10801/Hellfire Club Inner Circle - April 2022 Meeting

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Hellfire Club Inner Circle - April 2022 Meeting
Date of Scene: 17 April 2022
Location: The Inner Sanctum - Hellfire Club
Synopsis: Martinique Wyngarde is promoted to Black Bishop and challenges are rendered at Court
Cast of Characters: Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Martinique Wyngarde, Thomas Blake, Elektra Natchios, Shen Kuei, Sandra Wu-San, Blake Riviere

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
The Hellfire Club's Lords Cardinal have been called to the Inner Sanctum by its Black King, Sebastian Shaw. It is rarer for the entire Council to be in attendance for any particular meeting, as the members of the Inner Circle have been dispersed on various missions throughout the world. Naturally, the White Throne sits empty as usual - it is rather challenging for the President of the United States to sneak away to one of these clandestine meetings. Which means that the Black King is unparalleled as the host of the evening. And as usual, Sebastian Shaw wishes for everyone to know it.

As if it were possible for him to be dressed more ostentatiously than usual, he has done that tonight. Wearing a jacket of rich purple, white lace in the center, and tight fighting matching purple pants that come just past his knees, he has fully embraced the Victorian dress code for men. Most of those in attendance have adhered - the female attendants, and some of the members as well, are wearing the traditional lingerie, while the men are adorned with clothes of a bygone era, with boots to match.

Sebastian himself sits atop his throne, the black onyx of the King's ring prominent on his left hand as it rests upon the arm of the throne. Rather than making a dramatic entrance as some royals may be apt to do, he was the first to arrive and be seated. There is value to seeing how the others comport themselves even with something as simple as an arrival. And so he watches as the members of the Inner Circle and their staff begin to stream into the chamber.

For the moment, his is the only throne occupied.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost is here if only to keep track of things for her own ends. Or the ends of those she might call friends. She's still in here; maybe she's considered still worthy of admission, maybe she has her own little bits of power and buttons to push.. She's likely still not officially 'in the game' but through her own avenues if not outright permission she remains present. Emma's not wearing what would be called her traditional garb. It looks more like a business suit with a long cape thrown on. Emma using something omre professional and not associated with the Club just as a litlte bit of a reminder - perhaps not to the Club, who are no doubt aware of it, but to herself.

And glancing up at the throne she would smirk, "Why Shaw, you haven't learned the benefits of proper posture after all this time? You're going to throw your back out sooner or later. And you're going to have to get a white cat for yourself to pet while you go there hunched over. Do straighten yourself out or you'll end up like a teenager that spends too much time on a computer."

Martinique Wyngarde has posed:
Martinique Wyngarde arrives with an escort of the servants of the Club, masked and anonymous, an almost honor guard of them around her. She wears the stylized gown mingling Victorian and modern elements, showing flashes of skin along the front in diamond-cut panels, but with long draped sleeves and thick skirts.

She's exquisitely made up, eyes dark, lips red, her hair spilling in night-black waves across her shoulders. Perhaps slightly unusually, she has a sword at her left hip, a scabbard protruding the hilt of a katana, ceremonial and practical at the same time.

She approaches Emma and Sebastian as they converse, giving the faintest hint of a curtsy, "Your Majesties," she says with a deferential flick of her head, although her sultry eyes carry their usual hint of insouciance.

Thomas Blake has posed:
Thomas Blake has worn Victorian era clothes. However, he opted the jodphurs and garb of an explorer or hunter. It also makes his usual scruff appropriate. He enters and stands quietly, nodding to Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost. It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and prove to conclusively. He tries to read the room before committing, standing with his hands behind his back. He notes the katana Martinique bears in passing.

Elektra Natchios has posed:
Making her way into the room is Elektra, the woman having chosen to go with an elegant corset that opens to a long dress open on the sides. No hiding to those long, dark legs. The woman's hair is up on a sharp ponytail and if there's any weapons on her they are hidden. But considering who it is one can be rather *certain* that there are weapons somewhere. Her footsteps echo on the large room and soon enough she is visible to the others, hint of amusement shows on the exotic assassin's features, eyes turning here and there and the various occupants about.

"Good evening." She offers to the room in general, eyes lingering on Emma for a while longer in thought before she inclines her head, "It has been a while since I saw you here." tone staying neutral before she walks over to one of the chairs.

She sits at last, one leg folding over the other.

