• Author: The Ambassador, PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:58 am

Sean had gathered himself quite quickly and was ready to go, as they stood, he offered his arm again to Cerys.

Exiting the restaurant Sean nodded Cerys, "Don't worry, I know it's terrbly cold by, my sister only lives a few blocks from here, I will get you out of the cold soon."

He smiled and so far the rare, but welcome trait of honesty, continued stayed true, came to the second block past the restaurant. The second building in there was a lone warehouse type building, amongst otherwise exclusively town houses.

It showed little sign of life to it, besides the the vines growing up the side, which actually gave the place a small charm. Entirely of brick of the stout rouge building had an open front door.

"My sister works on the second floor. There is no lift, so hoofing it is the only option--unless you are capable of flight."

Getting up the second floor, there was one hallway, painted a pea gren, though freshly painted. It was quite a long hallway, set flush against one of the sides of building.

As they came to the end of the hallway the only door could be seen, it opened up what appeared to be very large flat, much more modern and well-kept than one would think they would find in this building.

Though the door was open, and a woman sat on top of a desk, reading a book, and eating an apple in the other hand. He head was buried in the book, it was quite possible that she did not see them in the door way, or she did not care.

Sean gave the door a few soft knocks.

The woman with the book only tilted her head, "Why would knock when the door is open, I wonder?"

"You didn't seem to notice us." Sean replied.

"It doesn't mean I didn't. I was reading, ya know. Besides, my own brother need not knock." She set her book down and gazed at the two. "Well, don't just stand there. The open door is an open invitation. You are always so stuck on formalities and tradition, Sean."

Sean stepped into the flat, which looked more like an apartment, besides a few instruments with gauges on them, laying here and there, Cerys, would have no idea what they for. The only other thing of notice was a great deal of books about the supernatural.

"Ana, this is Cerys, I bumped into on the bus, and talked to her for a bit, and I thought she would make a right nice fit for what you are looking for. Cerys, this is my sister, Ana."

Ana's face was quite vibrant, with wide alert eyes, of soft blue. Her hair was quite curly, and the same colors as Sean's, a pitch black. If truly she be an older, sister than it was not by much, though her face did show a few laugh lines.

"Ana, why are you sitting on your desk?" Sean asked curiously.

"Well, it is the warmest spot in all the flat, it makes perfect sense to me." She said pushing up the sleeves of her black blouse, and crossing her legs which were covered in a pair of khaki's. "And why you not taken off your hate, Sean. You are always so worried about tradition, you in doors, and amongst, ladies. Isn't correct, Cerys?" He finished with a question, that was soft hearted.

She climbed off the table, and made her way over to Cerys, "Come then, Cerys, tell me a little about yourself."

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2005 6:59 am

Cerys followed Sean, grinning as they reached the ground floor of the building. 'Oh, I don't mind walking. It's good for you,' she added, attempting to make herself look more presentable as they walked. She had a feeling that her hair was starting to escape from it's tight bun in the cold January air.

The walk gave her time to try to push the loose strands she could feel back into the knot, and so she simply nodded when Sean addressed her, too intent on her appearance to formulate an answer. Her heart was pumping slightly faster; would this job work out?

Fascinated, Cerys gazed about as they entered the room. Staring at one of the instruments, trying to fathom it's purpose, she jumped when she heard her name and turned quickly to face her possible future employer.

'Pleased to meet you,' Cerys said quickly once Sean finished his introductions. Anna was pretty, Cerys thought, certainly not how she had imagined her to be. For some reason, she had had an image of a middle-aged eccentric, not this young woman, surely no more than 10 years older than herself.

Cerys smiled, trying to relax, but unsure whether that was a rhetorical question or not. As the woman approached her, she brushed down her blouse and kept her smile fixed to her face.

'Um... ' she began. Not a great start, but she needed to think for a moment. 'Well, my full name is Cerys Andrews, and I'm 22. I've only just moved to London - I used to live down south, near Winchester, but... well, I ended up moving here to find a job.'

