1963-06-28 - To the Titans!
Summary: In which Sebastian and Emma have a curious discussion with a quiet minded professor.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
louis emma shaw 

The Hellfire Club takes up a whole corner building in the Upper West Side, but there is very little about the building that looks impressive from the outside. Everyone who needs to know, knows exactly where it is: and no one else is allowed to even look at the building without one of the large men who stand outside the door turning an unfriendly eye upon them.

There's a parking lot in the building next door, and another (equally guarded) entrance through there— and there's always more then one stretch limo parked in that lot at almost any time of the day.

Once someone gets inside, the Hellfire Club is the picture of lavish luxury and obscene wealth. The lobby is a series of fine leather couches around low tables, with two separate fireplaces casting light into the room. The walls are covered in art— some classic, some modern— and every need of the guests is tended by ladies who are dressed… in a minimal fashion, though still fairly classy… If you don't mind how much leg they're showing. They are all beautiful and all attentive. They make a point to stand out of earshot and all it takes is a glance to get one to rush over and answer any almost any need at all with a yes.

At the moment, Sebastian sits in one of the larger leather chairs and somehow makes it look to be a throne, just by demeanor alone. Expensive scotch sits at one side of the table, and he holds a cuban cigar— in defiance of any silly President's ban— in his hand, running it under his nose with a certain thoughtful expression. "Of course, Harold." he says to the man across from him. "I'll make that call for you." There's a slight nod and he man is clearly dismissed.


The man in the grey suit had told himself he would not avail of the offer and the card given to him by the mysterious Ms. Frost who had presented it to him after the art auction. He had told himself that there was nothing served in seeking another meeting, and nothing to be gained in making himself more visible further amongst a social circle that wouldn't entirely make sense for the individual he claims to be…

Yet there was something enticing about it as well. The woman in white was intriguing enough that his curiousity was piqued and he so rarely allowed himself to indulge in extending of himself in manners that some would consider 'out of character' for the role he has embraced.

Whatever rationale he had given himself for his action, it ended with him arriving at the entrance to the club, stepping past the lush decor and towards the large men with the sunglasses before it. It's towards whomever serves as a door man that he presents himself and addresses them with a rather open smile, "Hello. I was told I should look someone up here. A Ms. Frost?" He makes a small show of lightly patting his pockets and then produces the small card he had been given. "Ah, here. Does this help?"


Emma, on the other hand - is not in a throne. That would be too obvious, especially for the more public face of the club. She's mingling with the wealthy and powerful of the world…and picking their brains. She lounges in another part of the club with a group of elderly, sleezy politicians, business and military leaders. To her left sits an up and coming conservative governer. To her right, an up and coming democratic one. Across from her, sits a general from Algeria - after all, with the French having lost it less then a year ago someone should surely benefit.

Emma is not quite as scantily clad as the other women…but probably more scantily clad then she would be in public. It doesn't bother her. Its a weapon. There's no need for the men here, for the most part, to realize she's anything special, anything other then a matron, or some emissary of Shaw. The truth is far different, of course…but their perceptions are a weapon she wields against them, even as she picks their minds clean of secrets and blackmail. She laughs politely at a joke from a general, and then places a hand on a governer's thigh. By the time they go home, she'll know more about them then they do. And the next time she sees them again…they'll be hers.

When Louis comes in and shows the card to the door man, Emma sees it in the door man's mind. "Excuse me." she says to her companions with a smile, before getting up and leaving the table. She despises all three of course…but she'd never let it show.

"Louis!" Ms. Frost says, coming into view behind the doorman. "I'm so glad you accepted my invitation. Welcome to the Hellfire club. Please, come in. I'll show you around."

Meanwhile, she sends a mental message to Sebastian. «Daring, we have a visitor. I'm not sure who he is, but he's pretending to be a history professor of some kind. Perhaps he -is- a history professor. I can't read his mind. Seems ambitous, but difficult to draw out. Hard to read. I gave him an invitation to come visit us. I'll bring him around in a moment. You'll find him interesting.»


