1964-11-09 - Home Visit
Summary: Cassidy and Lindon talk about creepy mask cults.
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cassidy lindon 

One evening, quite without warning, no previous call, no letter, or by your leave, when the chill of autumn is thick in the air and one's breath condenses on exhalation, there comes a knock at the door of Lindon and Lamont's place, and on the doorstep stands one slightly disheveled vampire. Under one arm he has tucked a slightly rumpled brown paper bag.

Lamont is off somewhere, but Lindon is home, and he comes to the door with a cat under one arm. It's just a kitten, but a big one, a snowshoe Balinese. "Oh! Hello," he says. "Won't you come in?" The wards take note of coming and going, but they don't do anything if not provoked. The foyer leads to the parlor where he was reading. The kitten squirms to get down, and he puts him on the floor. The creature runs into the parlor and starts chasing two other Balinese kittens. "To what do I owe the pleasure? Cassidy, isn't it?"

Cassidy probably pings a ward or two being a vampire and all, but he's not dangerous, at least there's no dangerous intent. When he's allowed in, he steps in through the door and into the foyer, watching as the kitten runs off to join the others and says, "You weren't kiddin' about the cats." He then looks back up to Lindon and says, "You know a thing or two about things an' I thought I'd ask a question or two if you've got a bit. I also brought you this." He holds out the slightly rumpled paper bag. "Aye, Cassidy, or Cass if you like."

Lindon says with a sheepish duck of his head, "I think they're cute." He takes the bag and opens it curiously. "Sure, I can help you out. Er, I will help you out if I can. I read a lot, so I know things." Technically it's not a lie. "Come on into the parlor," he says as he looks in the bag. "I'll make some tea if you like."

Inside the bag are four individually wrapped packets of loose leaf teas of varying blends. One is rich and earthy, another light and fragrant, a third a citrusy blend, and the fourth a fine earl grey. Cassidy says, "Cuppa tea would be excellent, thanks." He follows in the direction of the parlor and takes a look around as he goes, hands in his pockets. "So, I'm curious, I ran into this chained god thing and I'm wonderin' if you might know anythin' about this cult I ran into. John's lookin' into it too. And maybe he's already asked, but I'm curious, and he seems a little fixated on this exorcisin' business."

Lindon's eyes widen. If Cassidy wanted to get on Lindon's good side, he's chosen wisely. "Oh! Wow, thanks. These look great." He beams at Cassidey, his awkward, nerdy grin. "I'll make some out of one of these." Which he goes to do. It doesn't take too long, and he's back with two mugs, one offered to Cass. "A chained god," he says. "Hmm, John hasn't spoken to me, no. There are references to chained gods in a lot of cultures. Prometheus, Loki…"

When the teas are accepted with enthusiasm, Cassidy grins and gives a nod of his head, "I figured it was a little more practical than bringin' over another cat." He wanders into the parlor and just sort of takes a look around until Lindon returns with the mugs, accepting one and wrapping his hands around it. He breathes it in a moment to determine which one it is, and then he takes a sip. "So there's these folks runnin' around in masks that turn them into somethin' when they put'm on.. whatever the mask is of. An' they worship this … god in chains who is in charge of their House. They're puttin' the whammy on mutants and folk who can do things or ain't mortal and are takin' things from'm and makin' them put on masks. Almost got the shit kicked outta me by this god possessin' one of their followers.. so tryin' to figure out a little more 'bout'm. Apparently there's souls possessin' the mask or somethin' an' they come out when the masks are put on."

"I would never turn down another cat," Lindon says, "though Lamont has tried to draw the line at three." He clears a portion of the couch of kittens and offers it to Cass to sit. He takes a seat as well, and his brow furrows. "A cult of masks that possess their wearer. I… I could look into that and probably find something." He frowns in thought. "So the soul in the mask subsumes the soul of the vessel wearing the mask?"

"Well that's what I'm thinkin' at any rate. We had one to poke at and I picked it up and popped it on me face and when it was off again, I couldn't remember anythin' from havin' it on. And I'm fine, so whatever it does, it takes over then goes away when you take it off again," Cassidy says and settles on the couch, sprawling a bit in one corner and stretching out his legs.

Lindon grimaces when Cass says he put the mask on. There's the beginnings of a fret there, but he takes a deep breath and relaxes. No, he mustn't fret. Fretting is… it's less than manly. "I don't suppose I need to advise you and yours not to put the masks on again." Okay, a little fret. He takes a drink of his tea, then says, "What did you do with the mask, may I ask?"

