Clarinets Can Go Places in the Human Body

The graduate lounge is a warm, comfortable place, with a few snug leather couches and armchairs placed around the room and a warm fire crackling in the hearth. A bookshelf stocked with choice reading material is against one wall and newspaper boxes sit on either side of it. Small paintings decorate the panelled walls for those who would rather while away the time admiring some art. All in all a wonderful place to relax away from the stress and whining of the student Assassins.
There is one obvious exit: east.
Kurzik De’Vardis, Miss Georgina de Vitis and Mr Carter are standing here and a cornflower blue cloud is floating in the air here.

Mr Carter says: Greetings Andrew.

Andrew d’Ackerley nods a polite greeting.

Mr Carter says to Andrew d’Ackerley: The teacup of Earl Black tea, just for you! There you are.
Mr Carter gives Andrew d’Ackerley the teacup of Earl Black tea.

Andrew d’Ackerley sits in an armchair.

Miss Georgina de Vitis takes his arm, slanting a smile up at him, her eyes laughing as she does so, her skirts swishing around her legs as they head for the lounge. Once there, she picks a chair, settling comfortably there, before she gives Andrew a smile. “Sir Andrew. Mr Carter, I will have a gin and tonic, if you would.” The mischief rising should at least warn Kurzik, “And a cigar.”

Andrew d’Ackerley rests one leg over the other and opens the Ankh-Morpork Times to page three. “Miss de Vitis, Kurzik.”

Kurzik De’Vardis hangs his cloak to Mr Carter who puts it away, and nods politely to Andrew, “Good to see you mingling with us common folks, House Master.” He grins as he says this, his voice light and playful, obviously joking, then he turns and orders drinks from Mr Carter, handing Georgina a drink and a cigar.

Andrew d’Ackerley lowers the paper enough to throw Kurzik a smirk over the top. “Aye, I normally barricade myself in my office to write angsty poetry about the night and the horrors of being a post-graduate teacher.”

Kurzik De’Vardis asks Mr Carter about buying the gin and tonic glass.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives Mr Carter some money.
Mr Carter says to Kurzik De’Vardis: The gin and tonic glass, just for you! There you are.
Mr Carter gives Kurzik De’Vardis the gin and tonic glass.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives a gin and tonic glass to Miss Georgina de Vitis.

You hold a teacup of Earl Black tea in your left hand.
You sip from the teacup of Earl Black tea, the taste exciting your mouth and the aroma relaxing your mind.

Kurzik De’Vardis asks Mr Carter about buying the scotch glass.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives Mr Carter some money.
Mr Carter says to Kurzik De’Vardis: The scotch glass, just for you! There you are.
Mr Carter gives Kurzik De’Vardis the scotch glass.

Miss Georgina de Vitis takes her drink and cigar, slanting Andrew a look, “Do you mind, Sir Andrew?” The question is about the cigar, the woman lifting it slightly to emphasis it. “It is lovely to see you out. We were just discussing the latest trend in inhumation…” She slants Kurzik a laughing look, teasing him with an obvious affection and familiarity.

Kurzik De’Vardis asks Mr Carter about buying the perfecto cigar.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives Mr Carter some money.
Mr Carter says to Kurzik De’Vardis: The perfecto cigar, just for you! There you are.
Mr Carter gives Kurzik De’Vardis the perfecto cigar.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives a perfecto cigar to Miss Georgina de Vitis.
Kurzik De’Vardis asks Mr Carter about buying the perfecto cigar.
Kurzik De’Vardis gives Mr Carter some money.
Mr Carter says to Kurzik De’Vardis: The perfecto cigar, just for you! There you are.
Mr Carter gives Kurzik De’Vardis the perfecto cigar.

Andrew d’Ackerley murmurs politely, “Not at all,” and takes out a slender cigarette of his own. Aristocratic ponce that he is, he inserts it into an ivory cigarette holder before lighting it.

Kurzik De’Vardis turns from Mr Carter with a drink and cigar of his own, glancing sideways at Georgina with a small smirk before wiping the expression from his face and looking completely serious for once, “Yes, Miss de Vitis was just telling me her theory that many of our students may have passed the run by accident, falling and inhuming on the way down.” His voice is as serious as his face, except for a small twinkle of amusement in his eyes.

Kurzik De’Vardis holds a scotch glass in his left hand.

Andrew d’Ackerley politely says: I do not believe that the Cordat expressively forbids us using a student body as a missile.

Miss Georgina de Vitis lights her cigar with evident practice, her feet tucking up beneath her skirt onto the chair, obviously settling in comfortably. “It does not. I have read it a few times over the last week…” She sips the gin and tonic, her eyes dancing with mischief.