She didn't want to mention her parent's death. It was too near, and she wasn't entirely sure she could stay calm talking about it yet.

'I was a nurse during the war and after, you see, but now.. well, I want something new. And I want a chance to travel - you don't really get that nursing.'

She grinned. 'I happened to meet your brother on the bus this morning and mentioned I was looking for a job, and he was kind enough to help me out.'

  • Author: Ambassador, PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 3:33 pm

Ana gave her brother a sidelong glance, "Yes, he is every so helpful isn't he?"

She walked over to Sean and brushed away lent which might or might not have been on his shoulder. "Tell me, brother, are you not supposed to be off to parliament yet?"

Sean smirked, "You make me sound like a school boy."

"Well, it does have recess, does it not?"

Sean shook his head, "Yes, yes, I am getting the message."

Ana tapped him on the shoulder, "Hold on, Sean." She then turned to Cerys, "Tell, me dear, do you have a passport? Something I think my brother should have asked before hand, hmm? Do not worry, if you do not, I am sure, my brother--being so helpful--can arrange something."

"Certainly, certainly, I will arrange something if do not have one, Cerys. But, for now, I think it's best I take my leave, before my sister gets anything else on me." He took her hand, and smiled. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Cerys, I am rather sure we shall come across each other very soon, but I must be off--don't let her scare you away."

Ana would wait patiently while the two made there farewell, and after Sean had quietly and quickly made his exit, and Ana would walk over to a small couch, waving Cerys over.

"A nurse? That is nice, but I am half wonder if Sean knew that before he had you in mind for the job." She said with a half-smile. "If you can, I would like to leave for Germany tomorrow afternoon. Do you have a decent place to stay until then?"

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 9:49 am

Cerys smiled, amused at the playful banter between the siblings. Still, she felt very much an outsider here, especially because they were so familiar with one another, and it made her feel somewhat uncomfortable.

She turned her smile to Ana when she was addressed. 'Oh, yes, of course I do! I was in France when I was nursing, so I had to have one. So that's not a problem.'

She shook his hand warmly. 'The pleasure was all mine,' she replied. 'I'm ever so grateful to you!'

She watched him leave, still not entirely sure why he had suddenly decided to help her so much. Still, it seemed to be turning out very well. He was an awfully kind man, at any rate!

'Tomorrow!' Cerys was surprised. 'Goodness... that is very soon... I do have somewhere to stay, I've been staying with my aunt, you see - but I only arrived in London last night. What will she think of me!'

She blushed. She hadn't intended to say quite so much. On the one hand, her aunt was probably going to think this was some sort of mad giref-driven folly. On the other hand... she really did want this job. And she especially wanted to see Germany.

'I can stay at her house until then, of course,' she replied, her voice much calmer. A thought struck her, suddenly. 'Where in Germany are we going? Sean might have said, but it's all been rather sudden this morning..' she grinned apologetically, but her choice of words 'rather sudden' had made her remember the reason she had moved to London in the first place, which she had been trying very hard to forget. It stabbed at her heart, but she forced herself to keep smiling. Now was not the time to break down. She had to get on with things.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:39 am

"Glad to hear," she said absently about the passport, "then there should be no hold-up. Tea?"

Ana pivoted onto the other side of the desk and pulled two cups from a nearby cabinet. Clearing a spot of paperwork she took grip of a tea pitcher and poured.

"Where will we be going? Now that is the real question, isn't it?" Although Ana's accent was still distinctly Irish, she had taken on much in the English dialect. She almost sounded Welsh.

"You see, here is the true test on wether we will make a good team. How would you feel if you knew that I lied to my brother? What if it wasn't Germany as my destination at all? Perhaps the destination was far too dangerous for my brother to permit.

"Would you be as eager if I told you that tomorrow I am going to Mexico?"

