Summary:The Solars and the Abyssal circle meet in Netheos to exchange information -- and an old friend joins them.

XP:C4, I4, L4, S4, V4, Z4


< Through a Glass Darkly | Sol Invictus Logs | It's All The Same Now >

In the living world above, the ancient Lunar known to modern tongues as Tamuz rules this portion of the desert with unquestioned authority, but here in Netheos, no king's hand holds grasp upon the land, and even the ghosts are somewhat thin on the ground.

Here, the dead desert sand is blood-red, and the wind whips it across blackened, shrivelled trees and inexplicable geometric rock outcroppings with an unpleasant force.

Just where the Doctor said it would appear, the ruins of the Black Wind Palace are here: a blocky building, almost perfectly cubical and standing a quarter-mile to a side, only a single cylindrical parapet at the top standing above.

Varanim has slipped off to examine something "interesting" she noticed on the way in; there's still a good amount of time before the meeting actually starts, enough time to give the meeting place a quick scope-out.

zahara "Cheery, isn't it."

Spring "Cold."

The castle's reddish walls are crumbling and rough, and its iron portcullis collapsed to the ground: even here in Netheos, the castle does not endure too strongly.

zahara approaches the Palace with an eye to architectural curiosity and (secondarily) traps

Imrama "And stark. And dark. The aesthetics of the Dead walk a very narrow path."

Colapso "That is why they have to move on. And blue light is not doing enough for it."

zahara "I could put flowers on it, if you like."

Spring "Let us hurry."

Spring glances with concern at the pair of doctors and the Exalt that follow behind him.

zahara produces some shiny glass of various colors and adds a floral-motif decoration to the threshold.

Cerin laughs and kisses Zahara's cheek as he casts his vision though the Palace.

zahara grins. "I do what I can to spread joy and cheer throughout the world."

^zahara^ left the room (quit: Connection reset by peer).

Innocence seems to be taking the strange setting in with curious, unweary eyes, looking closely at the rocks and the castle, while Spring's retainers seem rather unnerved by the Underworld.

Moving into the castle, it's plain to see that the place has been in ruins for some time, and has been completely uninhabited for almost as long. Hallways end in collapse, rooms are filled with sand blown in from holes in the roof, tapestries are rotted away and silverware tarnished beyond recognition.

The overall floor plan is roughly ring-based, and built to enable a defense from within or without: key choke points can be used by a well-placed defender to stop forces from moving either into or out of the central keep with minimal risk.

The keep itself is rather cavernous and largely empty, except for a set of two long tables, each with chairs running up its length, which are clearly not phantasmic like the rest of the castle and, indeed, must have been placed here (relatively) recently.

zahara examines the tables and chairs idly. "So what is the purpose of this visit again? To exchange gross diseases?"

Spring ::To learn all we can about the foremost enemies of Creation -- the Abyssal servants of the First and Forsaken Lion.::

Spring ::And to exchange diseases.::

Spring ::And to recover Varanim's arm, possibly.::

zahara ::you might want to give one answer out loud in case someone's listening::

Cerin gives the tables and chairs a more than idle examination as he looks around the Palace in general.

Colapso "To ask for the Doctor's opinion on Spring's most interesting fingertip, of course."

The chairs appear to be nothing more than mundane wooden objects of solid, functional construction, without the slightest in Essence constructs attached to them.

The rest of the castle is quite interesting as a study in architecture from a forgotten period, but somewhat less so as a means of learning much of particular interest: the place hasn't been lived (or dead-ed) in for centuries, but it's clearly been gone over with a fine-tooth comb in recent memory, and anything interesting it once held must already be long gone.

Varanim "Nice place," Varanim observes as she wanders back in from her side trip. "No people."

Spring "Yet."

Lucent "Where were you?"

Varanim "Well, I remembered that I'm a necromancer, so I thought I'd go do some, oh, necromancy." She delivers this crazy idea with wide eyes, then slouches down in one of the chairs and props her feet up comfortably.

Spring "I hope that...went well."

