Generation S – Issue #089 – In the Face of Fate – Publication 03.22.16

[18:28] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Keep talking and find out.”
[18:40] <@Shinjiro-kun> Mr. Cross, in case you were unaware, we had our greatest hour of triumph transformed into a shame known across the Worlds. We can smile when the job is done. This? This is simply a step along that path.
[18:41] <@Shinjiro-kun> Taking a gulp of air when one is still rising from the ocean floor is ill-advised.
06[18:43] * @Wraxian turns her head to Shinjiro, listening, head tilted slightly, bird-like.
[18:49] <@Shinjiro-kun> We can savor success when what was set wrong is put to rights again, and not before.
06[18:50] * @Damion_Cross shakes his head. “Meh. If I’d gone about it your way, I’ve kicked from stress alone age ago.”
[18:56] <@Damion_Cross> “If that step’s one taken against Shit Man Wasn’t Meant To Snap Selfies With, then Shit Yes, I’m taking a bow.”
06[19:00] * @Shinjiro-kun smirks a small smirk. “This journey requires a stout heart. I will take my bows when the play is done, not at the end of the first act.”
06[19:13] * @December finally feels confident they are far enough from the city, to pop them into the aetherspace with a familiar BANG.
06[19:24] * @Anne_Montelepre starts for a moment, not because of the dimensional shift, but as if she just remembered something. She then simply stares forward, her jaw set.
06[19:27] * @Hector` tries to look for shapes in the nether. “Psyduck… Geodude… David Bowie…”
06[19:32] * @December snorts softly, shaking her head.
06[19:39] * @Hector` glances to December, grinning a bit. “You remind me of the babe.”
06[19:42] * @December eyes him, her eyes glittering. “Wha bay’be?”
[19:45] <@Hector`> The one with the voodoo.
06[19:46] * @December smirks. “hoo’doo?”
[19:50] <@Hector`> You do!
[19:51] <@December> “Do wha’?”
06[19:51] * @Damion_Cross snorts.
06[20:02] * @December exhales, as if it would be the first time in a year, as they drop back into the Sanctuary space and rumble up the front drive, around the hedges, to park and come to a still at last, at home.
[20:07] <@Anne_Montelepre> *mutters* “If it’s messed with our room….”
06[20:09] * @Wraxian does not comment.
[20:11] <@Hector`> Remind me of the babe!
06[20:11] * @Hector` smirks as they come back into view of the house.
[20:12] <@Shinjiro-kun> The house does what it will.
06[20:17] * @Wraxian hovers her fingers over her PLD as if she might have responded for a moment, before simply letting her hand drop to fuss with Kiyomasa’s fur as she waits for the AWV to clear out.
06[20:17] * @December leans and kisses Hector feverishly, holding him close for a moment.
06[20:18] * @Hector` lets out a soft yelp before he gets thoroughly snogged.
06[20:20] * @December lets him go, sighing contently as she shoves the Driver’s side door open and hops out into fresh, clean, non-French air.
06[20:24] * @Anne_Montelepre half-turns towards the door before sighing in resignation, picking up both her bag and Chris’ and heading to open the ramp.
06[20:25] * @Hector` flops against the passenger side door to take a breath before he stumbles out of the cab.
06[20:36] * @Damion_Cross gathers his own things and heads for the hatch, stopping short as he withdraws his flask from his jacket. He pours a shot into the cap/shot cup, pours it onto the ground outside, and only then actually steps out, pouring a second shot for himself.
06[20:44] * @Anne_Montelepre heads for the front door and towards the dorm wing. Though her expression remains unchanged throughout, her speed increases as she gets nearer.
06[20:54] * @Shinjiro-kun watches Damion as he performs his ritual, opting to stay near the be-afroed boy.
[21:16] <@Storyteller> <Anne will find that there is a missing door…. but it isn’t her wide double-doored white ingress. She (or someone else) may notice, however, that the ceilings are now simple high arched affairs, without a rope or steel cable to be found.>
06[21:27] * @Hector` staggers inside with the trunk over one arm, eyeing up the ceilings. “Where are the monkey lines…”
06[21:28] * @Anne_Montelepre apparently asked the same question, judging from the haste with which she dropped her luggage and ran for her room’s doors…
[21:31] <@Storyteller> <As the doors open, nothing inside will have changed…. aside from the similar lack of primate-friendly entertainment and travel modes.>
[21:31] <@Hector`> It’s like it knows our roster better than we do.
06[21:35] * @Wraxian sets Kitten!Kiyo down, reversing whatever magic that makes him small, he sniffs the spot on the ground where Damion poured one out, before flicking his tail as he eyes the boy directly.
[21:36] <@Shinjiro-kun> I believe that Kiyomasa Scionsbane is wondering why you are spilling poison on the ground.
[21:39] <@Damion_Cross> “Doubt it; felines can digest ethanol just fine. Can’t say that I’m entirely comfortable with the way he’s eyeing me, though…”
06[21:39] * @Damion_Cross proceeds to get into an impromptu staring contest with said impossibly large feline.
[21:41] <@Storyteller> <Kiyomasa licks his chops quite pointedly, lowering his head so that one of his enormous eyes is level with Damion’s head. He makes hungry cat rumbles.>
06[21:56] * @Damion_Cross holds his gaze, even as he demonstrates, outward demeanor to the contrary, that he has some grasp on the gravity of his situation. “This presents a problem…”
06[22:02] * @Damion_Cross has a sudden bit of inspiration….and suddenly (having determined that he had nothing he couldn’t replace inside) offers his bag to Kiyomasa ….redolent with the scent of pounds and pounds of freshly-caught catfish.
[22:02] <@Damion_Cross> ((1L, Fool’s Gold, please. XD))
[22:14] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Trying to fool a Nemean… I also like to live dangerously.)
[22:14] <@Storyteller> ((Isn’t FG 2L?))
[22:15] <@Logicalmob> ((Whoops, it is. My mistake))
[22:15] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Trying to fool the Storyteller… I also like to live dangerously.)
[22:16] <@Storyteller> ((Roll your Manip and art, sir))
[22:16] <@Logicalmob> ((It was an accident, Honest, ^^;; ))
[22:16] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Gods’ Honest?)
[22:16] <@Shinjiro-kun> (That’s another 1L!)
06[22:17] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Damion, wondering what he’s doing with the bag or what he expects to do when Kiyomasa gets bored and tries to rip his face off, like in Face/Off.
[22:17] <@Logicalmob> !roll 10 11
[22:17] <+Zer0> , 5 , 9 , 10 , 7 , 1 , 9 , 5 , 5 , 2 , 2
[22:17] <+Zer0> Logicalmob Successes: 16
[22:19] <@Storyteller> ((the art doesn’t have to be related? <eyes>))
[22:20] <@Damion_Cross> ((Photography isn’t?))
[22:20] <@Storyteller> ((<skeptical look>))
[22:20] <@Damion_Cross> ((Well it is the Relic he uses for the Purview ^^;; ))
[22:21] <@Damion_Cross> ((His camera, I mean))
[22:21] <@Storyteller> ((mhm.))
[22:22] <@Storyteller> !roll 10 11
[22:22] <+Zer0> , 1 , 2 , 3 , 3 , 3 , 7 , 4 , 8 , 5 , 3
[22:22] <+Zer0> Storyteller Successes: 13
[22:23] <@Damion_Cross> ((Well, suppose it’s better to sort stuff like this out now, yes? ^^ ))
[22:24] <@Storyteller> <Kiyomasa turns his head, opening and closing his maw, attempting to eat the bag, and any limbs Damion foolishly left near it.>
06[22:25] * @Damion_Cross naturally drops the thing and steps back quickly…or attempts to at least.
