2069/Senior Trip

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Senior Trip
Date of Scene: 11 June 2020
Location: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Synopsis: In Monaco, Roulette is caught cheating with her powers and a deal is made for her freedom and funds.
Cast of Characters: Jennifer Stavros, Julio Richter, Illyana Rasputina, Douglas Ramsey, Danielle Moonstar, James Proudstar, Marie-Ange Colbert

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Monaco: 2.1 square kilometers of old-world charm. Even in 2020 it's a principality, led by Prince Albert II. Over 19000 people per square kilometer. And here they are: recent graduates of the Xavier School, traveling to the wondrous Casino de Monte Carlo.

Well, that's Jenny Stavros' plan, anyway, and any other plans don't matter because she will harangue, harass, and drag people around by their ears if they don't want to come with her.

Jenny stops a few hundred meters from the casino's door to take a selfie. Because this is Jenny, and selfies are not so much her stock in trade as that by which the world keeps spinning. It's a pose with a wink and a V-for-Victory sign that she will not ever admit to modeling on Ann from Persona 5. Nope. She has never seen, played, or heard of the game. Nonetheless, her hair is done up in fluffy twin pigtails, and she's dressed up in what she imagines to be classy style -- and it probably is. Her dress is blue, reveals her shoulders, and straps cross over her back. Her shoes match. Her purse is coordinated. It's Jenny. You should expect no less.

And now she regards her companions with a critical eye. This is her moment. "Alright," she says cheerfully. "Gambling age is eighteen. Drinking age is eighteen. Get in there. Have fun. Come see me if you need to make some money."

Even as she says this last, a glowing white ball appears in her hand, and she tosses it into the air, catches it in her mouth, and, solely for effect, swallows.

Julio Richter has posed:
Although /academically/ he's only a rising senior, at 19, Julio is hitting the upper age bound for students at Xavier's. He managed to leverage that into an invite on the senior class trip with only a bit of wheedling, and with the help of a borrowed suit and a thoughtful teleportation portal, here he is in the last place a legally nonexistent teenage mutant might normally expect to find himself.

The suit, at least, fits surprisingly well: he's put on some muscle since he first arrived in New York, and the black coat and green tie set off his brown skin nicely. His manner, on the other hand, is still a bit more Mutant Town than Monaco; he avoids eye contact with anyone he doesn't know, keeps to the rear of the group, and shies well back when Jennifer starts snapping selfies.

Then again, the whole point of bargaining his way onto this trip was to try to relax and get away from the recent, tense events around the school, so as the group passes through the entrance, he mentally reminds himself that the goal is to let his metaphorical hair down. "I'm headed to the bar," he offers, brushing a hand back through his literal hair. "I can give you advice if you're not sure what drinks to try?" Some of the others present know that he has not only lived most of his life in a civilized country with a proper drinking age, but worked at a bar himself.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Monagesques tend to be French or Italian, but the unhealthy number of Russian-owned megayachts berthed at slips around Port Hercule assures Illyana shan't feel too alone. Neither are any of them paying $25,000 a night for the right to drop anchor. At least her guests coming by way of Limbo, free from passport problems naturally. Glittering sparks of silver-blue fire emanate from a path in Jardins de la Petite Afrique, barely a stone's throw from the Casino, but not quite under the folded vantage of a dozen CCTV cameras. Sleek in black with a broad-brimmed chic sunhat, she looks like the European she technically is. Russia is -big-.

Not far to go to find Jenny or hear her recommendations on behaviour, traversed in designer heeled sandals she could wield as weapons if the mafiya mistakes her for some oligarch's daughter. "The iconic club here is Jimmy'z, north in La Rousse. They have the floating Summer Bar and electronic music, mm? Famous DJs, might be fun. La Bar Americain right is over there, good for jazz and cocktails. Quieter. Amber Summer is for the glitz and glamour."

She raises her shoulder. "Or we get a yacht." Get. Such a nice, gentle verb in English full of a dozen different meetings. The fan of blonde hair glittering across her shoulders shifts as she tilts her head, taking a look to Julio, then back to Jimmy. Choices being theirs, all in all. A civilized drinking age with a sorcerer, always a great combination, but she taps her finger against her smirk. "Name your poison. Monaco has it all -- mostly. Dancing, swimming, the Oceanographic Institute to talk to fish. More princes and sheik's cousins here than working class people."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Inside the casino, a wealthy businessman walks away from the table. "Boy's got to be cheating. I had two pair! I had it in the bag! How'd he know to fold on that hand?"

