|All Hellfire's Eve|
|What: The Hellfire Club is holding a Masquerade on the night of nights and all the rich and famous have come to attend it's decadence and horrors.|
Dashwood Hall of the illustrious Metropolis Hellfire Club has been decorated beyond it's normal baroque styling and to something much more... occult. Pentagrams hang from the ceiling, cobwebs seem to cover all the furniture, the electric lambs have be replaced with candelabras and lit candles. The overhead lighting has all been changed to red lights that dim and flicker causing it to seem like the entire room is on fire.
The waitresses and waiters are all dressed in sexy baroque themed outfits, showing equal amount of skin on both the male and female wait staff. They are moving from patron to patron giving them their drinks and food.
On the main stage, dancing to the slow and spooky chamber music, are the dancers of the club. Male and female dressed in sexy monster costumes like vampires, ghosts, mummies and others. There are already club patrons in their own costumes and masquerades up by the stage to watch the dancers up close.
In the center of it all is the Master of Ceremonies of sorts: Sebastian Shaw, billionaire industrialist, philanthropist and the head of the Hellfire Club. Dressed in baroque fashion, long purple frock coat with gold A dark blue corduroy waistcoat with embroidered embellishments. A white satin shirt with a matching lace ascot tired around his neck. A pair of black breeches that ended just below the knee and met by a pair of white socks that covered the rest of his calf and foot, black leather, single buckle shoes worn of them. An ornate venetian mask that is colored gold.
He is mingling among the guests and seems to know who everyone is even with their masks and costumes on.
Emma had arrived for the Hellfire club party on the arm of her date this evening, Kate Kane. Her costume wasn't too much of a stretch for the Frosty headmistress, she was an Ice Queen. Literally. She was dressed in a long white dress adorned with crystal icicles and snow flakes. Upon her face she wore a rather-sharp looking mask, with blue and white makeup to complete the look.
She peered her own eyes over towards Kate, "Oh it'll be fun. And if it isn't we'll ditch and have our own fun darling. The Hellfire clubs always tend to be at least interesting, and always full of debauchery.
Doctor Doom does not need a costume as he enters the club. He is dressed in his green robes and gray armor as usual. He strides in with a strong step and nods to those around him. If any take a step back or avert their eyes, he pays them little attention. He begins to move into the crowd of the Metropolis movers and shakers. He speaks to the Mayor with a subdued tone and takes a glass of champagne from a passing server. He begins to make his way towards Shaw to pay his respects to the host.
The Question had been in the general area of the hellfire club for hours. Observing the people going back and forth making party preperations, and skulking around looking for clues and evidence of the conspiracy.
At the moment the question was behind the building around the trash cans and dumpsters looking around taking notes. "Awful lot of butter " The Question takes note. "I wonder..." He says to himself
Kate is dressed as some sort of... It's actually kind of unclear. Maybe a female version of the Crimson Avenger? Some kind of... Phantom of the Opera-esque figure? Fem-Zorro? It is red and there is a fedora and gloves and it looks pretty snazzy whatever her outfit is, but it might not actually be anything. It might, infact, be just similar enough to various things without actually being anything that its purpose could potentially be simply to make people spend a lot of time guessing without realizing it's not supposed to be anything. Kate can be a jerk in small ways like that sometimes. With Emma on her arm, the red-head puts a gloved thumb and forefinger to the brim of her hat and pulls it down slightly in front. "Debauchery, hm? I think finding our own fun sounds like a better idea if it comes to that. Surprising as it may be to hear, scandal is one thing, and SCANDAL is another. Besides," she lowers her hand from her hat and reaches over to stroke a finger over Emma's cheek lightly. "I don't think it would be half as interesting without you here no matter what they have planned."
Kate's attention is pulled away from the blonde when Doctor Doom enters. There's a nearly imperceptible tension in her body, followed by her red-lipsticked smile turning to a small frown. "Hm... Interesting guests," she remarks quietly. "What's next? Lex Luthor?"
The first person that ever told Lex Luthor to dream of impossible things where Science was concerned was completely fictional. By all definitions Lex should have hated the source of his costume. Due to the trilogy being part of a good memory from childhood it was a "guilty pleasure" movie mixed with nostalgia. However it was part two that was his favorite. A recent conversation with Booster Gold reminded him of that.
Tires screeched as an engine roared. A vehicle came to a sudden stop. Engine cooling noises followed suit with the appropriate smoke rising from the right places as the vehicle came to a sudden stop outside the place. Outside of the club sat a Delorean fitted to look like the one used in "Back to the Future II," but that wasn't the shocking part.