[22:25] <@Conall`Curach> (After reading the charm in question, I would say that whichever Art you use isn’t relevant. You don’t manipulate any artistic object to perform the charm, you are using Art to measure your conceptual understanding of objects’ characteristics.)
06[22:26] * @Shinjiro-kun just shakes his head, suppressing a laugh. “You may want to hurry.”
[22:26] <@Damion_Cross> ((Though I can start investing a specific Art (Illusion) subskill, if you’d perfer.))
[22:27] <@Storyteller> ((nono you’re good i was mostly giving you a hard time.))
[22:27] <@Storyteller> ((and presumptuously FG is observation only and not taste or feel…))
[22:27] <@Damion_Cross> ((^^;; ))
06[22:30] * @Damion_Cross seems to share Shinjiro’s assessment, as he heads for the house as quickly as he can without actually running for it.
06[22:32] * @December takes a fast assessment of the scenario and barks a yip of surprise and laughter and actually does run for it.
[22:33] <@Storyteller> <Kiyomasa closes his jaws on what is inexcusably Not Catfish, but is indeed Some Dude’s Luggage. He yowls around his mouthful of metal, plastic, and fiber, savaging the bag to unrecognizable twisted bits and pieces.>
06[22:39] * @Anne_Montelepre, meanwhile, notes that the absence of their simian domestic staff appears to be TI-wide, biting her lip, she races for the the closets, the dressers and drawers and the bathroom, seeking proof that two people (still) inhabit the room.
[22:41] <@Storyteller> <Chris’ belongings seem mostly to be in place.>
06[22:41] * @Damion_Cross inwardly winces as he hurries along, not daring to turn around. “Least I have Prime…”
[22:42] <@Damion_Cross> ((That is, [Whatever Brand Substition We Have For Amazon] Prime. ;) ))
[22:44] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Azalin Prime it is!)
[22:47] <@Damion_Cross> ((I’m not thinking about things like “Now he has Damion’s scent FOREVER. ^^;; ))
06[22:56] * @Damion_Cross reaches the door behind December, holding it just wide enough for a human(oid) and ready to slam it shut on certain Nemeans should they take certain Tricks Personally. “C’mon if you’re comin’!”
06[23:00] * @Shinjiro-kun heads for the door, smirking as he goes. “Looks like the cat is out of the bag.”
06[23:01] * @Anne_Montelepre breathes a small sigh of relief… and then it’s gone , and she stalks towards the desk, scrawling an angry note onto a handy Post-It. After stalking out, retrieving both fallen bags, and tossing them inside, she slaps the note onto the door before violently slamming it shut behind her and throwing herself onto the bed.
06[23:03] * @Hector` has since lobbed the trunk into his domicile and buried himself in the nest of sheets and blankets. He is watching C-SPAN with the volume muted, because that is the only way to watch C-SPAN and not wish for death.

~~~

[17:25] <@Storyteller> <Perhaps the sun streaming in through the patio doors and the front and lounge windows is truly colder than it once was, or perhaps it simply feels as such, providing light, without warmth. Perhaps it is that the mansion is so much quieter, the halls and rooms seeming closer, now capped with true ceilings, the absence of their own companions and the coterie of primates, each in their own right making the space feel smaller, yet widely emptier.>
06[17:26] * @Wraxian , unsurprisingly, has been a rare sight since their return, if she has been spotted at all.
06[17:30] * @Shinjiro-kun has been reading a prodigious amount of books, turning the library into a reorganized maelstrom of activity.
06[17:36] * @Damion_Cross , for his part, appears to be a bit more studious than usual, helping himself alternately to shots of espresso and rum as he and his laptop hold court at the kitchen table. Though he makes the occasional foray into the library, he leaves Shinjiro to his own work, apparently too busy to try getting under the Amatsukami Scion’s skin for once.
06[17:37] * @Anne_Montelepre is conspicuously absent, having not set foot outside her room since arriving.
[17:39] <@Storyteller> <The time is 0700 TIST.>
06[17:41] * @Hector` is content to amuse himself with a fresh round of X-COM.
06[17:42] * @December busies herself in the kitchen, cooking as if she’s feeding fifty instead of… six.
06[17:49] * @Hector` gets distracted from time to time by watching December’s tail as she works.
06[17:51] * @December smiles to herself, maybe a little less wildly than before, flicking her tail a little extra when she knows she’s being watched.
[17:55] <@Damion_Cross> “…No way around it. I’m going to have to interview you people — some of you, at least.”
06[17:56] * @Damion_Cross speaks up out of nowhere.
[17:56] <@Hector`> Sorry, I don’t do interviews. Look at what happened to El Chapo.
06[17:59] * @December raises a brow inquisitively towards Damion, shaking it ruefully as she glances at Hector.
[18:06] <@Damion_Cross> “Regarding some of these events, I mean. The Fate-Dispenser-thing, the Monkey King’s defection…all of it.”
06[18:09] * @December makes a non-committal sound.
06[18:14] * @Hector` shrugs his shoulders a bit. “If I knew much about Sunny’s disappearing act, I’d go and find his scrawny ass.”
[18:21] <@Damion_Cross> “See, that’s the thing.”
06[18:21] * @Damion_Cross saves what he’s working on, then closes his laptop.
06[18:23] * @December looks up, listening, but she continues cooking as if she thinks the smell of a breakfast feast will lure her students, or more hopefully, begin to soothe their broken hearts.
[18:26] <@Hector`> … are you going to finish your thought?
[18:29] <@Damion_Cross> “When I’m off pretending that I know how to behave in public, I study… I write papers regarding people and places I stumble across while investigating, well, stuff like we just dealt with. More often than not, the data is there for anyone to find and use… but sometimes they don’t. Or if they do, they’re limited by having only seen it from their perspective.”
[18:30] <@Damion_Cross> “Sometimes, what’s needed is a fresh pair of eyes.”
[18:37] <@Hector`> Sure, sure, but I can’t tell you much about his vanishing act. I just don’t know.
[18:47] <@Damion_Cross> “Maybe you don’t, or maybe you and don’t realize it yet.”
[18:47] <@Damion_Cross> “Or will, once everything is compiled.”
06[18:55] * @Hector` eyes Damion warily. “Is this one of those unknown knowns bullshit things?”
06[18:58] * @Damion_Cross smirks. “My interviews don’t take that long: I’ve got shit to do.”
[19:00] <@Damion_Cross> “But otherwise, yeah. Though I’ve a few tricks for sifting through it all a bit faster.”
[19:18] <@Hector`> Well, lay it on me, Plate Captain.
[19:25] <@Damion_Cross> “Not just yet. Still in the “Build the Tools to Build the Tools” part. Specifically, determining what questions to ask about what incidents.”
06[19:33] * @Hector` exhales a small sigh, shaking his head. “Well, when you figure out the tools to build the tools, lemme know.”
[19:46] <@Damion_Cross> “Of course. Right now, I’m just going over what I’ve picked up regarding that Fate Dispenser of yours, and your specific trials.”
[19:52] <@Shinjiro-kun> Oh yeah? What are you seeing so far, then?
06[19:53] * @Shinjiro-kun leans against the door jamb, arms folded over his chest as he watches Damion.
06[20:01] * @December glances at Shinjiro, grabbing and holding up a large bowl of noodles in offering.
