! I'm Snotspit, the-"
"A goblin," cut off Kiriath with a decidedly warped grin. "I saw that in a possible future; of course, in other ones, you were a mangled, rotting pile of bones. A rather magnificent corpse."
Of course, Snotspit being a Mouthy Goblin, the gleeman's words didn't register until a few moments later. But the mind of Kiriath digresses...
"...a lung here, an intestine there. Even a few pieces of tooth ena-"
Snotspit gulped. Apparently Kiriath's words had finally registered.
"I'm no threat, though, you know," chuckled the Intrigleeman. "It's the Sisters that are the threat."
And added with a wink, "...of course, threat isn't always necessarily power, eh, Shai'Dara?" Kiriath flinched as the Whip power affected him again. "Then again.."
Kiriath, Eccentric Intrigleeman
What IS Carra's Sister name? We've got Shai'ariel, Shai'dara (if you agree to it...), and ? :>
"Threat and power. Well." The young Dark Sister smiled. "Anyone can threaten. But a threat isn't effective without at least the appearance of power. Do we appear powerful?" She looked around the room, and was amused to see every man in it remain silent. Wise of them, no doubt. "Are we powerful? Now that's a question. You may ponder the answer at your leisure."
She turned back to the goblin. "Now, who are you and where are you from? You'll stay right here until you talk, you know. We have all the time in the world."
A Dark Sister by any other name - is still a Dark Sister.
"Now, now my dear dark sisters. How is the poor fellow supposed to answer when he's frightened out of his wits? Do please at least put him down so he can answer our waiting questions. No offense intended, of course," he said, his face spreading into a sarcastic smile.
After receiving dirty and indignant looks from both Sundara and Carrameana, the tall man knelt down, so as to look the golbin, well... not exactly in the eyes. Quite a small fellow indeed.
"So where exactly are you from Snotspit? Wherever it is, they should have taught you that it's not wise to steal from dark sisters."
the amused and slightly confused Lightfriend
Carra grinned. "All right, all right, Al. You do the asking, being such a nice guy and all." She laughed. "Me though, I'm neither nice, nor a guy, nor a scholar of any kind, so as far as I care questioning goblins can wait till the morning. The night's still young, and I," she tossed back her hair so it shone under the lights, "am going to party!"
She spun away from the group and into a hair-flying, boot-stamping, breath-stopping version of the tiganza, followed Pied-Piper style by the kittens and a few figments of Kiriath's imagination.
Carramaena, a party animal
(Where's Melissande, by the way? I haven't seen her in a while.)
Oh - and I'd be Shai'maena. But you can still call me Carra.
"Goblins. Cats. Intersecting worlds." Melissande gave a bored shrug. "Someday, someone is going to have to explain all this to me. But in the meantime, I believe this is my adoption party. If you don't want the goblin to get away, put it in a cage or something."
She wondered how well she was playing her role. The key, judging from her watching of Sundara and Carra, seemed to be to behave as if the world was waiting for you to decide what you wanted to do with it. It was a challenge and so far one she was enjoying, but she was still playing along. Did she really want to serve the Shadow?
For now, though, Melissande played her part, played Daes Dae'mar as adeptly as the Blue she was. She glided out into the middle of the floor, and looked back.
"Well? Have you all forgotten how to party?"
Melissande Amaline Isten,
Dark Sister - for now
She gave Melissande an amused look.
"Sister dear, the only thing I have ever forgotten in my life is how and why to pay proper respect to the Chosen, and that I still don't remember. But I can tell you the shade of the sky last night, the meaning of a poem from the First Age or just how to grow rambling roses. And if you happen to have forgotten, I can certainly tell you how to party. But be patient a moment."
Kneeling to look Snotspit in the eye - something Allanon wasn't quite managing - she smiled sweetly. "Goblin, you are welcome to party with us. But I am Brown Ajah and my curiosity about the new and unfamiliar is insatiable. So I will find out where you came from sooner or later, and for the sake of both my curiosity and your sanity, such as it is, sooner would be distinctly preferable."
She leapt lightly to her feet, hair, silks and silvered nails all shimmering in the flickering candlelight.
Sundara smiled again, her most wicked, enchanting smile, and at the same time extended a hand imperiously. "Gaidin mine, come dance with me. The night's young yet, as my sisters have pointed out, and I can think of things better to spend it in than talk."
Dark Sister - for good
Eyes dazzled, Eval watched as the Sisters swept away, all colour and fire and gleam. Then he looked at Sundara, whose dark eyes laughed up at him with what might be a promise and might be a taunt.
I am a fool to love, he thought. Nevertheless, he took her extended hand in his and raised it lightly to his lips.
"As ever, Sundara, your wish is my command and my delight. Let the party then continue."