Cypher pushes up his sunglasses with the middle finger of his gloved right hand, and then reaches down to collect his chips. "It's too easy." He says. "I wonder how long I could clean rich jerks out of their money before the casino tries to shut me down? I'm not cheating *per say*..." He flicks a couple of chips to the dealer, as a gratuity, and then gives a bright grin. "Mother Durga leads the dance, and I follow her steps." He flips a chip up, and catches it, the light catching on the filigree of circuitry in his eyes before he adjusts his sunglasses and makes his way across the casino floor, leaning into a nimble dance step. "Champagne!" He says, to a passing waitress, "And keep it flowing."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
It's been a couple years since Dani graduated, but that makes her prime material for 'chaperone' without being the dour, fun-killing type. The fact that she's a few months away from twenty-one likely helps cement any unease the seniors might have of Yet Another Chaperone. It's also more than likely that Someone, Somewhere was informed of the sort of things that the Jean Clone used to get under her skin and dropped a good word that giving the Cheyanne a targeted, specific invite might do wonders for the psychological side of her recovery.

They did not, however, get her dressed up for the trip out. Sorry, that might take a drink -- or four -- and some especial effort. Danielle Moonstar has never been one for playing dress-up and she sticks out like a sore thumb in the midst of Monaco proper. Jeans and a white tee, her hair in its usual braids. She, too, shies away from being in the background of any selfies and seems more inclined to -meander- than outright make her way for any bar or craps tables.

James Proudstar has posed:
"Definitely gotta say that I never really imagined I'd be vacationing in Monaco." James Proudstar looks about, and bluntly speaking he's almost certain to be taken for Illyana's bodyguard or something, given his size, though there are occasionally enough towering Scandinavians and Native American casino magnates around that neither of the two aspects that tend to set him apart are entirely alien to these parts...though in combination....

His choice of attire likely doesn't help. A finely-tailored medium gray suit, with a red dress shirt, though he eschews the typical necktie for a nod to his southwestern US roots in the form of a bolo tie, set with turquoise in fine-grade silver. Technically not of his birth tribe, but Jimmy feels a touch of solidarity to all native tribes. So yes, Jimmy dressed up...with the availability of sorcerous transmogrification and the idea that this was a rich person's playground, it seemed appropriate.

"How would we afford a ya-...nevermind." He shakes his head, chuckling, "We'll keep it in mind. Come on, let's go catch up with the others."

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Where Jenny goes, Marie is likely not to be far behind -- and today was no exception. Despite stressing out about not wanting to leave the country -- and then having those fears put to rest between the Professor and the aforementioned Jenny -- she stands now a mere six hour train ride from her home country... but without a care in the world. No, the redhead stands smiling, dressed in a shimmering dress that matches her haircolor. Flashy without showing too much flesh.

"Is... that different than back home, Jenny?" she asks, arching a a brow at the blonde; she's been under the impression that it was the same as France! Illyana gets a quizzical look too. "Why would we wish to pick poisons?" Jimmy gets a bit of a shrug, before she starts walking towards the entrance.

"When it comes to this crowd, Monsieur Proudstar, I have learned it is better not to ask questions, oui?"

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
The others can do as they please. Jenny is headed for the Casino. She knows she's got all the luck she needs to make a fortune. "In America, the drinking age is 21," she tells Marie. "I may get a drink when I feel like it, but I could get in trouble for it. The gambling age depends on where you're gambling." She glances at the redhead. "And to pick your poison is to decide what you want to do." And into the casino! She received some money for graduation -- aunts and uncles, grandparents, a couple of older cousins, and of course, her parents, who have no idea that she's in Europe right now. It's a tidy sum. And it's all getting changed for chips.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio glances over at Illyana with his eyebrows up, one foot already on the stair to the building Jennifer is heading into. "I like quiet and cocktails," he says first, then, after a pause to consider, he adds carefully: "I don't know if I like yachts... but I would be willing to find out." Roulette is offering money for nothing... but why bother, when the kicks are free?

Still, Jimmy is a lot more decisive on that question, and sticking with the group seems like a sensible choice, so he amiably enough follows along. Grand Theft Nautico will just have to wait. "It's definitely not where I saw myself a year ago, either," he agrees with the bigger boy, in a decent contender for understatement of the year. Then, for Marie's benefit: "There are lots of people ready to pick for us. Might as well beat them to it."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
"A saying, Marie-Ange," Illyana says to the Frenchwoman. "It means to make a choice, da? Often between drinks, but now anything." Her hand raised to her brow adjusts the steep angle of the impressively broad-brimmed hat, something befitting the glamour of Monte Carlo or the Derby. The rest of the ensemble steeps in its own chosen shadows, while she pushes her sunglasses up her nose. With the golden light bathing marble and stucco facades in a host of pastel shades, they are still perfectly functional. The same smirk answers Jimmy's question and she glances back towards the exotic marina, casino still at her shoulder. Yacht, casino. Yacht, casino.

In a light aside to Julio and Jimmy, she notes, "Listen for Greek accents, da? My last nautical adventure might give us a key in. But now, good cocktails. Old fashioned ones, or something new?" Something to follow as she glides within the casino like she's born to the glittering lights and the glitzy display, probably not too concerned about the pits where gamblers dwell in a plethora of different rooms. Different pits, same demons. Exciting!