Cerin With little better to do, Cerin wanders from the room and wraps himself in concealing essence, wondering if he can spot his opposite number anywhere within the building or its environs, though he holds no especial hope of managing this feat. She seemed to be about as competent as himself last time. Still, no harm in trying.

Spring "We should probably stay close to each other. They will be arriving soon. Let us not give them the impression that any of us might be easy prey."

zahara smirks. "Indeed."

Lucent "... and huddling together for protection like scared rabbits will do that?"

Spring "Wandering OFF will do that, Lucent."

Spring "Displaying reasonable caution is only...reasonable."

Imrama "Now, now, Lucent. Rabbits huddle for many enjoyable reasons other than fear."

Imrama takes a seat, produces his pipe and packs it with a bright, rainbow-hued tobacco.

Lucent allows the Orbs of Pluto and the Unconquered to slide out of his armor, each floating to one side of him. ::They will be caught more off-guard if we do not. All already believe we are overconfident Princes of the Universe, just ask Varanim.:: "We just need to remind them What We Are."

zahara sits near Imrama, checking out his latest smoke curiously.

Imrama lights up and takes a short drag. Exhaling there is no smoke, nor any smell of ash or soot. Instead, there is only the sound of boisterous music, like a tune for children played out on a First Age calliope.

After a long wait -- but nonetheless five minutes before the meeting's true deadline, there is a sound, outside the castle, like something bursting up from beneath the sands, and then, a moment later, several sets of footsteps, as if carefully rendered loudly, to warn the Solars of their approach.

Cerin observes the Abyssal's arrivals with interest. He is most particularly listening out for an extra set of feet joining the oncoming footsteps, though he is generally interested in the manner of their arrival.

(Varanim would likely recognize merely by sound what Cerin must stretch his eyes to see: the unmistakable signs of the Abyssals having been vomited up by a necromantic worm.)

Varanim "Burp," she observes, though with her hat pulled low over her eyes, she had appeared to be dozing.

Spring spits up a plain white cloth and begins arranging it carefully over one of the tables. He calls Joi and Ekedra over to help him.

The first one to arrive, pushing open the doors with a broad, though not swaggering, gesture, is Peerless Physician of Bloodletting Caliber: he stands framed in the doorway for a moment, once again wearing his black scrubs, and takes in those who have awaited his arrival.

zahara looks up from her absent-minded fingertip-carving of the table (matching the floral motif outside). "And they're even pleasantly early."

"I see you're all here," he says, looking over those present. "Hello, Varanim," he adds, with a familiar nod and a proud glance at her arm.

Spring "Your dossiers are quite exact, I see."

Varanim "Doc," she beams at him.

Lucent glares at that. And then at HIM. "Physician."

zahara "Greetings," She nods somewhat pleasantly at him.

Spring "It is always fortunate to meet a fellow professional who might be able to expand my knowledge."

Doctor "The Sunlands are a powerful nation," he says, "and I have met many of your companions before." He turns to look over at Imrama for a moment. "You seem to be recovering nicely."

Imrama regards the Physician with lidded eyes, and exhales, sending a puff of jangly music towards him. "I am grateful for my current fine health, in which you played a part." A slight bow - polite, but not warm, yet also not particularly cold.

Doctor nods. "Good, good." He walks over to the table. "I have brought a few companions of my own... if I might show them in?"

Spring "I would be disappointed if you did not."

Spring "Forgive me for feeling it necessary to mention, but you have the arm of Varanim the Last with you, do you not?"

Doctor "All in good time," he says, "all in good time." He looks towards the door expectantly.

Doctor The first one to step through the door is one who Imrama's eyes tell him is known as Deathless Embrace: A short figure, wearing an elegantly tailored suit of white, with a blood-red tie; he wears a white mask that covers his face down to just above his mouth, and although the eyeholes are large enough, only tiny red cinders shine out of the darkness where his eyes should be.

Doctor He is followed by The Formless: tall, gaunt, skin white like an albino's; no clothing, and features worn down and abstract, like a figure poorly rendered in clay, it moves with an awkward sliding-shuffling gait, and its face speaks of nothing but an immense, inhuman pain.