They danced out into the night.
Bonded to Sundara
Kiriath's eyes rolled, looking like multicolored elastic balls - first ellipsoids, next circles, the next second hyperbolas. Eyes as hyperbolas was an interesting concept in itself, multiplied by quite a lot when Eccentric.
Snotspit, Eval, the cats... absently Kiriath's mind moved to the cats. So far they had proved to be quite helpful things - was there a female in the troupe? The mother, at least. Anyway...
What would happen if Snotspit got a hold on one? And what would the mother do if the obvious occured? Things just got a lot more feisty. In more ways than one, what with Carramaena around... and the other ones, of course :>
Kiriath, Eccentric Intrigleeman
Rand the randy. Just an offthought.
"The answer to your question, gleeman," a voice murmured in his ear, "is that bad things would happen." Her smile was amused. "Why so startled? Your minds are open to me - ask Sundara, if you doubt - and yours is most interesting." Cat laughed. "And both my oldest kittens are female, Kiriath! You're a strange one, but even you should know the difference between boys and girls by now."
The smile widened into a wicked grin. "I could educate you, if I felt like it - but in the meantime, you may ask me to dance."
~The Black Cat~
You really are entertaining, you know, Sundara thought and had the pleasure of seeing the Cat shoot her a sharp look. She laughed and continued dancing.
Hello?? Have any of you seen creature so hideously deformed you wonder the poor thing do in a past life to deserve it? My sister, you see, has run away again.
*arrives in a beam of lights and sparkles*
Julian? Ezri? Anyone here?
Damn! I knew I shouldn't've tried to transport myself. But the Pyscho Music Power was so strong. Well, where could I be. Somebody......?????
Kiriath shook his head, stepping out of that temporal position known as 'inactivity'. Always a decidedly unpleasant thing, however often it occurred.
His eyes whirled in and out, blinking like a Cheshire smile; in a moment, he was somewhere ..else.. and his eyes were next to the newcomer, chatting with an unseen voice. Some descriptions just don't work, his Other Self reflected.
With a chuckle, Kiriath's eyes whirled, for a second reflecting cheery yellow happy faces. "Hello, Arie'Nerys - that is your name?" At the nonresponse - Kiriath did have an effect on some people; may have been that, perhaps not - he shrugged. "Greetings and welcome to our land of Inactivity.. er.. Randland.. er.. wherever the heck we are."
His sudden Eccentric spurt sensed yet another power within this being - or perhaps around it, or beyond it, or... even Kiriath was becoming frightened of this spurt.
"Greetings, nevertheless. This power I sense from you undoubtedly has heard of the Dark Sisters..." a Psycho Music power must HEAR things :> "...and if not, fear. They will be coming along shortly - fear them, my soon-to-be-enemy, soon-to-be-friend, or whatever you choose to be. Fear us all. For we fear you - and have fun in the process."
Kiriath, Eccentric Intrigleeman
Mmm... am I am living paradox?
"What? Oh hello" Arie'Nerys shook her head. Would Ares ever shut up long enough for her to understand anybody? Probably not. "Well, I've never heard of the Dark Sisters, but one of my voices (that give me Psycho Music Power) became very excited. I couldn't hear you at first because Ares began giggling. Odd, because he usually leads the other voices in song-hence my Psycho Music. Whoever these Dark Sisters are, they must be something to make Ares giggle." She tried to silence her main voice, but he seemed to be in great anticipation. And now Col.Kira was joining in his merriment. Arie'Nerys knew that nothing good could come of this...
The band stopped playing. The dancing stopped. Carra strode over to the newcomer and Kiriath.
"What's so funny?" As the woman opened her mouth to reply, she shook her head. "Not you! The one who keeps giggling." She narrowed her eyes. "What's the joke, wise guy?"
Who knows all about voices in heads
Arie'Nerys stared for a moment. She had heard Ares? How was this possible? Did she know about her Psycho Music Power? So many questions.
Suddenly, she sensed something. Not quite Psycho Music, but something else. Ares stopped giggling at the sensation. And did something she never remembered him doing. He asked Arie'Nerys's advice.
Should I answer her?
It would be polite to, wouldn't you suppose?
"Um. I..I mean." Another voice, this one feminine spoke up.
"He's Ares, I'm Colonel Kira. To answer your question, he knows something of the Dark Sisters, or thinks he does. He's been laughing hysterically because he thinks..."
Ares had sufficiently recovered. "Well, hello there. I'm Ares, leader of the Psycho Music. The reason for my former mirth was that I sensed a strange resonance at their name. Would you know of them?"
Sundara looked over at the trio with curiosity. /Hey!/ she thought.
