Categories > Games > Soul Calibur > Ivy Valentine: The Ties That Bind

Ivy Valentine: The Ties That Bind

by BHRmasay 0 reviews

Ivy Valentine Comes home to confront a chapter of her past that wil leave her fighting for her life and Sanity

Category: Soul Calibur - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Ivy - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2008-09-14 - Updated: 2008-09-14 - 4582 words - Complete

The Ties That Bind -- A Soul Calibur tale

Author: B.H. Ramsay

Disclaimer: Characters appearing here belong to Namco

Pairings(s) NA

Spoilers: NA

Dedicated to: The Shrine of Heroes...may she endure forever

Summary: Ivy Valentine, One of the Destined Souls returns home to discover truths about her past and her Family name that will plunge her in to a desperate fight for her life and her sanity.

11:35pm London's South End.

This was not the kind of place where a women raised in high society would be found, Unless they were looking for some rough trade. Even then, they would have pursued such a quest through third parties. Fleet Street's spotters were ever vigilant for signs of corruption in the upper classes. Thus, the tall platinum blonde in the cloak striding down the street was out of place. Out of place was dangerous here.

The crew of Bender and his boys liked rough stuff. If the babe was out looking for thrills, they would be more then happy to oblige. Bender began the game yelling to the bird from across the street. She seemed to annoyed as though unaware of where she was and then focusing on the source of the voice she looked at Bender then dismissed him as noting. Bender had been living in this city long enough to know that look of contemptuous ignorance.

He was also used to getting that look from his old lady. It had only happened once but he straightened her out & taught her the way of things.

Bender's crew looked at their leader and waited for the signal. They loved to watch him all worked up over a bit of fluff like this one. He'd make lots of noise and when the bird put on her airs bender would go ballistic and take the boots to her or slap her around or some such. It would be fun this time they were sure. The crew started following the bird at distance. The game played itself out over two blocks until the bird slipped down a side street.

Bender smiled "That's a blind path mates. Missy's lost. Let's go direct her right." Maddie the biggest of them smiled evil-like. He was regularly rough with babes. He said cause they deserved it. The rest felt it was because Maddie took too many drugs and it took the lead out of his pencil. The group headed across the street and headed into the shadowy alcove. Bender walked part ways down the pathway and sure enough, there she was. She was standing calmly head cocked to one side apprising them as they approached.

"Hey Miss, you can't get out that way. Why not let me and my friends guide you out of here." Bender smiled in an oily fashion the gang laughed on cue.

"I don’t suppose you're going to try and be gentlemen." Ms. Blonde stated icily

"You want posh manners you shoulda stayed uptown " Maddie hissed

"How droll, if only you knew the truth." She sneered cruelly at the thought unfortunately Maddie was not one for subtleties and presumed the uppity wench was having him on. He advanced on her and she slid the cloak off her shoulders. It pooled at her feet. Underneath she was wearing a short jacket with a frilly shirt. Her athletic legs and the body-stocking she had on were almost hidden by the tall boots that come up to her thighs stopping just short of her waist.

"Christ sweetie, you ain't half bad on the eyes. This is going to be fun."

"For some of us at any rate." She nodded as Maddie stepped toward her. He was expecting her to shrink from his huge hands and thus he was unprepared. Her knee came up slamming into the junction between his legs he grunted and pitched forward right into the woman's oncoming fist. If he felt the cartilage in his nose shrapnel his brain, he gave no sign as he dropped to the ally floor. Bender eyes goggled at the sight of the big man falling silent. Pete and his mate Bobbie G. took Bender's silence to mean they should try to flank the rich bird who obviously had some fight training. Bobbie came fast on her side the bird snapped her fist out quickly taking Bobbie in the stomach. Pete grabbed at her arm looking to hold her. Her eyes flashed in anger just before her foot came up snapping across Pete's kneecap. The sudden pain caused him to release her arm. She reached over to Bobbie and grabbed a questing hand. He had been looking for support of some kind. The girl twisted the arm and Bender heard bones cracking and snapping like twigs. He stepped back and dug in his pocket for a flip knife he kept there. He made a single smooth motion opening the blade and began making passes through the air with it.