Shen Kuei has posed:
Shen Kuei stands out that instead of adopting the uniform of those who perpetrated the Opium war, he's wearing an all black silk changsan with an antique magua. The garment is magnificently tailored to fit his athletic form and altered to provide the maximum mobility demanded of the martial arts master. Gold filigree adorns his cuffs and other golden accent emboss the fabric in the likeness of various great cats.

He scans the room momentarily, absorbing the features and accoutrements of those who have gathered. Remembering Elektra specifically, he will offer her a polite bow and salute when he manages to catch her eye.

Mister Kuei is appears to be absent of anything that might appear to be a weapon, but like many of those in attendance. He did not require tools to be lethal or effective.

Sandra Wu-San has posed:

Lady Shiva is here because Emma Frost is here: that Emma is no longer a member gave the woman who serves as her part-time bodyguard even more impetus to accompany her charge. Add to that the sheer intrigue of witnessing a gathering once or twice whispered about in the post-midnight haze of booze and seeping bloodlust, and the die was cast; not only that, but Shiva insisted on doing her research to ensure as authentic a Hellfire Experience as an outsider could hope for.

"May I touch it?" Shiva wonders of Lady Wyndgarde, a thin stream of smoke puffing from her lips courtesy of the long, slender, pearl-white cigarette holder resting between her fingers. A dudou in that same dimmed, off-white shade as the cigarette holder with an intricate filigree of lace across her cleavage stretches down her front, stopping just short enough to confirm that the World's Deadliest Woman might just be a front-runner for World's Tightest Abs, too. Fingerless opera gloves with blue and gold damask sheathing up to her forearms; a short, flowy silk skirt slit up to the hips; and thigh-length leather boots round out her outfit. Emma made a conscious choice to dress like an outsider; Shiva, meanwhile, looked to her employer's closet for inspiration on how to blend.

"It looks to be a beautiful work."

Whatever's in that holder, it isn't tobacco-- which is probably why she tilts the mouth end towards Martinique for an exchange while smiling down at the sheathed weapon.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
There is an eyeroll from the Black King as Emma launches her verbal barb. "You should consider yourself fortunate that we extend the courtesy of an invitation to a former member of this Council, Ms. Frost." The words roll from his lips with almost a casual disregard. The sneer may be affected or genuine - has something happened between these two after all?

Sebastian waits until all that were expected to join have filtered in, and then with a nod the attendants go and close the door, the signal that the meeting has begun in earnest.

"Welcome, everyone. I am pleased to see so many of you joining us. You are the lifeblood of the Hellfire Club, for without its members, we are nothing but a pile of bricks surrounding some very, very beautiful people." He offers a smile that lacks any sincerity, and as his gaze drifts over the attendees, it lingers over Elektra. She earns a slow nod of approval from the Black King at her dedication to the Club's traditions.

"As I call this meeting to order, I first extend a moment to allow any to step before this Court as supplicant. If you have needs that we can see to, now is your time to request the Hellfire Club's favour." He raises his hand, as if to symbolically open the floor for discussion.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would fold her arms together, "Why thank you Sebastian. It's never a formal event without the important people present." Barbs exchanged, Emma at least does go quiet. She's here by permission after all. So that means that she can get 'asked to depart' and she's here to see what sorts of things the Club is up to. A low nod is given to Shiva in soft appreciation, Emma folding her arms together to listen. Glancing at Martinique's outfit she would muse telepathically over to Shiva <<Some tailors at the club do excellent work. It's through no fault of their's that some of the membership flaunts it like a peacock and have no taste for actual decorum and how to present themselves.>>

Martinique Wyngarde has posed:
Martinique Wyngarde allows Shiva to examine her blade at her leisure, "The honor sword of the Kanemura Clan, marking the supremacy of their lineage from their origins as a clan of ninja assassins to their modern life as a family of the Yakuza. That is, until I eliminated them all and claimed the sword as my own in a duel with their oyabun," she smiles. "It has served me well since."

She turns her attention to Shaw, making sure to pay proper attention to the Black King and perhaps radiating a bit of a peacock nature herself, showing that Emma isn't entirely wrong about her. Martinique likes attention and sees no reason to pretend otherwise. Mastermind takes a long, slow draw from the proferred 'cigarette' from Shiva, allowing the smoke to roil out of the corners of her mouth like a dragon in repose.

