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Everything posted by Pachimew

  1. Everyone seems to be on board with the not-Thunderclast doing whatever she wants, except, perhaps, for the creature herself. “I'm built to fight, I just…” she trails off into silence. Built to fight, huh? The opposite of me, then. Renarin can’t help but think back through all the people who had told him he couldn’t fight. Barred him from what they claimed was the highest honor because of his blood weakness. I guess we’re both defying what we were told in different ways, but...it doesn’t seem to make her happy the way it does for me. That’s sad. “Before I forget--” Hibiki pulls out an odd substance. Renarin blinks out of his thoughts and leans over to look at it. That’s...really weird. It looks like it’s phasing in and out of existence. He figures he probably shouldn’t touch it, even though it looks like it would have a really nice texture, but. He wants to. “They look...very interesting,” he says. “Maybe we can pick some of them up after we...finish finding other people.” A bit more discussion that Renarin manages to fail to process entirely, and then-- ‘Ah, I'm sorry, I might have gotten too lost in my thoughts again about this universe. Hi! I'm Mystical! It's nice to meet you all!’ Voice in his head NOT GLYS Renarin startles, looking instinctively for its source, and settles on the tiny horse. ...Oh, Kelek’s breath. “You can talk?” Vyre started at the new voice, bringing his Blade up once again. A young woman in--in very foreign clothes that almost made him flush. She looked mostly human...but only mostly. Well, she made about as much sense as that other strange man. And this new area...it was certainly a shift from the other place he’d been in, but just as strange in its own way. “I have no idea,” Vyre admitted, eyeing her warily. His Lashing hadn’t cancelled when the landscape had shifted...but she was flying too. “I was in one place. Now I’m in another.” Under his breath, he added, “This is the second storming time it’s happened in as many hours.” At normal volume, “What’s Sector 7 supposed to mean?”
  2. Renarin nods to acknowledge Riza’s polite response, and then again to Rudolph and Utakata’s introductions. Finally. It’s nice to have names to attach to them. And Rudolph seems to have a sensible grasp of the situation, which is also a relief. “I think sneaking past it is probably our best option if it comes to that,” Renarin says. “I’ve fought things that size before, but…” he frowns, trying to summon his Blade once again. Still nothing. He sighs. “I can’t--I’m not--my Shardblade won’t summon, and that’s the only thing I have that will work against it.” Capabilities… “Other than that, I can heal, and...I’m trained in the spear and Blade.” But he doesn’t have either of those, Damnation… “Maybe we can find our way out of here elsewhere,” Utakata says, rising up on tiptoe to look around. “If we need to go over stuff, I think I have you covered there...Might be good to go west and see what they're up to. If they happen to be dangerous, at the very least they'd be outnumbered.” Renarin follows his gaze and blinks. Huh. He’s never seen that color hair before. He nods and is about to voice his agreement when the not-Thunderclast in their group suddenly bursts to its feet. “Wait a second! If you all knew Xinschi why weren't you speaking it before?! What was with all the "buhs" and "gehs" and "mahs", or whatever?! I'm right here!” It goes on like that for a bit longer while Renarin gets stuck on the realization that oh, some kind of power is translating their words into Alethi, and follows that right into this is just like Father’s power--what was it called? Connection? Yes, Connection, there must be something like that, perhaps it affected each of us when we were warped here...but why did it take longer for this? Is it because it’s not human? “I don't want to fight it!! I can't fight...!” The not-Thunderclast (at some point, Renarin thinks, I’m going to need to find out its name--it must have one) almost crumples into a crouch, throwing the strange barrels of its arms over its face. “I don't want to go anywhere until I know where I'm starting...!” Oh, storms. It sounds like it’s crying. Renarin’s intermittent pangs of empathy surge back full force. He can’t think of it as an it anymore, not with a voice so clearly lost. She, then, guessing by the voice--and she’s not human, but she’s scared, lost, and even more unsure than the rest of them. Renarin takes a deep breath and moves closer very slowly. When did I turn into the one who approached people? “Nobody’s going to make you fight,” he says in what he hopes is a reassuring tone. “No--nobody taught us X--Xinsc--Xinschi? There’s--” he breaks off, stumbling as he tries to find the words. “My father can--” no, that’s not it… “Some kind of power,” he settles on. “I think...that somehow, something is...translating our words. I only speak Alethi. I don’t know why it...took longer for you. I...I don’t know anything about this world, or these people, but…” His hands wave in useless circles in front of him as he searches for words, and he absentmindedly digs his familiar metal box from his pocket to fidget with. Open. Shut. Open. Shut. Click click click. “Nobody’s going to make you fight,” Renarin repeats, more slowly. “I’m sorry. I can’t help you.” Oh, great finish. Excellent job, that’s very comforting. Storms. He doesn’t want to leave it hanging on that, but there’s nothing more he can do. Glys hums inside him, both nervous and morose, and Renarin sighs internally and returns the feeling.
  3. “I’m afraid not. First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye,” the woman says, saluting. So she is in the military--First Lieutenant? A woman? You’ve seen stranger, Renarin chides himself internally. Different places have different cultures. Just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean-- Wait, is she even wearing a safeglove? Renarin checks instinctively and immediately regrets it. No, she isn’t, and neither is the other girl. He pulls his gaze away and stares fixedly into the distance, belatedly registering he’s missed the last half of whatever Riza was saying and that the others are introducing themselves. “...my name is Seto Kaiba.” “I'm Tachibana Hibiki! It's nice to meet you all!” The man he’d healed--Renarin still doesn’t know his name--starts talking again, gesturing at the giant not-Thunderclast in the distance. “I have a bad feeling if it decides to move forward...Worst comes to worst, we'd need to get over that thing.” Oh, Renarin does not like their chances of that. “You know Xinschi?!” The other not-Thunderclast blurts out from behind them, and Renarin startles away from it with a small yelp, whirling around to keep an eye on it. It can talk now? How can it talk now?! “Have you-?! Are we...?” It trails off abruptly, losing whatever it was about to say. Renarin feels another incongruous pang of empathy for it. “I-I'm lost. And I don't have a beacon. So um, if you know where the desert is... I can find my way from there. O-Or if this is like, the wrong planet, can I take a shuttle home? Please?” Beacon? Desert? The wrong planet? He doesn’t know what it’s talking about. He shakes his head and says as much. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean. As far as I can tell, we’ve all been...pulled away from where we were and brought here. I don’t think any of us know the way back.” He hesitates, checking if he forgot anything. Oh! Right, Riza asked for his name, didn’t she? He turns back to her, briefly mirroring her salute. “Prince Renarin Kholin, Bridge Four. Nice to meet you.” A roar booms through the air, and Renarin slams his hands over his ears again with a wince. “I will FIND you, human! You hear me?! Your visage is burned into my memories! I will make your world perish!” Oh, that’s bad. That’s very very bad. Renarin’s trust in Glys’ promise of ‘no death here’ is plummeting. Glys whispers an apology and a repetition of the promise in his mind, but even he doesn’t sound quite convinced. “Um,” Renarin says, “are there any ideas for getting out of here that don’t involve going past the not-Thunderclast promising death?”