The woman released Bobbie's arm kicking him in the face to send him to the ground. "Put that knife away little man." She threatened coldly "You have no idea of how pathetic you look standing there."

"'Cept I got the knife, you got nothin, I'm thinking I got the edge right now."

"You want an edge I'll give you an edge." She reached behind her and Bender heard a sound of metal scraping against metal. In one practiced motion she was holding a sword with a two-foot blade that glittered with it's own light. Bender stepped back. The women stepped toward him cutting the air with a crosshatch pattern of sword swipes. Pete who had fallen against a wall of the ally pulled himself off the wall. He reached toward the woman who Cried out surprised by the sudden rear attack and jerked the sword's handle backward to strike Pete in the stomach. Bender used the distraction to lash out and cut her arm.

The woman hissed in pain and turned a cold gaze in his direction. Bender turned and darted toward the mouth of the alleyway. He heard a strange sound like metal singing. Then a chain or something that felt very like a chain wrapped itself around him jerking him to a stop and as she reeled him in spinning him around. He felt her fingers clutch at his head. He felt the chain again this time around his throat and a boot heel being driven into his back forcing him to the ground.

"What do you say when you want something from a lady." She hissed. She jerked the chain tighter pulling his head backwards.


"What was that? Please, what?"

"Please, don’t kill me."

"See, just like a real gentlemen." She then jerked the chain hard, the last sound Bender heard was the final snap of his neck, and the cold voiced woman remaking as he sunk to the ground. "…Of course a real gentlemen doesn't mind if a lady refuses his request."

It was 11:45pm. As Isabella Valentine sheathed the blade that carried her family name, she wondered how long it would take London's finest to come and clean up this trash.

She slipped her cloak back on hiding the sword from view and stepped out on to the main thoroughfare. Glancing up and down the street, she saw no police in either direction. Normal for this part of town, Jogging across the street she found an out of the way place and waited. Two Cops eventually came strolling by followed quickly by ambulance and eventually a coroners wagon to remove the two she had killed. She glanced at her watch 12am. As she had predicted it had not been fun. The toughs had provided no challenge. As workouts went it had been disappointing. She winced at the pain in her arm from Bender's lucky slash disappointing and revealing. Obviously, it had been too long since her last run in with a destined soul. She was one of the few in the world whose course guided them toward the great Sword of Destiny. She resolved that when her business here in London was complete she would embark on a training regime. She would not be caught unaware again. Had the fool in the alley been Taki, Kalik or heavens forbid even that preening over wrought zealot Sophitia she would be dead.

"And that is all the old business."

"Is there more?"

"There is always more. Big John McAllen would like to discuss a sudden manpower problem he is having."

"I can't imagine there would be any shortage of brainless thugs eager to make a name for themselves."

"I only bring it to your attention because it relates to developments in the situation you asked me to keep you informed about."

"This would be related to the arrival in London of Isabella Valentine."

"You already knew?"

"There is little that happens in London about which I don’t know."

"Of course, I apologize."

"Tell Big John that if his men want to pick a fight with someone of Ms. Valentine's credentials he had better be prepared to reap the whirlwind."

"Of course. Sir, do you think she is here to…? "

"You gave me the news that the lawyer had sent for her."

"I had no report that he had located her much less that she had arrived in London until today."

"Interesting, have our network of informers checked. The person who failed to deliver news that she was coming is to be punished most severely."

"I'll do my best."

"I assume Big John would like to express his displeasure with Ms Valentine"

"In the strongest terms possible."

"On second thought, this might prove to be an entertaining discussion."

Afternoon, Valentine Mansion

Ivy's boot heels echoed the empty hallways. The sound was maddening to her it was the sound of the loss. The house had been almost gutted to pay her fathers debts and obligations. Furniture, paintings, everything of value was gone save for the house itself and a few personal items Ivy refused on principle to give up. She rarely stayed in the house anymore. On this visit back to the city, she was staying in a hotel in town. Nevertheless, the house was hers and land it occupied was Valentine land. "Given to the family during the reign of William the Conqueror" so the family legends said. Ivy suspected that some brilliant relative had bought the land cheap from a doltish farmer then made up the story to impress the high society twits that they eventually started inviting out to the house. That was the way of things.

