5179/Pawn to a King

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Pawn to a King
Date of Scene: 14 February 2021
Location: Shaw's Residence - Hellfire Club
Synopsis: Sebastian Shaw invites Allegra Caradenza for a chess game. Temperatures get a little warmer when Sam gets mentioned; Shaw knows his wines very well.
Cast of Characters: Sebastian Shaw, Alexis Carr

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Thursday night, 7:30 on the dot. Shaw is sitting in his living room, contemplating a chessboard, waiting for his partner to arrive. He has a couple of glasses of wine poured, and is without his usual coat and ascot. Though, he is still in trousers and his button down shirt. This seems to constitute 'casual wear' for the man. He hears a buzz on his phone, and then flicks the notification to allow the elevator to stop at his floor.

The man stands up from where he sits, and walks over to wait by the entry way, and when the doors open to show the occupant of the elevator his private suite, he smiles and bows a little, "Good evening Ms. Caradenza, thank you for joining me," to the young woman inside.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    Allegra walks in as allowed, her long hair set into a a bun and secured with pins, little glittering rubies at her ears and a black silk collar at her throat. She's wearing something a little more formal, a black shirt and black, knee-length pencil skirt with a red hi-lo blazer, feminine and energetic like the fire user herself.

    "Good evening, Mr. Shaw. Thank you again for the invite and the lesson." she states as she steps inside, her dark eyes showing a mix of uncertainty and curiosity. The short woman steps lightly on her matte red heels as if she was born to them.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw looks at her as she enters the suite, eyes openly traveling over her ensemble, stopping at the choker for a moment, before gliding lower, and then back up. For a man accustomed to women around him being in far skimpier outfits around him, he seems to drink in the rather modest by comparison look that Allegra has on. He straightens from his bow, and with a hand just ever so lightly touching the small of her back, he motions her into the apartment proper, "Do come inside. I have prepared the board and poured you a glass of wine." Yes, he knows how old she is. No, he is not worried the police are going to come busting in and arrest him for giving a minor a drink.

The board itself looks very well crafted, expensive, as his tastes usually run, and he picks up a white and black pawn, holding them behind his back, switching them between one another, and then holds two closed fists out to Allegra, "Pick one." he says.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    Allegra is not only of British heritage, but heir to a vast winery and olive farm; Sebastian better be putting his best forward with the wine.

    Allegra doesn't seem to mind the touch on the small of her back as she steps lively and to the chess board, quietly taking in her surroundings. Windows. Hazards. Weaponry. Probably none so dangerous as the man who has poured her a glass of wine.

    "You are too kind, Mr. Shaw, thank you." she states quietly with a smile, and she purses her lips a moment, looking at the hands.


Sebastian Shaw has posed:
His left hand opens, and there is a black pawn. Shaw holds it out to her. The apartment itself is very well appointed. No weaponry, no obvious hazards (outside of a knife block in the kitchen, but, everyone has one of those). He picks up his glass of wine as he sets his white pawn in the correct spot, and holds it up to Allegra in a toast.

"To learning new things," he says, and then takes a sip of the drink. It is, if Allegra is familiar with the varietals of her family's vinyard, A: FROM her family's winery, and B: the top shelf stuff they produce. He has apparently done his research, and is looking to see just how much Allegra knows of herself. The man sits, and then moves a pawn forward two spaces.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    Appropriate. Allegra is at least familiar enough with chess that she takes her place at the board, and sets her pawn in place, before she reaches for her glass, and as Sebastian toasts, she smiles. "To learning new things." she replies, and she sips the wine.

    "Mm-- Montepulciano?" she inquires, her Italian perfect to the Abruzzo region of Italy -- naturally, where the wine comes from. She takes another sip, thoughtfully.

    "... this isn't a blend. Is... is this from my family's vinyard?" she questions in curiosity, eyeballing Sebastian's move, and she moves one of her own pawns out.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
In response Shaw moves a knight, to protect his pawn. He nods, "Good," he says in reply to her guessing correctly, "I had a case shipped in last week, and have been enjoying it quite a bit. I figured you might be familiar, and...well...who can blame a girl for drinking her own family's creation?" He grins and leans back on the couch.

"So, tell me, have you done anything of note lately? Learned anything new?" As he asks this, he again lets his eyes wander over his opponent, considering her, and perhaps the next move he is going to make.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    Allegra gives a soft 'hm', and instead, draws another pawn forward. This one at two paces.

