Generation S – Issue #088 – Flames of Rage, Fires of Life, Sparks of Hope – Publication 01.20.16

01[18:40] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel, finally proudly upright and not being under immediate threat (mostly), takes a deep breath for a moment, primarily to clear his scattered thoughts, and secondarily, to appreciate the still-breathing-ness of it all. He looks around over the motley group, geared and quite ready for war, licking his lips slowly as his studies them (he’s probably parched- he’s not looking at anyone like they might make a nice meal). He glances at the back of the truck as he pauses, making a soft sound before his gaze finally returns to Anne, the querulous but cautious look in his eyes, on top of that thoughtfully inquisitive sound, combining to ask a silent question: ‘Weren’t there more of you, before?’ He wisely does not speak such, perhaps, instead, eventually getting around to answer her question.> “Targets are a trio of mortals- uh, mostly, maybe- in possession of a clutch of Wouive eggs stolen from the perpetrator of the Parisian, uh… Incident. Current location is reported to be a tomb about three klicks north-east of here. Orders are to send them forth to the collective Death Cabal gathered in Paris currently.”
01[18:40] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel> “With an extreme amount of prejudice, I might add.”
[18:41] <@Hector`> So find the egg-nappers, stomp ’em in the nuts, and give them to the Brutesquad. Sounds straightforward.
06[18:41] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head, pinching the bridge of his nose.
[18:44] <@Damion_Cross> “That close? No point in boosting the pl– wait, THAT close??”
[18:45] <@Damion_Cross> “Knowing that someone would be looking?”
[18:47] <@Anne_Montelepre> “‘Never interrupt your enemy when he’ — or she, or whatever — ‘is making a mistake.’ Lesse…”
01[18:48] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel shakes his head a little.> “I don’t think they’re all… there. Figuratively and… maybe literally? From what I’ve observed, they seem to think the tomb is magic enough to hide them.”
06[18:50] * @Anne_Montelepre kneels down, scooting towards an empty patch of ground while removing one of her daggers from the leather strap around her thigh. Lest anyone think she’s intent on violence (yet) she begins using the blade as a stylus, to sketch a rectangle.
[18:53] <@Hector`> Isn’t it a bit early to plan an attack?
06[18:59] * @December snarls something under her breath in a feral growl that, properly translated, is essentially an encouragement to ‘fuck planning, murder them to death.”
06[19:04] * @Anne_Montelepre shrugs. “Figure some idea of what to do going in might help, if they spring a trap or something. Okay: three mortals, probably augmented…did anyone say how long those eggs’ll take to hatch?”
01[19:08] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel shrugs a little.> “No idea. I kinda got an impression of ‘not soon’, though.”
06[19:13] * @Damion_Cross nods. “All right…just these three, then. You coming with?”
06[19:14] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel looks around at them again, lowering his head.> “That’s up to your Band. It isn’t my mission.”
06[19:26] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs, rolling her dagger from her right hand to her left and back again, looking down at the box she drew…and then, again, at the white mark on her right finger, and the two still-unfamiliar rings on her right.
[19:29] <@Anne_Montelepre> “All things considered…I’d say your call. We are a bit short-handed at the moment.”
06[19:29] * @Anne_Montelepre looks towards the others.
01[19:40] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel does the same.>
[20:05] <@Hector`> I say that Gabriel comes with. If he is leading us into a trap, I want him there so I can beat his ass. And if he isn’t, he’ll be damned handy on the front line.
06[20:05] * @Shinjiro-kun takes a quick headcount, grimacing. “It seems that all that we are is a front line, at this point. Mr. Cross can be Anne-chan’s meat shield.”
01[20:09] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel keeps his head down, murmuring softly,> “I owe her that at the very least.”
[20:24] <@Damion_Cross> “…Like I get a vote. I’d say he comes with…if only so I can get pointers out of him if he IS snowing us.”
06[20:46] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head, placing one hand atop his. “No. If anything, I owe you an apology: I, however indirectly, accused you of being involved in the explosion, before I had all the facts in hand.”
06[20:48] * @Anne_Montelepre lets her eyes give one message, long deferred, that she could only leave unsaid… even as the hand she placed on his — her left — said another.
[20:50] <@Shinjiro-kun> If I may be blunt… our quarry is growing ever-closer to eluding us.
06[20:52] * @Damion_Cross motions towards Shinjiro. “Yeah, what Blunt-Tip here said.”
[20:52] <@Damion_Cross> “Brave of your to admit that, by the way.”
[20:54] <@Shinjiro-kun> Even a blunt sword can cut if it is swung hard enough, Mr. Cross. Shall I demonstrate?
01[20:54] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel blinks a bit rapidly- the rising sun clearly in his eyes, fer’realsies- looking at her, and then down at her hand. He rocks back a little, literally, onto his heels, but he rolls with it simply enough, turning it into an easy roll backward and step away, after a gentle pat of her hand. His nod is sincere, his laugh a little forced, as he settles his cloak a bit and turns, setting off in a north-easterly direction, shaking his head in a bemused fashion.> “You know, I owe your pa something like a thousand Euros now.”
[20:57] <@Hector`> Well, let’s hurry up and collect your 1,955 Deutschmarks and your 88 Pfennigs, too.
[21:06] <@Damion_Cross> “…Let’s not go whipping it out in public, now, Shinjiro-san.”
06[21:17] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head, exhaling a soft laugh. “I will never understand the Western predilection for phallic humor.”
[17:13] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Pity in hindsight we didn’t bring Michael along: he’d have wanted to see this.”
[17:14] <@Hector`> Hindsight’s always 20/20.
[17:14] <@Hector`> ‘sides, poor guy’s suffered enough. He deserves a breather.
06[17:16] * @December watches Gabriel turn and muster out, twitching faintly. Her tails lash at the air powerfully enough to rustle the grass around her, her ears twitching and swiveling this way and that. She does look like she’s trying to back down, but having a very bad time with it.
06[17:17] * @Wraxian is still hidden somewhere presumably at the back of the AWV.
06[17:18] * @Hector` pivots, turning to curl an arm around December’s waist. “C’mon. We’ve got work to do.”
[17:19] <@Damion_Cross> “Well, Maeve has my GoPro — don’t ask why — but I’m sure we could record this on phones.”
01[17:19] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel’s brows draw for a moment, before realization dawns and he turns his face away, pulling his hood up to hide himself from sight again, becoming not more than a shimmer still moving steadily forward. His voice lingers on the wind, wistful, angry, vengeful, simply repeating over and over to himself.> “Michael. Michael. Michael.”
06[17:25] * @Anne_Montelepre hears the name….and the distance at which it was uttered. Not wanting to shout for him (lest their targets hear it and realize what was coming) she instead sprints forward, attempting to catch up with Gabriel.
06[17:29] * @December stares in the direction Gabriel disappeared, her golden eyes tracking his motions with ease. The look on her face answers for her: The work she wants to do starts with shedding a great deal of blood before they even catch up with the mortals.
01[17:32] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel isn’t moving particularly fast, but he is moving steadily. He’s not being particularly stealthy at the moment, either.>
06[17:37] * @Anne_Montelepre grabs him by the shoulders to stop him.
[17:38] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…You knew him, then?”
01[17:43] <@Storyteller> <He stops, the vague shimmer in the air seeming to become nothing but open air at all as he stills.> “… no. Never got the chance.” <He pauses, and there is an old, familiar bitterness in his voice.> “His own sire probably didn’t even know his name.”
06[17:43] * @Hector` pulls December’s gaze to his face. “Hey. Let’s focus on the innocent lives first, OK?”
06[17:46] * @December shudders, her eyes shifting to focus on Hector’s as if drawing her back from a long, long ways away. Finally, her lids cut her gaze off from his, and she leans in towards him, her breathing ragged as she steps more significantly back from an edge of horribly broken insanity.>
06[17:51] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs. “…No, probably not. But…as much as I wanted to curse him for being a manwhore…godwhore….ehh, you get the idea — I got the idea that he wants to make this right. Or try to, at least.”
[17:52] <@Anne_Montelepre> “He’s your father, so I can’t tell you how to feel about it…but maybe we can cut him a bit of slack?”
[17:53] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Or at lease, not advertise to the entire World that we’re coming?”
01[17:55] <@Storyteller> <He snorts softly, shaking his head so that the air there shimmers again.> “You really have changed, Montelepre. Never thought I’d hear you defend Him of all of them.”
06[17:55] * @Damion_Cross shrugs, before following his own suggestion and putting his phone into the front suit of his pocket, camera lens exposed and recording.
06[17:58] * @Anne_Montelepre doesn’t blink. “They don’t see it the same way we do, Gabe. Most of them can’t. He’s at least trying to. After everything I’ve seen, that counts for something.”
06[17:58] * @Shinjiro-kun just begins retreating back to the group’s conveyance, shifting his equipment back to his negotiator’s suit for comfort’s sake.
06[18:02] * @Wraxian hovers just inside of the back gate of the AWV, silent and nearly as unnoticeable as a ghost.
06[18:05] * @Shinjiro-kun is bad at noticing ghosts, but not pale anachronistic girls. “We seem to be taking Gabriel with us, Wraxian.”
01[18:08] <@Storyteller> “Counts for something?” <Gabriel’s anger simmers just behind his invisible cloak, his voice strained. Anne probably doesn’t have to work hard to work out that the direness and intense danger of his currently chosen ‘profession’ means he doesn’t have a whole lot of opportunity to vent nor speak his mind, let alone anyone to trust such with, and he is suddenly having a hard time restraining himself now that matters have been broached and he isn’t in (immediate) fear for his continued breathing.> “How much does it count to visit – let alone meet for the first time– your offspring after what you are- and caused them to be- got them killed?”
06[18:12] * @Wraxian nods gently, tapping at her PLD for a moment before turning her wrist so that he can see the text typed out on the screen, in plain, blocky lettering, as emotionless and forgettable as she is. “Will you be bringing me as well, Dojima Shinjiro?” Oddly enough, his name is written in kanji, rather than English or Romaji.
06[18:16] * @Shinjiro-kun gives Wraxian a sharp nod. “Leaving you behind is out of the question.”
06[18:17] * @Anne_Montelepre is silent for a moment.
[18:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…I think he was trying to do him a favor, after–”
06[18:18] * @Anne_Montelepre pauses again, thinking.
06[18:20] * @Wraxian just looks at Shinjiro, her eyes blinking slowly from behind her partially open goggle lenses, her face blank and arctic, as if someone who should have mattered to her hadn’t just done exactly that. She types again. “If you insist, Dojima Shinjiro.”
[18:22] <@Anne_Montelepre> “After you and I parted — but before the World ‘turned upside down’, as you put it — I had the chance to confront your father regarding how he handled…..well, you. Given the time between that, when Michael suggested he was ‘found’ and the explosion….I suspect that he let him alone, in the hopes Fate might, as well.”
06[18:25] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s eyes go to her feet. “Obviously, it didn’t work. And for what it’s worth, I never thought I’d defend him — hell, part of me wants to stomp his junk into chum, even now — but I saw his eyes, when he realized what happened to Michael.”
[18:27] <@Shinjiro-kun> I most certainly do.
01[18:29] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel’s voice is low, subdued, but no less gently accusatory for the change in tone.> “How old did he seem to you, Montelepre?”
06[18:29] * @December wraps her arms around Hector and holds on for dear life.
06[18:31] * @Hector` hugs December tightly, letting her work out whatever she needs to work out.
06[18:32] * @Wraxian vaults the back gate in a single, easy move, landing beside Shinjiro in nearly complete silence, in a low crouch. She stands again, slowly, looking around and inhaling deeply, looking about as if she expects a large, antlered Hunter to step out of nowhere and end things there and then.
[18:33] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Old enough to have a family — and thus even more reason to leave him the hell alone.”
[18:35] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Never got a precise timeline on how the war with the Titans started… but I suspect Michael’s family started before then. He looks – looked — middle-aged.”
06[18:35] * @Shinjiro-kun has his hand on his pen, as if he expects the same thing.
06[18:37] * @Damion_Cross clears his throat. “Hey, we moving or what? My SD Card’s only so big, here….”
[18:38] <@Hector`> You’re not hooked into the Godrealm network? Infinite wi-fi.
01[18:40] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel just makes a faintly disgusted sound, acknowledging her statements without agreeing with them. He changes the subject, looking back at her (rather scattered and discombobulated) teammates as they gather, with a long pause given to Wraxian’s appearance alongside Shinjiro. His words are softly incredulous, teasing more than serious.> “This is the Band that set the Worlds on their collective ears? No offense, Montelepre, but… they kinda look like they’re….” <He trails off, not finishing that statement, audibly at least.>
[18:40] <@Damion_Cross> “Think I missed too many Fetes Gedhe for that. Dad’s probably wondering if I’m dead or something. Stupid Persephone…”
06[18:42] * @Wraxian exhales slowly, moving forwards at last, in the wake of the others, as nobody leaps out of the sky, ground, grass or stone in order to behead her. Yet.