Thomas Blake has posed:
Thomas Blake listens to the exchange distractedly. That is Lady Shiva. Aptly named and perhaps the sole person in this assembly he would accord instant respect to, her power and skills were legend after all. People were willing to take a mauling from her to glean some skills, or prove their survival skills and will.

Thomas would not. He'd nothing to prove. Ask his tiger. However, he still appreciated her reputation and looking closely, he found nothing to dispute that.

Shen Kuei has posed:
Lady Shiva is the next individual in the room to garner his direct attention. He tilts his head to the side and assesses her intently. One might consider the gaze almost a leer, perhaps lewd in its intensity combined with the half-grin that forms upon his lips.

In truth, there is great desire held within the discerning stare, but it is not carnal in nature. No, its in recognition of someone who is on his 'bucket list' on individuals to test himself against. Shang-chi has spoken of this one. How Cat precisely maps her identity to the one mentioned in respect is a mystery, but 'great game recognizes great game' in the martial arts community.

He adjusts one of his cuffs and snaps a finger, an attendant rolling a cart behind Shen as he approaches Sebastian as a supplicant. He bows, "I seek audience, Black King. But not to make a request, but to present a gift."

Turning to the side, he gestures toward the cart, a white box positioned upon it. The attendant opens to display the contents, as Shen announces, "Twenty pounds of Strottarga Bianco Caviar and germinated eggs for the Hellfire Club to begin its own breeding farm."

The most expensive caviar in the world and the means to produce it.

It's a kingly gift in truth, paying no mind that Mister Kuei just acquired the goods by knocking over a Tong shipment last night, and they were proving inconvenient to move.

Blake Riviere has posed:
Did Blake Riviere just enter the room or had she always been here, the dark-haired woman in her own gown, the black material of the dress highlighted all the more by the deep red ribbon tie in her hair adding a splash of color for the otherwise more monochromatic choice of theme.

A soft chuckle at the barbs exchanged she seemingly steps from the shadows and moves closer to the group, a light click of her heels annoucing her approach.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
A slow incline of his head as Sebastian considers the gift from Shen Kuei. "The Hellfire Club is grateful to accept this gift. It is both thoughtful and generous." He regards Shen Kuei for a moment, before making a pronouncement. "A boon is granted, in appreciation."

Sebastian straightens up, regarding the rest of the Court. He nods as various among them speak. "It would appear that all supplicants have spoken, and so now I wish to move onto our next topic of business." He allows his gaze to sweep once more over the room. "As I said earlier, you are the life's blood of the Hellfire Club, and without you, we could not be the force that we are. As you can see, we are at the moment without the presence of much of our royal court. For some, it is due to higher calling," his hand indicates the White Throne, owned by President Lex Luthor. "To others, perhaps it is a realignment of priorities." His tone is less complimentary of this excuse. "In any event, as is often the case with our society, those who prove themselves loyal, cunning, ambitious and strong, rise up to replace those that have left. We have such an announcement to make before the Court this evening."

The ringed hand lifts from the throne, and open hand waves to indicate Martinique. "Lady Martinique Wyngarde is known to most in here - she possesses all the traits that we look for in our leadership. She comes from a powerful, if somewhat controversial, pedigree, and is quite a formidable individual." He looks to her again, a smile appearing on his face. This one is genuine. "And thus, as the Black King, I hereby decree that Lady Martinique Wyngarde shall be raised to the rank of Black Bishop."

Emma Frost has posed:
Arms folded together, Emma Frost goes to survey the group present. Now she's in a state of quiet and thoughtfulness. Analysing those present - those whom are higher up in the echelons of the club, those they have brought with them, and the ambitious. It's good to take stock of the flock and see whom will be the aggressors and show the initiative. For Emma, this is information gathering. Whether or not the Club is a threat, it always has it's own agenda.

And the Inner Circle has it's own agenda on top of everything else. Even amongst the rank and file. So time to see whom will showcase their talent over. And now for Emma to watch over on things. Shaw's open speaking of Martinique and praise has Emma's full attention and thoughtfulness. And she also keeps her eyes quietly through the room for Shaw's little pet and assistant. In case the little brat is there watching, waiting.

Martinique Wyngarde has posed:
Martinique Wyngarde steps forward slightly, not rising onto the dais fully, but turning artfully to face the assembled. She positions herself carefully at Shaw's right hand, making both her allegiances and her backing clear. Whatever conniving or maneuvering she may have used to earn her new position, she raises her eyes slowly from the demure posture of an honored individual to boldly meet those who stare at her now.