When the suicide door opened out popped Doc Brown complete with the yellow trench coat, matching pats that were tucked into green socks that fed into black boots with red laces, a red button up shirt hung untucked from his person while a clear plastic tie was neatly tied. And oh yes Doc Brown had the silver glasses that covered his face and that glorious white hair.
The valet wasn't sure what to do especially when the first thing Doc Brown said was, "MARTY!" then went on about needing fuel. Then Doc flicked up the glasses to reveal those green unmistakable eyes of Lex, "Don't get a scratch on it. Sentimental," the car was Lex's first "FU" to his father. Lionel considered the car a waste and it probably was. However it was Lex's decision and the fact it angered dad just made owning the car a little sweeter he just barely had anywhere to go to it. Also he hated comicons so the car just sat in a garage for a bit until nights like tonight. Lex lowered the glasses and walked into the place. The last time he was in the appropriate Hellfire attire the clothes were restricting. At least this costume was mobile and breathed. Lex gave a nod to the mayor and Dr. Doom as he strode in.
Sebastian Shaw saw the approaching Victor Von Doom, and quirked an eyebrow. There were many people Shaw expected to see at this meeting, but Doctor Doom? That one took him by surprise.
Shaw broke off his conversation with the congressman he was chatting up and approached him, "I have to admit, you are not one I would have expected here," he bowed politely and said to Doom, "Sebastian Shaw, Lord Imperial and Black King of the Hellfire Club. And for tonight, my home is your home and you can do as you will as long as you harm none."
"Funny you should say that." Said Emma as she noted the appearance of Lex Luthor. Interesting costume, she tilted a brow. However person of note was indeed Doctor Doom. She spoke a little more quietly, "Well I /did/ say it would be interesting. Or it's a very convincing Doctor Doom costume."
She gestured for a waitress to take their drink order, "I need martinis this evening, and plenty. And I believe Ms. Kane here likes...red wine, was it?"
Doctor Doom nods in return to Shaw, but obviously no expression goes across the metal mask beneath the hood. "Victor von Doom. Monarch of Latveria." He clutches his green robe in one hand and does an almost regal half bow. "Thank you for your hospitality. Please know that I have no intention of harming any in your home. As for my presence, I find the Hellfire Club quite entertaining when I am in Metropolis. I was pleased when my schedule allowed me to come to the party." He speaks in an almost Sidhe tone of hospitality as he holds the drink glass in one hand, but still has not drunk from it. He nods in return to "Doc Brown" as the man enters the room. "As I said, quite entertaining."
Lex stood near Shaw and Doom. He was waiting for the pair to get done speaking before he interjected with anything. His green eyes just took it all in while his hand grabbed a glass of wine from a wait staff as she passed with a tray of drinks. When Shaw was done Lex said, "Sebastian. Good party," he held up his drink in a toast, "To a good party and for starting on the right foot." Apparently Lex wanted to talk to Shaw at some point if the toast hinted at something.
Kate does a double-take as 'Doc Brown' enters. First because of the costume, then she does another (which I guess makes it a triple-take) when she realizes who that actually is. She just lets out a breath through her nose and focuses on Emma. "Yeah. Very realistic. And certainly I'll take red wine. Might need something a bit stronger before the evening is up, but for now..." Then she takes a look around at all the 'sexy' versions of various things. Not for the first time she wonders why that seems to be the main type of costume for adults on Halloween. Mostly women, but the males present clearly demonstrate such exists for them as well. Does being an adult mean one has to be 'sexy'? What ever happened to a good old gruesome zombie?
...Actually, remembering a certain encounter recently, maybe it's for the best there's no realistic zombies or ghosts. "So, what sorts of things should I be looking forward to?" She's the guest here, but she seems to be attempting to steer Emma towards the host of the party, since she knows the rules of high society. They should thank him for throwing the party to begin with, etc. before moving on. It's only polite.
The Question having gleemed sufficient enough insight on to the goings on of this costume ball from the outside, Retreats to his car parked safely away from the event. He then quickly and in a puff of dark blue smoke changes into another costume.
When the smoke dissapates The question is revealed to be in a black suit. with a purple tie, a black trench coat and purple gloves. He is also now wearing a long dark auburn wig and a blueish grey phantom of the opera mask, and a long brimmed black hat with a purple trim.
The question in his new get up makes his way to the front of the building towards the entrance. The question purposely bumps into someone that looks to be a late arriving quest, and he picks his pocket for an invite.
