Summary:The Solars discuss Winter's transformation, and he chooses to make trouble.

XP:C4, L4, S4, V4, Z4

< You Secretly Suspect I Might | Sol Invictus Logs | I Confess Myself Unsurprised >

`Lucent "... Spring is WHAT?!?"

`Varanim throws a largish fruit seed at a bird that's singing a little too melodiously on a nearby tea garden tree. "Don't shout, I have a headache."

`Cerin appears beside Zahara with a footstep and a kiss for her cheek. "As far as we can work out, he's a Deathlord. With ... complications."

`Lucent "... Deathlord." Lucent sinks his face on his hands. "So, this is because of his fall into Auna's mess in The Thousand, and not his heavenly contamination?"

`Varanim "It's because he's an idiot. The rest is details that I'll try to break into small words for you. Don't worry, Cerin brought pictures."

`zahara slips her arm around Cerin's waist. "He did it as part of some 'plan' of his. It actually did work in our favor where Kai - I mean Thorn - was concerned."

`Lucent "I hate you."

`Cerin has, indeed, brought pictures. Though they're of a rather complex and confusing essence structure, rather than anything immediately graspable, it is revealed as he unrolls them.

`Lucent "You all ring-warned me it was UNDER CONTROL when I was cleaning the exterior. I thought... I thought UNDER CONTROL did not mean HORRIBLE SOUL-CORRUPTION."

`Cerin "The Soul-Corruption only really got bad when he lept into the Mouth of the Void," Cerin points out. There's a before and after drawing.

`Lucent finally disengages his face from his hands and peers at them. "And he did THAT because...?"

`Varanim "Idiot. I covered this."

`Lucent "But I want to understand his idiot-logic!"

`Cerin "Well, he had entangled various spectres and abyssals with his Martial Arts. But quite why he jumped into the Mouth of the Void with no means to fly is not something I fully understand."

`zahara "I'm going to guess overconfidence and an inability to see his own stupidity."

`Varanim "It actually started when he went off to fix the sun, and by the way, good job with that one, guys."

`Lucent "I got a flower to help him!"

`Lucent lifted it, looked around, realised how silly the entire statement was, then lowered it.

`Varanim "I... okay, I'll allow that sidetrack, because it's too baffling to ignore. What?"

`Cerin studies the flower in the brief time Lucent displays it.

`Lucent "Well, see, when The Thousand quieted down, I thought... I decided to go to Sextes Jylis. Being surrounded by all that death, looking up at Pluto, I thought Creation might get like that, which is why I left so suddenly. I asked him to help us with the disease, and he told me, you see. Flower!" He lifted it again! "He said it would help. Sol knows how. Dragons are so damned cryptic about things. Must be the oversleeping."

`zahara "Do you mean that Sol literally knows how, or were you using that as a perjorative?"

`charlequin The flower Lucent holds does indeed radiate with powerful wood-aspected Essence.

`Varanim "Well, I'm sure it'll all make sense if you confer with our other doctor, except oh wait."

`Lucent "Pejorative. Jylis DOES know more about those things than Sol, from what I gather. Sol's idea of gardening is to shine over flowers."

`Cerin "That is quite a flower," Cerin says, idly sketching.

`Lucent "... Doctor."

`Lucent "Why MUST we involve that" several first age expletives later "in this?"

`Cerin "I believe she was actually refering to Spring in this instance."

`Lucent "Oh. Then sure! Where is he? I haven't seen him since I returned."

`Cerin "Do you remember the start of this conversation, Lucent?"

`Varanim "I could call them Doctor Winter and Doctor Oops-Where's-Your-Arm, if it would help."

`Lucent "I admit I got a little too nervous at the point you told me he is called 'Winter' now. My apologies. And from what you tell me, his medicine might not be at its best right now."

`Lucent "No cutesy nicknames."

`Varanim "Anyway, Spring took the sun's bad place and put some of it in his finger, which is a great lesson that I won't bother pointing out because I don't have to raise children anymore. That made an opening for later problems."