She turns her head to look back at Sebastian Shaw, "My pleasure to serve at your command, your Majesty," she says, offering a bending of the knee before she resumes her bold stance, hand resting atop the hilt of her blade.

Shen Kuei has posed:
Shen offers a respectful bow and salute after the acknowledgement of his gift and then promptly disappears into the background for the Black King's announcement of Martinique Wyngarde's ascension. He applauds politely from his perch, smiling to himself as he considers the ramifications of a boon. Not a bad trade for a night's work, and he didn't have to worry about having a container that the Black Canary might recognize on sight any longer on his possession.

His attention drifts to others in attendance taking note of Emma Frost and her apparent vigilance. Tilting his head, he ponders the wisdom in perhaps seeking an interview with the former council member.

Blake Riviere has posed:
Blake herself affords a nod to the announcement, perhaps even joining in whatever soft applause might be brought forth if it were warranted, but otherwise silent.

No weapons on her form were likely, the cut of her dress made that pretty clear, but the raven-haired woman seemed perfectly comfortable as she too swept her senses over the others in attendance, commiting what she could gleen to mind and memory.

Thomas Blake has posed:
Thomas Blake raises an eyebrow at Blake's appearance. This is unexpected and a pleasant surprise. He had only seen her a few times. They met over drinks you could say. He does give Emma Frost some attention, noting the tension between her and Shaw. His mind drifts for a moment. (She is sculpted of ice and alabaster by the finest artist who ever lived.) He admires her poise and confidence at a decided disadvantage. Sometimes confidence is all one has to see them through.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
A slow nod of approval from Sebastian towards Martinique for her words. "The Black Court is honored to have you among us, and looks forward to all of the wisdom that you shall provide."

He looks out among the gathered group once more, waiting for a moment to see if there are any others who wish to speak. "Thank you all for coming and renewing your commitment to our fine cause. This concludes the official business of this meeting of the Lords Council." He raps his hand upon the throne, and indication that the formality has now concluded. Decorum, of course, remains.

Sebastian slowly rises up from his throne as the quiet hubbub of conversation begins to spring up throughout the room. He descends from the platform and walks over to Martinique. "Congratulations," he says to her, a smile upon his face, as he leans in to kiss first one cheek and then the other. "I look forward to seeing all that you can do manifest itself for our benefit."

Emma Frost has posed:
Martinique's presence and promotion is given a causal nod. This meeting is for Emma Frost useful in the fact as shes' gagued whom has shown up and whom seems ready to do something. Always good to know the movers and shakers. Within a few days hopefully she'll have updated profiles on most of them. Psychological, criminal, business.. All good things to have onhand for the future. And whether her own goals will overlap.. W ell.. That was what contingencies were for if they got in the way.
    She would glance at Shiva then and slowly smile, "Do enjoy playing with your food, darling."

Sandra Wu-San has posed:
"Congratulations, my Lady Wyngarde."

Between the long, thin smile and the even-keeled tone, it is -- challenging, to say the least -- to get a bead on what, if anything, lies behind that sentiment. Maybe it's just because she was distracted by studying - however briefly - Thomas and Shen, in sync with their own attentions resting on her while they do.

<<You are still utterly striking, Emma,>> resonates through astral space, glowing faintly with tongue-in-cheek mirth and genuine assurance. Protecting a woman as complicated as the former Queen requires considering more than just her physical well-being; maybe that's why the ambiguity.

Of course, there's also the blade -- the honor sword of a fallen clan, which Shiva helped herself to smoothly unsheathing before Martinique took her place of recognition; there IS no examining such a weapon without holding it. Turning it over, passing it from hand to hand; running one's fingers down its gleaming length as one might a lover. A distracting process indeed--

"Did you know that I shared a sensei with the late oyabun?"

Dark chestnut eyes lift while the pads of Shiva's fingers stroke folded steel, setting curiously on Martinique's.

"I never made his acquaintance, but I am familiar," she explains, even; gentle, even. "Clever, willful... and terribly, painfully arrogant. A fine student in his way, but a poor heir; a dead-end, when thinking of what to hang one's legacy on." Balancing the blade between both hands, Shiva shifts to slide it back into its home; her hand lingers afterwards while her eyes flick back to Martinique's.

"There is a debt to discuss, my Lady," follows as her smile widens enough for a flash of pearl. "But I am in no hurry to negotiate it; I would much rather celebrate your accomplishment."