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Which is when Cypher comes face to face with Jenny, a glass of champagne in his hand, as yet untasted. He normally can't stand the stuff. Makes him sick. He sets it aside, and then says, brightly, "Roulette. Fancy meeting you here." He looks around at the glittering lights. "It's amazing, isn't it? Monte Carlo's casinos are different than the ones back home - they don't aim for the lowbrow - this is all a temple of having *too much money*." He digs a 5,000 Euro chip out of his pocket, flips it up in the air, and catches it. "Makes you feel alive." He rolls it across his knuckles, then flips it to Jenny. "But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?" Milton. He's quoting Milton, ugh.

James Proudstar has posed:
Jimmy grins at Marie-Ange, "Well, given this crowd we'll probably be doing pretty well if we don't get kicked out our banned less than halfway through the trip, though I guess there are probably worse things than living on a Yacht for a few days if we can manage it." A bit of a shrug and he looks back to Illyana, "You did a good job picking last time. Feel free." He says in regards to drinks. Though he has to down like a pitcher of long island iced tea to get buzzed.

"This seems a little less crazy than the casinos back home. Still designed for sensory overload but...I dunno, classier, I guess." Jimmy doesn't plan to do much gambling, but who knows? Maybe a little bit just to say he did. Later.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
There's only a moment of hesitation before Marie takes a moment to consult her cards; the five of wands backs up her carefree feeling of the moment; in it's reversed position, it's like that sigh of relief after a big bout of stress -- the latter of which they most certainly had.

So, she trails behind the blondes, nodding her thanks to... well, everyone for clarifying the expression for her. "Merci. Still so many English sayings I must learn." before splitting off from the lucky blonde to follow the magical one, where drinks await. Afterall, when you're in a casino, the key is to drink /and/ play, right?

"Something new, I think. Do either of you have a good suggestion?" is the thought directed to Julio and Illyana as far as drink choices go, and then Marie smiles towards Jimmy, nodding her head in agreement. "Oui, living on a yacht for a few days could be very nice...." the tone she uses suggests there's some experience in her history. "... and many things in this part of the world are... classier, as you say. America is very... in your face and loud." A giggle. "Though, that can be fun too, sometimes!"

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jenny's eyes almost cross. "Ramsey," she replies. "Do you see me calling you 'Cypher' in public?" Her voice is pitched low. "And I'm not alone." She gestures behind her at the oncoming mutants -- Marie and Illyana, of course, but if hasn't noted the giant Native American man he needs something more than glasses. "If anybody's alone, it's you. See? You -could- have joined the trip. But clearly you were entirely too busy being ostentatious and pedantic." She is pretty sure she used those words correctly. "Look, nice to see you, but I've got money to win." She nonetheless catches the chip from the air. That's a lot more money than her family gave her. She glances about, though, and heads toward the Baccarat tables.

Julio Richter has posed:
"This seems like a place for a nice martini or a neat scotch," Julio answers Marie and Illyana's question with another glance around their unaccustomed surroundings. "But we can't really be American tourists if we aren't drinking some trashy rainbow-colored rum thing, can we? I think that's international law." He can't speak to Jimmy's comparison, personally; he's never been to an American casino. But he definitely agrees with the description of their current surroundings. "It's all very James Bond."

At which point, Doug shows up looking like a minor character from the Roger Moore era and talking like -- Julio's similes fail him. He has never seen anyone talk like Doug is talking, even in a movie. "You feeling okay, compañero?" he asks, sounding sincerely concerned.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Presented with the possibility of deciding on drinks is entertaining, for it turns out the gothic imperial majesty can be La Serenissima of the Liqueurs, too. What better place to start her magic than by tantalizing the bartenders with something other than an Old Fashioned or a dull take on something so mashed with liquors and herbs it's hardly any good? "Paper Planes, at least. Something light and fresh for a clear sky. We can work our way into the night from there," she suggests wherever the day begins. A tonic for the melodies dancing in her mind. A smile for Marie-Ange: "Trust me. I will not give you anything foul. It should be light and lovely as you."

The Old World may just be classier. They're all dressed up and throwing chips around in a few cases. No disagreement there. With a tip of that dark hat, she steps back from a blitzing wave of riotous playboys and trophies on their arm, the bitter chill of her gaze barely blunted by those sunglasses. Easily she falls into James' shadow, offering her arm wordlessly. "Julio, any limits? Bar is this way if you want. Douglas already has a drink." She nods to the blond with his champagne. "Jenny, I will surprise you, da? If you settle at a table, it comes to you. Look for the fox."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"It's fine." Doug says, to Julio, before he picks up his glass again and tips it back. "I am an agent of the War in Heaven, Julio. And the vessel by which Mother Durga's dance shall open the eyes of the masses to something new and better. It's not just revolution - it's *entertainment*."

He rubs the back of his neck and turns, looking about. "But you're looking much better, I'm glad the school agrees with you." He tips his sunglasses down, showing the silvery circuitry threaded through the sclera of his eyes.