`Lucent "And you will never call me an Essence Whore again."

`Varanim "Don't worry, you can both be pretty. At some point, a mote was put into him through that opening, and used to sneak in more death Essence, kind of like that thing where you get one rat in the bin, and he goes home and tells all his little rat friends how great the food at your place is."

`Lucent "Can we conclude, on those effects, that the goal of the Sun's contamination is to turn Sol Invictus into a Deathlord?"

`zahara "Well he wouldn't exactly be a Deathlord... but more of a Dead God."

`Varanim "Not really, since the Deathlord thing didn't happen until he went to the Lion's secret garden, and no I don't make these things up, and did it to himself via the existing hole. That would be the rats eating out enough of a nest in your food to start laying babies, if you're following that metaphor."

`zahara sniggers

`Cerin nods as he follows the metaphor.

`Cerin is really curious how she'll take it to the edge of the Void.

`Varanim "But even that would have been maybe all right, since rats are crunchy when you toast them up right, except then he went and jumped into the Pit while the rest of us were busy with Zahara's latest crazy ancestor."

`Varanim "At that point, well, have you ever seen a rat king? It's this great thing you get when a whole mess of them get their tails stuck together with blood or shit, and can't get apart, so the whole thing goes around tearing up everything in sight and growing. That's his Essence right now."

`Lucent considers. "And now he has been eaten by rats and found out he can control the rats under his skin, so he's a walking Spring-skin filled with rats?"

`Cerin "I think you're getting a little ahead of the situation, Lucent. Not by much, mind."

`Lucent "Oh?"

`Cerin "Going by Varanim's analogy, I don't think he's quite at the Spring-skin full of rats stage. Yet."

`Lucent "And by that... there are several different strands, connected by, well... their tails? Eating away at his Essence, right?"

`Lucent "So we would need to sever the clot of blood and stuff holding it together, and they would just... scatter?."

`Varanim "Except that now they have the idea that this is a great place to be, so not really. Fixing him would probably need to start with the original problem mote."

`Lucent "The rat that called the other rats?"

`Lucent "So have it tell the others rats that... there's rat poison in there?"

`Varanim "Well, that's assuming that he doesn't just tell the rats he likes and... actually, could we just talk about the actual Essence problem?"

`zahara "No, no, let's keep on with the rats. This is better."

`Lucent "They were not metaphors?"

`Varanim sighs. "Fine. Right now, the food is all fouled up, the rats are just about finished taking care of the cat who came to see what the noise was, and even if you killed them all there's still a hole in the wall, something inside that smells really good to rats, and not a lot left to eat for the winter."

`Lucent "So you need to get rid of all the food, and then close the hole."

`Lucent "Well, Spring WAS an ascetic. Kind of."

`Cerin "So, how does one go about unwinding all the death essence from his solar essence?" Cerin asks a question Varanim might be more comfortable with.

`zahara "Perhaps Wasirru can help somehow... He could hang himself from the top of the tree for a few thousand years" she suggests helpfully

`Varanim "The short answer is I don't know. I have a hilarious idea for how to try, but even if Zahara could craft what I need, I haven't figured out yet how to do it without killing him."

`Lucent "..."

`Lucent "I think I know how to plug the hole."

`Lucent "When we are done cleaning him up, that is."

`zahara "You do?"

`Lucent "There is an Abyssal Exalted out there who has a little solar rat inside him, Ember of Glory. We can take that Solar fleck and graft into Spring to seal the hole. Like a golden cat watching over it."

`Varanim "Great. In that case there are just a few petty details left, like how to talk him into it, what to do with the problem mote, and oh yes, who put it in him to begin with."

`Lucent "I thought that was the Sun?"

`Varanim "No, the Sun made the hole. The Doctor couldn't tell when the problem mote entered."

`zahara "What happens to the little Abyssal rat in you when that happens?"