Doctor Then, the one called Inferno's Jester: a man, completely hairless, in a black court outfit, covered with elaborate frills of grey and red. Completely hairless, his skin is bone-white, his eyes bloodshot; but drawn upon his face and hands are marks -- whether tattoos or makeup is impossible to tell -- curvy, abstract marks in red and orange and yellow, depicting burning flames.

Doctor There's a pause, during which the Doctor turns with a slightly dismayed expression to look at the door, and then, stumbling in almost as if drunk, is the Abyssal That Which Sees Beyond The Veil:

Doctor Brownish-red hair, shaggy and unkempt, upon a rounded face, still flush with perhaps almost too much of a reddish hue, its eyes hidden behind burgundy reflective goggles; he wears a variety of rings, of all of the magical materials, and a long buff jacket, sewn together with metallic black thread from numerous unmatched patches of dark leather, which seem to move and flow about of their own accord.

zahara ::Overall, I think we're definitely prettier.::

Lucent ::It despairs me to think all of those THINGS used to be Solars.::

Cerin ::The last abyssal to arrive will be something of a surprise. Please try to retain your composure.::

zahara ::Someday, we'll get a pleasant surprise. ::

Cerin ::Not today I feel::

Lucent ::Just glorious.::

Doctor And then, after another long pause, the last arrival: a young girl of about 18, her features unnaturally perfect, long black hair falling down below her shoulders and large brown eyes looking out at the world. A simple black robe, optimized for fighting, covers her body; two scabbarded swords hang from her belt, one at each of her hips....

Doctor At her neck is a choker in the shape of a roaring lion's head, and emblazoned on her forehead is an ebon-black sunburst: Thorn of Night, an Abyssal the Solars once knew -- once called sister -- as Kai Buckthorn.

Spring blinks, twice, slowly, and exhales.

Varanim ::It IS a tacky choker, I agree.::

zahara clenches her hand into a fist, muttering "Surprise surprise."

Spring "Hello, Kai."

zahara ::Her and that damned sword.::

Doctor "Hi, Thirteen," she says, and seats herself, joining the other Abyssals who have already chosen to do so.

zahara "Where's the monkey?"

Lucent shakes. "Decided to fall into old habits, Kai? That is quite unlike you."

Lucent ::I swear I am going to punch the next Second Age Solar who tells me he is entirely free of his previous life's legacy.::

Spring "We have been worrying about you. It is good to see you are, in at least one or two relevant ways, still alive."

Spring "Call me Spring."

Imrama "Hello, Thorn of Night. I regret that we did not get to be properly introduced before you fell to Oblivion because then we might have more personal history to spar cattily with."

Doctor "And call me Thorn," she says, rather quietly. "Now now," the Doctor -- who has been carefully studying Innocence for the time that his companions have entered in -- says. "I can see that we appear to have... traded once before, so I hope we can conduct this meeting politely."

Lucent "Herons asked us to tell you the wind blows north through the trees. Not that listening to him ever did any of us any good." He turns to the Doctor. "I believe last time we were as polite as we can be. We intend to continue this tradition, of course."

Spring leans on his hand, surveying the room through slitted fingers, and, as if by accident, through the violet eyes of his personal Pattern Spider.

Imrama raises his hand slightly at Lucent's statement. "With the amendment that this time, none of us intends to strike any of you in a display of frustration and bravado." Imrama bows his head, matter-of-factly.

Spring "Or, indeed, first, at all."

Lucent "Indeed, it will NOT be done as a display of frustration and bravado." He assents.

Doctor grins at Lucent's statement. "As you say," he says. "Now then, I believe we were to exchange some information."

Imrama watches stoically the members of the Abyssal Circle arrayed before him, considering the interweaving threads of connection between each.

Spring "Indeed."

Spring "The arm?"

zahara stares at Kai with a gaze that is at first judgmental and reproachful, and then, flickers and loses focus.