06[18:44] * @Shinjiro-kun finishes Gabriel’s thought. “Dangerous enough to not piss off? Yeah, pretty much. Also, it should be clear by now that we were set up.”
[18:45] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Plus we’re down four and up….. that.”
06[18:45] * @Anne_Montelepre gestures distastefully towards Damion.
[18:48] <@Damion_Cross> “…Your flattery will get you nowhere, Montelepre!”
01[18:53] <@Storyteller> “Down… four?” <He turns, preparing to get moving again, but there is an odd note in his voice.>
[18:57] <@Shinjiro-kun> We used to be a much bigger group. We’re down to the… well, I hesitate to call us elite.
06[18:57] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head–firmly, apparently taking her turn to avoid his eyes. “Like I said when all this started: wrong day.”
01[19:02] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel makes a soft, “Hm,” sound, saying nothing more, but shrugging out from beneath Anne’s hand, presuming it was still there, and heading off towards their goal once again.>
06[19:04] * @December exhales, sliding her hand down Hector’s stone arm before slipping her hand into his as she turns to trot after the enemy.
[19:09] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Quietly, Gabe.”
06[19:11] * Hector` trots along with December, in a somewhat bizarre display.
01[19:13] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel rolls his eyes, but he’s invisible, so nobody sees it. He is moving as quietly as any of the rest of them are…. but not as silent as Wraxian.>
06[19:15] * @Wraxian Speaking of Wraxian, she has fallen to all fours, as usual, loping along with a feral grace and awkwardness of limbs that looks horrendously unnatural on a human being.
06[19:15] * @Damion_Cross continues along, invisible as he wants to be in any given situation.
06[19:20] * @Anne_Montelepre huffs quietly in satisfaction, pulling the battered 1/3rd of an Eagle staff (with roughly 1/2 of an Eagle atop it), and very softly, almost inaudibly, whistles “Le Boudin.” ((2L for a Mounted Summon, please.))
[19:22] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((https://youtu.be/qyoLv_HVFJE))
01[19:27] <@Storyteller> <Around Anne five mounted soldiers spring forth from the grass and dirt, silent and somber, their eyes flickering around quickly, landing on Gabriel, before falling to Anne.> “Commandant?”
06[19:32] * @Anne_Montelepre says nothing — verbally, that is, instead making a sweeping motion in front of her with her splayed hand, pointing straight ahead, then (in a probably redundant-at-that-point step) putting a finger to her lips.
06[19:39] * Hector` just kind of watches Anne, not sure what she’s trying to accomplish yet.
01[19:41] <@Storyteller> <They nod succinctly, kicking their mounts to a trot in silence, leaving them behind quickly as they spread out before them.>
06[19:46] * @Anne_Montelepre turns back towards the others.
[19:46] <Shinjiro-kun> Do we intend to sit and wait for the scouting report, then?
[19:47] <@Anne_Montelepre> *Sotto voce* “No. They push on before us. Mundane ambush or trap, they’ll see it first and warn us.”
[19:48] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Supernatural one….better someone who can’t die (again) than one of us who can, non?”
[19:50] <@Hector`> Poor guys. All right then, let’s get a move on.
06[19:53] * @December nods.
06[20:02] * @Damion_Cross continues forward in (unusual for him) silence, pausing only to undo the bottom button if his Suit.
01[20:19] <@Storyteller> <Moving forward as a silent, very oddly mismatched coterie behind the quintet of ghost soldiers, it doesn’t take them very long to cross the rolling hills until the horizon is soon dotted by what might once have been a regal tomb fit to house nobility, but now is little but a crumbling, forgotten ruin, mostly overwhelmed with local flora. The soldiers, still spread out, have halted, spreading a loose perimeter, one of them waiting on the side closest to the path the Band is likely to follow.>
06[20:21] * Shinjiro-kun continues to keep a hand on his pen as he quietly creeps about, eyes darting fore and aft to search for signs that anyone has detected their presence.
06[20:36] * @Anne_Montelepre turns towards the Immortal waiting for them (presumably their de facto leader, The Spendthrift.)
01[18:01] <@Storyteller> <The Spendthrift eyes Gabriel (or where Gabriel is, cause he is probably still in stealth mode) with a dark frown, eyes narrowed for a moment before returning his attentions to Anne.> “Mademoiselle Montelepre. All of us report… uh. Well. Not much, really….” <He looks somewhat embarrassed with the lackluster report, but moreso than anything, he looks terribly confused.>
06[18:07] * @Anne_Montelepre nods, then turns towards Hector. “Well, I suppose there’s a chance that they ARE, in fact, that stupid…”
[18:10] <@Damion_Cross> “That, or their security’s closer in.”
[18:11] <@Hector`> Never interrupt your opponent when he’s being a fuckwit.
06[18:14] * @Anne_Montelepre snickers, apparently recognizing the quote.
[18:15] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Which reminds me…”
[18:15] <@Shinjiro-kun> That reminds you of something?!
06[18:17] * @Anne_Montelepre nods.
[18:19] <@Hector`> Don’t act so surprised.
[18:21] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Had I known we were going straight from the meeting to the fight, I’d have donned battledress instead of this.” She indicates the t-shirt and shorts she’s wearing. “And since this meeting’s awkward enough without my stripping in front of certain people–”
06[18:24] * @Wraxian stalks slowly around the back of the group, until she is peering around Shinjiro’s hip, staring down blankly upon the depression in the land and the crumbling ruin therein.
06[18:24] * @Anne_Montelepre indicates Gabriel with a toss of her head….just before a perhaps familiar image (for those veterans of Wraxian’s Trial, anyway) superimposes itself over hers, full-sized flag, half-beared bosom and all.
06[18:27] * @Shinjiro-kun looks down at Wraxian, mostly to avoid staring at Anne.
[18:28] <@Anne_Montelepre> “….It seems I’ll have to ‘borrow’ her appearance again. Hopefully she’ll forgive it: it seems that people’ve forgotten just who and what they’re provoking.” ((1L, Warrior Ideal (Porte-Etendard who looks suspiciously like Marianne again))
06[18:31] * @Hector` cracks one of his stone knuckles. “Cool. Let’s whoop some ass.”
06[18:32] * @Wraxian draws in a sharp breath, staring at Anne openly for a moment before looking quickly away.
[18:43] * @Damion_Cross looks over at Anne for a moment, before visibly making the choice not to ask any questions, instead he shrugs, reaches beneath his jacket and comes out with one of his pistols. “If we’re ready? Still not used to wading in with you guys yet…”
06[18:45] * @Anne_Montelepre turns to the Spendthrift again. “Hold for my signal.” Then, to Hector and the others: “If we’re ready?”
06[18:46] * @December does some staring of her own, shaking off a shudder as she looks away, herself.
[18:48] * @Wraxian types quickly and holds her phone’s face towards the young man in the Goddess aspect. “What is the intended strategy, Anne Montelepre?”
[18:53] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Improvisation, I suppose. No way to tell who we’re facing….or what abilities they might’ve co-opted. So we don’t give them a chance to show us. Shock and Awe.”
06[18:57] * @Wraxian exhales, shrugging with one shoulder as her goggled features turn back towards the silent ruins.
06[19:08] * @Shinjiro-kun just shakes his head and readies his blade and armor.
01[19:08] <@Storyteller> <The Spendthrift looks somewhat skeptically at Anne as well, raising a brow in silent question.>
[19:11] <@Hector`> Right, let’s Deadpool it up. Breakdancing optional.
[19:12] <@Damion_Cross> “I can Like-and-Subscribe-To that.”
[19:14] <@Anne_Montelepre> “….Seriously?? You advanced in ranks against muskets and cannon and THIS is giving you pause?”
[19:15] <@Hector`> To be fair, the safest place to stand against a musket is directly in front of it.
01[19:17] <@Storyteller> <The Spendthrift shakes his head slightly, bemused, not commenting at this juncture, lifting a hand and making a series of gestures as he stands at attention at Anne’s side.>
06[19:24] * @Anne_Montelepre turns to Hector and shrugs. “Right, I guess let’s go get ’em.”
[19:27] <@Hector`> Sweet.
06[19:27] * @Hector` winds up his fist and hurls himself into the unknown!
01[19:31] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ uh. }}•’`
01[19:31] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ roll.. }}•’`
01[19:32] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ uhh.. }}•’`
01[19:32] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ str+ath? }}•’`
[19:32] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Everyone, or…?))
01[19:32] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ Hector, unless we need to start by rolling JB }}•’`
[19:39] <@Hector`> (On it!)
[19:40] <@Hector`> !roll 9 11
[19:40] <+Zer0> , 8 , 5 , 1 , 4 , 10 , 8 , 7 , 10 , 5
[19:40] <+Zer0> Hector` Successes: 18
01[19:43] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ Geesus. roll… unarmed damage please }}•’`
[19:46] <@Hector`> (With any bonus from overflow successes?)
[19:47] <@Hector`> (And is it light or heavy?)
01[19:47] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ With his stone arm? Heavy? }}•’`
01[19:48] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ Plus 15 bonus overflow… }}•’`
[19:48] <@Hector`> !roll 25 11
[19:48] <+Zer0> , 6 , 6 , 7 , 3 , 1 , 6 , 8 , 3 , 9 , 5 , 4 , 10 , 8 , 3 , 5 , 2 , 4 , 9 , 1 , 2 , 7 , 7 , 9 , 8 , 1
[19:48] <+Zer0> Hector` Successes: 22
[19:49] <@Hector`> (22L.)
01[19:49] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ <shaking head> }}•’`
01[19:56] <@Storyteller> <Hector might vaguely notice a couple of very mortal countermeasures as he simply Thor-flies himself across the space between himself and his target (a handful of improvised caltrops, some MacGuyver’d tin cans on a bit of barbed wire, nothing that anyone sane would have noted as actual defenses), but then he stops abruptly, as his stone fist meets the outer wall of the memorial to some Frenchman who probably did nothing to deserve this – as the upper portion of the tomb all but vaporizes, collapsing in on itself in a pile of rocks, and eliciting a pair of very, very startled and panicked cries of fear- and pain.>
06[19:58] * @Anne_Montelepre starts, even as she moves forward, motioning her Immortals to follow — and quickly. “What the–”
06[19:58] * @Hector` unleashes two words in a mighty bellow from his ever-full lungs: “OH YEAH!!!”
06[19:59] * @Shinjiro-kun follows behind Anne, looking equal parts determined and aghast.
06[20:00] * @Damion_Cross follows, hanging back slightly (per his combat style) but no less eager. “What is it?? Team Rocket? The Washington Generals? The Detroit Lions??”
01[20:00] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel – thankfully hidden from sight – gapes in utter horror and amazement.>
06[20:02] * @December gives a cheery whoop, then looks around self consciously as if waiting to be struck by lightning at the gall of it all.
[20:17] <@Anne_Montelepre> *after a split-second’s thought* “Identify yourselves, or be damned!!”
[20:23] <@Storyteller> <Muffled screams mix with hushed, hasty French.> “Oh please help us, the walls have caved in! It’s… it’s crushed him! (The eggs, the eggs, are they safe?) Hello?! Help me please! Can you hear me, is anyone there? (Who is it? Do you have any ammunition left?)”
06[20:25] * @Anne_Montelepre — before she can even think about what, exactly, she’s doing, races forward and starts to dig with her bare hands.
06[20:26] * @Hector` furrows his brow and starts digging out the mess that he’s made.
06[20:28] * @Damion_Cross , instinctively, decides it’s an excellent time to hang back a bit, derringers in hand.
[20:30] <@Anne_Montelepre> *in French, to the only ones would understand it* “By ranks! LOAD!”
06[20:32] * @Shinjiro-kun begins his advance, a bit more measured than Hector’s wild charge.
[20:43] <@Storyteller> <Now surrounding the extra-ruined ruins in a tight perimeter, the quintet of spectral cavalrymen nod in silence, loading and cocking their firearms, training them on the… pile of rocks.>
01[20:50] <@Storyteller> <The voices inside falter, but continue to fluctuate in the oddest manner, going on in French.> “Help, please help! (Do you think they’re bringing heavy machinery?) Be careful! The space is small! (More of the blessed to play with, do you think? Do we have any left?) I’m down here, can you hear me?”
06[20:52] * @Anne_Montelepre continues digging….as best she can with one hand, the other raised, ready to give the fire order…
[20:52] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Should we roll anything?))
