Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

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Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:19 am

All warfare is based on deception.

Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

Crush him.

Crush him.


The words of Sun Tzu reverberated around the Russian's head as she read them for the umpteenth time from her immaculately cared-for copy of his scripture. And for the umpteenth time, they sent chills up her spine. What poetry. If power was her religion, then the Art of War was her holy book.

...Not that she was in a state of power at the moment. No, at the moment, she was a humble violinist. As if anything about her could be considered 'humble'. The tall, slender woman was much like the diamond-framed sapphire that hung around her neck: opulent, dignified, dark-and-white, and inhumanly cold.

It was getting late, but she had no intention of turning in anytime soon. She'd learned quickly to push herself to the limits of exhaustion, so that she didn't dream. Lightly, almost as though by accident, her thin fingers brushed against her middle: where she hid the ghostly scar of a gash she couldn't quite remember receiving. She'd been told it was from an attempted murder, and that she'd blocked out the memory...but if her visions at night were any indication, it had been no mere murder.

Whatever had caused it, though, she'd trained herself to ignore it's presence at all times, particularly in public. She had to always hold herself regally, elegantly. Like a lady. It was not a chore, it was a way of life--though it was the moral code that allowed the ruler to control the people, the people only followed one to begin with if they were a ruler. Playing the part was just half of the game, to her.

And really, when one thought about it, playing the part often proved to be more than enough.

So she ignored the injured nerves and muscle tissue that gave her so much woe, long after the damage had been done. She pretended like it didn't exist and didn't hurt, even when the only person around to see was herself. Few knew that it was even there, and oftentimes, she didn't count herself among them. The deception had to be just that perfect.

Deciding that she'd had enough Sun Tzu for one night, she got to her feet in a fluid movement, making sure that the dark fabric of her gown didn't snag on the hard-backed chair she'd been occupying. Her car was lavish to an extent, but still lacked some measure of comfort, of warmth. She was fine with that. There was one problem she had, though: the bookcase. Naturally, there wasn't exactly a lot of room, so if the shelves had to be out of reach to hold her entire collection, then that was how it had to be. It didn't make it any easier for her to gain access to the uppermost tombs, however.

The book in question that she wanted was (of course) on the shelf that was literally touching the ceiling (not that it was tremendously high up in the confines of the car, but still--). And however tall she was, she wasn't that tall.

Hesitating, she glanced behind her once, as though to ensure that no one was watching. Just for a moment... It was for the sake of literature, after all... Placing one high-heeled foot on the lower shelf, she gave herself a boost to attempt to reach what she wanted. Unfortunately, she still had to make a stretch for it, and when she automatically tried to stand on the tips of her toes, her shoe slipped off of the shelf.

With something between a gasp and a scream, she managed to keep herself from falling completely by hanging onto the topmost shelf. Which was good. And bad. Because now she was just hanging there.

And she still didn't have her book.


((lol, first post and already I've messed up Polina's poise? /shot I know I've mentioned it before, but she represents the White Russians during the revolution--particularly the royal family. There was a lot of other symbolism and whatnot throughout this, but explaining any of it would take too long. :\))
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  MOSSAD TRAINED SHARK on Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:14 pm

Augustine had made it a personal mission to find some mode of entertainment. This place was boring, dreadfully, so. She longed for some sort of social life. What kind of social life could she have at this place? The people here were not the type she would be caught dead associating with. There was a reason why her father sent her here... instead of her other sisters. This was a punishment of sorts. And what a cruel punishment it was. Franz, the man she had been sent over for was gone. She had his belongings now, but she didn't want belongings so much. He was supposed to be the man she entertained herself with- but there was no men to do that with anymore... She wanted to be back in Europe, to be in France, to be in Versailles, to live amongst the former aristocrats and the old bourgeois, the elegant, the refined, the cultured.

She had only a few glimpses of that here.

One of those glimpses was with that violinist. Before Augustine had become de facto ruler, she was a dancer. They had worked together. She was intelligent, and refined, educated quite unlike the other women here, but she was also elegant, also beautiful. To be accompanied by beautiful people again, that was what Augustine desired. It was late, but maybe Polina would not mind it.

So she strode over to Polina's car. She must have seemed desperate, of course. It was of her own opinion that only women without men chose to amuse themselves with other women. But Augustine was here now without a man. By all means, she was desperate.

"Mademoiselle Romanova..." She knocked at the door, only to hear a slight scream. And instantly, she drew back from the door. Augustine had no idea where that scream could have come from. However, she figured that it could be anything. She would knock again, loud enough for the woman to know that she was there. If she was needed inside, Polina's voice could express that.