  4. “And you have 5 seconds to drop your weapon and beg for your life!” Vyre’s eyes widened. He’d seen a lot of strange things, starting with Kaladin’s ability to heal with Stormlight and escalating all the way up to trapping a man inside a gem on a magical knife, but this was new. The blue-skinned creature flew at him with a yell, followed by the other forces with the man--Daifuku. Vyre narrowed his eyes and took a deep breath, filling himself with Stormlight. He gripped his Blade and raised it to his shoulder. Then he Lashed himself skywards and forwards, spinning the sword to slash through the bisento-- And he was suddenly somewhere else. What--?! The two groups approached each other, then started to slow, although neither quite halted. Renarin glanced around to see if anybody was going to call out to them. The not-Thunderclast didn’t speak their language; that was a lost cause. Neither of his companions looked inclined to speak. Of the other group, there were two women, one dressed in a half-familiar military fashion, a man, and a tiny horse with an absurdly colored mane and horn. Renarin would call it strange, but...he glanced over his shoulder at the not-Thunderclast again. I’ve seen stranger in the past ten minutes. ...Was he going to have to be the one to make the first overture again? Renarin groaned internally. Words were his father’s thing, or his brother’s, or even Captain Kaladin’s. Not his. But, well. Someone had to, he supposed. “Hello,” Renarin said. “Do any of you know where this is, or what that is?” He pointed in the direction of the other not-Thunderclast. Wonderful. He’d stuttered over his words. Great start.
  5. ...Where am I? Where’s Fractal? These are Tien’s first thoughts as he slowly reorients himself, tracing the edges of his memories to figure out what happened. He’d run, yes...picked the wrong direction to run in. Towards people rather than away. By the time he’d blinked the flash from his eyes, he was on the outskirts of a dramatic confrontation. Then...Fractal had given him the warning he’d asked for earlier--about an odd presence, letting him know that it had turned urgent--some kind of creature had appeared, and split the air, and… And now Tien is here, at the outskirts of a military camp on a misty night. No. Not a military camp. Amaram’s military camp. They’ve moved before, but they generally keep the same setup. Tien’s lived in the army for four years--no, maybe it’s five now--would be five--at any rate, he’d recognize it anywhere. Also, Fractal is gone. That’s worrying. And while Tien doesn’t mind misty nights--they can be soothing, in their own way--there’s something that’s just unsettling about this one. Tien turns in a slow circle, scanning for signs of life. He turns; and his breath catches in horror. Behind him is a battlefield, both utterly unfamiliar and somehow the gestalt of every battlefield he’s even been on, soaked so deeply in blood that the grass cannot emerge from the ground. Bile claws its way up Tien’s throat, and he claps a hand to his mouth to keep from retching, stumbling backwards as he squeezes his eyes shut. Fractal would be telling him to breathe. Fractal would be helping him calm down. But Fractal isn’t here, and Tien stumbles off to the side to throw up before he can even think about trying to take deep breaths and recenter himself. It...passes. Tien doesn’t know how long it takes. But he stands up, wipes his mouth, and wanders into the unnervingly pristine camp instead. It’s hollow. The buildings are there, every item in its place, but there’s no people. Nobody at all. It’s just...still. He doesn’t even have Fractal to hum to him and keep him company. Almighty, he hadn’t realized how much he’d come to rely on her being there… Tien lets his feet carry him, and when he pays attention to his surroundings once again he realizes he’s come to a stop in front of Amaram’s command tent. He hesitates for longer than he’d like to admit before he finally decides to move the tent flap aside and go in. “There you are,” his own voice says. “I was wondering when you’d finally show up.” Tien freezes. In front of him, sitting in Amaram’s seat is--himself. Or, no, not himself. Not quite. There’s something wrong about him--it--this illusion. A kind of invisible darkness. And the eyes…the eyes are yellow. Not Telinar’s yellow, the bright gold Tien had chosen himself, but something pale and sickly. “What in Damnation…?” Tien mutters under his breath. The--illusion?--stands up and circles around the desk in an uncannily fluid motion, a slinking tread that puts him in mind of some kind of predator. Tien backs up automatically. “We’re going to have a talk, you and I,” his false mirror says, voice taking on a mocking tone. “Little Lightweaver Tien, redundant, pushed aside, always forgotten.” Tien swallows hard. “That’s not tr--” “Oh yes it is.” Not-him cuts off his protest before it can go anywhere. “You can’t lie to yourself forever, little Lightweaver. Our parents forgot us. It’s why we’re in the army, because it was always about Kaladin’s education, Kaladin’s safety, Kaladin Kaladin Kaladin. They forgot about us and thought Roshone would too. But he didn’t, did he.” Tien’s hands shake from a resentment that he’d thought had burnt out long ago. “Shut up.” The corners of his--its--mouth curl up in a cruel smirk. “And then the army itself! Being forgotten would have been a good thing there, wouldn’t it? But they couldn’t do us the courtesy of that, either. No, they made us bait, shoved us to the front lines, got us nearly killed twice--oh, and let’s not forget we couldn’t save anyone there either, not even our golden boy brother--and then Amaram!” “Amaram kept us--kept us safe,” Tien snaps back. “He kept us out of battle, he--” “He used us!” Tien’s not-self snarls, face twisting into a mask of anger that Tien has never seen in a mirror. “That’s