[20:53] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ roll for initiative! }}•’`
[20:54] <@Hector`> !roll 9 4
[20:54] <+Zer0> , 5 , 2 , 6 , 3 , 1 , 7 , 2 , 1 , 10
[20:54] <+Zer0> Hector` Successes: 7
[20:55] <@Shinjiro-kun> !roll 10 4
[20:55] <+Zer0> , 10 , 10 , 3 , 1 , 3 , 2 , 4 , 9 , 8 , 7
[20:55] <+Zer0> Shinjiro-kun Successes: 11
[20:55] <@Damion_Cross> !roll 8 7
[20:55] <+Zer0> , 4 , 9 , 7 , 4 , 2 , 7 , 9 , 6
[20:55] <+Zer0> Damion_Cross Successes: 11
[20:55] <@Shinjiro-kun> (My Join Battle listing is out of date, it should be 10 11. So I got 18.)
[20:56] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((OG, please))
[20:58] <@Storyteller> `’•{{ anyone else jumping in to start? }}•’`
[21:03] <@Shinjiro-kun> (I’m specifically not using Opening Gambit.)
[21:05] <@Hector`> (I’m all-in as it is!)
[21:12] <@Storyteller> <Anne and Hector finally pull away enough rocks to reveal what must have been a passage into the depths of the tomb, creating an air pocket where the thieves were apparently making themselves scarce; Anne has first crack at them, for all that that is worth; one of them, a woman, is buried and bloodied almost fully under the rocks, and any study would indicated she was probably already dead before the cave in, leaving a man with a grafted in Crododilic-half of his face, one eye golden, pupil slit and wild, the other, human-esque, completely batshit insane, leveling a heavy pistol upwards towards Anne and company, for all the good it will do him, even with one hand looking like a grafted reptilian paw, no mortal speed could ever hope to compete with a gaggle of riled scions … and thusly he is completely at Anne’s mercy to react and respond to, first.>
06[21:18] * @Anne_Montelepre immediately reaches down for the half-crocodilian man, having to remember an earlier statement of hers about ‘taking someone alive’ as she realizes the pistol is coming online with her head, attempting to knock the weapon aside with one hand while reaching for his throat with the other, attempting to choke him out.
[21:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Clinch))
[21:24] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Forgoing Crushing Grip to start))
[21:25] <@Anne_Montelepre> !roll 10 11
[21:25] <+Zer0> , 10 , 6 , 7 , 3 , 5 , 9 , 3 , 6 , 7 , 5
[21:25] <+Zer0> Anne_Montelepre Successes: 16
01[21:29] <@Storyteller> <The Croco-man gets a brief flash of a heartbeat in order to register the vengeful Francois goddess descending upon him, disarming him with humbling ease, his eyes falling to Hector- and Hector’s arm- the human eye blazing with curious insanity , but whatever fractured gibberish it might have spouted is lost as Anne chokes him out with one hand, twitching faintly just enough to put his continual alive-ness into doubt.>
06[21:32] * @Anne_Montelepre pushes herself back up to her feet, turning her head to one side and spitting. “Bienvenue.”
06[21:43] * @Shinjiro-kun continues his armored approach, eyeing up the unconscious chimera on the ground. “That looks grisly.”
06[21:45] * @Wraxian cants her head slightly, still stalking along somewhere behind Shinjiro. She interjects, with all her usual helpfulness, the screen of her PLD partially illuminating her features and the gloom as she turns it to be read.  “No, Dojima Shinjiro. I believe it was Crocodylus niloticus.”
06[21:46] * @Damion_Cross snorts.
[21:47] <@Shinjiro-kun> It appears to be stitched crudely to the limb… and to the face. That had to be agonizing.
[21:47] <@Hector`> Weren’t there more voices? Aren’t they getting away?
[21:48] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Shit…. THE EGGS! FIND THE EGGS!!”
06[21:49] * @Anne_Montelepre starts digging again, just as frantically as before.
06[21:52] * @Hector` attempts to clear the rest of the rubble.
01[21:54] <@Storyteller> <Hector would be right – there were more voices, right? but there is no other sign of life – though as Anne clears more rubble (whether she buries the already-deceased female or not is up to her aim and concern), she quickly clears enough to re-open the passage into the tomb itself – in the center of the small, musty and underground space, a small fire struggles for life- and air- burning a little brighter as Anne and Hector tunnel through- nestled in the embers of the previously almost burnt-out campfire are four large, watermelon sized ovoids that could only be described as eggs.>
[21:59] <@Hector`> Um… Wraxian, can you do anything with these?
[22:03] <@Anne_Montelepre> “They’re not crushed, at least–!”
06[22:03] * @Wraxian threads into the underground space, her head darting this way and that, but moving with all the lithe grace of a feline, she looks at Hector, nodding a little, before glancing to Anne, as if to gauge her general level of freak out as she extends a hand into the fire.
06[22:05] * @Anne_Montelepre catches herself, her initial instincts giving way to the knowledge that Wraxian wouldn’t burn herself without a cause (probably).
06[22:10] * @Wraxian Hector perhaps knows (or remembers) something that is only at the edges of Anne’s recollections at current, as the young woman leans into the flames, her dark hair dancing in long, shadowy wisps as she gently breathes onto the eggs. Whether imagined or not, her breath almost seems to become and come out as flame itself, as the fire picks up happily, even as she last of its fuel seems to crumble away, yet, the campfire roars to cheery and vibrant life before her. (Fire Immunity/Bolster Fire)
[22:16] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Ah–Wraxian–!!”
06[22:17] * @Anne_Montelepre can see plainly enough that her enigmatic ward isn’t being consumed…..but it does not stop her from trying to push her out of reach of the flames.
[22:19] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Leave her be! I asked for this. Not her!! LEAVE HER BE!!!”
[22:21] <@Hector`> Anne! Calm your tit! She’s not burning!
06[22:25] * @Wraxian stills, turning towards Anne slightly, her features cast in silhouette, her head canted bird-like to the side. She seemed unbothered, though if anything, perhaps, confused by Anne’s response, as she gently runs her hands along the shells of the over-sized, presumably nearly molten, eggs.
[22:27] * @Wraxian ‘s lips move, though she emits no sound, her hands currently otherwise occupied, her words are nevertheless plainly clear. ‘…Anne… Montelepre…?’
06[22:38] * @Anne_Montelepre — still wearing the aspect of the avatar of Revolution, half-mad with rage and grief and disgust, her top having fallen aside entirely in the franticness of her attempt to stop Wraxian — slowly registers with her eyes what the words shouted in her direction have been saying: her ward, whom she however hastily, foolishly took for her own, wasn’t being consumed by the flames, even as they scorched Anne herself by the nearness of her approach. Finally she draws back, her hands in front of her, her left pressing her right to the ground to stop herself from interfering further, a whimper of defeat escaping her lips in spite of herself as she allows her, she who had had so much stripped from her, give still more.
06[17:26] * @Shinjiro-kun simply eyes the eggs, then Wraxian, before kneeling down to place a comforting arm around Anne’s shoulders.
01[17:28] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel, who has remained invisible for quite some time, lowers his hood and returns to visibility as he stands in the tunnel beneath the earth, presumably out of sight of any supposedly prying eyes. He looks somewhat flummoxed by the scene playing out before him, especially in regards to Anne’s reaction to Wraxian. His eyes are questioning, but for the moment, he seems wise enough to keep them to himself.>
06[17:35] * @Damion_Cross carefully moves up, shielding his eyes (and low-light vision) against Wraxian’s bolstered campfire as he scans the tiny space.
06[17:36] * @Hector` glances back to Gabriel. “Yeah, shit gets real out in the field.”
[17:39] <@Damion_Cross> “O….k, let’s see what we’re seeing here. Our ‘friends’ here move the eggs out before the explosion, go to ground here, start incubating, then….?”
01[17:39] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel mutters under his breath,> “…I’m familiar.”
01[17:43] <@Storyteller> <Because no Storyteller can resist being handed a straight line, a voice from the far end of the tunnel (where no one is presumably left, other than maybe December, rolls across with with soft thunder,> “….then, you bring them to me.”
06[17:44] * @Anne_Montelepre straightens slightly, apparently convinced Wraxian was in no immediate danger (more than usual, at least)…just in time for that new voice.
06[17:47] * @Anne_Montelepre tries to peer into the gloom, even as she palms one of her knives.
06[17:48] * @Hector` makes a dramatic turnaround, Batman-style, like he can’t turn his head. “That depends on the you.”
01[17:48] <@Storyteller> <No one appears to be actually IN the tunnel, other than the Band, and two bodies, one deceased, and one unconscious.>
01[17:51] <@Storyteller> <And Gabriel, of course.>
06[18:03] * @Anne_Montelepre silently turns back towards the entrance, twirling the dagger in her hand.
[18:03] <@Hector`> What’cha think, Annie? Psychic projection, or just a really good set of pipes?
06[18:06] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head, motioning towards the crocodile-snouted man that she smothered on the way in.
[18:07] <@Anne_Montelepre> *Quietly* “Someone keep an eye on him, And secure his gun.”
06[18:07] * @Anne_Montelepre starts back towards the entrance, trying to move quietly.
06[18:13] * @Wraxian seems apparently unbothered, still fostering the tongues of the bonfire engulfing the now softly glowing watermelon-sized eggs, occasionally blowing forth fire, though whether this is on purpose seems somewhat questionable.
06[18:18] * @Anne_Montelepre continues back the way they came, still looking towards the entrance.
[18:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> “The man asked you a question, Monsieur…?”
01[18:30] <@Storyteller> <The woman who stands at the tunnel’s mouth is a towering seven feet tall that even in a mortal, would be strikingly unusual, but her accompanying beauty would place her as something beyond human even if her height did not. Her eyes burn somewhat literally, miniature furnaces living inside her eye sockets where a proper iris and sclera should be. There is something old-world regal about her, though her ethnicity is questionable, her skin in the low light seeming to glow true golden rather than olive or any other Mediterranean complexion ought to be. Her hair is swept back and to the side in an odd style that seems a strange combination of old Hollywood glamour, as greenish-black waves cascade over her shoulder on one side, and modern punk, the left side of her head seeming completely shaven, a stark line from her temple back, the same golden hue of her features highlighted further by what might be some sort of odd tattoo, a perfect imitation (if it is such…) of over-sized reptilian scaling, covering her exposed scalp. Her clothing is a simple red outfit that flows around her like the flame Wraxian tends, a buttoned, sleeveless vest covering her chest broken by a wide belt over wide-legged silken pants of some sort. She is barefoot, and looks like she is struggling with her patience, while trying to maintain some level of politeness.> “Madame is more apropos, I believe.”
06[18:36] * @Anne_Montelepre nods her head, bowing fractionally, never taking her eyes off the massive woman. She likewise keeps her voice polite, if cool. “Noted.”
06[18:40] * @Damion_Cross approaches the fallen crocodile-man, first picking up the pistol he dropped, then using it to cover him while he begins to search the semihuman (?) for belongings.
01[18:42] <@Storyteller> <She exhales slowly, and, like Wraxian, perhaps, the wisps of her breath on the air flicker with embers and curling tendrils of smoke. Her eyes bore into Anne’s, haughty and demanding, but it seems perhaps that is just how she is, and not any directed superiority.> “Do you know who I am, little warrioress?”
06[18:42] * @Hector` eyes the gargantuan woman, eyes flicking up and down her form, noting the “tattoo” and the red outfit. “Madame Vouivre, to be precise.”
01[18:44] <@Storyteller> <Damion finds a number of weird tools probably intended for more horrific experiments, a few provisions, all of it arranged upon him hastily, clearly having grabbed what he felt was most important, and run before the destruction at the warehouse.>
01[18:46] <@Storyteller> <Her eyes flicker (literally) to Hector, her lips, the color of char and ash, quirking faintly, though it is difficult to tell whether it is from annoyance or amusement.> “Be careful what you call, child. I am not the only thing that answers to that name.”
06[18:49] * @Anne_Montelepre relaxes slightly, returning her weapon to its hiding place and dispelling her ‘borrowed’ aspect; somehow she suspected neither would yield much of a result were the being before them hostile.
[18:52] <@Anne_Montelepre> “I need to apologize, err, Madame. There was someone who wished to see you; had I realized we were en route to our quarry, I’d have asked him along.”
06[18:53] * @Hector` declines to comment on how accurate the woman’s commentary is. “If you’d rather I call you by name, you have to give it first.”
[18:59] <@Damion_Cross> “….Remind me not to let Maeve see or have any of this shit.”
[19:00] <@Shinjiro-kun> Depending on your contract with her, you may not have a choice.
01[19:02] <@Storyteller> “I have been called many things, over the centuries, but those of these lands once knew me as The Marquise de Orva.” <She answers Hector as if it is rote, then stills as she looks back to Anne, seeming to have needed a moment to process her statement. The wouive blinks, openly startled for a moment, leaning almost eagerly towards her, speaking softly, in hushed, hurried tones.> “… is it possible that… he survived…?”
06[19:08] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s grave expression answered for her, even before the slow, solemn shake of her head.