"Right now, I'm gathering data. It's all so *colorful*." He seems... mostly there, but like he's tripping at the same time.

James Proudstar has posed:
Jimmy equally-wordlessly links his arm with Illyana's as they move to one of the no-doubt-many bars available here. He glances over his shoulder towards Doug for a moment, a brow lifted in a quizzical expression, but he doesn't offer up any commentary aloud, at least not for the ears of any beyond Illyana, whom he leans down to murmur something to.

After that's done though, his size becomes a boon in that people are all too willing to clear a space at the bar for him.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
If the question was could Marie-Ange be any more of a lady in red... well, Illyana's compliment adds a little extra color to her cheeks. "M-merci, mademoiselle." she half-stammers. Attention? She's not it's biggest fan, but /positive/ attention? It's still quite the foreign object to the equally foreign girl.

Then Doug's speaking and... not entirely making sense to her. There's another turn to the cards for advice; the Strength card reversed. Weakness. In situations of weakness, strength in numbers becomes a key -- so rather than follow Illyana towards the bar, she decides to stick with Jenny for the moment, trusting the Russian girl with the drinks but not willing to abandon her best friend in the moment, either. "Gathering... data?" she echoes, blinking. "Are you working on a project for school, Monsieur Ramsey?"

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jenny flashes a grin at Illyana. "Not too strong," she requests. "I need to focus here." She drops into a chair at a baccarat table and has the dealer break the chip she got from Doug. Two thousand Euros are placed on a tie bet -- that the dealer and the player will get exactly the same score. It pays 9 to 1.

Thirty seconds later, Jenny is 18000 Euros richer.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio is about to split the difference with a classy-but-sweet Dark and Stormy when Illyana's suggestion catches his interest. "Ooh, paper plane -- perfecta!" he tells her with a grin. "Stemmed glass. Muy europeo." He's about to follow after the pair when he pauses, cocks his head to the side, and seems to reconsider. "Do you and Jimmy mind getting one for me?" he asks. "I just thought of something on the other airplane I should ask about."

That somewhat puzzling comment made, he turns, like Marie, to check in with Doug. "Yeah, I've been getting way more exercise, and eating way better. Even getting better with the shakes. I appreciate you getting me set up there," he answers the blond boy, before leaning a little bit closer with a curious expression. "So... are you just having champagne, or did you start the party without us? I'd love to know what kind of 'data' you got, too."

He's obviously playing it like he just wants to know what kind of drugs Ramsey has managed to score, but there's an undercurrent to what he's asking. "Durga's that dancer with the viral videos, right? Something you got from one of her fans?"

He has no idea how Baccarat works, so Jenny's handsome score flies right over his head, unfortunately.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
A blown kiss over her shoulder might be unusual for Illyana, but this is /Monaco/. Do as the Romans do, as it is. Who it's for, good luck to interpret. She glides with an essential grace and deadly purpose on those stiletto heels that could be used if a vampire showed up, hungry for blood or friendly statement. Dark glasses blunt the intense arctic fairness of her eyes, and she wiggles her fingers in a statement of promise to Jenny as she goes to clean up one of the tables. Alas, they who cheat will not be called out by the Russian. It might be necessary to bag a few extra dresses on the way. Sinuous and slinky in her approach, she brushes past other players, taking the roundabout way to reach the bar. There's a tactic in that.

Many beautiful people out there might be inured to beauty itself, but rarely to novelty. If their heads are turned, they might not actually notice trouble brewing. She pauses at one point, murmuring to a group of young women playing blackjack. Pretending to. Easy game, low stakes. A few seconds to borrow their phone, snapping a shot of the group together, while they wedge together with their drinks. Silenced vibrations hum the message into the void, Instarkgrammed and go, before she carries on.

The liquor is coming, fear not, delivered by the patron saint of meritocracy, poisons, and devastating smiles. But once she lands at the counter, the conversation flows in English and smatterings of French, in the precise gesture and indication of volume. Poor tender, or delighted one. Theirs is a mutual diversion, a tongue wrought in a lyrical liquidity poured into a fluted glass, into a basin on a skinny stem, a tulip glass and more.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug gives Julio a sidewise glance, and then he gives him a little grin. "You've seen my work! It's all about the views, man. The *views* are the ammunition that will win the War in Heaven. Quntillions of views, across the Multiverse-" He pauses, and then steeples his fingers together.

"So, you guys look like you're having fun. Do you gamble, Julio? I like games of chance - something I can leave all up to the dice." Then he looks up, grins wide, and tugs on his bowtie with one finger. "What IS she doing?"

James Proudstar has posed:
Jimmy largely remains Illyana's silent shadow, which likely adds to the novelty. Not that the site of a bodyguard is at all unusual here, but whoever this is is "new" and thus for regulars all the more novel. No doubt, people will wonder. Though they might also speak derisively of how "unsubtle" it is, without ever realizing he isn't a bodyguard at all. Others might speculate an American football player with a "date" but either way, unlikely any get even in the same ballpark as the truth.