all he did! He used us as a tool in his power plays! Fractal knew it from the moment he picked us out as useful, and you were just too much of a coward to protest it! You wanted to be safe.” It spreads its arms. “Well, it didn’t save anybody else. You remember Keor.” Tien flinches. “Shut up,” he says again, “shut up!” “And let’s talk about Telinar!” It continues relentlessly. “Little Lightweaver finally deciding to take a stand! But we’re too much of a coward to try and do it with our own face, aren’t we? So we made a false face, a false name, and we tried to make up for our sins of complacence by keeping others safe, too little too late. It’s not enough, was it? It was never. Enough.” Its face twists further, into something almost animalistic. It does not make Tien’s face unrecognizable. With something like horror, Tien realizes that all it does it turn hauntingly familiar in its foreignness. He’s heartsick with the memories of his failures, trembling from a truth he’d been avoiding, burning from a resentment he’d tried to bury, and he doesn’t understand. “What do you want?!” Tien yells. “What’s the storming point of this?!” “I want us to do something!” His yellow-eyed mirror yells back. “I want to stop hiding! We’re Radiant! We have a storming Shardblade! We have all the blackmail we ever collected for Amaram! We could use it, storm it! We know how to use power! I want to find everyone who ever hurt us and watch them crumble!” It stalks forwards to get in Tien’s face. “And if you’re too much of a coward to do that, then I will.” What scares Tien isn’t the threats his mirror makes. It’s the way his own heart stirs in response to its words, the way he wants to do it. He knows it’s wrong. He can’t even get to the people who hurt him here in this other world. But Almighty, it would feel so good to take out a little of the emotion he’s been bottling up for years and years… “What are you?” Tien whispers. “I am a shadow,” his other self hisses, “the true self.” Suddenly, somehow, that makes it all click. “Oh,” Tien says softly. “Oh. Of course you are.” His shadow blinks in surprise, expression untwisting from a snarl of rage into a much more familiar one of confusion. Tien gathers that this isn’t usually how it goes. “You’re where my anger goes,” Tien whispers. It told him as much, but he needs to say it out loud, put the pieces together for himself. “You’re where my resentment goes, my rage, my hate. Everything I try to bury.” He steps forward, lifting a hand, and his shadow steps back in tandem. “I know you,” he says, voice rising to normal volume. “I know myself. I can’t...do that.” “Why not?” “Because we’re a world away, and they’re not worth--” “Don’t you lie to me,” his shadow snarls. “Little Lightweaver, you were doing so well. Our spren isn’t here; give me the Truth.” “Because I’m scared,” Tien whispers. “I’m scared of retribution. I’m scared of responsibility without a mask to shoulder it. I’ve spent so long as a shadow that I’m scared of being known.” He closes his eyes. Takes a deep breath that sends a shudder through his body. “But I want to. Almighty, I want to.” He opens his eyes and stares his reflection in its sickly yellow eyes. “I think that scares me the most,” he admits to himself. “That you’re me, and that I can want to hurt people so badly.” There is a flash of light, and his shadow is gone, replaced by an almost ghostly image of a masked woman with pale blue skin, dressed in flowing, entirely foreign clothes. Two much smaller girls peer over her shoulders, one violet, one green. A second flash, and the apparition vanishes into a shimmering card. Tien reaches out and takes it, his breath catching. It depicts Roshar’s three moons arrayed in the sky over a river; violet Salas, green Mishim, pale blue Nomon. The largest moon, Nomon, is displayed front and center, the glyph for ‘moon’ etched in gold on its surface. He’s not sure what just happened, exactly, beyond swearing a sort of Ideal. A Truth spoken, a power given. But not by Fractal. He still doesn’t know where she is. Whatever just happened--a nervous twist in his gut, a directionless anger he can no longer bury--Tien needs to find Fractal.
  6. The fireworks are still going. Pretty as they are, they’re so loud. Tien’s considering putting his hands over his ears again, to Damnation with looking weird because of it. Then the beach explodes. Literally, explodes. Deafening explosions, bright lights, sand flying everywhere. People start to scream. Tien’s ears are ringing. He doesn’t know what’s happening, and the rumble he feels in his bones is enough to drown out Fractal’s anchoring hum. Too bright, too loud, too much, too much, he needs OUT! He thinks he might be crying. He’s not actually sure. The choked whining sound is definitely his, though. Even with the lack of blood, this is worse, far worse, than the chaos of the battlefields he’s delivered messages on. He needs out. Out. Out. If he can get far enough away, somewhere safe, he can find a place to huddle until the chaos is over and he can calm down. He doesn't think about Yosuke, too overwhelmed by his storm of panic. Disoriented by the sound and light, Tien doesn’t pay attention to which direction he bolts in.
  7. “Hey! Who the hell are you! Talk fast or I’ll take your head!” Vyre spun, raising the Honorblade instinctively. He held it up in a guarding position and then froze, staring at the person who’d called out. Who in Damnation was that? What kind of outfit was that? “My name is Moash--” No! He’d abandoned that name. Storms, thinking about Kaladin must be rattling him more than he’d realized. “--Vyre. My name is Vyre. Who in Damnation are you? Where’s this supposed to be?” Vyre had about half a second to realize that pointing his Blade at the person threatening him might not have been the best idea before said person launched an attack at him.