01[19:12] <@Storyteller> <She draws back, her features freezing upon forced pleasantness, but the rest of her body language betrays her, as her thin shoulders slump slightly, and her chin droops a little.> “…oh.”
06[19:18] * @Anne_Montelepre clears her throat, giving Madame d’Orva a moment before dropping the rest of the story on her.
[19:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Nevertheless….he is asking for you.”
01[19:23] <@Storyteller> <Her eyes close for a moment, absorbing this, her smile perhaps slightly more sincere than a moment previous, her gaze perhaps slightly more prideful as her chin juts forth defiantly once again. She nods, whispering gently, “He was very strong. I am unsurprised.” <She sets this aside, however, her focus jumping back and forth between Hector and Anne.> “…your task is completed?”
06[19:29] * @Anne_Montelepre looks at Hector.
06[19:33] * @Damion_Cross looks down at the unconscious man, still keeping the gun on him. “Need to start packing some zip-ties or something.”
06[19:35] * @Wraxian lifts one hand out of the fire, gesturing towards Damion at this statement, though he may be too far out of sight to notice.
[20:00] <@Hector`> I dunno about ‘completed,’ per se. We still gotta get the kidnapp… egg-nappers.
01[20:03] <@Storyteller> <Her nostrils flare, her eyes stern holocausts focused upon Hector.> “What do you mean, stone-arm? I can smell them behind you… their blood upon the stone…” <She shudders in an anticipatory hungry sort of way, the forked tip of her blackened tongue emphasizing such as it lashes quickly over her lips.>
[20:06] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Judging from what we saw at the warehouse, this has to be a fairly elaborate operation. I don’t believe for a second that these were all of them, or that these were their only two hiding places.”
01[20:09] <@Storyteller> <She smiles in what is probably a kindly fashion, for a dragon-adjacent being.> “You are likely correct, sweet warrioress, but that… was not the task you were given.”
06[20:16] * @Anne_Montelepre blinks. “But…we were asked to find and eliminate those responsible for this. Does that not mean a clean sweep??”
01[20:24] <@Storyteller> <She shakes her head gently.> “It is a great, and worthy, task, child, but even so recently freed, I have heard of the burdens your coterie is to bear. Many, many have perished to the machinations of these mortals, and more pounds of flesh are owed across the pantheons than you can possibly hope to provide them. Myself, and the gods… we will see this corruption dug free of the World and charred to their last ashes.” <Her skin starts flicking about halfway through her speech, her lashes catching flame, the tips of her ears and the tendrils of her hair igniting with the fury in her voice.> “I would have my brood returned, young Lady, and as I understand it, your debt to your Father’s people is satisfied.”
06[20:29] * @Anne_Montelepre nods, stepping slightly and back to one side. “Should note, we did leave one alive… He is still unconscious, and under guard.”
06[20:29] * @Anne_Montelepre motions towards both the prisoner and the clutch of eggs.
[20:36] <@Hector`> I mean, I could punch him in the dick until he dies, but that seemed slightly overdoing it.
[20:37] <@Shinjiro-kun> … yes, slightly.
01[20:39] <@Storyteller> <Her chest rumbles with her growl of simply,> “Bring both of them to me.” <She amends slightly more gently, still trying very diligently to be something like polite, even if it is quite clear her ire, and bloodlust along with it, is riled.> “…if you please.” <A moment later, her voice rumbles like thunder down the length of the tunnel once again, past Damion all the way to Wraxian.> “I would have my children returned now, ancient child. Please.”
06[20:43] * @Hector` furrows his brow, tempted to put up more of a fight, but… “Wraxian, do as she says.”
06[20:43] * @Damion_Cross shrugs inwardly and risers to his feet, grabbing his unconscious charge by one ankle – “Figure the non-bitey end’s safer” – and dragging him towards the entrance, taking care to drag the prisoner over and through the worst piles of rocks and debris on the way.
01[20:46] <@Storyteller> <The dragoness smirks widely as the live one is brought before her, clearly appreciating Damion’s intentions.>
06[20:58] * @Hector` keeps his eyes on the vouivre, uncertain as to whether or not he likes the cut of her jib. “So, what now?”
01[21:03] <@Storyteller> <However, she does something odd; instead of descending upon the unconscious mortal, she steps to the side, so that her presence and her height no longer dominate and hide the world behind her. That done, the Band may be fairly surprised to find not one, but two gods standing another fifty feet away, out beyond the edge of the ruins, December apparently in earnest but soft conversation with a familiar and recently encountered red-haired goddess (sans her son, it seems). The other a handsome, dark-haired and swarthy Norseman, still looking thoroughly harrowed, his eyes falling to the mortal being dragged into sight; there is a sudden, very tense moment, where it is quite clear he was contemplating blasting the man to Hel without thought for the others around him.>
[21:05] <@Hector`> Oh, great. Who called the God Squad? Is Clarence Williams III with you?
01[21:06] <@Storyteller> <The Marquise clearly does not get the reference.> “They arrived with me, stone-arm.”
06[21:08] * @Wraxian probably gave up on attempting to get Damion’s attention, anyways, until the wouive’s voice- and then Hector’s after it- roils down to her from above. She nods, not really to anyone in particular, and lifts the massive eggs from the fire, taking great care to find a perfection of balance before she takes a single step, the massive shapes glowing and radiating a full furnace worth’s of heat apiece now, as she somewhat blindly picks her way clear of the tunnel with intent deliberateness.
06[21:08] * @Damion_Cross looks up at he clears the exit, notes the Divine Being of Impending Doom a short distance away… and realizes something.
[21:09] <@Damion_Cross> “…Why the hell am I dragging this asshole?”
06[21:10] * @Damion_Cross immediately drops him, checking to see if he’s still unconscious before he does anything else.
01[21:10] <@Storyteller> <Quite unconscious. somehow, not dead, for general lack of trying.>
[21:12] <@Damion_Cross> “Alright…. shit, I’m gonna need ALL the Listerine after this, aren’t I?”
[21:14] <@Damion_Cross> “Yeah, on second thought, no.”
01[21:14] <@Storyteller> <The dragoness clearly doesn’t know quite what to do with Damion, her smile faltering.> “Listerine?”
06[21:21] * @Damion_Cross shakes his head. “Ahh, nothing. Anyway: one man-riverine predator-thing, to do with as you all wish.”
01[21:22] <@Storyteller> “… and the deceased one?”
06[21:23] * @Damion_Cross looks surprised for a second. “Kinda embarrassing that I didn’t think about her. One sec.”
06[21:24] * @Damion_Cross heads back into the tomb.
06[21:24] * @Wraxian is blocking Damion’s way back down the tunnel, having been just about ready to ascend the stairs.
06[21:25] * @Damion_Cross steps aside to let Wraxian pass.
06[21:28] * @Wraxian stops as well, seeming to take note of Damion’s presence, but not realizing he has moved out of the way.
[21:30] <@Damion_Cross> “Go ahead Wraxian. Those eggs need to be reunited with their mother. The stiff downstairs can wait.”
06[21:33] * @Hector` gives Wraxian another nod, before returning his gaze to the assembled divine personages.
[21:34] <@Shinjiro-kun> I don’t suppose that you have any information for us regarding our next task?
06[21:37] * @Wraxian brushes her shoulder against Damion’s as she passes, which is probably intended to be a gesture of thanks, but maybe comes off as clumsy, especially considering that she is probably scalding to the touch without realizing it. Either way, she passes and mounts the stairs, lifting her goggles up to the dragoness as she tops the stairs.
01[21:42] <@Storyteller> “I have heard-” <Her attention tears immediately from Shinjiro, towards the overflowing arms of the Atlantean scion, her breath catching in her throat. Blazing courses of fire roll down her golden cheeks as she reaches out, with almost disbelieving hesitance, taking a half step forward towards her, her hand pausing in midair, shaking slightly.> “O-oh. My loves, I… I thought I’d lost you forever….”
06[21:45] * @Damion_Cross nods in reply to Wraxian as she passes, though he notes with some surprise that the Atlantean is still quite hot, even through his Relic suit. he continues on in, his eyes quickly readjusting to the relative murk.
06[21:46] * @Damion_Cross calls from within the tomb. “Damn, Hector. Sure you dropped enough bricks on her?!”
[21:51] <@Hector`> Plates on your ass, bitch. Plates on your ass.
[21:51] <@Hector`> I’ve hit people with two stories of a house before. This ain’t shit.
01[21:52] <@Storyteller> <d’Orva finally crosses the rest of the small distance (with some help from Wraxian, easily hefting each, vanishing a moment after it settles in her palm briefly, her bearing and rage easing significantly as she makes the last one disappear. She waits, with a good deal more patience now, for Damion to return, listening to their banter with an idle ear.>
06[21:58] * @Anne_Montelepre watches as the wouive noble sends her eggs away, presumably to safety, and smiles herself, any feelings of leaving this unfinished fading in light of the reunion.
06[21:59] * @Hector` cracks a wry grin and smirk to anyone who happens to be looking at him.
06[21:59] * @Shinjiro-kun exhales a small sigh. Whether it is relief or exasperation, however, is unclear.
06[22:00] * @Damion_Cross calls again, already making his way back up from the bottom from the sound of it. “Trust I’m not being graded on neatness, here.”
06[22:00] * @Wraxian exhales as the last of (this) burden is lifted away, lowering her head and exhaling one last puff of flame before she seems to return to what, for her at least, is normal. Ish. Generally.
01[22:02] <@Storyteller> <The dragoness chuckles softly.> “As intact as possible… if possible… if not… I will not notice when I pick her from my teeth, I think.”
[17:20] <@Hector`> Riiiiiiiiiiiight.
06[17:22] * @Damion_Cross shortly afterward makes his way back up, one very….’well-tenderized’ Dragon Snack in tow.
06[17:27] * @Anne_Montelepre turns to d’Orva, as much to avoid looking at the thoroughly-wrecked cultist as for the importance of the matter she needs to address.
06[17:28] * @Shinjiro-kun slowly moves to Wraxian, checking to see if the Atlantean is… “okay?”
01[17:29] <@Storyteller> <d’Orva smiles in more than somewhat sinister pleasure as Damion returns with the second and third of her treasures. She gestures, and they both vanish, from the ground and Damion’s arms, though Freyr behind her musters a faint snarl of surprise and annoyance. She glances at him for a moment and tilts her head a bit, something in her eyes clearly stating, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll share them.’ Turning her gaze briefly back to the gathered and probably consternated children, she simply nods respectfully.> “My thanks, gods-spawn. You may consider my involvement in your debt, presently satisfied.”
06[17:32] * @Wraxian offers a one-shouldered shrug. For the already somewhat over-lookable scion, she seems perhaps even more low energy than normal, as if maybe all of that flame she exhaled was not simply typical exothermic combustion.
06[17:33] * @December continues a heated but inaudible conversation with Brigid, at some point having starting gesticulating wildly and shaking her finger angrily.
[17:35] <@Hector`> One down, like thirteen to go… who gets to have a piece of us next?
06[17:37] * @Anne_Montelepre clears her throat softly, taking note of the side conversation December was having . “There remains the matter of Michael….I realize you must be in a hurry, but…?”
01[17:40] <@Storyteller> <Freyr steps forward, looking still somewhat aggravated (but not with them), standing at the dragoness’ side, giving the woman-ish being a slight, but respectful nod. His eyes are bright as Anne speaks of Michael. He clears his throat softly, and even the Marquise closes her eyes slowly at the name spoken. His gaze settles on Anne, not interrupting, waiting for her to finish.>
[17:44] <@Anne_Montelepre> “I admit that I’m still new to the ways of the Hereafter… but I believe that he feels that he has wronged you — however involuntarily — and that he may not be able to move on without the opportunity to ask forgiveness.”
01[17:47] <@Storyteller> <She lowers her head, closing her eyes before looking away entirely.>
01[18:04] <@Storyteller> <Freyr looks conflicted, hesitating.>
01[18:09] <@Storyteller> <Finally, the dragoness lifts her head, her eyes softer, as if she were more of Michael’s ‘Ivy’ than the angry creature she has otherwise presented herself as.> “He is… still in the city? … Somewhere that I could… find him, when the time is more fitting?”
06[18:12] * @Anne_Montelepre nods. solemnly.
06[18:14] * @Shinjiro-kun falls quiet, as if speaking of the dead makes him uncomfortable.
[18:16] <@Hector`> It seemed like he was stuck hanging around the spot where he died.
01[18:18] <@Storyteller> <Her eyes briefly blaze, quite literally, the flickers of fire at the edge of her hair outright erupting into flame, and it is suddenly not very comfortable to be standing anywhere near her.>
06[18:19] * @Hector` takes a few steps back, raising his stone arm to shield himself from the flames.
06[18:20] * @Damion_Cross visibly flinches, and though he doesn’t shrink back quite as much as the shadows, it is still noticeable.