"To be is to be perceived." Count Leo Valentine had said that so often she had thought it should be part of the family seal. "Thus we must be seen to be correct in all things." Thus, their wealth and taste had been worn out in the open. Let others hide their power under a bush or rock. You had to lead by example and the first responsibility of leadership was the demonstration that you had wisdom and style and the fastest way to show that was with what you did or did not surround yourself.

Ivy finished her tour of the upper floor and returned to the main lobby two sets of stairs curved down to the ground floor from where she stood. At the point where they met, an elderly man fidgeted nervously. His eyes lit up at the sight of her. Something she was exceedingly used to from men but in this man, it was more his affection for her. His name was Poulson and he was the Valentine family solicitor. On retainer these last few years, he had made many of the more difficult decisions effecting the disposition of what was left of the Valentine Legacy. More importantly, he was the only link Ivy maintained to the so-called real world that she had left behind upon taking up the quest to find the Soul Edge. She remembered him as being taller then he was now. A rheumy eyed, stoop shouldered man she could scarcely imagine him arguing cases in front of a judge but then Poulson's real power lay in his mind and his ruthless passion for serving his clients. As such, she tended to ignore his wondering eye. After all, he tended like most real gentlemen, to try and not be noticed leering at her. In deference to him, she was dressed conservatively today. A long skirt hiding the boots she wore. A frilled shirt peeked out of a vest that had cost her a fortune mostly because the she had insisted on the dark colour she had seen in the ad. The unruly fringe in her hair hanging in front of her eye as usual.

She descended the stairs. The old man gazed at her and smiled "You are the very picture of your mother, child."

"Your flattery is appreciated but unnecessary Poulson, mother was rather bluntly honest before thee end. I know more or less where I come from."

"You're are a Valentine in every sense of the words. Your father demanded that I recognize that and your mother loved him even more for that. Whatever you were or whatever you become, you are a Valentine."

Ivy smiled at the old man. She wondered if he knew about her real father. "So I got your message in Singapore what was so important?"

"Do you remember a man…a friend of your father named Alex Tripcott? "

"One of fathers party circuit friends. I remember him coming to the house once or twice Mother was kind of uncomfortable around him but gracious nonetheless."

"The request that brings you back here is actually his. He had some unfinished business with your father and now he wishes to discuss the matter with you."

"One of Father's drinking buddies, If this is about a gambling debt he can go straight to hell."

"Honestly Ivy, as if I would waste your time with such a petty thing." Poulson snorted, and then his face assumed a dispassionate expression. "I wanted to meet with you before you went to see him because I wanted to explain something."

Ivy looked at the old man and sighed heavily she dropped her five-foot frame onto the stairs after helping him do the same.

"Back in the day your father was a bit of a…well, I suppose playboy would be the nicest way of putting it"

"So, father sewed some wild oats in his youth. Most people do."

"Tripcott was part of the crowd that your father ran with. Leo settled down only after you came along."

"Nice to know that my father stopped having fun and enjoying his life because of me." Ivy sneered bitterly.

"No so my dear, not so. Your father was given to having his fun even after he married. It is true he only married your mother because his father threatened to disinherit him if he didn't."

"Sounds like quite a man, my Grandfather."

"Yes he could be impossible at times. Your mother always considered you the miracle child in more ways then one. Leo's father wanted him to have an heir and resented your mother's inability in that particular area. When you literally fall into their laps, it was an answer to prayer. You're named after Leo's mother. She was a woman of rare strength of will. When you came along Leo settled into the role of a father and husband and found that he enjoyed the task. It was only after you came of age that he began questing for that cursed sword of his and …well you know the rest."

Ivy nodded. She indeed knew the rest. Leo's harmless love of old weapons and the legends and stories surrounding them had changed from hobby to obsession virtually over night.