  8. “Let’s say I have an invested interest in this party.” Is he doing this on purpose? Yosuke is doing everything Tien has been taught that points to a bigger plan or someone behind the scenes. It’s so suspicious it’s comical, and very possibly fake. But he can’t dismiss it out of hand--he’s been trained too well for that. Is it a joke? Is he trying to cover up the real motives of whoever by being way too obvious about it, so I’ll assume it’s a joke? Is he just really bad at hiding things? ...Is he trying to make me smile? There’s so many possibilities, and Tien doesn’t have time to think any of them through before a sharp bang echoes across the beach. He flinches hard, jumping back a couple steps and pressing his hands over his ears as the booms continue. Heart beating wildly, his gaze darts around for the source. There’s...something exploding in the air. Though Tien doesn’t lower his hands, the light and color mesmerizes him, even as the sounds make him flinch every time one goes off. He starts to Memorize it-- Yosuke shoves him suddenly, and Tien can’t help a yelp of surprise. Wha-- Oh, Sieghorse. Poor thing isn’t reacting any better to the colorful explosions than he did. Is, he corrects with a wince as yet another bang resounds through the air. The horse shakes his head wildly, and looks like he might rear again when someone rushes in front of him. “Woah, there! Easy boy!” Xander says, reaching out to calm his horse. What happened to him? Or is suddenly sprouting horns something normal for his world? For all Tien knows, it could be. “I’m sorry about this. He’s had bad experiences with loud noises.” Tien, wincing through another explosion, can very much sympathize. Yosuke’s faint warmth leaves Tien’s side as he says something reassuring to Xander. Tien kind of wishes he would come back. Fractal starts up a hum on the back of his neck, something steady that he can feel as much as hear, and it helps ground him through the intermittent, barely-predictable bangs. He turns his gaze back to the sky, slowly lowering his hands--still flinching at each boom despite Fractal’s help--and starts Memorizing again. The interplay of light sparkles against the night sky, and Tien’s struck by a sudden appreciation of the beauty within it. “Well! That was something, huh?” Yosuke says next to him, lightly nudging his shoulder. “Things got pretty wild there, huh? Really makes me wonder who’s setting off those fireworks. Someone working for the “Extra Dimensional Restoration Squad,” whatever that is. Pretty weird if you ask me.” “Mm? Oh, that’s me,” Tien says without thinking. “I’m here with them.” “It was Stan,” Fractal informs Tien. “Pretty sure that was Lara’s boyfriend,” he repeats to Yosuke, gaze still trained on the--fireworks, are they? Tem had been talking about them earlier. Yes, this would have been a nice distraction. He winces at another bang. A very nice distraction. Fractal’s grounding hum turns uncertain. “Something feels...strange. An odd presence. Distant, but pressing.” “Well, should we do something about it?” Tien asks, dropping his voice so his words are more hummed than even whispered. “I do not know. Maybe.” “Let me know if it turns urgent,” he tells her, and then falls silent next to Yosuke. ...Hm. He hopes the other boy will take this well.
  9. Amazingly, Renarin’s awkward attempt at peacemaking does seem like it’s working. The man in the odd robe backs him up after a quick ‘thank you’ for healing him, to which Renarin can only offer an awkward nod and a mumbled “no problem.” The blond man still looks tense, but he’s dropping his fists to his side when the not-thunderclast crashes to the ground in front of them all in a distinctly uncoordinated tumble of limbs and stutters out something that sounds, of all things, scared. Despite himself, Renarin feels a pang of empathy for it. Alien as it is, he can almost recognize the way it cringes back, the way it stutters over its words. He’s seen himself do it often enough in the face of stinging insults and backhanded comments. There’s no time to step forward and offer reassurance, though, because then there’s an unfamiliar roar in the distance. Not rocks--well, not just rocks--but something harsher, louder, that Renarin doesn’t recognize. He slams his hands over his ears to muffle the sound with a flinch, squinting at the ground. The blond man’s mouth is moving. Renarin doesn’t uncover his ears; he’s close enough that he’s able to parse the words. “That thing looks dangerous. We should move.” That thing…? Renarin looks up. Oh. It’s another not-thunderclast, but this one is the size of an actual thunderclast. Damnation, I wish Glys’ Blade form wasn’t blocked! Renarin nods in agreement, glancing around. If anything is familiar from his vision, then…ah. There. He removes one hand to point towards a small group of people-shapes, then winces and puts it back over his ear as a fresh spurt of noise rises from the distant not-thunderclast. “Those look like other people. Maybe we should try to meet up with them?”
  10. Tien wonders if he should be disapproving or something of Yosuke stealing the pendant, but it honestly sounds like his friend deserved it, and then he’s distracted by the animal--it has a name, doesn’t it? What was it… “Milk Cream,” Fractal answers softly. She’d climbed back up to his shoulder at some point. Right. Tien mutters a thanks to her and then grins as Milk Cream once again stalks off in the sand. “Crazy cat,” Yosuke mumbles. “Oh, is that what it’s called?” Tien says without thinking. “I’d been wondering.” ...Good job, self. Way to pretend you’re from here. Well, it’s not like it’s hard to pick up on with the company he’s been keeping… Tien shakes his head slightly as Yosuke says something else. “What--? Oh, that.” He finishes processing it a moment later and makes himself give the other boy a smile. “I’m fine. It’s just been a while since I…” he gestures at the party. “And never quite like this.” Never without something to do. Someone to follow. And add that to the prank that went too far… Tien winces as the redhead’s panicked face flashes through his mind again. Why is he focusing on that so much? It’s not like he hasn’t seen worse. Your fault. ...Ah. Of course. Self-blame. Tien doesn’t have the time or mental energy to grapple with that right now, so he slips away from that line of thought with practiced ease. “What about you?” He asks Yosuke. “I mean, you told me some of it, but--any reason you haven’t just…” He makes a circular motion with his hand and gestures vaguely towards the beach as he trails off.
  11. Tien watches Milk Cream stalk away from him, feeling more hurt than he probably should be by the rejection. Fractal slides to the floor to trail after the creature, and she must hum at him or something because he jumps so hard from his sitting position that he does a backflip. The sight makes Tien laugh before he turns his attention back to Yosuke. “Eh, I can’t blame you for bailing,” the waiter says, examining his nails. For a moment, Tien thinks he must be using it as a deliberate cover for something, but no, he really is just looking at his nails. People do that sometimes without using it to mask something else, amazingly. Yosuke seems surprisingly uninvested in the whole thing, which Tien supposes is fair enough. The other boy looks back up with a grin. “I had fun! Well, as much fun as I could have,” and Tien hadn’t quite been expecting that considering his attitude seconds ago, but Yosuke’s grin makes something go warm and soft inside him. Despite that, when he leans in, Tien finds himself leaning back automatically. The conspiratorial tone he takes sparks Tien’s interest as someone who’s spent years collecting secrets, but the rest of the situation makes him both uncomfortable and vaguely amused. It feels like a leadup to something cheesy, like the answer will be “a pretty boy” or something, and--and, honestly, Tien doesn’t really know if he can, or wants to, handle any flirting right now. But Yosuke is...and it’s been...and Tien can humor him a little bit. “What?”