06[18:22] * @Wraxian weathers the firestorm without much more than a slow blink behind her goggles, lifting a hand to shift a lens into place to tone down the burst of light, as well, with a soft shnikt.
06[18:23] * @Anne_Montelepre takes a step back, and though she’s plainly not comfortable with the heat she otherwise holds her ground (out of stubbornness?), nodding respectfully to the Marquess.
01[18:24] <@Storyteller> <Her tone is baleful, though there is some room for shame in her face and her voice and she looks between Freyr and the Band.> “His death was not my intention. But it was… in the end, by my flames. I will find him. I will see that it is made right. He deserves that and a great deal more.”
[18:28] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Thank you, Madame. I’m sure that this will lighten his burden, somewhat.”
06[18:35] * @Shinjiro-kun just nods to the dragoness, still looking uncomfortable with the conversation.
06[18:38] * @Damion_Cross grins, despite shielding his eyes. “Chew ’em extra thoroughly for us, would you?”
[18:44] <@Hector`> Go get ’em, Dragon Lady!
01[18:47] <@Storyteller> <She nods solemnly to Anne, flashing Damion a wide, fangy grin and a nod, before looking back to Freyr.> “You will be able to find me, for the trial. And the… other business.” <With one more firm nod, her dress unfurls from about her, expanding out behind her into great, infernal wings, springing a hundred yards into the air with a single slight tautening of her muscular legs, catching a thermal and gone on the winds in nearly less than a heartbeat.>
[18:53] <@Damion_Cross> “Well, shit. How’d the hell they catch her in the first place??”
01[18:56] <@Storyteller> <Brigid seems to finally be done arguing with December, or more accurately, being argued at by December, as the goddess ferocious in her own right seems to have mostly just listened to the kitsune’s passionate tirade, leaving said fox behind her and flabbergasted, throwing her hands up into the air with a frustrated yip before storming back amongst her charges, settling for glaring sullenly at Brigid. The goddess accepts all this, apparently, as her due.>
06[18:57] * @December throws her hands up into the air with a frustrated yip, before storming back amongst her charges, settling for glaring sullenly at Brigid.
[19:00] <@Shinjiro-kun> Trickery, I would assume, Mr. Cross. You ought to be familiar with such.
06[19:01] * @Hector` watches the dragoness go before his attention goes to the yip, and to Brigid. “Don’t tell me. You need to borrow Madison for a while longer.”
[19:02] <@Damion_Cross> “Shame we didn’t get to interrogate, then. I could’ve taken notes.”
[19:06] <@Shinjiro-kun> I could send you to have a chat with them, if you like.
06[19:06] * @Anne_Montelepre turns towards Brigid, looking almost as if she were…bracing herself??
06[19:08] * @December grumbles something bitterly under her breath that sounds vaguely like, “‘ewon’giffembaq.”
[19:08] <@Damion_Cross> “Thanks, but I think I can do that myself, given a bit o’time. With the added bonus of being able to come back. Probably.”
06[19:10] * @Hector` lets out a soft snort. “Figures. Parents never listen to their children.”
06[19:16] * @Anne_Montelepre visibly ‘stands down’ a bit; though she looked unhappy about the reminder of one of this morning’s rude shocks, apparently it wasn’t what she was tensing for.
01[19:17] <@Storyteller> <Brigid shakes her head gently, smiling beatifically despite the ongoing snark and glaring. She looks at Freyr with a gentle sadness, shaking her head.> “You can move along, dear, I will see them off. Your lot has much to do without getting further tangled into the adventures of Demigods.”
[19:17] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Is there anything we can offer that might persuade you otherwise, Ma’am?”
01[19:22] <@Storyteller> <Brigid’s eyes glitter with a teasing laughter, as she offers,> “You prefer the Norse God of Fertility to be more involved in your lives, my dear?”
[19:24] <@Hector`> She means with getting Madison back.
01[19:30] <@Storyteller> <Freyr rolls his eyes at Brigid, running his fingers anxiously through his dark hair, which doesn’t help to make him NOT look less rakish. His eyes flicker to Gabriel, and he seems to straighten a little, his eyes sad but prideful.> “I’ll need you for a debrief, before you return.”
01[19:32] <@Storyteller> <Brigid sighs gently, the mirth leaving her warm eyes.> “Your guardian has done a great deal of attempted persuading, already, young ones. She has negotiated well, in your favor, but I am afraid that my son cannot yet be spared to return to your sides.”
[19:37] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Then an opportunity to give a proper goodbye to Wraxian, then?
[19:38] <@Anne_Montelepre> “F’raid I inadvertently trampled on that, before.”
01[19:42] <@Storyteller> <Startlingly enough, Brigid- even if infinitesimally- flinches, before she again shakes her head solemnly.> “That request I also cannot grant, I am afraid.”
01[19:43] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel straightens in response to his father, gathering his cloak about him, he turns to face Anne, stopping to study her face intently for a minute.>
06[19:45] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs, shaking her head in resignation. “…Please offer him my apologies, then.”
01[19:53] <@Storyteller> <Brigid nods gently.> “He will understand.” <Her eyes turn back to Freyr, apparently waiting for the Norse deity to be finished with his own needs and move along.>
06[19:54] * @Anne_Montelepre nods, then turns to Gabriel as he turns her way.
[19:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Gabe….I’m sorry, this really wasn’t the best morning for this, and I’m sorry I can’t give you the greeting I’d always planned on giving you when I finally tracked you down…”
01[19:59] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel gets caught staring, and offers her a wan, sheepish smile. He speaks quietly,> “You grew up while I wasn’t looking, Montelepre.” <He shrugs and beams sunnily at her, winking.> “We are what we are, you know? It probably never could have been any other way.”
[20:01] <@Hector`> Well, no. You could have stuck with the bad guys and we could have hammered you into the ground like a railroad spike.
[20:01] <@Shinjiro-kun> Bravado aside… perhaps we shall meet again.
06[20:06] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head before looking at him again, smiling, a bit sadly, perhaps. “….Yeah, probably”
[20:09] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Look….if it gets too hot, if she looks like she’s made you, or is about to….put the call out… I still owe her a few (dozen).”
01[20:11] <@Storyteller> <Gabriel nods, allowing his own sadness to show for a few moments, as he places his hand over his heart, and bows deeply to Anne and her companions, offering Hector and fierce grin for a moment, responding,> “Good thing I didn’t do that, then.” <He tilts his head to Anne, and nods, pulling his hood up a moment later, his lips moving silently, perhaps for her to understand, or not, before he disappears, and it seems like Freyr stands once more, alone.>
06[20:17] * @Hector` folds his arms over his chest as he watches Freyr. “Don’t tell me: you’re not done with Baelic, either.”
[20:17] <@Hector`> You and Baldy, I mean.
01[20:24] <@Storyteller> <Freyr blinks for a moment, confused, and then shakes his head.> “I do not know to where they have been called, for now. We are spread thin, attempting to keep the Worlds from falling fully into chaos.”
[20:25] <@Hector`> Yeah, yeah… higher calling ‘n all that shit. I get it.
01[20:28] <@Storyteller> <Freyr> “The Francois and the Aesir thank you for your efforts. Please do not take offense if I wish for it to be a very long time, before I see any of you again.”
[20:34] <@Damion_Cross> “Aww. And I was hoping for a drinking contest sometime.”
[20:36] <@Shinjiro-kun> As Hector has requested previously: who are we assisting next?
06[20:37] * @Anne_Montelepre blinks a few times, perhaps mulling over what she just heard (saw) , listening with half-an-ear.
01[20:42] <@Storyteller> <Freyr smirks at Damion, and mutters,> “Be careful what you wish for, Loa-born.” <…and then he, and his invisible son, are gone… and at last, the Band is alone, again…. save for one ten-foot tall Celtic goddess.>
01[20:43] <@Storyteller> <Brigid> “I think you give the pantheons more credit, in ways, than they deserve. I do not know that any, but the Fates, knows what lies directly before you.”
01[20:45] <@Storyteller> <She smiles a little, teasing once again.> “Save for me, of course, and I am here only to see you off.”
06[20:49] * @December growls lowly, her upper lip curling faintly.
[20:49] <@Damion_Cross> “So we’re being given these as they happen as opposed to on any sort of a plan. Strangely relieving, that.”
01[20:49] <@Storyteller> <Brigid smiles placatingly to December.> “Now, now, I haven’t forgotten, so fast.”
06[21:00] * @Hector` eyes December. “What’s all this about…”
01[21:03] <@Storyteller> <Brigid smiles at Hector, her eyes on him even as she speaks indirectly to Anne.> “May I see the ring, please.”
06[21:07] * @Anne_Montelepre , were it anyone but the Tuatha asking, might’ve needed a second call to get her attention; as it is, it takes her a beat before she catches the request. She approaches, raising her left hand, with the two rings — one familiar, one not.
01[21:11] <@Storyteller> <The goddess reaches out and taps the plain golden band that came from her fiery (now not quite so literally) red braids, once, twice, and thrice, humming softly to herself as she does so. It glows red, and is warm on Anne’s finger, but it is a pleasant, comfortable warmth, the kind one gets from tucking in under heavy blankets on a cold day, or messily slurping chicken noodle soup.>
06[21:17] * @Anne_Montelepre looks startled — pleasantly, given the circumstances, but shell-shocked as she’d been at the time, it clearly never occurred to her to inquire about any properties the ring might have.
01[21:20] <@Storyteller> <Brigid’s eyes are as warm as the ring, as she shifts her focus from Hector, to December.> “As promised. It will work for any of them, were she inclined to share it. It should have a nice little boost to any skills they learn, as well.” <She lowers her head in acknowledgement.> “It is not my son… but it should help to see you through, without him.”
06[21:31] * @Anne_Montelepre swallows, then nods, carefully removing the ring and appraising it with new eyes, before carefully holding it out for the others to examine.
06[21:31] * @Hector` steps over, eyeing up the ring. “What kinda crazy mojo are we dealin’ with here…?”
01[21:37] <@Storyteller> <Brigid blinks a few times, as if she thought it might be obvious.> “My son is a great healer, Mister Leone. I agreed with your guardian that to take your only natural source of such away without recompense would be bordering upon malicious mistreatment.”
06[21:39] * @Anne_Montelepre nods. “Thank you. And I’m sorry if I seemed ungrateful before….but, you know.”
01[21:41] <@Storyteller> <Brigid smiles understandingly, for a ten foot tall Lady.> “I do know. I’ve one more thing, as your guardian requested, before, of course, the last thing.”
06[21:47] * @Anne_Montelepre raises an eyebrow, looking at December.
06[21:53] * @December looks grumpy, but proud of herself.
[17:47] * @Hector` raises an eyebrow, folding his arms over his chest. “I don’t like being Columboed, Lady Brigid. I especially don’t like being double Columboed.”
[17:52] <@Storyteller> <Brigid seems delighted with this comparison, her eyes twinkling merrily as she laughs, the sound like just-short-of-scalding hot cocoa on a blizzarding afternoon.> “He had a great deal of patience, young one. Something worth registering, perhaps. Some day.”
[17:57] <@Hector`> He had a glass eye, too, but I’m not lining up for ocular replacement surgery. One organ replacement’s enough for me, thanks.
[18:00] <@Storyteller> <She sobers a bit at this, nodding with a slow exhalation. Clearly, Brigid and Tezcatlipoca are not on the same page where it comes to live dismemberment of their children.> Quite so.
[18:07] <@Hector`> Not that I mind the arm, but having my old one ripped out of my socket without any warning was a bit much.
[18:08] <@Shinjiro-kun> This is fascinating, truly, but… you were saying, Lady Brigid?
[18:10] * @Anne_Montelepre nods, slipping the ring back on for now, but remaining silent.
[18:11] <@Storyteller> <She smiles in warm thanks to Shinjiro.> Ah, yes. If you would avert your eyes for a moment, I’d prefer nae tah unintentionally turn any of you children to fine ash.
[18:12] * @Hector` raises a brow, sliding on his leopard-print shades before turning his back.
[18:13] * @Shinjiro-kun turns away as well, switching attires to get a pair of sunglasses as well.
[18:15] * @Anne_Montelepre complies, though she settles for turning away instead of creating emergency eye-wear.
[18:19] * @Damion_Cross slips on a pair of shades as well, and draws further back still; it seems he and bright lights still aren’t on speaking terms.
[18:19] * @December crosses her arms, closing her eyes and remaining facing Brigid, as if she thinks the goddess might be being a tad overdramatic.
[18:20] * @Wraxian ‘watches’ the goddess with all of her goggle’s lenses in place, her head canted vaguely to the side.