Mentioning the name of Ms. Frost is almost enough to get Louis in the door, but the card? That has the doorman nodding and gesturing for one of the guards— except then there she is, and she clearly knows the man, so the doorman bows slightly and pulls away, making himself scarce.

Sebastian glances at another man who was sitting in his circle, and makes a vague gesture; that's all it takes and the man is making his excuses and departing. He's quite used to Emma in his mind so doesn't show any signs of her message, instead lifting a cigar clipper to cut off the end of his cigar before he lifts it up to his mouth. A servant is there almost immediately with a light, and then Shaw is puffing away at the illegal delicacy lightly. He seems content to wait there alone, enjoying his scotch and cigar, as if he owned the room— if not the world— and had everything very well in hand.

He focuses his thoughts: « Fascinating. You know I trust your taste. Shall we put on a show, my love? Or simply try to figure out who this stranger is? » knowing that she will read them from him.


Upon the appearance of Emma, Louis' face brightens with recognition. A nod is given to the doorman as he murmurs, "Thank you, so much." Then he steps past the man towards the scantily clad woman. To his credit he makes no mention of it, nor does he even give her one of those cursory double glances that she must have seen since she was a teenager.

He lifts his voice as he steps towards her, "Ms. Frost." There's a moment, then he adds with a small repentant correction, "Pardon me. Emma." He maintains the use of first names as she had suggested during their first meeting. He steps towards her and lets her take the lead into the club itself.

Once inside the tall man with the auburn hair looks upon his surroundings with a healthy amount of curiousity. "If your invitation was merely form then please forgive my presumption." So terribly British to make such an apology but on some level she might get the feeling that he is not truly that apologetic a'tall. "I admit, this was not the first image I let spring to mind upon considering a place you might frequent."


Emma tilts her head towards Louis, considering him thoughtfully. "Well, you said you enjoy surprises." she says, rather matter-of-factly, before turning and strutting her way deeper into the club. "There are two main bars, one over there…" she gestures, "And another in the game-rooms over there." She nods in another direction. "Its a…very private, very exclusive club, so you'll find a number of…refreshments and games that you might otherwise not find in the State of New York." she says, before showing a backroom filled with men playing card games with each other. "Do you play games of chance, Mr. King?"

As she walks, and shows Louis around, she carries on a conversation with Sebastian inside her head. «He seems exceptionally bored, is my instinct. Like he's seen everything and is still waiting for more. What would work best on you, dear?» She shows Louis past several areas with a rather…higher ratio of scantily clad women then perhaps other areas of the club, moving through and beyond each of them in turn, into a curtained backroom. Completely ignoring the fake-apology altogether, she opens the curtains leading to Shaw.

"Let me introduce you to someone. Sebastian, this is Lous, Louis King." She gestures between the two. "Louis, this is Sebastian Shaw."


« Interesting. I can sympathize with finding the banal world boring, so perhaps he needs a bit of spectacle in his life. We're quite good at spectacle. » As they make their way over towards him, Sebastian rises and lets that demeanor of a king overseeing his kingdom fade away, and instead he smiles in a way that is warm and friendly, even inviting as he extends his hand out for Louis to shake— his grip is firm and confident in its strength without attempting to be make a show of it, "Louis, it's so good to meet you, Emma has told me about you. I understand you are a professor of history, what would history have to say about our little Club here?"

He sets his cigar on a tray, and lifts up the box to turn and open it in offering to Louis, "The finest cuban cigars money can't buy, if you would care to indulge? We believe in indulgence here at the Hellfire Club. For men and women who cross our threshold, the world is the limit — and the prize."


"I am afraid that is not one of my vices, Emma." The way he says it is rather open, his expression rather calm and pleased as he looks the place over. He is the very picture of the amiable visitor, entirely taken with the moment and enjoying the exhibition as well as the company. His hands slide into his pants pockets, his jacket flaring over his arms slightly as he moves along at the pace that the young woman sets for him. "It is quite an interesting endeavour. Reminds me of a place in London if my memory serves."