    "I suppose, other than your government, no one. Americans are oddly sticklers for such a law." she states quietly. "Summers in Itally I was permitted a thimble of wine at dinner. And, allow me to say, there is nothing quite like the 'house wine' when it is your own house." she gives a kind smile.

    "This week I began to learn how to drive standard. I have also engaged myself with a 'freerunning gym'. I miss it something awful, when I'm not being busy around the Club."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Freerunning? I, cannot say I know what that is." Another pawn comes out, from in front of the queen. And he takes one more sip of the wine and then sets it down, "I have been to enough wineries in my time to know that this is only a pale imitation of that, though, again, this is still quite good."

He nods and asks, "And have you reached out to the two vigilantes I asked you to?" Again he considers her, as he adds, "They have attacked one of my holdings, and freed some individuals I was planning on retiring anyways. They are likely looking for their next target, since the medium I was feeding them information from has...served its purpose, and been removed from the board."

Alexis Carr has posed:
    "Something that Sebastian Shaw does not know? Color me surprised." Allegra comments as sshe brings out another pawn, staggering her defenses.

    "I had business that I had to attend to elsewhere, but now that it is moderately safe in Brooklyn to venture out, I shall be making myself acquaintence with them shortly." she purses her lips a moment, and the dark-eyed girl turns her gaze up to Sebastian. "Is that the fate of all your pieces then, removal when they no longer serve your purposes?"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Would you prefer closer attention? Perhaps listening in when you are with your boyfriend Mr. Guthrie?" Shaw asks, smirking a little bit at her question. "I can keep closer tabs on you if you wish, but I believe your...arrangements make that unwise." He makes his next move, apparently setting up a strong central board, waiting for her to do something aggressive.

Her last question gets a shake of his head, and he reaches out to very gently stroke her cheek, "If they truly outlive my usefulness, yes. Though, if they serve their purpose and are still of use to me they may find themselves promoted further up the ranks. And those who have caught my eye are afforded plenty of protection and time to prove themselves."

Alexis Carr has posed:
    Her hand pauses. The wine in it shakes before she sets it down.

    She's playing defensively, inexperience from years of playing someone whose attention is split showing.

    "I would rather not have tabs kept on me with Sam. He's already suspicious and anxious to move me from the city." she replies in a very quiet voice... but Shaw may feel the temperature pick up a few degrees in the direct vicinity. Talk about aggressive.

    At the touch to her cheek after, as she moves one of her rooks out, she's caught somewhat offguard. She brings her dark gaze up to Shaw, her lips pursing a moment.

    "Time waits not, Mr. Shaw, for anyone."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"What does he suspect?" Shaw asks, and he makes a sudden move with a bishop to put her king in check. It's maybe not tactically the BEST move he could make, but it is one that puts her in a position she should consider carefully. His hand withdraws and he leans over the board a bit, looking at it, deep in thought, considering.

"Indeed it does not. You should consider that when you make your next move Ms. Caradenza. It does not wait, but, there is a value to biding your time, providing cover for the other maneuvers you are making, masking your real point of attack. And being sure that when an exchange happens, you come out on top."

Alexis Carr has posed:
    "I would assume that he suspects I'm waiting for my father to make some move against me if I release new music. A lawsuit for my name. It is awful when the holder of your contract signed it on your behalf when you were nine. Really, does me no favors. Can't even advertise my name without having to pay the man." she wryly states as her king is put into check.

    She moves her king to a square of the opposite color, the bishop freed now. She isn't lost on the symbolism, there.

    "I"m afraid I'm still learning maneuvers; it's different when one's playing with fire, isn't it?"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"If you are threatening to light my board on fire, I would suggest against it. It was a gift to me from the Governor of Sochi. It is three hundred years old and museums keep calling me asking me to donate it." Shaw replies, perhaps in good humor. His bishop is now free to attack his true objective: her knight. If she follows and takes back, after the exchanges, Shaw will come out a knight ahead, and in a much stronger position.

He looks at the board and explains, "You should not have moved your king, but a pawn in the way of the attack. It would have forced me to either reinforce my bishop, or retreat. Neither are good options for me at this point in the game." He leaves out he was also ready to attack her queen on the backside, but, why give her everything.

"Is that what you think I am doing?" Shaw asks at the comment about playing with fire. He smiles very slowly, "I do not think I am playing at all. In my position I generally do not have time for that. But, I have made this time for you. Take from that what you will."

Alexis Carr has posed:
    And then she moves a pawn backwards to take his knight, claiming the piece and putting it aisde.