  12. Tien blinks as the small, furry creature--he hadn’t quite picked up on what it was called--brushes against his pants, rumbling loudly. It hadn’t hurt him before, and it is kind of cute, so he goes ahead and crouches down to stroke its fur. Soft… Wait. Right. Don’t forget about Yosuke’s question. Tien looks back up at the waiter and smiles. “I got nervous and panicked a little,” he admits, carefully leaving out the fact that he’d panicked once Lara showed up, not before the prank started. “Do you think it went well? Was it…” he hesitates briefly, Dennis’ desperate expression flashing through his mind. “...worth it?”
  13. Tien'd had a few minutes to calm down from his panic and think things through now. Fractal came back and told him the whole thing had been defused, which also helped. He’d had...maybe too much time to think things through now. Tien winced at himself as he reflects on his actions. More specifically, at panicking so badly that he’d locked himself into hiding behind his lighteyed mask so early on, without even having the benefit of Lightweaving. It was stupid and sloppy. He should be better than slipping behind it in a panic. Also, now he couldn’t bring it out for the rest of the party and was going to have to pretend he’d had no involvement whatsoever in the whole thing. He could do that, though. That was kind of a relief. So. First order of business. Avoid Utakata and Temeraire. They knew who he was, and he really didn’t want to face that right now. Which left… Yosuke was still petting Sieghorse when Tien slipped up next to him. “Hey.”
  14. Vyre landed on a strip of beach, far away from the chaotic colors of what looked like the main city of the island. He frowned, kicking at the ‘sand’ on the ground. Didn’t feel much like sand. He looked around himself, sizing up the place. It didn’t look like anyone was here so far. There was an unusually large group of trees up the coast, and ocean behind him. He was wary of confronting any people, unsure of how they’d react to him. Still, maybe he should have landed closer to a city. Vyre shook his head with a scowl. He’d figure it out. He could do this. It probably would be a good idea to arm himself, though...just in case. He took ten heartbeats to summon his Honorblade and headed up the coast. The four of them stood in tense silence as Renarin mentally cataloged what in the world had just happened. The metal not-thunderclast had some kind of intelligence, was able to speak and communicate, and--bizarrely--seemed to be more afraid of him and the other man than he was of it. Then there was the transforming sword. Renarin had had the briefest thought of jumping forwards and wielding it when it landed, but suddenly it had transformed into him--a wary, pale-skinned, blond man who was now in a fighting stance that reminded Renarin of an ardent’s hand-to-hand combat style. And finally, there was the man Renarin had healed, up and moving and looking like he was about to make a break for it at any second. Honestly, Renarin didn’t blame him. They might be standing here forever--none of them wanted to risk provoking the others. Might have stood there forever, that is, if the other power his bond with Glys granted him hadn’t kicked in. As Renarin stared at the others, panels of glass started to form in his vision. They unfolded from each other, changing color and shape, forming a stained glass panorama that half-blocked his view of the others. Storms, not now! Wait! It will help, it will help! Oh, Renarin really hoped Glys was right about that. The glass...showed a small room. Maps and odd, glowing windows covered the walls, showing a mish-mash of unfamiliar locations and scribbled words that Renarin could make no sense of. Someone in a dark cloak, hood pulled over their face, sat hunched over one of the windows, delicate hands resting on some kind of board with upraised buttons. Renarin’s gaze trailed left. The next panel-scene was a mix of people and creatures standing under crumbling ruins. There was green grass at their feet and odd blob creatures in the background--it looked like it was somewhere close to where they were now. He saw himself and the other three, a large green creature, a scattering of humans; mostly pale-skinned; a tiny horse, and a bipedal furred creature quickly replaced by another human. They all looked tense, but not about to attack. So we’re going to come together…? The glass started to fold together, the vision drawing to a close. Before it ended, the scene changed again, showcasing a small, plain hut. Renarin couldn’t see much of it before the vision dissolved entirely. ...Well, that had been something. He glanced around again. Everyone was just as tense as before, nobody was staring at him, and they didn’t look anywhere close to breaking the standoff. It came down to him, apparently. Renarin sighed internally. At least he could heal. He stepped forwards, hands up in the universal sign of surrender. Storms, what to say…? “Hello. Uh.” Great start, me. “Clearly we’re all...tense. I...none of us are from here, right? We’re all confused and don’t know what’s going on. So let’s...let’s just agree that we won’t hurt each other and see if we can figure out what’s happening.” Please let this work.
  15. Today was going to be one of those days. It was likely that it was even going to be one of those weeks, months, or even (hopefully not) years. Being dropped into a completely unfamiliar world was a rather obvious indicator of it. Immediately having a random man dumped in front of him just added to it. Renarin startled back again, but the man clearly wasn’t a danger. In fact, he looked like he was on the verge of death. Oh, storms. Renarin knelt in front of him, hands hovering nervously over the man. Should he try to heal him? Would it work? Glys couldn’t turn into a Blade, but he’d had healing before that. “Can we still heal?” Glys hummed for a moment in thought, then let out an excited sound. Can still heal! Only Blade is lost! Blade and Plate, Renarin thought to himself. While it was frustrating that he’d lost his Shards after so long trying to prove himself worthy of them, at least he wouldn’t have to let someone die in front of him. He breathed in sharply, and the Stormlight in his spheres--thank the Almighty he hadn’t lost those--flowed into him, concentrating around his hands until wisps of the pearlescent light rose from them. He placed his hands on the man’s chest and healed. Stormlight washed away his injuries. Bruises faded, cuts knitted themselves together, color returned to his face. But Renarin didn’t have time to wait for the man to stir. A loud scraping sound came from somewhere above him, along with a rain of dirt. Renarin froze. Was something about to fall? He’d survive that, but he’d just healed this storming man and doing it again would be an annoying drain of his Light. He looked up slowly. Thunderclast! That was his first thought, anyways, but as Renarin kept staring, frozen, at the...thunderclast-shaped whatever it was, he realized that it couldn’t be. Too small, for one thing, though its position made it seem larger. Not made out of stone for another; the shiny, reflective material it was covered in made Renarin think it might be metal, although not any kind he’d seen before. Painted, perhaps. Bizarrely, its striped coloring made him think of his own hair, or perhaps Adolin’s, although he supposed you’d have to throw in a brown-haired mother to get a child with all three colors--ech, why was his mind trailing off there? Renarin shook himself and focused on the situation at hand. A thunderclast-adjacent being was the simplest way to think of this thing, and it could attack at any moment. He’d taken down thunderclasts before, but not without a Blade. He was unarmed, his only advantage his ability to heal at a ridiculous rate. And he had a civilian with him. The best idea would probably be to grab him, run, and hope it doesn’t catch up, Renarin thought to himself. But that’s not likely to work. I thought Glys said this place was safe. ...Hold on. Glys did say this place was safe. He’s only been wrong one time, and that was because Jasnah broke the pattern. Maybe we’ll get out of this after all. Comforted by that thought, Renarin waited for the not-thunderclast to move, tensed in case he needed to run. A loud roaring sound came from somewhere in the distance, but he figured he could deal with whatever that was later.