((Nope, not being a lesbian over here. FFF, Augustine is too polite UNLIKE A CERTAIN MALE VERSION OF HERSELF to just open doors- so let Polina suffer until then. :l ))
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:38 pm

((If it's you, it's okay-- B) /shot XD))

Polina wasn't sure whether to feel happy or not that she had an unexpected visitor so late. On the one hand, help had arrived at possibly the most opportune moment. On the other...she didn't want to be seen in such a compromising position. But the alternative was letting herself fall, and she wasn't about to do that, either. She didn't tolerate injury well.

If the knocker had announced themselves beforehand, she hadn't heard it, so whoever was outside was a mystery to her. Not that it mattered, much. It could have been a stagehand nobody, and that wouldn't make it any less mortifying. She attempted to position herself in a more flattering way, but only lost a shoe for her efforts. There was just no way to look refined while dangling from a shelf. Finally, her midsection was beginning to scream in protest to being stretched as it was, and even she couldn't ignore it any longer.

"I...I seem to require...a bit of assistance...!"

If she was going to gasp for help, she might as well be articulate about it.
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  MOSSAD TRAINED SHARK on Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:40 pm

Assistance? She needed assistance- which meant that Augustine should enter. It did not sound very urgent- well, it sounded polite, most people were not polite when they needed urgent assistance. Most people, not Romanova. Even if it was urgent, Augustine opened the door ever so softly.

Only to find this cultured Russian hanging from a bookshelf...?

She paused. Should she call for assistance? Augustine had never really been in a situation like this before. She had never even imagined a situation like this before. She felt bad for Polina- this was such an ugly and awkward situation to be in. Augustine was a bad person to discover this. She was notorious through the carnival as one of the top gossips. (But did she gossip on people she didn't dislike? Who knew? She disliked nearly everyone here.) It would seem so rude and masculine to just offer to catch her. Well, a lot of things would seem rude and masculine. Leaving her hanging would certainly be the most rude of all the options.

"Mademoiselle Romanova-" And there was a stool somewhere, a stool that seemed to be the distance Romanova was from the floor. How fortunate. The French girl went to hurried off to fetch the stool- heels clicking with those quick steps. She then placed it below the distressed Russian. Easy enough for her to just drop on to.

Reaching out a hand, for the Russian to take if needed, the former ballerina smiled. "I hope it is not too late for some coffee? You seem to be up."
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:56 am

Mortifying. Positively mortifying. She could not have imagined a worse person--the only other cultured woman in the carnival--to have walked in. If not for the fact that she wasn't touching the floor, Polina should have liked to sink into it.

Gratefully using the stool offered to her, she dropped onto it, only stumbling slightly before immediately straightening up, with only a hint of red in her cheeks. Accepting Augustine's hand, she stepped down to the floor as though she were exiting a royal carriage, rather than stepping down from the (possibly) most embarrassing scene of her life. Tipping her lost shoe upright using the tips of her toes, she slipped it back on as discreetly as she could while getting her bearings.

"Merci beaucoup," she always made a point of addressing the other in French--though her tone was quiet, measured, and impassive, no matter what language it was in, "I am...unaccustomed to fetching these sorts of things for myself...you understand." To an extent, it was true; she came from a (previously) wealthy family, and was used to being waited on hand and foot. But at the same time, she was obliged to make some attempt to save face.

And even if it had been too late for coffee before, it certainly wasn't now. She had to keep the French woman here for as long as it took to appease her, to keep her from talking about what she'd seen.

"Please, have a seat," she gestured to the area where she'd been reading at before, with it's two straight-backed chairs and small cafe-like table, which still had The Art of War laying on it. Fetching her kettle and French press (which she normally used for tea), she put on water to boil while she got the necessary settings for the table. "And what do I owe the pleasure of this visit...?"
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  MOSSAD TRAINED SHARK on Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:13 am

Augustine only laughed softly at her friend's predicament. It was embarrassing for sure, no doubt for a woman like Polina. However, would anyone here care to know that the woman was hanging from a bookshelf. No, that wasn't even scandalous in this sort of dump. At home it would be-, but women here did not understand the meaning of poise, someone losing it would mean nothing.

"It is very understandable, Romanova, I'm sure we all compromise our dignity a but, when we are out of view of others." She continued in French, moving to the seat offered to her. Well, most people did- Augutine would never be caught in something like this.

"You do have such a large library of books- sadly, most of my books were left at home. If you have some to lend, that would be greatly appreciated." She began, placing her hand over the book before her. She did not expect the Russian to be into The Art of War, no, she seemed much to refined for those types of interests. Women often stayed out of the realm of war- but maybe this was a little admirable.

