Summary:Lucent attempts to heal Bertrand's illness, and an unfortunate omen appears in the sky.

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

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`Lucent had Bertrand laid down over their dinner table, with tea to either side. That way, he would know that moving would cause him to spill the empress' tea, and no one wants THAT. Lucent peered into his soul, sliding light-scalpels here and there on him, considering. Every so often, he wondered, as another Forest-Exalted... if that was just how Bontiful Grass felt. "And how do you feel now, Mr. Bertrand?"

`Lucent also took a sip of the tea

`Bertrand coughs. "I feel... well, I don't actually feel all that good, actually."

`Lucent "Details. I cannot work with that. And do you really want me to go..." He pokes Bertrand in the soul, as he sips his coffee. "... does it hurt there?"

`Bertrand almost sits bolt upright, though Lucent easily restrains him. "OWWWWWW!"

`Lucent "See, now, I can do this another 6 times to cover all your chakras, or you can be more specific." He puts the tea down, and smiles.

`Lucent "Oh, and sorry about that."

`Bertrand settles down slightly. "I... will try." He knits his brow in visible effort. "What... was the question again?"

`Lucent "Describe to me, how it feels to be under advanced stages of Horrible-Sun-Disease-Yet-To-Be-Named (OrdidtheydothatwhileIwasgone?) please."

`Bertrand "Oh," he says, uncomfortably. "Um, okay." He frowns and crumples his forehead even further with the effort required to compose a statement on the matter.

`zahara sips her tea, and watches.

`Kraken watches too, from her side.

`Lucent picks some sugar cubes from his side of the Bertable and puts on Zee's side. "Do not worry about him, Empress, he will be fine..." Or was that all that was worrying her?

`Imrama leans against the wall, sipping from a large mug of lychee-mango kombucha. ::You might be a bit more gentle with him, Lucent. Having a terminal soul illness is probably a very frightening thing.::

`zahara "I should hope so. He has done quite well as Minister. I would hate to lose him."

`Lucent ::I was trying to! I did honestly not want to touch him seven times! I just... I did not think it would hurt so much, Im..."

`Winter walks in, looking around. "Did someone just scream in agony?"


`Winter "I was just wondering."

`Winter "Hello, Bertrand. Not feeling well?"

`Bertrand "I have an unpleasant tight feeling in my chest area, that feels almost as if something is tearing when I take a large breath or exert myself in a significant way," he says, after much consideration. "I have painful numbness in my extremities, as if they've been soaking in ice-cold water. And ack" -- he degenerates into a coughing spasm for a moment -- "I have a cough."

`Winter "Well, the cough is nothing to worry about. Probably your fatal disease has merely caused you to overexert yourself."

`Winter "Once you collapse you will be forced to get some rest and it will soon clear up."

`Lucent "Oho? Am I to believe you have retained your medical knowledge, Winter?"

`Winter "Why would I have lost it?"

`Lucent "Well... you are kind of anti-life right now, like it justifies your hate."

`Winter "I have no idea what you mean. Are you letting the necromancer influence you mentally?"

`Imrama "Winter, dear friend; I suspect that Lucent merely thought you might have misplaced it at the same time as your otherwise sterling bedside manner."

`Varanim "What's all that screaming?" Varanim asks as she wanders in.

`Lucent "About that... why are you so harsh on her now? You used to be friends!"

`Lucent eeps

`Winter ::Imrama, does Lucent have some sort of memory problem? He seems to have forgotten nearly everything we discussed just a few hours ago.::

`Cerin "Mostly it's Bertrant, unfortunately," Cerin supplies for Varanim.

`Lucent "I did not mean to poke so hard..."

`Varanim After a few squinty seconds trying to figure out what the fortunate case would be, Varanim slouches over to sit near Zahara. "Quick, what makes a big green star in the sky and black oozy things crawl out of the ground?"

`Imrama ::Selective recall is a more common problem than you might think.::

`Winter "Ligier."

`Winter "Well, Malfeas. Ligier is the green star."

`zahara "Why do you ask?"

`Cerin "He's not much one for black oozy things, though," Cerin remarks. He casually ignores the intervening yards of masonry to have a look outside.