[18:24] <@Storyteller> <Brigid nods as soon as she’s satisfied everyone is behaving themselves, and rather abruptly very steadily begins glowing like a miniature star. Oddly enough, the heat she gives off matches every other bit of warmth she has offered- banishing cobwebs mental, emotional, physical, the power she radiates dying with the same slow pulse it took to ramp up, until finally she stands there again, looking perfectly as she normally ought to, with perhaps a little more fire in her eyes and her smile. They feel refreshed and renewed, as if awakening suddenly from a long, restorative slumber, kicking free the covers to set about a new day with fresh minds, hearts, and bodies.> “I cannot offer you much more, but the paths ahead will hardly be expected to be kind, nor pleasant, nor fair. This is the best advantage that I can provide for you, at current.” <All PCs are restored to full, if not overflowing, health pools. Legend is fully restored to current Legend allowances. And everyone feels like they just got a gentle kiss on the forehead from a loved one.>
[18:25] <@Storyteller> <… with one, offensively obvious exception. Wraxian.>
[18:25] * @December purrs faintly and shivers, like she’s shaking the cold out of her fur.
[18:28] * @Wraxian waits, trying to analyze what just did, or did not, happen. Everyone else, is, quite literally, glowing with health. She looks down at her own arms, her lips moving as she attempts to speak, lenses of her goggles sliding in and out of place as she experiments, but she remains as she is and has been, un-glowy, her voice gone, her eyes, to whatever degree, ruined.
[18:29] * @Hector` opts to perform a handstand with his stone arm.
[18:30] <@Storyteller> ((well, yeah, and that. Hector’s arm remains replaced with stone.))
[18:30] * @Shinjiro-kun watches Wraxian as she tries to compute what happened. He slowly approaches the broken girl.
[18:32] * @Anne_Montelepre winces against the brightness…but nevertheless feels what she perhaps needs most after this roller-coaster of a morning: balance, and a sense that, despite all challenges, things would sort themselves out.
[18:34] * @Anne_Montelepre remains unfazed, even as she turns towards Wraxian.
[18:37] * @Wraxian turns her attention to Shinjiro, her lips moving, presumably in his name, but only her breath departing her.
[18:38] * @Damion_Cross blinks for a moment, vaguely surprised that it worked on him… and on who it apparently didn’t.
[18:39] * @Shinjiro-kun moves to pull Wraxian into a firm hug. “You are not forgotten.”
[18:41] * @Wraxian is probably blinking behind her goggles, because Shinjiro actually manages to take her by surprise with his hug, though her arms remain limp at her sides.
[18:42] * @Anne_Montelepre looks at Wraxian for a moment, slowly turning the ring on her finger. “Is this meant to be a test, Lady Brigid?”
[18:45] <@Storyteller> <Brigid seems pleased with Shinjiro’s action and words, her gaze, now sad and gentle, rather than fierce and intense, shifting to Anne. Her voice is lightly querulous, as if she is asking the questions of not simply the seeking girl.> “A test of what, Miss Montelepre? Or, of whom? To what end?”
[18:48] <@Hector`> This whole situation seems like a test of us. We keep getting picked apart, person by person… and our struggles don’t get any easier.
[18:50] <@Storyteller> <Brigid raises a brow.> “You believe that they should?”
[18:51] <@Hector`> It doesn’t matter what I believe. We’re undermanned out here.
[18:52] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s confidence seems to dim a bit, as it starts to look more as if Brigid’s omission of Wraxian hadn’t been intentional. Nevertheless, she approaches Wraxian and Shinjiro, determined to do what she could.
[19:05] * @Shinjiro-kun doesn’t let go of Wraxian, simply holding her close, without a word.
[19:05] <@Storyteller> <Brigid seems like she is cautiously speaking circularly in an attempt to speak directly, her eyes following Anne as she responds to Hector.> “As many as await your failures, the same hold in counter, child. The help that can be given, has been and shall be, or I would not be standing here speaking with you, yet. You know it is no small thing that you will be asked, at last, and no small thing can be conquered without offering its reflection in counter.”
[19:10] * @Hector` finally straightens up, standing on his own two feet once again. “I know, but it’d be nice if our membership didn’t keep getting bled dry.”
[19:10] <@Hector`> We’re literally giving ’till it hurts, here.
[19:15] * @Anne_Montelepre walks up to the two of them, making no move to separate them. “Wraxian?”
[19:15] * @Wraxian lifts her head towards Anne, still standing somewhat awkwardly in Shinjiro’s embrace, knowing the mechanics of what she is meant to do in response but apparently uncertain about whether she should do so.
[19:20] <@Storyteller> <Brigid lowers her head, a little guiltily. She whispers softly,> “I -am- sorry, Hector Leone. For what I see… you will lose no more to the needs of the gods’ other endeavors.”
[19:22] <@Hector`> Well, I appreciate that… ‘n do me a favor and nix the “Leone” business. Just Hector’ll do.
[19:25] * @Anne_Montelepre seems to hesitate for a moment, but the warm glow — both the one they just shared, and from the the ring — spur her on.”…For someone who swore to defend you, I haven’t been doing the terribly well. But…. while I’ll never be Madison, while I don’t have the softest hand, or tongue…maybe I — we — can still do something to help.”
[19:26] * @Anne_Montelepre closes her eyes, reaching in and putting a hand on Wraxian’s shoulder, careful not to dislodge Shinjiro.
[19:27] <@Storyteller> <Brigid nods in acknowledgement, her eyes turning to observe Anne for a moment.>
[19:58] * @Shinjiro-kun likewise observes Anne, but does not interfere, for now.
[19:58] * @Anne_Montelepre looks up, now genuinely puzzled. “I… don’t see what went wrong. By all rights, that should’ve worked…”
[20:01] <@Shinjiro-kun> Perhaps you could elucidate us as to what you attempted.
[20:06] <@Anne_Montelepre> “At first I’d thought that Lady Brigid was leaving Wraxian’s care to us, not out of meanness but to give us an opportunity to test the ring. I realize now that I was mistaken’ —
[20:06] * @Anne_Montelepre bows to Brigid, in silent apology, before continuing.
[20:08] <@Anne_Montelepre> — “But I tried to see what was ailing her, or might prevent it from working.””
[20:09] <@Hector`> Not coming up with anything?
[20:09] <@Storyteller> <She acknowledges the bow, listening expectantly.>
[20:10] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Nothing. Like I said, it should’ve worked.”
[20:10] <@Storyteller> <Brigid sighs, a soft summer breeze upon the chill air.> ” If I may interrupt… when you are ready, I do have that last thing.”
[20:11] * @Anne_Montelepre turns to Wraxian again, the question visible on her face, though as Brigid speaks she stops short of asking.
[20:13] * @Damion_Cross , though still hanging back somewhat, pipes up a bit. “és?”
[20:17] <@Hector`> Why do I feel like I’m not gonna like it…
[20:19] <@Storyteller> <Brigid smiles wanly, gesturing with her eyes to said thing.> “If I may borrow her for just a moment…?”
[20:28] * @Anne_Montelepre turns to Brigid, then to Wraxian and Shinjiro.
[20:36] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Wraxian? She’s asking for you…”
[20:38] * @Wraxian nods slowly, but doesn’t move immediately to break free of Shinjiro.
[20:38] * @Shinjiro-kun slowly takes a half-step toward Brigid before he looks to Wraxian. “I am going to let go now, all right?”
[20:40] * @Wraxian nods slowly.
[20:44] <@Storyteller> <Brigid waits.>
[20:44] * @Shinjiro-kun releases his grasp on Wraxian, taking a half-step back.
[20:50] * @Wraxian wends her way between the other members of the Band to stand in front of the Goddess, her head tilting back so that she is focused on the goddess, even if all of the lenses on her goggles are securely closed.
[20:57] <@Damion_Cross> “Try not to break her, Ma’am? She’s kinda weird, but we like her that way.”
[20:57] <@Storyteller> <Brigid reaches out and touches the rim of the goggles lightly, tracing the edge of the metal casing with her touch almost like a caress, before lifting and brushing away a few strands of her silken black hair.> “Have you solved your puzzle yet, dear broken child?”
[21:04] * @Wraxian jerks back at the tenderness from the goddess, cocking her head to the other side, a snake, startled, preparing to strike. She raises her PLD and detaches it from her wrist, quickly typing a response before holding its face to the goddess to read the reply.
[21:06] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s hand shoots towards one of her knives before she catches herself.
[21:07] <@Storyteller> <Brigid makes a thoughtful, curious sound, responding aloud despite Wraxian’s silence.> “Are you yet unsure of your endeavor, then?”
[21:09] * @Hector` lays a hand on Anne’s shoulder (the fleshy one) as he watches Brigid speak to Wraxian.
[21:11] * @Wraxian types several sentences rapidly in response.
[21:13] <@Storyteller> <Brigid smiles.> “You will find the Egyptian a continuing source of tutelage, I think.”
[21:14] * @Wraxian types in response.
[21:16] <@Storyteller> <Brigid frowns.> “Do you think he would stop assisting?”
[21:17] * @Wraxian pauses, very briefly, before she types again.
[21:21] <@Storyteller> <Brigid looks around at the Band pointedly before returning her eyes to Wraxian.> “What of them?”
[21:23] * @Wraxian responds quickly.
[21:24] <@Storyteller> <Brigid taps her rather large foot impatiently.> “They only want to protect you, to help you, beloved of my son.”
[21:25] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Yes! What she said!”
[21:27] * @Wraxian types for more than she has previously, almost violently shoving her response towards the goddess as she turns her phone back around.
[21:28] * @Shinjiro-kun just watches, as if he’s viewing a car crash… or an inquisition.
[21:30] <@Storyteller> <Brigid raises both brows, responding with cautious curiosity.> “Reasonless? You take action without knowledge?”
[21:32] * @Wraxian responds.
[21:33] <@Storyteller> <Brigid looks even more skeptical, and curious.> “Without theory of where your road truly leads?”
[21:36] * @Wraxian shakes her head sharply as she starts typing.
[21:38] <@Storyteller> <Brigid purses her lips tightly, before she speaks curtly, yet somehow without ever losing that sense of motherly warmth she naturally emanates.> “I do not think you give yourself enough credit- and certainly you shame your companions by withholding your efforts, your thoughts, and your needs from them. They are watching your gradual destruction, brave one. Their hearts break and ache to fix you.”
[21:41] <@Anne_Montelepre> “We’ve all told you so, at least once! All of us!”
[21:42] * @Wraxian gives another sharp right-left-right of her head as she responds.
[21:43] <@Storyteller> <Brigid sighs heavily.> “A burden shared does not lighten the load… but it does lighten the soul.”
[21:45] * @Wraxian ‘s fingers fly across her miniature keyboard one more time, her features flat and blank as they always are.
[21:50] <@Hector`> Physics don’t support that either. Spreadin’ a load minimizes PSI, dat’s obvious.
[21:55] <@Storyteller> <Brigid sighs with somewhat defeated exasperation.> “Your work is more difficult for your own blockades, but I will offer all that I can.” <She lifts a hand, offering forth two black glass vials, even the dark glass not quite enough to hide the light of whatever is within.> “Make what you will of this… and good luck.” <She bends down and lightly kisses the top of Wraxian’s head, a spark as if static or embers passing between her lips and the girl’s scalp before she stands up, whispering.> “A little extra to help your work.” <Without further preamble… the goddess is gone.>
[21:56] * @Shinjiro-kun looks from the vials to Wraxian, then back to the vials. “Lightning in a bottle?”
[22:00] * @Wraxian catches them before they hit the ground, inspecting them with her own empty curiosity. She types a few words before she holds her PLD towards Shinjiro, whatever conversational history that there had been, erased.> “I do not know, Dojima Shinjiro.”
[22:02] <@Hector`> Well, if it is, it sounds like it’s time to ride the lightning.
[22:02] * @Hector` pushes his sunglasses up his nose.
[17:17] <@Shinjiro-kun> Now then… perhaps advancing toward a new objective would be wise. Any objective at all.
06[17:18] * @Anne_Montelepre clears her throat.
[17:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Well, we’ve two ghosts to collect….”
06[17:19] * @December stares at Wraxian for a moment more before she looks around, waiting for the other boot to drop and/or some other deity to show up. “‘ow abou’ ‘ee muuv t’words ‘ome?”
06[17:21] * @Wraxian tucks the vials away in her satchel, re-settling it across her torso, turning her head towards the direction of the AWV and setting off in its direction.
[17:21] <@Hector`> We sure that we’re not doing the Kung Fu shtick? Wandering the earth, helping people?
[17:25] <@Damion_Cross> “Somehow, I doubt that we’ll get an iota of credit for doing anything, helpful or no, that we don’t get as a direct order from ‘above’.”
[17:26] <@Shinjiro-kun> We persist. We have not been crushed underneath the heel of the collective divinities.
[17:26] <@Shinjiro-kun> That suffices, at present.
[17:28] <@December> “‘greed.”
06[17:32] * @Shinjiro-kun grows slightly more somber as he glances among the remains of his group. “We must continue toward our greater goal. The Monkey King is still out there, and the truth is out there with him.”
