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Stas Kelevra

How many yous have you been? How many, lined up inside, each killing the last.

0 · 577 views · located in RMS Titanic

a character in “"Ice-burg ahead!"”, as played by Εpιmetheus


S T A S . K E L E V R AxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxFOOLS AND CHARLATANS, THEY MIGHT GET WISE, BUT ONLY CREAM AND BASTARDS RISE_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________









L O O K I N G . G L A S S




If he was ever malnourished, he hides it well. He stands tall, slightly above six feet, but he carries himself well, giving off a greater impression of grandeur. He pulls his wide shoulders back, keeps his chin high and his back straight, and he's noted that it makes him slightly more imposing, seems to give him a couple of inches. He doesn't dress particularly well, none of those fine silks and heavy cottons of the vastly wealthy, but he keeps his fabrics fine enough that, coupled with his charm and acting ability, he can blend in just fine with the upper middle class. He owns only three very fine suits apt for fitting in with high society (all stolen or swindled in some way), and he keeps them all well cared for, dons them only for the most important of jobs. There is a natural charm to his manner, a humorous twinkle in his green eyes. He relies on it, after all, to fake his way into the upper echelons of society for a short time, whether it be with a naive girl holding onto his arm, or under the "guidance" of an older gentleman looking for a filial replacement of fulfillment, or even just a step behind a bored trophy wife looking for some enjoyment and with some time to spare. He eases his way into situations and events and hardly seems out of place. He accredits half of it to his social tact and acting skills, but he also knows his well sculpted features are just as helpful.

T H E . D E V I L ' S . D E T A I L S


Fate threw her dice and cast him a shitty lot in life. He's grown to be a the worst of the worst: a criminal and a bottom-feeder. But that doesn't mean he has to fit the stereotypical template for what his kind should be. In fact, he has a very healthy appreciation for the arts. Particularly, he's a big fan of classical studies, especially the poetry and plays of the era. He's far from fluent, but he's picked up a little Ancient Greek and Latin from the books he's stolen. If he weren't so busy trying to keep him and his sister fed and clothed, he's sure he could be a scholar of some sort. He has the intelligence for it; the mind for it. But he's not nearly rich enough for that. He can't even attend the theatre frequently at all, despite his immense love for it. And it certainly seems as though he'll remain forever separated from having the finest silks and cottons and just about all of the finer things in life.


Stas has spent his entire life, at least as far as he can remember, acting the part of just another street urchin living in the gutter. While he starved, he watched the wealthy parade the streets of London with their fine dresses and suits. And he learned to harbor a deep disdain for them. He despises those born into wealth, who have never had to work a day in their lives for all the gifts they've been granted. And he particularly hates when those people believe their luck gives them a license to look down their noses at the working class. The pompous people who populate high society can all burn. It's not just jealousy either. He's certain he hates their entire culture from what he's seen of it. All the pointless, vapid conversation, not to mention all the dreadful ballroom dancing. He can do without it just fine. Which isn't to say he's happy with his station in life either though. When the money's low and they're forced to eat the cheapest food, which is always intolerably bland. Or in the winter months, when, despite the heavy coats he's gotten for himself and his sister, their lack of a proper home with heating fails to keep the chill from settling deep in his bones. No, he's not content with where he is. And he's not sure there's a happy medium out there for him either.


`◇ TACT&CHARM ; He relies on his social graces to bring back his share of money. He's terrifically good at acting, and particularly skilled at emulating the social tact and customs of the upper classes.
`◇ SHARP AS A TACK ; He's very clever, of course. Being raised on the streets lends a natural aptitude to that; the stupid find themselves starving after all. But he also has a natural intelligence in regards to literature and classical studies.
`◇ INTUITIVE ; When your entire livelihood relies on fooling other people, you tend to pick up how to read some behavioral cues. He's particularly observant when it comes to people and their emotions and actions, especially if those people are his marks.
`◇ DOGGED ; He may be pessimistic and resigned, but he is not a quitter. When he sets his sights on an objective, he tends to accomplish it, no matter how many out-of-the-box solutions he has to come up with to do it.


`◇ SELF-SERVING ; You can tell him your secrets, and it's all very confidential, as a matter of course. That is, until spilling those secrets— carefully, tactfully— serves to benefit him. He cares about two things: himself and his family. Everyone else is replaceable.
`◇ UNTRUSTWORTHY ; Who can trust a man who lies six times before he's even eaten breakfast?
`◇ EASILY ANTAGONIZED ; Though he'd like to believe he's highly capable of retaining a cool head in the most trying of situations, the reality is he's rather hot-headed and not difficult to provoke into throwing punches.
`◇ LOST HOPE ; Once upon a time he too dreamed of climbing the social ladder and gaining some wealth of his own. He's all but given up on that pipe dream, can't imagine even trying to pull himself out of his current occupation.