And so he hovers just a bit behind except on those occasions Illyana tugs on his arm,occasionally glancing back over towards where the rest of his friends are gathered, if only to keep track of them. Hard to deliver drinks if you don't know where they are! Though his hearing does manage to pick up enough to guess that Jenny's just won big, giving him an amused expression as he notes to Illyana, "So...Doug or Jenny, who's banned first?"

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Another, this time deeper flush of her cheeks at the blown kiss, Marie's head bowing slightly and her hair falling forward to partially obscure her face. It takes her a moment to regain her composure, but when she does it's about at the same time that Jenny hits her (first) big win (of the night!).

Perfect distraction for a flustered brain!

"Oh, how wonderful!" she cheerily chirps, clapping merrily for the Atlantic City native as the chips come pouring in. Briefly debating if she wants to give gambling a shot herself.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
"Big money, big money," Jenny says, echoing her Instagram post of earlier in the day. She flashes Marie a grin, glances around, sips whatever beverage has appeared at her elbow, and then considers those around her, the player who's now playing, the dealer... and puts a bet on the player. Another 2000.

In Baccarat, the chances of the player's hand winning are about 43%, while the odds of the dealer winning are approximately 51%. Betting on the player is not as risky as betting on a tie, but still not the best bet. And Jenny only stands to double her money here -- whereas a bet on the dealer winning would let her break even.

And again, she wins. Another 2000 Euros added to her funds for the evening, for a total of 20000.

And in the security room, people are starting to take notice.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Sure, I saw it. Like, subscribe, all that stuff," Julio answers, looking puzzled. "Are you her cameraman?" He glances over at Marie with a questioning look, to see if that sounds right to her. If Doug has been a youtuber this whole time, it's the first he's heard of it. "I've played a little poker, sure, but I don't rush into big risks," he continues, trying to keep up with the other boy's odd stream of consciousness and not doing an especially great job.

At that point, Marie starts celebrating Jenny's win, and he finally picks up that something cool has happened. "Felicidades," he offers, peering over shoulders at the table in a too-obvious bid to figure out what she actually did and what the prize was. As he watches the new hand play out, he has to take his cues from others whether what's happening is good or bad, but as more chips slide her way, the conclusion is simple enough to track. "Nice!" he tells her, reaching out to give her a comradely pat on the shoulder.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug raises an eyebrow. "They can't figure her out." He says. "They're watching her - but she's not counting cards or giving away any sign that she's cheating. She's just beating the odds."

"Me, I have to be careful to lose a hand here or there. I read a person too well, they suspect me of cheating and I get kicked out. She needs to start to lose. I'm her programmer." Doug says. "Bringing in those like and subscribes as ammunition against the Evil One - " He slips his hands into his pockets, as Julio goes to celebrate with the others. He stays where he is.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Choices sweet and blithe eventually come by way of an order, something that of course Illyana in that dress and those heels cannot hope to carry on her own. Restricting Jimmy so probably defeats the purpose of gliding in her wake, or perhaps opening the path for the Russian scion of Rasputin's accursed line to follow. In the end, it's something of both. Dispatched to Marie-Ange and Jenny, two very different drinks: the first, for the Frenchwoman, is a bubbly golden concoction in that tulip glass, pretty and blithe, with a single gentian petal swirling around the top. The second, intriguingly magenta, in a flaring cup that doesn't quite fit the mode for martinis. Too much upright zeal in it, though it smells sweet and deadly.

The Paper Plane's a classic in a stemmed glass for Julio to be delivered personally, something in her hand absolutely dark in its aspect, stained burgundy like blood and floral inhibitions. For everything else's there is Mastercard or whatever chips they take. A dance in the dream, all the same, lilting with ease. Have your drinks and step away, even that. "Should we rejoin them? They seem to be having a time of their lives." A, not the. "Don't want to end up in the dark corner of a dungeon, do we?"

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Marie catches Julio's look, and her response? A helpless shrug. What exactly is going on with Doug and this Mother Durga character, and why youtube videos are being talked about like the ammunition one would put into a gun... she can't say.

Maybe she should poke around social media more. It might... open her eyes.

Accepting the drink from Illyana with a... more demure smile than the open ones she had been giving before, she politely adds a "Merci, Mademoiselle Rasputin." before raising it to her lips. Siiiip. Eyebrows raise, smile widens, "Tres bien!" she adds. Another Jenny win is celebrated by a cheering Marie, the redhead resisting the urge to offer a hug given that they're /both/ holding drinks. Spilled booze is tragic. Spilled booze on pretty dresses? Unforgivable.

But the future appears to be looking very, very bright indeed.