The question uses the pilfered invitation to gain access to the event. As he arrives he is taken aback some by the decor and it serves to only confirm of some of his suspisions.
Emma kept her arm linked on Kate's as she began making their way towards Sebastian Shaw. Her turned into a small smirk as she gestured towards the dancers, "The dancers of course. I know one blonde who happens to give excellent lapdances. And you'll see all sorts of people from high society being ridiculous and drunk. Shameless fun it is."
She took a sip of her martini as they made their approach, "And I'd like to introduce you to Sebastian Shaw, he is already very eager to meet you."
Sebastian Shaw sighed heavily when he saw it was Lex Luthor wearing that ridiculous outfit. Getting off on the right foot was not going to occur immediately it seemed, "M'lord von Doom, my I present... *sigh* the White King of the Hellfire Club and a dear friend Alexander Joseph Luthor."
"Alexander this is Victor Von Doom, monarch of Latveria," he did however toast with Luthor, no reason to be droll about his disappointment in Lex's appearance.
Though he was going to get a bit of revenge tonight, last time they spoke Lex accused Emma of basically being obsessed with Sebastian, carnally, he can't wait for him to meet Emma's actual paramour.
"Actually at that point," He waved over to Emma and her date, "M'lord von Doom, I wish to introduce you to my White Queen and her paramour."
Doom just looks over Lex and even within the titanium mask, a thin brown eyebrow raises over the brown eyes. "Mr. Luthor." His tone is not exactly oozing with awe and respect at the moment. "I have heard a great deal about you. A pleasure to meet you." He turns as Shaw introduces Emma and Kate. He gives another half bow, sweeping his green robe aside. "Lady Queen."
Lapdances? And here Kate was trying to be more reserved than usual, and she's already quirking an eyebrow behind her mask and glancing sidelong at Emma. Seems to found herself a rather... Open-minded date. Or 'paramour' as Mister Shaw calls her. Not exactly a bad thing, but Kate isn't used to being the one keeping out of trouble. It brings a smirk back to her lips. The red-head bows at the knees a bit and tugs the brim of her hat down again as she says, "A pleasure, Mister Shaw, and... Doctor Doom. Thanks for having us."
Also, all the occult symbols and so on are generic enough that they aren't really bothering Kate, but if there were any sign of more specific and more obscure arcanery, she'd probably be paying more attention. As it is, she took the time to piece it all together with a brief scan and see if there was any meaning to it. But nope. This does not, based on her less-than-expert-but-better-than-amateur knowledge of magic and paranormal stuff, appear to have any actual mystical power. She might just plain be wrong, but at least to her detective's eye it doesn't look like the entire club is going to be sacrificed to a demonic duck.
Upon spotting the Phantom of the Opera, Kate is glad she decided not to use that one.
Speaking of the paranormal! The Black Queen is fashionably late (in so many senses of the word...). Perhaps it took some time getting in to the extravagent Elizabethan gown and headdress. It's anyone's guess how she achieved the shockingly realistic scar near-encircling her neck. Dressing as Marie Antionette would just be /too/ expected. Instead, Jeannette has arrived dressed as Anne Boleyn. Or, rather, the ghost of the ill-fated monarch. Her white hair is not hidden under a brown wig, and her skin rendered even more deathly pale than usual. The dress itself is made to look as ethereal, in gauzey whites and greys. She smiles as she passes the Phantom. "Ah, it's good to see someone else embracing the macabre spirit of the holiday." One can almost feel the air chill when she passes.
the Question grabs a drink from a passing waiter, sniffs it and sips it. "Interesting..."
He is taken by dancer, She is raven haired and has blue eyes, her "sexy vampire" outfit distractes him, it's leather has a white inverted cross on it. Vic let's out a sigh then catches the sight of someone familiarish looking redhead and approaches. "Lovely evening isn't it"
Lex's gaze went to Emma and he smiled. "And you look lovely," he took her hand then kissed the back of her hand. "As does your paramour," Lex extended a hand toward the Lady, "And you are?" When he heard her name he smiled to the woman, "The pleasure is mine." His voice was lighthearted, friendly and so was his demeanor if someone searched his thoughts. Apparently someone was unphased by things.
Then his attention went to Doom. If Lex had known the great Dr. Doom was here then he wouldn't have dressed in costume at all. However, the damage was done. "Great Monarch of Latveria, you grace us with your presense," Lex bowed respectfully to him. "As Sebastian pointed out I am the White King and it is an honor to meet you. The next time you're in Metropolis we should meet to discuss business. The meal would be my treat and nothing but the best for someone such as yourself."