[20:05] <@Damion_Cross> “Well… it looks as if they had your number from the word ‘Go.’ A box that couldn’t be moved and shrieked like an indignant Patriots’ fan if it didn’t get what it wanted?”
[20:11] <@Damion_Cross> “Moral question that, by the end, anyone would see how you were going to answer?”
[20:13] <@Damion_Cross> “And the whole Teaengicue business that started it all…not even sure where to begin with that. At least one thing I’m still puzzling over, though.”
06[20:17] * @Shinjiro-kun moves to claim the bowl of noodles, slurping down a bite of thanks.
[20:17] <@Hector`> Yeah, that shit in the woods was freaky as fuck. I don’t have an answer for that one.
06[20:19] * @December smiles, seeming pleased that someone has an appetite at least.
06[20:23] * @Damion_Cross finishes off his demitasse of rum (or was it espresso? He’d quit keeping track some time ago) and stands up arching his back and stretching his shoulders before heading towards December to get a plate.
06[20:27] * @December smiles to Damion, guarded but sincere. “Anee rek’qwests?”
06[20:30] * @Shinjiro-kun continues slurping as he finds himself a seat.
[20:31] * @Damion_Cross shakes his head. “Anything’ll do.”
06[20:39] * @December heaps up a plate with all of Hector’s favorite things in between piling a plate almost a foot high with various breakfasty foods for Damion, setting Hector’s at the edge of the counter nearest to him, and offering the other directly to Damion.
06[20:47] * @Hector` begins destroying the plate without really focusing on it.
06[21:04] * @Damion_Cross accepts it…though not without raising an eyebrow at its size, turning to December…and plainly deciding against questioning it.
06[21:07] * @December just nods her head to indicate Hector’s eating habits.
06[21:14] * @Damion_Cross reclaims his seat, pausing only to return his computer to its bag before tucking in.
06[21:19] * @Hector` picks up the empty plate, takes it over to December, and leans over to kiss her on the cheek. “Cheers.”
06[21:19] * @December leans into the kiss and nods.
[18:04] <@December> “Wha’s tha t’ing, Dame’yen?”
[18:07] <@Damion_Cross> ((For the record, thanks to my goldfish-like memory I’ve no idea if the next question is the one I’d originally planned on bringing up. but…))
01[18:07] <@TLemental> ((Food pellet!))
[18:13] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Oh, don’t sell yourself short. You have a better memory than a goldfish.)
[18:13] <@Hector`> (More like a marmot, or an otter.)
[18:14] <@Damion_Cross> ((:P ))
[18:15] <@Damion_Cross> “Naah, just a bit surprised by the portion size. Though I’m also wondering about the Cliff.”
06[18:16] * @December blinks slowly. “…tha cl’if?”
[18:18] <@Damion_Cross> “….Yyyyyeah. Know that strange bit off to one side of the grounds? Where said grounds seem to just… well, end?”
06[18:21] * @December provides Damion a look that says she bloody well does know, but just raises her brows in silence.
[18:24] <@Damion_Cross> “….Ah, one of those deals. Joy.”
06[18:26] * @Shinjiro-kun just shakes his head, folding his arms over his chest. “It could be far, far worse.”
[18:27] <@December> “‘s a sank’tchu’aree tha’ – ta bes’ guesses- ‘as ‘lantean ore’gins. Sum stuff… jus’ is.”
[18:31] <@Damion_Cross> ((Int+ Occult, just b’cause))
[18:32] <@Damion_Cross> !roll 9 4
[18:32] <+Zer0> , 5 , 7 , 1 , 8 , 5 , 6 , 3 , 6 , 1
[18:32] <+Zer0> Damion_Cross Successes: 6
[18:36] <@Damion_Cross> “…Whellp, at least I know which way NOT to make my emergency exit, now.”
[18:37] <@Hector`> Yeah, no, I wouldn’t take a dive if I were you. Falling through infinity don’t sound fun.
06[18:44] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Damion for a moment. “What makes you believe that you will require an emergency exit?”
[18:49] <@Damion_Cross> “1) I’m involved in any fashion whatsoever.”
06[18:50] * @Hector` waves a hand toward Shinjiro. “Having an escape plan is sensible. I can think of a couple of times where we coulda used one.”
06[18:56] * @Anne_Montelepre The double doors outside of Anne and Chris’ room remain as they were since Anne’s return: closed, the violet Post-It Note on the door the only explanation/sign-of-life.
[18:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> <note> “If it isn’t on fire, actively destroying the World, or currently devouring the House, I DO NOT want to hear about it. -A.”
06[18:59] * @Shinjiro-kun gives a faint nod of assent. “Perhaps, so long as the escape plan involves us all making it out in one piece.”
[19:08] <@Damion_Cross> “‘Escape plan’ involving more than two. Novel.”
06[19:08] * @Shinjiro-kun exhales a soft breath, shaking his head. “As I suspected.”
06[19:13] * @December snorts faintly, her features hard but her eyes pained. “Beddur be care’fuls how yeh be plannin ta esk’ape… dere’s onlee won ‘n tended way inn’n oudda dis plays, an’ doin’ it on yer own risks tha sek’yuritee sys’tim… or nev’r fin’din tha way back.”
[19:16] <@Damion_Cross> “HEY. Given the odds we normally face, if’n I deed it, our odds’ve gone prettty far South as it is, no?”
[19:17] <@Damion_Cross> “No sense making them harder than necessary. But, assuming it does come to that, then–”
[19:20] <@Anne_Montelepre> !roll 7 7
[19:20] <+Zer0> , 6 , 3 , 10 , 8 , 2 , 3 , 2
[19:20] <+Zer0> Anne_Montelepre Successes: 10
[19:22] <@Shinjiro-kun> That assumes, Mr. Cross, that you have the intestinal fortitude to not simply bolt at the first sign of risk.
06[19:23] * @Shinjiro-kun shrugs his shoulders, spreading his arms wide. “As I have not seen you engaged in combat, as of yet, I cannot speak to your character, one way or the other.”
06[19:29] * @Damion_Cross shrugs. “Ain’t my fault you’ve got the One-Man-Demo-Team leading the Band, here.”
06[19:29] * @Damion_Cross jerks a thumb at Hector.
06[19:30] * @Hector` just shrugs his shoulders. “They don’t build stonework like they used to, I guess.”
[19:34] <@Hector`> … wait a tick. ‘Leading’?
06[19:34] * @Hector` eyes December, eyebrows raised. “Did I become a leader when I wasn’t looking?”
[19:44] <@December> “Yeh’ve bin won ferr’ah while, han’sum.”
06[19:45] * @Hector` snaps his stone fingers, letting up a spark as stone scrapes against stone. “Well, fuck. I guess I have to be all mature and shit.”
06[19:50] * @December chortles softly.
[20:00] <@Hector`> Cramping my style…
06[20:12] * @December squeezes his shoulder softly.
06[20:22] * @Hector` smirks a bit before glancing to Damion. “I’ll leave one for you next time, eh?”