Then, when they move past that curtain into the backroom, Louis sets his green-eyed gaze upon the strong debonair form of Sebastian Shaw and offers the man an easily given smile. "Mr. Shaw." He says as he steps forward, accepting the man's hand and giving it a firm, perhaps surprisingly so, squeeze. Yet there's no aggression in the movement, just the traditional greeting between men.

"Ah, as to that, I currently am with Columbia University. Archaeology and perhaps a touch of history that springs there from."

At the question asked he gives the place a once-over visibly, as if only just now seeing the entirety of the place in that glance then answers. "I am not entirely sure what history will say, Mr. Shaw." He pauses for a moment and then seems to ask, "Sebastian?" He continues, "On some level I have the sense that you would be entirely content with it saying nothing at all about this place as long as it helps you make what splash you can in the world."

Upon the offering of a cigar he accepts it and holds it light in one hand as he looks between him and Emma. "I was fortunate enough to meet Emma the other day and found her to be a rather unique individual. And someone she associates with I can only assume likewise about them."


"In London?" Emma asks as she walks with Louis, sounding momentarily surprised. She's good at maintaining her neutral facade, but not perfect. She hasn't had the…limitless spans of time 'Louis' has. "Yes, we do have a branch in London." A pause. "One in Paris, and another in Bejing, Rome. Various cities." She very purposfully does not glance back at Louis.

Once in, and introductions made and returned, she gestures towards a seat. "Please." she says, before sitting down herself. "You will find Sebastian to be a most…distinct mind." she says, returning to her matter of fact way of speaking once more. "Yes, I met Louis at an auction, and he seemed…likewise distinct. But he didn't bid on anything. Your a hard man to impress, Louis. What areas of history do you prefer?"


"It's Sebastian, please." Shaw inclines his head and gestures for Louis to seat, as he himself sits, lifting up his cigar and puffing on it for a moment as he regards Louis with a thoughtful expression, "An astute observation. There's many layers to a place like this, and most never look beyond the surface. It looks to be a group of wealthy and influential people playing games and indulging their vices. That is true, it simply is not the complete truth."

He gestures slightly around him, "There is another layer below it, though. More business and policy is made here and in its sister clubs the world over then is done in most board rooms or legislatures. The Hellfire Club exists to make it easy for those of means to achieve what they want. The club itself is meaningless."

Then Sebastian turns a curious smile to regard Emma, "Did you not see anything you desired at the auction, Louis? Or did Emma's lovely grace simply reveal the banality of everything else there?"


Taking the seat and settling into it, Louis holds the cigar unlit for the moment as he looks over towards Emma and answers her with that same easily given smile. It's that polite one he wore before the crowd of socialites but his eyes have a subtle gleam as if the smile sprang forth from them. "My doctoral thesis was on the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and its connection to the Arthurian mythos." His smile twitches slightly, as if knowing how possibly foolish that might sound to an individual.

But then his attention is drawn back towards Sebastian Shaw as he nods his thanks at first. "Emma's presence did indeed seem to rob the world of all colour for a time, but I somehow was able to soldier on and grant each work of art brought before me its due." He looks between the two of them before he adds in that eloquent Cambridge accent, "But nothing there truly spoke to me. Perhaps that is why I was more susceptible to her words. A 'quiet mind' being the two of them that stayed with me."


Saying nothing, Emma maintains a cool demanor at the complements. She'll never get tired of them, however. "The Roman invasion of Britain…." Emma muses for a moment, before discarding it. "Yes, you do have a quiet mind, Louis. I wonder what your students think of you?" She crosses her legs, and briefly raises an eyebrow. "Do they giggle at your cool demeanor? Do you manage to elicit sarcastic comments, and then with practised ease, manage witty putdowns that sound unintentional?" She leans back in her chair. «You see what I mean, Sebastian? He's….too coy. Even I don't take it to that extreme.»