[17:33] <@Hector`> Yeah, Spooky over there’s got a point. Keepin’ the gods off our backs is well and great, but without Sunny Wukong, we’re still apostates to the entire pantheon.”
06[17:36] * @December raises a brow at Hector and mouths ‘spooky?’ before she gathers the Band up with her eyes, shooing them after Wraxian, if they aren’t already.
06[17:39] * @Hector` shakes his head at December. “You never watched the X-Files?”
06[17:40] * @December chuckles and scrubs her fingers through her hair as she moves. “Deal wiffen’nuf mon’stirs yers’elf, watch’nem on tha box seems preddy silly.”
[17:41] <@Hector`> Hey, gaze into the Abyss long enough…
06[17:41] * @Hector` smirks.
06[17:44] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs, moving to catch up with Wraxian…and, perhaps, get a better look at her new ‘gift.’
06[17:48] * @Wraxian has put the vials away in her shoulder-slung satchel.
06[17:52] * @Damion_Cross reaches into his coat, withdraws one of his pistols and tosses it, somewhat carelessly, into the air. Rapid fluttering ensues a moment later, before quickly receding into the distance.
[17:54] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Wraxian? Just what did she…?”
06[17:58] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Damion as he sends his messenger raven off. “Keeping Maeve apprised of our progress?”
06[17:59] * @Wraxian deletes a few characters from her PLD, replacing them with a few key taps, and turns the screen back to face Anne without stopping her forward progress. “I do not know, Anne Montelepre.”
[18:03] <@Damion_Cross> “Telling her to try and hold the ‘reservation.’ There’s a chance we could still use later. NO sense wasting an entire night’s work, I figure.”
[18:04] <@Anne_Montelepre> :”Do you mind if I take a look, once we’re back in the ride?”
06[18:09] * @Wraxian types furiously in response, flipping it back towards Anne. “I cannot allow you to cause any damage or to open the vials, Anne Montelepre.”
[18:10] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Huh?? Of course I won’t!”
[18:12] <@Shinjiro-kun> Yes, I suppose not…
06[18:12] * @Hector` eyes December for a moment. “You don’t expect to be home for very long, do you?”
06[18:18] * @Wraxian ‘s brows draw together, before she shrugs with one shoulder, without any other offered response.
06[18:19] * @December growls faintly from the depths of her chest, her eyes focused forward as she murmurs, “No.”
[18:21] <@Hector`> Me either.
06[18:24] * @December clenches her fists tightly as she walks, nodding.
06[18:33] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs again, as if resigned to the answer, as she boards the AWV.
[18:34] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…All right, then. Suppose I’ve a webcomic to revive, anyhow. Plus figure out what happens to poor Victoria, now…”
[18:36] <@Shinjiro-kun> Hopefully, she has already moved on.
[18:46] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Problem is, I’m not sure what to. I know the Underworld — Underworlds, rather, were meant to give some measure of rest….but some of ’em…”
06[18:46] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head. “Not right, some of ’em.”
06[18:46] * @Wraxian settles into her server-flanked comm center, cautiously withdrawing only one of the vials, she inspects it visually once herself before she holds it up delicately in her fingers.
06[18:47] * @December swings up behind the wheel, exhaling slowly and keeping her eyes on the rear views as the kids load up.
06[19:04] * @Damion_Cross smooths his Suit back into place around him, too cool for school per usual, before taking his seat.
06[19:04] * @Hector` climbs into the passenger seat, somber and quiet.
06[19:04] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head, giving Anne a glance. “It is not ours to say what happens when our time in this world has passed.”
06[19:06] * @Wraxian looks up, directly at Shinjiro, studying him intently, perhaps weighing his words in her silence.
06[19:16] * @Anne_Montelepre opens her mouth as if about to reply to Shinjiro…before closing it, as if thinking better of it. Instead she buckles her restraints and settles in, silent for the moment.
06[19:22] * @Anne_Montelepre , perhaps thinking she’d been denied, looks up from buckling her five-point to realize that Wraxian was patiently offering one of the vials, after all. She accepts, looking a bit sheepish. and holds the dark green glass container before her eyes, looking at the plasma trapped within.
06[19:24] * @Shinjiro-kun secures himself in place, furrowing his brow slightly.
06[19:30] * @Wraxian types into her PLD as Anne takes the vial, never taking her full attention off of it, but flips her screen around to face Shinjiro, asking simply, “Why not?”
06[19:31] * @December reaches for Hector’s hand and squeezes it tightly for a moment, realizing on some level that she is waiting for additional Band members who may never be seen again. She lets him go, revving up the engine and heading back to the road to Paris.
06[19:37] * @Hector` gives December’s hand a small squeeze before leaning over and kissing her on the cheek as he buckles in.
06[19:38] * @December smiles to him, sighing as she tries to wrestle herself into a smidgen of relaxation.
06[19:53] * @Anne_Montelepre , despite her promise, looks sorely tempted for a moment…before handing Wraxian back the vial, perhaps a bit more forcefully than she intended, as if trying to get it out of her reach before said temptation got the better of her best intentions.
06[19:58] * @Shinjiro-kun just watches Anne for a moment before he answers Wraxian. “No one should have the power to choose their own eternity. People are far too selfish and overestimate their kindness and concern far too much.”
06[20:03] * @Wraxian quickly plucks the vial from Anne’s grasp, immediately tucking it away again, apparently aware of the overwhelming curiosity, even if she doesn’t seem to be affected by it, herself. She regards Shinjiro, once more looking thoughtful, without offering her own commentary.
06[20:04] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s head snaps around at this. “‘Selfish’? Maybe — hell, probably. But tell me this:”
06[20:05] * @Anne_Montelepre glares at Shinjiro.
[20:09] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Is being robbed of one’s memories and sense of self, and left to wander aimlessly forever, fair for not being the best there is at what one does? Or wandering in the cold a just reward for dying in one’s bed, or from something they couldn’t have reasonably expected?”
[20:10] <@Shinjiro-kun> It’s not about fair or unfair. We cannot determine what is fair or unfair, especially in matters of death. We are much too biased.
[20:15] <@Anne_Montelepre> “And someone who can’t die — if they ever could– can better decide!?”
06[20:16] * @Anne_Montelepre looks furious….and near tears.
[20:20] <@Shinjiro-kun> An immortal has no fear of death built into its genetic code.
[20:22] <@Anne_Montelepre> “And that’s the problem? How can one understand something they no longer fear… or worse, something they never needed to!?”
[20:25] <@Shinjiro-kun> How can one make an objective evaluation of something that they have a quite literal mortal terror of?
[20:35] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Because…one gripped by that ‘literal mortal terror’ …can nevertheless choose to disregard — no, accept it and still act in defiance of it, to achieve a greater good? Like saving the lives of others.”
[20:37] <@Shinjiro-kun> Would you choose for someone to be obliterated? For someone’s entire persona to be wiped from existence, erased without recourse?
06[20:38] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head. “I, for one, do not have enough information to make that assessment. It would be terribly biased. I would be, as your people say, ‘playing God.’ This usually has a negative connotation, does it not?”
[20:39] <@Anne_Montelepre> “What?? Isn’t that what I said I was against!?!”
[20:39] <@Shinjiro-kun> What if it was someone who was a terrible criminal? Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao? Does that change your opinion?
[17:32] <@Anne_Montelepre> “What? Still no — especially in that case, it would be an easy out.”
[17:36] <@Shinjiro-kun> Still no? Not even if it would save millions of lives… or billions? You would resort to killing first?
[17:46] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Wait: how is this relevant?? Are we still talking about the same thing?”
[17:48] <@Shinjiro-kun> It is not, I am just curious as to why you are so passionate regarding this topic.
06[17:55] * @Anne_Montelepre looks at Shinjiro for a few moments, before shaking her head.
[17:55] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Now’d not the best time, I think,. We’ll be here all morning.”
[17:56] <@Shinjiro-kun> We appear to have plenty of time. Neither of us are driving.
06[18:06] * @Damion_Cross takes the opportunity to look around, as he fishes out his smartphone to ensure that Paris has remained untouched by the wrath of God, man, or Maeve in the past couple hours.
06[18:07] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs again, looking down at her lap.
[18:11] <@Storyteller> <According to all Wahoo! Search Results, the Memorial in Paris was carried off without any interference or problem and the city is slow to wake up the day after, or at least otherwise uneventful.>
[18:14] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Once, perhaps, when the Gods were an active force in daily life, and one knew what was expected of one. And — usually — there were perfectly good reasons for those expectations. A civilization that needed to fend off seaborne raids to survive — or make them — probably would paint death in battle as honorable.”
06[18:15] * @Wraxian appears lost in research and study on her bank of computers, or at least is presumably so, while one hand idly entertains a tiny mostly feral Nemean cat beast.
[18:19] <@Anne_Montelepre> “But now? When they’ve withdrawn from the World to the point that it ignores, even denies their existence?”
[18:29] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Now they go to an end that many of them cannot understand… if the next would doesn’t reject them entirely.”
06[18:31] * @Shinjiro-kun nods, motioning for Anne to continue.
[18:43] <@Anne_Montelepre> “While I suppose that they still work as a place of punishment for those that deserve it…”
06[18:43] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s volume lowers considerably. “…for the rest, it might be time for something more relevant.”
06[18:45] * @Wraxian lifts her head a bit, perhaps some sort of indication that she is less focused on her research than she was previously.
[18:57] <@Shinjiro-kun> More relevant, in what way?
[18:59] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Still working on that.”
06[19:10] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Anne like he’s not quite sure what she’s on about.
[19:14] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Just what I said: ‘I’m still working on it.’ There’s more that a need to see, do and sort out.
[19:18] <@Shinjiro-kun> I think that we all have more to see.
06[19:40] * @December exhales slowly as she drives past the city boundaries, closing her eyes for a moment as she navigates through the thankfully quiet streets. She pops on the intercom for a moment. “’bout dere, y’ens. Les gitcher stuff’n ged oudda ‘ere ay ess ay pee.”
06[19:51] * @Damion_Cross looks out the window (or one of the screens showing the AWV’s exterior) before heading for the hatch. “Wow, this place is ‘day they shot The Bourne Identity’ empty.”
06[19:55] * @Wraxian types briefly on her PLD, a little scroll of text, much like a chat window in an online game, appearing in the lower left corner of the overhead HUD. “Even the mortals can feel the Death in the city. Primal instincts are strong behavioral modifiers, Damion Cross.”
[20:02] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Probably best we were able to get this in the can without too much fuss.”
06[20:03] * @Anne_Montelepre unfastens her restraints and heads for the door, eager to brief the ghosts (and figure out what to do with one of them.)
06[20:04] * @Damion_Cross climbs out, looking around for his research assistant.
[20:10] <@Storyteller> <Maeve stands just outside the main entrance of the Hotel, for all the world looking like a well sated and paid but nevertheless put out call girl. Even in what should be a modestly demure catholic schoolgirl get up, she manages to make it look positively sinful. As she spots Damion, she purses her lips, clearly ready to let loose a tirade, but she is interrupted as half a dozen hoteliers hustle out of the entrance, seeking to do anything and everything they can for Mademoiselle Lake.>
06[20:22] * @Damion_Cross makes no effort to hide his smirk as Maeve is preempted, even if he knows he’s only postponing the inevitable.
06[20:23] * @Anne_Montelepre politely edges past the hotel staff, intent on getting inside. In fact, having all of them outside might actually help, as there’ll be fewer people to see her talking to herself.
[20:25] <@Storyteller> <Victoria is curled up in one of the large, comfy lobby chairs, staring off into space.>
06[20:32] * @Shinjiro-kun clearly can’t see Victoria or any other dead souls, but he still seems faintly uncomfortable with the whole thing.
06[20:35] * @December whispers quietly to Hector, her hands never letting up on their tight grip on the steering wheel. “Will yeh geh’oor t’ings, luv?”
06[20:36] * @Anne_Montelepre spots Victoria and heads over, bowing her head slightly in respect. “It’s done. Those responsible for this will never do it again…or anything else.”
06[20:38] * @Wraxian leaves Kiyomasa to nap on her chair, standing and dropping down to the stone walkway, taking a moment to affix a sincere-seeming yet deeply frigid smile on her lips – even Damion, their newest, could not be fooled by her lack of empathy, though the doting hoteliers barely seem to notice, waiting on and for Wraxian hand and foot as she enters the building.
[20:40] <@Wraxian> <Victoria looks up, smiling. perhaps, Anne may notice, she already seems a little less… present.> “I knew you could.”
06[20:42] * @Hector` nods, giving December a quick kiss on the cheek before he heads up to “pack.”
06[20:44] * @December lowers her head, closing her eyes after he leaves. “T’anks.”
