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Sorey - 3rd Floor Library

[trial and error] - [keyboard mashing] - [mikleo - 1, sorey - 0]


"Theo no!" Sorey shouted around the same time as Scarlet. Running it through with a spear would all but destroy it, and their only chance of figuring this out. The angel had restrained Theo, but Sorey's heart still thumped in his chest. That was a close call!


"Com-poo-ters?" Sorey repeated when Arch asked. "I don't think we have them either. Even in the ancient records, there isn't any mention of anything that looks like this. Sorry, this is new to me, too."


Despite admitting that, he stepped in beside Towa to examine the device. The object was fascinating -- it was a box that displayed a bunch of words, as if by magic, and part of it blinked, too! Under the big box were the smaller boxes that Theo threatened to run through with his spear, and beside it were a tablet full of buttons and a round object with a central button. Drawing upon all the experience from solving the puzzles in ancient temples, Sorey began pressing buttons on the pad at random to see if they did anything. All of these objects were linked to each other, it seemed, so anything that would change in one would inevitably change the others. He couldn't quite decipher the symbols on the switches yet, however... "Hm..."


The 'computer' had similarly piqued an interest in Mikleo, who had approached and slid up to Towa's other side. He put a hand on the smallest device of the set -- noting that it fit right into his palm, which was probably no coincidence -- to operate the buttons on it, and in brushing it he had moved it.


Seeing a small arrow appearing on the illuminated part of the big box, Sorey immediately looked at the seraph, figuring that he was the most likely culprit.  "Wait, what did you do?


The computer's mouse moved even further, and the pointer responded the same way. Curiously, over the words, the pointer changed into a hand symbol. With some experimental clicking of the buttons, the computer's screen had changed to even more text which appeared to be about the titular XDRS. Thank you for using the XDRS Information Terminal, it began.


"Sorey - 0, Mikleo - 4," the water seraph smirked. 


Sorey frowned at him. "Come on, at least start the count from the beginning now that we know we're on another world. That's one point in your favor." He lifted a finger to emphasize the count. One.


Even though Towa probably could have told them how to use the computer if they'd waited a few more minutes for her to demonstrate, Sorey beamed at the sense of accomplishment he felt in figuring it out -- even if this time, Mikleo had beat him to the solution again. "Use the handheld thing," he grinned, addressing Arch and the man he was restraining, "and you can move the arrow and change what's written on the box! It's amazing!"

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i cant format properly i’m on mobile 

yes hello this is duke 



Duke smiles encouragingly as Jowan repeats the word, his pronunciation slightly more formal this time around. Was the other man really unaware of such a thing, to the extent that even the word would be so mysterious to him? 


He wonders what other things the other man does not know, perhaps — and if he could have the honour of showing them to him. 


Jowan’s reaction to the drink is wonderful to see — his eyes widen as he first tastes the beverage, and he gazes at it with an almost childlike wonder, as if he can’t quite believe what he’s drinking. In response, Duke smiles softly, following the rim of his cup with his fingertips. 


“Slow down,” he says, but without any real ill intent. “I’ll make some more if you want, gotta get through that tin somehow.” 


He sets aside the shaker, gazing at Jowan curiously. “Really,” he says, more a placeholder than anything. “I’m not one for too many sweets, but there’s a lot around the castle; I think we can probably nab a couple chocolate bars from somewhere. I have some candies too, we can ...” He breaks off just as he realises he was about to invite Jowan back to his room. 


A lifetime ago, that would have been easy; he would have suggested it with a wink perhaps, but Jowan’s frozen expression only minutes before is still burned into his mind. Swallowing, Duke smiles. 


“I’ll bring them out sometime. You can try them.” 


Then, he raises his mug, about to take a sip of his own drink, but before he can Jowan speaks. 


Duke pauses, setting down his drink — the sweet cinnamon would have to wait another time — and clasps his hands together, sighing. 


“You didn’t make me uncomfortable,” he explains. “I like ... talking to you. Touching you. I like” — here, he gestures with a loose hand, to all of Jowan. “You.” 


“But I saw what happened,” he says further, before the other man could interject. “How horrified you looked at Kelsier. You’re my friend first and foremost, and I would never wish anything that makes you uncomfortable happen.” 


Then, he cups his hands around the mug, and smiles softly. “I was really happy when you complimented me,” he confesses, “before that happened. Guess I hoped it was true.” 


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♫ Name // Lara Croft  ♫

♫ Players // Stan ♫

♫ Support // Cicero quietly sleeping by the door  ♫

♫ Status // Wait a minute.... ♫


~~I'll reveal your true form!~~


I love you, too.


That he had said with a smile. It had been softer, kinder, and more genuine than she had ever seen from him. Had she not seen it for herself, her doubts would have gotten the better of her. She feels her heart swell a size, her pulse quicken, and the room warming up just a little bit. Something about him not only accepting, but returning her feelings, is just enough to make her melt.


...Usually when I say that, I don't mean it. Not in this way, Lara. I'm sure you've noticed that I don't particularly get close to any of the ladies I court, or at least, not as close as they assume I am. It's the problem that comes with being naturally charming, interesting, and polite.


His sarcasm is biting, refreshing, and as a matter of fact sexy. She likes it, it’s a stark contrast from his usual cheery self. Perhaps that was the Stan she fell for, but she can get behind this Stan, who seemed to, for just a brief moment, bare his soul to her. Where that came from, she knows there’s more, she knows there’s got to be something about him. Right?


She knows for a fact that she needs to bare hers as well, she needs him to know what she had been through. And perhaps she needs to think about it all again, after all… she had to go through all that to get to where she is now, and as much as those memories weigh her chest down…. It’s her story, is it not? Lara wants her new lover to know a bit more about her, but perhaps she should air out her dirty laundry one garment at a time.


Where are my manners, as a gentleman? You're my guest, and I should offer you some refreshments.


Something clicks in Lara’s brain. The sudden change in demeanour, as if he’d suddenly bounced back to his normal gusto. Something about it seems… Off. As if someone suddenly hacked into and rewired his brain. Lara raises her eyebrow, catching onto his façade. I see, she thinks to herself, It appears that he puts up an act, probably to prevent himself from getting hurt. I can’t say I blame him, that was a very serious conversation. Probably needs to recover as much as I do- a nap will suffice once all is said and done. Lara takes a second while Stan gets up and out of her embrace, much to her chagrin. He grabs a bottle of whiskey and some glasses from some drawers, pours their glasses, and hands her one. She focuses on the golden liquid in the glass, wondering when the last time she’d had whiskey was. Had it been in college, back when she was with--


Damn. She had to go and remember it again. Her fingers clench around the glass at the thought, but closes her eyes and relaxes as it passes. Not her. Not just yet, but if the topic comes back up….


Cheers. To acknowledging our dirty laundry.


Bah, cheers indeed.


Cheers indeed. Thank you, my love, had I known we’d be breaking the drinks out I’d have made a brief stop in my room.” She smiles and takes a sip, feeling the whiskey leave a trail of warmth as it slides down her throat. “That is, if you don’t mind a good gin, or whatever else I may have in there. Been a while since I sat down and had a drink though.” Lara sighs and takes another sip. “I see… I haven’t gotten particularly close to many people myself, as many as I have courted.” Indeed- man, woman, it didn’t matter. She had seen it all. “It’s tough...Perhaps not due to my charm or…. Er- I suppose my appeal? If that even exists...” Lara chuckles. “It’s… tough because in my history I’ve only had two significant others. The rest I maybe saw for a week at best, and then never saw them again.” With that, she sighs and takes a third sip of whiskey, sitting on the bed and reaching for his hand.


Anyway… Listen, hotshot, I’m not sure if you realize, but you kind of seem… off. As if you’re bringing up a persona… It’s just weird, the stark contrast between you just a couple of minutes ago, almost as if something about you was a façade. It feels as if there’s so much more to you, a real self that’s not liking being suppressed.” Little does she know the irony of her words, of the skeletons she has deep in her closet. Of the fact that, as much as she claims to bare her soul to those she gets closest to,  “I could be completely wrong, and please, please tell me if I am. But… Darling, I…” Lara clenches her fist. “I just want you to know that you’re welcome to be transparent with me. I’m not saying right now, but when you’re comfortable, okay?