If Sebastian has any particular thoughts on the specifics of Louis's historic field, he doesn't show them. Certainly the fact is noted and filed away, for Sebastian doesn't seem to be the kind of man who ever lets anything go. Still, "Oh, I'm sure it took quite the heroic effort, but it's good you went through it… but as I understand it, you didn't buy anything at all, so what was due was… nothing at all? I always enjoy a debt that I do not have to pay." He tilts his head to the side, amused.

"Emma has a rare talent for finding those men who are not like any others. The diamonds in the sand. I suspect she does not often meet someone she finds quiet: can you imagine how many men must nag her every day?" Because that's what she meant, surely. Sebastian sets his cigar down, and lifts up his scotch to take a sip. He makes the vaguest of gestures and one of the servant women comes forward, "Care for a refreshment, Louis?" « Yes, there's something about his phrasing that stands out. And you can't read his mind at all? He's hiding something, but who can hide from you, my love? Fascinating. »


It's only then that a flash of silver flicks into view as a lighter snaps flame into life. He holds it to the end of the cigar as he takes a few drags to get it going decently, then snaps the lighter back away into the pocket of his jacket. He cants his head to the side towards Emma and inclines his eyebrow slightly. For a moment he holds his words, and the smoke from the cigar. Then slowly he lets a tendril of smoke to went its way upwards from the corner of his mouth as he exhales. Then he replies gently, "Emma, you both have done me the kindness of showing me some small touch of what is to you and yours."

He rests his cigar hand gently on the end of the chair's arm, "I'll return the favor as to do otherwise would be terribly rude and I'd hate to be considered such." He looks between them as he say. "My students adore me, as does the faculty. I spend my day spouting dime store philosophical platitudes to them, granting incite that if they spent half a moment thinking of their lives they'd come to themselves. Their main appeal seems to be that I speak them with my accent, and the women and some of the men prefer to spend the time simply imagining me naked. That is how I currently spend my days it seems."

He looks back towards Sebastian, then Emma. "So yes, at times I find myself terribly bored."

Then he inclines his chin slightly, "I did buy nothing. Though I do plan to keep an eye on a piece here or there that might find itself uncared for in the future due to some unfortunate turn of events."

As Sebastian speaks of Emma he looks back to her, "I imagine you find their advances tedious, Emma." For some reason he prefers to speak directly to her instead of… around her. Or at least in this instance, seeking to include her. He looks back to Sebastian. "I would adore some bourbon, Sebastian. Thank you, so much."


Emma nods to Louis. "I do." she admits. "It started when I was…very young." she says, her voice as cold as ice. "But I've learned to take such things in stride, like the wind. I'm sure you feel the same way about your students, from what you say." She nods towards him.

«Nothing at all.» Emma replies to Shaw.

"Louis, if you are so bored and tired of your students…why do you keep doing it? Why not run for the House of Commons?" A pause. "Or seek appointment to the House of Lords, perhaps?" Depending on his lineage. Hard to say with England, sometimes. "I'm sure its within the abilities of a man of your experience and skills. Unless you have some use for the students?"


Sebastian doesn't even have to make a gesture for the waitress to head off quickly.

"I despise boredom." Sebastian wrinkles his nose, sipping his scotch, "If I am bored it means my ambitions are insufficient to my ability, and that is a state that I endeavor to never find myself in." He nods his head to Emma's question, smiling at her warmly as they both think of connecting boredom to ambition. "I prefer to surround myself with excellence, to do any less seems as though it would waste my time, and there are only so many hours in a day with which to work. Perhaps you would be interested in a … mm, complimentary probationary membership? You might find many of our members more stimulating, and the networking available here is unparalleled. I hate to see competence go to waste."


At Emma's question it seems to cause Louis to actually think for a moment, or at the least reflect. His green eyes slide to the side and he exhales a small breath that could almost be a silent laugh. Looking back at them he smiles easily enough. "When you embark on an effort do you not sometimes… set parameters for yourself?" The corner of one eye crinkles slightly as if he were trying to think of another way to phrase it, but then he presses on. "You see, I perceive you… and you as well Sebastian. This endeavour… you wish to gain power. To gain knowledge from those elite that you entertain here, to build connections. And that is a laudable goal. But for me I am not inclined to grasp something so directly. I do not feel entirely pressed for time. And the tedium of students, academia. It also in turn allows those small moments when you meet those who are… surprisingly interesting. Especially now. With the way the world is advancing and those gifted individuals who have come to the fore."