01[13:44] <@Wraxian> <Wraxian is, in quite typically Wraxian fashion, just sortof there, the exact method of her entrance not entirely clear, though she is indeed simply there, her presence suddenly pinging on Anne’s radar. Her blouse is more notably wired, many of them running up beneath, and into her dark curly locks, her goggles slid partially open as she regards Anne in momentary silence.>
06[14:23] * @Anne_Montelepre sits cross-legged with her back to the foot of the bed, wireless tablet on her lap, stylus in hand, her attention on the room’s flatscreen TV, onto which her computer is apparently casting its screen. She appears to be using a graphics program of some sort, drawing, coloring, and flitting through layers with what might be blinding speed to anyone other than Wraxian. She appears to have been there for some time: the bed was still neatly made, albeit covered by random pieces of clothing and luggage, discarded by their wearer with little care and no small amount of force (if the dresser’s mirror, apparently shattered by a randomly-cast Relic boot, is any indication), though she’d crawled into one of Chris’ basketball shirts at one some point. There’s no light apart from the screen and reflections off the mirror’s shards, but she addresses Wraxian without turning. “Did you not see the note on the door, or just ignore it?”
06[14:40] * @Wraxian doesn’t seem focused on Anne’s work so much as the young woman herself, her unsettling stare filtered through multiple lenses, but no less potent, as she completely ignores the question posed to her and responds with one of her own. Such terrible manners. It probably doesn’t help that Wraxian’s voice… isn’t really Wraxian’s voice, but something in between Siri and the WarGames computer, emanating from what seems to be her PLD, after a brief bout of typing upon its surface. “At what juncture of chronal units do you intend to cease your current course, Anne Mon-tel-eh-pray?”
[14:47] <@Conall`Curach> (The computer’s name was W.O.P.R.)
[14:47] <@Conall`Curach> (Pronounced “whopper.”)
06[14:53] * @Anne_Montelepre starts for a moment, before remembering the cause of Wraxian’s vocal strain. She still doesn’t turn, though she does sigh softly as she replies. “Once I’ve rebuilt Suzerain’s buffer to a minimum of six months.”
06[15:02] * @Wraxian Something about the way Wraxian tilts her head slightly in response to that may indicate that Anne did not answer the question she had, intended to, at least, ask. She types again, the warbly digitally feminine voice a stark contrast to Wraxian’s typically stealthy ferality. “And after that, Anne Montelepre?”
06[15:09] * @Anne_Montelepre , still drawing rapidly, shrugs. “”We’ll have our next set of instructions by then, I’d assume.”
06[15:17] * @Wraxian exhales sharply through her nose. “Wherein you will dutifully follow each to the letter precisely as laid out, and do exactly as you are told, Anne Montelepre?”
06[15:29] * @Anne_Montelepre finally turns to face Wraxian, almost snapping at her, though she manages not to yell. “What the hell do you think?! Is ANYTHING I’m doing — including this comic, for that matter — ‘dutifully following’ ANYTHING to the letter!?”
01[15:44] <@Wraxian> “It appears you are content to wallow in your perceived losses, set your stubbornness to a simple single-minded task, separating yourself physically and emotionally, without furthering yourself nor your pack in effort to fill the space between orders, Anne Montelepre.”
06[15:55] * @Anne_Montelepre can almost hear her teeth grating, as she saves her current work, before carefully setting the tablet aside.
[16:11] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Let’s ignore for the moment that it’s you of all people trying to lecture someone about ‘separating themselves,’ and go back to this ‘simple single-minded task’ bit….which is pretty much the only means I have to initiate any plans from here right now.”
[16:11] <@Anne_Montelepre> “All the rest of them require either that we leave this place between missions — something I’ve requested repeatedly, without success — or work into or following missions, which I’m frankly not hopeful about getting approval for either.”
01[16:15] <@Wraxian> “What would you do, with that freedom, Anne Montelepre?”
06[16:32] * @Anne_Montelepre appears to be about to say something else, but is stopped short by Wraxian”s question. “Well, start tying up some of these loose ends, for one. The cultists from Paris. Standish’s people. The Oracle we met en-route to Cairo — who we might’ve left to die, for all we know. Stop simply reacting and ACT, for a change!”
[16:32] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Wait, there’s more, too…”
06[16:33] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s voice had risen up to this point, but she seemed to be taking deep, cleansing breaths, as if she’d just gotten something out of her system.
[16:38] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Yeah, there’s more. Don’t misunderstand, Wraxian: for all my bitching about being bottled up…I get it. This place, I mean — some of it, at least.”
06[16:40] * @Wraxian is silent, ostensibly watching, and listening, the force of her attention as potent as it has ever been, but she remains, waiting for the rest.
[16:48] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Without it…. I’d be surprised if even half of us were still alive, or else transformed into something that’d make us wish we weren’t. We’ve had protection, from both the World and from ourselves. But….do we really know what it all means yet?”
06[16:51] * @Wraxian is barely done typing before the digital female states flatly, “No.”
06[16:52] * @Anne_Montelepre blinks at the speed of her answer. “…I think we might be talking about different things, here.”
06[16:56] * @Wraxian offers a one-shouldered shrug in response to that, lowering her head and appearing to type for a few moments.
06[17:13] * @Wraxian crosses the limited space between her and Anne, gently lifting her goggles up off of her eyes, perching them at her hairline. She sinks to the floor in front of her with effortless, feline grace, propping herself up with her hands on her thighs as she leans well into Anne’s personal space bubble, her face uncomfortably close to Anne’s. Whether or not Shinjiro has shared the extent of what Wraxian had previously shared with him, the truth is that none of them have had the opportunity- inclination or not- to take a long, deep gaze into Wraxian’s eyes since they returned from Cairo… and with even minimal attentiveness – let alone Anne’s heightened perceptions, the terrible wrongness of her eyes is even further unsettling than the invasion of boundaries itself. While the pale amethyst of the Atlantean’s irises remain, they appear to be shattered, broken up by her pupils- or something else- expanded into a distinctly arachnid, web-like pattern centered on her actual irises. She doesn’t give Anne much time to think about what she is seeing, however, as she finally hits return, or whatever else actually pushes her PLD’s text to the vocal simulator, allowing it to speak for her. “You are such a proponent, Anne Montelepre, of action. What will happen, when the one that you have fought hardest against, is the only one left?”
06[17:46] * @Anne_Montelepre initially flushes, as if only now aware of just how little she (Anne)’s wearing….but Wraxian’s next move, and the sight which awaited her as her face closed with hers, killed all thought of embarrassment before they were fully born. Thoughts flash through her mind — a spider paying a visit, Love itself looking utterly aghast, trying to save a moth from the flame in Amoragosa, “‘There is no place to rest, for those of your blood'”…
[17:50] <@Anne_Montelepre> “IF it happens, and it won’t me for a lack of my considering every possible alternative….”
06[17:51] * @Anne_Montelepre swallows.
[17:57] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…I cannot promise that I — or we — can save you, however much we wish to. Instead, lemme say two things.”
06[18:00] * @Anne_Montelepre raises her right hand, tracing the swooping lines of a cursive letter on Wraxian’s forehead.
[18:07] <@Anne_Montelepre> “If it comes about do to an error of judgement on my part, Wraxian, something I did or should have done…then I ask your forgiveness. And I give my word that, unless you, yourself, wish it…. you will not be alone. A place of peace will await you, and all of us who didn’t want the Storm, but faced it all the same, even if I have to build it myself.”
06[18:22] * @Wraxian continues to stare directly into Anne’s eyes, processing her words, offering only a vast gulf of emptiness in return, but there is a clarity of thought, in her features, and her shattered eyes, a moment before they turn away from Anne’s and Wraxian stands up as liquidly as she sat down, that may give the girl hope that, at the very least, her words have been heard and registered on some level, Wraxian’s lips moving in silence – ‘build it myself’ – as she retreats to a more comfortable distance, pulling her goggles back down into place as she does so. She types quickly, the inflection of her digital voice perhaps allowing for more warmth than Wraxian herself could have ever mustered. “I can ask for little more, Anne Montelepre. There is a matter more immediate, for which I would request your assistance, however.”