Spring ::sigh::

Doctor snaps, and the Formless takes its misshapen hands and plunges them into its own belly, which distorts and shifts like it's made of putty. After fishing around inside (and moaning quietly in pain) for a moment, it produces something: a soulsteel-edged glass cylinder, filled with water and a severed arm, black essence lines running from its hand upwards to the cut-point at the shoulder.

Imrama ::I see your mood grow sour, Zahara. Kai Buckthorn was an is a hero. Creation owes her a debt which cannot be repaid but by redeeming her from bondage.::

Spring looks momentarily annoyed for some reason.

zahara ::History repeats itself, :: she says, somewhat vacantly.

Varanim has sat slouched in her chair, watching the procession of Abyssals with only the most vague and distant interest. As her arm is brought forth, though she doesn't move, her eyes glint alarmingly and the focus of her attention is an almost tangible presence in the room.

Lucent ::Well, I am tired of seeing history repeating itself. I am tired of seeing the ones I care about falling to darkness. I am TIRED of this. We are going to save her. No matter what it takes.:: He watches the arm, however... trying not to hurl at the sight of the Formless.

Spring ::I agree.::

Spring ::Perhaps we might discuss this a little later. I am about to be quite busy.::

Spring politely indicates a spot on the cloth-covered table where the arm might be placed, and places his hand firmly next to it, little finger extended.

Doctor The Doctor turns to examine the two with as much fervor as Spring.

Imrama ::History may do what it will, but so may I also, and given the might of myself and my friends, I am confident in the placement of my wager. If I know you, you are not one to allow her will to be bent by some self-important abstract force, Dreambreaker.::

Lucent watches it with the corner of his eye, then sighs. It was far too academic for him. He was one for applied Medicine. He finally sat down, gazing upon the other Abyssal. "Oh, and it is quite a pleasure to meet all of you. My most humble apologies for not stating so beforehand, but me and your friend have a bit of a history."

zahara ::No, all it takes to bend my will is a properly reasoned argument, and the promise of power. ::

Doctor "Oh, it's quite alright," That Which Sees Beyond The Veil says, his voice a little slurred and oddly paced. "It's... always interesting to meet the competition, so to speak. Interesting. Very interesting." He shakes his head for a second, then tilts it unexpectedly to one side and taps on his ear with his hand, as if trying to knock something out of the other side.

Lucent ::This is no time for jokes, Zahara. This is not me chasing after one of our teammates and warning her about the danger of the Void. That IS the danger of the Void, right in front of us. Her existence is suffering. Her death will be nothingness. We have to save her. You should know that as well as I do... they did the same to you.::

zahara half-smiles. ::I wasn't. ::

Imrama ::Very well. The First and Forsaken Lion has stolen an arrow from your quiver and knocked it to his own bow. He has weakened your house to the benefit of his own, and now sits a distorted simulacrum of your friend before you to mock you for your loss. You may either let the insult stand, or you may steal her back, and show him that he does not understand whom he has trifled with.::

Doctor Varanim's distant analysis of the finger and the arm leaves no room for mistaking it: the two things are inextricably related. Whatever's trapped in Spring's finger clearly isn't precisely Creeping Black Sun Sickness, but the proximate causes are certainly alike, and the form of necrotic essence in play is aligned between the two.

Doctor Beyond that, the relations between the two objects fall down into less interesting correspondences, like "both have (or are) fingers."

Imrama taps out his pipe and begins to repack it with a very dry, crunchy leaf of a chalky color. "Competition...just so," he says in response to That Which Sees Beyond the Veil. "Have you just come from swimming?" he asks in an affable tone.

Lucent ::No. That is HER, Imrama. That is HER CHOICE. That is what they have told me, time and time again. But it is the wrong choice, and we must make her see that.:: He smiles at to the unkempt man, the contrast between the two almost hillarious. "Indeed. I do wish said competition is conducted with honor between us. After all... we are all the same, when all is said and done. Part of the same fraternity."