Lara wants very badly to reach forward and hold his hand, kiss his cheek, give him some sort of touch to reassure him, but is that her place? Is it okay, after what she just said? Is he going to be testy? Part of her is proud for catching whatever b******* that Stan might be giving off, but another part of her wonders if she’s just dead wrong. If she spoke out of place. If she pissed him off. But why does he make her care? It’s not even that he tells her how to feel, but… It’s as if with him she can let down her walls a little. And she kind of likes that.


She supposes she’ll have to wait. She’ll have to wait for his response.


I can be tough,

I can be strong

But with you,

It’s not like that at all

-Avril Lavigne


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Allies: Duke
Location: Kitchen


He looks up a Duke’s words, surprised. As many times as he tells him, it can’t seem to stick in his head that Duke, for some reason, seems to want to be around him. Seems to care about him. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t know or understand what Jowan’s done. The blood magic, yes, but nothing else. 


Still, even if Duke’s wrong to think so, Jowan can’t help but feel… complimented. Warm, in a way that has nothing to do with the hot mug in his hands. A bit of the weight comes off his shoulders at the knowledge that Duke isn’t upset with him, that the touch hadn’t been unwelcomed. 


“But I saw what happened. How horrified you looked at Kelsier. You’re my friend first and foremost, and I would never wish anything that makes you uncomfortable happen.”


He thought -- ? 


Duke finishes, and Jowan is finally given a chance to explain. Maker, but they had a lot to explain to each other. “That wasn’t your fault,” he says. “Kelsier, he -- I wasn’t expecting it, but he said it would, um, intensify emotions that were already there. So it, well, was true. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to think it wasn’t. You have very nice eyes,” he finishes, a little too quickly, scared that he won’t be able to say the words if he doesn’t get them out quickly enough. Somewhat worried that his blushing face will catch fire if he doesn’t change the subject, he continues. 


“I just… couldn’t stay around him. Playing with emotions. How can you trust someone like that?” How can you trust a blood mage? It's too uncomfortable of a look in the mirror. He readjusts his grip around his mug and lets out a quiet chuckle. “I overreacted, didn’t I. He was just trying to show me how it worked. He wouldn’t do that, right?” Another stupid mistake, but if Kelsier did mess with him again, more subtly, would he be able to tell? What if he’d been lying about how his powers worked all along?

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b66ab1c5efcb9f5adfe252bf9169f6c7.png [ theo ; -- add. m. e. l. for: a. s. t. ]

 -- status.

legios ; dormant ]

grey ; knight of loyalty



Theo hears the protest of the princess as he raises his arm up; he pauses just slightly, seconds away from slamming a metal gauntlet down onto the mysterious object. Technically speaking, he was a knight no longer -- he had no inhibitions to follow commands. So why -- did he pause?


It seems that question is answered for him a second later, when he feels a familiar hand slot into place of his own, Arch guiding his arm down as the angel speaks in soft, hushed tones. The angel's light blue eyes are bright in the faint light filtering in from the library windows, and Theo holds his gaze for a second. Witnessing the other man's reaction to Towa's words, Theo lowers his arm. 


Then, he shrugs and sidesteps to allow Towa to step forward. "Worth a shot," he says, as he concedes to the princess and allows her to go onwards. Perhaps his method was not the best in regards to how to operate the machine, but it had been the first thing to come to mind -- but they are not alone anymore, and there were people from other worlds with different sources of knowledge. Perhaps it was better to leave the dealings of foreign objects to them, considering the princess seemed to have recognised the strange machine. 


Despite his internal monologue, Theo finds himself staring at Sorey warily as the brown-haired boy steps up in response to Arch's words. He had called out as well, when Theo had lifted his hand -- why did it seem they were so opposed to his actions? -- and now, he was speaking.


To the air, apparently. Theo tenses instinctively, but the other members of his group seem to be perfectly fine -- too preoccupied with the interaction, it seemed. Before he can take any objection to the brown-haired boy's strange actions, Sorey turns back to them with a smile on his features, and an explanation.


The handheld thing? Theo blinks past Sorey to stare at the strange, round device. It seemed it would perfectly fit a palm, but how would he know that? Unless he had analysed the object seriously in a matter of seconds, and made a conclusion -- but there was no way this Sorey's brains were on par with that of Annette, to figure out technomagi so quickly. 


"What does the box do, though?" he asks, staring at the screen. Information Terminal? What kind of information could it give, with only a flat screen?





9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. d. ; for. k. j. f. t. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!



Jowan speaks quickly. Too quickly, in fact, and the mage's words come out in a spill of information that Duke nearly misses. His thoughts are clouded, tripping around one another, as he processes the information the other man had just relayed to him. He blinks, staring at the other man's quickly reddening face, and feels the tips of his ears grow hot. 


"Oh," he says, in response. "I -- cool. Thank you. You ...  you too have eyes."


Pull it together, Lefevre, he thinks. This revelation ... it had completely screwed over the soft letdown he was preparing himself for. Completely sidestepped his plans. Wait -- was Jowan implying what he thought?

"No, wait," Duke says, a little too forcefully, determined to get his words out before the other man could speak. He needs to be smooth, suave -- spill out all his thoughts so there are no more misunderstandings.


"You really think I'm pretty?" he asks instead, but before Jowan can either confirm or deny the statement, Duke's thoughts catch up to him -- as if all at once, and it is breathtaking. "Oh Empress, me too." He doesn't think to clarify that he is talking about Jowan, not himself. 


Duke, Vylcan says. What are you doing?


He didn't reject me, Duke thinks back, his voice filled with shock. The first time ... had worked? But it never works -- at least, not in his experience. 


In response to Jowan's latter words, Duke straightens in the chair, leaning slightly forward as a more serious expression overtakes his features.


"No," he says finally. "I ... despite everything, I trust Kelsier. I think he's just trying to do the best for his people, in the way that he knows -- and well, if someone acts with good intentions and the outcome is bad, I don't really think you can fault him, everything considered." A pause. "Right and wrong is hard to distinguish sometimes. My world -- and the many worlds out there -- are filled with injustices, some more than others. I won't ever fault anyone for doing what he has to do to survive. That saved my life when I was younger." His eyes drift upwards, thinking. 


"But I don't think you were wrong to react that way, either. We're on safe territory; he should have warned you before doing anything, especially considering you're a part of the X-Dreamers now, and he's just a guest. Never heard of a guest purposefully attacking the hosts, and I'm sure Twilight wouldn't be too happy to receive that report, either." 


His perfectly planned, oft-rehearsed speech for a content rejection deleted ("thank you, let's just be friends then, you have a glorious figure worth that of a God -- did that still not work?"), Duke throws caution to the wind. 


"Well." He leans back in his chair, hands drumming the side of his mug, his heart beating too fast to take a proper sip, "I have those emotions, too -- as in, I like you. A lot. So this," he says, motioning with a finger between the two of them. "We can work on."


He gives the other man a smile, and then raises the mug to his lips and finally takes a sip of the hot chocolate. His drink is significantly cooled down by now, but still radiating some heat and smelling of rich chocolate, and Duke takes a large sip.


Seconds later, he spits it entirely back into his mug and breaks into a cough, straightening up as he tries to calm himself from the sudden shock. He immediately stands up, near-running to the sink, and fills up a glass with water and throws it back. 


"Wrong condiment," he finally says, wiping the side of his mouth. "Erugh, I can still taste it." 

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Allies: Duke
Location: Kitchen


Duke seems so surprised to be told that he’s pretty -- had he really not known? He seems so surprised by the revelation, and the words spilling out of his mouth don’t make much in the way of sense. He… also thinks that he’s pretty? Well, that’s good. Someone that looks so good should know that about themself. 