  16. Falling. Falling. Falling. Alone. Unarmored. Empty-handed. Just a second ago he’d been in the middle of training. Then there had been a twist, a wrench, and now he was falling headfirst to the ground, his Shardplate gone and Glys back in spren form. Huh, Renarin thought vaguely, that’s weird. Not any kind of Surge we’ve seen before, and it doesn’t feel like a Voidbringer’s work either. Glys would recognize it if it was. He stared at the ground approaching. ...Right. There aren’t going to be any Windrunners to catch me. Alright. If I have Stormlight on me, I should be able to heal just fine from any impact. Still, maybe… Renarin curled into a ball and flipped himself over so he’d be landing feet-first. Hit and roll with the impact, that was how you were supposed to land. How Zahel had taught him. Wait for impact, wait, wait… Hit. Roll. H-- There was nothing to heal. Renarin blinked, kneeling in a field of grass. Dumb, unmoving grass, like in Shinovar. ...Huh? An impact like that should have broken something, but he was unharmed. Renarin pushed himself to his feet and looked around, confused. The field that spread out before him looked like something out of a fantasy, right down to the odd...blob...creatures dotting the landscape. Where is this? Something dropped in front of him. Renarin startled backwards, reflexively calling for Glys to become a Shardblade. Nothing happened. The...thing--an amorphous pink blob with a weirdly cute face--didn’t attack, sure, but no Blade formed in his hand, either. Renarin stared at his empty hand in confusion and tried to summon Glys again. There was a kind of tug, and then a kind of thump, like something had run into a wall. "Glys," Renarin said out loud, surprised by how little fear bled into his voice, "what’s happening?" I do not know! Glys answered in his mind, distressed. I am trying! It will not work! Oh, that was bad. The blob jumped forwards, and Renarin scrambled back. Someone yelled in the distance, making him flinch. Storms, had someone gotten attacked? The unfamiliarity, possible attack, and distracting noise mingled together in his mind, melting everything into a distress-inducing mess of stimuli. He’d been in battle. He’d fought in wars. This shouldn’t affect him so badly. Logically, he knew that, but his body hadn’t gotten the memo. He couldn’t control what drove him to the brink of shutdown, but this--this was doing it. Glys chimed out nervous, rambling encouragements. Renarin made himself take a deep breath. "Is there anything you can see?" Not now, Glys said, but something comes...soon. And here is safe. "Safe? You’re sure?" No death here. No death here. Renarin took another deep breath. "Alright." He supposed he should find out where he was, then. Renarin edged around the blob and started for one of the people-shaped forms. The landscape changed abruptly beneath him. One second, it was the rocky plains of Vedenar, the city he was heading to in clear sight. The next, it was a gathering of islands in the ocean, their terrain completely different from the Reshi Isles even at this distance. "What the--" Vyre muttered to himself. He glanced around him. Nobody else was in the air with him, even though he’d been in formation seconds before. He was alone in the air. Vyre cancelled his Lashings, half-Lashed himself upwards, and hung hovering in the air, weightless, to inspect the islands. ...Were they made of storming sweets? "This is ridiculous," Vyre muttered, and cancelled his last Lash to let himself fall towards the islands. He picked the largest of them and added a couple quick Lashings to angle his fall in that direction. He was getting good at this. All that time in the air was paying off. Vyre grinned. He wondered if he was as good as Kaladin. The thought sliced through his lightening mood and brought a scowl back to his face. He’d cut off that path for good. There was no going back. He’d gone far past the point where any of them would accept him. And he was fine with that! He’d found a new purpose! ...Had found a new purpose. He was...somewhere else now. Someone should know what was going on...right?
  17. Tien blinked at both the sudden consensus of doing something and Yosuke’s casual affection, but he found a grin spreading across his face regardless. He made a mental note to figure out who’d roped Yosuke into this later; they sounded like they deserved some low-level revenge, too. "I have pockets full of rocks and a talent for...misdirection," he volunteered. That was the most obscure reference to Lightweaving he could think of. His skillset was limited but useful; a good eye, illusions, and the ability to convince people of nearly anything. As for actual prank ideas… "When I was a kid I used to sneak bugs into the house and down my brother’s shirt, but I don’t know if there’s any…" He trailed off, eyeing Saiken. "...Slime could make a good substitute, though."
  18. Tien glanced over as someone let out a small cry. Some woman had just been tripped straight into her food. The man who tripped her snapped out something he didn’t quite catch and strode away, barely bothering to acknowledge her and certainly not apologizing. Tien frowned, feeling a sharp, instinctive dislike for the man. Only half-listening to the continuing conversation, and keeping his attention on the woman long enough to note that someone had come to reassure her, he watched the man move to the end of the table and start picking up silverware and store it in his coat. His...black coat with a pink feather collar… Hm. Now that Tien thought about it, this man--was he a man? The left hand was covered, like a safehand; no, no. This wasn’t Alethkar, or even Roshar. Best to go with man. At any rate, he very much did not look like he belonged here. And he definitely hadn’t come with X-DRE. He leaned towards Yosuke without looking away, carefully keeping track of him. "I think that man is stealing." Tien hesitated for a moment. "...We should do something about it."