Doctor "Swimming," he says, absentmindedly. "Swimming... swimming in the void... void between the eyes... eyes of fate... fate of nations... nations crumble beneath his feet..." He trails off imperceptibly, and the Jester slaps his back with rather a great deal of force, causing him to shoot bolt upright. "You'll have to excuse him," he says, laughing cruelly,

Doctor "he's not all right in the head."

Lucent laughs! "Reminds me of SOMEONE..." He glances at Imrama and grins.

Lucent appears to relax... before he gazes upon them and for a moment the pattern in his Kaleidoscopic Eyes is that of a Demon Prince. It is the most subtle of changes as he gazes upon them as the indolent Yozi would any of the Exalted... who are, after all, always Their Own Worst Enemy.

zahara turns to t he Jester, "So what's it like, working for the Lion?"

Imrama "Who among us is?" Imrama lights his pipe again and takes in a few puffs. "In our line of work, at the scale on which we live, who among us is?" He offers the pipe across the table. "Bit of the Martyr's Leaf? It's a fine flight, really angries-up the Po."

Lucent "Surprises me that you two would work for him. He has always seemed so... uptight."

Imrama ::I am acutely aware, based on my present company, that there are a great and varied number of reasons why one may make such a choice, so it may not be a matter of seeing the decision to be wrong, but simply finding a clever means of evading the consequences.::

Lucent ::Just remember that she thinks she is no different than Varanim.::

Varanim Varanim's eyes drift lazily closed, as if the entire affair were too boring to stay awake, but in her mind's vision the shape and Essence patterns of her arm are indelibly blazed. She takes its present image, summoning and placing beside it flashes of her own intimate knowledge of its partial history:

Varanim Climbing trees as a child, blood slick on her hands from a bad delivery, cradling her own child, burying him. And the last final agony of surgery... between that, and the sight of it now, she constructs a bridge to see all the missing time.

Doctor "Thanks," the Jester says, relights the pipe with a spark from his own finger, and takes a big drag before passing it on.

zahara ::What makes you say that?::

Doctor "We do not serve in the Thousand because we are bound," Deathless Embrace says, rather formally, as he takes the pipe. "We stand in service to the worldview which we share. I am sure your own association has similar causes."

zahara "Did you make that up yourself, or is it part of the indoctrination?"

Lucent "Well, of course, but we are a loose assossiation working towards a broad goal. The Lion always appeared to me to be a Militaristic Overlord, on whose halls dance and transcendent philosophy," He looks at Jester and Beyond in turn. "could not exist. Clearly my preconceptions were mistaken?"

Doctor Embrace coughs, choking in surprise on the thick smoke as Zahara speaks. "Indoctrination is such a clinical word," the Jester says, in a sly voice, "and the doctors are busy over there." He gestures with one hand. Can't we just say 'mindfucking'?" He grabs the pipe again before That Which can take it, takes another puff, and tosses it back to Imrama in a gentle arc.

Doctor "The boss is a deep guy, real deep. You've just gotta get to know him." He walks his hand absentmindedly across the table.

zahara grins. "On another day, perhaps we will be friends."

Imrama catches the pipe, takes a short drag and chews the end thoughtfully, noting That Which Sees Beyond the Veil's reaction at being kept out of the circle.

Doctor The Abyssal seems a tiny bit put out, a little confused, and a lot bit distracted by something that seems to be otherwise not evident.

Doctor Beyond: "The boss is a deep guy" &c

Lucent grins to the Jester, "Oh, I prefer to call it 'persuasion'."

Doctor "How delightful of you," the Jester says, and chuckles again. "I am certain several of us are quite excellent at... persuasion."

Lucent "That is what we do, hmmm? Razzle Dazzle them with words and light and dance?"

Doctor "Indeed," the Jester says -- he folds his hands together and stretches his arms out to crack the knuckles, and a small wave of fire briefly ripples out from his arms and onto his hands, where it dissipates in a puff of smoke -- "...indeed."

Imrama "What sorts of philosophy do you and your liege favor, esteemed sir?" Imrama chats with That Which Sees Beyond the Veil, seemingly immune to his odd habits.