James Proudstar has posed:
"If nothing else we might have to make sure Doug doesn't shave his head and start trying to hand out Durga pamphlets." Jimmy notes to Illyana, but he's smiling nonetheless as he helps ferry drinks to their respective recipients. Nothing for him right now, it seems, but as noted...he basically drinks purely for taste, since the quantity required to intoxicate is prohibitive.

"And we came here to have fun, which is usually better shared with friends." He adds, briefly resting a hand on Illyana's back after the drinks are delivered, and moving near Julio and Doug, asking nonchalantly, "So she's on a roll, huh?"

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jennifer continues to win again and again, seeming to randomly choose the right bet most of the time, but not losing a single hand until she's up over fifty thousand euros -- and considering she started at only about fifteen hundred (not counting Doug's donation to the Best Apartment in Manhattan fund) she's doing pretty damn well.

But she misplays a bet at last, her luck failing her, and the player wins when she bets on the dealer. It only drops her two thousand Euros (if 'only' is the right word to describe that sum), but it points out to her the obvious: it's time to step away from the tables for awhile, so she tips the dealer and rises, taking her maroon drink and sipping it as she steps away, and almost bumps into a large man who speaks to her first in French, then in English when she looks clueless.

"Miss, we'd like to see you upstairs, please." A hand grips the blonde's upper arm as he starts to guide her from the casino floor.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio dips his head in thanks as Illyana hands him his drink, taking a sip and smiling as the refreshing mix of bitter and sweet spirits hits his palate. He hasn't had a drink since getting to the school, and he hasn't had a /good/ drink for significantly longer than that, so it's a treat that he fully intends to savor for as long as it'll stay chilled. Whatever's going on with Doug will just have to wait.

He's midway through responding to Jimmy, "She's on one hell of a roll," when that luck runs out, in more ways than one. He spots the hand dropping to her arm and, without even thinking about it, instinctively starts to fade back into the crowd. His eyes are riveted to the interaction, but he has no intention of jumping into the middle of it for the time being. He's going to watch, make sure she's okay, and if necessary, intervene only when he thinks the time is right.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug gives a smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes. "A little too much of a roll." He says, before he pushes his sunglasses back up, and moves to follow behind at a leisurely amble. "This is where she either lets people talk her out of trouble," He says to the Apache, "Or maybe she plays with the odds and creates a distraction - good or bad luck, I wonder? She has options."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Let no precious liquor be spilled. Exactly where a tab began shall be a secret kept between her and James, since trying to keep any form of audible secret on someone who can hear you over the tumble of chips and filthy deals conducted in half a dozen languages. Bargains and dealings done far from dirt cheap wisp through like oil in the wake of a ferry, so maybe best not to listen too close. Still, with her dark fantasy in hand, Illyana takes stock of her surroundings. "An awkward place to profess such faith in a temple to Mammon. Lakshmi might be more appropriate." An idle observation all the same, her drink sipped in sparing consideration, like a cat after a drop of cream.

She leans a little back into the protective hand splayed over her tailbone, deepening the contact, even while perhaps lost in the shivering sparks of the drink. In the ring of people and words, overwhelming impressions mean falling back on familiar forms. Oh no, losing two thousand Euros gives cause surely for groans and knowing smiles! In that sense, her languid shake of the head at witnessing Jenny's fall from fortuna's wheel is purely staged for show. That orbit of her hat could substitute for a chandelier with a few candles, but it tilts still.

Marie-Ange's reaction defines everything about hers. No da Costa or Worthington name protects them here, not exactly. "You see why I suggested the yacht?" she asides to Julio and Jimmy nearest her. Doug's much in that frame of view, but she gestures lightly to Marie-Ange. "Would you check and see if I've tangled up the strap of..." A roll of her shoulder, indicating the dress.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
Standing right where she is, and being a native French speaker, Marie has the advantage of knowing what's going on before most of the others do -- it gives her a spare moment to consult the cards in that little velvet pouch of hers. The image of a man hanging from a noose is rarely a positive one, and reversed?

...being tied down to a place is also, rarely, a positive sign.

Taking the card between her fingers, she steps forward; Marie wasn't able to be there for Jenny the last time the blonde needed her, and she'd never forgive herself if she failed her friend again.

She's about to speak up -- when Illyana beats her to the punch. Trusting the /other/ blonde to be more direct than she's usually able to, the redhead quickly detaches from Jenny to peer, indeed, and see if the strap of the dress is tangled -- switching the drawn card to her drink holding hand and using her newly freed one to attend to it, if needed. Getting in close for just a moment to whisper something; sweet nothings, perhaps, given the earlier interactions?

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
Jenny puts on a wide-eyed, innocent expression. "Of course?" she says, feigning confusion. She's not a terrible actress. "I'm not sure what the problem is, sir. It was just a run of good luck."

And the man gives her a wry expression. "Just come with me, young lady," he says, and Jenny is led away to be questioned.

James Proudstar has posed:
There's a frown from Jimmy at the plight of one Jennifer Stavros. He's level-headed enough to avoid going off half-cocked, but he also knows Jenny had a recent spate of captivity so this might not be the healthiest thing for her.

