Summary:Phoenix and Tia confer with The Gray and walk away with a present.



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Injara Across the waters, the island of The Gray is indeed, as Tia decribed it, "different."

Injara Where elsewhere, elegantly geometric ice structures whirled and moved with the wind, here vast, opaque ice, flecked with occlusions and greyish-blue in color, rises up in smooth, rounded nodule shapes that join abovehead to form a structure much like a large partially-open igloo, filled with winding tunnels that curve, break apart and join together again.

Phoenix` explores the structure with some interest, here and there taking a moment to breathe an interesting inclusion out of the ice.

Injara Tia looks over all of it with great interest; with the world so much huger (physically and metaphorically) than she imagined, almost every sight is a wondrous spectacle to her now. "It looks like... silver," she says, growing more excited, "there's silver inside the ice!" -- a cry that matches Phoenix's findings, as she extracts one tiny piece from a nearby node.

Phoenix` "Hm. There's a bigger piece over there...and there..." Phoenix and Tia, operating on a shared hunch, look for the biggest silvery chunk they can find.

Injara There's some searching to be done, but the metallic contents of the ice seem to grow steadily when one follows the paths in the right direction, and so finally, it seems to lead them down a single path, into a large chamber, domed high above by joined pillars of greyish ice.

Injara At the center, a veritable garden of smaller pillars rises up: some shorter, others taller, all joined together at the root and glowing ever so faintly with a strange luminescence -- and at the center, one that rises above the others, a huge perfect sphere of silver embedded at its crown.

Phoenix` glances at Tia, then shrugs, and opens her mouth. "Hello, sphere. Are you the Gray?"

Injara There is a melodic humming, which grows into a harmonic throbbing, which then in turn expands to a many-toned wall of sound, all carrying a single message. We are the Gray.

Phoenix` "Nice to meet you. I'm Phoenix of Ashes and this is my friend Tia."

Injara Tia curtsies politely.

Injara The garden hums and throbs for a few moments before responding again. Your kind have transgressed a thousand times against us and once more, but nonetheless you stand before the weight of our ancestral history and look for audience. Why?

Phoenix` folds her legs beneath her, taking a crossed-leg seat in the air, and lets out a long, weary sigh.

Phoenix` "Are you aware of what year it is? I beg your indulgence in this line of discussion, as its importance will make itself clear in a matter of moments."

Injara By our species' reckoning... The Gray rattles off an elaborate conceptual description of a year thousands of years past.

Phoenix` "Until recently we referred to the date as the Year of Her Reign 770, the final chapter of the Dragonblooded Empire's ascendance."

Phoenix` supplements this with a halting and brief conversion to the Gray's dating system.

Phoenix` "Certain events of the War have, um, contracted your experience of history's passing, and I hold it the responsibility of my kind to reintegrate your lost shores, and others like yours, with the Creation that remained."

Injara The Viyear remain inevitably in conflict with the uprisen servitors. That your kind should come, extract from our garden the memories of our ancestors, and then seek to TREAT with us before even the scars have frozen over... Phoenix notes a set of three pillars that seem to have been sawed off right at the bottom.

Injara That is your treacherous way. The pillars of the Gray begin to glow in a somewhat more displeased manner, and show no signs of stopping; it is at that unfortunate moment that a blooded but relatively whole Arathi chooses to slip into the chamber, begins to speak -- "Phoe..." -- and then halts, concerned at the rapidly gathering Essence on display. "Oh."

Phoenix` drops to the floor with an irritated stomp. "What is WRONG with you...beings? People? Entities? I can't even have a good RANT without your INCOMPREHENSIBLE nature causing me problems! And you're all so RACIST! So I have a glowing dot on my forehead. SO WHAT? Does that make me less than human? If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you leave my pie out, does it not get stolen?"

Injara The Gray, seemingly stunned and confused by Phoenix's incomprehensible screaming, stops its violent glowing, quite suddenly.

Phoenix` waves belatedly to Arathi. ::Hi there buddy.::

Injara ::Hello, Phoenix. The ice appears to be somewhat angry,:: he thinks to her, even as the Gray collects its thoughts enough to respond again: Tell us, then, your purpose here.

Phoenix` "I wish I could do that thing Spring does. Anyway, um, I was curious? Sometimes curiosity is good enough."

Phoenix` "At this point, however, one begins to question whether this pattern of chilly welcomes outweighs the excitement of new vistas."

Injara "This theft," Arathi quickly adds, "was almost certainly committed by one I have been following: a man called Kag. My friends and I were unconnected to his actions." He nods solemnly.

Injara Then he must be punished, swiftly and without cease. The Grey pulses vaguely and softly for a moment. Truly do you stand, enemies at the sight of this one Kag? it says to Phoenix.

Phoenix` "Perhaps. Arathi, would you describe this Kag?"

Phoenix` ::This is Tia by the way. She's new.::

Injara Arathi bows a brief but unquestionably polite hello to Tia and continues. "He is a large man, tall, well-muscled, who bears a crown and a staff of gold. He is touched by the Sun, but does not live to that ideal; he has fellows who aid him in theft and destruction... we briefly encountered one named Zuben, who struck at us from surprise and left my fellows grievously injured..."

Phoenix` "Then he is my enemy."

Phoenix` "Wait, injured? Where?" Phoenix turns around and finally gets a good look at Arathi's wounds. "What are you DOING? You should go home and get some rest."

Injara If you stand against him, then we cannot be at war until he is slain. A small fivefold-symmetrical crystal of ice, laced with silver, grows up out of one of the nearby ice formations, then its surface hardens into what seems like a heavy, durable glass. Take this.

Injara "Nesula is taking care of it," Arathi says. "It was a great concern at first, but now I am certain they will be fine." He shakes his head briefly. "Until you showed up, I must admit was more concerned about myself, here."

Phoenix` takes the crystal and spins it in her hand, watching the light play over it. "Ceasefire? All right. Good enough. We will see you again." She pauses, pulls something out of her sleeve - a gold disc - and rubs it in the ice until it frosts over, then scratches a glyph in the rime. "Take this." She leaves it on one of the ice stumps.

Lytek The Gray hums softly. It appears to be satisfied with this arrangement.

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Page last modified on November 29, 2009, at 02:20 AM