06[18:37] * @Anne_Montelepre looks up at her. Though she hasn’t moved any more than necessary to put her tablet aside since all this started, she looks drained, exhausted — as if, in a sense, she’s given birth to….something. So it’s perhaps understandable that she can only ask the question with her eyes and eyebrows, her expression quizzical but clear.
06[18:48] * @Wraxian pointedly tugs at the white fabric of her blouse, and intentionally snags her fingertip on one of the obvious wires running along it unattached, before she types her response. “Weaving fabrics continues to escape me, and I do not have Arachnae available for assistance, for this project, Anne Montelepre.”
06[19:01] * @Anne_Montelepre blinks. And blinks again, a snort escaping her lips. Suddenly she lunges forward, wrapping her arms about Wraxian’s waist as she buries her face in the Atlantean’s stomach. It might have been confusing, what with Anne laughing even as she cried against Wraxian….but she unmistakably nodded, even before she finally calmed enough to look up at her again.
[19:02] <@Anne_Montelepre> “S-sure. Just gimmie a sec t’ get up….and prob’ly put on some pants–”
06[19:03] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s stomach growls, long and loud, as her cheeks flame.
[19:03] <@Anne_Montelepre> “”And maybe eat something?…”

 

[17:31] <@Damion_Cross> “That should be entertaining.”
[17:31] <@Hector`> I wanna see what you do with those baby pistols of yours.
[17:39] <@Damion_Cross> “They — and I — have our surprises.”
[17:40] <@Damion_Cross> “Speaking of. Don’t suppose GrumpyCat’s still sore about yesterday?”
06[17:43] * @Hector` exhales a warm laugh. “He’s a crapshoot. He could lick your face, or he could maul it off.”
[17:46] <@Anne_Montelepre> “–Who’s been messing with Kiyo!?–”
06[17:49] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s interjection came from the kitchen door — still the worse for wear, but markedly better than she started the morning (She’s actually wearing something under Chris’ shirt, for starters).
06[17:54] * @Hector` gives Anne a glance, shaking his head. “Afro Thunder over here.”
[17:55] <@Damion_Cross> “Thanks for not throwing me under the bus, Hector.”
06[17:58] * @Hector` smirks. “I could throw you under the bus, if you want.”
[17:58] <@Storyteller> <Kiyo races out from who knows where in pursuit of his favorite prey, Anne’s feet.>
06[18:04] * @Anne_Montelepre (assuming Kiyo’s in his kitten form) makes her way over to December and the growing pile of breakfast foods, allowing their resident Nemean to gnaw freely on her metatarsals. First things’ first, after all.
[18:04] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Otherwise, there’d be a lot less good-natured compliance and a lot more running. ^^;; ))
06[18:09] * @Wraxian wanders forth in Anne’s wake, a silent but tanned ghost, as previously noted her blouse pulled apart as she has messily failed to rewire it, the wires almost formed into ridiculously poufy second sleeves. Her goggles are pulled down over her eyes and she makes no comment as (small)Kiyomasa tears around a corner after Anne’s feet, even as Anne herself beelines for the food.
06[18:10] * @December ‘s eyes brighten and warm to see Anne out and about, and her toothy smile is about as warm as she can make it, even if is still comes off as rather threatening. She heaps high an extra large plate before setting it before an empty stool at the central kitchen island.
[18:14] <@Damion_Cross> “Seriously, though: I defused the situation (I thought, anyway) in a way that did no harm to anyone. Including him: I doubt dropping one rolling hardside in the litter box is gonna mess him up that much.”
06[18:20] * @Shinjiro-kun just shakes his head. “If we are done with this amusing tete-a-tete, we might consider the possibilities for our next engagement.”
[18:22] <@Storyteller> <Kiyo pounces upwards up Anne’s backside, climbing (with claws) onto her shoulder, leaning forward to sniff the plate, then up at Damion, forth and back again, as if internally debating which meal would be best to start his day.>
06[18:26] * @Anne_Montelepre looks at Kiyomasa, a bit irritated (she doesn’t think he drew blood this time, but still), then between her plate and Damion. For a moment, she looks sorely tempted….but–
06[18:28] * @Anne_Montelepre <holding plate outward slightly, sort-of holding it within Kiyo’s line-of-sight>: “Split it?”
[18:33] <@Storyteller> <Kiyoamasa seems to be seriously debating Damion, making growly noises that translate to those able, to something disturbingly like a recipe list.>
06[18:41] * @Damion_Cross sighs. “All right, fine. I’ll probably never do that to you again? Happy?”
[18:46] <@Storyteller> <Kiyo growls, rumbling loudly in Anne’s ear.>
[18:47] <@Hector`> He understands English, you know that, right?
06[18:48] * @Hector` idly growls and purrs to Kiyomasa, speaking Jaguar to him. “You don’t want to eat that one. He’s full of piss and vinegar. Tastes awful.”
[18:50] <@Storyteller> <Kiyo blinks and mew-purrs inquisitively to Hector, clearly presuming Hector has tasted.> <NJ> “Left much of him, sure you tried right bits?”
[18:52] <@Damion_Cross> “…I feel vaguely as if I should resent this entire conversation.”
06[18:58] * @Anne_Montelepre , unable to understand this conversation in any case, continues to waggle the plate before the cat invitingly, for want of better ideas…and increasingly tempted to say to La Terrur with them both and begin eating it herself.
06[19:03] * @Hector` just gives Kiyo a solid nod.
[19:06] <@Storyteller> <Kiyo makes a distinctly ‘Harumph’esque sound, messily slurping half of Anne’s face in a single lick, matting her hair and slobbering all over her before he nonchalantly turns his nose up at all of the food, leaping down off of Anne to dash for Wraxian, pouncing and pawing at the wires trailing around her.>
06[19:20] * @Shinjiro-kun eyes Kiyomasa and Wraxian warily, mostly concerned that Kiyo will pull a wire that he shouldn’t and strip the Atlantean naked.
06[19:21] * @Anne_Montelepre “GAAH!!- Sh, SHIT–Damn cat….Fine, then!!” Plainly startled by the drool + sandpaper-y tongue, and on some level insulted by the turned nose, sets off for the table and sits down, setting to her breakfast in a huff of her own.
06[19:21] * @Hector` just laughs.
[19:21] <@Hector`> Well, at least one thing is normal around here.
06[19:28] * @Wraxian doesn’t seem to mind the risk as Kiyo chases the dangling wires, moving to the kitchen island and debating the food- with much the same cold curiosity as Kiyo.
06[19:34] * @December blinks a little, almost surprised at Wraxian, but makes her a plate of mostly raw meats and sets it in front of her.
[19:38] <@Damion_Cross> “All right….since the Donner Party’s apparently postponed, what’s the plan instead?”
[19:39] <@Hector`> Well, the way that I see it, we got two options:
[19:39] <@Hector`> We either sit around and wait for the next call, or we go out and look for some pantheon to settle with.
[19:46] <@Anne_Montelepre> <from around a mouthful of bacon> “Ah’hd annuth’r id’uh…
[19:51] <@Hector`> Spit it out, then.
06[19:51] * @Anne_Montelepre swallows, and washes it down with a swig of coffee.
[19:54] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Remember Gettysburg? And Paris? Remember the woman those involved in both named was behind it all?”