There’s another possible meaning to Duke’s words, but it’s too fanciful to consider. 


He listens carefully to Duke’s speech and nods. He’s not sure that he agrees. Intentions are all well and good, but the actual effects of actions can’t just be ignored. Not when people are hurt because someone was too selfish to think things through. 


He’s not really thinking of Kelsier anymore. 


All the same, it’s nice to hear Duke validate his feelings. Some part of him expected to be mocked, though he’s not sure why when Duke has been nothing but kind and understanding. 


His eyes widen. Duke was serious? He turns the words over in his head, trying to see if there’s any way that he could be misunderstanding, but no, Duke really does seem to be interested in him. Romantically. “I -- really? I mean, me too --”


Duke runs over to the sink, and Jowan doesn’t understand why until Duke explains that no, he hadn’t meant to dump a spoonful of salt into his hot chocolate. He laughs and takes a mocking sip of his own hot chocolate, relishing the flavor all the more. “I told you that you should pay more attention,” he teases. 


There’s a light, giddy feeling in his chest. Talking to Duke is so easy when they don’t need to discuss heavy topics. But it can’t last, can it? He thought that he’d be with Lily forever, and he’d managed to mess that up so badly that she was locked in Aeonar. 


It’s so tempting to just ignore it all and have a few days or weeks of happiness before it all comes crashing down, but what’s the use in delaying the inevitable? It’d only hurt Duke more. 


“Duke, I…” he looks back down at his cup, his smirk replaced by knitted eyebrows and a forlorn expression. “It’s not fair to you, I’m not a good person.” He inhales, glad that he doesn’t have to see whatever look of disgust is on Duke’s face. “I betrayed my girlfriend and best friend -- my girlfriend didn’t do anything wrong, but now she’s in prison because I was selfish. I poisoned a woman’s husband, got her son possessed, and then killed her -- it doesn’t matter what my intentions were.” 


Status: Refusing to Stop Angsting

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. 0 ; for. j ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!



Duke sulks when Jowan teases him; he wraps his fingers around the glass of water in his hands and fills it up once more, taking a sip. He can still taste it, and is just about to complain about the bitterness when --


Jowan's next words bring him back to the present, and Duke blinks at the other man for a second, eyes wide. 


Then, he sets the glass down and sighs: a noise that expels the air from his lungs and collects his thoughts.


"When I was young," he says slowly, "I watched my parents burn alive in the war." 


A pause.


"I thought it was unfair. There were things I couldn't understand: why them? What had they done? And then I was adopted by a man -- my brother, Ace."


He holds out a hand; between his fingers, thin flickers of blue dance along his palm. 


"I'm afraid I haven't been entirely honest. Vylcan chose me, and I carry his abilities within me, but his counterpart rejected me. Without her -- without Victoria, I have no claim to any throne. A murder I commit is a crime; a murder someone with both commits is for justice." 


He breaks the barrier in his hand, resting his palms on the counter as he leans back, relaxed.


"Vylcan and fairies the fairies of my world are kingsmakers, shapers of the world, ambassadors of the Empress herself. But a shield is nothing with a sword, and a sword is nothing without a shield. You cannot only protect people. You must strike, too, to prevent them from being hurt. My parents hid themselves from the war, and they died. Ace killed a prince, and he won." 


"Did the prince deserve it?" Duke tilts his head. "Probably not. He was young, and issuing commands to win the war. I am a commander now, and I too give commands. The war continued, and I was the right hand of my liege. I lead good soldiers to their deaths, and killed my enemies. And then I turned my back on my liege, and went my own way." 


Duke smiles. "If you're looking for good people, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. X-Dre is full of murderers, tyrants, rebels. We have absolute kings and radical terrorists. The only thing that unites everyone here is an internal urge to protect what you think of as right -- and I haven't doubted a single person in this organization thus far." 


He drums his fingers along the counter. "I've come to realise that you eventually have to make your own judgement about people. Justice is subjective. Victory is for those who claim it. A prince will save his failing kingdom, even when it is riddled with slavery and dark magic, because it is the security he desires. A revolutionary will throw royal children from the rooftops, burn lineages to the ground, so that oppression may never rise again. But you," Duke gestures, with the glass still in his fingers, to Jowan. "Have obvious doubts about your own actions. Keep that." He sets the glass in the sink, done with his drink. 


"The only danger in committing a crime is when you are blinded to your own actions. A man who beheads a king and feels nothing but pride is a dangerous one. Feel regret, and pity, but never falter in your actions moving forward." 


He sits down, folding his hands and smiling. "So no, I don't have a problem with any of your actions. The pleasure of your company isn't unfair to me; I've spent my entire life -- and time in this organization -- around murderers and turncoats. It's just a matter of how you present yourself." 

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Allies: Duke
Location: Kitchen


“Oh,” he says. 

It’s an entirely inadequate reply to Duke’s speech, but he needs a few moments to process it. Duke speaks of grand plots, of wars and succession and justice, of weighty decisions and commanding armies, and it makes all of Jowan’s problems feel small and foolish.


He’s no prince, commander, or Warden, just another arrogant mage. He’d been a pawn to larger things, yes, but never the one to make the decisions, too blinded by the moment to see the larger picture. Loghain had told him to poison the arl and he’d done it. Neria had told him to sacrifice Isolde with nothing but complete conviction in her eyes and he’d done it. He doesn’t regret listening to her, not really. He trusted her to make the right decision (and truthfully, Isolde had never given him a reason to mourn her death, not after she’d ordered him to be tortured), but the whole situation had stemmed from his mistakes. 


“I... had this fantasy, while I was imprisoned, of… escaping somehow, I don’t know, and helping refugees. Becoming a healer, picking up a new name, protecting people. Being selfless for once instead of just making things worse for everyone around me, you know? It was silly. Idle thoughts to keep myself sane,” he says, voice hushed. “I still want to help, however I can, but… what if I don’t get any better, and just keep making the same mistakes? There’s a pattern here, I’d have to be blind not to see it.” 


He sighs. “But… thank you. It feels a lot better, to not keep it hidden.”

build the road in front of you

Edited by Zor

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. 0 ; for. j ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!



Duke's gaze flutters from Jowan's as the other man talks, the blond comprehending his words. 


"You adapt as you can," he says. "It's not a weakness to dream of better times. Of safety and peace. I'm sure that's something all men have wished for before." 


Duke hums, drumming his fingers along the table. "Better a blind man than a paranoid man, some would think," he muses. "If you hold yourself back from aiding others because you're too afraid to hurt them instead, you'll only hurt yourself in the process."


He stands, collecting their mugs; he sweeps both and brings them over to the counter, setting them down.


"I've found some people work better under command, and others are better giving such commands. There's no shame to either. It depends on you to find those who you feel you can trust and work alongside with, and those who you believe will have your back. When that happens -- your mistakes are that of our own, and your healing as well." The blond looks over his shoulder, quirking his lips into a smile. "A man by himself cannot succeed in much -- if anything. He will work himself to death, or be labelled a criminal. But many men, gathered together -- that is when you have a mission, and a message. I've had the honour of leading many armies into battle, and I have never regretted one." 


He pauses then. Never? Perhaps -- but Elias is not here, and the past is behind him. He talks -- of subjective justice and allied positions, but he cannot keep the image of Elias' dark magic uncurling across the battlefield, suffocating men into the ground below, sweeping a dark wave of plague across the land from his mind. Justice may be blind, but surely even she would smell the stench of death rising from the fields. 


"We all fight for some cause."

To prevent Elias' madness from reaching this planet.


"And none of us have walked through life free of mistakes. It is simply a question of how you adapt."


And how you take your vengeance -- whether it be through cruelty or forgiveness.


In response to Jowan's words, he simply smiles. "Don't thank me. Just sharing a couple things I've found on the field. All things considered, I'm still quite the amateur compared to some of the people here." He opens the cupboard, drawing the can of hot chocolate out once more. "I'm sure some of them think my role on the battlefield is just theatrical, but I've learnt not to question the underdogs." 