"I have no interest in governing the people of England. Nor anywhere else on Earth in truth." He gives a faintly wry smile as he looks back towards Sebastian. "And I would happily accept a membership if only to have an avenue of meeting interesting people. However, I am not sure what I would bring in return to you and yours."


Glancing towards Shaw, Emma turns her attention back towards Louis. "So you understand us." she says simply. "And you are bored, but all that alleviates your boredom is…people?" She tilts her head. "So you find politicians and power as trite as everything else." She is silent a moment while she considers. "My, my, my, Mr. King. You -are- Jaded. Even my dearest Sebastian here is not quite that tired of the world. Where would you like to govern?"


"Astute." Sebastian compliments Louis again, inclining his head on the mention of power, though he turns a look upon Emma. « He is perceptive. Perhaps too perceptive. No. You were quite right to invite him here. He is no history professor. » "But power is not the end, it is but the means to the end: it is the leverage with which the world can be changed. The accumulation of power— be it connections, influence, or wealth— is a means to achieve the true goal, and that is to change the world for the better, and usher in the new dawn."

"I am Chairman of the Board of this branch, Louis. Membership is at my final discretion, and it is within my authority to gift memberships to people who I feel the Club will be made more… interesting, to have present." Sebastian inclines his head, lifting his glass up, even as the waitress returns with a glass of some of the most expensive bourbon to be had. Shaw's gesture is a sort of air toast, "And I find you interesting. That is enough for you to bring."

He has to turn a grin over at Emma as she mentions him nto being that tired, "That is because, my dear, I have hope for a better world. If I didn't, I assure you, I would find this one quite exhausting." That and a plan to take over the world, but hey.


"I'm not that bored, Emma. It's more that I enjoy seeing the differences amongst the expected. Oh certainly I may be a touch jaded and have witnessed my fair share of events. But do you not seek the surprising despite all that you've seen? I think it's why we were," Louis then pauses and gestures to include all three of them in the same circle, "Ultimately, drawn towards each other."

The tall man smiles openly to the two of them, "A membership would be lovely and if you find my presence a positive aspect to your efforts here, then by all means I shall enjoy my time spent here, thank you Sebastian. Though I am not entirely one to indulge myself so openly. I trust that won't be an issue."

But then there's a moment as he seems to look at the two of them anew. "Though now I admit, I am curious. And a touch envious." He looks to them almost… affectionately? "Curious as I would know how you would change the world. And envious that you both have each other as partners in your efforts. It is a pearl beyond price to have an individual willing to face the world at your side."


Emma sits in her chair, silent for a moment. She lets the silence hang in the air, obviously not answering. She doesn't usually do personal questions - but Louis is perceptive as few others are. Just lying to him won't work.

"Louis…there are people in this world that, as you've pointed out, are special. Both Shaw and I are those sorts of people. As, I suspect - are you." She leans back in her chair, and lets Shaw handle the rest. She saves the personal details for him. And he can give the take over the world pitch better anyways.


"True trust is a rare thing, Louis." Sebastian nods his head slightly to mention of their partnership, "There is only one person in this world I truly trust, and that trust is more valuable then all of the wealth the Shaw Trust has accumulated over the last century."

When Emma decides to tell Louis of their nature, Shaw simply lifts his drink and casually sips from it, watching Louis for his reaction, "Evolution. Destiny. Fate." He gives a slow shrug, "Whatever the reason, a new breed of humanity has emerged, and the old breed are afraid of us. They would suppress, crush or eliminate the children of the future, for fear of the inevitable— that we will supplant the mundane and mortal and render their world and the foundation on which it is built irrelevant. You asked what is the better world I am building?"