Lucent "And it is not YOUR fault should some of their souls be too weak to get the joke." He clenches his fist and the smoke near the Jester becomes the Kanji in Old Realm to a... very, very crass joke involving a Zenith and a Peasant.

Lucent "Right?"

Doctor "It's all going to hell," That Which says, looking at the floor at an odd diagonal angle.

zahara "Why not help it along, I always say," she agrees.

Doctor Meanwhile:

Doctor After a long, painful session of staring, questing, pushing beyond the margins of her own memory, the flickers of knowledge in Varanim's eyes begin to blossom, filling in the long-lost details of her first sojourn into the Labyrinth:

Imrama "Of course, but not to hell literally, correct? Unless you have just divulged some unthinkably-vast, here-to-fore unknown cooperative venture between the Malfeans and the Yozis?" Imrama smiles.

Lucent "This is Creation. From the moment Man first struck a Primordial it has had a Death Wish. But the Exalted exist to keep it alive." He looks at the Jester, now, directly into his eyes as if on a dare. "Some of us do, at any rate."

Doctor Varanim sees herself falling, falling... watches her prone body crash through the downward-sloping passages of the Labyrinth... watches herself crash, finally, into the milky puddle at the bottom of another great cavern, face to one side, arms splayed out to the sides....

Doctor "It's broken," That Which says. "From top to bottom, just... most people can't see the cracks." "That's what I always say about you," the Jester adds, and socks him in one arm.

Doctor Varanim watches the phantasmagoric image closely. She sees herself lay there, unconscious, for a long, long time. And then, slowly, from the cracks in the walls, they come out: the Ija, the strange spectres she had rescued the tribal ghosts from.

Imrama "Are these the hidden truths that distract you so from conversation and fine drugs? The cracks in the World?"

Doctor He nods, and then his left eye narrows and he grips his temples, as if he's been struck by a severe headache.

Doctor "This line of questioning can be... difficult for my companion," Embrace says. "He understands at a deeply felt level what most of us might only perceive at a distance."

Imrama smiles slightly. "Out of place even among the outcasts. A poet among the ashes."

Doctor Varanim watches the spectres crawl insidiously over the rocks; watches them crowd around her in an angry black knot; she watches one, a particularly large one, reach forward, grasp her hand -- that hand...

Doctor She sees a brief -- flash would not be the right word, for a blast of darkness like that... And then, sees all the spectres gather around her prone body, lifting it, raising it up, cave water dripping off her hands and feet, and carry it out from the cave...

Doctor She sees that dark force march up towards the Thousand, black ants on a twisted undead landscape, even as the seed of sickneess takes root in her flesh...

Doctor She sees a servant of the Lion, a nemissary, clad in dark armor, come out to view the arrival, even as those who had brought her there scattered like vultures... he stops, at first, sighting the signs of her Solar Exaltation, but then he notices her hand, and inspects it for a moment...

Doctor The Nemissary waves her on, and a set of zombies cart her off into a room where other prone bodies -- including one that Varanim recognizes, in madness-twisted form, from the room she stands in right now -- lie... and it is from that moment that Varanim's awareness returns once more to the present.

Imrama turns to open a new line of questioning. "So, Thorn of Night. Relovia will never forgive me if I do not ask: where is Serenal?"

Varanim There

Varanim There's a slight scuff from Varanim's chair as she stands abruptly, gives a look of recognition to That Which Sees Beyond the Veil, then walks out of the room.

Lucent looks at Varanim... and wastes no time going after her. "Excuse me."

Doctor The Abyssals seem a little surprised by the sudden departure, though no one says anything in response. There's a long, awkward pause before Thorn speaks up: "She's... left. She and Shining."

zahara "Left. Behind, or gone?"

Doctor Thorn hangs her head a little. "They're not here anymore."

zahara "That's very imprecise."

Doctor Thorn nods curtly. Something about her demeanor seems almost a little shaken by the line of questioning, but she doesn't elaborate further.

Spring finally looks up from the arm, seeming somehow older.

Spring "The relationship is...clear.