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 9:19 am

Cerys had just drawn her tea cup to her lips when Ana made her startling declaration. She put the cup down rather suddenly, her eyes wide. 'Oh!' she exclaimed, the noise a startled 3 tone expression of surprise. 'Well... oh!'

She would muse, later on, about just how many meanings the word 'oh' could actually take. For now, though, her mind was a maelstrom of conflicting emotions. She would have loved to go to Germany. On the other hand... Mexico! When would she ever get another opportunity to go there?

'I don't speak Spanish,' she blurted out, and then immediately berated herself. What a silly thing to say! Why on earth had she come out with that as her first reaction? She took a couple of deep breaths and tried to regain her composure.

'I'm sorry, I must sound very rude,' she apologised. 'Mexico.... I'd never even considered going there before. I don't really know anything about it, I'm afraid! But I'm not afraid of danger - well, no more than is normal, anyway!'

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 8:40 am

Ana laughed at her reaction. Handing her tea she leaned forward on her knees and smiled with earnest excitement.

"I speak Spanish quite well, and no, you are not being rude. Unless there is something wrong with being thrilled about a job opportunity."

She, at last, stood up from the desk and circled around in business-like precision. Reaching into a drawer she pulled out a map with the familiar shape of Mexico on it. Places her index finger firmly on the map, the red-painted fingernail pointed directly to a place at the pinnacle of the Yucatan Peninsula: Chichen Itza.

"There are vampires there. I want to see them and I need someone to help me take notes."

Pausing dramatically she said, "There is no substance to my work except for honest curiosity. If you were expecting something more... pragmatic, I could return you to my stuffy old brother. Otherwise, I shall pay you 10 pounds a week to find vampires with me. I don't pay taxes, I don't give to charities, and I have no retirement plans. I simply pass cash to you every Friday."

Lifting up the map for a moment she passed over a contract.

"And I ask that you sign this. It basically says that if you get hurt then you have to go whine to someone else about it."

Last edited by Laveaux on Fri May 27, 2005 8:36 am; edited 1 time in total

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 5:14 am

Cerys leaned forward to peer over the map. 'Vampires?' she echoed. 'That sounds exciting!' She could feel the excitement building inside her, in fact, in the rapidly growing speed of her heart beat, and the smile which spread across her face.

She looked up sharply. '10 pounds? A week!?!' That was money beyond her wildest dreams. Surely the woman couldn't be serious? Cerys' father had earned, at most, 7 pounds a week - she had never imagined herself earning more than that!

Still recovering from the shock, Cerys quickly scanned the contract. It seemed alright, so she reached for a pen and scribbled her signature at the bottom. She looked back up at Ana and smiled. 'I'm a nurse, remember? I'll cope.'

'How are we getting there? By boat?' she asked. 'Maybe you could teach me some Spanish? I'm really very interested in languages.'

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 8:36 am

"Yes, I think it will be exciting. If anything, the jungles of Mexico are privy to dangers other than the supernatural. Jaguars, piranha, and poisonous frogs, to name a few. Plus, the Mexicans are not to excited about white people these days, mostly due to the Americans.

"This is why I cannot tell my brother. Berlin is one thing, with the military of four nations constantly patrolling the streets. The wild American jungle is quite another. In fact . . . I hope you are not too proper to carry a handgun. You will probably need it."

Reaching into her desk she pulled out 10 pounds and handed it to Cerys.

"Welcome to my humble world."

Ana laughed when Cerys asked if they were going by boat.

"Why take a boat when we can fly there in less than a day? Boats are for our grandmothers. Aeroplanes are for the modern woman."

Grinning, she lit a cigarette and offered Cerys one.

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:34 am

'A handgun?' Cerys echoed. 'Well... I've never used a gun before, but if you'll show me how it works I think that it's a good idea. Otherwise I'll just end up shooting myself in the foot!' She grinned. This trip sounded very dangerous, but definitely exciting. And it wasn't as if she hadn't been in dangerous situations before.