`Varanim "Oh, Ligier, that's a good one. I was going to blame it on the sort of squishy fruit I had right before going to sleep," which somewhat clarifies that she isn't talking about something immediately outside.

`Imrama "Unless he acquired that purview from the Ebon Dragon in the great divorce."

`Lucent "Now that is a frightening thing. What do you call the lord of light and darkness?"

`Cerin "A green star shines, and the gates are flung open -- the earth shakes, the trees topple, the fields wither, and those who have died rise up to displace those who are living," Cerin quotes.

`Lucent pokes back at Bertrand's Essence, trying to discern a few things. How long did they think he had, comparing to the other victims? Did Sextes' flower have any interaction with his wood-based essence?

`Bertrand Examining the soul distortion that ripples through Bertrand's Essence, Lucent seeks to discern its state of advancement. He finds the most tainted location: a knot of Essence right at the center of Bertrand's Essence, where his hun and po are joined by the channelcage pattern -- it casts a shadow across each mote that passes through his system, slowly but surely bringing the degenerative symptoms into being.

`Bertrand At the rate it's going now, it seems likely to Lucent that Bertrand has perhaps a few days.

`Bertrand There's no immediate response to merely holding the flower next to him.

`Lucent "Winter, look at this knot here, please? Around the channelcage? What do you make of it?"

`Winter walks over and squints at it.

`Lucent "Sextes Jylis also gave me this flower, saying it would help, but I see no... relation between their essence patterns. Perhaps we ought to plant it on him?"

`Varanim leans over to mutter audibly to Zahara, "I know I came in in the middle here, but is he talking about gardening your seneschal?"

`Winter "Hm."

`Winter "Much becomes clear."

`Lucent "It looks good on Wood Aspects, right?"

`Winter "This virus is not a virus. It is attempting to...possibly the best way to describe it is, it is attempting to be born."

`Winter "It harnesses the Essence of its host in order to grow. If the host is too weak, they die as a result."

`Winter "But Bertrand is perhaps the most powerful God-Exalt in Creation, and he is surviving."

`Winter "And it is growing."

`zahara She gives Varanim a shrug that speaks volumes, and then says "I suppose you could transfer the virus to the flower?"

`Winter sniffs it.

`Lucent "... it is using the Exaltation cage as a womb."

`Lucent looks frankly horrified

`Winter "The flower contains Jylis's Essence. If we can channel it, we can use it to slow the growth of the virus-creature, by flooding Bertrand's system with inhospitable Essence."

`zahara "What exactly is it trying to grow into might be the pertinent question here."

`Lucent "So you would have a bonsai abomination?"

`Winter "An excellent one, I agree."

`Cerin "Slow the growth of a virus which grows on wood-aspected beings by flooding it with ... growth-essence?" Cerin questions, a little skeptically.

`Lucent "I think they mean to have the flower bloom instead of an exaltation, and question the resulting miniature Aluraune-ish abomination?"

`Winter "You will just destroy Jylis's gift and our chance of protecting Bertrand." Winter shakes his head irritatedly. "You must listen to me. Bertrand's Essence may resemble a Wood-aspected Dragon-Blood, but they are different enough that he will almost certainly survive, while the virus is balked."

`Bertrand looks back and forth a little concernedly. "Um..."

`Winter "Moving will kill you."

`Bertrand lies stone-still... except for his eyes.

`Lucent ::Why is it that I do not have the usual confidence when it is Winter who says it?::

`Imrama ::Because he has been mysteriously corrupted by a foul undead evil that hangs below the world, and he won't acknowledge it, nor have we figured out how how to fix it yet?::

`Varanim ::Actually, that last part's not true anymore.::

`zahara ::Oh?::

`Bertrand , realizing that people around him have gone into another mind-conversation, shuts his eyes ultra-tightly in unhappiness and tries extra hard not to move.

`Lucent considers. "Wait a moment. I need go to fetch something." And off he goes.

Winter_ "You still...have the flower." Winter looks annoyed.

`Bertrand "Um."

`Cerin "Or it will feed it ever more strongly," Cerin says. "Sextes Jylis, is after all, no ordinary dragonblood."