`Lucent "Well, I will still be Soul-Brother to Ember, holding part of his Essence, just like Spring will be to me. I will feel Ember, like Spring will feel me."

`Lucent "I am more worried about what to use to plug the hole left on Ember's Essence."

`Varanim "Not my department," Varanim shrugs.

`zahara "You're going to rip out his only connection to the Sun, tch tch."

`Lucent "To save a real Solar!"

`zahara "A Deathlord you mean."

`Lucent "Not a walking rat-colony yet!"

`Cerin frowns. He draws a sketch of Winter for Varanim. Then a reproduction of an old one, one of the first he showed her. Of the Mask of Winters. "Looks similar?"

`Cerin "Oh and as an additional point of comparison," He sketches the Lion, too.

`zahara "Oh, you're right. Ember is too far gone to bother with saving." She nods sympathetically.

`Lucent "I... I did not mean it like that..."

`zahara "After all, he sold his soul for power, while Spri... I mean Winter, well he only chose to become a Deathlord to have power over Kai."

`Varanim Letting Zahara take care of Lucent, Varanim answers Cerin, "Pretend-Winter looks more like original flavor version than either of them does the Lion. Also, this is urgent, he's getting worse by the day."

`Cerin nods. "This might suggest where he came by the problem mote. Which also suggests a time."

`Varanim "It's a first estimate, sure. Anyway, I give him until Calibration at the outside."

`Cerin "Naturally."

`Varanim "I'm going to strike out in a bold new direction, though, and suggest we take care of it before the last possible minute."

`Cerin "Well, it would clear the plate for other crisis to be solved then."

`Winter A faint buzzing sound enters the room, followed by Winter, looking annoyed. He stands still for a moment, then snaps his fingers, and brushes the remains of a mosquito off his hand. He then nods politely to the group.

`Varanim grunts noncommittally and takes a drink.

`Lucent "SPRING!" Lucent rises, glad to see something take him out of his blues, and rushes to embrace his companion. "Er. WINTER!"

`Winter "Hello, Lucent. How have you been?"

`Lucent "I... was out! Trying to help you. I got you a flower!"

`Lucent "How do you... feel? With this Deathlord-thing?"

`Winter "Fine. Possibly better than ever."

`Winter "A flower?"

`Winter ::Lucent. Watch out for Varanim. Her dalliance with the Mask of Winter has led her into an alliance with the Doctor to betray us all.::

`Winter ::Do not believe the things she tells you; she will no doubt attempt to make you distrust me, so that she can divide us and take control.::

`Lucent "A flower. I am supposed to give it to you. Sextes Jylis, the Dragon of Wood, has given it to me."

`Winter ::I am sorry to be the one to bring you this news.::

`Lucent looks impassive, the same smile held in place. He liked to emote, but was able to hide it all with perfection if needed. ::... the... Doctor...::

`Lucent ::I KNEW IT.::

`Lucent ::Fuck it all, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, that... that...::

`Winter ::Did she tell you that she brought us to see him, so that he could discover our weaknesses?::

`Lucent ::No, no, in fact, when I mentioned him, she said nothing at all.::

`Winter ::I am not surprised. I am sure she has made some arrangement with him that even I am not aware of. You may be the only one who can properly uncover the truth.::

`Winter "May I see it?"

`Lucent ::She has always closed herself to me on that score. She did not even mention how her bargain with the Mask of Winters meant severing herself from ME until push came to shove.::

`Lucent ::But I will try. Oh, I will try.::

`Lucent presents Winter with the flower. "Do not crush it, please."

`Winter takes it, considers it, and solemnly eats it.

`Lucent "THIRTEEN!"

`Lucent "Er, Spring."

`Winter ::You may be the only one I can trust, Lucent. I fear she has swayed the others with her accustomed trickery.::

`Lucent "Er, Winter."

`Winter "Winter."

`Lucent "Cough it out!"

`Winter "What?" He coughs it up again, looking quizzical.

`Lucent "Well. You have changed! I have no idea how the Maw changed with it. Its better not to keep the blessed flower inside you for now."