He gestures around them, "I am building a world where my people are safe, where we take our rightful place and do not fear or need to hide what makes us special, unique. I will not allow the Neanderthals to turn aside the tide of evolution." He nods slowly, "I suspect there will always be a place for the humans, but that place is not above us." The way he says 'us' clearly includes Louis.


It's at this admission that they may detect the first hint of trepidation from the man in the chair opposite them. The cigar continues to smoke faintly as he looks between the two of them, his eyebrow quirking slightly as if considering each of them in turn. A small nod is given as if what they were saying was making sense and those words in turn spawn the ones he offers quietly, calmly.

"Some time ago I was travelling by train. This was… 1955. I met a young man about my age." Louis turns to Emma and says gently, "He sat down opposite me. Looked unremarkable to me at the time. Shorter, dark hair, pale eyes."

Louis takes a drag on his cigar and he frowns slightly as he looks to the side, then back to them. "There was no introduction, he just sat down there and the conductor ignored him. In fact everyone else around him ignored him. But he looked at me in the eye and he seemed… I'm not sure, annoyed? Perhaps mildly surprised but there was a distance to him."

A faint smile comes back as he looks to Emma, "He told me, 'Your mind is silent,'" A faint nod is given, "You can see why what you said to me at the auction… resonated somewhat."


Another telepath? Emma has only rarely encountered others with her particular gift. They are out there, but….not very many of them. Her face is blank and expressionless, as usual. Carefully neutral. Even so… "I'm sorry if you think the mystery is stripped away, Louis. I've already come to learn how much you enjoy it." A pause. "But yes, he was … probably like me. What happened to him?"

She tilts her head at Shaw as he speaks. She agrees. She doesn't need to say it. Shaw already knows. And there's no point mindlessly parroting him for the sake of Louis. So all Shaw gets is a small tilt of the head. "What do you do with interesting people when you find them, Louis?"


"It is incredibly rare for someone to be able to resist my dear Emma's unique talents." notes Sebastian as he regards Louis with a curious, pursed lips, "She is a treasure beyond the finest diamond." She is, also, the finest diamond in the world, but that needs not be said. But that regard is still curious, even openly frank: what are you?

Sebastian smiles slightly then, lifting his glass and finishing it off. Its held up, and within a moment the empty glass is taken away without a word. They all know his preferences. "Suffice it to say." he begins when the servant moves away, "I am 87 years old and will live forever. And although I am very patient, I believe now is the time for change— it's in the air, change is coming if we take a hand in that change or if we do not. I have built an empire on will alone, and that is but a stepping stone to what I want to truly accomplish."

"The true reason I offered you a membership is that you are so, obviously, special, yourself."


"He seemed set on edge by me, he asked me who I was, what I was doing there. He seemed like he expected me to be hunting him. I answered his questions… and then he disappeared." Louis says that as if he knew how incredulous it sounded, but amongst such individuals he perhaps feels safe in considering the fantastic. For a moment he looks at Sebastian, but then answers Emma's next question. "Of the few I've met I tend to befriend them, to spend what time I can learning of them. I have a few old friends who would be considered truly exceptional if they were discovered by the public."

Louis looks back towards Sebastian. "If you seek that goal then I won't stand in your way. Though I should be fair in telling you that I do not know what use I can be for the most part. I know that individuals find me hard to keep track of. That electronic devices at times malfunction when recording my image or voice. And apparently…" He looks towards Emma and then says quietly, "That my thoughts are difficult to discern. But these are not things that manifest palpably. It's not as if I can draw lightning from the clouds."


"You also have a very particular way of speaking, Louis." Emma notes. "I am also someone who has long practiced particular ways of telling the truth. And you do have it down to an artform. But your too good at it, you enjoy it too much. Every word a hint, a tantelizing promise of something…unknown, perfectly executed." She folds her hands in her lap. "I can start listing them if you want, Louis. But we both know your not a history professor with a few accidential powers." She pauses for a second, as if realizing something. "Or is this part of what makes it interesting for you?"