Emma gives a small bow to the Latverian ruler, "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, my date for the evening is Kate Kane."
She had a private thought that Kate might not enjoy the Inner Circle room, the symbols in there were quite accurate. Emma smiles politely at Lex as he kisses her hand, "Good evening, Lex. What a...charming costume."
"Lord King," Doom says to Lex using the Hellfire title now. "Thank you. I have heard grand things about the culinary arts in Metropolis. I will send you notice when next I am in the city." He gives a nod to Emma as she introduces Kate. "Miss Kane, I am Victor von Doom." He gives her a slightly shallower nod than he gave to Lex and Emma. "A pleasure to meet you."
Shaw's eyes landing on the Question for a moment. This one he didn't recognize. He recognized everyone at the party, even in the costumes. It was a poor host that didn't know his guests. And yet this one he did not recognize at all.
He would have to see how Kate responded to him firstly before he made a full judgment call on him. And her honestly depending on how exactly the intruder was.
Kate accepts the offered hand from Lex and shakes it firmly before letting go. Polite though he may be being, Kate would really prefer the back of her hand not receive the same treatment Emma's did. "Yes, nice to meet you as well. Surprising the faces I've run into tonight just so far." When Doom addresses her, the red-head looks towards him. Oh, so it really is him. She kind of thought that at first then chided herself for assuming based on appearances when Emma said it was just a costume. Well, it might still be someone else who sounds a lot like him from various public addresses she has heard from Victor von Doom, but she somehow doesn't think so. The fact no one else is treating him as such might be part of that. Either way, she's not here to cause problems so she nods and smiles. "An honor," she replies and chooses to leave off anything else. Not here to cause problems, not here to cause problems, NOT HERE to cause problems.
When an Elizabethan-dressed woman appears on the scene, Kate starts to take in her costume, with the scar and all, when she is suddenly addressed by the Phantom of the Opera. She blinks mildly and says calmly, "Indeed. A lovely evening with lovely company." Her hand reaches over and squeezes Emma's own. She... Is not sure if she should know this guy or not. Nothing is immediately leaping out at her, so she just kind of assumes he's talking to her specifically for a reason and that reason might have to do with thinking she's available.
Because that's usually the reason with strange men. Still, the wheels in her head are turning and if she gets any sign of body language she might recognize, she's going to start drawing conclusions. Perhaps she has met the Question or perhaps she has not. But she has likely at least heard OF him. She just... Has nothing in particular to go off of at the moment that would indicate that's who he is.
Jeannette gives Doom a proper, Eastern-European-Court-Trained courtsey when she joins the group. "Lord Doom. An honor." She stays bowed for several moments before standing. This is no commonor's attempt at the gesture, but someone truly raised among nobility. Old, old nobility.
"Lady Queen," Doom says in response to Jeanette. "The honor is mine. Thank you for having me here at the Hellfire Club. As I was just saying to your Black King, I always find the Hellfire Club quite interesting and was pleased my schedule allowed me to be here." He returns the bow to Jeanette, lowering his eyes for the briefest of moments before straightening back up. "You must forgive me, all, that I did not realize the attire tonight was quite so garish," there is a pause as the head slightly inclinces towards "Doc Brown". "I am afraid I am not as familar with this holiday of Halloween."
Vic notices Kate's puzzled look and clears his throat and tries to discretely put on his "Question voice" "I'm sorry I didn't mean to catch you off guard with my /question/able attire." He tries to say as nonchelantly as possible. "I just noticed you look very elegant tonight and decided to come chat you up" The Question said hoping this would pass as normal conversation.
"A guilty pleasure I've recently embraced thanks to a chance business meeting," Lex admitted to Emma. His green eyes, hidden by the glasses, scanned the area. He wanted to know who was here and who they were. The Phantom was a mystery to him. The way he stared at that server clearly stated he was new. Shaw often had these type of scantily clad help and regulars were somewhat oblivious to them. They looked great but after a while could be ignored due to just being a constant sight. Eventually things stopped losing their luster if they were no longer new. . Leo was going to be needed tonight. Hell even the long term interns stopped gawking at the waitresses when they bent over.
A special assignment was going to be given to him post haste. Unfortunately like all teenagers they were terrible with being punctual.
Jeannette's traditional bow caught Lex's attention. Inwardly he made a note to learn the male equivalent for his next meeting with Doom. He wasn't sure if it was Latverian or something older. In either case it was irrelevant. The motion had to be learned if it garnered Doom's respect.