Kurzik De’Vardis moves to occupy a third chair, taking a sip of his drink as he does so, “And Hat knows it’s about the only way we’ll turn some of them into living weapons.” He sets his glass aside and lights his cigar, the small smile returning to his lips after his first puff.

Andrew d’Ackerley nods and turns a page. “In fairness, a good number of them never intended to become actives in the guild. Most are merchants and lords to be.

Miss Georgina de Vitis rests her glass on the table, her hand moving to prop her chin up. “The post-grad classes surely should have a little more ambition.” The light comment comes with a warm smile though, her gaze moving between them, and she smokes.

Andrew d’Ackerley smirks over the edge of his paper again. “I wouldn’t know, my dear. My classes are delightfully unattended.”

Kurzik De’Vardis glances at Andrew and chuckles softly, “I’d be happy to give you some of my students. Some of those who seem to only still be here because mummy and daddy are paying for the courses.” He picks up his glass and takes another sip, making a slightly dismissive gesture with his cigar, “Being here before becoming a lord or a merchant doesn’t mean you can lack style or class while you’re here.”

Andrew d’Ackerley nods goodnaturedly. “It does tend to mean that one is quite useless in practical terms, though.”

“Oh dear…” Miss Georgina de Vitis murmurs, her lips twitching with amusement. “I won’t comment, I think.” She settles back in her seat, watching the pair of them through the smoke. “But I think merchants are not useless…” (Georgina)

Andrew d’Ackerley amusedly asks Kurzik De’Vardis: Shall we cede that perhaps, merchant’s sons can become useful members of society?

Kurzik De’Vardis grunts softly in agreement to Andrews comment, and glances sideways at Georgina, “I think it’s safe to say that they can become useful in the future, and as good Sir Andrew suggested earlier, while here they have much use in terms of ballistics.” He puffs on his cigar, smiling broadly around it.

Miss Georgina de Vitis returns Kurzik’s look, widening her eyes at him, her smile lighting up her face for a moment. “And shoes. And perhaps books…” She is teasing Kurzik with the comfortable ease of familiarity.

Andrew d’Ackerley puts the paper in his lap and adjusts his monocle. “Goodness. And here I thought that using human hide for book binding was against some law or other.”

Kurzik De’Vardis lowers his cigar, leaning forward slightly in his chair, “Possibly, but at least then they’re be safer than letting some of the students actually get their hands on them.”

“For those that return books in poor condition, Sir Andrew, the revenge is above the law.” Miss Georgina de Vitis speaks in mock seriousness, her eyes giving it away, the laughter showing. “I am very stern, you know…” (Georgina)

Andrew d’Ackerley mildly says: And you have your own library, Miss de Vitis… I must share with the good Kompt de Yoyo, and you do not want to know what he does to students who mistreat his beloved clarinet.

Kurzik De’Vardis chuckles at the comments, “Well, I will have to remember to treat the Kompt’s instruments with the same respect as Georgina’s books. Alas, if only all members of the guild would do so.” He sighs, a very over the top display, his whole body moving slightly with the breath, but his face portrays his amusement the entire time.

Miss Georgina de Vitis “I can imagine… ” The smile is warm and amused, as she reaches out to take her glass up, sipping it, watching them over the brim. “It is worth treating all of my books with the utmost respect, more than the Kompt. After all, Gwendolyn is on my side.

Andrew d’Ackerley says: And you have your own library, Miss de Vitis… I must share with the good Kompt de Yoyo, and you do not want to know what he does to students who mistreat his beloved clarinet.

Andrew d’Ackerley laconically says: Clarinets can go places in the human body.

Kurzik De’Vardis raises an eyebrow slightly at Andrew and softly murmurs, “Some more painful than others, I’m sure. But I doubt the Kompt would do that with his beloved clarinet, at least.” He shoots a grin at Georgina before taking a sip of his drink.

Miss Georgina de Vitis returns the grin, her eyes laughing. “He may have to borrow someone’s. Do you play, Sir Andrew?” Her eyebrows arch, her eyes dancing.

Andrew d’Ackerley shakes his head. “The clarinet, only what little I have been made to as a part of music studies.”

Kurzik De’Vardis raises an eyebrow at Andrew, the smile remaining in place but his eyes taking on a thoughtful cast to them, “I would have thought, Sir Andrew, that music would have been something you would have pursued. The arts are after all as large a part for us as our contracts. Just another part of our style, surely.”

Andrew d’Ackerley quietly says: Not the clarinet.