Truth be told, he's not even all that sure he has a personality of his own anymore. He's spent so much of his time pretending. All that acting, the faking, the posturing. He fears it's destroyed him. In his alter personas, he's as charming as can be-- says all placating pleasantries that need to be said, does all the foolish acts the upper class ask of him. He has a good sense of humor, knows when to crack a simple joke to lighten the mood, to ingratiate himself more. In these times he is kind and caring, the perfect gentleman, always putting another's needs before his own. He is humble and honest, intelligent but never overtly so. He plays his cards close to his chest even in these acts, which, surprisingly enough, has only ever been beneficial. It gives him an added air of depth, or mystery in some cases. The more curious people are about you, he's found, the more inclined they are to keep you around. And he does what he must to be wanted for as long as he needs them to want him for. He is the perfect suitor, the perfect heir, the perfect son the man's always wanted. He plays the part, and he plays it well.
When he sheds these skins, he reveals what he's hidden beneath the surface. He has a sense of humor, sure, all dry wit and cutting remarks. He can be kind, but only in a quid pro quo sense. He is not cruel and vicious, not the way he could be, because he knows the value of having people in his debt. The only people he puts before him is his family, which thus far extends only to his sister, and he himself doesn't worry about any debts he ought to repay. He has no sense of obligation to others. He is the farthest thing from honest, clever and cunning, and never reveals his hand. Stas is man of smoldering fire, a spite in the pit of his stomach. He hates the struggle he's lived with when others have never known a day's work in their life. Simultaneously, he knows he's chosen the easy way out. He knows he could take up a job with true labor involved, and there's a shame that he buries deep within his chest for his hypocritical feelings. He knows he might have been something very different, maybe something more if he had been granted a little more luck in life. He laments this loss, and it fuels his anger, his justifications that he does only what he must to keep food in his and his sister's mouths.

M E M O I R SxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxYOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GENIUS BUT IT HELPS TO
It's only been the two of them for as long as he can remember. That's not true. There was a mother once, fickle and absent. She'd come from a country she never mentioned the name of when she was carrying his sister, she told him once, something about giving them a greater opportunity. She kept a roof over their heads, at least. But even that was short lived. He was ten when she failed to return for the night. They waited a week, then a month, and then they waited no longer because they didn't have that luxury. Out on the streets, he learned, it was eat or be eaten. And he wanted to eat. He was too young for any hard labor, and he would never subject himself to work in the factories. He needed to live, and with all his limbs intact, if he was going to care for Syllia.
He learned to pick pockets after several botched attempts (and many bruises around his wrist from all the tight grips of victims and officers). After that, he taught his sister. Two sets of quick hands and nimble fingers were better than one. They lived like that for several years, off the coins and jewelry they pulled from the pockets of the wealthy walking through crowded streets. He learned to get bold. He cleaned himself off in the river at night, bought some nice clothes and starved for a week for it. He walked up to gentlemen, introduced himself on behalf of some vague figure of authority, and pulled the watches right off their wrists. He'd bump into respectable ladies, apologize profusely, smile as if he'd been entranced, and he'd slip off their bracelets or their necklaces or anything else exposed that was of value.
It was another two years, when he was eighteen, before he realized that if his act worked for the few minutes he needed to steal jewelry, why couldn't it work for longer? He used the same tactics, but he stopped stealing after just the first meeting. It was a little delayed gratification, but the payout was much bigger.
He's been at it for six years now. He's been smart enough to never target anyone too big, has kept himself off enough radars to live easily. He's traveled for it before, of course. Can't stay in one place for too long before suspicion falls. But he's always gone back to London. He's far from wealthy, but he keeps himself and his sister clothed and well fed and put up in a cheap apartment on a seedy street. But at least it's a space. And it has running water, if not heat. He's boarded to ill-fated ship because his sister came home with a ticket one night. He secured one for himself, and he can't say he's not curious. He's looking to pull some nice watches and jewelry from the wealthier passengers, but in the long run, he's eager to have a new hunting ground.




So begins...