Cassidy sees the grimace but he hides his own grin behind his mug as he takes a sip of the tea. "Well, I don't have any plans on putting it on again, at least not unless they need to test it, but no, John pulled the soul out of it and stuffed it in a jar. As far as I know, he's still got the mask and the jar in the workshop."

Lindon shakes his head and says, "Of course he did." That John. Tsk. His brow furrows deeper. "I think I might have something for you. In Victorian London there was a cult called the Court of the Eternal Masquerade. They were mages who kidnapped others of their kind and supposedly ate their souls." He takes a drink of his tea, then continues, "This is more or less a brand new thing— a revival of an even more ancient cult, with no real connection to them. THe ancient cult dates back to the Akkadian empire, which was led by a priest of Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld. Ishadar-Ea. Their name was, roughly translated, We Who Hold What Binds Souls. That might be where you're getting your 'chained god' from. The translation is tricky."

When Lindon seems to have something for him, Cassidy looks a little surprised at first. He hadn't really expected him to have anything, necessarily, but he was the bookiest person that Cassidy knew and it seemed like a shot in the dark. He straightens a little and takes up his tea once more, listening with interest, eyes keenly focused on Lindon's features while he taps his fingertips against the cup, "Well, see, now next time I'm comin' to you first to see if you might know a thing before I go just p.. well no, let's be honest, I'll still stick me face in it first to see what happens. But, this is good stuff and probably releveant. I don' recognize the names at all.. but soul bindin' seems to be what they're all on about."

Lindon sighs softly, with quiet acceptance that, yes, that is exactly what Cassidy will do. "Just be careful," he says, knowing it's to no avail. "It sounds like, if they're targeting mutants, they're going after powers regardless of the source of them." He frowns faintly. "That could go badly, depending on what kind of powers they're able to steal." Like the knowledge of all things. His shoulders curl in a little where he sits.

"Seems it's not jus' limited to mutants since as soon as I told'm I wasn't a mortal, they were all very interested in me," Cassidy points out helpfully. "On the upside, that makes me a big ol' target which means we've got excellent bait." Only Cassidy would consider this a great idea.

"I don't see how that's an upside," Lindon says. "Do be careful. These people aren't messing around." He takes another drink of tea, and his gaze goes distant, scanning the air like he's reading something. Slowly, he says, "I theorize it'd be a kind of necromancy, but a highly specialized one, one even I'm not familiar with. But I think that manipulating souls beyond just raising them from the dead would be difficult and time-consuming, so you have that in your favor. It gives you time to get to the bottom of this."

Cassidy rests back in the corner of the couch and he takes another sip from his mug of coffee, looking a little bit thoughtful, more thoughtful than Cass normally looks, but there is a canny intelligence there that he doesn't often show save for in brief flashes. "I'm gonna have to tell John about all this stuff. He's really the one whose ballywick this is. I'm just a vampire, and that doesn't come with some inherent understandin' of all things crazy and magical."

Lindon smiles as he says, "I understand. I'd tell John this stuff if he were here. I haven't seen him in awhile, so I assume he's out either creating or stopping trouble." He tilts his head. "I'm so curious about the vampirism. I know it's not my place to pry. I just wonder what it's like." Hastily, he adds, "I'm not looking to try it out for myself. I'm just curious."

"Well that's fortunate," Cassidy says, "Because I don't plan on makin' any more little blighters runnin' around drinkin' blood and bein' immortal. Seems like eventually that'd tax the planet." He grins over at Lindon in what should be a reassuring fashion but it just comes across as mischievous. "What do you want to know about it?"

Lindon's smile doesn't falter, it just fades as he takes a drink of his tea. Still, that mischief is noted, though whether he registers it is anyone's guess, because he just answers blithely. "Do you remember your mortal life?" he asks. "Does it feel different now, just being? I'm not sure where to start, really. Is the blood lust strong?"

"Aye, I remember every day of me life, well, 'cept the really early years where everythin's fuzzy but then that's the same for all people. Can only remember so far back," Cassidy says before setting his mug on his knee and considering the other questions, "No, doesn't feel much different at all. I mean, sorta. I got better senses and all, and I'm faster an' stronger so in a way. Though it's been that way so long that I don't really remember what it felt like to be otherwise." He takes his sip of tea and says, "Honestly I'd prefer whiskey, but it helps me heal.. and if I don't get some every so often, then I do get to fiendin'. But I'm not cold, nor dead, don't have any fangs which is sorta tricky."