Green eyes continued to look around the room at all of the faces. Dom's comment pulled Lex's attention. "I am not a fan of the period fashions. Despite the atrocious colors this moves freely and breathes better." And that was very much true. The period costumes were so restricting. Best to dress like a comfortable fool than an uncomfortable elitist.
"Honestly, m'lord. Normally this is a masquerade. Though they've fallen out of practice in the States so I tend to allow whatever they wish to wear at this gala."
As he was talking to Doom he thought to Emma |"Your date has a potential gate crasher as friend. We should find out who he is, but no telepathy yet."|
"And yes, Alexander doesn't much care for period costume, he gets a pass. Still he is a brilliant man and a capable leader, thus anyone can ignore his eccentricities," Shaw said in a very pleasant tone that he actually meant.
Emma's voice whispered in Shaw's mind |"Oh you are no fun at all. But as you wish."|
Emma returned her attention to Kate and their charming Phantom. She pushed her blonde locks to the side, "Kate, could you introduce me to your friend here? I'll admit, I've been coming to the Hellfire Club parties for years and I don't believe I recognize this one."
Kate continues to smile and nod politely. Yes, she is putting together the hints nicely, but she has no idea why he is here and isn't about to lie for him or get herself entangled in it. However, she is not a heartless self-serving person and she assumes if there's a reason why the Question is sneaking in while in disguise, that it may be something to be concerned about. So she tries just enough honesty and no more. Deception in this crowd is going to be avoided just because she does not want to cause trouble. But if trouble is already on the way... Well, this is hardly the first social outing or date that has been interrupted or ruined by the need for vigilante action.
"Ah, unless I am mistaken, I do not personally know him. I //believe//, however, that I may know //of// him. I suppose we will not know until the unmasking -- assuming he has not vanished like a phantom by then." Kate winks in a friendly, joking manner, when she actually means exactly what she just said quite seriously. The Question should make himself scarce if he's not here for a good reason. And if he is, perhaps he should find time to slip away regardless so that Kate can do the same in a few minutes so as not to be suspicious and ask him what is going on.
"I think you look charming, Lex," Jeannette says, taking the man's arm. "I'm afraid I've always been taken with this American holiday," she admits. There /is/ something of an accent in her voice, though it's subtle enough one might not even notice until she /says/ she's not American. She quirks an eybrow at Shaw and Emma, clued in to subtle expressions they make when they're having secret head-chats. Ah, well.
"No offense meant, Lord King," Doom says to Lex with a nod. "I did not mean that you were a fool for the costume. I have just lost touch with the current styles of this country and her holidays." He turns his attention to the Question now as Emma and Kate address him. The brown eyes behind the mask reval little as he could almost be a statue looking at the 'phantom'. Finally he moves as he speaks, "And this outfit? Does it have a particular calling for you?" His voice is cold and just this side of metallic as he addresses the obvious stranger.
Emma gives Kate a questionable look. She is behaving under Shaw's order, for now. She linked an arm around Kate's waist, sensing at the very least that Kate thought positively towards their surprise arrival, "I see then, Mysterious Stranger. Do behave. Or misbehave, that is the Hellfire way."
Emma smiled at Jeanette, "and Kate meet my beautiful friend, Jeanette the Black Queen. Looking ravishing this evening, my dear."
Smiling at the attention from Jeanette, the one person that may not hate Lex's costume, he pulled Jeannette closer. "It's the hair I know. And the tie," with his free hand he carefully caressed the wig. Part of him did yearn for hair because it was cruelly taken away years ago. What was done was done. The green eyes looked toward Doom, "The style depends on whom you speak with. Several women rave about the slutty incarnations to the costume," he gestured to the woman that caught the Phantom's attention. "However there are others that wish to wear something that is actually based off something," he gestured to Jeanette and his gaze looked to her, "You look lovely by the way." Then he looked back to Doom, "And have an actual theme to their costume instead of just a glorified hooker." He shrugged, "Everyone dresses as anything. I've even seen teenagers wear diapers atop of their normal clothing and actually called it a costume. At least the hookers tried to be something," he sighed with disappointment toward those that stopped trying to give justice to the holiday.
The Question looks back at Doctor Doom "this is a costume is of a Phantom, a Phenom, A man with no face. No real significance but isn't exciting to play the mysterious man if only for one night?"
The Question tips his hat and raises his drink in a toasting fashion "It was nice meeting you all, but I really must go and mingle some more and enjoy the decor" The Question motions to the dancers as he excuses himself from the group. "What is she doing here with doom? I'll figure that out later now I must blend in. and observe." Vic thinks to himself, gulping his drink to steady himself after that close call.