06[19:59] * @Hector` nods, starting to smell what the Frenchmaid is cooking. “You wanna go pay her a visit.”
06[20:08] * @December scowls and eats and drinks (coffee) her feelings in silence, devouring half a dozen softboiled eggs and four cups of civet in not nearly long enough a window of time.
[20:09] <@Anne_Montelepre> “If by ‘visit’ you mean ‘repeated impalement,’ then yeah.”
[20:10] <@Hector`> Works for me. I’m game.
06[20:11] * @Shinjiro-kun gives Anne a glance, grinning. “With extreme prejudice?”
[20:16] <@Anne_Montelepre> “More like ‘We’ll take whatever we can get.’ Given everyone’s reaction to her, she’s clearly got more to her than meets the eye.”
[20:16] <@Hector`> Great, we’re taking on a Transformer.
06[20:21] * @Damion_Cross snorts.
[20:27] <@Damion_Cross> “Seriously, though: Is there any way we can do this, and still fulfill our responsibilities before any of the Gods can get theior Smitin’ Arm warmed-up?”
[20:28] <@Hector`> We’re not on the hook right now. We have time before the next missive comes down from on high.
06[18:03] * @Damion_Cross nods. ” All right. I’m in then — if only to see what happens.”
[18:04] <@Shinjiro-kun> I was in from the words, “repeated impalement.”
06[18:17] * @Anne_Montelepre — still trying to maintain her grim (if kitten-licked) mien, but plainly relieved to see she has support from the Band — turns towards December again. She makes a studied effort not to look smug, however, instead essays a neutral (she hoped) mien. “So…what do you think, Mamou Renard?”
06[18:20] * @December very gently, and deliberately, turns and sets her coffee mug down on the countertop near the sink, pausing a moment.
06[18:25] * @Wraxian , probably still somewhere near Anne, reaches out with one hand towards the young woman, her thumb pressing at the back of her neck as her fingers dig rather ruthlessly against her throat and collarbone, with enough pressure to have broken something in someone else, but generally enough to get Anne’s attention. The sound of her goggles lenses withdrawing fills the momentary lull in conversation, followed quickly by a sharp inhalation and a faint grunt of displeasure, or perhaps just pain.
06[18:32] * @Hector` eyes Wraxian. “Somethin’ wrong, wildchild?”
06[18:37] * @Anne_Montelepre nearly gags, attempting to pull away from Wraxian (AND keep one eye on December.) Wraxian! What the hell!? ”
[18:46] <@Wraxian> !roll 9 7
[18:46] <+Zer0> , 1 , 7 , 6 , 9 , 8 , 4 , 1 , 10 , 4
[18:46] <+Zer0> Wraxian Successes: 12
06[18:53] * @Wraxian doesn’t seem inclined to allow Anne to break the contact so easily, holding on as her unlidded eyes scan whatever it is that her strange, amethyst spider-web threaded eyes can find. Perhaps they almost seem to blur, scanning back and forth rapidly, as if she was rereading or re-reading something over and over again. Finally, she exhales, releasing Anne and slummping onto the chair she was already nearest to, closing her goggles tightly as she rests her forehead on an empty spot of island countertop and gasping softly for breath. Without looking up, she reaches for her PLD, the Majel Roddenberry voice emanating from the device once more struggling with the name. “Anne Mon-tell-eh-pray.”
[18:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> ((Did I need to roll something for that?))
[18:59] <@Wraxian> ((not unless she was seriously going to attempt to break the hold before Wraxian let go.))
06[18:59] * @Hector` glances from Anne to Wraxian and back to Anne again. “What’s all this, then?”
[19:00] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Wraxian!! What’re you tryn’ t’do? I was just floating a course of action, and you’re acting like I’m about to mutiny!”
06[19:06] * @Damion_Cross , cursing under his breath, surreptitiously unbuttoned the two middle buttons of his Suit.
06[19:26] * @Wraxian lifts her head slowly, her eyes hidden behind layers of thick lenses, sitting back up gradually as she seems to hesitate before she types with deliberacy, the computerized female once again abruptly breaking the silence. “There is no scenario following your currently intended course, I can find that does not end in the demise of, at the very least, Gabriel Englund.”
06[19:37] * @Anne_Montelepre starts to Glare at her — before she remembers something, something Wraxian had said before about people not wanting to see. “So I can see several dozen ways to go about this, Wraxian. Are you seriously suggesting that none of them could even possibly work?”
[19:41] <@Shinjiro-kun> Are you suggesting that our appearance at the residence of the woman in question will tip her off that Gabriel is not her pawn?
06[19:46] * @Wraxian seems, if anything, drained, typing again without looking, her head nearly hitting the countertop again. There is no whisper, no emotion to Majel’s computerized voice, as certainly Wraxian’s own would be, but there is still something quietly plantive in her simple response. “I tried.”
[19:48] <@Hector`> Lemme ask ya this, then, Wraxian.
06[19:48] * @Hector` shifts, stepping a little closer to the pair of them. “What odds did you compute for me dropping a tower wall on the people that we were huntin’ for in Paris?”
06[19:52] * @Wraxian ‘s fingers flicker of her PLD rapidly. “At the time no such computations were made, Hector Lee-owe-nay. While my calculations are quite precise… I did not follow statistics nor calculations…. I followed the threads of Fate.”
06[19:55] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s hands curl into fists at her sides, nails digging into her palms.
[19:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Wraxian? Your ‘at the very least’ bit suggests that you calculated for the possibility of…other casualties, as well. What kind are we talking about…and did you include the results, both for Gabriel and for others, of our taking no action on the matter?”
[20:02] <@Hector`> First off, fix your talkbox. It’s Leone. Lee-own. I’m not Italian.
[20:02] <@Hector`> And secondly… fuck Fate. Fuck Fate right in its shitty little asshole. Fate ain’t immutable.
06[20:13] * @Wraxian seems to bring up an application where she does seem to be modifying just such, before she switches back to her text to speech program to respond. “The threads of Fate are myriad and convuluted. Minimum casualty upon any course pursuing Georgia Standish results in one casualty. If Gabriel Englund is allowed to pursue his current course without interference, I do not have the current ability to foresee it to its culmination, but it is the one that does not result in his immediate demise. As Shin-jeero suggested, if Georgia Standish suspects her operations are compromised and she is pursued or confronted from our current juncture… her first action is … singular.”
[20:13] <@Wraxian> ((Dough-jee-mah Shin-jeero.))
[20:14] <@Hector`> (Except that it should be Shin-ji-ro!)
[20:15] <@Shinjiro-kun> How many permutations did you run where he was fighting alongside us?
[20:15] <@Wraxian> ((you program it then! :) ))
06[20:17] * @Damion_Cross clears his throat. “…I’m starting to think that doesn’t matter.”
[20:20] <@Damion_Cross> “Were I to control someone over an extended period — I wouldn’t, mind: keeping my hand that far up someone’s keister for an extended periods is more trouble than it’s worth — you seriously think I wouldn’t have a contingency plan in case they slip their leash?”
[20:26] <@Hector`> Well, if you’re the expert, then how do we slip the explosive collar before it blows his head off? Metaphorically speaking.
06[17:38] * @Damion_Cross ponders for a moment…then shrugs. “Off her and pray she doesn’t see it coming.”
[17:39] <@Shinjiro-kun> If she is as well-connected and powerful as we have been told, that will not be likely.
[17:46] <@Damion_Cross> “Well, I’ve always always believed the reason I was given the ability to peep beneath Fate’s skirts was so that’d I’d know exactly when and how to flip the table.”