Spring "

Spring "Lucent. Where is Lucent?"

zahara "He went outside with Varanim." ::They need time.::

Lucent "Right here." He steps inside, holding Varanim's hand. "Sorry about the delay."

zahara ::apparently not that MUCH time. ::

Spring "Come here."

Varanim detaches her hand from Lucent's, folding her arms and turning a thoughtful scowl on the doctor proceedings. "How's your special finger?"

Spring "Better off than your special arm."

Lucent "Yes, she has taken a good luck at it." He walks to Spring, "Need a second opinion?"

Spring "Or a third sample."

Spring takes Lucent's head carefully in his hands, and gazes with unrestrained intensity at his caste mark, mouth screwed up.

Varanim "Do tell," she says, eyes narrowing in interest.

Doctor steps over and leans in close, examining along with Spring.

Lucent "Wha?" Lucent acts surprised for a moment, then takes a deep breath and flares his caste mark.

Lucent "I thought we had ascertained Black Sun Sickness was quite different than my Abyssal Shard."

Spring "It is quite different."

Spring "It is under control."

Spring "In much the same way that the disease in my finger is being kept under control."

zahara ::Someday I ought to taint some part of myself just to get in on the excitement.::

Spring "All three share the same cause, though -- exposure to the Essence of a dead Primordial."

Spring "I congratulate you on not accidentally dooming yourself to corruption and death."

Varanim ::Overrated--although I'll grant you my new arm is much nicer than the old one.::

Spring ::Well, certainly it is now.::

Spring nods to himself, and lets go of Lucent's head, patting him on the top of it.

Spring "Thank you for your help."

Lucent "I try to be careful, unlike some I could name. So the Creeping Black Sun Sickness is exposure to the same thing I did... but what happenned to me was receiving part of an Abyssal's shard."

Spring "How did that take place?"

Doctor Innocence, who's been sitting relatively quietly up until this point, stands up, and walks about halfway over towards where Lucent is standing. She looks over at the gathered individuals with a curious expression.

zahara holds back a laugh at Luc's declaration.

Spring glances over and puts his arm around Innocence protectively. "Yes?" he says to her.

Spring "We should have brought Ember," Spring mutters to himself.

Lucent "And as we know from her, Exalted Shards are but blank slates to what is imbedded in them." He nods. "We will do that when he comes back from his pilgrimage, Spring. It is of the utmost importance."

Spring "Hm. That seems a possible interpretation, Lucent, but I am still unsure as yet. Remember, Innocence --" he nods to her -- " does not use Essence as we do."

Lucent "Indeed. It calls for further study."

zahara "And, Doctor, what is YOUR take on all of this?" She gestures to the arm etc.

Spring "The path to curing the Sun is clear now. This has been a most productive visit."

Doctor flashes his eyes over Innocence, looks over Lucent, and examines the two samples again.

Doctor "I think these subjects are... very interesting," he says. "Very interesting indeed."

Spring "Did you have a thought?" Spring asks Innocence quietly.

zahara "Interesting? Is that the best you can do?" she grins.

Doctor "For now," he says, and grins mirthlessly.

Varanim "I told you it was juicy research," she smirks at the Doctor. "In the future you can save time by listening to me immediately. Now, kids," she addresses the Abyssals generally, "we need to go say nasty things about you in private. Try not to get sunburns on the way home." She blows a kiss to the Doctor and her old arm, and ambles for the door.

Doctor Innocence walks over with the other Solars, the Doctor's eyes practically burning into the back of her head as the Solars turn to depart. In a quiet voice, she leans over to Spring conspiratorially:

Lucent eyes the Doctor -- and even Varanim -- with bloody murder

Doctor "The thing that's wrong with that arm, and your finger... it's not coming off, even with a good scrubbing. We're...." She gets even quieter, dropping into an ultra-low whisper. "We're not going to have to cut Lucent's head off, are we?"

Spring snickers, then coughs, then, with as straight a face as he can muster: "We probably will not have to."

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Page last modified on March 23, 2009, at 02:44 AM