Picking Up The Pieces, Pt. 1

*at the Charlottenburg Palace in Germany, Pandora recieves an urgent message from her husband, Marius at a little before 6 o’clock in the evening.*

My dearest, 

Va’lis’ current state absolutely breaks my heart… don’t tell him I said that.  He came to me practically begging me to let him go to Germany. I couldn’t say no, forgive me.  Whether the time is right or not, he’s on his way and bringing Miss Parker with him.  You’ll have to meet him in Paris.  He is fully accredited now, I saw to it, as a Romanus… our adopted son. 

Love always,



“Fuck,” she mumbled as if no one would hear her.

She crumpled up the paper and put in her Chanel bag.  She looked up to see a dissheveled Cherilyn, still crying… mourning… the day she had been most looking forward to.  Cherry didn’t mind Pandora’s presence, she knew that underneath it all Pandora was the matriach of the family Romanus, which did in fact include her. “What is it?” she asked Pandora. “Nothing, just business issues in Paris,” she answered with a smile. “If you must go, Pand. Go.” Cherry said, almost not meaning it. “Unfortunately, I do have to go.  But I will be back I promise.”

Pandora packed her small bag, all designer clothes of course with some custom tailored items as well, and then saw Cherry one last time. Cherry hugged her, crying, and thanked her for being there for her. Pandora knew she just had to fix this mess!  By 8 o’clock, she was back in Paris. The anger and rage she felt towards Va’lis at that moment had been building up ever since that day.  She had not seen him since the day before the wedding was supposed to take place in Nu’jelm.

She stood in front of the portal, which was a few levels below the Paris compound that is known as the Parisian Pallisades.  The family had not created these portals, just found them.  They had built around them centuries ago hoping to one day unlock the magic, which was something Lord British had done through the London portal, which was still under his care.  As the portal glows, having been fully activated, she starts to see Va’lis and with him little Carrie.  As the initial haze of the travel wanes from Va’lis’ eyes, he quickly sees Pandora.  Her facial expression not hiding the anger. Suddenly Va’lis throws Carrie in front of him, cowering behind her. This only further enrages Pandora, who throws Carrie out of her way into the stone wall. Va’lis thought he would run back through the portal but Pandora, using her Mind Gift, freezes him in place, “Not so fast!” She lets him have it!  Yelling at him for all the things she’s had to endure on his behalf because he lacked the “balls to show up”!  She felt better already.  Letting Carrie and Va’lis go she escorted them to the elevator.

Carrie is amazed by the technology, kind of overwhelmed by it as she steps into the elevator. She immediately starts to push all the buttons, which annoys Pandora because now we have to stop at every level. But as the doors start to close, Carrie freaks out!  We realize then that she might be claustrophobic. A newborn being introduced to this world was probably not a good idea. Pandora uses her Spell Gift to soothe her. Va’lis realizes that the vampiric gifts of the Earthen vampires are the only form of “magic” that is reliable in this land which is probably why they are used so much here but hardly in Sosaria. The six levels it takes to hit top world seemed to take for ever when you have a freaked out newborn in such a tight space.

Pandora released Carrie from the Spell Gift and she was suddenly surrounded by a whole new world of sounds and lights and moving parts. She wanders through halls with them, often lagging behind as she inspects what are remedial things to most Earthlings — the 52″ LCD TV in the middle of the hall that has CNN-France telecasting the latest reports of violence in the Middle East; the oppulant couches and chairs and chaises made of velvet or expensive leather; the lighting that uses light bulbs and electricity instead of candles. Everything was complete sensory overload. Va’lis took care to keep her moving.  That is until we reached the library, she just couldn’t help herself. Pandora and Va’lis wander in after her, seating at a reader’s table with inlaid gold, custom carvings, and lion’s claws for feet. A depiction of the French Revolution that stood 12′ feet tall and 22′ feet wide was their backdrop.

“It was stupid to bring her here Va’lis,”  she started off.  “I know but I needed her,” he admits. Pandora nodded, keeping her stare on him. She shook her head. “I know, I know, I’ve disappointed you,” he said, “it was not my intention.”  She sighed. “It’s never your intention to hurt. I know that.  Doesn’t mean you don’t end up doing just that! Honestly, if Cher does forgive you… you’ll have a long road ahead for things to return to normal with her,” she responded. Va’lis looked down, staring at the rug under his feet loosing himself in the pattern.  “I’ll never get her back,” he says in a low, sad tone. “Don’t say that, Va’lis, I’ll help you. I’ve been trying to help you. Do not give up!” she exclaimed.  He slowly looks to her, eyes full of doubt and guilt, “Are you sure about that?”  Pandora nodded in confidence. She knew Cher had been feeling awful, that there was love there still.  That’s why it hurt so much. “I am sure.”

With that they hashed out a plan, a hazardous plan as Esmeralda de Plinius would probably want absolutely none of what he would offer.  That woman, Cherry’s sire-mother and wife to Amroth, was a true bitch — controlling as all hell, venon-spitting with her words,  stronger than most double her age, but worst of all … justified in her current feelings. She had barely let Pandora in the damn house!  If Pandora wasn’t trying to fix things the right way, the bitch would be dead by know… and Pandora would be in huge trouble, but it would be worth it.  The woman had given her several tongue-lashings in regards to her “son” and she had had about all she could take.  Cherry and Va’lis needed to talk.