He winks at the mage, bringing the mood back. "Another cup? I'm going to make myself a proper one, this time. Do you see the cinnamon anywhere, actually?" 

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[aftermath of the fallout] - [wet] - [do robots have more emotions?]



Dynarst jumped at the sound made by Typheus the machine, and it took him more than a few seconds to realize that the bot was... laughing? Did Typheus suddenly break at Duke's exaggerated shows of affection, having imagined in his eye a scenario where Duke and Dynarst -- practiced hugging? H-U-G, he had embarrassingly corrected (maybe he was laughing at the spelling?). That was something that people did with loved ones. Did Duke consider him a loved one? He swiped the air with his hands, hoping to physically chase away the thoughts.


Meanwhile, Kelsier shrugged at Fiddlestick's inquiry -- such a strange name for a creature! It was Jowan's fault for getting spooked at foreign magic... Though in the end, Kelsier did concede that a fore-warning instead of an after-warning would have yielded better results. While the zinc-fueled compliment was amusing to him, it wasn't quite laugh out loud funny like the white bot had interpreted it, and the visible horror from the mage was enough to change the mood completely.


"What is wrong with you! Maker, you didn't give any warning, you just--"


The whispered words had tumbled out as if he was too scared to get angry. Kelsier couldn't help but get reminded of some similar reactions from people he'd interacted with -- sometimes he would see it in the eyes of skaa after he'd stained his own hands with the blood of their masters... But they were resilient, and they would quickly recover. So would Jowan.

"He didn't take too well to emotional magic," Kelsier explained to the bot. Beyond the mildly expressive eye, he wasn't entirely sure if the bots understood emotion, even if they moved and spoke like humans (with some added beeping). And answering her other question from earlier, he continued, "We only stopped because I ran out of steel to fuel my abilities. I'm a little disappointed that Duke didn't follow up on his challenge, though, because a fist fight against an invisible wall would have been fun."


Duke was staunchly protective of his friends, and that superseded even his desire to be loyal; Kelsier wanted to see how far he was willing to stretch that sense of honor in the context of training. But, it seemed, that the situation was no longer one of play and now it seemed to be truly over.



With the conversation paused (Typheus still laughing in the background not withstanding) Kelsier stretched, then took off his waistcoat to take it and wring out the --


Oh dear.


His two hands just about to twist the neck of his shirt, he froze. A sudden realization struck him -- it chilled him more than the water on his skin.


He put the waistcoat down on the ground and knelt beside it. Slowly, he extracted a piece of paper from the garment's inner pocket. The folded sheet was delicate and flimsy in his horrified hands, and Kelsier barely dared to breathe when he tried to separate both halves and open it up to dry.


He finally let out a breath when he saw that the drawing and accompanying script of the flower weren't washed away by the water, although the paper was slightly red-stained by something adjacent. Carefully, too carefully, he set it right on top of some blades of grass, half fearing that the green plants would poke holes through the wet page, and half fearing that if he put it on a rock that it would stick and never come off.


Even as he took his dress shirt off by pulling it over his head, his eyes kept darting back to the wet page, protective. He twisted the water out, creating puddle that the grass quickly drank up, before shaking the garment back into shape.


"Would you like my dry clothes, Sir Survivor?" Dynarst shakily offered, sensing that Kelsier had calmed down and moved on. The reverence in his eyes was leagues different from the nervous look he would have given him, had Kelsier introduced himself as a noble -- and the Survivor truly doubted that he would offer to give the shirt off his back if that were the case. Not that a noble would end up wanting skaa rags, anyway.


"Just Kelsier is fine," Kelsier repeated. Smiling, he added, "You can keep your clothing, Dynarst."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Allies: Duke
Location: Kitchen


It’s a lot to think about. He feels both drained and rested, like after a long day of magic practice, a deep feeling of peace in his bones. He doesn’t doubt that there’ll be setbacks, but for the moment that seems okay. 


“Sure, thank you,” he says, accepting the offer of another mug of hot chocolate. At Duke’s request he glances around the table and picks up a small glass bottle containing brown powder. “This it?” he asks, shaking it a little before sliding it across the table. “Could I try some? It’s… been a long time.” Neria had somehow managed to get ahold of a few sweet cinnamon-spiced buns a few years ago, probably by convincing Cullen to give them to her. 


When Duke passes him the mug, he speaks again. “So… we never actually had that magic discussion, did we? I’ve got a question; during the fight with the Inquisitor, I thought I saw my Arcane Bolt go through your barriers, but then during the fight with Kelsier it didn’t. Am I misremembering…?”

you can't fix a broken heart in a couple of days

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Stan - Stan's Room

[post-shower] - [drinking] = [what is real?]


"Only two? Amateur." He snorts, amused. Of course, it was healthy for a young woman to explore her own wants and desires, so long as she wasn't destructive. She never mentioned how many casual encounters she had had, and Stan didn't think he wanted to know. He'd let her keep that one secret. He himself is past that stage of boasting about how many he's had, and even if he remembers the tally, he doesn't think he is really inclined to tell anyone. "I have more exes than I can count on my right hand."


He smiles when she calls him hotshot, but it fades away quickly when what follows echos what he's been asking himself for many months now. He knows that sometimes he can be inconsistent, but wasn't everyone that way? His body tenses from the accusation, defensive as if he were suddenly betrayed. What was she talking about? There was no change. Was there? He wonders if he is so out of touch with himself now that he can no longer separate what he intends and what he projects. 


"Stark contrast?" he repeats. "A real self? Cut the crap." He takes a swig of his whiskey, nearly downing the entire glass. "The only stark contrast," he snapped, "was that I stopped talking about depressing **** and offered you a drink."


Was she right? Was she wrong? Even at this point, Stan couldn't answer. He pulls at his own hair in frustration, continuing his rant without giving Lara space to speak. 


"You fell in love with that person who's handsome and chivalrous, right? Likes to make jokes, who's fun... If you want to call that a persona, fine," he hisses. "You're right! that person isn't me!" He wants to slam the glass down on something, but there was nothing within reach except for maybe his thighs. Defeated, he lowers the glass and rests it on his lap. It makes him so mad that she misunderstands. "It's fake, right? I can't ever really be happy. Not if I can't tell what the real me is or what he wants."


Finally, he sighs. His shoulders fall in defeat, having run out of energy to stay upset over the matter. "It's just... easier to be cheerful. Easier to get along with people that way."

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♫ Name // Lara Croft  ♫

♫ Players // Stan ♫

♫ Support // Cicero quietly sleeping by the door  ♫

♫ Status // Regretful 


~~What have I done?~~



She had been right. She had screwed up, and had screwed up royally.


She hears it in his voice. She sees it in his face, in his movements. And she feels it pierce into her breast, as if she shot at a wall made of the hardest material imaginable and it ricocheted into her heart.


Lara looks up at the ceiling, gripping her glass of whiskey.


Well done, Lara Rochelle,” she whispers to herself, “Gone and messed it up again, haven’t we?


Amanda, what’s the matter?” Lara asks as she notices the blond skulk into her dorm.


“I really don’t want to talk about it,” Amanda grumbles, slumping onto the bed and staring blankly at the ceiling. Lara turns around in her desk chair and leans her arm onto the back of the chair, observing the way her girlfriend drums her fingers against the sheets, something clearly on her mind. But the way Amanda is, she won’t say a word to anyone, not even Lara. Still, it bugs Lara as Amanda lays there in silence, not even looking in Lara’s general direction.


It’s painful to hear the silence, a stark contrast from Amanda’s usually bubbly and upbeat voice filling the room with her chatter. Lara can’t handle the silence. She anxiously finishes her journal entry and shoves the book into her desk, waiting for a few minutes before she suddenly hears Amanda’s voice chirp.