Stas Kelevra's Story


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Evan Tuck Character Portrait: Stas Kelevra Character Portrait: Charlotte Whittaker Character Portrait: Syllia Kelevra Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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                        Yes. That was a yes, wasn’t it? He wasn’t quite sure what he had been expected. That was the answer he’d wanted after all. Maybe a bit more hesitation? The Charlotte he knew from the past was all hesitation. He was surprised, after her, to learn how quickly other women and girls of her status fell to his charms. He had been expecting something more arduous, taxing— a longer chase. But he was warming their beds within the month. His record was just shy of three days. Quickest con he’d ever pulled with a sizeable gain. He’d treated Syl to a nice dinner that night.

                        And yet, the approval came remarkably quickly. Perhaps she was right; being at sea far from the confines of shores seemed to loosen one’s inhibitions. He certainly wasn’t going to complain. He’d seen her face fall then brighten with his invitation. He was already halfway to the end of his game. The coldness in him smiled, ignored the pang in his heart.

                        “Lovely,” he said, forcing an expression of pleased relief onto his face. His internal dialogue prompted him, reminding him like an actor reading from a script— Mr. Kensington does not have the same calculating nature as Stas Kelevra, Mr. Kensington is new money, worried he will never be enough for a woman he loves should she come from a higher status. Mr. Kensington does not read expressions like Stas Kelevra; he does not know what reply to expect before it comes, he does not plan a response tailored to what the person opposite him would like to hear. Mr. Kensington is intelligent, but not wicked and clever. Mr. Kensington is a fool.

                        He had processed the information about her room number quickly, hadn’t let it phase him. It was interesting information, but he’d always known she was very wealthy. Now he knew exactly how wealthy. Some sick part of him was curious about the proximity she might afford him to the tenants of Room 1. Who exactly was put up in there? An older man, surely, but maybe one with a deadbeat son, seeking a competent successor? Perhaps one with a much younger wife, idle and bored, seeking some enjoyment? He shook the thoughts from his mind. Pursuing two jobs at once in such close quarters was too much, even for him. And he had already decided to dedicate himself to this one.

                        “I’ll be seeing you then.” He offered one last smile, then headed off to the exit. He waved at a man and offered a quick greeting (one he was sure would wave back despite not knowing him, one who would assume they’d met and have been too embarrassed to express that he’d maybe forgotten about the young man), another subtle action meant to cement his identity and validity in Charlotte’s eyes. If he was going to do this, he was going to do it right.

                        Following that train of thought, he pondered how exactly he was going to procure a proper outfit for the night. He’d brought his best suits, of course, and nice suits they were, but ultimately, at the night of the night, they were just suits. He’d need a tux. A proper one, sleek with no wrinkles.

                        He was pleased to have the time to gather his wits. There was no acquaintance to meet, obviously, but the meeting with Charlotte had caught him off-guard, and even slightly off the ball was never a good place to be with a mark. Especially one he’d once had an emotional vulnerability to before.

                        He retired to his room (Syllia showed up some time later, and obviously in a foul mood. He avoided speaking too much to her, and only filled her in on the basics of his evening plans) where he drew up a plan of attack, both for finding himself the nice tuxedo he required and for the evening in general. Sometime around 5:30 (the perfect time for the wealthy to start milling about the bar area to chat before dinner), he changed into a simple, almost dirty, outfit. One that reflected his true status in society. He mussed his hair, found dirt to put under his fingernails and on his hands. And then he walked into a staff-only room on the ship and no one paid him a second glance. From there, he took a staff uniform off a rack, changed in the changing rooms. On the deck of the first class, he walked by a maid staff. He bumped into her, apologized profusely, offered a charming smile. While she was blushing, he slid a hand to her waist and lifted the master set of keys off of her. He wondered how long he had before she noticed. She was sweet though, and he made a mental note to return the keys if he bumped into her again so she wouldn’t find herself in too much trouble.

                        With the keys, he ducked into a suite some ways down, found a tuxedo hanging in the closet, and changed right in the room. He threw the staff uniform out the porter window. It was 6:30 by then, and he had plenty of time to wash off his hands and face and fix his hair in the borrowed bathroom before simply continuing down the hall some to the front door of the second suite. He waited the thirty seconds it took for his newly acquired watch to reach the seven mark before knocking.

                        She opened the door and Stas let his jaw slacken slightly, eyes traveling down slowly as if to take in her appearance, a smile, seemingly almost involuntary, lifting the corners of his lips as he did. He laughed when she mentioned the incident she’d had with powder, lightly but with good humor.