After your father began to …obsess over the blade and its whereabouts, he contacted Tripcott. It seems that Tripcott was instrumental in furthering his knowledge. Your father made certain guarantees to Alex that Tripcott would like to collect on now. I felt it was best that you know, before you met him, about his connection to your father."

"You believe he will tell me something about my father I might not wish to know."

"I fear he will tell you something about your father he would not have wanted you to know."

"Poulson my father drove himself to insanity searching for a sword that would grant him immortality. My mother died of a broken heart thinking that she had failed him by indulging his madness. If these things can't shake my love for my father then nothing this Tripcott can say will either.

The old man nodded resolutely and painfully raised himself from the stairs. He reached into his pocket and pulled from it a slip of paper that he handed to Ivy. "Tripcott keeps a small apartment in the city he is expecting you this evening. If we could meet tomorrow morning?"

"Of course, the morning room at the Hotel. I will have the cook prepare your favorites."

The old man smiled again and then headed for the doors on the portal he paused and looked back at Ivy sadly. "He was a good man, your father. You'll remember that won't you my dear, Before the obsession took hold he was a…" Poulson looked at her "he was a good man."

Tripcott's apartment was in a fashionable section of town. The building was set back from the road and the entrance was framed by a tree-lined walkway. Her knock at the door was answered by a tall older man. Thin and balding, his blue eyes stared at her a moment then he stepped aside to let her in. she looked at the dusty hall and waited for the man to proceed her up the stairs. "You can tell your master that I am here." she prompted and watched to man head up the stairway.

"It really has been a few years hasn't it Ivy." The old man smiled and headed the rest of the way up the stairs.

She blinked realizing her mistake and then walked up the stairs into a sitting room. Though crowded with bric-a-brac the room was picture of tidy chaos each thing stored neatly and organized for easy of retrieval. The man either had or was a meticulous housekeeper. She walked into the sitting room and dropped into a chair pulled by the fire. Tripcott had aged well her inability to recognize him at first was the fault of her time away. She sniffed sweet incense in the air and the deeper acrid stench of opium coming from the pipe on the table near the fire. From the deepness of the smell, he had been indulging for much of the day. "Would you like anything in your tea Isabelle or perhaps something stronger."

"Tea is fine."

"Poulson has filled your head with tales of my wild unnatural ways I'm sure."

"He mentioned you knew my father back in the day and that you and he had gotten into trouble."

"How nice, I have always looked at that time with fondness but he is right." The old man swirled tea in a china cup. Ivy noticed him looking with longing at the liquor cabinet.

"Poulson said you wanted something." She asked him. He started at the sound of her voice as though, for a moment, he had forgotten she was in the room.

He walked over to a bookcase and pulled a thick volume from the shelves. He glanced at the cover then passed it to her. "Turn to the marked page. Tell me if you can recognize it."

Ivy paged though the huge tome. She turned to the page and startled as she saw a picture of Soul Edge. Old picture but still the same as when last she had seen the real thing in the grip of the twisted killer, Nightmare. She read the page and realized that she had seen these words and this picture before. They where inscribed in an old notebook belonging to her father.

Tripcott looked at her and nodded as realization dawned on her. "He copied a page from the book you hold in your hands."

"Where did you get it?" she asked excitedly

"From Carter Mugson, an old friend."

"Where did he get this book? Did he have others like it? Who was he to you and my father."

"We were all in school together, Carter your Father and I. we came into the orbit of a teacher named Dale Beatrix. Beatrix was a devotee of the occult and alchemy. He had other pursuits, but Leo and Carter were intrigued by Dale's belief in secret societies and the occult. Things like the Illuminati and the Freemasons. Dale and I…well we found other things to occupy our time. Eventually the three of us left school. Carter used his father's money to set up a house north of the city and he invited people he thought saw the world as he did, they began meeting there.

"This would be the partying my mother disliked?"

Tripcott shook his head. "Leo had only just married you mother then. Your grandfather was already putting pressure on her to produce an heir and doctors were already beginning to suspect that such might be impossible for her."

"If my father was such a rogue why did he settle down when I came along."