  19. Name: Therimi Hone Origin: Cosmere OC (Fanworld) Info: Ze/zir/zirs pronouns. A well-grounded individual, Therimi was an early-joiner agent who mostly stayed on base at the Gateway before snagging a station on zir own homeworld and moving there. Ze's a kind person with a slight tendency to parent others, and has trouble resisting the urge to help others in need. Abilities: Chargeholder - The ability to store Charge (a musical, electricity-like power source found in certain crystals that can be amplified via matching its Tone with one’s own voice) within zir own body, releasing it from the hands or feet. The ‘wiki’ link explains more about this ability. Perfect Pitch - Years of training have given Therimi the ability to recognize any note the first time ze hears it and--so long as it’s in zir vocal range--replicate it. Medical Knowledge - Exactly what it says on the tin. Ze’s a doctor back home and can handle most minor injuries and a few major ones, provided they’re on humanoids. Basic Self-Defense - Again, what it says on the tin; Therimi can defend zirself well against the average person. It’s not very helpful when most everyone ze meets is anything but average, but ze can combine it with zir Charges to give someone a nasty and quite literal shock. Link to wiki: Mirris Worldbuilding and Power Context Extra: Ze speaks in a rhythmic, almost chanting manner. Zir culture sees gender as a thing of divinity, not meant for mortals to use. It took zir a while to stop giving others weird, suspicious glances and tripping up on pronouns. Ze was inspired to join X-DRE in part because zir spouse is involved in a similar organization in their own universe. Zir kids refuse to stay out of the family business. Ze had experience with extra-dimensional shenanigans in zir university years, long before ze joined, although time and magic has made those memories vague and muddled. Ze seems to have an unusually sharp knowledge of Earth's fae folklore, specifically protections from said fae, and a respect for libraries that borders almost on reverence. [This sheet may be expanded later.]
  20. Well. This was a thing that was happening now. Tien shot a sidelong glance at Xander as he left with Illidan, faintly wondering what all that was about. He considered asking Fractal to tail them, but that would be a stupid idea; Xander knew what she looked like, for one thing, and Tien did have some respect for others’ privacy, for another. Also, there was a cute boy talking to him and he had to focus on not being a total mess. He’d find out what it was all about eventually. Yosuke leaned towards him, and he instinctively leaned back slightly. "Sooooo, Telinar. You don’t seem like the kind of person to hang out with a, ah what’s a nice way to phrase it." Yosuke waved his hand in a circular motion. "Snobby? Yes, snobby crowd. What brought you to this party? And you!" Yosuke pivoted to look at Temararie. "I think I would have remembered seeing someone with as great of sense of fashion as you. How about you? What’s your name and how did you get dragged into this lovely mess with the rest of us?" Tien brushed his hair back with a slight snort, automatically tucking his bangs behind his ears. He could act the part without Lightweaving, but Light would help. Fade the brown from his hair into pure Alethi black, make his freckles less noticeable, that was easy enough to pass off as the lighting. "Oh, you’d be surprised. I’ve been to a few functions like this before, though usually, ah…" His nose wrinkled. "Usually not in, let’s say, quite as nice a position. I’m here because I work with the guest of honor." He nodded in Lara’s direction. "She extended an invitation and I didn’t have any reason to refuse." He wasn’t quite sure if he was regretting that or not.
  21. So Nohr...ian? Nohrian magic could be stored inside of objects, rather than needing a spren-focus. Of course, Tien hadn’t seen any spren at all in the other worlds; it was likely they were unique to Roshar, and everywhere else needed a system that didn’t involve them. Xander inched his sword out of its sheath, and it glowed with light. Tien’s eyes widened. Shardblades, Fractal especially, had their own magical flair, but nothing so dramatic as that. What powers could this Siegfried hold? Was it similar to a Blade, or--? Xander broke off and looked behind him. Tien followed his gaze automatically. A boy around his age was petting the horse’s neck, looking adoringly at it. Tien almost would have thought he’d snuck in, except that his outfit, though messy, did match that of the waiters. "Oh, I’m sorry. Is this your horse?" ...He was kind of pretty. Oh no, Tien thought, horrified with himself, no no no no no, I can’t start this again. "Yes, he is." "I love him." The earnestness in his voice was--NO NO NO COME ON, GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF. "Seeing another animal here makes me feel a bit better, you know? I’m glad I’m not the only one who brought their pet to this event." Not...the only one? Tien blinked. He would have noticed an axehound, wouldn’t he? Unless the other boy was talking about a tamed mink or-- Something headbutted Tien’s leg with an odd, unfamiliar sound. He dropped his gaze to stare at a small creature with black-and-white fur, now circling around his legs. He had no idea what this was. Tien went very still. It probably wasn’t dangerous, but he still didn’t want to hurt or annoy it on accident. "You two don’t look like the usual crowd. Not to say you didn’t follow the dress code, but most people aren’t cool enough to bring animals to these things." Tien nodded vaguely, eyes still on the odd animal. Fractal slid down to the ground to investigate, buzzing curiously at the creature. He caught the movement out of the corner of his eye and jerked his head up. "I’m Yosuke, by the way." The boy--Yosuke--winked, extending a hand. Tien felt his cheeks heat up and internally cursed himself. "How about you two?" "Xander," Tien’s companion introduced himself, shaking Yosuke’s hand. The boy nodded, then turned to Tien with an expectant grin. You’re fine, Tien told himself, knowing it was a lie. You’re fine. You’ve handled things like this before, crushes don’t get in the way of being cordial, oh dear Almighty why are you such a mess?! Damnation. There was the storming trade-off he’d been anticipating. He’d wondered when the other shoe would drop. X-DRE’s casual setup had made him more comfortable, able to interact with people lightly and open-heartedly. He’d let himself relax, let some of his acts slip away. Tien was (or had once been) at his core, a cheerful person, basically optimistic, compassionate, open. In a single short week, he’d started to return to that. He was letting his emotions show. He was letting himself feel and show his feelings. Too much. Fine. If Tien needed to hide in order to control himself, fine. He took a mental step back, reached inside himself for a familiar mask, let it settle over him like a veil. He couldn’t change his face right away without it being obvious, but he could maybe do it in pieces--later. Later. Away from Xander. Let Yosuke think it was a mistake of the lighting if they moved. "Telinar Mevani. Nice to meet you." Calm voice. Steady. Thank the Almighty. Firm handshake and let go. He was fine. He glanced briefly at Xander and hoped the man would go with it. In a moment of terrible, terrible timing, Temeraire popped up next to him seconds later.