"It used to be a celebration of the macabre and, born out of Old-World pagan rituals, given new life in New World supersitions and folk practices. I suppose I'm just... old-fashioned," Jeannette admits, almost wistfully. "Still, far be it from me to critisize anyone's idea of fun." She reaches up to twist the hair of Lex's wig a little.
"I wouldn't know," Doom responds cooly to Questions quiry about playing a man of mystery for only one night. He returns his gaze back towards Lex and nods at the explanation. "I see. That does explain a great deal of what I was seeing along the streets on my way here. Thank you." He looks over towards Jeanette and nods. "If they wish to see superstitions and current 'folk' practices, I believe that Doom could indeed be a valuable teacher. Those Old-World pagan rituals still have their uses."
Jeannette gives Kate a polite nod and compliment, as well. She so didn't miss that.
"I just like to see effort put into costumes is all," the smile continued as Jeanette twirled his hair. To Lex the lack of effort just insulted the Holiday. With one hand he pulled out his phone and typed in a bit one handed. Someone was used to doing this thing. He put it away and looked to the group, "Sorry. I had to send something out. How is everyone this evening? We should toast to good company," Lex gestured to one of the servers to bring over white wine. Then he gestured to someone that had red. People could have their pick, "To good company and the Black King for bringing this party together." He was hoping everyone was enjoying themselves even if the party wasn't his. The Hellfire club was something Lex believed in and so he did not want to see people displeased at this party.
"I view myself as a Gnostic actually," Shaw said in response to all this talk of paganism and superstition, "Much like how I took myself from a poor boy to a billionaire in two decades I believe it is equal possible to ascend forward in a spiritual and metaphysical sense."
|"You know what, Emma. I've got this. It's been a while since I've had to use my wits to figure people out."|
Jeannette smiles coyly at talk of mysticism, and continues to stay arm-linked with Lex. Evidently she's decided he's her date for the night. Or hour. Or... something.
Doom takes a glass of the red wine and holds it up to Lex's toast. "To good company," he says although his voice never sounds particularly warm. "And to the Black King." He nods to each present at the toast rather than clink glasses. He takes a sip of the wine before putting the glass back on a tray passing by.
Kate whispered something into Emma's ear. She laughed playfully, grabbing a bottle of wine from a passing waitress, "Actually I have other pressing business to attend to. It was a pleasure to meet you Victor Von Doom, I too would enjoy your company next time you come to Metropolis."
She turns to the rest, "Lex, Jeanette, Sebastian /do/ enjoy your evenings and remember to misbehave."
As she left she has a few more personal thoughts to share. Lex can suddenly hear Emma's voice inside of his head, |"Jeanette likes to have her earlobe kissed, if your evening goes well. Avoid the neck. No neck."|
And then to Shaw she shares, |"Have a guard at /least/ inspect his invitation. Besides, there are much more interesting guests tonight. We had DOOM of all people. And we'll have to meet up for lunch tomorrow. I'd love to know what you thought of Kate. Kiss kiss darling."|
And at that Emma and company were gone.
I don't recognize "Question".
Shaw raised his own glass to the toast, "It is an honor to be toasted by such good company. The Hellfire Club, though inherited by me from its now lost founders and former kings, is in my mind, my greatest achievement. I have surrounded myself with the best that all of humanity has to offer."
He raised his glass to Doom, "And then it attracts the best that I had not been able to encounter yet. So I add a toast to honored guests and hopefully new friends."
He looked at the 'Phantom' and added, "Hopefully."
The Question smiles and nods raising his glass, his instinct is to let out a sarcastic laugh, but he holds back. "The best humanity has to offer" Vic's stomach nearly turns at the thought.
But he realizes he is deep in enemy territory if he was going to prove his theories he needed to keep his cool and this is not his first rodeo. The grizzled veteran goes about his business visually scanning the room, listening to every conversation in ear shot all while feigning to be just another party goer.
The Question takes a calculated risk, and approaches Sebastian Shaw once he finished addressing the room. "Lovely party Thanks for the invitation."
"Indeed," Lex said in agreement with the Phantom then his gaze went to all others, "And why don't we continue to have fun?" He took Jeannette's hand then kissed the back of it, "Would you care for a dance?" This was a party and Shaw did like the traditional bits of fun. So a dance wasn't out of the question.
Doom clasps his hands behind him and beneath the cloak as he watches Lex inquire about the dance with Jeannette. He remains silent although he acknowledges Shaw's toast to welcomed guests.