"If you're going to be a vampire, that's not a bad kind to be," Lindon says. "I have a lot of facts in my head, but not any personal experience. I'm surrounded by vampires, wizards, dealers in dark arts and God knows what else, but when it comes down to it, with the exception of one small thing, I'm painfully human." He smiles a little. "It's easy to feel outnumbered sometimes. And I get curious."

Cassidy raises a brow and says, "You're surrounded by vampires, huh? Please tell me they aren't the sort of Lestat wannabe wankers I ran into in New Orleans." There's a look on his face like he just ate something that did not in any way shape or form agree with him. But then he studies Lindon and he says, "You know things, and you're a gentleman in a world full of those who wish they were. I think you're interesting," he admits. "I burn in the sun, and with fire, like you'd expect, but crosses and garlic don't do anythin' for me unless you're makin' a fine sauce. I heal though, from most anythin', and thus effectively immortal." He says, "I don't mind curious. You got questions, ask."

Lindon laughs and says, "No, nothing like that. Actually, I only know one other, and he's unique among his kind. Still, that's twice as many as there are of me." He smiles, then, and he ducks his head with unfaked modesty. "I try to be," he murmurs. He swirls his tea in his cup and watches the liquid settle, like he could read the leaves. Who knows, maybe he has that knowledge locked away in his head, too. "The sun thing is unfortunate. How do you get by in the summer? These early nights must be nice for you."

"Mostly I runa round lookin' ridiculous in whatever I can get to cover up in, or I just hang around indoors until the sun goes down," Cassidy admits. "It puts a little bit of a cramp in one's lifestyle but it's not as bad as all that." He grins a little at Lindon's modesty.

"I imagine you must have quite the nightlife," Lindon says. "None of this 'in bed by nine o'clock' business." Which is exactly the type Lindon seems, in his scholarly tweed and mild demeanor. Has he ever seen the inside of a nightclub? "That's good, though, that you can have a mostly normal life, or as normal as you want it to be." Lindon can't help but notice the scandalous amount of tattoos. Not that he judges. He doesn't. "Did you have a choice?" he asks.

"Well, I don't mind being in bed by nine as long as I've got someone in it with me," Cassidy says, "Or we're talking about nine in the morning, which is also an acceptable alternative." He takes another sip from his cup and finishes off the contents, setting it down wherever it seems convenient and not on a book. "Oh, I wouldn't call it normal by any stretch, but I have the life I choose." He notices the glance at the tattoos and he unbuttons the sleeves of his shirt, rolling them up so that Lindon can look at them. "No," he says.

Lindon's cheeks color, and he nods, trying to look cool and failing. "I see," he says, "I suppose that's, ah, right, a nicer alternative. Than. Going to, uh. Alone." He can't help himself, though, he sits forward so he can peer at the tattoos, making out the designs of them with a look of utter fascination. "I'm sorry to hear that. People should have choices."

"I was walkin' home with me brother when she came on up out of the moor and she drowned me brother and I. Next mornin' I was at the bottom of the water, an' I was still alive. But my brother was gone. At first, I didn't even understand what'd happened, or that anythin' was wrong, save for the needin' blood," Cassidy says with a slight roll of his shoulders. He holds out one arm and then the other to Lindon's inspection, not seeming to mind the observation. His arms are a riot of color. There are knives upon his skin, brilliantly hued butterflies, a length of rope fashioned into the symbol for infinity at his wrist, and likely more, but that's most of what Lindon can see.

Lindon grimaces. He lays a hand on Cassidy's arm and says, "I'm sorry that happened to you. That's terrible." He turns Cassidy's wrist to see the different designs. "These blow my mind," he admits. "I've thought once in awhile what it might be like to have a tattoo, but I could never."

Cassidy shrugs his shoulders and says, "We'd just got done survivin' some fightin', and we thought we were free and clear. Which jus' goes to show that all things can end in a second. Best not to waste too much time thinkin' about it all and just get to the business of doin' before you run outta time." He patiently lets one arm be examined and the other, "Why not?"

Lindon shakes his head and says, "Oh, I just couldn't. I… I mean I just…" He leans back as he says, "I'm a librarian." And librarians do not get tattoos in his world. So scandalized at the thought! "Don't get me wrong. I like yours. They're very nice, very creative and attractive, but. I'm in library sciences."

"And? You can't tell a story on your skin with the images that you choose to emblazon there? I'd think you'd be chief among those who'd be able to do it right." He smiles a little curious at Lindon and says, "I'm not sure I get how the two things relate."

Lindon looks at Cassidy for a moment. His mouth opens, closes, then he says, "B-because librarians don't get tattoos. I'm an archivist. I wear tweed." He holds up his tweed-covered arm by way of demonstration. His wrist and hand are Irish-pale. So is the rest of him, to be fair. "There's just a way things go. I mean, er, I could never get it anywhere it showed. What if I got in an accident and an EMT had to cut my shirt open?"