  22. Tien mumbled a thanks in response to Xander's compliment and nodded through the ramble about his home, absentmindedly reaching up to pet the horse’s side. Who brought a horse to a party? Who let people bring a horse to a party? Not that Tien was complaining. This one seemed nice enough--he wasn’t chewing on his hair instead of just sniffing it, for example--and he was soft and gave Tien something to do with his free hand. While half of Xander’s words went in one ear and out the other, Tien noted his expressions more carefully. The fondness in face and tone spoke of great love, nostalgia, respect. Good traits in a king. Part of Tien's mind started wondering how that could be exploited, and if anyone had ever tried. He probably shouldn't be thinking about that, but he couldn't really help it...and it wasn't like Xander could read his mind, so he let his thoughts trail off on that path until the mention of such heavy reliance on magic set him wondering how their magic worked, exactly. It sounded like such a tenuous way to live; Tien's powers were fueled by Stormlight, sure, but even that couldn't last forever. What happened if they found themselves in a situation where they couldn't use it? Did they have any skills to fall back on? "...been rambling. Was there something in particular that you wanted to know?" Tien blinked. "Ah--no, not really, I was just curious." Fractal rang impatiently on his arm, and he glanced at her. She had questions, clearly. Was he comfortable telling Xander about his spren…? ...The way things had been going, he’d probably find out anyways. Tien stopped petting the horse and rotated his arm so the pattern that was Fractal faced Xander. "Fractal might have something, though." "Your mages sound like Edgedancers or Truthwatchers," Fractal said without hesitating. "Users of Progression. Are there any others? Or all they all simply focused on bringing life?"
  23. The party is...well, it’s a party; lighteyes-style. Tien’s not usually invited to those. He’s attended a few of them, but not really as a true guest. More of a tagalong. There to watch people, take mental notes on the politics, gather gossip that might indicate useful information… Make people think better of Amaram for sponsoring a darkeyed nobody… Tien shakes his head sharply. This isn’t the time to reexamine that issue. Tien’s relationship with his commander/mentor/parental(?) figure/whatever-Amaram-actually-is-to-him is not something he wants to stand around thinking about at a party. That said, he does find it ironic that he’s managed to gravitate to someone who holds a similar role now that the party’s going full swing. Tien sneaks a nervous glance at Xander before quickly looking back at his cup. He’s not actually sure what’s in this, but he’s pretty sure it’s alcoholic. Should he make conversation? He wouldn’t normally, but X-DRE’s organization is a lot more...casual than Amaram’s army. Also, there are some girls eyeing him and Tien’s already seen several of the others get accosted. Maybe they’ll leave him alone if he’s already talking to someone. "So…" Tien starts awkwardly. "Uh…" What would Fractal want to know? "What’s your homeworld like?" he blurts out.
  24. Tien knew to expect something different. The Gateway planet, the castle, those had already been a stark and shocking difference from Roshar, let alone the military lifestyle he was long used to. He knew it was going to be different. He hadn’t quite anticipated how different. Buildings soared into the air, utterly unfamiliar--so much glass, and no protection from highstorms whatsoever! It takes Tien long, long moments to tear his eyes away from the ridiculous, stunning things and look at the environment closer to ground level. Sand, and clear water stretching impossibly into the distance, and a startling amount of green--this, Tien imagines, must be what the port city of Thaylenar looks like. Minus the unprotected buildings and quite so much green, of course. Tien Memorizes it, blinking back into focus just in time for Lara to hand him a card. He’s not sure what this is for, actually. Tien tucks the cube-shaped communicator into his pocket and frowns at the card, running his fingers over the upraised text on it. "...Fractal? What did she say this was for?" "She did not," Fractal replies. “We will have to ask.” Oh. That’s unfortunate. He wasn’t listening to Lara either, so he can’t make a guess at it from context clues. Tien looks up, but Evonna and Chikako are already dragging Lara away. He waves a small, pointless goodbye at their backs and quietly hopes that someone else he knows has an idea of what this card is for, because that was most of the people he knew on this mission. Tien turns to Utakata, opening his mouth to ask-- And a woman--Sol, if he remembers correctly--marches up to Utakata and immediately starts lecturing him. Tien snaps his mouth shut. It’s never a good idea to interrupt a woman who’s decided it’s her job to look after everyone. It’s only when she starts to drag Utakata away that Tien yelps out a "Hey, wait for me!" and follows after them. Utakata is the last person here he’s familiar with. Tien doesn’t want to lose him. And, if nothing else, at least Sol seems like she knows what she’s doing.
  25. Location: Base Dining Hall People: Evonna, Chikako, Sorey, Towa, Mikleo, Edna, Lailah Tien feels a twinge of guilt as Evonna clings to Sorey, clearly terrified. He knows what that kind of fear feels like, and it’s not funny once it starts being genuinely scary. He raps a hand lightly where Fractal rests on the table as a warning, and she slides onto his hand and up his arm. They probably should have kept to themselves, kept it secret, but it’s rather too late now. And nobody knows about the Radiants, what all this means, and they’re already sharing powers, and-- And maybe he’s reading too much into it, but he swears there’s a tone of wistfulness in Mikleo’s voice as he muses on Fractal’s abilities. Tien checks his money pouch to see how much Stormlight he has. A fairly decent amount; the last highstorm wasn’t very long ago, and the glow in his spheres is strong. Plenty for a little bit of indulgence. So Tien smiles at Mikleo and says, "I think I can do a little more than that." He stands from his chair to get a better angle of everyone. He looks at each seraph in turn, eyes widening slightly as he Memorizes them, and takes a sharp breath to bring in Stormlight. A soft glow starts to rise from his skin, but it’s not there for more than a moment before he breathes out, releasing a pearlescent mist of Light. Tien Lightweaves the seraphim. Subtle work, a single thin layer; he’s only showing what’s already there. He doesn’t need to gesture with his hands to make the illusion work, but he does anyways, subtle gestures and twitching fingers. The Light settles over the three of them. Tien immediately starts feeling nervous, wondering if that was a mistake. If he should have asked, maybe clarified what he wanted to do, or even still kept it secret. Too late now. He’ll have to deal. He taps his forearm, where Fractal hums. "You mind transcribing?" Fractal hums. "That is fine."