Jeannette smiles graciously at Lex. "I was hoping you would ask," she says, voice dripping with the sweetness of horror-movie corn syrup blood. She lets the the good "Doctor" lead her to the dance floor.
Shaw looked at 'The Phantom' again. Oh Question. You should have kept your mouth shut, "M'lord von Doom. How long will you be in our country? I have a rather open schedule for the next few weeks and would love to get your input on a few projects I am working on as well as showing you some of the sites of this fair country."
He bowed politely again, "And I am sorry to have to leave you to your own devices for a moment. I have to speak with our Phantom in brief, and then I will speak with about some of the lesser known aspects of the Hellfire Club. Some I think you'd find very interesting."
He then smiled at the Question.
For a split second Lex felt sorry for the new person. The Shaw was looking. How he addressed them and talked about privacy. What was about to follow wasn't going to be kind nor pleasant. Sadly a split second was brief and that was as long as Lex's compassion lasted. He tried to figure out what was worse: An angry Shaw or an Angry Luthor. Leo had his assignment to trail the man and when Leo told him the results Lex was going to handle it personally.
However, time was on the Phantom's side in Lex's case because he had a dance. Although he questioned why Jeannette was being so sweet Lex walked out with her on the dance floor, "Technically I am a Doctor," he confessed to Jeanette before getting in the position for a traditional waltz. Lionel saw that Lex had the training to impress various daughters and young females associated with clients at social gatherings. The best way to a father's heart was the apple in his eye. If Lionel had a charming gentleman of a son then it meant business had a better chance of surviving.
"Applied Sciences," he said noting his Doctrine in Engineering, "So that portion of my costume is accurate on a personal level. Again I do say you look ravishing," he smiled taking Jeannette's hand and lead. "Tell me about yourself." Jeannette was a bit of a mystery to him and tonight it was time to solve that mystery.
"My business here will keep me a couple of weeks," Doom says with a look towards Shaw. "Distance to travel and the like. I had a time machine, but that has become....unreliable." Blast you, Richards. "We are restricted by physics, I am afraid. As for any projects, certainly I shall entertain any ideas from you, Mr. Shaw. Please, contact my secretary and we can set up a meeting."
Jeannette smiles with a mischeivious grin. "Then we're both wearing something at least a little accurate then," she says. "Would you believe I'm actually nobility, outside of our little club? Or I was, once," she tells him. She does love to drop those little clues. It's not that she keeps her history a secret, per se. It's just /fun/ to be mysterious. "Nothing earning me more than the title of Lady, but... well, I suppose I /am/ a Queen here." She smirks a little. She doesn't mention the whole /decapitated/ thing. For now, she's passing the scars off as part of the costume.
Shaw smiled at Doom and said, "Actually..."
|"Tessa, please come here and entertain Victor until I have dealt with our interloper"|
Suddenly a black haired woman dressed in a corset and panties came from no where, "M'lord Von Doom, I am Tessa. Sebastian Shaw's personal bodyguard and assistant. I'll be your guide until Mr. Shaw deals with his own situation,"
Sebastian wraps his arm around 'the Phantom' and said, "Now then, let's see that invitation of yours. Also before you even show it to, me. Why don't you tell me your name, dear Phantom."
Doom nods to the assistant. "Tessa. Very well. Please fetch me a glass of red wine." He watches the new comer to the scene with some interest, but his eyes try to track and follow as much as he can of what is going on. Including Shaw confronting the "Phantom".
The Question Smiles and produces his invitation. Vic smiles and says "My name is Adrian Alexander Veidt, just as the invitation says." Vic Quietly meditates on his fate.
"Well then M'lady, it's an honor," Lex kissed the back of her hand. He didn't think the story stretched back to thousands of years. However he did believe in the title. His green eyes examined her costume, "I do like it." Dipping her suddenly the smile continued on his face, "And how are we this evening?" Pulling her a little closer Lex continued the dance, "Tell me more about yourself." The Mystery wasn't solved yet.
Tessa curtly nods her head and goes to the bar to retrieve Doom one of the good red wines. She comes back and hands him his glass with a small bow, when she speaks it is very cold and detached "I hope the club has kept you entertained. That is the purpose of the club, and many other things. Is there anything else I can get you, M'Lord Von Doom?"
Hundreds would be more accurate. Although the curse of the banshee itself... who knows. Jeannette looks thoughtfully at Lex. "I have quite a weakness for sweets," she admits. "And powerful and dangerous men. I find the former aspect gets me into more trouble than the latter."