`Varanim ::I'll give you the specs.::

`zahara ::Excellent. This would be the artifact you mentioned?::

`Varanim ::Yes. But I'll still need somebody to either talk or beat Spring into taking part, since I don't expect I can do either.::

`zahara ::Oh come on,:: she says only to Varanim. ::He's a DOCTOR. surely you can think of SOMETHING::

`Varanim makes a rude and gender-inappropriate gesture to Zahara.

Winter_ "Cerin, I appreciate your input as always, but you may be assured that I have considered the possible ramifications. This is the correct course."

`Varanim "How's your tree doing lately?"

`Bertrand ""

`zahara smiles sweetly to Varanim.

`zahara "Yes, Bertrand?"

`Bertrand "I'm feeling really seriously uncomfortable at the moment!" he shouts, words all slurring together with the speed of it.

`zahara "Like sickness uncomfortable, or like 'ex-Spring told me not to move even though I can' uncomfortable?"

`Varanim "Oh, yeah. Spring was lying about that not moving thing."

Winter_ "Winter. If you tell him, he might move, which would make my job more difficult."

`Bertrand "WHEW!" Bertrand almost unconsciously wheezes out as he jerks upwards, sitting up in a single motion. Only a moment later, he follows that with a long: "....owwwwwww."

Winter_ "See?"

Winter_ "I believe my tree is fine. Is it not?"

`zahara "I suppose that depends on how long your attitude remains like this," Zahara grumbles. "And you're not DOING anything right now. He can stop moving again later."

`Bertrand "I.... er."

`Varanim "Do you want them to grow the flower out of you?" she asks Bertrand with a moderately curious look on her face.

`Bertrand "I... think so." He looks around for a bit. "I... think it'll help."

Winter_ "He knows no medicine and has no idea what he is talking about, but he is correct in this instance."

`Varanim "Too bad Lucent took it, then." She beams.

`Bertrand falls backwards, back into a prone position. "Oooog."

Winter_ "I agree."

`zahara summons a servant. "Go find Lucent and bring the flower back to me."

`Bertrand The servant nods and leaves to go find the wayward Zenith.

`Bertrand A few moments later, they run back into the room, agitated about something. "Empress!"

`zahara "What is it?" she asks, irritated that he is not in possession of the flower

`Bertrand "You... should... come see," he manages to stumble out.

`zahara sighs, and follows him out.

Winter_ follows also.

`Varanim looks annoyed, but her familiar is off engaged in questionable psychopomp activities, so she tags along too.

`Bertrand The servant walks down the nearby hallway, around the nearby corner beyond which lies a large picture window, and points up into the sky.

`Bertrand Hanging far above, cutting through the waking-twilight that the sun's black-marked disc now sheds, is a single star of brilliant green.

`Winter hisses. "This is what happens when I get behind schedule."

`Varanim "Huh. If I'd framed my earlier bitching a little better, I'd be set up for a really nice 'told you so' right now."

`zahara "Well now we really need the flower."

`Varanim also sends a silent query into her hearthstone about whether the position of the star has any immediate astrological significance.

`Imrama ::For anyone who was waiting on a deeper sense of urgency.:: Imrama gestures angrily at the green star.

`zahara ::Including yourself?::

`Bertrand {{ Based on the alignment and current estimated path of the star, it's moving towards an alignment with the Cauda Draconis... }} thinks the old-man voice from inside the hearthstone.

`Imrama ::As usual with these motonic problems, Empress, I find that I have very little to contribute to the solution beyond my own frustration.::

`zahara ::You speak as though we should all know how to solve it simply because we have been able to perform soul surgery.::

`Varanim "It's been a while since my gardening days, but you're all talking like the green star and the flower are connected. Is there a reason for that?"

`Imrama ::Very well, Empress. By all means; take your time.::

`zahara "The virus seems to be related in some fashion to the sickness of the Sun, and the one in Winter's pinky finger."

Winter_ "Indeed."

`Varanim "Hm. But is it connected to the pretty twinkly new star that's... oh, moving toward the three bad-omen dragon Primordial stars, that's humorous."

Winter_ "The Cauda Draconis."

Winter_ "I confess myself unsurprised."


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