“Well, how’s your day been, darling?” She asks in her usual bubbly voice. It doesn’t sound right, though, as if Amanda were putting on a mask. Lara raises her eyebrow.


Love, that was an awfully quick recovery.” Lara frowns.


“What’s wrong with that?” Amanda raises her eyebrow in response. “I’m fine, Lara, really. Just…. Was having a rough day, is all. I’m alright.”


Amanda, you don’t sound alright, do you? You can tell me what it is, please be transparent with me,  I’ll be happy to listen--


“You’re saying I’m not transparent with you? Lara, I tell you everything, why can’t you let me recover from my **** day? I don’t wanna deal with it right now, and you need to just  deal with it!” Amanda snarls and gets up from the bed. She gives Lara a death glare, her usually serene blue eyes steeled over, colder than the weather outside. “And if you start saying crap like ‘oh, you’re faking being happy, that’s not you at all,’ blah blah blah…. Well, little missy, listen up. Maybe it’s just easier letting bad feelings go, instead of wallowing in them like you do. Let. It. Go.” She hisses, turning on her heel and storming out the door, not even considering Lara’s floormates as the door slams shut.


Lara hangs her head down, turning away from the door and resting against the desk.


She thought she had healed from that. She thought they both did. The two had never brought it up again, had they? But of course it has to come back up. Lara had always prided herself in never making the exact same mistake twice, but here she is.


I’m sorry,” she says just a little louder, “Perhaps I had jumped the gun. Perhaps I’m wrong.” Lara doesn’t know how to approach him. She doesn’t even know if he wants to be touched, so she takes a sip of her drink. She wants him to approach her- it’s entirely possible that he could throw her across the room if she approached. “And even if I am right, I…. don’t think it’s all fake. There has to be some of that happy, upbeat man in there. It… It has to be, right?” She swears that if the grip on her glass gets any tighter that the glass will shatter in her hand.


Good. Perhaps then she won’t feel the same pain.


Even so,” she continues, “I had no right, no right to shatter that.” She feels tears coming, but she doesn’t know if her heart can handle letting them out. “I…. Perhaps you’re right, that it’s easier to be happy. But perhaps I’ve been so used to being so bloody miserable that-” Her voice cuts off with a choke. Perhaps, perhaps, PERHAPS--- Is that all you know how to say? Lara removes her right hand from the glass and closes it into a fist, her nails cutting into the skin. She slams it into her knee, which kicks out due to reflex. It hurts like hell, but it’s something.


You are right,” she says as she hangs her head down, carefully taking the glass and placing it about a foot away from her feet. “I’m sorry, Stanley.” She feels the tears rolling out of her eyes, down her cheeks, and down onto her jeans. Lara reaches behind her and clutches the end of her braid, fiddling with it before ultimately slipping off the tie, which she had put on rather haphazardly, and letting the stretched old band make its home on her wrist. Carefully she undoes the braid, and when it’s been reduced to slight waves, she allows it to hang like a curtain around her, trying her hardest to hide herself, as she had done for the longest time when she hurt someone she loved. “I’ve off and done it again, haven’t I… I suppose now you’re seeing the real me, the one who does nothing but hold onto things that should be let go. You’ve taken into fancy someone who does nothing but confront others’ feelings, perhaps trying to run away from her own issues. Perhaps she wants some sort of validation, and she thinks that ‘helping,’” this she says with air quotes, “someone who probably doesn’t need it to begin with is going to bring that. This isn’t the woman you fell for, is it?” Her voice grows softer as the tears continue to fall. “I’m sorry, Stanley, I should’ve just let it go. I should just let you be happy, shouldn’t I…


Well done, you wench… He’ll leave you for sure. Lara drums her toes in her boots. She lets all of that hang out in the air. Perhaps she doesn’t know what else is tormenting inside her mind, or maybe she does and refuses to admit it to herself. But that… Was something she had known all along. That even if she worries for others, she’ll only irritate them further by confronting them.


And perhaps… Perhaps, there was nothing she could do but allow it to completely destroy her.


Is it you who changed?

Or is it me that changed?

I hate this moment,

this time flowing by


Edited by Mikasa361

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   Fiddlesticks huffed, the semblance of an annoyed smirk visible in her eye. "A barrier could take me at charge. I doubt you would have done anything," she muttered. Typheus calmed down enough to give her a stroke on the shoulder.
   "Everything has a strength and a weakness," he said, "though I didn't expect to find Jowan's this early." He smothered the rest of his laughs, closing his and shaking his head. "Who would've thought it was that though?"
   Fiddlesticks' ear twitched. "Katie did mention gender confusion among humans. And we know they're lax about it," she said scornfully. He just rumbled in response, not liking the reminder. Although now that he was thinking about it - and by extension, thinking about how powerful the metal magic could be against him and Fiddlesticks - he decided he might as well clarify for the two humans still here to prevent future offense:

   "The planet we're from, Zirhon, has very strict rules, never mind cultural standards." Uncertain if he should go into detail, he simply added, "and it doesn't help I have a justice complex."
   "Only after I pointed it out," Fiddlesticks teased.
   "Only because I had to point out that you're a reckless idiot," he returned. She smacked him on the arm, which he playfully mirrored. She just huffed again, a sign he took as restlessness from the lack of fighting; and that posed an interesting opportunity.

   "How exactly do you prepare metal?" he asked Kelsier. "Us and Dynarst could find you more steel, and you could spar with her." He gestured toward Fiddlesticks, whose eye lit up at the idea. "She doesn't do well for long without a good fight."
   "You're sure I won't kill him on accident?" she asked.
   "It'll be fine." He turned to the man Dynarst had called Sir Survivor to read his reaction to the offer, but was distracted by the fact that he was removing his wet shirt. The mech shifted uncomfortably, and Fiddlesticks quickly averted her gaze with an indistinct grumble. "I uh, thought that was rude..." His comment withered away when the man suddenly froze. Had he misspoken?

   Actually, no, as it turned out. Instead Kelsier abruptly dropped the shirt to pull out something yellowed and raggedy, threatening to catch on the fabric. Exceedingly careful, as if it contained a photosensitive jewel, he unfolded it and lay it down on the grass, first examining it before going back to his shirt. Dynarst and Fiddlesticks may had been on bad angles to see it, but at his full height Typheus could tell that it had some sort of pattern traced on it. It looked like a picture, but it wasn't digital. Some sort of keepsake?

   He regretted that he couldn't offer any help on drying out the picture; the only hot things he or his partner had would surely incinerate it and all of the burnt grass around them. It was obviously precious to Kelsier and likely very private, so he pretended that he didn't acknowledge it, simply letting his expression go blank. Fiddlesticks, since she was still looking away, didn't notice the picture at all.

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Stan - Stan's Room

[post-shower] - [drinking] = [why she cry]



There is a lot he wants to say, but any thought that is about himself -- about how yes, but you don't trust me -- is swept away by the torrent of Lara's own problems. He pauses, abashed. He could barely keep up with the rapid change of emotions in the last hour. Joy, fear, frustration, all with an undercurrent of uncertainty -- it leaves him breathless, in a highly unpleasant way.


Ugh, I hate this ****. 


Stan puts a hand to his forehead and rubs his face. The way she turns his words against him pisses him off -- she had no right to say the same things right back at him. He saw that her fingers were tense. It was downright strange to find  such an ordinarily strong woman cry like this -- it was probably just as hard for her to talk about as it was for him, and the tears had restarted.


Again, all the signs were there: the slip of the hairtie, the slight lean, and her eyes now barely peeking out of her hair. He could have just touched her face and held her cheek in his palm and brushed her tears away with his thumb -- but unlike the kiss from earlier, he stops himself. It is easy to imagine himself whispering into her ear the things she wants to hear, worshiping her -- though he couldn't bring himself to do so, if she doubted everything he would say.

"I was never good at doing feelings." He grimaces. It is a neutral answer that does not address any questions in the room. It's the first time in a long while that he has had the chance to be honest with someone, and... he admits that, however uncomfortable it is, it would do him best to to make the most of the opportunity. "You could've easily found and stayed with someone who actually appreciates your help. But for whatever reason, you didn't, and I'm... In the end, I'm glad."