"Ah, you see, though, Mlle. Romanova, ever since Franz...." Was emotionally crushed, then 'accidentily' shoved out of a moving train. "...left... It has been very dull for me. I just came to talk, maybe. I can not take in the society of the people here, you see, most of them lack any trace of a childhood education, but you are not like them. Franz had education, but he was dull witted, you have what he lacked." She smirked. To speak to Polina, was almost like speaking to a man. Augustine had a low image of other women, but this woman of a higher wit, a higher charisma and culture, could only be treated with a degree of respect.

"Which makes me wonder why you're here? Maybe we could be in the same predicament?" And she laughed softly once more, flipping a page of the book before her.
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:56 pm

"Of course, you may borrow whatever may interest you from my shelves," she agreed without a qualm, "I trust you to be delicate with them." Unlike the others here, the tone of her voice suggested at the end without actually saying so. She was sure that the Frenchwoman would catch the implication.

Although, what Augustine would never know was that there used to be one other, that she did trust with her books. But he'd 'left', leaving her to quietly contemplate what that meant to her. He wasn't exceptionally sharp, just as the other woman had mentioned, but that was what had always made him so delightfully easy to push around. He was her plaything, and her favorite one at that. Then this woman came into the picture, and suddenly, he was gone. Unless a suitable substitute could be found, she felt she had a lot of time on her hands for quiet contemplation.

"Yes, I know your predicament," she prepared the coffee in the press as she spoke, "I find these people...interesting, in a sense, but not to any extent that I want much to do with them." Although, if the situation ever arose in the future, she'd already chalked them up to be ready and available pawns for whatever plan they might be needed for. It never hurt to think in advance.

And she did have to wonder, if this society was really such a hardship that Augustine had to see her so late in the evening for civilized conversation. She did not know what to think, but she certainly thought it a little odd. If talk was what she wanted, though, Polina was available to talk. And it happened that the subject of her arriving here was what came up.

She clicked her tongue softly, "Allow me to just say that there is a bad seed in my household. Consequently, I am the one taking the fall for the damage done to the family fortune." She would say no more details on the matter. Her sister (if she could even be called that--Polina despised her more than any other being on the planet) was not something she ever enjoyed discussing in much detail. Not even to sneer bitterly at her idealistic attempt to use their 'old money' for the betterment of the failing society around them. (Why should it matter to them that the poor only got poorer?) Polina had been in charge for exactly this reason: she was the smart one, unlike her older sister, and their father had known this.

Of course, once her sibling had it her way--had tasted power--she quickly became a tyrant in the household. She was no better than the rest of them, no matter what holier-than-thou game she talked. The more dignified woman couldn't take it anymore. She left. She'd been well aware that Franz was at this place--they'd been 'friends' for quite some time, after all--so this was where she'd ended up. But that information was on a need-to-know basis, and Augustine didn't need to know.

((/LONG, what--and derp, using the version of Moscow I have in my head, for this, btw--))
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Re: Lady of War/Polina (GB)/public

Post  MOSSAD TRAINED SHARK on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:02 am

They seemed to almost be in the same situation! Augustine could not be gladder at this new piece of knowledge. It was great to have someone like this around. Polina could hold a conversation about music, about books, and now they could both bitch about the 'bad seeds' of their respective families. There wasn't anyone good to gossip about here. Good gossip should only be about peers. It wasn't any fun to gossip about these carnies. To damage a reputation, one needed to have a reputation. These people had no reputation to damage. Augustine couldn't even participate in her beloved pastime.

"Ah, that sounds exactly like my situation. Except my family preferred to destroy themselves together. Our stakes in the carnival is the last hope we have now. Of course, I have warned them of this. But they did not listen. My... the head of our household does not like to be reminded that she is wrong, naturally." The French girl sighed, occupying her hands now with fixing a loose wave of her short bob. She did not like to go off on any stories that would make herself look bad. Maybe making your family look bad did make you look bad? But Augustine did not even consider herself a part of that family. She was not raised by them. She did not emerge to become the woman she was today because of them. No, she was just birthed with and by them.

"So she sent me away for some reason. We were never very close, anyways." It was probably out of envy. Augustine knew that she was too good for that family.

"So I suppose there were a number of idiots even at home." She shrugged, taking various peaks at the bookshelf to see if she could scout out any books she had an interest in. It would seem rude to just get up, when she was offered this seat. "But it wasn't like here. At least, outside of my family, there is a number of intelligent people that I can converse with. And hailing from Versailles, my home city is one of the world's most extraordinary cultural and aesthetic gems. I'd do anything to go back again." She smiled, a brief look of nostalgia fogged her eyes.

"But how rude of me! I haven't even asked of your home?"
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