She took the crisp note from her new employer, folding it carefully between her fingers. At least she could offer her aunt some rent for the time she had spent living under her roof, now. The thought made her feel slightly better about leaving the old lady so soon after she had arrived, and she stowed the money away in her purse with a smile.

A flush filled Cerys' cheeks when Ana laughed at her. Of course, a plane would be the fastest way to get there. 'I've never been in an aeroplane before,' she admitted. 'How exciting!' She took a cigarette from the pack as she spoke. 'Thanks,' she added, lighting it and drawing in deeply. The fumes calmed down her racing heartbeat, even though she always deplored the yellow colour of her teeth after smoking.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:00 am

"Then we are partners," she said offering a man's handshake.

"We'll have plenty of time to learn the ancient art of firing pistols," she said grinning, "but hopefully we will not have to use that particular skill.

"I suppose you have some preperations to make. You will need hiking gear and some rather casual clothing. And don't forget a swimsuit.

"I can pick you up in the morning, where do you live?"

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:50 am

Cerys looked at Ana's hand for a second, a trifle startled. Then she laughed and shook the woman's hand. 'Partners indeed!' she grinned. She nodded at the suggestions of what to pack. A swimsuit... it was a long time since she had been swimming. She hoped fervently that she could remember how to do it - she didn't want to look like an idiot in front of Ana, who seemed so worldwise and self-assured.

'I'm staying with my aunt,' she added in reply. 'She lives in Croydon - 47b Normanton Road; it's just near the church, if you know the area at all?' She looked questioningly at her new employer. London still confused her somewhat, and she was never sure how much of it it was usual to know. Thinking back to her home town, she would probably be able to find almost anywhere in Winchester by name, and in some of the little villages surrounding her home as well, but London was such a big place. She racked her brains, trying to think of what directions to give if Ana didn't know the road.

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:03 pm

Cerys spent a good few hours that day trying to explain to Auntie Evie why exactly she wanted to go to Mexico with a strange woman she barely knew 'so soon after her poor parents had passed on to greater glory, the blessed things... so young...'

It had been a stressful and upsetting conversation, to say the least, but Cerys was adamant - she needed a fresh start and something to take her mind off things. The longest resident of Evie's house other than Evie herself, an elderly, bearded gentleman who was known to all and sundry as 'Professor Godfrey' (Cerys was unsure if he could even remember his first name himself) had commented that 'it was unseemly, just unseemly, for a young woman to go trampling across the globe like that.' She had ignored his huffing and puffing and escaped from the steamy kitchen to hurriedly re-pack her possessions.

Cerys spent her last afternoon in London standing on Tower Bridge, gazing down the Thames. It was possible that she would never come back here - she felt that she had to implant the city indelibly into her memory, just in case. Before she left, Cerys pressed the note Ana had given her into her elderly relative's knarled old palm, and insisted that she kept it, before setting off with her new employer to different and exciting climes.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:19 pm

On the morning of January 2nd, Cerys was taken from her aunt's house at 7 sharp by an eager Ana. The two women shared a taxi to the airport where in under an hour they were airborne above England and then over the Atlantic Ocean.

The twelve-hour plane ride was rather bumpy and took them through two winter storms before finally arriving in the tropics. A completely different, albeit rainy world was there to meet them at the port town of Sisal. A once rural fishing community, Sisal had exploded in recent years with the henequen boom. Apparent by hundreds of cargo ships at dock in the small bay, the plane landed on a meager airstrip reserved for semi-frequent airshipments over international waters.

By the time they landed, the rain subsided and tropical air peaked through fast-moving clouds. Hot and soaking humidity washed over them as they left the plain via a rolling staircase onto the runway. Several locals in make-do uniforms gathered the luggage and escorted them into the small, two-building airport. They went through Mexican customs with no problems and Ana's affinity to Spanish helped a great deal.

Things didn't slow down until they waited under an awning outside the airport for Beto Rodriquez, the guide Ana set up for them. It would be two hours before he arrived and by then it was midnight. Sweaty, unwashed and exhausted for travel the two quietly boarded Beto's worn and muddy jeep.

