(1311-08-02) Kill the Creature
Summary: Sergeant Jacquet investigates the stabbing of Philomène Aiglemort de Chalasse, by going straight to the heart of it all. As it were.
RL Date: 01/08/2019 - 04/08/2019
Related: Between the hosts and the guests, Kalisha Is Questioned, the Incident at the Palace plot in general.
philomene jacquet 

Infirmary — Marsilikos

Situated within the beautiful greenery of the gardens of Eisheth, along the coastline not too far from the harbour and in view of the Citadel that guards the entrance to the port of Marsilikos, is the infirmary, a one storey building of white stone and simple architecture that has been enhanced with classical elements, as if inspired by the buildings of ancient Hellene culture. Traces of columns, half-worked into the walls can be found on all sides of the infirmary. An archway frames the sturdy oak door of the entrance, white stone worked with impressive masonry skill into a bas-relief, depicting a female in robes holding a roll of bandages and a vial of sorts to the left and a male healer to the right with a scroll in one hand, while the other is lifted in lecturing gesture, as if he were giving a medical diagnosis.

The hall beyond is agreeably cool during hot summers and kept warm in cold winters, through a large hearth that governs the center of the long wall to the right. It is here in this hall that the majority of patients will be treated immediately, and so there are a number of curtains that divide the space into areas with cots. In times of need, the space can be stacked up to hold two dozen beds. The vicinity of the gardens allows for the soothing tranquility of nature to become part of the process of recovery, chirping of birds, wisps of casual conversation reaching those inside through the line of arched windows that sit higher up at the walls. It also serves a source of lighting during the day, whereas a number of oil lamps at the walls are lighted during evenings and nights.

Close to the entrance, there is a door to the left that leads to the infirmary's office, where records of patients are being kept, along with other book keeping of supplies and the like. Another archway opens from the hall into a hallway, where secluded rooms are provided for harder cases, long-term treatments and those of higher standing and the wish for more privacy. These chambers are plain yet well kept, immaculately clean, with sheets of the more comfortable beds being changed regularly. In each chamber, an arched window offers light during the day, and a pair of two chairs offer seating to healers or the occasional visitor a patient may receive.

It's not until Friday that Philomène is really lucid enough to pay attention to what's going on around her. Allegedly Thursday was a thing that happened, but thankfully the Chalasse vicomtesse was dosed up with dangerous amounts of opiates (which raised a few queries and expressions of concern from the more senior healers when her breathing did actually cease on more than one occasion; but being the stubborn arsehole she is, Philo never quite abandoned it altogether) which did at least spare the acolytes any sort of pithy, if concise, commentary on their businesslike work.

By Friday, though, when perhaps the acolytes are more circumspect with the milk of the poppy they're slipping into Philomène's water, the woman is more awake and more uncomfortable, and even if her lungs arenâ??t up to argument she's giving a poisonous glare to anyone who makes too much noise or comes to poke and prod at her without so much as a by-your-leave. She's not making friends, and it's not giving her an easier time of it as whenever she needs a drink or to relieve herself the poor acolytes are finding any excuse not to be in this private room off the side of the main infirmary.

Friday is the day that a certain Sergeant of the City Watch finally will be admitted to the chamber that had been set aside for Philomène to recover. Whether he is aware about the lady's irritable state that must come after reducing the dose of opiates remains a topic of speculation. And truly, he probably wouldn't give a fig either way. He is a tall quiet man in his early to mid-forties, d'Angeline but of the slightly battered looking sort that comes with years spent in battle or exposed to permanent disappointments. Dark hair clings to his scalp, damp from the morning rain, and his dark eyes have a tendency to stare, as they do now, as he looks towards the woman in the sickbed. He wears the ringmail and tabard of the city guard of Marsilikos, with the emblem of the city - the Dome of the Lady - emblazoned on the front. A sword is worn in a scabbard that hangs from his belt, even if he is most unlikely to use it, within these halls.

"M'lady," he rasps, straightening as he comes to stand before the bed. "I'm Sergeant Jacquet of the City Watch. I was told you are awake and ready to answer my questions." His words may sound a bit gruff, but that may be part of his personality, cutting right to the reason for his visit. "I am tasked to investigate the incident at the palace." The latter added almost apologetically, with only the slightest shifting nuance in his tone. "How are you recovering?" As if he suddenly remembered some rudimentary knowledge of courtesy.

Philomène doesn't immediately respond in any way. She's not dead, that much is clear by the way her heavily bandaged chest continues to rise and fall, albeit a scant amount with every breath, and the faint wheezing that accompanies it. It does take a moment for a poppy-fuddled mind to really register this visitor, and another moment or two for her to process that she really ought to talk to him. Her head turns and her gaze, pupils significantly dilated, scrutinises the man up and down. It's an automatic reaction to seeing anyone in armour, even if today it's slightly slower and less piercing a look than usual. "I'm not dead," she finally rasps out, long pauses between each couple of words as she steels herself to use what limited lung capacity she has and prepare for the effort and pain of speaking. "Sadly, neither is the Skald. Yet." Painful as it might be, she does not neglect to add, finally, the honorific due. "Sergeant."

<FS3> Jacquet rolls Politics: Success. (1 6 5 5 8 2 5)

"You are not dead," Jacquet confirms with a wry twist of a grin. "Yes. You should not be. Not someone of your heritage." His words are rumbled, as if his voice were not used to speak or even enjoy the sound of words that must sound oddly well phrased for a commoner. She might find the faint traces of Camaeline accent familiar. He seems to appreciate her lack of loquacity, even if it may be caused by the opium and the pain. "She's in custody.", he explains in regards to Kalisha. "I've heard her story, and now I want to hear yours. She said you taunted her and then drew your blade. I want to know… did it happen that way? And *where* exactly did this happen?"