Doom accepts the red wine and then shakes his head. "No thank you, Tessa. Doom requires no more of your services as of now." His tone has that holier than thou sound to it that only true arrogant asses can ever really master. He takes a sip of his wine as he continues to watch and catelog all that he observes in the club.
Helena Bertinelli is arriving later than she'd planned, mostly because she had to find a dress that would suit this 'event' and still conceal the collection of mostly faded plus fresh bruises on her arms, shoulders, back... Finally arriving in a navy blue dress that would be backless and very revealing if not for the lace back, sleeves, and bodice pieces. She stops just inside the door, unable to proceed further because Q has their invitation. She looks across the way trying to locate the man, the jewelled clips holding her hair back from her face glinting briefly. Where the HELL is he?
Tessa nodded, "Understood, I am available should you need me."
Tessa grabbed a waitress by the arm and directed her towards the Huntress. The waitress asks her, "A drink, Mistress? Or something else I can help you with?"
She exchanges a look with Sebastian Shaw, and clicks her jaw. Security was considered high regard with the Hellfire Club. And she was ready to do what was necessary.
Chuckling, "The former comes with health hazards," Lex said with a smile looking into the woman's eyes for a moment. "I've got a taste for many things. Money and power have allowed me such benefits," and oh yes it was cheesy but absolutely true. Many tastes developed due to the privilege Lex had. "What are your plans for tomorrow M'lady?" he asked just enjoying the night for once. Usually these parties were so drab. This one was different. Maybe it was the costumes or the fact his company wasn't a man with bad mutton chops with an angry demeanor. Either case tonight was going well, at least for Lex anyway.
"I've a few appointments with clients in the early evening, but after that, I'm quite free," she answers. "Did you have something in mind?"
Shaw said, "No, you are not smart enough to be Adrian. And his bone structure is different than his. So, my friend. Your are nothing more than a question to me. How am I too resolve this.. Adrian?"
He did notice Helena arriving at last and walked towards her, the Question's Phantom in tow, "Ms. Bertinelli, I was wondering when you would actually attend one of these parties."
Shaw seemed to politely tap the Question on the shoulder, and broke the bone as he hit it, "This is my friend Adrian, I'm so glad you could meet him."
The Question breaths audibly but shows no other outwaard sign of the intense pain he just felt. "I believe we already have met She happens to be my plus 1, or I hers as the case may be."
Vic quickly disengages from Shaw's side and moves to Helena's, He wants to thank her in so many ways but has to play it cool at the moment.
Jeannette looks over Lex's shoulder as they dance, watching the scene with Shaw and the Phantom, giving a curious "hmm..."
Smiling he looked at Jeannette, "How about we continue the conversation and dance tomorrow." He wasn't suggesting going home but it would have been fun. However she was pleasant company and Lex didn't want it to part. "How does that sound? A limo will pick you up when you're done and we'll go from there?" and Lex was just trying to keep it all going. An active social life would have been nice plus he should know everyone on both sides of the board.
His attention went to Shaw and the two new comers. The hard pat made Lex just study the trio. Something bad was going to happen to the Phantom crasher. "Poor guy," he thought to himself.
"It sounds lovely," she says. "I probably should retire for the night. I'd invite you to join me, but getting this costume, and all this makeup off is going to be such a hassle it would ruin the mood." And, she doens't want him knowing that scar is real, and won't come off with the makeup. At least, not yet.
Helena Bertinelli looks at the waitress as she's still stuck in the entryway. "Oh, um, no. Thank you. I'm waiting for..." She stops and looks at Shaw as he pulls Vic close enough for her to make shit up on the fly. But with a grain of truth. "Adrian. Why the HELL didn't you wait for me?" She doesn't raise her voice, oh no. Instead she practically hisses at the man. "I swear..."
She shakes her head slightly at Vic then visibly smooths the anger from her features to smile politely to Shaw. "Mr. Shaw. I don't venture up from Gotham very often, the traffic is just beyond horrid. I see that you've already met Adrian?" She hooks a hand onto the closer of Vic's elbows and with a less than gentle grip pulls him to stand at her side like the dutiful man-candy he's supposed to be pretending to be.
The Question tenses his jaw in an attmept not to groan or wince when Helena jerks him in close by his newly broken shoulder. "I'm sorry dear next time we drive in together. and yes I've already had the 'pleasure' of meeting Mr. Shaw I will certainly say he is an interesting man and a great host."
Vic does his best to no-sell the injury as he put his arm around Helena.