"Funny you should ask, One night Carter invited a medium to the house and let her touch an artifact that had come into his possession a fragment from a larger weapon. The medium touched it and went into a trance; well coma would be more truthful. However, before she succumbed she pointed at Leo and shouted "Immortality you desire and it shall be yours, your legacy entwined with destiny, only your name shall live. Your blood shall parish in madness." She then turned to Carter and told him "You will have a legacy too but the immortality you seek shall be taken from you if you steal it."

"Mediums and table knocking it seems far fetched." Ivy asked doubtfully

"Yes not like the completely believable idea of a pirate possessing immortality because he wielded a magic sword."

"Surely my father didn’t subscribe to this nonsense."

"Think about it my dear, your father already had a passion for ancient weapons that was how he found out about the sword. You came along when he had all but given up hope of having a child to continue his family legacy, in name if not in blood. And if you don’t mind my saying so he did parish in madness, consumed with his search for the sword."

"So what happened, how did this all end."

"Carter began to see a time when mankind would need leadership. He thought that job should go to the elite."

"In other words, people like him.

"Exactly, he began to forge alliances with those he thought would make his power greater. Increasingly I distrusted his motives. Leo had committed himself to the cause of hearth and home but I fled Carter's influence and asked Leo to help me. He did what he could and I promised him I would help him out one day. Several years later he came knocking at me door. He wanted the metal fragment that Carter had obtained. I traveled to the house and secretly made off with a small part of it. I gave it Leo.

"What did he do with it."

Alex shrugged. "I don't know. He was …driven is the nicest word I can use. I think he felt responsible for your mother's inability to have children of her own. Maybe he thought that having the sword would allow him to heal her and insure their future together."

"He never found he sword."

"Did you?"

"Yes, but I couldn't take it from the person who had it."

"Carter believed those fragments would lead him to his destiny. When I stole part of his future, he was less then pleased. He tried to get the fragment back from your father but he refused to reveal what he had done with it"

"Will Carter try and take them from me?"

"He cant you have to give it to him or he risks upsetting his destiny. I honestly believe that he tried to get your father to give him the shards. He may have gotten creative about how he persuaded but in the end he had no chose but to ask and risk being refused."

Ivy sat facing the fire. Looking into the depths of the flame, she searched for the answers to questions. What part had Mugson's own delusions played in her fathers final descent into madness and death. Had Mugson tried to force the secret of the Soul Edge from him? If so had her father told him what he knew. Her own discoveries and ultimately her ability to create the Ivy Blade she used in combat had come from her father's discoveries. She had used the shard that he had preserved as the core of her weapon. Was this the fragment for which Mugson searched so relentlessly? If so he would be disappointed, and if he tried to force her hand…. Well, others that she feared a great deal more then an old man in a musty country house had tried to force her hand. She had made them pay as she would make this man pay.

Tripcott closed the door after seeing Ivy Valentine off into the night. The intense look in her eyes told him he had done his part well. She would eventually be drawn to the manor house. "I am sorry Leo but these things have to be resolved." He said to the empty room.

He picked up the pipe and lit it again drawing the intoxicating fumes into his lungs. The opium kept the voices at bay for a few minutes. This, in the end, was all that he could hope for, and then they would be back. Screeching and chattering at him by calling him a lying sodomite, a betrayer and a faithless friend.

He walked calmly into the bathroom and turned the taps in the tub to fill it with water. Steam began to billow from the forth. He exhaled opium smoke into the steam and watched the two banks of clouds chase and mingle. For a moment, he thought he saw himself and Leo, as they had been that last time. When he had softly tried to kiss away the madness in the eyes of his beloved. "Amazing how much she looks like you Leo." He walked out into the sitting room. More liquor, then he would finish it. He saw the steam being bullied through the air by the breeze from the open window. He knew he had closed that window earlier. That’s when he saw them. They asked what he had told Ivy, he said nothing, they asked where the shard was, and he said nothing. They stripped his clothes and forced him into the tub, he said nothing. They claimed they where doing this in the name of the Order of Shadows. He snickered and said nothing. The irony, he thought as they opened his veins into the warmth of the bath water was he had just been thinking that he might chicken out of doing this very thing.
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