But making a scene in Monaco is likely to result in a whole heaping helping of ass-chewing from Scott when they get back, and that's something he'd really prefer to avoid if possible. He can only sleep so many hours in a day.

Whatever it is that transpires between Marie-Ange and Illyana, Jimmy watches for a moment and gives a slight nod, more towards the former in this case.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Don't look at me. I also voted boat," Julio points out from the back of the cluster of mutants. To think some people might worry he'd have trouble assimilating! Is there any sentiment more American than 'I voted for the other guy?'

He takes a few deep breaths, drawing up seismic energy in case he has to do something extreme. It must be said, though: Monaco has barely enough tectonic activity to knock a thimble off a table, and he's barely sipping at it in any case. His mutant powers are more of a risk than an asset here.

Like Jimmy, Julio is going to wait for the girls to take the lead; Illyana seems to be hatching some sort of plan, and although he isn't familiar with Marie's powers, he's confident that the two of them have subtler ways to operate than those available to himself and his Apache friend.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
If she's to take the lead, she will still remain a follower. There's one last question to ask her deck, and loose fingers dip into the pouch to withdraw her answer. The card she spies brings a smile to her face. Strained, but still relieved, in a fashion.

"For now, we regroup. Enjoy the city. The mademoiselle will be just fine; of this I am certain." Marie speaks aloud, lifting her drink to her lips for another sip. "...I will see to our accomadations. It would not be a vacation if we were forced to sleep against the walls of such a place, afterall, oui?" she asks, before starting to move -- fully intent on making sure they /do/ get a proper room to stay on. That's the benefit of not gambling her money away.

She still has it to pay for a room!

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Marie-Ange holds the spotlight at the moment, being the one asked to disentangle a delicate bit of silk from a deadly parade of metal spiderwebs infilling the back of that dress. Clearly one has turned under the strap where a girl could not reach it for herself without some trouble. Tres mal! The turn of her head offers privacy that only a stunning formal hat can provide, a black halo-hole of dramatic angles and shadows slipped over lovely profiles. "Merci." French is not her native tongue by half but she can afford that much. "You are the sweetest." Blunt spoken Russian who couldn't melt honey in her mouth because she can't be bothered is replaced by a clone, clearly. Or one maybe outside of her normal element can be a bit brighter spirited.

She can hold a drink in both hands if necessary. No distraction yet from observing the commotion fading into memory, ripples smoothed into renewed chattering and games to be played. The danger passes, after all. She hums a little, murmuring under her breath, "Straight floating on a boat on the deep blue sea, busting five knots, wind whipping out my coat..." Sunglasses inside are so declasse or vampire, but they block out any sight of the weird being summoned.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
It doesn't take long for Roulette to return, still accompanied by her large guard. But there's another with them -- she's tall, slender, beautiful, cold, long dark hair and icy blue eyes. Those Roulette has been talking with since entering the casino are gathered and brought to pay heed.

"Young people," says the woman, "your friend has made a great mistake, coming to the Monte Carlo and attempting to cheat us. But things are complicated by virtue of the fact that she is a mutant. I don't know that you all knew, but now you do." Her voice comes with an accent -- European, but hard to place on the continent.

"We do not dislike mutants here," she continues. "Anybody who has money to spend is welcome. But you must understand, we cannot allow such a thing to go unpunished.

"And so, from now on, Miss Stavros is not welcome at the Casino de Monte Carlo. But she may yet keep her winnings, and her freedom, if you will all do a little favor for us.

"There is a group who has been disrupting our business for several months now. We want them stopped. Stop them, and you will all receive some token of our appreciation.

"Fail, and Miss Stavros will have to face the law of Monaco. It will not be so kind as the hotel management."

For her part, Jennifer is composed, silent for once, and pale. Decidedly pale.

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
Dani is not one of those types who has a lot of money to spare. In fact, she honestly has little to none. Not any she trusts herself to see gone on day one. So, she's wandered. She's meandered, watched people play games. Stopped here and there to get a closer look at someone either on a winning streak... or a losing one. Maybe getting a good eye for what might do her well (or not) if she should try to venture her way to a table at some point.

However, it's been a while since she's seen the others and she's started to feel a bit (more than a bit) out of place. Sure, some do wear their own variation of jeans-and-tee but most of them are in the realm of mutlti-thousands-of-dollars custom jeans with hand-embroidery and inlaid gems. Not a pair that's got a couple years of wear on them.

So the group may find her outside once they depart, waiting by a corner wall: observing the general public in quiet repose. It's safer... well, it's less awkward.

Marie-Ange Colbert has posed:
There's no hesitation from Marie as Jenny is brought back and the terms of her 'friendly' release are allowed. The Star appears to be followed. She doesn't feel the need to consult the rest of the group; quite sure of her next step.

"Nous acceptons, Monsieur. Nous ferons ce que nous pouvons."