06[20:51] * @Anne_Montelepre bites her lip for a moment, realizing, perhaps, that she was on limited time. “Have you seen Michael? I’d hoped to have the both of you along for this, but everything happened sooner than I’d expected.”
[20:53] <@Storyteller> <Victoria smiles wistfully.> “A man came … and said he would take him home.”
06[20:55] * @Wraxian seems to patiently allow the staff to escort her around one last time.
06[21:08] * @Anne_Montelepre nods. “Probably for the best, then. But….”
[21:12] <@Storyteller> <Victoria looks at Anne, her brows drawing, as if it is taking more and more concentration to stay focused on her.> “….hm?”
06[21:19] * @Shinjiro-kun continues to eye Anne as she speaks to the air, folding his arms over his chest.
06[21:20] * @Anne_Montelepre swallows, looking a bit uncomfortable. “I’m not sure if you’re interested….of how much choice you’ve in the matter. But I got the impression that you weren’t terribly comfortable with the psychopomps — the Gods that came to bring everyone to the next world. To tell you the truth, I’ve some reservations about it myself.”
[21:21] <@Anne_Montelepre> “I’ve a few ideas about changing that, but I sense we’re short on time here. So I’ll ask: would you object to my sending for you later? To see how you’re faring, and perhaps ask some advice?”
[21:22] <@Storyteller> <Victoria blinks, looking confused.>
06[21:23] * @Anne_Montelepre shrugs. “Given everything that’s happened to you, seems to me that someone should ask for your permission regarding something.
[21:26] <@Storyteller> <Victoria murmurs softly.> “Do you hear music?” <She blinks a little, focusing on Anne again.> “Send for me? How?”
06[21:35] * @Anne_Montelepre listens momentarily, hears nothing. “Nothing unpleasant, honest. And you’re free to refuse anything I ask of you, if you wish.”
[21:42] <@Storyteller> <Victoria blinks slowly.> “All right…”
06[21:51] * @Anne_Montelepre nods. “Anything else I can do for you? Last messages? Bring you a copy of The Winds Of Winter once it’s finally released?”
[21:53] <@Storyteller> <Victoria briefly grins brightly.> “Francois publishing, if you would.”
06[21:59] * @Shinjiro-kun raises an eyebrow, clearly missing the significance of the title.
06[21:59] * @Anne_Montelepre smiles herself, a bit sadly “D’accord. Well, you’ve done everything anyone could ask of you, and then some. Call it a day?”
[22:10] <@Storyteller> <Victoria exhales at length, seeming to lose a bit of substance with each moment that passes.> Bonne Nuit, Mademoiselle…”
06[22:15] * @Shinjiro-kun simply tries to read Anne’s facial expression and body language to tell what is going on.
06[22:16] * @Hector` is trying to close an overstuffed trunk via elbow drops, occasionally letting an “OH YEAH!” slip out to no one in particular.
06[22:26] * @Anne_Montelepre reaches for Victoria’s hand, knowing it was a vain gesture before she started it, still smiling. “Fais de beaux rêves, Victoria.”
[22:32] <@Storyteller> <Victoria is gone.>
06[22:42] * @Anne_Montelepre is not gone; indeed, she remains standing where she is for a few minutes. She touches two fingers to her forehead then starts to bring them down before she realizes what she’s doing… then shrugs and finishes the Sign of the Cross, before turning back to face Shinjiro.
[22:43] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…It is done. For now, at least.”
[22:50] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…And it’s probably best that I can’t send for her again on a whim. I’ll see if I can’t drop drop her family a line…should do that anyhow, really.”
[17:54] <@Shinjiro-kun> They have a right to know, no doubt. Even if the details must be… held back, slightly.
[17:57] <@Anne_Montelepre> “That’ll have to be later, of course. Mamou Renard’s plainly anxious to get back.”
[17:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Can’t say that I am, though…”
[18:00] <@Shinjiro-kun> Find yourself pining for the Seine?
06[18:04] * @Anne_Montelepre shakes her head. “Just thinking that after this dose of action, the house might feel a bit too… quiet.” Again her eyes flit to the paired rings. “‘Specially now.”
[18:06] <@Shinjiro-kun> I am less concerned for the deafening quiet and more concerned that this is just a taste of things to come.
06[18:09] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head as well, casting his gaze down to the watch on his wrist for a moment. “We have not truly had combat since we were deceived. That cannot last.”
06[18:11] * @Anne_Montelepre expression appeared to be dimming for a moment, but it fades quickly at Shinjiro’s words. “That I almost welcome, actually.”
[18:12] <@Shinjiro-kun> Reduced in number as we are, reduced in potency, lacking any form of recovery besides the slow wind of time… you would do well to reconsider your stance.
[18:12] <@Storyteller> ((i keep planning it!!)
[18:12] <@Storyteller> ((hector just keeps insisting on dropping buildings on people!!))
[18:15] <@Hector`> (Next time, I’ll drop the moon instead.)
[18:17] <@Anne_Montelepre> “‘Numbers’ I miss — keenly — but I ‘potency’ will take care of itself. And it’s not as if dreading the future’ll stop it from happening, non?”
[18:18] <@Anne_Montelepre> “But we should probably get moving, before the ‘talking to myself’ bit earlier gets me an extended stay somewhere unpleasant.”
[18:27] <@Shinjiro-kun> Does your pantheon have a concept of “Hell” or do you just use the Judeo-Christian one?
[18:44] <@Damion_Cross> Wait, were you fighting multiple Marlboros? On Chocobo-back?
[18:46] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Not sure, to be honest. While La Terreur holds some sway over the deceased, she seems to be less into ‘ruling the dead’ as ‘extended punishment for extreme cases’.”
[18:46] <@Shinjiro-kun> … I am suddenly imagining the Lady of the Revolution as the Queen of Hearts.
[18:50] <@Anne_Montelepre> “That, and the country’s increasingly secular…with Marianne’s acquiescence, if not direct support.”
06[19:03] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Anne. “I find that quite odd. Why would she desire a secular populace?”
06[19:08] * @Anne_Montelepre shrugs, starting towards the stairs. “I can only guess….but I suspect that it may be a way of avoiding Fate entanglements that some of the older Pantheons had to deal with.”
[19:09] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Would help explain why our Gods generally aren’t understood as such, anyway.:
06[19:11] * @Shinjiro-kun follows along with Anne, despite having very little in his room to retrieve. “I suppose that coming along after the genesis of the world gives your pantheon a bit of perspective.”
06[19:22] * @Anne_Montelepre quickly makes her way up the stairs, stopping just short of the door. “Can you give me just a minute, Shinjiro-kun? ”
[19:31] <@Shinjiro-kun> You may have five.
06[19:31] * @Shinjiro-kun gives her a small smirk before he moves to retrieve his few things.
06[19:34] * @Wraxian is still moving throughout the hotel surrounded by a cloud of Hoteliers, most of whom seem to be speaking to her with quiet reverence as she gathers her own minimal amount of things (it actually looks like no one slept in her space at all, ever).
06[19:35] * @Anne_Montelepre chuckles softly as she enters, but makes certain that the door closes behind her before moving to gather her (and Chris; his clothes and personal items were still visible). She moves with haste: while neither of them carried very much as a rule, some of her clothing was strewn about a bit…. awkwardly.
06[19:42] * @Hector` finally manages to get all of December’s things packed into a container that must, without question, be a portal into some sort of tangent dimension.
06[19:44] * @December seriously considers honking the AWV’s horn.
06[19:51] * @Anne_Montelepre makes her way back down, careful to be carrying the multiple bags as ‘someone reasonably fit’ might, as opposed to ‘someone who could throw a taxicab if she wanted.’ She grins at the enthralled staff shadowing Wraxian.
[19:52] <@Anne_Montelepre> *quietly, as she reaches the door and heads for the vehicle* “Wonder what she told them…”
06[19:56] * @Damion_Cross , in the course of happily letting Maeve rant, managed to collect his own things and return to the lobby,
06[20:02] * @Wraxian finally returns to the lobby with her coterie of sad-looking uniformed Hoteliers surrounding her, her face set on ‘distant, but pleasant’, enough to fool the mortals, but any of the group can see/sense the amethyst chips of ice that she calls her eyes, even from behind the multi-lensed goggles. She nods gently, repeatedly, as they speak their solemn goodbyes and she turns to accompany the others out of the Hotel Notre Dame.
06[20:08] * @Damion_Cross turns to Maeve, as they head out (and once he’s reasonably sure that she’d gotten the sudden change in plans out of her system (mostly)). “So….coming with this time?”
06[20:09] * @Hector` finally manages to get the trunk down the staircase, carrying it with his fleshy arm as to not be horridly conspicuous.
06[20:10] * @Shinjiro-kun idly glances to Damion as he addresses the diminutive redhead. His expression is one of mild bemusement, as if he cannot wait to see where this goes.
[20:12] <@Storyteller> <Maeve snorts in a very unladylike fashion, fussing with her short skirt in an open attempt to attract attention.> “You think I haven’t seen what that truck of yours will do to unwanted… visitors?”
06[20:18] * @Damion_Cross chuckles. “Juuust asking. Though we could see about processing you in as a student…”
[20:20] <@Shinjiro-kun> You cannot simply dismiss her into your COMP?
[20:24] <@Storyteller> <Maeve> “Oh, he prefers to be aggressive when he’s getting into me…”
06[20:29] * @Damion_Cross smirks slightly despite himself . “Think both those references flew right over me.”
[20:36] <@Shinjiro-kun> … riiiight.
06[20:43] * @Wraxian with one final incline of her head, Wraxian departs the hotel, her always vaguely feral movements seems somehow regal, to match her affected air.
[20:44] <@Damion_Cross> “All right, guess we’re off, then. Answer your damn emails this time. And remember: that whole ‘kidnapping and experimentation’ thing these people pulled? It is a THREAT, Maeve, not an OFFER.”
[20:49] <@Shinjiro-kun> Experimenting on Maeve would be a confusing matter for all involved, I believe.
[20:51] <@Storyteller> <Maeve does her sweetest innocent face.> “…what was your email, again…?”
[20:53] <@Storyteller> <She waggles her brows at Shinjiro.> “….care to confirm that belief?”
[20:53] <@Shinjiro-kun> My girlfriend kicked a solid steel plate door into low Earth orbit.
[20:55] <@Storyteller> <Maeve> “OooOohh… I haven’t been in a threesome that rough since… hm…. yesterday?”
[21:00] <@Damion_Cross> “…Whatever. Just try not to end up dead or something, hm?”
[21:02] <@Storyteller> <Maeve clutches her hands before her, her hips and shoulders swinging in opposite arcs.> “Oh, Dam-y, you DO care!!
[21:09] <@Shinjiro-kun> I think that I am about to vomit.
06[21:10] * @Wraxian climbs back into the AMV, her pleasant facade nothing but a memory the instant she takes her seat in front of her server bank.
06[21:11] * @Damion_Cross waves Maeve off, shaking his head as he climbs into the truck.
[21:13] <@Storyteller> <Maeve grins, eyeing the Hoteliers, scoffing at them before she meanders back into the streets of Paris to get up to no good.
06[21:29] * @Shinjiro-kun makes his way into the vehicle, securing himself into place as he turns considerably less pale.
06[21:34] * @Hector` finally climbs into the cab and straps in. “I think that I got everything, minus a set of underwear maybe. I got distracted and lost count.”
06[21:38] * @Anne_Montelepre blushes slightly and takes great interest in one of the AWV’s interior fittings.
06[21:38] * @December shakes her head and snorts softly. “Wonn’uv us’ll jus’ hafta go k’man’do.”
[21:40] <@Hector`> We can just go commando, no big.
06[21:41] * @December grins, looking absolutely delighted to be popping the AMV into gear and beginning her (hopefully final) drive the Hades out of Paris.
[21:45] <@Shinjiro-kun> I must say, Paris was not what I was expecting.
06[21:53] * @Wraxian ‘s text-speech scrolls up on the canopy-HUD. “What were you expecting, Dojima Shinjiro?”
06[21:54] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head, exhaling a soft sigh. “Something a little bit brighter.”
[22:01] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Immediately after what the World sees as a terrorist bombing might not have been the best time, true.”
06[22:11] * @Damion_Cross clears his throat. “I’ve a question.”
[22:12] <@Damion_Cross> “One-and-a-half missions here I’ve been on… and it always looks like you all’re coming home from a funeral. What gives?”
[22:15] <@Shinjiro-kun> Well, in both of them, you’ve seen us come back with less people than we started with.
[22:15] <@Shinjiro-kun> That, Mr. Cross, is exactly ‘what gives.’
[22:20] <@Damion_Cross> “Well, yeah, but everyone’s still breathing, right? And the surviving of the ones who did this’ll be dragon shit by this time tomorrow. Would smiling kill anyone?”

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About T.L. Maslar

One prefers the word 'enigmatic', but 'more than a bit odd' works just as well.

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