/So you were listening in. I thought so./
/Of course,/ Cat replied. /You have a most interesting mind, little Sister./
/I'll take that as a compliment. Who is Carra talking to? There seem to be a few more people involved in that conversation than I can see or hear./
/That's because they're all in her head. A situation your sister and Kiriath are intimately familiar with./ The cat-woman sounded amused, which was of course nothing new. /One of them is laughing at you, by the way. Or at Dark Sisters in general./
/Oh?/ She turned their way again and raised her voice slightly. "So you think Dark Sisters are amusing?"
Too many voices in too many heads
Ares stopped again. <...> He trailed of, this time in real fear. With more than one Dark Sister being laughed at, things could get... interesting. He remembered the last time someone had laughed at him. Poor Dukat had taken three months to finally die, with his head imploding at the end. Some people just couldn't handle the Psycho Music.
Arie'Nerys grinned. "Thank you, whoever you may be. I take it you are a Dark Sister. No one has ever shut Ares up like that. He really is terrified." She cocked her head a moment, listening. She laughed quietly to herself. "When I arrived here, I sensed a couple of really odd powers. The first one was just kooky, but the others..." Suddenly she burst out in mirth. "If Ares had a body he'd be convulsing madly with terror, barely conscious on the ground."
She shortly recovered herself. "Tell me, do you have that affect on everyone?"
Sundara's lips curved in amusement. "A fair few. It's one of the things we're known for... and yes, we are Dark Sisters." She extended a hand. "I'm Sundara, and this is Carramaena."
Arie'Nerys grinned archly as she took the Dark Sister's hand. Physical contact sharpened the sensation to crystal clarity. "I supposed it to be so. I'm Arie'Nerys and completely lost. That odd man over there told me I was in Randland. The maniacal laughter you heard earlier was Ares, the lead singer of the Psycho Music. The others are Colonel Kira, Angharad-sol and...oh...well, the rest don't sing very often. So tell me, where exactly is Randland and is the Psycho Music heard here as well?"
"We certainly have psychotics and musicians. Not to mention people with other personalities in their heads. You would have to ask Carra and Kiriath for more details about that..."
She laughed. "But I don't think I've heard of Psycho Music. You'll have to explain it to me sometime. In the meantime - This is a point of intersection for several worlds. Randland is a colloquial name for the one in which most of us are most firmly based. We see visitors from others now and again, though. You, for instance." Sundara tilted her head, expectantly. "So, tell me. Where is it you come from? And what is Psycho Music?"
"Shut up, Mazrin. Your time will come." A pause for a few milliseconds or possibly more. "Not /yet/."
Kiriath shrugged. "The Psycho Music, so says my alternate entity, is the equivalent of having your brain smashed - no, bloody... that's the Gargle Blaster.
"Psycho Music is what happens after listening to any Hard Rock, Queen or Kiss for a given period of time. The latter can make a person crack through merely one glance at its members, or merely by a second's worth of listening. This is outdone only by one Marilyn Manson, who from the very beginning frightens the living souls out of many people - hence, the 'kill yourself' and 'murder' lyrics floating around in such songs.
"Of course, a given individual's listening preferences can always make a difference - a person with a tolerance to Techno, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal may be taken aback by the Golden Oldies so much that the head will implode and make a rather splendid impact on the nearest fabric of time.
"I've seen that happen. It looks quite wonderful. Speaking of which..." at Carra's grinning glance, he stopped. "Nah. Can't go doing /everything/ they ask."
Kiriath, Eccentric Intrigleeman
It was a long time ago in a ramble far far away..
Arie'Nerys glanced at Kiriath in approval. Someone here did seem to know what psycho music was. Though her power was slightly different.
"Well, it all started when I first began listening to psycho music as Kiriath described it. Then I began hearing it when the radio wasn't on. It was rather odd at first, to hear music when nothing's there. Then the people stopped singing and began speaking..." Ares soon tired of this. Wasn't she going to mention his fantastic voice, the insanity he inspired in all who heard him?
Yes, of course I was.
No you weren't.
Oh, shut up. I'm telling this. "Sorry. Ares tends to be a megalomaniac. He leads the other voices in song. One of the most interesting uses of the Psycho Music is to project it into someone else's head. The results are quite...."
"Entertaining" Ares added. And they were, too...
Carramaena was intrigued. In fact, she was fascinated. Psycho Music sounded - well, very familiar.
"Have you heard of the Eccentric Power? Or Dance Dae'mar? No? There has to be a connection. Crazy music, crazy dancing." Her eyes glittered as she laughed. Then, although the purple eye continued to glitter, the grey one went thoughtful.
"I want to hear this music. Play for us. I'm already mad, so I'll take my chances on the insanity."
Psychotic, musician, but not a Psycho Musician