`Varanim snickers.

`Lucent takes it, protectively!

`Lucent ::I am used to her evasions, Winter. But thank you for the warning. I will do my best to wrestle from her details of this deal.::

`Lucent ::So.:: To Varanim. ::You met up with The Doctor after all, despite telling me you did not.::

`Varanim ::I told you I didn't? That would be a funny thing of me to say, since I did.::

`Lucent ::I do not remember that!::

`Varanim ::I'm glad we agree, then.::

`Lucent ::What? No, we do not agree! You should have told me!::

`Varanim ::Where did you think I got my information about what happened to Spring? As a hint, it's not because I've suddenly become an expert in necrosurgery diagnosis.::

`Lucent ::And I am to believe he helped you for free? He may have infected Spring further for all we know!::

`Varanim ::You ''could/ believe he helped us for free, but it would be a strange thing of you to think.::

`Varanim "Thank you Spring, it's been a while since someone tattled on me to Lucent and we had a nice squabble about it. I knew I'd been missing something since he came back."

`Winter "How do you expect me to examine the flower if you do not let me touch it?"

`Lucent ::I have good cause to believe you have deals with him. Involving a back-and-forth trade of goods and services.::

`Varanim ::That's the normal way deals work, yes. I think we're making good progress here.::

`Winter "Being helpful is, as always, my foremost goal."

`Lucent ::But you just said he did it for free. You are trying to LIE to me! I thought -- with our daughter and, and... I thought we were above that by now!::

`Varanim ::Congratulations, you've outdone yourself. There's not a single correct thing in those sentences for me to attach a reply to.::

`Lucent ::Try.::

`Lucent seems to remember he should answer Winter, though his face is still the amiable smile. "With your Essence-Sight-Slash-Touch-Slash-Smell?"

`Varanim ::Let's start with the fact that I don't have a daughter.::

`Lucent ::... what.::

`Varanim ::Ah, here's an idea for a variant on the theme. Why don't you decide what terrible price the Doctor asked for his help, get angry on those grounds, and I can tell you how far off you were?::

`Lucent "I do not presume to think like a necromancer."

`Lucent "..."

`Lucent "After all, this is why I got this flower, right? LIVING Essence!" ::See what you just made me do.::

`Winter "So..." Winter says with every appearance of patience, "may I have the flower back?"

`Lucent "Is it going to come back whole?"

`Lucent ::So, you are just trying to deflect me!::

`Varanim ::Lucent... let me try to do this in simple terms. Something is wrong with Spring. There aren't many people who could tell me what was wrong. I went to one of them. I'd be interested to hear what you think I should have done instead... actually, no, I wouldn't.::

`Lucent ::If it was just this simple, why are you so evasive about WHAT YOU DID FOR HIM? Why would he do it? What is going on between you?::

`Varanim throws up her hands. "You've caught me! For his favors, I performed acts that Cerin would need new shades of filthy just to do the rough sketches for. Zahara will never look at her sex toys the same way again. Are we finished here?"

`Winter "Yes, it will."

`Winter "Am I interrupting something?"

`Lucent fumes and glares at Varanim... before Winter makes him retort, "YES! NO! MAYBE!"

`Winter "Can you be more specific?"

`Lucent "You just HEARD her!"

`Varanim "I have work to do. You two can get back to your flower argument now."

`Varanim ::Zahara,:: she adds privately, ::I'll tell you what I need and you can tell me if it's possible to make in the next few days.::

`Lucent ::No, no, you are not avoiding having this talk.::

`Varanim ::Fine. Look me up in six hours.::

`Lucent ::Going to coordinate cover stories with him? No. As soon as we are done. My room.::

`Varanim doesn't answer, scooping up a piece of fruit and a bottle on the way out.


< You Secretly Suspect I Might | Sol Invictus Logs | I Confess Myself Unsurprised >

Page last modified on October 29, 2010, at 01:28 PM