Stan takes a deep breath, through his nose, before continuing. "I like that strong woman you are, Lara, and to me that's as real as it gets -- real, both literally, and in the slang sense. You can have your sensitive moments. That's human, and it would be inhuman to not also accept those as part of the package deal." He reaches forward, putting a hand over hers. Gently, soft skin against skin.


"I'm not all inhuman yet, so I should be sorry for snapping." He smiles slightly at his own joke. "You were just worried, and I reacted the wrong way. I'm sorry."


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♫ Name // Lara Croft  ♫

♫ Players // Stan ♫

♫ Support // Cicero quietly sleeping by the door  ♫

♫ Status // Tired, regretful, but surely this was bound to happen 


~~Maybe I should try and recover~~



"I'm not all inhuman yet, so I should be sorry for snapping. You were just worried, and I reacted the wrong way. I'm sorry." Lara shakes her head a little, yet she feels the corners of her mouth tug a little. She could have gone for hours talking about her own self resentment, but his touch reminds her that that would be simply unfair. His hand over hers, it’s warm…. and once again comforting.


Perhaps it’s not that she doesn’t trust him- she certainly does, but she doesn’t trust herself not to hurt him. She already knows her own bloody defense mechanisms- knowing how she bounces some of it right back at him. The idea that he’d accept her, even through all that… It’s reassuring. Lara quietly turns her hand over, so that their palms touch. His hand isn’t particularly smooth, but not the most calloused out there either. Her thumb brushes against the back of his hand as her hand carefully gives it a squeeze. The skin on the back of his hand is naturally softer. She takes a few minutes to breathe, not wanting to see herself in such a state, much less does she want him to see her like this. She curses her own emotions for getting the better of her.


I like that strong woman you are, Lara, and to me that's as real as it gets -- real, both literally, and in the slang sense. You can have your sensitive moments. That's human, and it would be inhuman to not also accept those as part of the package deal.


Strong…. Right, she’s stronger than this, isn’t she…? Stronger than the blubbering mess that she is, anyway. Her other hand goes to her eyes and gently wipes away the tears, the minutes making her shudders and sobs quiet.


Damn, sometimes she really hates being human.


Still, she can’t help but give him a soft smile. Perhaps it’s time for her to get her hair out of her face, but there’s no use unbraiding it just to braid it again. So, she doesn’t toss it- but rather, her hand gathers up as much hair as it could and places it behind her back. Her posture straightens- but that part is a front, perhaps to quicken the pace of her emotions returning to normal. Stan will probably notice, just as she had, but it doesn’t matter now.


It's okay, really. I suppose we’ve both just seen a side of each other, and perhaps ourselves as well, that isn’t pleasant. It’s normal to feel all these things. It’s all part of being human, but I don’t think the fact that I sometimes go on emotional rollercoasters is particularly normal.” She places his hand to her lips- just briefly, before she puts his hand in between both of hers. It’s as gentle a touch as any- she can’t afford to hurt him in any other way today. But did she want to? ….Also no. “And I…. get this way when I’m overwhelmed with emotions, I hate feelings sometimes, you know? I’ve….” She gives a wry laugh at this, knowing he probably knows it already. “Never been good with emotions either. Sometimes it’s best to just be strong.” With that, Lara pauses. “I should clarify though… Like I said, I didn’t think it was all a front. I…. felt it when you said you loved me. Perhaps it was just the sudden change of mood that threw me off, and as such my worries got the better of me. That mixed with my own uncertainty, I...


I was worried, and I’m still worrying about other things in addition. I…. I’m glad you accept me, Stan.Even though I can’t accept myself.I suppose this is all something for me to work on- I always confront people when I sense something is off, and I realize sometimes it’s best for them to approach me on their own.” Her own honesty, she’s not sure how she feels about it. “So I’m sorry as well, for forcing you to be completely transparent when perhaps you’re not ready for it.Never mind the fact that we just got together and now I’ve gone and messed it up. God, maybe I should invest in a multiverse therapist, someone I can tell all of my issues without risk of messing them up too badly.” she smiles a little wider at her own comment.


She’s right though, perhaps she should. Who better to listen to all of her problems than someone who’s seen the multiverse? “I guess I overloaded you, unfortunately I don’t…. have a lot of people at home who can say they believe the crap I’ve dealt with, and it’s unfair for me to dump it all on you.” She squeezes his hand. “Ah…. perhaps I should finish my drink before I make a mistake and kick it.” She’s surprised at her own change of thought, but it amuses her. Without removing the hand under Stan’s, her other arm reaches for the glass, and she closes her eyes as she downs the rest, putting the glass back down. Her breath following comes out with a shudder. “Agh, emotions suck. Maybe we should all become robots or something.” She sighs, not laughing at her own joke. She’s drained, perhaps by the mission and then suddenly this….. She wants to get up, move forward, and hold him for the next few hours- yet she’s not sure if it’s for herself or for him.


Damn, she thinks, perhaps I should have brought some of my stash. I don’t know if this whiskey will be enough.


And yet, still, she feels almost relieved. He accepts her for this, something she for years had seen as her worst side. Yet she can’t help but think to herself that it shouldn’t have gotten to this. Had she left well enough alone… And yet. Perhaps she needs to learn that it’s okay to be emotional, but these emotional dumps aren’t good for her either. She knows that.


If she knew the side of herself that was yet to surface… She would run and hide now.


‘Tis a sigh that is wafted

Across the troubled wave

'Tis a wail that

Is heard upon the shore.


Edited by Mikasa361

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. 0 ; for. j ]

 -- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!



Duke looks over his shoulder, nodding clarification when Jowan indeed picks up the correct shaker, full of cinnamon. How had he missed that?


At the question, he blinks. "Go for it," he says. "You don't have to ask me for permission, everything here's communal. You could eat the entire thing if you wanted to," he adds, shrugging.


He turns his attention back to the mugs when the kettle flips up, slow steam rising into the air as the water has finished boiling. Pouring the water into the two drinks, he collects the mugs and easily slides one of them over to Jowan, relaxed. Before he can think to say something, or even consider an alternate topic of conversation, the mage has beaten him to the punch.


He opens his mouth to say something in response, but stops; there is a certain method by which Jowan recalls the battle, as if he had been analysing things all along. And he had noticed the slightest change in the ability of his barriers -- something Duke is sure he would have missed, had their situations been switched. It is endearing, to say the very least, and the blond smiles and takes a sip first.

"You're not misremembering," he clarifies, before laughing. "But you are very attentive. My barriers work differently here compared to my world, to an ally and to an enemy.  Your bolt passed through since I was able to allow it to do so; we were directly fighting alongside one another. But with Kelsier, your bolt came as a surprise and would've been counted as an attack, so I didn't have time to register it to let it through. I guess in battle you should always tell me before you want to do something." 


However, something Jowan had said earlier has Duke lean forward, confused. "I thought we had the magic discussion already," the blond says, puzzled. "Didn't I explain everything with Kelsier? What more is there?" 


Vylcan sighs in response as soon as the question leaves his lips, and Duke tilts his head, wondering. 

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Allies: Duke
Location: Kitchen


Really? He could just take whatever he wanted? The idea is foreign and more than a little daunting. He’s sure, rationally, that Duke wouldn’t try to trick him (even if he wasn’t kind, Duke is too open to be able to manage any kind of subterfuge), but his instincts still scream trap. Maybe the rules are different for newcomers like himself, and Duke simply doesn’t know. Duke seems so sure about it, but there has to be some sort of hierarchy at XDRE.


Once Duke is done with the cinnamon he takes it and adds only a few shakes to his own mug, less than Duke had. He’s wary about taking too much (whatever Duke said), but mostly it’s because he doesn’t know how strong the spice is and doesn’t trust Duke’s judgment. 


