Help me, You're my only Hope.

-- 18th February - People's’ Palace - Late Morning --

Diana Montclaire sat on the bench outside the Assembly hall; her crossed leg swinging back and forth as she absently scratched Major Boogie’s head with one hand, toying with the pleats of her skirt with the other. She had rushed to the People's Palace hoping to catch one or two of the council members and plead her case, but she arrived as they were closing the doors and was not permitted to interrupt them once called to session. As she sat she grew more convinced that she’d seen, if even for a moment, Westley Corbet being escorted into the hall. He was at the top of her list of sympathetic ears, but she hadn’t expected to actually run into him.

Things were moving so quickly now that she felt delinquent in her duties just dawdling outside the hall; especially when she could imagine nothing more important than organizing an immediate expedition to the Delve and mounting a rescue for Serenity and Tate. And that meant going through the Graymire. Diana was not one of those spoiled brats who believed the poor and destitute of Dusk deserved to be taken advantage of or even encouraged to maintain the status quo. She thought they had just as much right to happiness and opportunity as did the rich, even if it wasn’t fiscally possible. So it made sense that she didn’t view the Ashen as inferior, just terribly unfortunate. It was enough to make her feel guilty for bearing the last name of Montclaire and the wealth that came with it. Though of late that wealth was not what it once was. A circumstance that her small board of directors would never let her forget, never mind it was nothing to do with her and all of Dusk was suffering the same.

This sitting and doing nothing went on for a time and Diana had just taken to pacing up and down a short stretch of the hallway when the People’s Palace doors opened and her nanny - make that her Personal Assistant - came in carrying two small rucksacks. Behind her were a handful of able bodied men, each of them loyal staff of the Montclaire family.

“You look like you’re ready for an adventure, but I have to question the readiness of a sixteen year old who needed her governess to pack for her,” Nit said good naturedly.

“You’re a personal assistant now and packing for my trip is one of those things you do. Besides, I really believed I’d make it here in time to speak with them. They’re just inside the…” Diana’s voice trailed off as she glared at the door to the in session Council meeting. How had she any hope of rescuing her family if she’d let a stupid door get in the way? She marched over to the door and squared her shoulders, grabbed both handles to heave them open.

Only they were locked.

Diana stepped back and frowned, her hand automatically going to her hip. It was a move that had often won her father over to her way of thinking in the past. The door was unmoved. Her fingers found the pouch at her waist before she even knew what they were doing. Somewhere in the back of her mind she must have intended to use it all along. She shifted the smooth, flat Elysium stone free and slipped her thumb and ring finger through the makeshift straps she’d fastened.

“Diana, this is not the way,” Nit warned her with a hand to the shoulder. “They will not trust Elysium technology. If you’re set to barge in, let the men take down the door.”

“Do it,” Diana said, stepping aside. Two of the men moved forward and braced their shoulders against the door then pushed until it flew open.

Diana strolled through with Major at her side and the soft vibration of the sonic stone humming against the palm of her hand. She was a tall young woman dressed in a slimming pleated skirt of black and a low cut, long sleeved top that looked to be wool and leather in matching black. Two more of her men flanked her sides and were quickly joined by the rest. Diana’s skin was almost pale and certainly appeared so juxtaposed by her long dark hair. Her hazel eyes were clear and wide, but innocent as she stared earnestly around the room and raised the small white disk to her mouth before speaking.

"I’ll pay for that door, and your time if need be, but it’s urgent that you hear my plea, now.” Her voice was amplified, but not painfully so. "I am Diana Montclaire, second child and first daughter to the late Benjamin Montclaire. He was killed in this very hall, before the eyes of many of you seated today. I need your help to save what’s left of my family from the Delve, an unlawful imprisonment at the hands of the Regent Bitch, Ines Valkarian.

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