Philomène allows her weathered fingertips to flick vaguely towards the door, as though swatting an imaginary fly away. "That…" and here she pauses, not just for her breath but also to find the right word and the vehemence with which to spit it, "…creature tried to threaten me." She closes her eyes for a moment, that phenomenally sculpted jaw lifting somewhat belligerently at the very memory. It would be a fine show of defiance, but is made perhaps less so by her yellowish pallor, the sweat which glistens in the morning light on her brow and plasters her blonde hair to her forehead, and the continued wheezing noise she makes as she labours for breath. "Didn't spend years fighting the scum to let them… let them prance about here. Armed, no less." Her eyes open again and she fixes Jacquet with a slightly befuddled, accusatory glare. "Have the guard forgotten we are at war with those people—?"

"She tried to threaten you, and you drew your sword in self defence?", the Sergeant suggests pensively, not hesitating to let his own interpretation weave into his words. "You are right, of course. They have no place here, but there are some Skaldi in this city…" His lips twitch into a mirthless smile, "because Her Grace in her kindness allows them to be. That woman was armed. For whatever evil purpose we can only assume. The guard…", he then takes up the train of thought in her latter remark, "so you were inside the gates, on the palace grounds?" And there his dark eyes start to stare at her again, brows furrowing.

Philomène fixes him with a slightly fuzzy stare. "I drew my sword," she states flatly, "to kill the creature." Well, that's fairly unambiguous. It might not be the most politic response, but it has the ring of truth, prompted by both Philomène's own nature and helped along by the opiates. "By the stables." She pauses, actually looking a little concerned now. "My Hirondelle. Guillaume…"

Air leaves Jacquet's nostrils as he lowers his head in a nod, his dark stare never leaving Philomène's face. "I understand. But as you say… you were at the stables. It was in the courtyard, though? Not outside on the Rue de Palace?" The stables of Marsilikos have the rare luxury of having two exits, one towards the courtyard of the palace, and the other towards the road outside the palace gates, thus providing a second way of getting into the palace besides passing the gates. The man of the city watch obviously thinks this minor detail important, for whatever reason, so he keeps insisting on the matter, with whatever gentleness he can muster before the Camaeline born lady upon the sickbed.

"At the stables," Philomène again confirms, making it probably no clearer than she did in the first place, but she twitches a little at being asked to repeat what is to her so blindingly obvious. Especially when the act of having to say the words, grating them out from an increasingly dry throat and a mouth that feels like it's been licking the arse end of a badger for six months, causes distinct discomfort. She grasps at her bedclothes as she drags in another breath, this one lifting her chest a little higher than before and causing an accompanying wince and a whimper that Philo is too stoned to try to hide. Something does, though, occur to her, and cause her to meet the guard's eyes again with an indignant haughtiness. "I bled!" As though this indignity is beyond anything that anyone should be forced to endure. Never mind that this Chalasse was a d'Aiglemort and renowned for having bled rather a lot in her youth in the heat and rage of battle. Dodging is something that other people do. Not this woman. That fact, though, might be more useful than Philomène's actual words. Blood staining the cobblestones, particularly in the heat that has plagued this July, is hardly likely to have disappeared completely in the space of a couple of days. That, at least, can't be denied.

The point of the bleeding, she makes, even if in opium-induced half-awareness that is hampered further by the dulled pain from her injuries, it does not fail to elicit a keen flashing in his dark eyes. "You did," he confirms in his gravelly voice. "And by Camael's Grace and Kushiel's Mercy, I shall see to it, that she who is responsible for your injury shall be brought to justice." There is something in his gaze, his demeanor, an earnest, genuine look he gives her. "Those who have fought in defense of our country, they must not be cut into pieces lightly, nor ridiculed before each and every one." A low snort there, as his eyes go distant for a moment. A moment of pause he grants the vicomtesse, and himself as well, as it seems. Jacquet looks almost a bit apologetic when he raises his voice again, and he gives Philomène an ominous look. "Let me… ask about one last thing. You say you wanted to kill the creature. You drew your weapon on her. Would it have mattered, in that moment… if she wielded a blade in her defense?"

"Makes it a fight," Philomène responds in a quiet rasp, gritting her teeth for a few seconds as she eases into shallower breathing again, fresh beads of sweat forming on her brow. "Else it's an execution. Same result, but…" Again she steadies herself, fingers gripping the bedclothes, "…a fight is better."

Jacquet nods to that, and his features settle into a calm expression of agreement. "A fight is always better," he echoes, seconding that thought. With a faint twitch of a smile. "Thank you. This answers my question, my lady." He had remained standing all the while, perhaps reminded by the healers that his visit would only be allowed if of short duration. "Not that I had expected otherwise," he adds, as if in a murmured afterthought. "I shall leave you now. There are no more questions I have for you, at this moment." And in what must appear a slightly odd gesture, he leans in and reaches for Philomène's wrist, squeezing it gently as if in some reassuring gesture. "May you recover soon."

Perhaps in contrast to any other time when an unexpected touch is likely to result in a punch to the face, Philomène's response today is to press her pale lips into a thin smile and to press back a little against that hand. Proof she's not dead, no, and reassurance that this guard has the right sort of mindset. Well, of course he does. The accent gives it away. "Kill it for me," she insists, this concept at least quite clear, even if the words are a little fuzzy. "Skald spies."

Jacquet's brows furrow a little even as he pauses to hear Philomène's response. And yet, his answer for her sounds somewhat ambiguous, which he states in a low rumble, before leaving the convalescent vicomtesse on her sickbed. "I am of the City Watch. I will do my duty."

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