[17:49] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Fiiiiine. What about discreetly keeping an eye on her? I’d rather not have our first inkling she’s onto something big be just before she’s about to set it into motion.”
[17:52] <@Hector`> Ain’t that Gabriel’s job?
[17:57] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Suppose she catches on?”
06[17:57] * @Wraxian lifts her head, turning her still be-goggled gaze to Anne in silence, awaiting the response to that.
[18:00] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Having another means to verify could be important. I’ve had warnings to that effect.”
[18:03] <@Hector`> Do you fear for his life?
[18:06] <@Anne_Montelepre> “That….and more.”
[18:08] <@Hector`> So are we goin’ on an assassination or a rescue?
[18:13] <@Anne_Montelepre> “…Neither without more information, I think. Surveil to start.”
06[18:13] * @December , who has remained perhaps alarmingly silent thus far, her back to the kids and her head lowered as she listened, seems to have finally heard, or maybe just had, enough. She spins on her heel and steps across the distance between the wall-side countertop and the central kitchen island, defiance and fire in her cold eyes as she slams her (empty) coffee mug on the island’s top, more for effect than anything else, but the fact that the mug abruptly and protestingly shatter-explodes at the impact startles even her a bit, though it doesn’t stop her as she challeneges them all with her eyes. “Nee’dur.”
06[18:16] * @Shinjiro-kun keeps his arms folded, looking thoroughly nonplussed at the exploding mug. “We’ve no reason to go off half-cocked. But if we’re doing surveillance, perhaps it would be wise to send in the most subtle of us.”
[18:18] <@December> “Yeh s’gesstin’ tah spr’ed yer num’burrs ee’fen t’inner, Dojima-san?”
[18:21] <@Anne_Montelepre> “You’re suggesting that we sit on our hands, accept what painfully little we’re given by our divine parents (who, let’s not forget, don’t trust us) and pray it turns out better than last time?”
[18:21] <@Shinjiro-kun> With respect, Sensei, one does not send a bull into a china shop and expect the situation to not become fractured.
06[18:24] * @December gets aggressively pointy. .”No. Ah’m s’gess’tin yeh tay’ka s’tep bak fer a sekk’n an look aroun’ aht tha group yeh’ve gah left- an while yeh haf tha time, spen’d ih fig’rin ou’ how NAH tah lose anee-won ells.”
06[18:27] * @Shinjiro-kun matches December, measure for measure. “That is PRECISELY what I am doing! If we storm in like we are attempting to take Nanking, then we will only compromise our man on the inside and put ourselves in jeopardy needlessly!”
[18:27] <@December> ((December is, for the record, being Pointy towards Anne.))
[18:28] <@Shinjiro-kun> (Shinjiro is too irritated to care!)
[18:31] <@December> “Yeh wan’nah kee’yer eers ou’fer an op’purr’tunitee tah tay’k down dis Standoff b’tch, whilst weer ‘ere, or ou dere, Fine. Buh ih seems a fah lodda dis’resp’eck fer yer pal, ‘oo jus gah dun tell’n yeh ‘ow dangr’ous whut ee’s doin’ iz, den oo in Yomi noes whut tha fragg’l rawk Wracks-seanne jus’ did, an yer re’pawns is STILL “storm tha cass’le”?” Woul’dya wan Gabr’eel swoopin in tah save yer lih’ah dam’sel from wha’ebber tha ne’st try-awl’s gonna be?”
06[18:32] * @December gestures to Shinjiro. “‘ZACK’LEE! Iffen yer nah gunna liss’n tah meh, leas’ liss’n tah wonna yer own!”
[18:32] <@December> ((that is the most December speak I have thrown out at once in a while. o.o))
06[18:39] * @Hector` gets very quiet, folding his arms over his chest as he glances from Anne to Damion to Shinjiro.
[18:39] <@Anne_Montelepre> “I think you missed the part where I said I wanted more eyes on the situation, not to just ‘send in the cavalry.'”
[18:43] <@Anne_Montelepre> “The clearest view of the pitch isn’t always from on it…and Gabe didn’t seem all that clear on what her overall strategy might be, not yet anyway. I see nothing wrong with getting a different perspective with fresh sets of eyes.”
[18:49] <@Hector`> Nor do I, so long as those eyes are excruciatingly cautious and hands-off.
06[18:49] * @Hector` glances over to Damion. “This might be a job for your Girl Friday.”
[18:52] <@December> “Yeh’t, ‘parrent’lee, won sedda eye’s’s all dat ken be man’ej’d wid’ou’ ‘lertin Standorf to tha fack some’wons n’filtrat’d ‘er aht awl- iffen ah’m nah misreed’n Wrack’seanne’s… thingies… ‘er firs’move- E’REE TIME- is to ‘liminate Gab’reel- may’bes anee’won she does’nah truss n’tirelee- b’fore anee n’telligince ken be ackt’ed on- no maddur ‘ow clev’r yur skeems er plots’r- she’ll mayk shure dat yer vik’tree is’n widdou’ sak’rifyss.”
06[18:55] * @December stops and blinks at Hector for a moment, looking thrown off and baffled, some of the ferocity burning for hot leeching away slightly. “Wayt, whut? Ah th’ot Dojima-san ah lees s’gesst’d sub’dlety…?”
[18:58] <@Hector`> So am I. Short, Red, and Angry has one edge that we don’t: she’s not affiliated with any of us. At least, not blatantly. Especially since, if I remember right, she doesn’t always look like that.
[18:59] <@Damion_Cross> “She can be subtle… if convinced it’s worth her while.”
06[19:01] * @December looks vaguely queasy about the idea, turning to Shinjiro for support. “…oo di’hd YEH haff’n mine’d?”
06[19:07] * @Shinjiro-kun glances about amongst the five of them. “The stealthiest amongst us is Damion.”
[19:10] <@Damion_Cross> “She can change her outer form pretty much at will. Long story short: the Incubi & Succubi stories? Same demons.”
[19:10] <@Damion_Cross> *smirks* “Have fun taking that one to bed.”
[19:11] <@Hector`> Y’know that dickgirls are some people’s fetish, right?
[19:17] <@Damion_Cross> “And my stealth is kind of a moot point. We get to the point of us needing that, odds are someone’s dead.”
[19:22] <@Hector`> Well, the rest of us are either subtle as bricks, emotionally compromised, or both, so… got any bright ideas?
06[19:22] * @Wraxian types briefly, her head still down. .”Wait.”
06[19:37] * @Anne_Montelepre raises an eyebrow at Wraxian.
06[19:38] * @Wraxian doesn’t offer anything else.
[19:40] <@Hector`> We’re waiting.
[19:42] <@Damion_Cross> “…Could table the whole thing for now. ‘When in doubt, procrastinate.'”
06[19:46] * @Wraxian turns her head to Hector, canting her head to the side, her fingers moving as someone else’s computerized voice speaks for her. “There is much to occupy your Band, Hector Leone. For the matter of Georgia Standish, as Damion Cross insinuates… there may be a better time… another time.”
[19:59] <@Hector`> Well then, what should we do in the meantime? Go to our rooms and just lay in bed until we’re called upon?
06[20:01] * @December shakes her head, self-consciously sweeping up her mug mess. “Ah Awl’reddee sed- ah t’ink – y’ens need’tah spen’sum time toguddur… learn’n tah werk- n’figh’ assa teem.”
[20:05] <@Shinjiro-kun> With all respect, Sensei… we’re not on the same page. We’re not even in the same books.