Miss Georgina de Vitis bites her lower lip, trying really hard not to laugh, but her eyes give it away. The struggle is well hidden by a swig of gin and tonic, and a slow puff on the cigar. “I fear that is something that the Mano Rossa are not so interested in, and I must learn…”

Andrew d’Ackerley asks: Mano Rossa thump their spoons against their pasta plates, I imagine?

Andrew d’Ackerley sips from the teacup of Earl Black tea, the taste exciting his mouth and the aroma relaxing his mind.

Kurzik De’Vardis glances sideways at Georgina, the twinkle of amusement back in his eyes, “Oh, but they’d have to be careful with their precious suits around any kind of pasta sauce. Wouldn’t want to spoil them. And music? Far too outrageous.” He says all of this while carefully brushing dust that isn’t there off his clothing.

Miss Georgina de Vitis lifts her eyebrows, some of the laughter cooling, “They merely take a more practical approach.” There is a soft note of protectiveness in her voice, some affection still there. She puts her empty glass down, shooting Kurzik a look that hints this is not the first conversation like this one.

Andrew d’Ackerley observes drily, “Given the behaviour I have observed from their members here in the guild in recent times, I should be surprised if most of them are aware that music exists. I’d expect most of them to still be in awe of fire.”

Kurzik De’Vardis pauses with his glass halfway to his lips, his eyes flicking briefly from Georgina to Andrew and back again, “Of course, as part of what we are, we cannot judge as quickly as that. A few bad eggs does not make the entire lot of them rotten to the core. To assume so would be to blind ourselves to alternatives, wouldn’t you say?” He raises the glass the rest of the way, taking a long sip.

Miss Georgina de Vitis puts the cigar down into the ashtray, uncurling from her seat, her smile gone. “And I believe I shall leave you gentlemen to your drinks.” There is the softest emphasis on the word gentleman, and there is a spark in her eye that hints at a temper despite the attempt by Kurzik to save himself.

You say to Miss Georgina de Vitis: Given the recent assault in this very room upon yourself by them, I am surprised at your reaction. Perhaps it is a matter better left in silence.

Kurzik De’Vardis lowers his drink, eyes narrowing slightly at Georgina, but he says nothing, merely bows his head slightly before turning to Andrew and murmuring softly, “Sometimes, where we’ve comes from has a hold on us, no matter what we do. Fairly evident in the origins of most of our students after all, wouldn’t you say?”

Andrew d’Ackerley politely says: Evident, quite. Excusable? Not quite. The Mano Rossa do what they want in Genua, but that does not give them the right to assault our members on our own grounds.

Miss Georgina de Vitis gives Kurzik a nod and then slips from the room.

Kurzik De’Vardis nods his head slightly, “Of course, any actions on guild ground should be dealt with swiftly, but I think it’s obvious Miss de Vitis has seen a different view of the Mano Rossa than we are ever likely to see. Surely she is evidence that they are not all bad.”

Andrew d’Ackerley glances after the fleeing woman. “Hmm. I believe that that was a quite obvious example of fear of further repercussions from her former associates. The ones who tried to kill her, that is.”

Andrew d’Ackerley matter-of-factly says to Kurzik De’Vardis: Miss de Vitis may adore the Mano Rossa for all that it is my business, old chap. I will still express my dinstinctive dislike of brutes who try to kill our members on our guild grounds. I find it entirely unacceptable. If that bothers Miss de Vitis, then perhaps it is better for her to associate with more forgiving people.

Kurzik De’Vardis glances at the door, a small frown passing briefly across his face, gone by the time he turns back to Andrew, “The protection of our guild and its members are a high priority. Don’t mistake me on that in the slightest, I far from approve of what they have done and would seek justice if I could. I merely do not like to see a friend like her in such…discomfort.”

Andrew d’Ackerley says: I imagine she was in more discomfort while Machiavelli was trying to kill her.

Andrew d’Ackerley says: But, we pick our own allegiances. Miss de Vitis needs not explain nor excuse her choice of friends to me.

Kurzik De’Vardis nods slightly, finishing his drink and putting down the glass, “Of course. I merely meant that she seemed far more upset than I would have expected from our comments. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her, of course, so I may need to spend more time with her. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s getting late, and I find myself growing tired.” He rises from his chair, putting out his cigar and bows slightly to Andrew.

Andrew d’Ackerley politely says: Naturally. Goodnight.

Andrew d’Ackerley resumes reading his newspaper.

About Andrew d'Ackerley

Earl of Briarwyld, Skund; Knight of Ankh-Morpork; Doctor of Languages at the Assassins’ Guild; Master of Dance and Deportment at the Assassins’ Guild; Senior Lecturer in Languages at the Assassins’ Guild, House Master of Cobra House, the Assassins’ Guild.
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