    "I had no good way to put my pawn into place." Allegra replies in a friendly fashion. "Also, I wouldn't dream of setting this board on fire, though I shall remind myself to not drop the wine on it. Priceless and beautiful peice that it is, I can understand why museums would be after it.

    As to his inquiry of what she thinks, she draws her gaze up.

    "For that I am both flattered and thankful. Not everyone has someone so willing to take them under a wing when they've found a new release."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Gently, Shaw undoes her last move, "Pawns do not move backwards my dear," he says, resetting his knight. He then suggests, "Rook to E8. You will find it easier to link them up and you can perhaps if you engineer it correctly make a fair trade for my Queen." As he instructs her like this, his eyes watch her.

"I will see about your contract. I have intermediaries that can make inquiries to purchasing it." Shaw adds, noting, "I would not throw all of my resources into this, I am no fool, but if he can be bought off for a few million dollars....that may be in my long term interest."

Alexis Carr has posed:
    "They can't...?" Allegra gives a quietly befuddled sound, and she gives a 'hm'. She surrenders the knight back to Shaw, and instead moves her rook into place, listening to Shaw's advice.

    "I was putting out feelers inquiring regarding a mutant-rights barrister, but that might appear as though I'm prematurely debuting my own abilities... not quite ready for that yet." she states quietly, and gives a soft 'hm'.

    "It's not a question of buying it. If it was, I'm certain I could ask my mother to intercede on my behalf." she states musingly. "It was suggested to move forward with a suit because he signed the contract on my behalf, to himself, and thus is a horrible ass about my own work."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Did he give her bad advice? Or, was he just prepared for the move she made? Almost instantly his remaining bishop takes her Queen. He considers her words for a few moments, and replies, "Do you have a copy? I will have my intellectual property lawyers look into it. If it is a case of an illegal contract, perhaps I will record your performance from the party and release it under a record label I control. You will of course need to sign a contract with me. A legitimate contract. I do not stiff my employees. And when he sues us we can use his worthless contract as a point in our defense. Turn what he is holding over your head, into a tool to show how he has mistreated your career."

Shaw looks at the board, and then says, "I can checkmate you in three. Take my spot, and do so." He stands up, and steps to the side to let her pass by to take his spot. His wine glass is picked up, and another sip is taken from it.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    He was setting her up to take over? The young woman narrows her eyes a moment, and then draws up her glass, and switches chairs with the head of Hellfire, and she sits ddown, smoothing her skir to ut with one hand before she purses her lips.

    "Unfortunately it's hardly worthless. It just so happens that my father, my manager and my publicist were all the same person." she replies dourly, "I do have a copy back at my Brooklyn flat. I can bring it tomorrow." she replies, and she moves the bishop into place as she analyzes the board.

    "And Second Line is hardly my typical musical fare, Mr. Shaw, I'm usually far more boring."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"It is the same party signing for a minor that I believe will be the issue Ms. Caradenza," Shaw explains, "Especially since you have reached your age of majority, even here in the United States, and thus, you can make your own legal decisions. There are ways to fight this, and I am offering you a considerable asset for doing so." He does not address whether or not he's doing this to control her better. Perhaps he wants her to worry about that. Perhaps he's hoping she doesn't notice. It's all a chess game with Shaw.

As she sits, his eyes shoot to the skirt for just half a moment, and then, back to her face, "At least let my lawyers take a look and put together a brief for me. I will share it with you, we can discuss options. I fear such a...hold over you may negatively affect your goals with the club." The fact that her father is an anti-mutant bigot doesn't seem to be holding her back, but the possibility of him having some power over her might.

Alexis Carr has posed:
    "That I definitely have concern about -- but I assure you, Mr. Shaw, the only hold the man has over me is my music... and a modicrum of wealth. But as my uncle has no children, and my father is somewhat of an outcast, when my grandparents pass a share in the vinyard goes to me. And, as you can surmise by the pricetag on the bottle of wine you opened for our chess match tonight --" she pauses, to sip her wine, her dark eyes floating over to Shaw, "... it's a considerable share."

    She gives a sweet little smile to him; she caught him looking at her skirt. "And I assure you, Mr. Shaw, I'm very much looking forward to working with the Hellfire Club in many capacities. The fact that you've taken an interest in me personally? Really only stokes my curiosity."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"I have told you before, and I will tell you again: I enjoy beautiful things, and you are quite beautiful Ms. Caradenza." Shaw replies openly, a hand coming to rest on her shoulder, before he moves it to gently take her chin in his hand, and then turns her to look at the board, "But, you must concentrate now. Think," he instructs, before he goes to get another glass of wine.