[20:06] <@December> “Yeh don’ t’ink dassa prollem, Doji-kun?”
[20:08] <@Shinjiro-kun> It’s a massive problem. Seemingly insurmountable.
[20:09] <@December> “Den… whaddur yeh gon’ do’abou’ih? Ig’norz’it?”
06[20:10] * @Anne_Montelepre sighs. “So her next move will be to point out that we’d planned to go into combat without addressing it.”
06[20:11] * @December points at Anne, much less aggresively this time. “Dingdingding.”
06[20:11] * @Shinjiro-kun shakes his head. “I am going to point it out, loudly, so we can all be aware of it and use that awareness to try and bridge each other’s books together.”
[20:25] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Any specific ideas, Mamou Renard, or is it just the roof in Cairo over again?”
06[20:27] * @December bares her teeth in her best not-really-a-smile. “Onna  dose spesi’fic ideers inc’lewds ‘Nah reh’visi’tin tha rr’oof in Cai’rro.'”
06[20:29] * @Hector` suddenly starts looking nowhere in particular.
06[20:36] * @Anne_Montelepre ‘s expression softens somewhat at this.
06[20:38] * @Damion_Cross shrugs. “Well, I did own up to having issues with fighting alongside more than one…”
06[20:44] * <@Shinjiro-kun> “Perhaps forming partnerships would be unwise. We should learn to work together, all four of us.”
[20:49] <@Damion_Cross> “Wait, you mean I can’t cutthtoat?? Kill my Santa Claus, whydon’cha…
[20:53] <@Hector`> … no, we most definitely are NOT playing Cutthroat Caverns as a team-building exercise. Battlestar Galactica is right out, too.
[20:57] <@Damion_Cross> “…Not even the original one?”
[20:59] <@Hector`> I meant the board game.
06[21:04] * @December looks blank… and vaguely annoyed.
[17:54] <Hector`> It’s just like the show, yo. Which means that one or two of us would be dirty frakkin’ toasters and tryin’ to sink the damned ship.
[17:54] <Hector`> Ain’t so good for team-buildin’.
[17:56] <@Damion_Cross> “All right, so who’s our OpFor?”
[18:03] <@Hector`> Lesse here… David Hasslehoff, Johnny Cage, Mr. T, and Brandon Lee?
06[18:03] * @Wraxian turns her head to Damion, typing for a moment before the electronic voice emits from her PLD. “Op Four, Damion Cross?”
[18:04] <@Hector`> Opposing Force. He’s being fancy.
[18:04] <@Damion_Cross> “What he said.”
[18:05] <@Wraxian> “I believe I may be able to assist with such, Hector Leone.”
[18:10] <@Hector`> Did we grow a Danger Room?
06[18:12] * @Anne_Montelepre raises an eyebrow. “Never mentioned this before.”
06[18:12] * @Wraxian types, and the PLD speaks soflty, “…researching…”
06[18:19] * @Damion_Cross clears his throat. “You mean research already completed, or that you’re looking up ‘Danger Room’?”
[18:25] <@Hector`> This’s Wraxian, so I’d bet on the latter.
06[18:28] * @Wraxian makes a faint moue with her lips, apparently thoughtful, before she responds via her electronic voice app. “The latter, Damion Cross. However the approximation is not entirely inaccurate. Training against each other and standing targets and padded mazes were never appropriate training facilities for your Band long-term. Something was needed to provide challenge and focus on a more than individual level for homo mythos sapiens capable of… bringing a ceiling down upon the enemy.”
06[18:33] * @Hector` shakes his head, softly correcting Wraxian. “Several ceilings.”
06[18:36] * @Wraxian sits corrected, and types as much. “Multiple ceilings.”
06[18:36] * @Anne_Montelepre frowns. “But if those options are out, and we aren’t engaging each other–”
06[18:37] * @Anne_Montelepre tosses her head towards the window. “…Nemeans?”
06[18:44] * @Wraxian follows Anne’s gaze, and shakes her head slightly. “One, perhaps, Anne Montelepre.” Kiyomasa runs his tongue across the back of Anne’s ankle. “The Heart is not meant for the destruction inherent in conducting a game of war.”
[18:44] <@Hector`> Well, in the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die…
06[18:44] * @Hector` grins. “Kidding.”
[18:49] <@Wraxian> “There are times, Hector Leone, in which one must fall to the second, to obtain the first.” Her jaw stiffens ever so faintly, her head twitching towards Anne just slightly.
06[18:52] * @Anne_Montelepre , with studied objectivity, doesn’t overtly react.
[18:58] <@Shinjiro-kun> I would like to avoid death, if I can help it.
[19:00] <@December> “Ah’d raddur y’ens all do so, Doji-kun.”
[19:06] <@Damion_Cross> “Well the suspense is killing me, so let’s see what we’re up against already.”
[19:09] <@Hector`> Hopefully, it’s not actual cannibal Shia LaBeouf.
06[19:26] * @Wraxian finishes the last of the protein on her plate, standing slowly, she seems to have switched applications and is busy typing and flickering her fingers across its surface wildly, no vocal responses emanating from the device as she turns and prowls down the hallways to the gymnasium. The doors are, as they remember, still locked and chained shut, but they now are five or six times their previous size, appearing much like an enormous Torii gate with wood and steel doors barring passage.
06[19:38] * @Hector` and Shinjiro follow after, both of them raising alternate eyebrows at the torii in front of them.
06[19:49] * @Damion_Cross blinks. “Was this always here?”
[19:54] <@Shinjiro-kun> The mansion produces content as needed.
[19:58] <@Anne_Montelepre> “I think so, but–”
06[19:59] * @December stares and scowls, muttering under her breath in Japanese.
[20:05] <@Damion_Cross> “Anyhow…is the first challenge opening these up ourselves?”
06[20:10] * @Wraxian shakes her head, padding barefooted to the strange barred Torii, lifting her right hand to press against a nondescript section of the wall before it. It illuminates beneath her hand, a display scrolling rapidly above it in red lettering. Her fingers lift slightly to tap out a precise pattern.
[20:19] <@Damion_Cross> “Don’t suppose that same sequence would work for anyone else?”
[20:28] <@Storyteller> <A low, almost… grating, growling masculine voice, perhaps heard once or twice before, speaks in response to her touch and commands.> “Terrene Anchor Resource recognizes Master Command soul pattern. Initiating combat protocol iteration four thousand two hundred and fifty-six. Preparing simulated battleground nine.”
[20:31] <@Damion_Cross> “Guess that’s a ‘No.’ We locked-and-loaded?”
06[20:32] * @Hector` glances over to December at the ‘Master Command soul pattern’ business, but he nods to Damion all the same. “I’m always ready.”
06[20:34] * @December bares her teeth in a silent grimace.
06[20:38] * @Shinjiro-kun reaches for his pen, manifesting it into its elegantly bladed form. “I am prepared.”
06[20:40] * @Anne_Montelepre considers her still-nowhere-near-complete state of dress…but shrugs, nodding to confirm her readiness. She appears to have most of her Relics on her, at least.
06[20:49] * @Wraxian enters a few more commands, exhaling slowly.
[20:54] <@Storyteller> “Progression set: Moderate Escalation. Damage limiters : on.”
[21:01] <@Hector`> Damage limiters? We got the safety protocols up in this bitch?
[21:02] <@Anne_Montelepre> “Better to have them to start, I think. We can adjust up later, if we need to”
06[21:02] * @Wraxian nods succintly.

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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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