Attentive? He didn’t think he was that attentive, it was something he noticed. Something he couldn’t not notice, really, when he’d been in a life-or-death situation the first time and had an attack fail the second time. “Well, that sounds useful,” he says. An understatement. “I’ll keep that in mind.” 


“Well,” he says, pausing for a moment and trying to think of a way to put it delicately. “Your explanation was disorganized, and it didn’t actually make much sense or explain everything.” He winced and took a sip of his cocoa. Maybe that wasn't that delicate. 


Then he remembers why they hadn’t pressed Duke for more information back then. He’d acted so oddly and looked so sad -- this was a bad idea. “I mean -- you don’t have to explain more if you don’t want to. I got the gist of it, really. Fairies, right?” Whatever a ‘fairy’ was. “I don’t think I explained much about my magic -- if you wanted to hear about it.” He hopes that Duke says yes, but he doesn’t want to bother him with useless prattling if he isn’t interested. 


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Pascal -- Gateway to the Starry Skies

[gots work to do] - [we're back!]


"Aaaaand we're back!" Pascal announced. She's sure that everyone who went to the market had made it back through the teleportation (or at least, she was certain that everyone she recognized got back in one piece). She'd leave the actual tally to someone who was able to count, like Xander, or Natsuki, because Pascal right now was a very busy woman who had many things to do. 


"Well, see you later!" said the amarcian, before dashing away.


"I honestly don't know where she keeps all her energy," Raine repeated. "I'd assume Twilight kept my room vacant? It would be good to have some time to catch up with her, as well."

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v03LeXS.png                                                                   e5xS4g9.png


♫ Names: Chikako Tanimoto and Evonna Durand ♫

♫ Players: Illidan, Xander, Natsuki, Raine, Bowser, Reshiram, Light, Keaton, Anders, Ray ♫

♫ Support: Qak,  ♫

♫ Status: Chikako: :0 ; Evonna: Wow life is great ♫


~~A whole new world~~


Evonna looks around, once again at the place she began this wild adventure. The grass looks soft and plush, a beautiful shade of green. Her thoughts turn to a certain green-eyed girl, who looks around the Gateway with a sort of childish wonder. Ev smiles a little, knowing how different her own reaction was. But then again, although neither of them knew what to expect when they came here the first time, only one of them actually expected to come here. She had to admit, she wouldn't shut up talking about base- the stones, the always-perfect grass, the grandeur of the castle, and the beautiful dusky sky. 


Now Chikako is able to experience it herself. Always used to the day and night of her world, she would assume it was time for bed had it not been for Ev's chatter. A chatter Chika hadn't minded, she herself had not been able to contain her excitement of joining such a diverse organization. It's amazing, really. Most of the group consisted of humans, but Ev had told her there were quite a few more agents. She couldn't contain the rush she felt seeing beings of other species- including a tall purple demon, and seeing all sorts of different clothing that the other agents wore. It was, in fact, the coolest thing she had ever seen. 


This, however, beats it. She looks up at the sky and smiles widely. Nothing has been able to take her breath away quite like this. She moves back to Evonna, her grin not fading. 


"Evonna," she muses, "My goodness, it's beautiful here!


Evonna chuckles. "Well just you wait, your jaw will drop when we get to the castle. It's huge."


"I don't think my jaw can drop any further! This is just so.... new! Different! Beautiful!" Chikako can hardly contain her excitement. Sure, her home was a beautiful place- nothing but green for miles around... But she lived there for- what, sixteen years? Now that she can explore a bit more than just her world... "What a feeling," she whispers, "If seeing all these new places is a perk to being here... I don't think I'll ever return home.


Evonna is right. Chikako's jaw upon entering the castle is unhinged, like that of a python trying to consume its meal. Her eyes are the size of dinner plates, and she blinks a few times, as if she had no idea something like this could exist. Ev chortles as she brings Chikako to the kitchen. Upon entering, she notices two men sitting at the table- a beautiful blond man and an equally attractive- but perhaps in dress alone- brunette. They have mugs of God knows what, but Ev doesn't seem to mind them too much.


"Hi," she says curtly as she makes her way to the empty counter, setting all the bags down and poking through the cabinets to find bowls and other tools she'll need. Worst comes to worst, she's baked enough that she can eyeball the measurements if need be, but she's not mixing all the ingredients on the counter with her bare hands, dammit! It's to her luck that she finds what she needs.... except for any sort of measuring tools whatsoever. Does nobody need to use measuring cups? Does everyone eyeball it? Does everyone even cook? Perhaps it doesn't matter, but at some point she wants to invest in some proper baking materials- it was a shock she even found cookie sheets. 


Evonna gets to work while Chikako watches, quite intrigued. Looking at the ingredients, she has no idea what Ev is making. It's nothing she'd know off the top of her head, but she's quite excited. She then glances at the two men and gives them a smile and a wave. They seem like nice people, don't they?



Oh my, my, my,

oh my, my, my

Looking for something right

Now, I kinda get it




Edited by Mikasa361

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. 0 ; for. j ]

 -- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!



Duke blinks, smiling as he nods in agreement with Jowan's words. Whatever he can contribute to a fight -- he will do so gladly, and it is encouraging to hear that his abilities are useful. He falters, however, when the mage continues speaking and lets it slip that his explanation was ... less than stellar.


He pauses, taking a drink of his cocoa before he can think to respond. It is not so much the criticism that offends him, only the implications. He -- would have assumed he was over it, by now.


"Sorry," he says softly, giving the other man a half-smile. "I want to explain more, but it's ... there are some things I don't want to think about." An understatement, and Jowan deserves much more than what he is giving him -- the other man is so patient and understanding, but the blond shakes his head and clears his mind of memories. "Fairies," he says, lifting his mug in a toast. "If we ever go back to my place, I can show better than explain. I'm not exactly good with words."


In response to Jowan's words, the blond nods eagerly. "Please," he says, almost as soon as the other man finishes his sentence. "I want to know." He leans forward, intending to place a hand on the other man's forearm -- his uninjured one -- but springs apart just as there is movement in the corner of his eye, and he turns to find two unfamiliar girls standing nearby. Before he can say anything, the brunette -- with curly hair, and an imposing air -- gives a quick greeting before shouldering her way into the kitchen.


Duke stares at Jowan, bewildered, before the blond remembers that, technically speaking, he is the one in authority here. Watching as the girl sets down ingredients on the table and looks around for ... something, he sighs before emptying his mug and standing up. He makes his way to the sink, looping around Jowan's back as he does so, and he pats the other man on the shoulder, leaning down. 


"Raincheck," he murmurs, before straightening. Placing his empty mug into the sink, he turns around to face the brunette girl. 


"You know," he says, crossing his arms, though his voice remains friendly. "Usually people ask before barging in. What are you looking for? Or actually, who are you?" 


Did the gateway have an accident again? Empress, he does not want to have to be the one to deal with that. Hopefully there weren't a bunch of new people roaming the base without supervision now. He sees the black-haired girl wave from her place a little further, and -- well, at least she's not moving around as if she owns the area. He gives her a nod back, sliding his attention to the other girl. 

Edited by Eto

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[out of steel] - [wet and shirtless] - [at least the picture is safe]


Dynarst tried to peek over his shoulder at the paper. Kelsier didn't move to block him, but he was too timid to really approach to get a closer look. From what the skaa could see, though, the object drawn on the wet page looked very similar to the strange bundles of colored leaves found on this very planet. It was probably no coincidence and his mind jumped to a first conclusion -- was the Survivor actually from another world? Was that how he survived the Pits of Hathsin? It wasn't far fetched at all, considering the feats of everyone else in this group...