Cassidy is likewise Irish pale, though also covered in ink over most of those Irish pale arms. "So what? If you're dying, I'd be thinkin' the EMT and you'd be more worried about breathin' and movin' all yer requisite parts, not worryin' about whether your tweedy ass was sportin' a bit of ink or not." He chuckles then and says, "I think ink would look good on you, though for you.. maybe some choice lines from a book of philosophy, some scientific theory, or a bit of poetry in simple black ink across your skin."

Lindon ducks his head when Cassidy says ink would look good on him. "Maybe," he says, "some choice lines from a book wouldn't be so bad. Something small. I thought maybe a raven or a crow, but only tiny. So tiny you'd barely notice it. Somewhere hidden away." He's such a product of the 1960s. So clean cut. He laughs a little and admits, "I'm just a bit chicken."

Cassidy shrugs his shoulders then and says, "Do what makes you happy. If havin' one would make you happy, then do it. If not would make you happy, then don't. Tuck it away if you must, perhaps that in and of itself is a little bit of a thrill — something hidden and mostly just yours, and those who know you intimately enough to have seen it." He flashes a grin then, "It's okay t'be a little chicken."

Lindon's eyes brighten at the prospect of having something hidden away. His own secret something. Oh yes, that does appeal. "I'll discuss it with Lamont," he says. "And see what he thinks. I don't think he'd mind." He pauses, then asks, "How long do they take to heal? What if I just sprung it on him?" So unaware that he's inadvertently saying Lamont will see him in his hidden away places.

Cassidy doesn't even bat an eyelash at the revelation, such as it is. "It kinda depends on what you get, an' where, and how you heal but, couple of weeks if it's not large to heal down into the skin." He grins a little bit then and says, "Lamont's an interestin' sort. Very ah.. curt. He was there when I popped the mask on."

Lindon shakes his head. "That man," he says. He'll save the fretting for Lamont, though. He toys with his more or less empty teacup just to have something to do with his idle hands. "He's a little taciturn, but he's a good man." He tries to think of what else to say. "You have to get to know him," he says, "and he has to get to know you, and to get to a point where he knows you well enough to be, you know, more open and friendly."

Cassidy can't help but chuckle and says, "I'm sure he's got his charms." He then glances to the empty teacup and then looks around for a moment before saying, "I suppose I should let you get back to whatever it was you were doin' before I turned up unannounced." He begins to roll down his sleeves again, buttoning them at the cuffs.

Lindon admits, "I was just hanging out with the cats." He glances at one of the unoccupied plush chairs where they're fast asleep in a pile of fuzz. "I don't have a life." He rises to his feet. "Let me at least walk you to the door, Cass." He tries the shortened form of the name on for size. Yes. He likes that. Successfully uttered. "If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Just be wary of cultists, but that's good advice in general."

Cassidy glances over at the cats, and he gets up, but he doesn't quite leave yet. Instead, he goes over to the pile of cats and delivers a little bit of ear scritches to the three felines, before he turns and says, "Sure," when Lindon offers to walk him to the door. Then he turns back in that direction, saying, "You've been very helpful so far. With this info, hopefully John can get a bit farther with this and we can figure out what t'do next about all this rubbish."

Lindon grins broadly, and Cassidy definitely scores points with him. The kittens mrp and stretch, yawn, and sniff the scritching fingers before leaning into the attention. He tries to bank the expression when Cassidy looks his way again. "Oh! That's good. I'm glad I could be of assistance. You can come to me anytime. Thank you so much for the tea." He walks Cassidy to the door but doesn't seem in a huge hurry to shoo him out. "Tell John I said hello, and to be careful."

"Thanks," Cassidy says and admits, "I don't know a whole lot about this sorta thing. This sorta lore and information isn't my specialty, but I tend to be good at findin' things that folks need. If you're ever in need o' that sorta thing, you don't hesitate to call on me, eh? A favor in kind, as it were." He then reaches the door and nods his head, "I'll tell'm. You know he won't." He flashes that brilliant grin, then, and makes to head out the door.

Lindon says, "Sure, I'll keep that in mind. But I don't want you to do anything like put on a mask on my behalf." His brow knits. He's trying not to fret. He really is. Between Cassidy, Lamont, and John, Lindon's going to end up with a permanent stitch in his brow. "You take care now." He waits at the door to see Cassidy off, basking in another successful social interaction with minimal stammering.

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