"Buenos noches, senoritas!" He said pleasantly as he loaded their luggage.

In moments they were off.

"�C�mo lejos a M�rida, Beto?"

"Ahh, cincuenta o sesenta kil�metros."

"Hablas ingles?" She asked looking apolegetically at Cerys.

"Si, a little, si."

"If you don't mind speaking English, then Cerys can understand."

"Si claro, senorita. I say that it is fifty or sixty kilometers to M�rida."

"Good, not too far," she said sighing.

Even in the night air, the ancient fortress and lighthouse from the Spanish conquest could be seen at the port as they passed, heading south.

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:30 pm

During the flight, all Cerys could do was try to imagine where they were going. Her active imagination created all sorts of scenarios - they were eaten by alligators (although she wasn't sure if there actually were any in Mexico), she had to shoot things with sudden new handgun talent, she learnt to speak fluent Spanish and fell in love with a handsome Mexican man... her daydreams grew increasingly more involved as she drifted in and out of sleep - drifting, because the bumpiness of the flight did not allow anything more than that.

Hearing Ana speak Spanish to the locals made Cerys all the more determined to understand the language. It was so melodic - maybe even more so than French. She let the sounds of their conversation wash over her, enjoying the feel of the words despite the fact that she understood none of it.

Feeling extremely hot and sticky in the jeep, Cerys tried to sleep, but soon gave up.

'What is it called, the place we're going to?' she asked Ana quietly.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:53 am

"Tonight, we are going to Las Casas, a hotel I booked us in M�rida. We can get about five hours of sleep and then Beto is going to show us around. I'm particularly interested in seeing Chichen Itza."

Beto turned around grinning, "You go to see Chichen Itza?"

"Manana, si."

"You will like Chichen Itza. Very . . . how do you say . . . of history."

Ana grinned at their guide, "To say the least. It is one of the most preserved cities of the Mayan Empire. You can stand directly in the spot where they practiced human sacrifice."

Still grinning she added, "And you were excited about going to Germany."

  • Author: Cerys Andrews, Location: London - for now... PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:27 am

Cerys nodded. Five hours? It wasn't much, but she had had nights with less, much less in fact, during the war. She was unsure what Chichen Itza was, but it seemed that Ana was excited by the thought of going there. She turned to her employer, opening her mouth to ask what the place was, but before she could voice that question the woman answered it for her.

'Human sacrifice?' Cerys squeaked, sounding rather more shocked than she had intended. 'But... they don't practice it any more, surely?'

She blushed as she realised how naive she sounded, and tried to cover it up by carrying on.

'Who were the Mayans?' she asked. British history, that she knew, but the sort of schools she had been to had been rather more interested in teaching their pupils about the glory of the Empire on which the sun never sets than about deepest America. She had heard the name before, Cerys mused, but she knew nothing about the people.

  • Author: Laveaux, PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:18 pm

Ana grinned at her squeak and what little Beto could understand also splashed a smirk on his face. Quietly driving into the night, he let the two ladies talk, perhaps their English moving to quickly for him anyway.

"Human sacrifice was considered an honour by the Mayan," Ana said, "they would play sacred games and the winners would be ritualistically sacrificed as the ultimate form of gratitude to their gods.

"In fact, entire wars were fought this way. The warriors of Meso-America would take their prisoners of war and sacrifice them as gifts to the gods. War was an artform and a very complicated ritual. That was part of the reason the Spanish could take them so quickly, the Mayans were not equipped to handle the ruthless non-ritualistic European warfare."

Ana did not look too surprised when Cerys asked about the Mayan. After yawning she leaned back and said distantly, "They were the peak of American civilization before the Europeans came. They had huge cities, vast roads, sophisticated written languages, and are often compared to the Egyptians in terms of historical significance.

"They were all but completely obliterated by the Europeans in the 16th century."

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