Once that's said, she drifts from Martinique until she, too, is poised in the background. Just close enough--

"And what might YOU be doing here, I wonder...?"

-- to question the Cat while her smile lingers. Emma then gets a glance in turn; the smile widens a touch.

Martinique Wyngarde has posed:
Martinique Wyngarde accepts the kisses on the cheek, carefully lowering her eyes again, "I shall serve your house with pride, your highness," she says. She steps down a bit to go to mingle with the assembled, taking a hand here and there and gesturing for a servant to fetch her a glass of wine.

She holds the glass high over her head in toast, "For all that we are. And all that we can be," she says, then draining the glass and passing it off to a servant. "Thank you all for coming."

She steps down to regard Shiva directly, responding to her words regarding the sword and its former owner, "I did not. Clearly, you were a far better student than he," she says. "I know that I would never be your equal in a fair fight, so I'm glad to know all too well that you, as a fellow professional, understand that sometimes, blood must be spilled in the name of business," she says.

Of course, when has Martinique ever fought fair?

Blake Riviere has posed:
Research into Blake was either going to be terribly boring, finding some French heiress expat...or perhaps more illuminating depending on its success. Either way, oblivious to the psychic discussions going on, she does however make her approach to Martinique, a tilt of her head following a cast over with her eyes before she offers smile.

"Congratulations on your new position Lady Wyngarde, it is a pleasure to meet you formally."

Shen Kuei has posed:
The 'Cat' turns faintly to face Lady Shiva and offers her a mischievously grin. "Having cast off the yoke of my old handlers in China, I have found a world of possibilities spread out before me. In short, I am here living my best life."

He inclines his head respectfully, "And I wish to protect that 'best life' with well positioned allies. The Ministry of State Security isn't thrilled with my 'temporary dereliction' of duty... as if I'm a little Taiwan."

Adjusting one of his cuffs, he continues. "I formally request a match in the coming days or weeks if you can fit me into your schedule. By reputation, I hope you consider me worthy of the honor."

Sandra Wu-San has posed:
Shiva's eyes roll down, down, down--

-- and up, up, up, her head canting curiously as they make it back to Shen's eyeline. A dark, threaded brow arches.


is all the answer he gets.

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would just look over at Lady Shiva with amusement over, giving a low nod of her head back and appreciatively <<Why thank you darling, you say the nicest things. And do enjoy playing with your food>> She would offer to the greatest warrior in the world. Emma would turn her attention over to Lady Wyngarde, attempting to get a general feel for how she was interating with the others in the room. How she was holding herself and how they were reacting.

And to see if there would be any that might start machinations against her. This was a bold new world after all and the ambitious were present. Her rise might give incentive for some of them to make their own power plays for attention after all.

Shen Kuei has posed:
Shen sighs deeply and rubs his thumb and index finger over his brow as he contemplates the dreaded ascetic 'why'.

"At the most shallow depths of my motivation, because it is one of the most entertaining and thrilling thoughts that come to mind. It is the same reason I would seek out the likes of Shang-Chi or an old class-mate like Dinah Lance." He offers an honest shrug.

"Though perhaps deeper, for inspiration. One cannot overcome a limit that is not known." He purses his lips and leans his head back. "But I really do get bored easily..."

Sandra Wu-San has posed:
"Shang-Chi?" she wonders.

"The karaoke king of Gotham City?"

Shiva doesn't turn fully, but she does give him another deliberately appraising look.

"... alright."

Her smile grows ever wider as she finds Shen Kuei's eyes.

"Find Shang-Chi and his accomplice, Katy, in Gotham City; at their favored bar. Their home territory. Challenge them to a karaoke duel; defeat them... and I will consider it."

Shen Kuei has posed:
Shen rubs his chin and looks Shiva up and down. He sighs in mild irritation. "I had heard you were different, but looks like you've succumbed to the eclectic and eccentric wisdom of our forebears like so many else."

"I commend you for a well struck blow against my pride." He grunts as if having taken a well placed blow to the solar plexus. "If I defeat the pair in a battle of voices, and then defeat you in the same battle. Will you agree to my original intent?"

"Or am I mistaking 'ascended wisdom' for hubris even greaterer then my own? And you would deface on the sheer whim?" He cants his head to side and awaits his answer.

Sandra Wu-San has posed:
"I will consider it," Shiva repeats.

She takes a long drag from -- what is -- clearly, this close -- cannabis, via ornate holder.