In short? We accept.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio gives the woman's missive a decidedly hostile reception. Surely nothing like the iciness Illyana can bring to bear -- he gives her a molten glare like there's a geyser of Spanish profanity just waiting on his tongue for the right moment to be loosed. Still, he decides against it. First of all, it's likely that in a place like this, they've sent someone who would understand every word. Second, as mentioned, he's an opportunist rather than a confrontationalist. He's the type to play nice exactly long enough to get Jenny away from these people. Once they're far away on some oligarch's stolen yacht, he'll happily explain in great detail where they can stick their 'offer.'

James Proudstar has posed:
Well, it stands to reason the playground of the rich might have means of detecting mutants and metahumans. Jenny is likely precisely the type they're looking for, too. Such is the world they live in. Regardless, after murmuring something between Illyana and Julio, he studies the imperious woman a few moments, and starts to open his mouth before Marie-Ange speaks, then glances to Illyana and Julio and chuckles, "I think she just said we'll do it."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
As the others go after Jenny, Doug turns and walks back out. "Your lack of confidence is misplaced." Doug says, passing Dani by. "Something real can't be repressed or obscured by worn clothing. Something shallow can't be made more meaningful with luxury. They might give you dirty looks, but that's because your confidence unsettles them. The others are going to need your help." He sticks his hands in his pockets and leans against the wall, one foot up on it behind him, takes out his phone, and checks it. "Hmmm. He's noticed what I'm doing. Wasn't expecting that so soon."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
The blonde finally lifts that delicious drink to her lips. Bergamot, lychee, hibiscus bitters, cassis: it's almost ultraviolet, which gives its craft name a kick: Plea Bargain.

She drinks it almost sparingly while the stately woman on Roulette's arm with the guard who pulled her off in the first place. Casino security, especially in a principality, is nothing to scoff at. Her expression is all but unreadable with a combination of good fortune, the glass blocking her mouth, sunglasses hiding her eyes. Like a dealer showing their hand, she is watchful but non-responsive otherwise. Anyone who thinks Illyana Rasputina doesn't have a perfect poker face might get to see it now.

"Madame," French, but it comes with a tilted European accent flattening the usual Russian. That bleed-through needs only come after. For Marie-Ange's French answer gives almost all they need. Withering frostiness and a tinge of the Demon Queen -- royalty by the sword and might -- come bleeding through, giving the monster within a chance to shake off her chains. The smile is sharp and sweet. "Threats, in so cultured a place as this? Do you mistake me for American?" A pause for emphasis.

"We have a gentleman's agreement then. You will honour the terms you laid down now on only the condition of stopping whomever disrupts your business."

It's the twist of a bargain with a Hell Lord and she may not be happy with terms, but Marie-Ange is their guide, a promise tacitly made, so she backs it.

Her cool Russian accent starts to come through with all the overtones it normally would. "Should you not, including interfering with our efforts, you and yours will receive a token of my -- and my nation's -- dissatisfaction. It will not be so kind as what you can imagine."

Danielle Moonstar has posed:
When Doug joins her, Dani straightens and glances over to him. There's a quiet snort. "I think you'd be the first to accuse me of confidence." Second-guessing herself may as well be Dani's tertiary superpower. She does lean away when he mentions the others needing her help, features shifting into a sudden frown. "What happened? Why aren't you in there?" It's not an accusation so much as -confusion-. Is this a 'girl' problem? Maybe someone had a wardrobe malfunction in the bathroom.

And then another mild distraction with a look back to Doug, arch of brow once more. "Who noticed what? Hey-" She snaps to try to get his attention. "What happened?" She expected drunken shenanigans and she's hoping that's all this is.

Jennifer Stavros has posed:
The woman studies Illyana for a long moment, then nods once, ending with her chin tilted upward. "We have no intention of breaking the terms we've laid out. She means very little to us." She lightly pushes Jennifer forward, and the blonde stumbles before moving to meet her friends. Allies. Associates. Whatever you want to call them. "And the rest of you have done nothing wrong, so far as we know. We are a business -- we just want to do our business fairly and in peace."

Julio Richter has posed:
As she's pushed forward, Julio holds out a hand for Jennifer to catch, if she needs it to steady herself. He hasn't stopped glaring at Ms. Doesn't Dislike Mutants, and if she has any more pronouncements to make on her broad approval or disapproval of an entire race of people, they'll be met with the same stony silence as before. But the Mexican youth is a walking reminder that stone is a lot more prone to violent outbursts than most people think. He'll follow along with the others and deliver what has been demanded, but if he has anything to say about it, they'll deliver a whole lot more as well.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug gives a little smile. "Unfortunately Dani, Mother Durga needs me. There's a War in Heaven, and for good to triumph over evil, the people need to Like and Subscribe." He slips his hands into his pockets again, and walks away, and his smile is... almost plastic. "Don't worry. Everything's going to be all right."