maybach-exelsor-pandoraSo they gathered the awe-struck Carrie barely able to pull her away from the books she was nose-deep into and made a rush for the car to get to the airport. Pandora’s brand new Maybach Exelero awaited them outside.  It was now 8:30 pm, Parisian time.   As they walked to it and Pandora made the beep sound to unlock the car doors, Carrie stopped dead in her tracks.  Fear gripping her again, “But… that’s a box.. I am not getting in that! Va’lis… no! Please… do not make me!”  Va’lis snapped his fingers, “In.. now.”  She felt the force of her maker on her but still stood there, absolutely terrified, vigorlously shaking her head. Pandora felt bad for the girl, she shut her car door and walked over to her gently, “Carrie, it will be alright.  Everything is just peachy.  We’re not getting in a box, we’re going into a garden. A garden vast and wide, filled with beautiful flowers…” she continued and Carrie was completely glamored. Va’lis once again thought to himself, “Handy.” Carrie got in the car in a catatonic state, thinking of the garden Pandora so vividly described.

maybach-exelsor-pandora-int1Once inside, she took the time to buckle her up.  Luckily she was a tiny thing because the backseat was quite small in this car. Once she was in place, Va’lis got inside and shut the door and stared at Pandora, “You’re going to have to teach me that.” She smirked, “No. You’ll use it far too much for far too little of an issue.” He gave her a look and said, “Really? You are just no fun.”  She turned the key and the car roared to life, “Sure, no fun.” She then turned to him and buckled him into the seat, “I do like this chair. Oh and what do these buttons do?” He asked. She smacked his hand and said, “No touching!” She put the car in drive and they speeded out of the garage that Va’lis had once oblirated with his curiousity.

learjet-85-pandora-skybird-extThey got the private area of the airport, reserved for the obviously wealthy or famous, and made their way to the Romanus hanger where Pandora’s plane, aptly named “Skybird” awaited them. Pandora took care of transferring a glamored Carrie from the car to the plane. Even Va’lis was a bit leary of Skybird, “Sooo this machine, it will carry all of us to Germany safely?”
Pandora looked at him as she was settling Carrie into a seat, “Yes, Va’lis.” He thought about it as he sat in the sofa inside. “And you’re not using the Flight Gift to make it fly?” Pandora sat next to him, “No, Va’lis. Its engine powered.” “The whole thing is engine powered?” Va’lis asked genuinely curious. Pandora nodded. “Oh you’ll be fine.”  He relaxed a little bit, taking in the interior of the plane which was decorated impeccably. “Jade” he thought, the one who would have been his sister in law by now if he hadn’t flaked. Pandora patted the top of his left hand lovingly. “Yes, Jade.”

learjet-85-pandora-skybird-intOnce they were in the air, Pandora decided to break the glamor on Carrie and let her take it all in a bit.  They explained it all to her and by now she was more at ease and intent on playing with all the gadgets and buttons in the plane. Pandora was once again annoyed. She thought to herself, “Newborns!” The plane ride would be just about an hour and thirty minutes from Paris to Berlin, a ride made faster by the speed of private planes. Pandora took this time to continue to iron out the details of their very sketchy plan. “So I will pretend to want to talk to Esme alone and try to convince her to go on a brisk walk through the gardens of the palace,” she said. Va’lis nodded, “and that will be sufficient enough time for me to crawl up to the balcony?”  Pandora nodded as Carrie came to sit on the other side of Va’lis. She wanted to help and Pandora sensed that, “Carrie you have to stay with Va’lis and keep a look out on the first floor.” Carried smiled and nodded, “Yes ma’am.”  Pandora stopped for a brief second, “Ma’am” she thought… ugh.  The continue to talk about the plan when the plane starts it’s descent. Instantly, Va’lis feels nervous, which of course both ladies feel as well — one was his protego, the other his fledgeling. Carrie put her head on his shoulder and locked the fingers of her left hand in between his right.  Pandora grabbed onto his arm his left side and squeezed his knee just a bit to reassure him.

limo-cadillac-pandoraWhen they exited the plane and out the front of the small sattelite airport for private planes, Pandora had a limo waiting for them. A Cadillac XTS custom with a German license plate — ROMA003 — on the front and back.  “Was there any place that the Romanus’ did not have some sort of property or another?” he thought to himself. Pandora smiled, “No. I’d stop by our chatteau but no time for that nonsense.”  She looked at the both them, “and those clothes are just not going to do.”  Before Va’lis could even speak, she raised her hand.  “I got this.”  The got into the car, this time Carrie was a bit less anxious; this was a much bigger box. They drove to a clothier she knew that had a good mix of vintage and custom made clothing, tailored to order of course. It just so happens this shop was open quite late and when Pandora introduced Va’lis and Carrie to the owner and some of the tailors, they knew why.  Kindred.

Charlottenburg-Palace-Germany-NightThey pick out clothing that suits the age and times. Va’lis gets a nice sports coat, blue of course, a black button shirt with a red thin tie, dark blue slacks. Carrie gets a pencil skirt, dark grey with a nice slit up the back, a quarter sleeve fitted shirt showing off some cleavage, a chain belt and some platform high heels. She feels a bit too over exposed so Pandy gets her a bolero jacket that matches the skirt. At first she has some trouble walking in the platform shoes, but learns quickly.  They get back in the limo;  the ride is only twenty minutes.  Va’lis is now a wreck with nerves. Pandora and Carrie do their best to comfort him as the limo pulls up to the palace entrance. Carrie’s eyes cannot help but fall out of their eye sockets, “People really live here?”  Pandora smiled, “Your sire-mother lives here.”   Carrie’s mouth forms a solid circle in a gasp.  Pandora lowers the window to talk to the guard in her best German, “Lady Pandora zu Lady Cherilyn sehen,” she says as she hands him her credentials. Va’lis hung his head between his knees the nerves overwhelming him.

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