"Oh, I'm not attempting to recruit you, Louis." Sebastian smiles. He totally is. It's simply a soft sell, on stage one. Louis is nowhere near ready to know the truth of the Inner Circle. "You are one of us, somehow. Even if only that you are a shadow that can not be seen clearly, nor captured. If that is your blessing, so be it. I do not judge the value of a person based solely upon the power of their unique talents— more often then not their mind informs if they will be truly of interest. Besides." He waves, and goes silent, for the waitress returns with his 50 year old scotch. He doesn't so much as acknowledge her as he takes it and sips it. Yes. Sebastian Shaw has an arrogant side.

"I am also attempting to build a community. In this world, those of us who are special can not speak freely and live as who we are with the humans and their pitchforks and fires. It is enough that I wish you to be part of our community." Sebastian lifts his scotch and takes a long sip. After those first few puffs, he has ignored the cigar, which has burned almost half out— a waste. He nods to Emma with a slight smile, "You are right, my dear. He has a very particular way of speaking. A careful precision. The phrase that jumped out at me? 'Nor anywhere else on Earth in truth'. How curious."


A small smile, almost mischievous appears upon his features as he looks towards the two of them. He gives a faint nod towards Emma as if acknowledging her words but he says. "Not so perfectly executed if indeed they were keyed onto." But he in turn nods to the waitress as he's brought his bourbon. He takes the glass, has his cigar, and in that large overstuffed chair he does indeed seem to fit into his surroundings. It could be the eyes, or the way he holds himself, but yes he's at ease for some reason. "But no. I assure you I am a professor. I did go to school, I did the work. I am not a fraud if that is what you are implying." Though assuredly she's most likely not.

"My family, however, are individuals that…" He pauses as he looks upwards, as if seeking a polite way to describe them. He looks down back towards them. "We are a distant group. Rarely do we see each other. When we do it is strained. And my father always valued a precision in speech. Word choice, actions were exceedingly important and one's position was dependent on the jockeying of position between family members, extended or otherwise."


Emma Frost's reaction is, as usual - a carefully crafted, unsurprised neutrality. "Fine then, Louis." she says. "Your not a fraud pretending to be a college professor. And I can understand family issues." Oh, can she ever. She's silent a moment, while the memories of them dredge up in her mind. Her face is still neutral, and slightly warm. But it doesn't make it to her eyes.

After a moment, she speaks again. "As Sebastian said, it doesn't matter what your abilities are. You have value because of who you are, that much is apparent. And we will welcome your presence and company on that basis." She raises an eyebrow. "But don't expect us not to tempt you towards vice."


"We are not those bland and irrelevent humans you're so used to dealing with, Louis." Sebasitan smiles, the expression easily called warm, even friendly. He observes Louis's demeanor then for a long moment, as if he sees something familiar— something more like him then like the Professor that first wandered in. « Look at him, my love. He looks like a man accustomed to power. To wealth. To respect. To privilege. Do I suspect I may sit across from another King? »

Yet, Shaw nods his head, "I have had little use for my family, personally. They are all long dead now and I do not remember a single thing of interest about them. But it sounds as if your father was a formidable man: that he required and expected excellence. I can respect that in a man, though I can understand how difficult it might be in a father."

He turns a wry grin over to Emma, "I like to think that we encourage people towards freedom, my dear. The silly mores of the little people do not apply to the titans. Let the mighty walk free and the meek know that they will not inherit the earth."


"Oh please do," Louis addresses Emma and then he adds, "If you did not offer some measure of temptation I'd be so terribly disappointed." He takes another drag on his cigar and then sets it aside gently upon a nearby end table's ash tray. He straightens up faintly in his seat and cocks his head to the side curiously as he considers them.

"To that, I can agree." Louis lifts his drink in a small salute, as if toasting as he murmurs, "Shall we say then, to the titans?" At that he cocks his eyebrow and perhaps waits for a mirroring gesture before drinking.


"To the titans." agrees Sebastian and Emma both as they raise their glasses.

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