"The metals all have to have specific purities to be useful," Kelsier replied to Typheus not before too long, despite his ordeal with the paper. He glanced at his companion, Fiddlesticks, his eyes sizing up the bot who seemed so keen on challenging him. "For allomantic steel, it's about .8 percent carbon with the rest of it being iron. If it's impure, it's less efficient, and if it's too far off, it can make an Allomancer sick if they try to burn it. There are people in my world who specialize in preparing these things, so once I return, I could easily get my hands on a lot." It was another reason for him to return to Luthadel, post-haste. Not only was his crew awaiting his return and the Skaa rebellion being set in motion, but he was useless without his world's specific fuel (Kelsier doubted that they had the tools to smelt ore, here). Still... It was a shame that he was out of reserves, right now. Maybe the sparring match against Duke's barriers wasn't the best idea. 


Kelsier suddenly snapped his fingers. "Hm? Maybe you could find that coinshot boy from earlier -- it could be that he would have some on hand, since he runs on steel."

Coinshot, coinshot.... Dynarst had to recall what he meant by that. The word felt like it would have been self explanatory, but with all these new magics introduced to him at once... he found it a little hard to keep them all straight. "Oh, the skaa kid at the meeting! Yes! We can see if we can find him around here."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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v03LeXS.png                                                                   e5xS4g9.png


♫ Names: Chikako Tanimoto and Evonna Durand ♫

♫ Players: Duke and Jowan, the ultimate Joke duo ♫

♫ Support: idk maybe the wooden spoon ev is currently holding  ♫

♫ Status: Chikako: Let me be your hero ; Evonna: Nice one moron ♫


~~Allow me to clarify~~


"You know. Usually people ask before barging in. What are you looking for? Or actually, who are you?" 


Evonna jumps at this. Heck, she thinks to herself, good job, idiot. Why don't we piss off everyone in the castle? She wants to explain herself, but she's not sure what to say. It's as if the blonde's words stabbed into her spine, preventing her from moving at all. His voice is friendly enough- but even without getting a good look at him he radiates a certain energy. It's hard for her to describe in anything other than terms that Jehan is likely to say- but he intimidates her without trying to be intimidating, as if he held some sort of power before being stranded here. In short, he must be one of the senior agents, and she must be in big trouble. "I'm sorry, I..."


Chikako takes the initiative, keeping a slight grin on her lips as she speaks. "We just came here from the marketplace. I'm Chikako Tanimoto, you can address me by Chikako or Chika. This is Evonna.... Durand, right?" She looks to Evonna for a response, which is a curt nod. Chika also nods to acknowledge it. "I guess if you don't know her, she must be a relatively new agent as well, but she's an agent nonetheless." Chikako glances at her new friend. "Right?"


"Y-yeah," Evonna responds, regaining her bearings. "I, uh.... got here not too long ago."


"She meant no harm at all," Chikako clarifies, "She was just.... really excited to make whatever it is she's making. I think she said it was cookies? Some sort of sweet, since she said she had to double check to make sure she got sugar. Anyway, she said she wanted to bake for everyone on base.... We're sorry if we interrupted something important. Anyway.... You two must be veteran agents, yeah? I don't think I've met anyone besides Pascal, although we did see a few others, I--- just hadn't had the chance to introduce myself." Chikako gives a casual wave, as if she knew people who forgot what social norms were. Little did Evonna know, one of Chika's teammates was much, much worse. Chikako chuckles at the memory of when Hajime barged into the kitchen while her mother cooked, and when he had to dodge a wooden spoon because he just wanted to help but didn't know how to ask. 


"I've only met a couple of the older ones. Pascal, Lara, Stan, Xander, Twilight.... I only really know them by name." Chika looks to her, a warm smile on her face. 


"Of course. I guess you're just getting used to things."


"I wasn't here long, yeah."


"Then let's get to know these two gentlemen." Evonna takes a look at her newfound friend, whose bright green eyes sparkle with wonder and confidence. Something about her posture, she seems rather comfortable despite her awe, and Evonna has to admire the girl's relaxed nature. She seemed to take these situations in stride, as if this was her niche. A natural ambassador, if you will. She truly appreciates the effort that Chikako is making to keep things calm. After all, she has no idea if this man is armed, and if he's.... trigger-happy, or prone to violence, or what have you. Chikako turns to the men, shifting her weight to her left foot. "What can we address you two as?"

Edited by Mikasa361

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Qaksh might have gave it to me, but I don't know if that's really a smart idea, what if I lose it or worst..?... Light looked down at the stone in her hand--it was small and would be unremarkable if not for the.... Really weird faint aura around it. That doesn't make sense at all; shouldn't powerful stuff have powerful auras? And she was feeling slightly off about how unnatural it felt to have no gold on her after so long hording the stuff .

Light brought the stone up to the sky to examine its color more closely now that they were out of the darkened marketplace. It was a strange dull yellow-orange on most parts, with a few spots that are nearly opaque white... When she examined more carefully, she could see occasional glints of that same brilliance, but nothing like what that beastkin merchant did with the flashlight. Light wondered yet again if she dragged a friend into a bad situation without thinking--but at the same time, the amount of energy she could feel from it was so immense, it must be an anchor like what they were discussing... 


"Qaksh, I'll go and give this to Twilight so she can put this anchor with the others!" Light called, running off. "And then maybe I'll go find a room of my own in the castle... Or should I go to the library and read some more...?" She mused to herself.


Edited by Pyrowings

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   Eight tenths carbon? Both mechs looked at each other and Typheus scanned his partner. "I doubt we're the golden ratio," she said. He didn't deny it.

   Kelsier then mentioned that besides going back to Luthadel for the supplement, a "coinshot boy" might have some steel for him. Coinshot? The word was unfamiliar to them, though Fiddlesticks likened the word to "scattershot", which was a rather simplistic term describing how her turrets worked. Dynarst, however, seemed to know exactly what Kelsier was talking about. A skaa boy?

   So someone who looks like him, Typheus guessed. He tried to remember seeing another ash-dusted human at the meeting, but ended up grumbling to himself about how stupidly oblivious he was at the time. Fiddlesticks wasn't in a much better spot, her eye dimming in thought as she tried to recall all of the faces she saw at the meeting. Human, horse, human, winged human, human, human.... curse it all, why was everyone human? She could tell the difference between two beat-up Fighter models of the same type and color, but not humans!

   Typheus had better luck. His eye brightened when he recalled a tan face highlighted by dusty brown hair of similar color to whatever was on the boy's shoulders. He had lost his touch with remembering details, but he had a face!
   "I think I know who you're talking about," he spoke up, "but I don't know his name; I wasn't engaged in the meeting. I don't know where he went, either," he added.

   "At least you know something..." Fiddlesticks mumbled. He gave her another absent-minded pat. "Stop that..."

   "The two of us are able to cover a lot of ground," Typheus said, ignoring her, "but I don't know where to start... He was at the meeting, so he couldn't have gone too far."

   "If he's still in the castle, we should search around it first before going inside. That way we close in on him," Fiddlesticks suggested. "The only way he could get out is by jumping through a window, and we'd certainly hear that. We could start at the entrance... and since you can fly, you can circle the place. The humans are small enough to fit through doors I can't. Dynarst can go left and Kelsier can go right. I remember where the kitchen is, so I'll go there first."

   Typheus gave her a surprised look for suddenly thinking so tactfully. Her threads must have swung back around again; it would be nice if they stayed this way!

   "What if he's out of the castle by now?" he asked. She just shrugged.

   "Then we'll run circles out from the castle."

   "Seems like a plan enough to me."

   ((EDIT: a small reaction to the Gateway posts on pages 21 and 22 while I wait.))

   Before anyone could act on the idea or deliberate more, a flurry of chaotic noises erupted to the right of the group, farther out in the distance. Both mechs turned to see that the Gateway, just visible at this range, had the silhouettes of beings - mostly humans, again - dropping into it. Then there was a suddenly an explosion and the blue-to-purple sky was abruptly lit up with orange flame. That held their attention.
   Typheus folded his arms, spectating the inferno. Fiddlesticks watched with keen interest, but refrained from running into the chaos and adding to it.
   "Do you think we should... 'help'?"
   "No. Let's just watch for a bit."

Edited by skwerl56767

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