                        “Nonsense,” he said, tilting his head to look down at the offending marks on her dress. He paused, then looked up again to meet her eye. “I think it gives it character. You’ll be the loveliest woman there.”

                        Again, he smiled, widely this time, combined with a short huff of a breathy chuckle. “Just give it a bit of a shake if you’re worried. It’ll be hardly noticeable. People will be much too caught up in your eyes and charming conversation to give it a second glance, I can promise you.”


                        The day had been... exciting, to say the least. Still, she was more than glad to be put all of the events that had occurred far behind her. If she was going to be on the ship for much more time, she’d have to keep an eye out for the man, be sure to avoid him. With any luck, she thought, he’d forget about her in a day or two and she’d never have to worry about seeing his mug ever again.

                        Truth be told, the whole harrowing experience was terribly frightening. She’d been terribly worried he’d hand her off the ship’s guards, that they’d keep her in holding until the end of the journey, that she’d rot in prison, or, Christ, that she’d never see her brother again.

                        She had nervous tendencies, it was true. Her mind raced in dangerous situations, and even though she always managed to squash the thoughts down, push them to the back of her mind until she found a solution, they always came back to haunt her when she was clear. Case in point, her hands was shaking like mad after she ran out onto the deck. It certainly didn’t help that she saw him chase her down. She spent a good couple of minutes darting from crowd to crowd, trying to avoid his gaze. Very nerve wracking. Just terrible.

                        When she was sure she was clear, she took the fastest route down to her cabin. She was surprised to see Stas, would have figured that he’d be casing out the top deck for good marks, but the events of the morning had dampened her mood, and she didn’t question him too much, not even when he told her of his evening dining plans.

                        Sometime after Stas slipped off to do god knows what, Syllia decided some nice air was in order. Help alleviate her mind and bring her back into good spirits again. She changed into a clean pressed shirt (not as stiff and starchy as the one Stas had forced on her that morning) but kept on the pants and, of course, her newsboy cap. It was ideal for her profession— concealed her face if needed, but never looked out of place. This time, she let her hair down. No need to conceal her gender. She wasn’t trying to pass off a member of the first class; she just needed to be easily forgettable.

                        Up on the deck of the ship, she spent some time simply watching the boat stir the water, keeping an eye on the horizon and letting the wind press against her face. After some time, she sat and pulled out her deck of cards to practice her counting. But a child, impressed with the fluid motion of her shuffling, approached and looked on with wide-eyed innocence. A grin sprung to her face as she demonstrated a simple trick for him. And then another. And another. Before long, there was a small crowd gathered around her, some second-class children but mostly poorer looking kids. Her heart ached for them. She was the same once, entranced and enchanting by the small illusions of cards and coins. The false magic provided a small escape. She did her best to entertain them.

                        “Is this your card?” she asked, for the second time. The child shook his head vigorously. Syllia feigned a frown. “Hmm,” she said, lifting a hand to stroke her chin. “Well, I don’t know what’s gone wrong then. Surely, it must be around here somewhere. Can’t have just gone off and disappeared could it have?” Again, she stroked her chin as the child squinted and looked down at the deck she held in her left hand. As he looked away, she took the card she had palmed much earlier and bit the edge of it as she brushed her hand over her mouth, leaving it hanging there. The bright grin on the child’s face as he looked up and saw his missing card hanging from Syllia’s mouth was priceless. She laughed as she pulled it away, but the general joy of the atmosphere was interrupted by a voice she (sadly) recognized. She jumped up from the crate she’d sat down on, ready to bolt along with the escaping children. But the boy she’d just shown the trick to had, in his fright, clung to her leg. She quickly shooed him away as gently as possible, but by the time he’d run off, it was already too late.

                        She found herself face to face with the man from earlier, caught in his bruising grip with a very small chance of escape. She winced for the second time that day, but this time it was in pain. His fingers dug into the soft flesh of her upper arms, which, lamentably, had always bruised incredibly easily. She’d be nursing the pain there for days.

                        “Come on,” she half groaned, half whined. “You can’t just let it go, mate, can ya?” She huffed and turned her chin up to return his glare, looking him square in the eye. “I didn’t cheat you nothing. It’s called sleight of hand, yeah? You heard of that before, have you? It’s not cheating. It’s a part of the game. Which, if you’ll recall, you agreed to play.” She lifted her forearm, using the minimal space between them to take the opportunity, despite her lack of much movement capability, to poke him hard as she could in the chest. “Cheating would have been if I’d switched out the queen entirely. But I didn’t. You never said I had to make it easy for you.”