"You came to me armed with what you'd hoped was knowledge, of me," she ruminates after a drawn out exhale, "secondhand yet trustworthy enough to stake your pride upon.

"Your life," she notes with a sidelong glance and an utter lack of violent intent. The risk is simply inherent to the question of engaging Lady Shiva in a duel of equals.

"All motivated by boredom."

Turning towards The Cat, the Smiling Leopard leans casually against the wall while offering her fellow martial artist the joint and its holder. "I will share with you a sliver of who I am -- a piece of truth hidden in the tapestry others have woven for you:" she whispers.

"I am neither beyond boredom nor particularly moved by the entertainment of strangers. If you truly wished to gaze into the smoking mirror and deepen your understanding of Self, you would have found me before now; you would have asked in the ways that those such as we ask. But if you wish me to alleviate your boredom, Shen Kuei... then is it not fair that I ask the same of you?"

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma Frost would go to fold her arms together and look over at Shiva and Shin, her lips quirking upwards over in amusement. But she's not intervening or distracting Shiva. The warrior woman has her own agenda. And it's semingly in that she finds her would-be challenger lacking, as far as Emma might observe.

She would look on fondly over the exchange that had taken it's share of attention from the room. Verbal back and forth and banter. An evaluatory gaze is sent towards that of Shiva's conversation partner. And Emma attempts a light mental probe. A quick one, hopeuflly unnoticed of surface thoughts if she could. Presuming she would meet any degree of mental resistance, seh would withdraw. This was more to see if she could what egged the young man on. Pride, ambition.. Or self-assurance.

Shen Kuei has posed:
"My life. My pride. In the end, these are acceptable payments for an existence of thrills and joy." Shen tilts his head and accepts the holder. He examines it for a moment, wafts the smoke briefly toward his nostrils, and decides to gamble by accepting the gift.

He takes a drag and similarly perches casually upon the wall. He clutches the holder with a clack between his teeth as he rolls ups his sleeves further. He slowly exhales the drag as he listens.

"I did not pretend to know you nor what motivated you. A negotiation cannot begin without an offer. As for deepening my understanding of Self? I know exactly who I am, and I am completely satisfied by it. My boredom is not a curse, but gift that ever pushes me beyond my limits."

He extends the holder back to Lady Shiva. "Come before now? Ask in the way those such as you would ask? If I did such things. I would not be myself. I am an opportunist. I speak to you now... because of an opportunity."

Grinning, he chuckles. "What is fairness? You have something I want. I came without an offer. You found it lacking. You countered. I accepted."

Shen Kuei has posed:
As for what occurs upon the surface of Shen Kuei's mind, he's a mix of amused and frustrated. He speaks the absolute truth in his understanding of himself. He is completely and absolutely sure of his role on the great stage of the world. He knows exactly what he wants and that is a thrill.

Sandra Wu-San has posed:
"You do not know your limits," Lady Shiva reminds The Cat, "so well as to resist bringing yourself to me to explore them. There's no sin in it: the only ones blessed to know all that there is to know of themselves are the dead; the rest of us must make what peace we can with the shadows cast as we struggle for illumination."

After another long drag, Shiva lowers the holder so there's nothing distracting Shen Kuei from watching her hand stretch slowly towards his shoulder for a firm grasp-- a touch of affection from one rare soul to another.

"I look forward to seeing what song you choose. Perhaps you have already decided; perhaps it will be a learning moment for both of us," she offers with a small smile.

Shen Kuei has posed:
While Shen is willing to stake his life on the assumption that Shiva would not bring poison into the inner sanctum, he's at least partially vigilant. As her firm grasp approaches his shoulder, he shifts just enough to ensure her fingertips do not find easy access to anatomical weaknesses. It's a reflex of necessity.

"Well then, I shall be ambitious in my selection. Thank you for the drag." And with that, he turned away, drawing a smartphone from a concealed pocket and considering his options of tutors in the dreaded art of Karaoke.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
After mingling with the crowd for the requisite amount of time, The Black King makes his way back over towards his throne, ascending it once more without any pomp and circumstance. He watches as the posturing, the cat fights, and the scores are settled. He is puzzled by the karaoke, but sometimes people settle things in odd ways. As the crowd starts to filter out, he leans back in his throne, and nods to himself. Satisfied at what he sees, and filled with faith and confidence that the Hellfire Club is in good hands.

His hands.